1-10-11: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings

KANSAS CITY MO - JANUARY 09: Wide receiver Anquan Boldin #81 of the Baltimore Ravens makes a catche for a touchdown in the third quarter of the 2011 AFC wild card playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on January 9 2011 in Kansas City Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

The Wildcard round is over, and now the Seahawks are going to play the Bears in Soldier Field, a place where they actually won in Week 6, but the Bears are a much improved team now and they have played very well since the bye week so I don't know if they can repeat that performance. One of my favorite rivalries in the NFL (Ravens/Steelers) will also have a matchup this weekend.

And now, on to the BCS Championship game taking place here in Arizona. Anyone rooting for a certain team? I want Oregon to win because they are a Pac-10 team, and I don't like the SEC very much.

And now, on to the links.

Arizona Cardinals, Larry Fitzgerald begin contract talks
The Cardinals have opened contract talks with receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who holds most of the leverage in negotiations.

Larry Fitzgerald, leverage and the Cardinals - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The Arizona Cardinals need to re-sign Larry Fitzgerald. They know it, he knows it, everyone knows it.

Marc Bulger Should Be The Arizona Cardinals Next Quarterback - SB Nation Arizona
The Arizona Cardinals are obviously in the market for a quarterback. Scott Howard is ready to throw his support behind former Rams quarterback Marc Bulger.

Cardinals In Contract Talks With Larry Fitzgerald, Otherwise Known As A No-Brainer - SB Nation Arizona
On Sunday, ESPN.com reported and Arizona Republic writer Kent Somers confirmed that the Arizona Cardinals have begun talks with Larry Fitzgerald's agent for a contract extension. Fitzgerald's contract expires after the 2011 season and stipulates that the team cannot use any of the league's special "tags" to prevent him from leaving. Any deal that happens would likely make him the highest paid receiver in the NFL, much like his last contract extension made him. Money is a factor, as it is with all players and teams, but it will not be just about money this time around, as he will be able to get that money from probably any other team in the league.

Arizona Cardinals, Larry Fitzgerald begin contract talks, sources say - ESPN
The Arizona Cardinals and Larry Fitzgerald are having preliminary discussions about extending the wide receiver's contract that will likely pay Fitzgerald between $40 million and $50 million in guaranteed money, according to sources.

Report: Fitz contract talks begin
I know there has been a lot of concern about whether the Cardinals will keep wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald long-term. Well, ESPN reported this morning there already have been preliminary contract talks between Fitz and the team for a contract extension.

Phoenix Suns snap 3-game losing streak with 108-100 win over Cleveland Cavaliers
The Suns' losing has mangled minds and spiked spirits. Frustrations were greater when the Suns were better equipped and lusted after championships than now, when they are muddling through the gutter this season, as they are just trying to clean up and get back on the street.

Can we please do away with ‘quarterback wins?' - Shutdown Corner - NFL  - Yahoo! Sports
Once again, with the Indianapolis Colts' early exit in the playoffs, we're seeing (on various websites and in the Twitterverse) and hearing (on this or that TV and radio show) that Peyton Manning has a "losing record" in the playoffs.

Deion Sanders, Curtis Martin, Marshall Faulk, Jerome Bettis are Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists - ESPN
First-year candidates Deion Sanders, Curtis Martin, Marshall Faulk, Jerome Bettis and Willie Roaf are among 15 modern-era finalists who will be considered for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Baltimore Ravens give Ed Reed game ball for playing despite missing brother - ESPN
Ed Reed's Ravens teammates awarded him the game ball after their playoff win Sunday, then Baltimore's Pro Bowl safety boarded a private jet to return home to his family.

Nnamdi Asomugha of Oakland Raiders a free agent after contract voids - ESPN
Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha contract voided and he will be allowed to become a free agent without the Oakland Raiders being able to use their franchise tag on him, Raiders senior executive John Herrera confirmed Sunday.

Ravens-Steelers, Jets-Patriots set up great divisional weekend - Peter King - SI.com
The Fine 15, weekly awards, coaching update and 10 Things I Think I Think

The AFC's power rematches, the Pack's breakthrough, more Snap Judgments - Don Banks - SI.com
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we wrap up the NFL's wild-card weekend of playoff action and start counting the hours until next weekend's intriguing slate of divisional-round matchups ...

Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs - Recap - January 09, 2011 - ESPN
Ray Lewis knows a championship defense when he sees one. Now the Kansas City Chiefs do, too.

Green Bay Packers vs. Philadelphia Eagles - Recap - January 09, 2011 - ESPN
Aaron Rodgers simply threw his hands in the air and pumped his fist. No, he doesn't celebrate like Brett Favre. Rodgers doesn't have to worry about the ghost of Favre anymore. He's made his own name with the Green Bay Packers, even moreso with his first playoff victory.

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