To the surprise of no one — because it’s Al Davis — the Oakland Raiders released 6th round pick Stryker Sulak… Before training camp! Sulak has cleared waivers and now his agent is looking to get the defensive end into training camp with a new team.
If a team were to claim Sulak on waivers, they would have be required to tender him at the minimum salary level for 2009 ($310,000) and would need to account for that figure, as well as the prorated portion of his signing bonus, under their rookie pool. No team had the room under their rookie pool to make a claim, so Sulak has cleared waivers and is now regarded as being an undrafted free agent.
Instead of receiving the nearly $94,000 signing bonus the 199th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft could expect, Sulak now enters the undrafted free agent market, where the top signing bonus this year was $25,000 (Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Marlon Favorite), at a time where NFL teams are focused on getting their own draft picks signed in time for camp and likely lack the room in their rookie pool to offer Sulak any more than $2,000-$4,000 to sign.
According to Stryker’s agent Bob Lattinville, several teams have expressed an interest in his client, but those teams are already at their roster limit. Still, Lattinville hopes to have Sulak in an NFL training camp next month.
Which teams might be interested in Sulak? Many draft analysts projected Sulak (6-5, 251) as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. With several teams making that transition this off-season, surely they had Sulak, who had 10.5 quarterback sacks and 6 forced fumbles last season, on their draft boards.
The idea of adding Sulak is intriguing, but not if it’s as the cost of someone like Pierre Walters or Jovan Belcher. My money has him ending up either in San Francisco or Detroit. The 49ers fit for the scheme, but the Lions make sense if only because if you are giving Eric Hicks a chance than why not roll the dice with someone like Sulak?
Under normal circumstances, anyone associated with Philadelphia football would have been given a less than courteous welcome in Pittsburgh. But Dick Vermeil isn’t your normal NFL figure.
And the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix isn’t “normal circumstances,” so former Eagles, St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil was welcomed with open arms, as he helped start the event’s race day. Vermeil began with a lap in a restored Model A Miller Schofield, a car that’s in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. Vermeil’s father, Louis, was inducted into the Sprint Hall of Fame in 1995 and Dick has been looking to get more involved in the sport.
“Oh yeah, definitely, I would like to do more of this. This Pittsburgh Grand Prix is a one-of-a-kind event when you think about what it does for the community and the support it gets. The people who run the city let something like this happen, and it is just a great thing.”
Vermeil wasn’t just posing at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. Long before he was famous as an NFL coach, his father was famous in racing. The Calistoga Speedway in California’s Napa Valley was just renamed Louis Vermeil Calistoga Speedway, and it’s the site of the two-day Louis Vermeil Classic for USAC Sprints.
“When I was in the National Football League, I would certainly follow (racing). Mario Andretti was my favorite (driver), and now, Tony Stewart, and of course, Marco Andretti. I would certainly like to do some racing. I would have to go to racing school before anything. I certainly wouldn’t race that type of car, like my dad’s. I would go for something else. I don’t know yet, but I will give it some thought.”
Somehow I can’t imagine Dick Vermeil flying around a track at high rates of speed, instead he seems more at home participating in the “ceremonial” first lap like the one he took this weekend. I actually had no idea his father was such a big figure in the racing community. It’s always good to see Vermeil out in the community, even if it’s not in Kansas City.
The Chiefs have had a busy offseason, with the changing of the guard and the overhaul of the roster. But over at Arrowhead Addict, Adam Best wants you to know that regardless of what grade you would assign the Kansas City offseason, things could have been much worse. Here are my favorites from his Top 10.
- After his teammates pull a prank on him by hiding his Metamucil, Zach Thomas quits football and moves into a retirement home.
- Mike Brown’s contract demands are too pricey, the Red and Gold bring back Greg Wesley instead.
- The Chiefs balk at the asking prices of Scott Pioli and Todd Haley, hire Matt Millen and Rod Marinelli instead.
If you can track down the old podcasts I did for Chiefshuddle, you will hear plenty of vitriol for Greg Wesley. Anytime I see his name I still shake a little bit. Good stuff from Adam and of course you want to click through for the entire list. As we’re waiting for training camp to finally get here, there are the types of things that can help move time along.