In this edition of “Football Nation Today,” Alex talks about the latest news around the NFL:

1st Down: The Ravens, seemingly strapped for cash all offseason, purged and signed Elvis Dumervil to a $35 million contract with $12 million guaranteed late last week.  If the Ravens had the cap space to sign the best pass-rusher on the free agent market, why didn’t they resign more players from their Super Bowl roster? 

Alex says the salary cap didn’t force the Ravens to break up their roster.  They wanted to.

*Former Raven Ed Reed signed with the Texans last week for only $5 million guaranteed.  Reed could provide the Texans defense with the leadership they lacked last season. 

*The Patriots had their way with the Texans last season, but unlike the Texans, they have not improved on paper this offseason.  While the Broncos and Texans have signed the players they’ve wanted to sign, the Patriots have signed the contracts they’ve wanted to sign.  Unfortunately, value doesn’t win the Super Bowl.  Players do.

*The Bears rightfully offered Brian Urlacher a significant pay decrease from last season, as Urlacher is a shell of his former self.  However, the Bears did not make their intentions to move on from Urlacher clear to the public.  Their attempt to win a public relations battle has caused them to unceremoniously severe ties with their most iconic line backer of this generation.

2nd Down: The issue of gays in the NFL continues to make headlines, as Mike Freemen of CBS Sports reported this week that an active player is considering coming out of the closet.  This report came on the heels of former linebacker Scott Fujita penning an op-ed in The New York Times in which he says a NFL locker room would be accepting of a gay player.

This is all coming to a head, and there will be a gay player in the NFL in the near future.  When it happens, it will be a great symbolic victory for progress.  

3rd Down: In the “Big Up or Slow Down” segment, Alex debates whether passing ability is no longer the most important trait in a quarterback, if Manti Te’o’s 40 time will continue to be an issue for him and if teams without a surefire starting QB have to try to select one in the first round of the draft.

4th Down: Though Ted Johnson was wrong when he criticized Vince Wilfork’s wife, Alex says in the “Reimer Rant” his intentions weren’t wrong.  Ex-athletes who are now in the media should be more honest, not less. 

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