Bears release veteran WR Muhsin Muhammad

AP Photo/M. Spencer Green
CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago Bears released former Pro Bowl wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad on Monday, cutting the veteran after three seasons.

Chicago also gave defensive end Alex Brown a two-year contract extension, declined a $5.2 million option on defensive tackle Darwin Walker, and released veteran offensive tackle Fred Miller.

"Anytime a guy of Moose's stature is released, it's a surprise," said agent Joel Segal, who represents both Muhammad and Brown. "It's good timing for Moose because it's on the cusp of free agency. It gives him time to sign with another team."

He called Brown's deal a "win-win for both sides."

Muhammad spent his first nine seasons with the Carolina Panthers and made two Pro Bowls, but was released in February 2005 after setting career highs with 1,405 yards receiving and 16 touchdowns. He immediately signed a six-year contract with the Bears, but his numbers dropped dramatically in Chicago.

He caught 40 passes for 570 yards and three touchdowns as the Bears went 7-9 last season, and given his age - he turns 35 in May - the move wasn't shocking. The timing was a bit curious, though, given that leading receiver Bernard Berrian is considered one of the top free agents.

Segal said there has been no contact with other teams, but "I'm sure my phone will start ringing tonight."

Muhammad's best season with the Bears was in 2006, when had 863 yards and five touchdowns while helping the Bears reach the Super Bowl. That was an improvement over his first season in Chicago (750 yards and four touchdowns), but nothing like his final year with the Panthers. In 12 seasons, Muhammad has 742 receptions for 9,934 yards and 56 touchdowns.

Brown, who had two years left on his contract, wasn't thrilled when the coaches handed Mark Anderson the starting job at right defensive end in training camp. Brown wound up with 58 tackles and 4 1/2 sacks last season after 71 and seven in 2006. Anderson struggled against the run, and injuries and poor execution left a once-dominant defense vulnerable.

The Bears believed they landed a solid replacement for Tank Johnson when they acquired Walker from the Buffalo Bills. He signed a five-year, $25-million contract two days after the trade, but knee and elbow problems limited him to 33 tackles and one sack in 11 games.

Agent Albert Irby said the injuries were "just nagging types of things" and his client is fine.

"It's the Bears' choice," he said. "It's the way the business goes. That's their decision."

Miller started 46 games in three seasons with the Bears and has started 160 of his last 161 overall. A 12-year veteran, he started in Super Bowls with Chicago and the St. Louis Rams.

© 2008 The Associated Press.

Giants beat Patriots 17-14 to win Super Bowl XLII

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- The Giants had the perfect answer for the suddenly imperfect Patriots: a big, bad defense and an improbable comeback led by their own Mr. Cool quarterback, Eli Manning.

In one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history, New York shattered New England's unbeaten season 17-14 Sunday night as Manning hit Plaxico Burress on a 13-yard fade with 35 seconds left. It was the Giants' 11th straight victory on the road and the first time the Patriots tasted defeat in more than a year.

© 2008 The Associated Press.



The Limitations of the QB rating System

In 2007 Tom Brady set an NFL record with 50 touchdowns, and led the league with a QB rating of 117.2. This was the second-highest single-season score of all-time.

The QB rating system has apparently been rising in prominence in its ability to evaluate a quarterback’s performance on the field. However, it has also produced some very questionable results when comparing career performances.

Read more on the limitations of the QB passer rating system.

Other Football Notes

Tom Brady is the 2007 PER Sports MVP of the Regular Season
After a sensational season in which he threw for 50 touch-downs and led his team to a perfect 16-0 record, Tom Brady is the best player within the league in 2007. His MVPER score of 127 is the highest in the league by a mile. He also received 49 of 50 first-place votes for a near unanimous selection. Click here to see the complete 2007 analysis.

Patriotic Perfection in the Regular Season
In one of Eli Manning's best games in a Giants uniform he threw for 4 touchdowns and almost singlehandedly engineered an upset to the Patriots perfect sea-son. However, Tom Brady would have none of it as he led his own second-half comeback after being down by 12 points. This means that the Patriots are only the fourth team to finish the regular season undefeated, and the second since the AFL-NFL merger.

Now the Patriots set their sights on another lofty goal, that of winning the Super Bowl. They know that their place in history will only be cemented by a championship. After all, "sixteen and 'o' won't mean a thing without the ring."

LT was the 'legitimate' MVP of the 2006 regular season

The PER Sports Analysis confirms that LaDainian Tomlinson was the legitimate MVP during the NFL's 2006 regular season. LT, with an MVPER score of 117, beat out the likes of top QBs Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers and Drew Brees to win his first such award.

The PER Football MVP Analysis
combines solid individual performance with the number of team wins contributed to in order to determine the best player in the league. To see the complete analysis click here.

2007 NFL Path to the Super Bowl
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NFL Headline News
Feb. 22, 2008

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Peterson has MVP performance in leading the NFC Pro Bowl comeback

AP Photo/
Paul Sakuma

HONOLULU (AP) -- They could have played this Pro Bowl on the beach with flag football rules. All of which was to the liking of Terrell Owens and Adrian Peterson.

Making up for early sloppiness, Owens caught two touchdowns passes, including a 6-yarder from Tampa Bay's Jeff Garcia for the winning points in the NFC's comeback 42-30 victory over the AFC on Sunday.

Owens was aided by Offensive Rookie of the Year Peterson, whose 129 yards rushing was the first performance of more than 100 yards since Marshall Faulk had 180 and Chris Warren added 127 in 1995. The Minnesota running back scored twice as the NFC rallied from a 24-7 deficit, earning himself MVP honors.

Faulk is the only other rookie to be voted MVP of the Pro Bowl.

The AFC leads the series 20-18.

© 2008 The Associated Press.