With Peter King taking his summer vacation, Robert Klemko of TheMMQB.com stepped in this week to publish the latest Monday Morning Quarterback column, and his piece includes a number of interesting tidbits, including an explanation for why teams ought to attempt two-point conversions more often now that the extra-point kick has been moved back. Here are a handful of other notable items from Klemko’s piece:
- Cameron Heyward is entering the final year of his contract, and is negotiating an extension with the Steelers, though he says he’d rather not think about his contract situation. The defensive lineman tells Klemko that he thinks he can play better than he did in 2014, when he ranked as Pro Football Focus’ sixth-best 3-4 defensive end. “I hope last year wasn’t a breakout season because I think I can achieve way more,” Heyward said. “I still have a mentality where I think of myself as a bust. I’ve got to prove everybody wrong including myself. I want to get better, and I want to shut people up.”
- Tom Brady‘s camp will call many of the witnesses central to the AEI report – which criticized the Ted Wells report – to testify during the Patriots‘ signal-caller’s appeal, a source tells Klemko. As Klemko points out, Brady and the NFLPA could file a lawsuit in federal court after the appeal process is complete, challenging Roger Goodell for violating due process by declining to recuse himself as arbitrator. However, Klemko thinks that Brady’s four-game ban will be reduced to a one-game suspension, and the QB will forgo legal action to put the issue to rest.
- Klemko hears that 10 teams are interested in Evan Mathis, which echoes what agent Drew Rosenhaus said last week. The MMQB.com scribe views the Dolphins as the favorite for the Pro Bowl guard, who may have drawn interest from even more teams if he had reached the open market sooner.
- Based on the numbers Klemko is hearing out of the Russell Wilson extension talks, he believes the team and the player are divided on the QB’s value. Klemko predicts that the Seahawks will ultimately franchise Wilson after the 2015 season, then perhaps let him walk a year later.
- Klemko disagrees with Titans GM Ruston Webster, who said last week that he wouldn’t be concerned if Marcus Mariota misses the first few days of training camp while the two sides finalize his rookie contract. As Klemko writes, that may be fine for a defensive tackle or safety, but a rookie quarterback – who is expected to start – needs all the training camp reps he can get. I’m inclined to agree that Webster’s comments are “a bad attempt to gain leverage” — there’s really no reason the Titans shouldn’t be able to agree to terms within the next few weeks.