1. London Fletcher, who played in Buffalo under head coach Gregg Williams and in Washington under defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, said last night on NFL Total Access that he was "extremely shocked to hear his role in this bounty thing." Fletcher said that, "Never at any point in time...did he ever get in front of us as a group and say, 'I'm going to give you x amount of dollars to go out and injure a player.'"
2. As for other Redskins players who may or may not have said there were bounties in Washington, Fletcher seemed to think that people were confusing bounties with pools of money for player incentives to do things like score touchdowns or haul in interceptions. According to Fletcher, that is nothing new and certainly not unique to Washington or Gregg Williams.
3. I have zero problem with these "player pools" as they pertain to rushing for a certain amount of yards or getting a sack. According to Fletcher, hundreds of dollars change hands on a weekly basis as a result of these pools. We would be naive to think that didn't take place in every locker room. Is it impossible to avoid the slippery slope those player pools create though? All it takes is one Pro Bowl player to throw down $10,000 or $15,000 in front of a bunch of guys making the league minimum with a demand that the other team's best player be taken out of the game.
4. Given the transient nature of the NFL, with players changing teams with unprecedented frequency, small practices like this have naturally permeated every franchise in the league. On one hand, you want to be able to count on the good sense and character of human beings to not weaponize themselves or their teammates. On the other hand, we are talking about a game that is played by giants with never-before-seen athleticism on a field that feels like it is shrinking by the second. Perhaps the commissioner and the league do need to make a point to root out these "side pots."
5. That goes for all the bounties on Parks, too.
6. I get asked constantly about the RG3/Peyton Manning/Matt Flynn/Rex Grossman/Ryan Tannehill shitstorm that is currently swirling around the DMV region. I love it. I really do. When people argue that the topic is getting old, I say, "Really? When did it get old for you? When we started John Friesz? When we went with a Shane Matthews/Danny Wuerffel deadly duo? When Steve Spurrier sentenced Patrick Ramsey to death by deciding to leave two guys in pass protection on every play? When John Beck was the de facto starter in this town for a month or two last offseason? What about when we traded draft picks for a veteran quarterback that was about to be released (Mark Brunell)? How about when we cut Brad Johnson to make way for the Jeff George era? Tony Banks? Rob Johnson? WHEN DID IT GET OLD FOR YOU!!!???!!"
7. The names getting tossed around in this current debate are almost all upgrades over just about EVERY SINGLE guy we have started for quite some time. Can't we just pause for a moment and appreciate that? The upcoming "Decision" is going to be huge. But this "Decision" is going to net us either a top draft prospect or a veteran player in the league who has seen and done enough to show Mike Shanahan he can be an upgrade over Sexy Rexy.
8. What if...we signed Matt Flynn AND drafted a rookie in either the first or second round? Matt Flynn would likely be super-pissed, which is not the way you want to start things off with a fresh quarterback signing. Let's say Flynn was happy to collect his paycheck and compete for his job (this scenario already has no shot of working I suppose). If Flynn beats out the rookie, great. We have a rookie who will sit and learn under a quarterback who sat and learned under an All-Pro. If the rookie is some kind of prodigy and wins the job, we have a backup who has proven he is capable of coming in and playing at a ridiculously high level in spot starts. And then, guess what? We have TWO good players at a position where having good players is kind of a big deal. Hmmmm...I wonder if other teams would consider trading for one of them? Do good teams stockpile talent and then trade away depth for draft picks and needs? Unfortunately, in this town, we would be inventing a quarterback controversy that could blow up the whole team. Nevermind...
9. About three years ago, I set out to try and write a column once a week that would allow me to talk about anything on my mind. Originally called Pour Some Sugar On Me, it became Ten Yard Fight last year. I have missed a week or two over the last three years, but for the most part, I am able to come up with ten random thoughts that at least tangentially concern the Redskins and their fans each week. I am very appreciative to everyone who takes the time to read the list each week and comment with their thoughts below. (I am especially appreciative to everyone who takes a second to REC the Ten Yard Fight each week.) To kick off the fourth year of this abomination, I have taken a small step to growing this piece by setting up: firstname.lastname@example.org.
10. I would like to try and start a follow-up column to this every week where you email me your thoughts, comments or questions about anything I have written (or not written) about or some point you think I have missed. Feel free to bring up any topic or question you have, even if I didn't specifically write about it that week. I will post them with my responses within a day or two each week.
Look, Kevin! The Mailbag piece we spoke about doing three years ago has finally arrived. Is it fair to suggest this is sooner than either of us ever thought?