The NFL season is officially here, even though the St. Louis Rams won't play until Sunday afternoon against the Seahawks. We'll have plenty of game preview action for you here between now and then. But now, some links...
More fallout from the decision to release LB Chris Draft. Apparently, they had asked him to take they pay cut twice before and the veteran linebacker had refused. The Rams are carrying a ton of dead money against their cap, $22 million to be exact, a testament to the pain of rebuilding and a monument to management practices that would make Enron proud. Also of note in the piece is that David Vobora had been pushing for Draft's starting job throughout camp, no surprise given Draft's declining speed and range.
As far as the locker room fallout goes...that's a nonstarter. This team has already released Orlando Pace, Torry Holt, Pisa TInoisamoa, and Corey Chavous, a pillar of lockerroom leadership. I think the players will absorb this just fine.
PD columnist Brian Burwell looks at Draft's release in light of the old regime.
Seattle's growing injury list has another potential addition for this week's game; oft-injured WR Deion Branch is questionable with a hamstring injury. He's missed the last two days of practice.
An pretty good interview with OJ Atogwe, not just the typical player interview platitudes.
Steven Jackson has goals this season, but is keeping them to himself.
Football Outsiders has some predictions for the season. As far as team most likely to underperform expectations, here's Mike Tanier:
Seattle. I'm not a Jim Mora fan, don't think much of their overall offensive talent, and I think Matt Hasselbeck has reached the injury tipping point where he won't be able to stay on the field as much anymore. If the Rams are as good as we think and the Cardinals a little better than we think, the Seahawks could be a 6-10 team.
Back at you soon.