The following quotes are from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
• "Big Albert (Haynesworth) is affordable now that they paid him all that money ($21 million option bonus). The contract is not bad to absorb. It sounds like he could be had for next to nothing. The problem bringing him into your locker room is that he could lead you the wrong way. When he wants to play, he is as good as any, but you don't know if he is going to want to do it. Everyone has to be scared of him shutting it down. I expect they will move him once it gets closer to training camp, but I wouldn't touch him — absolutely not. ... Tennessee and Detroit are the two natural landing spots. He played for (Jim) Schwartz, and Jeff Fisher knew how to manage him. I will tell you this — you put Haynesworth next to (Ndamukong) Suh, and the NFC North better look out. You want to talk about a wrecking crew, now. How do you block that?"
• "I like what Detroit is doing. (The Lions) are doing some good things. In my opinion, they had another good draft. They are finally collecting talent to win some games."
• "I've had a lot of people say an absentee owner is a good thing, but I will tell you what, I could not disagree more."
• "Tampa Bay and Washington dropped their pension plans this year. Nine teams got rid of them last year. The momentum is moving away from the pension. It was the only reason I stayed in the NFL instead of dropping down to pursue college jobs. It's going to lead more good coaches to cross lines. That was the biggest selling point to work in the NFL when I was coming up — all the old-timers knew it."
• "(Rams GM) Billy Devaney is at a crossroads in his career. If you look at his path, when was the last time he was part of a winning football team? He was in San Francisco when Terry Donahue ran the team into the ground. He went to Atlanta, and where did they get? He was part of the group they had to replace when they pushed Rich McKay aside. He goes to St. Louis and passes on Matt Ryan. They have been drafting either first or second the last three years he has been there. Where have they gotten better? You could be the best X's and O's (matchup) coach in the league, but if you don't have players, you are only going to get so far. The Rams need some help in the front office."
• "Peyton Manning can be hard on (his teammates). He pushes himself, and he pushes players hard. He would not be one of the top five guys on the team you'd want to have a beer with. He is in some ways, for a lack of a better word, a nerd. A lot of players may not like him in Indianapolis, but part of it is jealousy too, being the guy that gets all the ads and all the cash. The reason players don't like Ben (Roethlisberger) is because he is (immature). There have been a lot of stories through the years, from the motorcycle, to the two (incidents) we know about with girls. I would be scared to read through his psychological testing if I were the Steelers. The one thing I know is that you don't embarrass the Rooney family. (Roethlisberger) is not married like Tiger Woods, but the issues look the same. The ego gets in the way."
• "Washington has signed a lot of old guys. It's the way Mike Shanahan always liked to do things in Denver — the Al Davis approach. They are starting to look like the Over-the-Hill Gang."
• "We've seen how hard it is to win back-to-back Super Bowls, but I'll tell you, I like what the Saints have been doing. If you asked me today, I would say they are still the team to beat in the NFC. When you look at what they have done with their roster, I think they have gotten better. In the AFC, I really like what the Jets have done. (The New York area) was given the Super Bowl bid. They have a chance to get there. I don't like the distraction that HBO ("Hard Knocks") brings. Have any teams who have let (the cameras) into their camp ever gone on to win? I wouldn't want to deal with it. They have gotten older too. But there is a lot of talent on that roster, now. They have the pieces to push the Patriots aside."
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