The release of Peter Warrick by the Cincinnati Bengals illustrates once again the vagaries of the NFL draft.
Warrick was the fourth player taken in the 2000 draft, when some teams had him first on their boards. Of the top 12 players chosen that year, only five are with their original teams: LaVar Arrington (second) and Chris Samuels (third) with Washington; Jamal Lewis (fifth) with Baltimore; Brian Urlacher (ninth) with Chicago, and Shaun Ellis (12th) with the New York Jets.
The two worst picks may have been Courtney Brown, first overall by Cleveland, and Ron Dayne, 11th to the New York Giants. Brown has been plagued throughout his career by injuries. Dayne came off a Heisman Trophy season at Wisconsin, then was a bust who had a few semi-productive seasons alternating with Tiki Barber, but lost that job when Barber proved he was clearly the better of the two.
Dayne is now in Denver, fourth on the depth chart at running back behind Mike Anderson, Tatum Bell and Quentin Griffin.
Most of the others have been up and down.
Linebacker Arrington has been hurt and has underachieved with the Redskins.
Corey Simon (sixth) developed into one of the better defensive tackles in the NFL with the Eagles, but was told this week to find another team when he refused to sign Philadelphia's franchise player tender. He wound up in Indianapolis.
Thomas Jones (seventh) was a disappointment with Arizona, went to the Bears last season and probably would have lost his job in Chicago this season if running back Cedric Benson, the team's first-round pick, hadn't held out until this week.
Plaxico Burress, taken eighth overall by Pittsburgh, was reasonably successful, but the Steelers didn't make a big effort to keep him as a free agent this year and the receiver signed with the Giants. Another wide receiver, Travis Taylor (10th), was a disappointment in Baltimore and signed with Minnesota in the offseason without any resistance from the Ravens.
On the other hand, teams passed 77 times on No. 78, Laveranues Coles, who was taken by the Jets after playing with Warrick at Florida State.
Leaping for Tickets
Here's a shocker: Tickets for games at Lambeau Field are more in demand than any other NFL stadium.
According to a market analysis by FatLens.com, the asking price for tickets sold on "the secondary market" -- not by the team itself -- averages $290, highest in the league. That price is nearly 50 percent higher than the average on the secondary market.
The Eagles, Patriots and Steelers also have average asking prices of above $250. Of course, those clubs are among the favorites to make the Super Bowl. The Packers are not.
At the low end of the scale are the Jaguars, with an average asking price of $125. The Bills, Texans and Cardinals are at $150.
FatLens is a shopping search engine for tickets.
In Shayne They Trust
Shayne Graham hasn't been able to kick in the preseason, but his job is secure.
That's how much the Bengals believe in him.
"Their confidence in me helps my confidence in myself," said Graham, who made only one field goal -- a 25-yarder -- during the first three preseason games. "It all pays off in the end."
Graham has made 49 of his 56 field goal attempts (87.5 percent) during two seasons in Cincinnati, stabilizing a position that had been a major problem.
He strained his groin shortly before the start of training camp, but the Bengals were willing to wait on him. They signed rookie Carter Warley from Virginia Tech to kick while Graham recovered.
Graham kicked 39-yard field goals without a problem during practice this week, a sign the injury is close to fully healed.
"I'm going to say it will be next week," said Graham, who never had a groin problem before. "That's something I can only tell when the time comes. I'm not really sure."