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O.T.S. (2-22/28-2010)

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Here is the O.T.S. for the week of February 22nd through the 28th. In this weeks O.T.S. we will touch on more free agency rumors and of course the NFL Draft since the combine is going on this weekend. Remember, I am writing this BEFORE the combines goes into “full swing”, so next weeks O.T.S. will have more news from the combine.



A piece of unverified information of uncertain origin usually spread by word of mouth.
Unverified information received from another; hearsay.

I don’t recall if I had this in the past O.T.S. but I have heard (for a while now) that Ted Thompson would like to add a veteran corner back and/or offensive tackle via trade or free agency.
I touched on this in various Packers websites/forums this week. ESPN‘s Adam Schefter reported that the Oakland Raiders are willing to deal any player on their roster, including the NFL’s best corner back, Nnamdi Asomugha. The word started to come out at the Shrine practices, but intensified after the Senior Bowl.

I have heard that the Packers have talked to Oakland multiple times about Nnamdi Asomugha, Darren McFadden and Thomas Howard. There is no word on the price tag, but we can only assume that for Asomugha it is going to be steep. This may be Ted Thompson doing his due diligence, but the two teams also spoke last year when Oakland was willing to listen to offers.

Keep an eye on Texans soon-to-be free agent Daunte Robinson. The corner out of South Carolina has ties to Dom Capers and would be a very good fit in the Packers defensive scheme. 

For two years the name Julius Peppers has had Packers fans hoping that he could find his way to Green Bay. I hear those fans wanting him can keep wishing. The thought is Thompson will “check-in” on Peppers, but will not over spend for him. The Packers remain a dark horse for Peppers, but only at the right price.

When the Eagles released Brian Westbrook the Vikings became the most likely suitor since they will lose Chester Taylor this off-season. But I have heard that the Packers, Redskins, Vikings and Patriots have all had contact with his agent about possibly signing him (after his official release).

The Packers are continuing to work on an extension for Ryan Pickett, but since a deal is not close to  being done,m they will franchise him. He is cool with it since the two parties both want Pickett to stay in Green Bay. Part of the reasoning to franchise Pickett is because the NFL is planning suspend Johnny Jolly. I hear the suspension between 4-6 games. That would mean B.J. Raji will get a lot more snaps at defensive end. 

Speaking of Jolly, look for the Packers to tender him and ensure he remains with Green Bay for the forseeable future. They will have to do it before his trial takes place and even if (when) he is suspended in 2011.

A name that I hear is flying up the Packers draft board is Georgia Tech safety Morgan Burnett. He is an underrated player with big play ability and not afraid to make a big hit. 

Another name that is creating a buzz at 1265 is Antrel Rolle of the Arizona Cardinals. I heard that he is a player that some Packers officials think would solve the safety “issue” and also give the Packers the best safety combo in the NFC.

A restricted free agent that may not be retained or could be traded is Oakland’s Kalif Barnes. There is some speculation that he maybe a player that the Packers target to play right tackle.

 Ted Thompson still would like to keep Aaron Kampman from what I gathered. But the question is does Kampman want to stay in Green Bay. I hear he agent and the Packers are still talking, for what it’s worth.

One surprising name that has been linked to Green Bay is Oklahoma St. quarterback Zac Robinson. I have been hearing that the Packers are “smitten” with him and he could be a late round selection by the Packers.  He has a decent arm but his highly athletic and raw.

A player that has to have a good combine in order to lock down a first round selection is TCU outside linebacker and pass rush expert Jerry Hughes. He is a player that the packers are looking at late in round 1 or even early in round 2.

I have also heard that at the right price Ted Thompson would like to bring in Chargers running back Darren Sproles, who will be allowed to become a free agent.


Written by Joe Arrigo

February 24, 2010 at 14:24

The O.T.S. (2-19-10)

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Before I start the O.T.S. I would like to thank all the people who sent well wishes after the sudden loss of my cousin Scott. I also want to publicly say Happy Birthday to my wife, Teon (whose birthday is the 21st).

Here is the latest edition of the On The Sidelines Green Bay Packers rumor series. This week is all about the 2010 NFL Draft and free agency.



A piece of unverified information of uncertain origin usually spread by word of mouth.
Unverified information received from another; hearsay.

Many people think that the Packers biggest “need” is in the secondary and I hear Ted Thompson wants to add a veteran corner or safety via the free agent route or trade.

I posted a few weeks back that the Packers had talked to the Chargers (or vice versa) about Antonio Cromartie. He is available (and has been for a while) and the Chargers asking price is not a steep as some may think.

Another name that I hear may be released and is a player the Packers are watching closely is Colts safety Bob Sanders. He has been hurt the past couple years and is making huge money. Bill Polian is deciding whether or not to move on from the talented yet injury prone safety.

Keep an eye on Kerry Rhodes from the Jets. The coaching staff is not as high on him as they were a year ago. I hear the Jets aren’t actively shopping him, but will listen to any teams that want to discuss him.

The Jets also don’t plan on keeping Lito Sheppard. They were disappointed with his play after they dealt for him last year. No word on if he will be cut or traded.

Antrelle Rolle is another player that could a match for the Packers. The Cardinals free agent is a playmaking Safety that also has the ability to cover the tight end. He has said that he wants to go back to Florida, but he would be an upgrade over Atari Bigby. (This scenario was also posted on totalpackers and is being discussed by myself, Jason Beebe, Jersey Al and others via inbox on facebook.)

I was told by a close friend that works for the Jaguars that the team is not happy with Reggie Nelson’s play and attitude and is considering releasing or trading him. The former first round pick’s play has not been what the Jag’s expected when they took him and he was briefly benched at the end of  last season by Jack Del Rio.  

He also told me that the Jags are also considering trading former Pro Bowl cornerback Rahshean Mathis. He is due over $9 million and has missed a lot of time due to injuries the past two seasons.

There has been talk that the Packers and Cowboys could get together for a draft day deal. The Packers would receive the Cowboys first round pick, 3rd round pick and linebacker Victor Butler for the Packers 1st round pick. I hear that the Cowboys want to add an offensive lineman or corner back.

I hear that the Packers have interest in Adalius Thomas, but he prefers to stay on the east coast.

Many people I have spoken to seem to think that the Packers are a team that is under the radar when it comes to Julius Peppers. Some think that Thompson is willing to spend the money (but not over spend) to bring him to Green Bay.

The Saints have a few questions when it comes to who they bring back and let go. I keep hearing that they are prepared to let former Pro Bowl left tackle Jammal Brown walk and that the Packers have a major interest in him. He is coming off a knee injury that had him on I.R.

Another name that keeps coming up when it comes to the Packers and possibly adding a tackle in free agency is Donald Penn of Tampa Bay.   

The Chargers front office (GM AJ Smith) has fallen out of favor with Marcus McNeil (like Anotnio Cromartie) and is willing to let him walk. McNeil thinks he can command a huge pay-day on the open market, but with his neck issues it may not be as prosperous as he thinks.

I heard that the Packers have “requested everything” on Boise ST. corner back Kyle Wilson, USC safety Taylor Mays, Clemson tailback C.J. Spiller, Maryland’s Bruce Campbell, Cal’s Jahvid Best, Dexter McCluster of Ole’ Miss and Rodger Staffold of Indiana.

Some people are starting to think that there will be 6 offensive tackles taken in the first 15 picks of the first round.

A few safety names that I hear the Packers are looking at hard (in the 2010 draft) are TJ Ward, Myron Lewis and Darrell Stuckey.

If the Packers do not draft a safety in round 1 look for either Chad Scott of LSU or Georgia Tech’s Morgan Burnett as possible round two targets.

Have a great wekeend!


Written by Joe Arrigo

February 19, 2010 at 10:14

The Super Bowl Halftime Show Needs To Be More Super

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I got this idea for a blog on A thread was started about who would you have as a Super Bowl half time show. So I replied, but the more I started to think about it, the more ideas I had, so I decided to write this blog.

The NFL has gone the “safe” route since the Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake “nipple gate” situation. By having artist such as Paul McCartney, Prince, The Who and other “classic rock & pop” acts, the NFL has made it a “who’s who” (no pun intended) of 70’s icons.

But the half time show has become stale and it is time for a change. I have the solution to the NFL’s problem.

Working as a Program Director for a CHR Top 40 station for 5 years, I have a unique perspective. I am an avid sports fan. Besides my family and god, it is the third most important thing in my life. But I am also a huge music fan and consider myself rather eclectic.

I am a self-described “hip-hop head”, but prefer the thought provoking and “conscious” artists who touch on social issues to the “bling, bling” money, girls and clothes artists. But I respect those artists as well because they found their “nitch”.

I also am a huge R&B and Soul fan, not just todays artists, but also acts from the 60’s,70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Finally, I also like classic rock groups like Journey (Steve Perry has the most amazing voice), The Eagles, Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen, War, Carlos Santana and many others.

Why am I describing my personal tastes in this blog? So you can see what my twisted little mind has in store for the NFL and the idea I have for the Super Bowl halftime show. 

Today we don’t seem to have an appreciation for older groups and their music. In the radio business we are always looking for that new, fresh thing that will turn the radio world and society upside down and create a buzz.

A few years ago I went to my boss with an idea that I heard on some mixtapes. It combined new song lyrics played over classic rock & R&B beats. He thought it was a really good idea, but it would be difficult to get all the artists to clear it, so we decided to not try it (as part of a new music show we were planning). Today it is known as “mash-up’s” and they even have a video game (DJ Hero) that you can “mash-up” certain songs.

 So, my idea is to bring together artists of today with classic artists of yesterday, on stage performing together as one. It would allow both younger viewers and older viewers to both enjoy the show. 

I have a few ideas of artists that I think would be good fits together with their songs. Here they are in no particular order:

1. The Eagles and R&B artist TQ performing “Hotel California”. TQ is an artist that is multi-talented with a natural voice and actually did a very good version of “Hotel California” but the Eagles never cleared it.

2. Earth, Wind & Fire with R&B artist Usher performing “September”. Usher is one hell of an entertainer and would be a natural fit with Earth, Wind and Fire.

3. Kool & The Gang with R&B artist Ne-Yo performing “Celebrate”. Ne-Yo is another multi-talented singer and song writer that has the right vocals to sing “Celebrate”.

4. Pat Benatar with pop artist Pink performing “Hit me With Your Best Shot”. This see,s like a natural fit. Both have that voice that is so distinctive and would be one hell of a performance.

5. Queen with “American Idol” runner-up Adam Lambert performing “We Are The Champions”. This, to me, is another perfect fit with Lambert’s theatrics blending with Queen.

6. Stevie Wonder and R&B artist Trey Songz performing ANY Stevie Wonder song. Trey Songz is another R&B singer that is “slept on” by many people, but is getting more popularity lately (and deservedly so).

7. Prince with R&B artist Ryan Leslie performing ANY Prince song. Prince had the best half time show in recent memory (to me at least). Leslie can’t sing as good a Prince, but he has that similar style. 

8. Bee Gee’s with R&B artist Robin Thicke

By tieing in the “old with the new” it bridges the gap between generations. The NFL was caught of guard by the Timberlake/Jackson situation, but they shouldn’t exclude newer acts because of it. Make sure that you have final say over all things about the performance. That would eliminate any issue or concern the NFL would have.

I didn’t include any Hip-Hop acts because I don’t feel that the older people attending or viewing would be as receptive to them as younger people. It is about dollars and cents with the NFL and I also don’t feel that “corporate America” would accept a Hip-Hop act. In time, maybe, but I don’t think some are ready for a Lil’ Wayne and AC/DC mash-up.

I hope that this blog some how finds it way to the NFL office and the people who are in charge of the halftime show. I think a little “freshen up” wouldn’t be a bad thing. The NFL wants to continue to improve their product in every aspect, this is one to improve the Super Bowl.


Written by Joe Arrigo

February 8, 2010 at 17:51

If I Was The Green Bay Packers G.M.

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As the Saints and “Who Dat” Nation are celebrating their first (and well deserved) Super Bowl victory, I am in full off-season mode. But as many Packers know (and complain about) it could be a long off-season for the Packers fans since GM Ted Thompson (who does a very good job at his job) generally doesn’t “do” too much until the draft.

So I figured I would do a piece on what I would do as the Packers GM/V.P. of Player Personnel. So I will do the players who I would resign (with-out the dollar amounts, because I suck at those), trade, cut and draft.

I understand that not everyone will agree with what I would do, but I am doing this under the current CBA situation (or lack there of).

Here I go…..


Ryan Pickett: He is a perfect nose tackle in Dom Capers system. He is also a player that has out played his contract and didn’t make any noise about wanting a new one. (Re-Sign

Nick Collins: He has been to the Pro Bowl for two straight year and is a playmaker in the defensive backfield. He has also been very good about not letting his contract situation distract him on the field or off the field.  Collins play alone says that he deserves a new deal. (Re-Sign)

Chad Clifton: Clifton is not the same player he once was, but when he is in, he does a very good job. He knows the system and is a player that is a leader in the locker room. It would only be a 1 year deal. (Re-Sign)

Mark Tauscher: Tauscher is another case of the Packers lack of depth at the offensive tackle position. When he started for the Packers, it seemed that the offense came together. It would also be a 1 year deal. (Re-Sign)   

Tramon Williams: Tramon is a very good nickle-back and a player that can start for many teams int he NFL. He is to talented and has enough starts under his belt as a Packer (the past two seasons) to show that he is a capable starter. He is a restricted free agent, but I would tie him up long-term. (Re-Sign

Johnny Jolly: Jolly may have been the Packers best and most consistent defensive linemen in 2009. He can play either left defensive end or nose tackle. With his legal issues, he should be a little easier to re-sign (and may face some type of NFL suspension). (Re-Sign)

Jason Spitz: Spitz is coming off back surgery and that makes him a question mark. When he is healthy he is a guy that can play either guard spot and center. He has the “nasty” that offensive line coaches love. It will be a 1 year deal to see if he can stay healthy for the season. (Tender)

Daryn Colledge: I struggled with this one. Colledge played well at times, but when he was bad, it was in the biggest games. He is a guard, not a tackle and that was made clear by the Minnesota Vikings. I will tender him and he would get a $900,000 raise. If he shows that he can improve from a poor 2009, then I would look into locking him up long-term. (Tender)

Will Blackmon: Blackmon is a really good punt returner and is a better dime back than Jarrett Bush. He is coming off a knee injury, but he has too much big play potential for me to let walk. A roster spot is not guaranteed, but I am not willing to give up on him. (Tender

Derrick Martin: Martin was (and is) the best special teams player on the Packers. He can also be a solid back-up safety. He is a special teams demon and a player I place a high value on. (Re-Sign)

Aaron Kampman: Coming off a season ending ACL injury and a unproductive season, some may scratch their heads, but I have a bigger plan. The re-signing will be under the premise that I would deal Kampman to a team that he would be a better fit with (see what deal I made involving him on draft day in a few moments). (Re-Sign)

Released/Not Re-Signed:

Atari Bigby: Bigby is a big hitter but to me those big hits blind some of his coverage abilities (or lack there of). He is a huge liability in coverage and gets burned far to often. He is also a player that can’t stay healthy. I feel I can upgrade the safety position through the draft and (yes) free agency. (Not Re-Signed)

Jarrett Bush: If I can’t trade him (and my first call would be to Tennessee), I would cut him. He is a poor cover corner and he is a better than average special team player.  I KNOW I can upgrade his position. (Cut)

Brady Poppinga: Over paid for a 5th or 6th linebacker. Yes he plays a mean special teams, but not at his price tag. High motor and effort guy, but why pay him as much I he is getting paid to play (almost) solely on special teams. (Cut)  

Other I would cut/release/not re-sign:  

Joh Kuhn, Jeremy Kapinos, Patrick Williams, Josh Bell, Trevor Ford, Matt Giordano, Deshawn Wynn, Devin Frischknecht and Mike Montgomery.

Free Agent Signings:

Ryan Clark- Pittsburgh Steelers: Clark would be the strong safety the Packers (and Dom Capers) would love to have. He understands how to play in the 3-4 and is underrated. He does have a medical condition, but would be a major upgrade in the secondary for the Packers.

Larry Foote- Detroit Lions: Foote adds even more depth to the inside linebacker group and a player that has played in the same type of defense in Pittsburgh.

Adalius Thomas- New England: Here is a guy that can play almost any where in the front 7 (in the 3-4) and can still get to the passer. He is a guy that will be cut by the Patriots and will try to prove them wrong (about not playing him that much in 09′). He would be a really nice player opposite of Clay Matthews III.


Aaron Kampman to the Saints for Jammal Brown: A draft day deal that would benefit both teams. The world champs get a pass rusher that is tailor made for a 4-3 defense (as an end) and the Packers get a 2 time Pro Bowl left tackle that will be 30 years old in 2010. Brown will need a new deal so that would have to get done, but coming off an injury, he should be cheaper than people think.  

2010 Draft: ( I project a 5th round comp pick for Colin Cole)

Round 1: Trade pick to Tampa Bay for their 2nd rounder (#35) 2010 4th rounder and a 2011 1st round pick)

Round 2 ( A ): Taylor Mays- SS- USC: I know he can’t cover, but Mays ability, work ethic, attitude and blood lines (his dad played for the Vikings) make him to good to pass up in early round 2. I think with Darren Perry’s help, Mays will become a better coverage guy and Dom Capers would put him in a position to use his strengths.

Round 2 ( B ): Perrish Cox- CB/KR- Oklahoma St.: Cox plays with a chip on his shoulder and is a playmaker. He is brash and over-confident (but what NFL corner isn’t) and would help in the return game as well as play nickle (or dime) back right away (depending on how good Al Harrises recovery is coming.

Round 3: Dexter McCluster-RB/WR/KR- Ole Miss: McCluster is a lot like Percy Harvin in the sense he can line-up any where. He can play RB, WR or even “Wild Pack” quarterback. He is lightning in a bottle and a playmaker.

Round 4 ( A ): Eric Norwood- OLB- South Carolina: Here is the big, strong guy that will line-up next to CM-III  in the future. He is projected by some scouts to be a 3rd-4th rounder and to get him here is great value.

Round 4 ( B ): LeGarrette Blount- RB- Oregon: Blount is that tough, physical running back with surprising burst and speed. He slips due to character concerns, but here he provides very good value in round 4.

Round 5 ( A ): Ciron Black- OT- LSU: A big, mammoth guy that projects at  right tackle on the NFL level. Again, here is value and a guy that coming into the season was a late first-early second rounder. Could be a steal here.

Round 5 ( B ): Akwasi Owusu-Ansah- CB/FS- Indiana (PA): A playmaker that has it all and is an outstanding return man. He is a ball hawk that may rise up draft boards after the combine but is coming off an injury. He has great size and speed and would be a welcome addition the the Packers secondary. I see him as a 5th CB, back up free safety and a returnman. He slides because of two reasons; he is coming off an injury and the level of competition he played at.

Round 6:  O’Brien Schofield- OLB- Wisconsin: He tore his ACL at the Senior Bowl, but he was a standout at the Shrine game. This is a pick that will have value in a year or two and would provide depth then, opposed to 2010. He is a real go getter with up-side and make-up that I love.

Round 7:  Mike Tepper- LT- California: He is a pretty good player that was hurt a lot while at Cal. In 2005 he was out with a broken right leg and then in 2008  he was out with a pectoral injury. He does a good job of sealing off the edge rushers, but will have trouble with powerful bull rushers. Another value pick.


Written by Joe Arrigo

February 8, 2010 at 03:09

2010 NFL Draft: Top 10 Wide Receivers

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We are at the point of the year that has the prospects are preparing for the combine and every “draft expert” has their “big board” and their list of players who they feel are the best at their respective positions. I am no different.

I’ll now shift focus to the wide receivers. I think this is a pretty decent group, but not a deep as last years class. Dez Bryant is by far and away the best wide receiver in this class. He is a complete receiver and  has the size NFL teams love. After him there are smaller receivers (Mardy Gilyard), smooth receivers (Damian Williams) bigger receivers (Arrelious Benn), posession receivers (Golden Tate) and a few converted quarterbacks (Joe Webb).

Here are my Top 10 wide receivers for the 2010 NFL Draft.

1. Dez Bryant- Oklahoma St.

2. Damian Williams- USC

3. Demaryius Thomas- Georgia Tech

4. Brandon LaFell- LSU

6. Mardy Gilyard- Cincinnati

6. Golden Tate- Notre Dame

7.  Arrelious Benn- Illinois

8. Taylor Price- Ohio

9. Jordan Shipley- Texas

10. Carlton Mitchell- South Florida

Written by Joe Arrigo

February 6, 2010 at 18:39

2010 NFL Draft: Top 10 Running Backs

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We are at the point of the year that has the prospects are preparing for the combine and every “draft expert” has their “big board” and their list of players who they feel are the best at their respective positions. I am no different.

Now it’s time to shift to the running backs. The 2010 running back class, to me, is really good at the top with a few players that could develop into very good backs in the middle rounds depending on where they end up.

CJ Spiller is lightning in a bottle. Jonathan Dwyer is a bigger back who fits a zone blocking scheme. Jahvid Best is a back that is a smaller version of Spiller while Joe McKinght is a back that may not have Spiller or Best’s speed, but can go the distance anytime he touches the ball. Then there is Dexter McCluster from Ole Miss. He is a back that can line up at running back, wide receiver or quarterback in a “Wild Cat” formation.

Here are my top 10 running backs that are in the 2010 draft.

1. CJ Spiller- Clemson 

2. Jonathan Dwyer- Georgia Tech

3. Jahvid Best- Cal

4.  Anthony Dixon- Mississippi St.

5. Joe McKnight- USC

6. Dexter McCluster- Ole Miss

7.  LeGarrette Blount- Oregon

8. Ryan Mathews- Fresno St.

9. Toby Gerhart- Stanford

10. Montario Hardesty- Tennessee

Written by Joe Arrigo

February 6, 2010 at 17:33

2010 NFL Draft: Top 10 Quarterbacks

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We are at the point of the year that has the prospects are preparing for the combine and every “draft expert” has their “big board” and their list of players who they feel are the best at their respective positions. I am no different.

I am starting with my top quarterbacks. I don’t feel there is a sure-fire number one quarterback worthy of a top 5 pick. Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen of Notre Dame are the consensus number 1-A and 1-B, but after them there is much to debate.

But there is many questions after those two. Where will tim Tebow land and how high? Does Colt McCoy have NFL arm strength? Is Jevan Snead a better pro player than college player? As you can see that is only 3 questions that are being asked and there are many more.

I won’t debate who is number 3 through 10. Instead here are my top 10 quarterbacks for the 2010 draft PRE-Combine. It may or may not change much after the combine, but here our my top 10 quarterback prospects for the 2010 draft.

1. Sam Bradford- Oklahoma

2. Jimmy Clausen- Notre Dame

3. Colt McCoy- Texas

4. Jevan Snead- Ole Miss

5. Tony Pike- Cincinnati

6. Tim Tebow- Florida

7. John Skelton- Fordham

8. Dan LeFevour- Central Michigan

9. Jarrett Brown- West Virginia

10.  Matt Nichols- Eastern Washington

Written by Joe Arrigo

February 6, 2010 at 16:35