Thank You, Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder

Thank You, Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder

Hot on the heels of sending
multiple first-round and other picks to the Rams for the second overall
selection in April's draft
-- or essentially the rights to Robert
Griffin III -- the Redskins were preparing to go on a shopping spree
when free agency opened at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Among the items believed to
be on the list: Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks, and Cortland Finnegan.

They'll have to cross some of those names out.

The
NFL imposed salary-cap penalties on both the Skins and the Dallas
Cowboys for front-loading contracts during the 2010 uncapped season, a
maneuver the league may have specifically warned teams not to use. As a
result of their disobedience, the Cowboys will have $10 million less to work with, while the Redskins were tagged with a shocking $36
million sanction, a figure that represents roughly one-third of the estimated $120 million cap for
this season.

The
cap space will be redistributed across the league, handing the Eagles
and another 27 clubs an additional $1.6 million in spending money.

The
penalties reflect the front-loaded amounts in the bad contracts,
primarily Miles Austin's extension with Dallas, and Albert Haynesworth's
mega-deal with Washington.

Basically,
the act of "front-loading" a contract means a front office positioned a
bonus or an abnormally large portion of a player's salary during the
uncapped year in exchange for lower figures in future years once the cap
returned. It wasn't expressly against the rules, but apparently the
league informed teams not to do this.

The only bit of good news for the offenders is they can spread the penalty over the next two seasons however they see fit.

While
$10 mil certainly squeezes the Cowboys, $36 puts the Redskins in a
serious bind. Their roster was thin enough as it stands, and the
franchise mortgaged the future to land the two pick so they could start
building around Griffin. Their front office will have to get creative to
land even one top-tier free agent this year, let alone sign multiple
impact players.

As for the Eagles, $1.6 mil probably doesn't make
an overwhelming difference, but it's still more than they had, and
could help create some breathing room. More importantly, it weakens a
division rival, and potentially cripples another -- especially if
Griffin doesn't pan out in that dysfunctional franchise.

Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

NEW ORLEANS — Nerlens Noel made another step toward his return from arthroscopic left knee surgery by joining the Sixers in New Orleans for their game against the Pelicans.

Noel arrived on Wednesday with Robert Covington, who is slated to start after missing the last three games with a left knee sprain. Noel is not cleared to play, but Brown doesn’t think it will be long until he suits up. 

“I don’t think far away,” Brown said of Noel’s regular season debut after shootaround.

When asked about the possibility of Noel playing this weekend when the Sixers face the Pistons on Sunday in Detroit, Brown replied, “Maybe.” 

Noel has missed the entire regular season recovering from elective surgery for an inflamed plica in October. He completed the first phase of his rehab in Birmingham, Ala. and has been continuing his work with the Sixers. This trip to New Orleans is the first time he has been with the Sixers on the road. 

“[He is] integrating with the team, studying a lot of tape, scripting with his teammates with the understanding that we have a chance to see him soon,” Brown said. “All that trying to ramp it up where he can go to an NBA court more comfortably.”

Noel spoke out about his displeasure with the Sixers crowded frontcourt at the start of the preseason. He recently stuck with his stance, saying, “I don’t think the roster’s changed.”

Brown is working to keep the team moving forward as a unit while still being aware of and recognizing Noel’s perspective. 

“It does,” Brown said when asked if Noel’s open frustration concerns him as it pertains to team cohesiveness. “But I feel like it’s so much a part of what we try do around here that it’s not like you’re going to blink and you’ve forgotten something that equals camaraderie, that equals team, that equals trying to keep this together, and you’ve left it for a week … 

“It’s a day-to-day focus for me and it’s a very candid conversation with me and the player. The team hears it, the individual hears it, we all understand it … We need to coexist and we need to understand the reality of it all, too. There’s a human side you understand. It’s also pride, it’s competitiveness, it’s do your job, it’s nothing is given, you’ve got to take stuff, draw your own line in the sand, competitors rule the day.”

Last season Noel averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game. The Sixers will look forward to having him back on the court in that once-crowded frontcourt that is now shorthanded. Jahlil Okafor remained in Philadelphia with gastroenteritis. Ben Simmons still is rehabbing from a right foot fracture. 

"Soon you’re going to see Ben Simmons coming to a team bench where he doesn’t come out with boots and have to push him in some type of wheely apparatus," Brown said. "We’ve dealt with so many injuries trying to find that balance of dealing with their health and so on, and then trying to integrate them back into a team is part of growing a program."

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

I like to give Flyers fans a bit of a hard time on occasion, but that's only because I love them.

One beautiful Flyers fan today reminded me of why I love them.

They took the time to send a postcard to CSNPhilly.com's Flyers Insider -- and hater of the woo -- Tim Panaccio with one single word written on it.

"Woo."

Panotch says "Someone wasted a stamp and post card on this," but I say we just generated at least 50 cents in ad revenue from those of you that are reading this right now.

Money and time well spent.

Now, if you're not up on your wooing, Panotch penned a piece on how some fans wooing at games started annoying some of the players. Panotch hates the woo. BUT... and this is an important but... the Flyers are 6-0 since this all started. 

Woo.