The following quotes are from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
• "Look at Albert Haynesworth. He is a good football player — very good, maybe the best in the league when he wants to be. But can you give him $45 million guaranteed and still get him to play his ass off? And did it make the Redskins that much better? T.O. did not make the Bills any better. That is the hard part in today's game. Everyone gets paid, but you hope the production matches the pay and that they are not a problem once they have too much. It's what Reggie White did to Green Bay. He got big money for what he did Monday through Saturday more than what he did on the field. Reggie was a professional. He could silence the locker room. He may have only been the 25th-best defensive end when the Packers paid him, but he was the best leader in the NFL. And give Ron Wolf credit; it was the right move for a young team with talent and no leadership."
• "I guess everyone is still figuring out, at 40 years old, that (Brett) Favre is still not a good leader. Brad (Childress) has always had a bad temper, and he can ride quarterbacks hard. It's not difficult to see why there is some friction developing between those two."
• "Why give a coach an extension during the year? Why not wait until after the season and take a deep breath? You know who I give a lot of credit to — (coaches' agent) Bob LaMonte. The guy is phenomenal. He got Charlie Weis a new deal after the loss to USC (in 2005), just for playing them close. He got Jimmy Mora set up in Seattle as (Mike) Holmgren was doing his swan song. He sold (Browns owner) Randy Lerner the Kool-Aid on Holmgren. The one thing I'll never understand is why extensions are given during the season — the good ones, Pittsburgh and San Diego, they have the policy in place. They don't redo contracts during the year."
• "Randy Lerner's problem is that he lets the media drive his decision. He only flies in for the games. He does not even live in the city. He does not have to deal with the day-to-day criticism. There are a lot of young, ascending candidates out there — and Ernie Accorsi gave him three. (Accorsi and Lerner) live together in the same building. Did anyone know who Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli were before they were hired in New England? What about Andy Reid and Tom Heckert, or Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith? Yet, instead of focusing on the best plan to win a championship, Lerner still seeks a media darling who is going to silence his critics. He'll never get it. (Mike) Holmgren cannot evaluate — what is he going to do there?"
• "How can Tampa Bay fly all the way across the country and beat Seattle? The Seahawks reached a new low point with that loss. ... The problem is, why would anyone want to go out to China and live in the great Northwest? It's about as attractive an opening as Buffalo. There's a reason they pay well (in Seattle). It's not an easy sell."
• "(Patriots senior advisor) Floyd Reese deserves another GM job. He is one of the good guys in the NFL. He has played, coached, scouted and managed the cap. He has done it all. If I were looking for a young up-and-comer, the two guys that would intrigue me are (Colts director of player personnel) Tom Telesco and (Vikings director of player personnel) George Paton. GMs now don't need to be in front. Let the head coach and players get the attention. Those two guys — they just quietly do their jobs. They are not ego-driven. George Young was behind the scenes in New York. Bobby Beathard let Joe Gibbs have the attention in Washington. John Butler was never up in front. I have been going to NFL meetings for a long time, and I have never seen Kevin Colbert. The guys whose names show up in the papers too much are the ones who would scare me."
• "(Former GM) Russ Brandon has lost a lot of (standing) in Buffalo. He is not nearly what they thought he was, and the owner has figured it out." (Brandon was "promoted" to chief executive officer Thursday, opening the GM position to be filled by Buddy Nix.)
• "(Bears LB) Tim Shaw is playing at a Pro Bowl level on special teams. He can run and he can hit, and he is blowing up plays."
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