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Strange Peyton Hillis video

This video is up on PeytonHillis.com. The guy either has a great sense of humor or he’s a little strange . . .

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Could a deal between Chris Johnson and the Titans get done this weekend?

Tennessee Titans Chris Johnson (R) evades a tackle by Jacksonville Jaguars Justin Durant (L) during the second half of their Monday night NFL football game in Jacksonville, Florida, October 18, 2010. For the first time this season, 2009′s surprise NFL rushing leader has put together back-to-back 100-yard games. The clincher came in an 111-yard performance on Monday that had Johnson toiling late into the Titans’ 30-3 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. To match Feature NFL-TITANS/JOHNSON. REUTERS/Daron Dean (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

There has been a whirlwind of reports to come over the last two days regarding Chris Johnson’s contract status, so let’s get caught up on the latest.

- Yahoo’s Jason Cole reported Tuesday that the Titans and Johnson are still $10 million apart on guaranteed money. Cole says that Johnson wants $30 million guaranteed and $12 million per season as a base, but the Titans apparently believe the deal should contain $20 million in guarantees and $8 million a year.

- The NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora says he “wouldn’t be shocked” if Johnson and the Titans had a “breakthrough” in their discussions by this weekend. While he did say that nothing was certain, La Canfora believes that a new deal could be done in time to have Johnson play in Week 1.

- While appearing on NFL Network’s Total Access, Michael Lombardi said that the Titans are “ready to make an offer” that will get Johnson to report to practice. He also said that the team is ready to open up “the bank vault” in order to pay him. Just like La Canfora, Lombardi seems to think that a new deal could be expected by this weekend.

- The Nashville Tennessean’s Jim Wyatt writes that both sides want to get a deal worked out now but “nothing has changed” regarding Johnson’s contract situation. Rotoworld.com seems to think that Wyatt “got word” from the Titans management in attempts for the team to regain leverage following Lombardi’s report.

It seems to me that the truth lies somewhere between La Canforna and Lombardi’s optimism and Cole and Wyatt’s rationalism. I get the sense that a deal could be struck this weekend but the two sides are still further apart than people realize.

Whatever. None of this is important. The only thing that matters is that Johnson’s ass is in uniform Week 1 so that I can look like a genius for drafting him in the second round of one of my fantasy leagues. I mean really, let’s cut the crap and get down to what truly matters here.

Javaris Crittenton suspected of homicide

The LA Times has the details about the case…

Crittenton allegedly shot Jullian Jones, a mother of four, on Aug. 19 as she stood outside her home with two other people, authorities said.

Atlanta homicide detectives said Crittenton was trying to shoot someone he believed had stolen jewelry from him in April, according to Georgia law enforcement sources.

The Washington Post digs deeper into Crittenton’s involvement in the Gilbert Arenas debacle.

Javaris Crittenton, murder suspect?

This is a tough one to digest, especially for many of us hanging on Arenas’s every utterance during the ordeal and after he returned from his suspension.

It was all Gilbert, all the time then. Crittenton was the forgotten counterpart, a foil for another mean-spirited Gil prank gone criminally awry. We were so worried whether his all-star career could ever be resurrected, whether Arenas was going to be okay after he pocketed, oh, $20 million per year, that we forgot to check on the guy who very possibly kissed his NBA career goodbye that day.

Little-known fact uncovered in court documents in the spring of 2010: Crittenton, via text message, asked to borrow thousands from Arenas to help pay his ill mother’s escalating medical bills. Just two months after their confrontation, Arenas obliged.

This puts the duo’s relationship in a new light since Arenas agreed to help Crittenton even after the lockeroom incident.

How Crittenton ended up shooting a mother of four is yet to be determined.

It’s now or never for the Giants and their hapless offense

San Francisco Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff reacts after striking out with two men on base to end the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Denver on May 17, 2011. Colorado came from behind to defeat the Giants 5-3. UPI/Gary C. Caskey

When Buster Posey was lost for the season following a collision at home plate with Marlins’ outfielder Scott Cousins back in May, one could have pointed to that moment as a low point in the San Francisco Giants’ 2011 season. But oh how things have gotten much worse.

On Monday night, the Cubs’ Randy Wells threw his first career shutout while limiting San Fran’s hopeless offense to just two hits in a 7-0 victory. (For those wondering, yes, that’s 5.00-plus ERA Randy Wells I’m referring to.) The losing pitcher for the Giants was none other than ace Tim Lincecum, who received zero run support for the 10th time in his last 28 starts.

The economy has looked more efficient in the past two weeks than the Giants’ offense has, which is frustrating when you consider how GM Brian Sabean gave away the organization’s best prospect to acquire Carlos Beltran from the Mets. Beltran was supposed to provide the team with just enough offense to get them to the postseason where their pitching could (hopefully) dominate like it did in 2010. Instead, Beltran has been sucked into the same black hole as the rest of the Giants’ hitters (save for Pablo Sandoval) and once again Sabean has been had in a trade (which is nothing new).

Of course, as infuriating as Sabean can be in his decision-making at times (Miguel Tejada or Orlando Cabrera anyone?), it’s not his fault that seemingly every night the Giants send a new player to the infirmary. Posey and second baseman Freddy Sanchez (one of Sabean’s better trade acquisitions) are out for the season while Beltran, Sandoval, Brian Wilson, Sergio Romo, Jonathan Sanchez, Barry Zito, Mark DeRosa, Cody Ross, Andres Torres, Pat Burrell, and Nate Schierholtz are either on the disabled list now or have at least spent some time on it this season. It appears as though the baseball gods have returned to wreak havoc on the Giants following their magical run in 2010.

Now if you’re among the many people who felt that last year’s World Series title was a fluke, then you’re certainty entitled to your opinion. I think your opinion is pure horse dung, but you’re entitled to your opinion nonetheless.

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Five questions about the Lakers

Mike Brown (C) is flanked by Los Angeles Lakers’ owner Jerry Buss (R) and his son, Vice President of Basketball Operations Jim Buss (L) following a news conference to announce Brown as the team’s new head coach in El Segundo, California on May 31, 2011. Brown replaces Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who retired at the end of this season. UPI/Jim Ruymen

By special request (this is for you, Jester), I’ll take a stab at ESPN’s 5-on-5 on the Lakers.

1. Fact or Fiction: Mike Brown was the right hire.

Fiction. He’s not a terrible hire, because he is very defensive-minded, and defense is something the Lakers struggled with last season. And he has experience coaching a moody superstar, so there’s that. But offensively, the Cavs were dreadful under his guidance even though they had one of the best offensive players in the league. In five years with LeBron, he wasn’t able to convince him to develop a post game, so does he have the fortitude to “coach up” Andrew Bynum? I’m not sure I can think of a coach who is better suited for the job, but honestly, I’m not going to try too hard.

2. Fact or Fiction: Kobe Bryant is the best player in the West.

Are you kidding? Fiction. All due respect to Kobe, but Dirk Nowitzki is the current King of the West and Kevin Durant and Chris Paul are both also ahead of Bryant, in my opinion. Nowitzki’s playoff run was epic, and Kobe had a chance to stop it — but couldn’t. There were opportunities in that series where the old Kobe would have taken over and willed his team to a win and those opportunities passed the current Kobe by.

3. The Lakers need to …

…acquire a superstar. This is easier said than done, but perhaps the rights to Andrew Bynum would garner Dwight Howard or Chris Paul if the Magic or Hornets were convinced that they were on their way out of town. It’s important that the superstar acquired is not a wing, because that’s not going to work with Kobe. But he’d welcome an opportunity to play with Howard or Paul.

4. Fact or Fiction: L.A. should deal Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol.

Were you not listening? Yes, Bynum and his shaky knees have to go and the franchise needs to bring in a superstar to build around after Kobe hangs ‘em up. They need to target a franchise that is about to get LeBron’ed, and the Magic and Hornets immediately jump to mind. Of course, this is all moot because Jim Buss is reportedly running basketball operations at this point and Bynum is his guy, so he’s not going anywhere. The Lakers could try to move Gasol, but with his salary and age, his value is not nearly as high.

5. Fact or Fiction: The Lakers will win another title with the current core.

Fiction. It could happen, especially in an abbreviated 2011-12 season, if there even is one, but I wouldn’t bet on it. They would be the type of contender that could capitalize if other teams in the West (or the Heat) faltered. But the last time I saw these Lakers I thought they were done. They were completely disjointed and had terrible chemistry — and chemistry was never their strong suit. They got by on effort and execution, and I don’t think they’ll bounce back in these areas on the heels of Phil Jackson’s departure.

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