Today in the World of Sports…
The Jacksonville Jaguars signed a long-term deal with ex-San Diego Chargers’ wide receiver Kassim Osgood on Saturday, one day after the start of NFL free agency. The 29-year-old Osgood agreed to a three-year contract valued at $6.675 million. The three-time Pro Bowl selection – 2006, 2007 and 2009 – is known more for his special-teams play, instead of his pass-catching ability. With his height at 6-foot-5, Osgood will give the Jaguars many options at wide receiver. Ignoring his one catch for 17 yards during the 2009 regular season, Osgood, a San Diego State product, played with 1,000-yard receivers Antonio Gates and Vincent Jackson, Malcom Floyd and running backs LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles. It would be difficult for anyone to record decent numbers behind those five playmakers. I was off by a little bit when I suggested two and a half weeks ago that the Jaguars should pursue the 28-year-old, 6-foot-5 Floyd. Osgood has the opportunity to replace future Hall of Famer Torry Holt’s production and compete with the young receivers. Overall, it is an excellent low-risk, high-reward free agent signing.
The Jaguars signed long-time Green Bay Packer defensive end Aaron Kampman on Sunday. The eight-year veteran, who agreed to a four-year, $26 million deal, has started 104 games while recording 54.0 sacks and 12 forced fumbles. The 30-year-old Kampman is a two-time Pro Bowler (2006, 2007) who solidified the Packers’ left side during his years in Green Bay. In 2009, Kampman switched from a 4-3 defensive end into a 3-4 linebacker. On November 22 of last season, he suffered a season-ending knee injury against the San Francisco 49ers. Kampman will likely play as an end in the Jaguars’ 4-3 defense. The addition of Kampman means that 2008 draft picks Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves should get to work this off-season. Kampman still has something left in the tank. Behind Julius Peppers, Kampman was the best free agent defensive end.
Former NFL head coach Jon Gruden has given private sessions to future NFL quarterbacks – Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen and Tim Tebow. Gruden will do the same with Texas’ Colt McCoy prior to the draft. On Thursday, Tebow, who has four private coaches helping him change his throwing delivery, worked out with Gruden at Carrollwood High School in Tampa. Gruden must be salivating at the talent. It is just a sign that he wants another shot at coaching in the NFL. Even though Gruden signed a multi-year extension with ESPN to continue his analyst duties on “Monday Night Football,” in my opinion, he would trade all of it for long hours in the office and Sundays on the sideline.
On Friday, Tebow was interviewed by Joe Cowart and David Lamm on Lamm at Large on 1010XL. Lamm asked Tebow if he would like to play in Jacksonville for the Jaguars, if it came to that. Tebow responded with, “You know what, I would. I would like it.” Tebow explained that he has been a Jaguars fan his whole life and would love playing in his hometown. I don’t think he could have answered the question any better.
Tebow spent four hours on Saturday signing autographs and taking photos with fans at the Avenues Mall. Tickets were $160 for a Tebow autograph. Fans brought items ranging from Bibles to footballs. Most of the proceeds will go towards the Tim Tebow Foundation. According to the organization’s website, the Avenues Mall event was the official launch of the Foundation. The vision of it is “to bring faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need.” Nobody can say that Tebow isn’t trying to make a difference.
The JU Dolphins’ Friday night loss to the Mercer Bears, 66-63, ended – what I expected to be – a potential NCAA Tournament berth for JU. The Dolphins will be playing in the NIT in two weeks. However, with a lineup including seniors Ben Smith and Lehmon Colbert, I thought the Dolphins would capitalize on their 19-12 season. JU head coach Cliff Warren, after the Atlantic Sun Tournament loss, said, “You can put this on me. It’s my job to get the team prepared.”
The Providence Stallions secured their first boys basketball state championship on Saturday. Providence defeated Tampa Prep, 63-46, to win the Class 2A title. If Arlington Country Day had always been in 1A (this was ACD’s first year in Class 1A), the Stallions could have numerous titles hanging in their gym.
Since the SEC will be purchasing high-definition televisions for their football replay officials, does that mean they will no longer have any excuses?