Posted tagged ‘NFL Draft’

Did you know QB Dante Culpepper was so instrumental in the 2005 NFL Draft?

November 15, 2011

Via Adam Schefter ESPN:

Even though Daunte Culpepper has not played in the NFL in two years, his mark on the game is still being felt. Culpepper affected the fate of the franchises in Minnesota, Miami, New Orleans and Green Bay as much as almost any player who has worn those teams’ uniforms.

Were it not for the success Culpepper enjoyed in 2004, Minnesota would have been more inclined to use one of its two first-round picks in the 2005 draft on a quarterback. But Culpepper was coming off a 2004 season in which he threw for 4,717 yards and 39 touchdowns. Minnesota thought it was set at quarterback. So it used the seventh overall pick in 2005 on South Carolina wide receiver Troy Williamson. It used the 18th overall pick on Wisconsin defensive end Erasmus James. And then, with the 24th overall pick, the Green Bay Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers.

The very next offseason, after Culpepper struggled at the start of the 2005 season and then tore up his knee on Oct. 30, the Dolphins traded a second-round pick to Minnesota for the then-disgruntled Culpepper rather than signing free-agent quarterback Drew Brees, who wanted to land in Miami. And so, with Culpepper landing in Miami, Brees had no choice but to go to New Orleans.

Rodgers and Brees, the men whose fates are tied to Culpepper’s, have combined to win the past two Super Bowls. Their success is an ongoing story, a reminder of how timing really is everything and why teams are wise to draft the proverbial best player available. Now Rodgers has the Packers unbeaten. Their march to perfection — going strong enough to make Mercury Morris and the 1972 Dolphins uneasy — is under way. And Rodgers is leading the Packers into Monday night’s game against a Minnesota organization that bypassed him twice in the draft.

Brees has the Saints in first place in the NFC South. He is leading the Saints into Sunday’s NFC South showdown against the second-place Atlanta Falcons. And Culpepper, who worked out for the San Francisco 49ers in August, is out of football while Minnesota and Miami still are trying to make up for multiple mistakes. It is a different form of fantasy football, detailing NFL hypotheticals that could have but didn’t happen. But it also is a glimpse of how much one quarterback helped change the way the league is viewed today.

…The reason I posted this is to let the football guru’s out there in the world realize that the 2005 draft could have gone differently. I mean imagine if Alex Smith didn’t go first? Or if Drew Brees was amazing in San Diego? Or if Dante Culpepper wasn’t as good as advertised? It is crazy to think that and the game of football is always based on luck and how much production you can get out of it. Brees is a Super Bowl winner in New Orleans, Alex Smith is on the verge of a playoff run, and Dante Culpepper is eating Doritos at home sipping on some Gatorade. No one expected that. That is why football is all about the unpredictable. You will never know what will happen. The final example I give will be the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles. My point is proven…

What are the average players in the NFL doing with their life?

April 20, 2011

Via ESPN:

You might be thinking: I’m on the owners’ side in this lockout mess because NFL players are all spoiled, hat-backward millionaires who will no more miss a year’s salary than they’ll miss their eighth Lexus.

OK, but maybe you should meet …

Brian Schaefering, Cleveland Browns defensive lineman.

He has a wife, three kids — all 8 and under — and a rented house. He doesn’t have a shoe deal or a Lloyd’s of London policy or a super agent willing to float him till this is over.

Yeah, he’s got a safety net — himself.

“I’ll do anything,” says Schaefering, 27. “If I have to work for UPS, I will. I got a family to feed. I’ve paved roads, fixed roofs, done landscaping. I’m not better’n anybody else. I don’t want any handouts. I’d be happy with $12 an hour if I could get it.”

You hear anything about Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wanting to run a road paver lately?

“The problem is,” Schaefering says, “who wants to hire a guy who may have to pack up and leave [for the NFL] a month or two into it?”

So Schaefering and his wife are cutting back. They slashed their cable and cell phone bills and chopped their weekly date nights considerably. They used to get a babysitter, then catch dinner and a movie. “Now, it’s put the kids to bed and slap in a DVD.”

You might be thinking: What the hell has he done with his money he has made so far in the NFL?

Well, he went undrafted in 2008, barely made the practice squad in ’09 and finally started nine games for the Browns last season, making $395,000. He says he netted just over $200,000 after taxes. And he had plenty of bills to pay going into last year.

“I hear people joking around about this thing, but it’s no joke,” he says. “If this goes into the season, my wife might start panicking a little.”

You might be thinking: What about these $60,000 checks that went out this week to the players from the NFLPA’s lockout war chest? That should pay for a few babysitters, right?

True, but maybe you should meet …

… former Air Force star Chad Hall, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver.

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America)

Hall, 24, isn’t getting any $60,000. Since transforming himself from an F-16 mechanic into a modern-day “Invincible” with the Eagles, 5-foot-8 Hall hasn’t exactly hit the Lotto. He was on the team for only 11 games, so he got the minimum salary, prorated. The most he’ll get from the lockout fund is “about $10,000,” he says.

Now, he’s training friends’ kids for whatever they want to pay him — “I don’t really charge a set fee” — and trying to open a wings restaurant in Atlanta with his sister’s boyfriend, Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford.

“If we don’t have a season, I’ll be waiting tables and bartending there,” he says. “Plus, my uncle says he has a plumbing job for me. Pays $15 an hour, so that’s not bad.”

You think Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen will be asking “BBQ or teriyaki?” anytime soon?

You might be thinking: I’m supposed to feel sorry for these guys? At least they had a year of making $400,000. Try making $40,000!”

I guess so, but maybe you should meet …

… University of Wisconsin All-American lineman John Moffitt.

(Matt Fleming/2009)

Moffitt is a projected early- to middle-round draft choice, a can’t-miss NFL starter who “will make plenty of Pro Bowls once he’s signed,” says his agent, Mike George.

The problem is, what if he never gets signed?

“I saw some Girl Scouts selling cookies the other day,” Moffitt says. “Maybe I could try that?”

Moffitt’s got no job and no endorsement deals — “Nobody wants to see my face on anything,” he says — and “my parents stopped sending my allowance.” So George is paying for training and living expenses until something breaks.

After that?

“Well, my dad paints houses in Guilford, Conn.,” he says. “I think he’d maybe take me on doing that. But it’s kind of hard right now. I hope it doesn’t come to that.”

You hear anything about any NFL owners hitting up their dads lately?

Plus, staying in top physical shape is a full-time job. “It’s not like they can do that and work at Macy’s at the same time,” George says.

They might have to. Eagles lineman Winston Justice has opened a coffee shop. Teammate Owen Schmitt might student teach. Browns backup WR Rod Windsor is playing for the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena Football League, where some players are making as little as $400 per game. That barely covers the Advil.

And then there’s this: ThePostGame.com recently reported that an estimated 180 NFL players might have signed for “lockout loans,” at rates that can climb over 30 percent upon default, to make ends meet.

Not just dumb, desperate.

You might be thinking: So throw these guys a freaking telethon! I don’t care. Tell them to stop bitching. The rest of us have real jobs!

I guess. But remember, the players aren’t the ones bitching. Among the four big pro sports in this country, these guys picked the one that pays the least money, lasts the fewest years and wrecks the most bodies. They’re fine with that.

It’s the owners who have taken the football and gone home. It’s the owners who want a billion dollars back from the deal they have now. It’s the owners who want two more games from the players for nothing. And not a single owner is contemplating roofing at $12 an hour.

So, if you’re still thinking you’re on the owners’ side in this?

Then you’re not thinking at all.

This is the most interesting thing I have read all week because it speaks about how much the NFL Labor union is going to affect the younger, no name players in the NFL. Just because you play in any sport doesn’t make you a multi-million dollar player and I think that conception of fans needs to change. There are so many players who have off-season jobs coaching, teaching, and working in shopping stores just to make money to provide for their family. It’s just sad to see this happening because you have players like Matt Stafford and Jamarcus Russell who are making bank and have only played 2 years in the league. These other guys are playing their hearts out and won’t make the money they have until their 5th or 6th season. So in the end, this article is to prove to the American population that not everyone in football makes the big bucks and a lot of the players are struggling to make money and support their families in this time of struggle around America. Hopefully this lockout doesn’t last any longer…