After more than four months of hibernation, the NFL blasted off this week after the players and owners signed the new CBA. Not only did this mean that the season was back, but that over eighteen weeks of free-agency and off-season trades had to be crammed into just five short days. Since Monday, every hour has consistently brought on some new rumors or principle agreements that either has us cheering or yelling, depending on which side of the field our allegiance lies. Raj and AJ, two of The Crew’s resident NFL junkies, walk through some of the most important moves made this week and their potential ramifications this year. Also, stay tuned because we’ll update as more moves are made.
Plaxico Burress signs an one-year deal with New York Jets — Less than 48 hours removed from being reinstated back into the NFL, former Super Bowl winning WR Plaxico Burress is returning to New York–in a Jets uniform for at least a single season for a reported $3.17 million dollars. Braylon who? The Jets had their eye on a vet who won’t break their bank as they look to add some defensive additions before kickoff.
Peyton Manning soon to be $90 million dollars richer — In a move that tied him for highest paid player in NFL history with Tom Brady, The Indianapolis Colts locked in their franchise player for five more years in which he’ll make $69 of those millions within the first three years of the contract. As a four time MVP and predicatably another Super Bowl win ahead of him, the Colts seem to have spent their money wisely.
Eagles sign CB Nnamdi Asomugha to a 5-year deal — Until a couple hours ago, Nnamdi watch seemed to be a three way contest between the Jets, Cowboys, and Niners. Somehow, someway the City of Brotherly Love came out of left field and stole the man of the hour. In my books, the move puts their draft grade second only to the ever devious army of Bill Belichick’s goons. Now Philly’s suddenly scary pass defense consists of Nnamdi, Ellis Hobbs and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Asante Samuel appears to on his way out). Yeah, unless your last name is either Brady or Manning, a no-fly zone has been implemented in Philadelphia starting right now.
Bears sign WR Roy Williams — By now the the story is well known. The Cowboys gave up way too much for a receiver who had one good season, that was nothing more than a blip in an otherwise flatline of a career. After years of futility on America’s team, the Bears have decided to pick him up and give him a shot – presumably at a much more reasonable price (all the details aren’t out yet).
Chicago has really nothing to lose here, as they bolster their quiet receiving corps, giving strong-armed, but weak-willed QB Jay Cutler another target to throw to. Make no mistake, Cutler will deliver him the ball, but it’s ultimately on Williams to patch the holes in his hands.
Titans agree to terms with QB Matt Hasselbeck on multi-year deal — Matt Hasselbeck has so many intangibles. He might not throw the ball with any velocity, he’s about as mobile as the Statue of Liberty and he’s not getting any better at the age of 36. But his intangibles are off the charts. He’ll look great holding a clipboard by mid-season as the Jake Locker-era commences.
Seattle agrees to terms with WR Sidney Rice on 5-year deal — Assuming that he’s fully healed from his injury, the Seahawks picked up a beast of a receiver here. Still only 24, the former Gamecock is physical, athletic and should bolster a receiving core already featuring Mike Williams 2.0. It’d be cool if they had a quarterback too. Baby steps, Seattle.
Redskins agree to deal Albert Haynesworth to Patriots — So there’s this defensive tackle — at one point the highest paid defensive player in the League’s history — famous for a sh*tty work ethic, feuding with teammates and stomping on a defenseless Andre Gurode mid-game. He gets picked up by an old-school, no excuses, hard-nosed coach famous for pushing players buttons. And, ummm… did that really just happen?
Chiefs agree to terms with WR Steve Breaston on 5-year deal — An already stacked Chiefs offense just got better with the addition of slot receiver Breaston. Win or lose, they’ll be a blast to play as in Madden. If anybody still plays Madden.
Saints agree to deal RB Reggie Bush to Miami — While most players spent their lockout organizing workouts and staying in shape, Bush tweeted that he was enjoying the time off, relaxing, vacationing and making “appearances here and there!” Miami should be a great fit for him. There probably won’t be anything to distract him in South Beach.
Arizona gets QB Kevin Kolb from Eagles for CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie & a second-round pick — Finally, we get to see Kevin Kolb in action. In a move that’s been rumored and discussed for quite some time, Arizona gets their young quarterback to build around and Philadelphia makes away with a high draft pick and talented young defensive back. And while he’s still around, Derek Anderson can teach Kolb how to put his “heart and soul into this shit.” Everybody wins.
Redskins send QB Donovan McNabb to Minnesota for draft picks — The always quarterback-hungry Minnesota Vikings usher in a proven QB to clean up the mess from the failed Brett Favre experiment, but don’t expect too much here. Christian Ponder is still obviously the the play-caller of the future and has made it no secret that his time will come sooner than later.
Eagles sign QB Vince Young to one-year deal — After hurling his shoulder pads into the stands and falling out of favor with head coach Jeff Fisher, there was zero chance that VY would be back in a Titans uniform in 2011. He was finally dumped and almost immediately picked up, in an interesting move, by Philly. He has a very similar playing style to Michael Vick, so from a defensive standpoint, planning for one is planning for both. But look for Vince to spend most of his time this year warming up Kevin Kolb’s old spot on the Eagles’ bench. Mike will remain the unquestionable starter.
Patriots acquire WR Chad Ochocinco after restructuring his three-year contract — Leave it to the Belichick to gamble on the rejects. Mr. 85 is coming off a season where the Bengals decided his antics were too much to handle and due to “irreconcilable differences,” very obviously did not want him as part of the team moving forward. Assuming the Pats will maximize Chad’s potential, look for the Jets to match by signing a top-notch cornerback *cough* Nnamdi.
Seahawks agree to terms with QB Tarvaris Jackson on two-year deal — After adding Cardinal backup Matt Leinart, they are taking their chances with the Minnesota backup. It’s a highly questionable free agent move that between these two and Charlie Whitehurst, it all but guarantees that their 2011 starting quarterback will be a former benchwarmer. Not a good look, Peter Carroll.
Jets agree to terms with WR Santonio Holmes on five-year deal — Gang Green does their best Patriot impression once again by re-signing another troubled receiver. Holmes has been crucial so far to the Jets success through this point, so now it’s all on the staff to keep his weed puffing to a minimum over the next half-decade. Look for NY to sign another receiver to complement him if they don’t wind up sticking with Braylon Edwards and his own set of off-the-field issues.
Greg Olsen traded to Carolina Panthers for third round pick — The Bears should have demanded at least a 2nd round pick for Greg Olsen, former member of The U’s “7th Floor Crew.” On the field, he equates to a poor man’s Dallas Clark (and his numbers will certainly dip as Carolina breaks in rookie Cam Newton), but off the field his lyricism is second-to-none: “Come on fellas, let’s get weird, stick ya dick up in her ear.”
The Saints sign Darren Sproles to a four-year deal — Saints fans may be saying “Who Dat?” but it’s aimed towards Reggie Bush, not Darren Sproles. The former Charger has now usurped two, bigger name backfield talents during his career and the swift, shifty running back makes for a great replacement for the oft-injured, seldom happy former Mr. Kardashian.
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