The past few weeks for the NFL have been full of excitement, beginning with the action packed Super Bowl, which I feel was handed to the Steelers by the referees. None the less it was the most exciting 2 minutes in Super Bowl history in my opinion, even if I think that the Cardinals got screwed. But now that free agency has began, and with the draft looming on the horizon, many players have changed teams already, and with seemingly many more to move soon. Lets take a look at notable free agents who have signed recently. First in an unexpected move, it has been reported that the Dallas Cowboys have cut CB, Roy Williams, and their top wide out, Terrell Owens. Owens had been the leading receiver for Dallas over the past three seasons, but amid rumors of him dividing the locker room has basically forced him out. With no clear cut team leader, negative character issues is not what Dallas needs right now, so I think that any problems that T.O caused may have been the last straw. Dallas has also signed a couple of free agents, Jon Kitna was picked up in a trade with Detroit for CB, Anthony Henry. Kitna will back up Tony Romo, and LB, Keith Brooking was picked up from Atlanta. It remains to be seen if Mr. Jones will make a big splash with any remaining free agents, but it looks unlikely. Only days after being cut from the Cowboys, T.O signed a one year deal with the Bills, with 4 million in promised money, total contract value of around 6.5 million.
Next on the block was Washington, who took the biggest splash of all, signing Albert Haynesworth, for a ridiculous 7 years, and 100 million dollars, which I think he won’t see all of it, he is however guaranteed 41 million of it. Washington also resigned DeAngelo Hall, who they picked up mid-season last year. His contract is worth 55 million over 6 years, with 23 million guaranteed. The Redskins also report that Jason Taylor is done in Washington, he was released earlier this week. The front office additions for the Chiefs have put them in a prime position to pick up some premium players this off-season, they have already made a deal with New England, sending aging linebacker Mike Vrable, and one year wonder QB, Matt Cassel to the Chiefs for a second round draft pick.
The Jets have made a couple of off-season moves, after “Brett the Jet” left town to hopefully ride out into the sunset, for real this time. The Jets, signed big name linebacker, Bart Scott, and another former Raven, Jim Leonhard. In another deal the Jets receive CB, Lito Sheppard from the Eagles for undisclosed draft picks. Several other players chose to remain with their current teams. Ray Lewis signs a multi-year deal with the Ravens and will likely retire there. Kurt Warner will stay in Arizona, will the magic come back with him? Kurt restructured his contract so that the Cardinals would have more money to work with while trying to resign Anquan Boldin, who is still wanting a new deal. While some players decide to stay where they are, many others have chosen to go elsewhere. Big name wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh (AKA T.J Whosyamama) signed a fresh deal to get out of the shadow of Chad Johnson. T.J chose to sign with the Seattle Seahawks. Derrick Ward decided to sign with Tampa Bay. Cedric Benson, and wide receiver Laveranues Coles signed with the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Broncos are making news in a bad way, apparently Denver wanted upstart QB, Matt Cassel, and they were offering their starter Jay Cutler for trade. When this didn’t happen, Jay was expectedly upset, which forced Denver front office to report that there are no intentions on trading Jay Cutler. Only time will tell if this will be water under the bridge for Jay and his new head coach, in other Bronco news, RB, LaMont Jordan signs with the team, along with several other mid level players, like QB, Chris Simms.
All the free agent news over the past couple of weeks has made people forget that there will be a draft in April, and with the draft still over a month away, several questions arise about the up and coming rookie class. Which rookie QB will go first, Mark Sanchez or Matthew Stafford? Who will get top receiving prospect Michael Crabtree?
Will Michael’s decision to have surgery help or hurt his draft status? All these questions and more I think will make this upcoming NFL season another great one.