By Matt Noonan
Happy Wednesday and welcome into this week’s edition of “NFL Links.” The season officially kicks-off on Thursday, as the New Orleans Saints travel to historic Green Bay, Wisconsin to take on the defending Super Bowl champion Packers. So, while you anxiously await the inaugural kick-off, here are some headlines, news and more.
* Former New York Giants defensive lineman Michael Strahan recentlystated in an ESPN Radio interview that the main reason he believes why NFL teams haven’t signed Tiki Barber is not because of his age, but instead, his personality. After Barber’s retirement in ’06, he criticized his former organization, as well as quarterback Eli Manning, who led the Giants to a Super Bowl victory that season against the New England Patriots. It’s possible to believe that Barber won’t be signed this year, however, due to the NFL Lockout, it’s possible some team will need a reliable veteran halfback.
* Some might wonder why exactly the Jacksonville Jaguars released quarterback David Garrard? Who’s going to lead this squad to victory? Does head coach Jack Del Rio firmly believe that Josh McCown is the best option? Still, it remains a mystery to why they released him, but in the meantime, various sources are reporting that a couple of teams are interested in his services.
* The Pittsburgh Steelers might want to try a tad bit harder to re-sign safety Troy Polamalu, who enters his final year of his five-year contract. Polamalu is expected to earn $6.4 million in 2011, but according to reports, the team has been in negotiations with his agent, Marvin Demoff.
* Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo knows that he needs to produce because otherwise, he’ll continue his current trend of failure. Indeed, he’s won a playoff game, but he’s also lost two critical nail-biters against the Seattle Seahawks in ’06 and New York Giants in ’07. He also knows that his statistics won’t win him or his teammates rings, which is why Romo expressed to the media recently that it’s about wins and losses, as well as the Super Bowl.
* New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan told the Valley Ranch media recently that the Cowboys offensive line should be scared of his defense. Ryan expressed via a conference call on Wednesday his confidence in his defensive line, as well as some sort of optimism that his squad will have the upper hand on Sunday against Dallas, as well as his brother Rob Ryan too.