Bump & Run – Saints Wire Fraud, QB Controversy in Cleveland, Osi’s Contract Extension

Welcome to this week’s edition of Bump & Run where we will cover:

Listen Up

Just when you thought that the Saints’ bounty program was going to be the most unethical, disturbing news out of New Orleans, word came out early last week that Saints GM, Mickey Loomis, might have had some eavesdropping equipment installed in his luxury suite, allowing him to listen in on opposing coaches chatter.  An anonymous source described to ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” the setup that would allow Loomis to listen in on opponents conversations from 2002 – 2004.

The allegations stretch far beyond just the NFL, as the Louisiana State Police and even the FBI are getting involved in the investigation.  League officials have stated that they will let the legal system determine any guilt before taking action against the team or individuals involved. The state and FBI are getting involved because what is alleged to have transpired is considered wire fraud.  The prosecution will be up against a six year (state) and five year (federal) statute of limitations for wire fraud cases, but their first order of business is to examine the evidence to see if any laws were broken – if so, then they will handle the process of actually pressing charges.

Whether these allegations turn out to be true or false, the whole situation is just another black eye on a franchise that can ill afford negative press.  Furthermore, this lowers the integrity of the league as a whole.  Two weeks ago, we never would have thought teams would listen in on their opponents, but today, we would be lying if we said the thought wasn’t going through the back of our mind.

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East Brown and Down

The 2012 draft selections by the Cleveland Browns have many fans shaking their heads in disbelief.  Cleveland was one of the worst teams in the NFL last year, and had countless holes to fill during the draft – but nobody, least of all Colt McCoy thought that the quarterback position would be a priority for them.

In a surprise move, the Browns drafted 28 year old Brandon Weeden with the 22nd pick of the 2012 NFL Draft.  While McCoy wasn’t one of the elite QB’s in the league last year, many fans felt that with more consistency and some additional offensive weapons, Colt could develop into a great talent.  Now, nobody is even sure if McCoy will report to camp in the summer.  Even if he does report and even if he is named the starter, you can bet that there will be a very short leash.  If the Browns want to end their years of futility, they really can’t be making draft day decisions and stirring up controversy like this.

Osi Can You Say?

The controversy stew comprised of the New York Giants and their defensive end Osi Umenyiora is beginning to boil. Now it’s a case of “He said, We said” and it’s beginning to look more and more like Osi will be dealt or perhaps even hold out.

On the stat sheet, Umenyiora is one of the league’s top defensive ends, and he feels he should be paid as such.  The Giants claim to have offered him contract extensions on two different occasions, both of which Osi has turned down.  Osi claims that the guaranteed money in those extension offers totaled half of what was paid to Mathias Kiwanuka recently.  Osi has said that he wants to remain with the Giants,but is looking for a contract similar to what Philly’s Trent Cole ($48 M w/ $15M guaranteed) and Robert Mathis ($36M w/ $17M guaranteed) received.  As training camps approach, Osi doesn’t believe that the Giants will be able to offer him what he wants, since they still have to lock down some of their other young talent like JPP and Victor Cruz.  You can bet that if Osi hits the free agent market, he will get the money he wants, so it is really just a matter of the Giants finding a way to structure an extension in such a way that they can resign him while having enough available funds to keep some additional talent on the team.