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Sunday NFL Thoughts: Injuries, Contracts, and Positional Switches

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The NFL has a fetish with injuries and players like Champ Bailey know the correct approach.

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

1. Bruce Allen, president of the Washington football team, has an interesting new concept for season ticket owners.

Using player injuries as leverage to draw people to purchase season tickets is an extremely, uh, bold decision by a franchise that has a history of terribly bold decisions. Using in-game injury updates would imply that the team physicians will have to notify their social media manager prior to telling anyone else about the player injuries. That just sounds twisted.

2. Speaking of injuries, future Hall of Fame cornerback Champ Bailey has publicly stated that concussions should be a real concern for Wes Welker.

"I don't want Wes to play for my own personal reasons. I've seen him get concussions. It scares me," Bailey told Fox Sports. "I think he can still play, but I don't want him to play because of these concussions.

"This thing is no joke. It's a serious thing when you start talking about your head. And for him to have to worry about that at a young age that he is now, he has to think about that for years to come, and I just hope he hangs it up and not strap it up again."

Personally, I support Bailey's statement. Welker has had a great career; he's helped changed the way offenses play by effectively pioneering the modern slot position and he's been injured far too many times for any team to feel comfortable signing him. Head injuries are a terrible thing and Welker should follow the steps of all of the other players who have retired early this offseason with a focus on their mental health.

3. Also, I know some think that Julian Edelman is a better receiver than Welker, but that still remains to be seen. More talented? Sure, in the sense that Randy Moss was more talented than Jerry Rice. But better? Wes Welker spent six seasons in New England. He has five seasons that were more productive than any of Jules', and that sixth season where Welker wasn't more effective was his first season back after tearing his ACL in Week 17 the prior year.

Edelman is the heart and soul of this Patriots team and it wouldn't be surprising if he was named team captain and eventually surpassed Welker in the franchise record books. But Welker's six seasons with the Patriots rank among the best in the history of football.

He deserves plenty of respect. Jules is still on the grind.

4. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is looking for more than the $21 million per season that Seattle is offering him. That would be slightly less than Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and slightly more than Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, both of whom received contract extensions this offseason. For Wilson, that's understandable. He's been far more productive and efficient than Newton and his desire to be better paid is his prerogative.

However, Wilson needs to realize that the Seahawks have been so successful because the quarterback is playing under a bargain contract. Instead of asking for more than Aaron Rodgers' contract, Wilson should change the game and start asking for greater guarantees, with team success based escalators where reaching additional playoff rounds would result in a bonus.

Right now, only a couple quarterbacks have deals that guarantee over 50% of the contract. Ask for 75% guaranteed. Ask for 90%. Wilson has the opportunity to change how contracts are written in the NFL. It's not his obligation to do so; he should be asking for as much as possible. But with the injury rate for mobile quarterbacks being so high, he should try and guarantee as much money as possible.

5. Offensive Jazz Interference has done a fantastic job collecting and writing down nuggets from the New England Patriots history and they're all saved down in this section. I highly recommend you peruse his articles because they offer a fun and unique insight on the best franchise in the NFL.

6. In college football news, the reigning champion Ohio State Buckeyes have a quarterback controversy on their hands and it's going in a direction I didn't expect. Picture this:

Player A is a three year starter who won Conference Player of the Year awards for two straight seasons, but injured his labrum (shoulder, similar to Dont'a Hightower) prior to his senior season.

Player B was a freshman replacement for Player A after the injury and went undefeated during the regular season, winning the conference Quarterback and Freshman of the Year awards, but suffered a broken ankle injury right before the Conference Championship. (time out: can we note that the Big Ten QB of the Year award is called the "Griese-Brees", which sounds like a disgusting item on a boardwalk menu?)

Player C replaced Player B and: 1) won the Conference Championship; 2) beat the #1 ranked team in the country in the college playoffs; 3) won the National Championship; all in three straight games.

Which player do you start in Week 1 of the next season? Player A, B, or C?

Turns out, Player A decided to switch his position to wide receiver in order to best help the team. Player A, Braxton Miller, is easily the most athletic of the three quarterbacks but is considered the least developed passer and is coming off of a shoulder injury. Now the coaches have their own decision to make between Player B (J.T. Barrett) and Player C (Cardale Jones).

What makes Miller's decision so much more interesting is that he's technically graduated from Ohio State so he wouldn't have to sit out a season if he transferred, similar to Russell Wilson going from North Carolina State to Wisconsin. Pretty much 99% of teams in college football would have loved to have Miller on their team and would let him have the opportunity to play quarterback.

Miller seems to be making a long term decision since it's unlikely that he'd play quarterback in the NFL. Getting an extra-season jump on the transition to wide receiver seems to be in his best interest and shows a very mature decision. Best of luck to Miller in his positional switch.