I've been actively watching the NFL for almost 45 years now, and I don't know that I've ever seen a week like the one we've experienced over the past seven days.
Let's start with the Peyton Manning Sweepstakes Saga. There's a lot about what happened with Manning that makes complete sense, but I have a hard time fathoming the final few developments.
- The 49ers had a wonderful season with a quarterback who had been relegated to the trash heap, and then did everything but say "dude, we would have done it without you" in their apparent pursuit of Manning.
- The Broncos, after months of riding "Timsanity" to the second round of the playoffs, revealed what they really thought about their young, unique quarterback by signing Manning. I guess they thought that 2-3 years of Manning at his almost-prime (if they're lucky) was more valuable than 10-15 years of Tebowmania. And they may be right. Something about it just feels wrong.
- The Jets, after signing Mark Sanchez to a lucrative contract extension, signed Tebow. Yeah, you heard it right - New York, where the latest quarterback controversy is only a hangnail away, now has two prominent quarterbacks under the age of 26. Good luck with that, Jets.
But all that paled against the fines laid down today by Roger Goodell against Saints coaches Sean Payton and Gregg Williams for their roles in the Bounty Controversy. And what a "holy sh*t!" moment it was - Payton, who everyone in the world seems to agree is a great guy in addition to being an outstanding coach, suspended for A YEAR!? Kind of makes you wonder what "indefinite" means in the case of Williams, doesn't it? And don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Goodell got it wrong. I'm just saying that these are penalties of historic proportion. If I was a Saints player involved in the bounty scheme, I'm not sleeping too well for the next few days, or weeks, or however long it takes Goodell to announce their fate. It could get very ugly for New Orleans all of a sudden.
All in all, I don't think it was one of the NFL's greatest weeks.