The pain and the sorrow

I was briefly in Nashville last weekend. One of the Tennessean columnists, I think it was David Climer, wrote a very informative article on how he had no idea what the Titans would do with their first-round pick. If I ever become a paid columnist, I hope that I don’t produce work of this caliber. It was neither informative nor entertaining. In a sentence, it said “I don’t know what this team is going to do and frankly, nor will I try to speculate.” We are in the truthiness portion of the pre-draft mania, where teams will float any kind of rumor to ensure that “their guy” is available on April 26.

I did like ESPN the Magazine’s attempt to re-do the ridiculous draft-value chart that Jimmy Johnson created, oh, a decade ago. When people get worked up about the Big Tuna calling the shots in Miami, think back to Jimmy Johnson’s reclamation project with the Dolphins. Not too impressed, eh? Parcells had diminishing returns with each team after the Giants, so it makes sense for him to “earn” seven figures as an actual figurehead.

There is a downside to a draft chart that makes a 32nd overall pick 70% as valuable as the number one pick. Right now it’s worth 1/5 of the top pick. JaMarcus Russell, last year’s top pick, signed a six-year, $61 million contract. $32 million is guaranteed. Anthony Gonzalez, the 32nd overall pick, got a 5-year, $7.5 million contract. $5.4 is guaranteed. According to the salaries, the top guy gets about six times what the 32nd guy gets. That has to change. After all, Gonzalez had a much more successful rookie year, and he scored a playoff TD. Will Russell even make the playoffs in the next three years?

The man of pac will file for reinstatement tomorrow. Maybe this will help get the ball rolling for renewed trade talks. The Cowboys want to give a sixth rounder and the Titans want a fourth rounder. Call it a five and move on.

One player who could be on the Titans’ draft board for the #24 pick is Chris Johnson. Johnson is a super speed burner from East Carolina. Upside for this pick is that Johnson gives them a stellar kick returner and third down back. Downside is that the Titans just signed Chris Carr to return kicks and Chris Henry is the third-down back. Most people don’t see LenDale White as the long-term answer so maybe it makes sense.

I heard a little tidbit about Chauncey Washington today. He was in the same recruiting class as Reggie Bush and LenDale White at USC. Due to injuries and trouble staying eligible, he barely played. After Washington ran a nice 40 at the USC pro day, people talked him up as a possible third-round pick. Word around the campfire is that Washington has nice straight-line speed but not much else. Does that sound familiar to Titan fans? The indelible moment of Chris Henry’s 2007 was him getting crushed by Darrell Reid on a kickoff return in the season finale. If Henry does anything for the Titans, it will not be as a kick returner. Of that I am certain.

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