Saturday, March 6, 2010

NFL Free Agency News and Notes

NFL Free Agency kicked off this week and so far there have been some interesting moves made by a number of different teams. It seems the Ravens finally realized that you need receivers to catch the ball and the Bears realized that they can throw away $100 million in an afternoon. My Jets made a few key moves as well bringing in some secondary help for Darell Revis and also letting go of some unneeded assets.

The team that has been the most active, and for all the wrong reasons, is the Arizona Cardinals who made a couple trades and lost a number of key players to free agency. Needless to say it is going to be a tough year in the desert.

Here are some of the moves made and my thoughts on them:

Chicago Bears

Julius Peppers 6-years $91 million ($42 million guaranteed)

While Peppers has shown he is still a force to be reckoned with (10.5 sacks last season) he is 30 years old. In the NFL that is ancient and usually the age when guys bodies start to break down. Does the addition of Peppers upgrade the Bears defense? Yes but that $42 million is a league record and a figure that I am sure will come back to bite the Bears in the ass.

Chester Taylor 4-years $12.5 million ($7 million guaranteed)

Taylor wanted out of Minnesota because he was tired of living in Adrian Peterson's shadow. Well he accomplished that but now he gets to share time with Matt Forte and no doubt play in his shadow.

Forte had a down year last year but he is a dynamic back who should continue to improve and repeat what he accomplished in his rookie year. Maybe he will see the addition of Taylor as a challenge and respond positively.

Why pay a guy $12.5 million to be a back-up? This move doesn't make a whole lot of sense. More teams are switching to the 2 back system but your #2 back shouldn't make that much money.

Brandon Manumaleuna 5-years $17 million ($6 million guaranteed)

Thats a lot of money for a strictly blocking tight end. Manu as he will be referred to from now on is not a very offensive tight end. His strength lies in his ability to pass and run block. This will be key for the Bears as they want to give Jay Cutler as much time as possible.

The problem with this signing is that it now makes Greg Olsen (the Bears standout sophomore tight end) expendable. Olsen is a solid tight end and a great pass catcher who thrived with Cutler behind the center. Olsen will more than likely be shipped out though because offensive coordinator Mike Martz doesn't like him. Stupid decision by the Bears here as Olsen could have been the guy for a long time and more than likely would have outlasted Martz with the franchise.

Baltimore Ravens

Acquire Anquan Boldin and 5th round pick in exchange for 3rd and 5th round pick

When I first saw this I thought it was a mistake. How could Boldin be traded for so little? Granted he isn't a top 5 receiver but he is still a solid play maker and a guy I thought would fetch more on the open market.

Boldin gives Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco a legitimate #1 receiver and another weapon, along with Ray Rice, to make the offense more dynamic. The Ravens paid pennies on the dollar in this trade.

Sign Donte Stallworth to a 1-year $900,000 contract

I personally don't think someone who killed a man while driving drunk should be allowed to play in the NFL but that is just me. He paid his debt to society and now is trying to make amends. In strictly football terms this was a brilliant signing as Stallowrth is still a decent reciever and will no doubt try harder than ever before to make up for his past transgressions. Plus at less than $1 million you can't go wrong.

New York Jets

Acquire Antonio Rogers-Cromartie from SD in exchange for a 3rd round pick

While Cromartie now not be the best cover corner in the league he is still much better than Lito Sheppard and every other bum the Jets trotted out last year. He has a nose for the ball and can make some big plays that can swing momentum in a hurry.

His downside is his immaturity. He has lots of off the field antics, like knocking up 5 different women, and is a huge headcase. Even with all of that he is an upgrade and as long as my team continues to upgrade I am alright with it.

Trade Kerry Rhodes to Arizona for 4th and 7th round picks

I am a huge Kerry Rhodes fan so this one hurt. He had a decent year after struggling early on in the season and being benched. The Jets will now rely on Eric Smith to play safety. In Rhodes the Cardinals get a player that can step in and replace Antrel Rolle, who signed with the Giants, right away.

Release Thomas Jones and Jay Feely

Feely is a duster and Jones is a 31 year old running back. Do the math.

Detroit Lions

Sign Kyle Vanden Bosch 4-years $26 million and Nate Burelson 5-years $25 million contracts

$26 million for a guy that has just 7.5 sacks over the past 2 seasons and $25 million for a guy that has only topped 1,000 yards once and has never caught 10 TDs in a season? I understand that the Lions are trying to improve their team but throwing money at mediocre players is never a smart move. If the Lions ever want to win more than 3 games a season they will need to be smarter with their dough.

Arizona Cardinals

I already mentioned losing Antrel Rolle and Boldin but I have yet to mention that they also lost Karlos Dansby to the Miami Dolphins and Kurt Warner to retirement. Like I said at the top this is going to be a tough season in the desert.

They still have Larry Fitzgerald but who will be throwing him the ball? They lost the best linebacker on their team and have no one to replace him. They brought in Rhodes to replace Rolle but that is a downgrade. Boldin is gone and even though they have Steve Breaston they still don't have anyone to throw him the ball.


General Manager Marty Hurney called it the toughest decision he ever has made, even choking up as he made the announcement, but the Panthers chose to release longtime Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme on Friday. The team will now lean on Matt Moore to be the team’s starting QB. Delhomme said he was “blindsided” by the move and was very emotional during his press conference.

Really "blindsided?" Delhomme was by far the worst quarterback in the league last year and will never again start for an NFL team. Carolina made the best decision ever by finally launching him.


Linebacker Gary Brackett signed a five-year deal hours after he officially became an unrestricted agent. Brackett’s new deal is likely to keep the 29-year-old in a Colts uniform the rest of his career. Brackett will reportedly get $33 million, including a $12 million signing bonus.

Good for the Colts on this one. Brackett is the heart of that defense and a guy that deserves the money. He doesn't have a shitty attitude and he comes to play every game. Glad to see there is some loyalty left in sports.


The Philadelphia Eagles have agreed to a three-year contract with All-Pro fullback Leonard Weaver. It reportedly is worth $11 million, including $6.5 million guaranteed.

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