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Saturday afternoon links and notes; Johnson is a gamble, worst contract in NFL history

+ The best thing about being a Bengals fan is that we're rarely on lists that are titled "worst contracts in NFL history." We just don't hand out big paying contracts to respective free agents; it just doesn't happen. The Raiders have three of the worst contracts since 1996, and two of them came in 2008. It just goes to show you that dishing out money just to dish it out for big-time free agents isn't always a sure-way of success. Two Redskins made the list (surprised?) and the worst coaching contract.

+ Relative to the Chad Johnson trade discussions, Len Pasquarelli notes that there's been a "whopping 34 offseason trades involving veteran wide receivers" in the past six years making trades with wide receivers "commonplace".

What exactly does a great 40 tell you about an offensive tackle? If he can block (he wouldn't be at the Combine if he couldn't) with good lateral movement and strength, wouldn't it make more sense to weight those attributes? However, it appears that 40 times are considered attributes worth grading an offensive tackle.

Clark Judge says that keeping Johnson is a gamble.

Marvin Lewis talks about the balancing act with rookies.

There's still hope that the Bengals will have both Houshmandzadeh and Johnson.

A look at available free agent tackles.

The New York Jets are reportedly interested in Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Offensive tackle, Andre Smith is skipping Combine workouts.

There were eight offensive tackles drafted in the 2008 NFL Draft.

A good wide receiver class this year.

I've watched a lot of movies in the past few weeks. Some thoughts.

  • Watched the 1988 version of The Bourne Identity. It was a network television movie and the acting and production reflected it. However, it was the most loyal version to Robert Ludlum's book, who I'm an immense fan of. That's not to take away from the Matt Damon versions, which are dramatically different; including the Bourne character who has a totally different back story. Marie, his girl in the movies, actually becomes his wife and survives through the Bourne Ultimatum, which is 13 years after the Identity story in the Ludlum universe. If you liked the movies, I recommend the three books, which are nothing like the movies -- they're much better (which is generally always the case).
  • The movie Changling, about a son kidnapped from his mother, was surprisingly good. Angelina Jolie put on a good performance and had that 1920s look. John Malkovich plays a pastor that's a vocal leader against Los Angeles Police corruption.
  • Another Jolie flick, Wanted, was more disappointing. It had some cool effects, but I thought the story could have had more depth.
  • Burn After Reading was a typical Coen Brothers comedy. You either love or hate the Cohen brothers, and I love 'em. Brad Pitt's performance, mostly his dancing, cracked me up.
  • Another Coen Brothers flick, No Country For Old Men, was really dark and awesome.
  • I enjoyed the third Mummy flick, but it wasn't close to the two predecessors.
  • If you like vikings, and if you like aliens, then watch Outlander. Since I liked both, I watched it and really enjoyed it's entertainment value. If you liked 13th Warrior, you'll like this.
  • Thick As Thieves, with Antonio Banderas and Morgan Freeman wasn't very good; predictable and monotone acting.
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still was an interesting concept, but it was changed from the original vision from Total Nuclear war to Global Warming. However, I have to admit, this was Keanu Reeve's perfect role -- alien with no human emotions.
  • In the Valley of Elah was good, very good, about a man investigating the death of his son after Iraq. Since Susan Sarandon was in the movie, I expected heavy political overtures. In truth, it was a classic investigation movie with few political commentaries.
  • The recent work by Tommy Lee Jones is incredibly powerful (which includes No Country for Old Men and In the Valley of Elah).
  • Get Smart was all right. It had its moments, like the Rock stapling paper to someone's forehead.