You know the drill…I’ll just go through all thirty-two teams in the National Football league and tell you where they are as of Mid March. We’ll start with the team that has made the most noise in free agency.
I’m not as excited about this as some of the other Bears fans are. The got Julius Peppers, and I could have sworn that the amount of money they offered him actually increased significantly as the day wore on. I had originally heard as low as 70 million for that deal and that guy walked out of that room with ninety-one and a half million dollars. Amazing. The thing that disappointed me is that they had a perfect opportunity to resign Thomas Jones, who they should never have let go in the first place. They could have easily fixed that this year. But the bottom line is, they are still only the third best team in that division either way, and this offseason’s moves won’t change that. Torry Holt is also mentioning Chicago as a possible destination for him, but Torry Holt 2010 is not Torry Holt 2000. Also they signed fullback Eddie Williams.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers should take Bryan Bulaga from Iowa if he is still on the board at #23. They resigned Chad Clifton, and other than that Green Bay has been relatively quiet throughout all of this. And it’s not surprising to me because I thought they were the best team that lost in the first round of the playoffs last year. Not a lot of movement here and that’s exactly where the franchise needs to be at this point.
They lose Chester Taylor to free up space, they might or might not have to draft a quarterback (Do you see what that guy’s diva antics are doing to this team in the offseason?) and they still are in solid shape because Percy Harvin and Sydney Rice are tough. They met with LT (who still has to meet with the Jets) Wednesday so perhaps that’s a possibility. So I guess we’ll just have to wait until Favre makes up his mind to see what happens there. I do not think getting Tomlinson would have any effect on Favre’s decision.
Get Vandenbosch from TEN. Other than that they have an incredibly young quarterback and a very inexperienced offensive line. Definitely a bottom feeder for sure. They almost HAVE to draft a DT with the #2 pick. Sometimes I wonder if Detroit doesn’t do a good enough job of courting who they are going to draft. If they take another hotshot wide receiver in the first round that can’t catch passes I’ll never watch another Lions game ever again and I don’t care who they are playing. It’s put up or shut up for that franchise because that’s a poor city and those fans WILL give up on them. If the Rams take a QB first the Lions could get Suh which would be huge. They released DE DeWayne Wright.
San Francisco 49ers
The Niners made what I thought was a great move by singing David Carr to a two year deal. David Carr is a solid quarterback in the NFL. I should know because I’m actually kind of upset the Giants weren’t able to keep him as a backup. They are a young team and they could use the kind of leadership that a guy like that would bring. They may lose swing tackle Barry Sims to the Redskins.
St. Louis Rams
Rams have fist pick, so it will be interesting if they don’t take a quarterback and make an attempt at getting a Vick or a Delhomme or some other quarterback on that level. Look, the Rams won’t make the playoffs next year. That franchise is in shambles and there’s no way there playing to finish .500 even in that foursome. They do get Fred Robbins from the Giants but he doesn’t have quite enough athletic ability to make a difference at that position. If you don’t believe me check out the rest of the Rams’ defensive roster.
This offseason has to be big for Seattle who is only four years removed from the Super Bowl. You’d never know it by the way they played last year though…They finished 5-11 but easily could have finished 2-14, only showing up for one game. I really don’t understand why they haven’t cut Hasselback. He has absolutely no trade value whatsoever and there isn’t anyway that’s an over .500 with him at the wheel, which is pretty sad when you consider how weak that division is to begin with.
So obviously the Cardinals are looking at quarterback since Warner retired and they do get two extra draft picks from Baltimore to go out and get someone to replace Boldin. I think in the end they will go with Leinart as the Starter. I had originally thought that the Cardinals were one of two teams (the second being Minnesota is Favre retires) that had a good shot at obtaining McNabb, but now I’m not so sure. The Eagles and the Cardinals manage the game in completely different fashion. They lose Dansby to Miami as well. They acquired Kerry Rhodes, an excellent defensive football player from the New York Jets. Resigned O linemen Jeremy Bridges and Rex Hadnot.
The Falcons won the Dunta Robinson bidding war and it’s good they did as their defense struggled to put teams away in pressure situations. Jarious Norwood is a free agent and may choose to explore his options. Matt Ryan has enough weapons to get him to 9-7 but it’s hard for me to imagine them finishing any higher than that, seeing as how the Saints pretty much own that division now.
Who cares about Jake Delhomme really? I couldn’t have been less shocked with their decision to cut that guy. He had one good year, and has been completely average and forgettable since. The Panthers were another example of how a so-so QB can hide behind a great ground game. They lose Peppers to Chicago. They need another solid receiver very desperately and it kind of surprises me they weren’t more active in their pursuit of one at time of press.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints have the re-signed a couple of their offensive linemen, so Brees should still have the protection he got all year last year once again. However, they have several of unrestricted free agents (16) and the list includes Pierre Thomas and Mike Bell. I actually expected New Orleans to cut Reggie Bush, but I think they are still going to let him enjoy the Super Bowl victory for a few more weeks and then can him.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If I’m Tampa Bay I try to make Cadillac Williams happy. He runs with purpose when he’s healthy and THAT team can’t afford to lose THAT back to free agency. They lose Antonio Bryant but get Reggie Brown from the Eagles. (downgrade) Safety Jermaine Phillips got his domestic battery charge reduced, so it’s nice to see that law enforcement officials aren’t playing favorites. They lose journeyman CB Will Allen to the Steelers.
The Ravens got tough at the receiver position with the addition of Anquan Boldin. They got Boldin for a third and fourth rounder, this trade followed the example of the Patriots getting Randy Moss from Oakland a few years ago. They are also looking at Terrell Owens from what I understand. Baltimore resigned Derrick Mason for what should be the last year in a crazy NFL career for that guy. I think Baltimore is much better than people gave them credit for last year.
Big Ben needs to stop going clubbing apparently. I don’t really care what people do but that guy drinks an awful lot for a professional athlete. And he’s got happy hands. But overall, the Steelers should be a contender again if their defense can stay healthy. They don’t have any REALLY urgent draft needs and everything seems to be going in their favor when it comes to football related issues.
Don’t look now, but the Browns snagged Seneca Wallace from the Seahawks. They did make a move in making sure Josh Cribbs didn’t leave (which I have to say was the most shocking non-move out of any of these 32 teams) so they will at least be solid on special teams. Now if they could only figure out what to do the other 59 minutes they have the ball…Cut Derek Anderson which was a move that I don’t really have a strong opinion on.
Thought the Bengals would go after a lot of big talent Friday but they hung back early. All signs point to Cedric Benson testing the waters and eventually shipping out of town. They signed WR Antonio Bryant so that pretty much erases the chance that they will go after Terrell Owens. They resign Tank Johnson but lose Shaun Smith. And nobody on the team has been caught in Northern Kentucky smoking a blunt while driving fifty miles over the speed limit, so it’s been a pretty good offseason for the Bengals.
New England Patriots
I heard a commentator the other day mention that the Patriots have the most to prove in the offseason, more than any team. They have likely lost Randy Moss (If not, he won’t show up anyway) and the job isn’t as attractive as it was four years ago. Four years ago, you’d offer the idea of going to New England up and almost EVERY player would take it. “Free ring? Sure man, OK!” The idea of New England now is the reality that they are a Wild card team at best. And I really think people are starting to have trust issues with Coach B. On the plus side, they did retain Vince Wilfork and that was an excellent move. They also singed Kevin Faulk to a one year deal.
New York Jets
Okay so the Jets picked up Cromartie from the Chargers and cemented an already tough defense. The Patriots don’t own that division anymore and the Jets should be the favorites when the schedule came out. They allowed very few points all year last year, and came very close to going all of the way. They have a great coach who is determined to set the team’s goals high, and a QB that can hide behind a good runner in Shonn Greene. Losing Jones will hurt, no doubt, but by the time the season rolls around, Sanchez is going to be much more developed and ready to go. And they got Brodney Pool from the Browns.
MIA has cut Joey Porter, who must be a nightmare in the locker room because he guarantees he will have sacks if you sign him. However, they pickup Carlos Dansby from Arizona which is a great signing. They resigned Pennington to a one year deal, making a statement that if they don’t have a winning record by week eleven, he’s toast.
I have very little information about the Bills because other than their site, they don’t have a lot of writers that are churning out columns about their football club. In my defense, there aren’t too many people reading this article that even want to hear about what the Bills are up to. But I did get three sentences out of it. Okay, maybe four.
For some reason I had a good feeling that this was going to be the year they were going to try and see how much McNabb is worth to other teams. Minnesota (If Favre doesn’t come back) and Arizona you would think would HAVE to want to come up with something for him. I do know that the Eagles are talking to RB Justin Fargas and WR Hank Baskett. They also picked up Marlin Jackson from the Eagles which is very risky because he had knee surgery last year.
New York Giants
Great move in getting Antrell Rolle. He better be ready to practice tackling, which I’m starting to think the Giants need a whole separate camp for. They gave him $37 mil for 5 years, so he has a lot to live up to. They get Jim Sorgi as a backup for Eli, as opposed to David Carr. (Major downgrade) They got Igor Olshansky to replace Chris Canty, which is fine with me because Chris Canty was just too heavy to be effective.
Regardless of whether or not they admit it, Washington has probably begun to shop Jason Campbell. I’ve heard the Buccaneers mentioned in those very sentences. Mike Shanahan met with Larry Johnson earlier this week and I do know that he is familiar with Larry’s work because of his time in Denver and he respects Larry a lot. They signed tight end Sean Ryan. They also signed nose tackle Maake Kemoeatu to a two year deal.
Dallas looks great heading into next year and they were the ones who I originally thought would try to sign LaDanian Tomlinson. Jerry Jones’ oil company is being sued for fraud. They haven’t made a lot of moves, but they are planning on scheduling visits with free agents this week. Jones has been very busy promoting the Pacquiao – Clottey fight so it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that he was going to wait before making any moves. Dallas doesn’t have a whole lot to address other than their safeties and corners, and there are a lot of good young players available in the draft at those two positions.
Titans lose Vandenbosch to Detroit. Lendale White wants out but they have Chris Johnson anyway so I say see what his trade value is. It isn’t going to be much. Not unless before two a days he loses 35 pounds…Seriously. They did sign Linebacker Will Witherspoon from Philly. Does it seem to anyone else like those two teams trade players a lot? It does to me.
If they make sure that Peyton and Dallas Clark are happy, they’ll be in Super Bowl 45. They cut Jim Sorgi. Wow that guy was making 1.08 mil a year? Yeah, cut him twice if that’s the case. They cut Hank Baskett who was overrated as hell anyway. They signed OL Andy Alleman which is good because their line is starting to show its age.
The Texans were able to come to terms with WR Kevin Walter and punter Matt Turk. They lose Dunta Robinson which hurts. A lot. They get OG Wade Smith which means more protection for Matt Schaub, which he is going to need a lot more of. They missed out on getting Leigh Bodden who was able to get back on the same page with New England. Fun fact: The Texans were third in money spent during free agency in 2009. Wouldn’t have guessed that.
I think Jacksonville definitely needs to sell some tickets before anything else. I’m sorry, but unless one of your relatives works in the marketing department for them, they really aren’t good at what they do. I bag on the Jags a lot because while other newer franchises have made big moves, they have not. They let Fred Taylor skedaddle to New England. They have MJD but you KNOW that guy wants to play for a contender and the second he’s a free agent he’s gone. I have heard rumblings about Tebow but I don’t actually believe that it will happen.
San Diego Chargers
They cut LaDanian Tomlinson early, which made me wonder if Darren Sproles was going to be the guy they were counting on to man that backfield. But then, they turned right around and let him explore his options. It seems clear to me that they are going to really put the team’s future into Phillip Rivers’ throwing arm. Which I have no problem with, but they do need a young running back. Rivers can’t be throwing the ball 70 times a game, and no quarterback should have to do that.
Kansas City Chiefs
Signed free agent WR Chris Chambers to a deal worth $15 million dollars over three years. They got Thomas Jones who was a great pickup but he won’t exactly have the same offensive line that he did in New York, so we’ll see what happens there. Other than that I don’t expect a lot out of the Chiefs for quite a while. They lose Sean Ryan to the Redskins. Not a lot of exciting stuff to discuss here.
Who will Al Davis take this year? Man what a bad situation. Uh, let’s see…they retain Bruce Gradkowski, and they are looking at Terrell Owens. I’m not going to go fishing for a lot of information on the Raiders. They cut Justin Fargas, Javon Walker, and Greg Ellis to free up cap space but if they are going to spend that money wisely, I don’t really see why they would do that. At this point if the Raiders drafted a panda, the only thing I would say would be “Man, I really feel sorry for that panda” It wouldn’t shock me one bit.
No offseason move that the Broncos make can be anywhere near as good as the Cutler/Orton trade. The Broncos are looking at Tony Pike who may have the chance to compete for the starting job if Orton continues to play poorly. They cut Andra Davis and I have no idea why. They want at least a first round pick for Brandon Marshall which is insane in this market when you consider Boldin’s deal with the Ravens. They cut Kenny Peterson, which I’m assuming they don’t have anything figured out when it comes to replacing him either. (Author’s note: three days after this was published the Broncos acquired Brady Quinn <no kidding> from the Browns for some guy I don’t even have to do research on)
I’d also like to state for the record that the reason I have the AFC West last in this column was because I was literally finished with 85% of it before I realized that I had forgotten a division. That should give you some idea how important that division is. My early Super Bowl pick says Colts over the Cowboys 34-28.
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