The moment my Madden game is opened, I like to take over the football franchise in St. Louis, and simulate the entire season as I prepare to move the team to, nope not Los Angeles, but Las Vegas.
Yes, it's a dream of mine to move a professional football franchise to Las Vegas. (Though, I would really rather just move the Pro Bowl to Las Vegas.) I would then change the team's nickname to the Rat Pack, and I don't care how much money it would cost, either. This should be an agreement for the first team in the four major sports who relocates to Las Vegas: you're either the Rat Pack, or you're nothing. I would consider the Las Vegas Sands, because that would be cool. But seriously, the Rat Pack.
In any event, the fine folks at EA Sports have now designed my Rat Pack logo. You might notice I've gone from yellow to orange because Frank Sintara's favorite color is orange. And the uniform would, of course, be black, but you have to figure we'd build a dome out in the desert for those early-season games and for future Super Bowls.
And if you want to design your own logo for the upcoming version of Madden, you're in luck. EA Sports is looking for talented designers to make this happen and you can place your entries right here.
Seriously, don't wait around, do it today.
Now that we have that out of the way, there are going to be some movers and shakers coming out over the next few days as NFL free agency commences. I was going to simulate a season on Madden to see where certain players would end up, but I did that and Devin Hester ended up staying with the Chicago Bears. And we know that won't happen. So I'm going to give you six predictions for the coming NFL free agency period.
Six Predictions for free agency
- Jimmy Graham will be the most-talked about guy in free agency, but he will ultimately stick with the New Orleans Saints. Who could afford such a price? Actually, the Arizona Cardinals should really think about it. Can you imagine him playing for the Birds? That would be awesome. But the Saints will have him line up on the field in 2014. They can argue later if he's a receiver or tight end.
- Ben Tate signs with the New England Patriots. It seemed as automatic as an extra-point that Tate was destined for Cleveland. But that was when Michael Lombardi was involved. Some thought he would be good with the Baltimore Ravens (Tate said no on Twitter, so you know that's official) and perhaps the New York Giants (he fumbles way too much for that, plus Rashad Jennings and Donald Brown would be better fits), but he's going to follow Lombardi to New England. The Patriots could use another solid runner to go with Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley. This might seem a surprise, but the reality is, no team is going to throw down huge money on a running back. It's just not happening. So why not join the Patriot way? Poor Tate, though. He's a generation away from being a high-priced running back. Now teams are just going to grab their guy in the middle rounds of the draft.
- Matt Cassel will sign with the Houston Texans. The writing is on the wall. He has a history with BOB (Bill O'Brien) and it would allow Houston to go after Jadeveon Clowney. This makes way too much sense. But if the Texans go with Clowney, that means one of the "top three" quarterbacks could land in Minnesota. Of course, Adrian Peterson rocked everybody's world when he flirted with Michael Vick on Twitter. It's not happening. The Vikings already did that with Josh Freeman, so look for the Norseman to instead focus on a quarterback with their first pick in the draft. Vick will end up with the Jets. Some additional notes, Mark Sanchez goes to the Buffalo Bills, Matt Schaub to the Browns and Josh Freeman goes to Arizona.
- Jared Allen will kick the tires on many teams around the NFL. While he will have hopes of landing a big-money deal with just about anybody (hello, Oakland), he will find the market just isn't there and will end up looking for a chance to win. Thus, he ends up with the Seattle Seahawks as a situational pass-rusher. Because that's pretty much what Seattle needs, more depth on the defensive line.
- Eric Decker will join the Indianapolis Colts. He will get some attention from some other teams, namely the Vikings, but he ultimately sees a better fit with the Colts and up-and-coming quarterback Andrew Luck. In other receiver news, James Jones will make a nice addition to the San Diego Chargers. Jones has been solid during his career and he will thrive playing alongside Keenan Allen.
- Devin Hester will join a team in the NFC North. I just have a bad feeling about it. I encountered him here at the NFL Network and said, "I understand football is a business. Just don't sign with Green Bay."
I don't think he feels the same way. In fact, I predict he goes to Green Bay. Which is awful. I mean, you could at least understand if he went to the Bucs to be with Lovie Smith once again. Oh man, this isn't going to end well for me, is it? Hester will probably blow past Chris Conte for the winning touchdown to send the Packers to the playoffs this year.