Holmgren officially makes first horrible decision with Cleveland

Jake Delhomme must have comprising photos of Mike Holmgren, because that’s the only logical explanation as to why the Browns are set to pay the former Panther QB $7 million in 2010.

I’m trying to give Holmgren the benefit of the doubt in his first season with the Browns, even though some of the decisions thus far have been a little head scratching. But this latest move is making it awfully hard for me to do that. There’s absolutely no reason to give a washed up Jake Delhomme $7 million, because chances are high that no other team would have. This kind of financial commitment signals that Holmgren wants Delhomme to be his starter in 2010, which is absolutely ludicrous.

Delhomme was so bad last year that he made guys like Kerry Collins, Shaun Hill and whatever puss the Bills trotted onto the field look good. While he did turn in good efforts against the Falcons (twice) and Redskins, the rest of Delhomme’s season was highly forgettable. His skills have obviously deteriorated and his 8:18 touchdown to interception ratio proves that his decision-making isn’t quite up to par these days either. He was absolutely brutal against the Eagles in the opener and in his last game as a starter against the Jets. In fact, he was so bad against New York that most people figured that he had taken his last snap as a regular starter in the NFL. Most people outside of Holmgren, that is.

I’m willing to bet that Seneca Wallace beats out Delhomme in preseason and becomes the Browns’ starting quarterback for 2010. And if that happens, then Holmgren’s decision to give Delhomme $7 mil will look even worse. I just don’t get it. I don’t get what Holmgren saw in Delhomme last year that made him believe that he could be his starting quarterback in 2010. The only thing I can think of is that Holmgren is trying to submarine Eric Mangini so that he can get rid of him after 2010. Because there’s no way Mangini will succeed if Delhomme winds up being the starter.

Oh, and Rick Smith has my vote for 2010 Agent of the Year. Delhomme will make $19.7 million this season, which is so unbelievable that I might pass out on my keyboard before I complete this sentenohowg1hglwerkgh.gr…#

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Panthers sign Delhomme to five-year extension

According to the Charlotte Observer, the Panthers have signed quarterback Jake Delhomme to a five-year, $42.5 million contract extension through 2014.

Jake DelhommeThe Panthers announced they have agreed to extend the contract of quarterback Jake Delhomme, which secures their long-term commitment to him at the all-important position and also provides some salary-cap relief. Delhomme was in the final year of his contract and was scheduled to count more than $11 million against the cap, but now has a new five-year deal that agent Rick Smith said is worth $42.5 million with $20 million in guarantees. Smith said the contract’s structure was “extremely complicated” but will save the Panthers at least a couple million in 2009 cap space.

Whaa? They created cap space, which was nice, but $8-plus mil a year over the next five years? For Jake Delhomme? Like, for real?

This move essentially tells me that the Panthers are dedicated to Delhomme for at least the next two to three years and probably won’t draft a quarterback high in the next two drafts because they won’t be able to sink that much money into one position. (Especially the quarterback position.)

Delhomme has certainly done more good than bad in Carolina over the years (after all, he did lead them to the Super Bowl), but this is a player that is definitely on the decline. And if his performance in last year’s home playoff loss to the Cardinals is any indication of how his play will be from here on out, the Panthers will learn to regret this decision.

Panthers to extend Delhomme’s contract?

According to the Charlotte Observer, the Panthers have opened negotiations with quarterback Jake Delhomme about potentially extending his contract.

Delhomme, 34, is in the final year of his contract and is scheduled to count more than $11 million against the Panthers’ salary cap next season. The team could significantly reduce his 2009 cap number – perhaps by as much as 50 percent – with a multi-year extension.

Wednesday was the first day either side has confirmed the contract talks. “There are discussions,” coach John Fox said at the NFL owners’ meetings.

“It’s always ongoing. There is no question we’ve got a commitment to Jake. Whether that comes to fruition with a contract (extension), I can’t say.”

Delhomme’s agent, Rick Smith, said the uncertainty of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement factors into the situation. Unless a CBA extension is reached, the 2010 season is scheduled to be played without a salary cap, without a lockout of players by team owners possible before the 2011 season.

This would be a wise move for the Panthers in terms of cap space, but they have to find an eventual replacement for Delhomme at some point. The quarterback class in this year’s draft is weak so they might not find a long-term answer this year. But again at some point, they’ll need to start grooming a youngster.

Delhomme was absolutely filthy-awful in the Panthers’ loss to the Cardinals in last year’s divisional playoff round. And I hate to sound like one of those sports bloggers that makes generalized opinions and pawns them off as facts, but take away Steve Smith and Delhomme is about as effective as a remote without batteries.

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