Quick-Hits: McNabb’s feelings hurt, the Giants’ steep price for Beltran & Jets loading up

Washington Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb watches game action from the sideline during the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland on November 15, 2010. UPI/Kevin Dietsch

In Wednesday’s Quick-Hits, I rant about Donovan McNabb’s feelings, the steep price that the Giants are willing to pay for Carlos Beltran, the Jets’ desire to build the best cornerback duo in the history of mankind, and much more.

– I’ll have more once the deal becomes official, but I’m rather surprised by the reports that the Giants are willing to give up top prospect Zack Wheeler in order to acquire Carlos Beltran. Yes the Giants need offense and yes Beltran provides said offense. But if Beltran walks at the end of the year when he becomes a free agent, then the Giants just gave away one of the top pitching prospects in baseball for a rental (albeit a very good rental, but a rental nonetheless). I guess it all comes down to philosophy. I wouldn’t give up a top prospect for a rental unless I had a good feeling that the rental would re-sign with me at the end of the year. And at this point, the Giants can’t possibly know if they can re-sign Beltran. Granted, if he helps them win another World Series then it was worth the price of Wheeler. A lot of people didn’t like the Tim Alderson-for-Freddy Sanchez trade a couple of years ago, or the deal that netted Javier Lopez from the Pirates last July. But without Sanchez or Lopez, the Giants wouldn’t have won last year, so maybe this is what GM Brian Sabean had to do in order to take another shot at a World Series title. (And really, isn’t that the point?) But assuming this deal comes to fruition, I like it a lot better from the Mets’ point of view. They didn’t care about Beltran’s contract – they wanted a prospect, and got one. The Giants seemingly didn’t want to give up a good prospect…so they gave up their best one. Beltran better have been worth it.

– Apparently Donovan McNabb had his feelings hurt when he learned that the Vikings tried pursuing Tyler Thigpen before calling the Redskins about a trade for him. If this is true, somebody should remind McNabb that he’s about to be traded for a sixth round pick and, perhaps more importantly, was a team’s backup plan when they couldn’t acquire Tyler freaking Thigpen. If that doesn’t paint a clear picture of your worth as a quarterback, nothing will. Considering he gets to stay in a West Coast Offense and will have Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin (and Sidney Rice?) to play with, McNabb has nothing to sulk about.

– NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi is reporting that the Jets are prepared to pay free agent Nnamdi Asomugha $12 million per year. Could you imagine being an opposing quarterback playing the Jets next year? I would check to a run or dump the ball off to my tight end damn near every play. Offensive Coordinator: “What happened on that audible, Anthony? That’s the 17th time you checked off to a run.” Me: “Ha! You want me to take a trip to Revis Island while flying Asomugha Airlines? Go f&$k yourself. I’ll be over here if you need me – I’d keep our running backs fresh if I were you.”

– If you got sick of hearing about Rex Ryan and the Jets last year then grab a brown paper bag and some TUMS because it’s only going to get worse this season. Re-signing Santonio Holmes was huge for Mark Sanchez and the offense, but wait until they sign Asomugha and Randy Moss. All of Bristol, Connecticut will explode due to ESPN trying to figure out how to cram one hour of Yankees and Red Sox highlights and Jets training camp coverage into SportsCenter.

-Depending on what the compensation winds up being, I think the Dolphins are about to make the most underrated move of free agency when they acquire Kyle Orton from the Broncos. Orton will never win a Super Bowl by himself a la Tom Brady (who had little marquee offensive talent around him when he won his three rings), but he’s a smart, competitive quarterback who can prosper if he has enough talent around him. Reuniting him with Brandon Marshall is incredibly smart on Miami’s part.

– Speaking of Orton, how pissed were the Eagles when they found out the Broncos made him available? The Eagles know they have a suitor for Kevin Kolb in the Cardinals, but the Broncos essentially just gave Arizona another option at quarterback. The Cardinals can now say to Philadelphia, ‘Why should we give up a first round pick for Kolb when we could have Orton, another guy we like, for less?’ Granted, it looks like Orton is a slam-dunk to land in Miami and Kolb is still a shoe-in for Arizona, but Philadelphia couldn’t have been too pleased when the quarterback market became more crowded.

– I’m not wild about the Colby Rasmus trade for the Cardinals. Edwin Jackson should pitch well under Dave Duncan in St. Louis this season, but he’s a free agent at the end of the year. If he doesn’t re-sign with the Cardinals, they essentially traded Rasmus (plus Brian Tallett and P.J. Walters) for Octavio Dotel, Marc Rzepcynzki and Corey Patterson. I know the Cardinals had grown tired of Rasmus (and possibly his too-involved father), but that’s not enough compensation for a 24-year-old outfielder that is under team control through 2014. It’s not like Rasmus has cashed in on his potential yet, but St. Louis could have done better than this, right? What am I missing here?

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Jets prioritizing free agent list and Cromartie isn’t at the top

New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie (31) breaks up a pass intended for Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Lloyd at Invesco Field at Mile High on October 17, 2010 in Denver. The AFC East division leader Jets beat the Broncos 24-20. UPI/Gary C. Caskey

There appears to be conflicting reports when it comes to Antonio Cromartie’s future with the New York Jets. NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi is reporting that the team plans on letting the free agent walk this offseason, while Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post writes that the Jets have not “definitively decided to cut ties” with Cromartie.

Either way, it appears that the cornerback is not high on the Jets’ offseason priority list, which means things are sure to get interesting in Florham Park this spring.

In Cannizzaro’s report, he also confirms that the Jets’ top mission this offseason is to re-sign Santonio Holmes. The team already kept linebacker David Harris by franchising him earlier this week, so ensuring that Holmes is locked in as Mark Sanchez’s No. 1 receiver for the next four or five years is next on the Jets’ list.

After that, it’s unclear whether or not GM Mike Tannenbaum will try to re-sign Braylon Edwards or keep Cromartie. At some point, the Jets have to draw the line. It seems unlikely that they would be able to retain Holmes, Edwards and Cromartie, all while paying Harris top-dollar for one year under the franchise tag. They might be able to keep either Edwards or Cromartie, but not both.

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Will Asomugha wind up with the Jets or Packers next season?

Seattle Seahawks Golden Tate (81) can’t hold on to a Matt Hasselbeck pass as Oakland Raiders Nnamdi Asomugha (21) defends in the second quarter at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California on October 31, 2010. The Raiders defeated the Seahawks 33-3. UPI/Terry Schmitt

At last year’s Pro Bowl, Nnamdi Asomugha told the media that he and Darrelle Revis wanted to be teammates. If it ever happened, the duo would become an instant nightmare for opposing quarterbacks.

After the Raiders voided Asomugha’s contract over the weekend, that nightmare may become a reality. And if what former Raiders beat writer David White says is true, then quarterbacks in the AFC East and NFC North won’t be able to rest easy soon.

From White’s Twitter page:

I know him well. He’ll got to Green Bay or NY Jets. Mark it down.

As previously mentioned, Asomugha and Revis have already stated their desire to play with each other, so the Jets are an instant fit. Antonio Cromartie has played well in New York this season, but his contract is up after this year and Asomugha is by far the better all around corner. Could you imagine Revis and Asomugha joining forces in Rex Ryan’s defense? If Reggie Wayne was frustrated after Saturday night, he may not even want to dress when the Colts play the Jets in the future.

White mentioned the Packers presumably because Asomugha and Woodson are best friends. But unless Green Bay will be looking to replace Woodson, I doubt they would pony up for Asomugha after just paying Tramon Williams. A team can never have enough defensive backs, but Woodson made the Pro Bowl this year and Williams should have made it, so one would think the Packers are set at starting cornerback.

It’ll be interesting to follow Asomugha’s free agent escapades next offseason because there will be plenty of teams interested in the 29-year-old. His contract will scare some teams away, but great corners are extremely rare breeds. And Asomugha is the very best.

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