Cromartie deal off the table between Chargers and Lions?

Lions beat writer Tom Kowalski of reports that a trade between Detroit and San Diego involving cornerback Antonio Cromartie is now unlikely to happen.

Yesterday, Chargers’ beat writer Kevin Acee reported that Cromartie could be traded to the Lions “soon” and that the 25-year-old cornerback had played his last down in San Diego. But as Kowalski reports, Detroit balked when the Bolts asked for Maurice Morris in return.

The Lions don’t have an abundance of depth at the running back position and Morris proved to be valuable last year when Kevin Smith tore his ACL and battled shoulder problems. Morris would be Detroit’s every down back if the season started today, so the Lions don’t want to create a bigger hole at running back, even if it would mean acquiring a young corner in the process.

So where will San Diego turn now? They probably haven’t found any shortage of teams that need a young cornerback, but the problem is that Cromartie carries plenty of baggage. His contract also expires at the end of the year, so the team acquiring him won’t be willing to give up more than a mid round draft pick in case they can’t sign Cromartie to a long-term deal.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Cardinals survive Detroit, could clinch NFC West

The Cardinals played down to their competition on Sunday, but lucky for them their competition was the Lions and they managed to secure a 31-24 victory. With the win, Arizona can clinch the NFC West for the second consecutive season if the 49ers lose to the Eagles.

These past two games have shown that the Cardinals have some issues to iron out before the playoffs start. They turned the ball over seven times in a loss to the 49ers on Monday and have had problems protecting Kurt Warner. Arizona’s run defense, which has been so dominant this season, also allowed Frank Gore and Maurice Morris to go over the 100-yard rushing mark.

That said, the Cardinals had issues heading into the playoffs last year and they reached the Super Bowl. Even though they allowed an inferior opponent to hang around today, their passing attack was still there when they needed it (Anquan Boldin had a nice day) and Beanie Wells had a solid game while rushing for 110 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries.

For Detroit, rookie safety Louis Delmas looks like a special player. With the Lions down 17-0 nothing in the second half, Delmas intercepted Warner and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown. He became the first rookie in NFL history to record a safety this season, as well as interception and fumble returns for touchdowns. He turned the game around for the Lions with the pick today and at least made things interesting.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Offseason Blueprint: Seattle Seahawks

Notable Free Agents: Leroy Hill, LB; Leonard Weaver, FB; Maurice Morris, RB; Rocky Bernard, DT; Bobby Engram, WR.

Projected 2009 Cap Space: $900,000

Draft Order: 4

Top Needs: The Hawks need to add depth to an offensive line that has injury and age concerns. The defensive line could stand to add depth as well and this team really needs a playmaker on the offensive side of the ball. Safety and even quarterback could be addressed as well.

Offseason Outlook: Jim Mora is set to take over the reins in Seattle as Mike Holmgren puts his coaching career on hold. Perhaps the biggest thing that needs to be addressed this offseason is something the Seahawks have no control over – health. The injury bug hit this team like a runaway train last year and it never recovered.

Many early mocks have the Hawks selecting Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree with the fourth overall pick. Not a bad choice considering this team needs a major playmaker on the offensive side of the ball and Crabtree is easily the best wideout of the ’09 draft class. It’s hard to argue against taking a 6’3”, 214-pound receiver who has outstanding leaping ability and soft hands. If he winds up in Seattle, he would dramatically upgrade the wideout position.

Read the rest after the jump...

Fantasy Fallout, Week 7: RBs

LT2 did some damage in PPR leagues (with six catches), but he totaled 67 yards on 20 touches and failed to score. After his Week 9 bye, he has four nice matchups over the next six weeks, but that might be too late for his owners to make a run…Reggie Bush (10 touches, 60 yards) is out for the next 3-4 weeks with a meniscus injury in his knee. This is the downside of drafting Bush. Deuce McAllister looks like he will get the bulk of the work in his absence…Chris Johnson (20 touches, 172 yards, TD) and LenDale White (18 touches, 156 yards, 3 TD) both went nuts against the worst rush defense in the league (KC)…Willis McGahee (21 touches, 152 yards, TD) is still RB1 in Baltimore when he can play…Ronnie Brown’s (14 carries, 28 yards) schedule is pretty easy from here on out, so if you might want to buy low after a bad game against the Ravens…Steven Jackson (27 touches, 176 yards, 3 TD) ran like a madman this week. He’s definitely back in must-start territory…Ryan Grant (33 touches, 117 yards, TD) looked pretty good against a very bad Colts rush defense. His schedule isn’t very favorable over the next several weeks, so you might want to think about selling high…Thomas Jones (25 touches, 159 yards) is looking good and he has a favorable upcoming schedule. It might not be a bad idea to try to snatch him away from an unsuspecting owner…Clinton Portis (28 touches, 183 yards, TD) is looking like a top 5 back. He shrugged off a hip flexor to post big numbers against the Browns…Jamal Lewis (20 touches, 98 yards) played better than his stats would indicate. He almost scored on a catch and had a couple of goal line opportunities, but the Browns’ line failed to get the necessary push…Julius Jones (8 touches, 37 yards) and Maurice Morris (8 touches, 68 yards) are back in a timeshare now that Morris is healthy again.

Without Alexander, what can Seahawks expect from backfield?

In the weeks leading up to the kickoff the 2008 NFL Season, I’ll take a look at position groups that could potentially lift teams to new heights, or bury them and their postseason hopes. Today I take a look at what the Seattle Seahawks’ backfield situation will be like this year without Shaun Alexander.

For the past eight seasons, Shaun Alexander has carried the Seattle Seahawks’ running game. But after years of being the Hawks’ rock in the backfield, Alexander succumbed to injuries in 2006 and 2007, which ultimately led to his release in April of this year. Free agents Julius Jones (Cowboys) and T.J. Duckett (Lions) were signed this offseason to compete with Maurice Morris to be Alexander’s replacement.

In four seasons with Dallas, Jones rushed for 3,484 yards on 885 carries (65.7 yards per game) and 18 touchdowns. Over the last two seasons, he split carries with Marion Barber, who often stole Jones’ touchdown opportunities when the Cowboys reached the goal line.

Duckett spent the last two years in Washington and Detroit after sharing a backfield with Warrick Dunn in Atlanta from 2002 to 2005. He was hobbled by nagging injuries most of last year, but he did rush for 102 yards on 15 carries in the Lions’ Week 16 victory over the Chiefs, flashing the kind of speed and power that made him a first round draft pick in 2002.

While splitting time with Alexander last year, Morris finished with 628 yards on 140 carries and four touchdowns in 2007. Until Jones and Duckett were signed, Morris was the favorite to start for Seattle, and still might be.

A potential sleeper candidate that could emerge is 2008 sixth round pick Justin Forsett, who rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown in the Seahawks’ second preseason game against the Bears. Forsett showed decent power running between the tackles and excellent quickness when he saw daylight. He was also effective on kick returns as well, and while one preseason game doesn’t make or break a player, Duckett might be on the outs if Forsett continues to flash this kind of potential.

Can Jones, Morris or Duckett/Forsett carry the Seahawks’ running game this year? All indications out of Seattle this summer have been that the Seahawks will go with a running back-by-committee in 2008. All three of these backs can be effective in doses, but none has shown the capabilities to carry a rushing load on their own. (Although in fairness to Jones, he did rush for 1,084 yards on 267 carries in 2006, which was good for a 4.1 YPC average.)

Seattle was so effective when Alexander was carrying the ball 300-plus times a year, so it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Mike Holmgren uses his backfield this season. There’s no question that quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has mastered Holmgren’s West Coast Offense, but will the running back-by-committee work or will one back have to emerge for the Seahawks to make a Super Bowl run this year? The results have been mixed so far in preseason and although the NFC West once again appears to be Seattle’s for the taking, one has to wonder if their backfield situation will cost the Seahawks a chance to make a deep run in 2008.

Related Posts