NFL Free Agent Market Open

The NFL’s free agent market is open for business.  Rumors, news and speculation has been rolling in for weeks and we now are finally ready for some solid movement.

As signings/trades are reported check back for the “Sports with Balls” crews thoughts on the moves.

5/12 WR Randy Moss – (Titans) 49ers – 1-year/$2.5 million, with another $1.5 million possible through incentives.

– After a year of retirement, Moss makes his return to the NFL.  His workouts reportedly went out well.  The Niners take a shot that he has the desire/physical ability to still play.

5/13 WR Marques Colston – (Saints) Saints – 5-years/$40 million

– Coltson has surpassed the 1000 yard mark in receiving yard 5/6 seasons.  The Saints resign one of Drew Brees weapons for the next 5-years.  Time to turn the attention to the QB.

5/13 WR Brandon Marshall – (Dolphins) Bears – Traded for two 3rd round picks.

– Marshall caught 81 passes for 1214 yards from Chad Henne & Matt Moore. The Bears look to add production to an offense in serious need of pass catchers.

5/13 WR Pierre Garcon – (Colts) Redskins –  agreed to terms.

– Garcon adds some younger depth to an aging wide-out crew in Washington. He is a solid number to receiver who may have to play the role of a number one.

5/13 QB Jason Campbell – (Raiders) Bears – 1-year/undisclosed.

– An instant upgrade over Caleb Haine. Campbell has taken flack in his career as a starter but he certainly has the talent to fill in for several games in needed.

5/13 WR Vincent Jackson – (Chargers) Buccaneers – 5-years/$55.555 million.

– The Bucs hand big money to burn and they tossed a ton Jackson’s way. $24 million guaranteed to a very good receiver who career high in receptions is 68.

5/13 CB Cortland Finnegan – (Titans) Rams – 5-years/$50 million.

– The Rams had a major need at corner and they got the best guy available in Finnegan. Rams are a team on the rise with plenty of picks to build for the future.

5/13 WR Reggie Wayne – (Colts) Colts – 3-years/$17.5 million.

– Wayne may no longer be a pro bowl caliber receiver but he still put up solid numbers considering Curtis Painter threw him passes for half a season.  Wayne will feel like he is on a new roster in 2012.

5/14 WR Robert Meachem – (Saints) Chargers – 4-years/$25.9 million.

– Meachem locked up a solid deal considering he has only recorded 141 receptions in his four year career.  He is seen as a potential #1 wide out at much lower price tag then the departed Vincent Jackson.

5/14 OG Carl Nicks – (Saints) Buccaneers – 5-years/$47.5 million.

– The Bucs continue to spend on premiere talent. Nicks topped Logan Mankins as the highest-paid guard in both annual pay and up-front money ($31 million guaranteed). At 26-years old he is one of the best guards in the game.

5/14 WR Calvin Johnson – (Lions) Lions – 7-years/$132 million.

– The Lions lock up Johnson through 2019.  He will be a strong presence in the NFC North on an ascending team.

5/14 TE John Carlson – (Seahawks) Vikings – 5-years/$25 million.

– Carlson missed the entire 2011 season and had only 31 catches in 2010.  Seems like a bizarre signing for the Vikes.

5/14 QB Kyle Orton – (Chiefs) Cowboys 3-years/undisclosed.

– Orton is an upgrade over the retiring Jon Kitna.  He provides solid insurance behind Tony Romo.

5/14 LB Jarret Johnson – (Ravens) Chargers – 4-years/undisclosed.

– The Chargers add one of the more effective linebackers in the league at stopping the run.

5/14 CB Brandon Carr – (Chiefs) Cowboys – 5-years/ $50.1 million.

– Carr ranked #8 on Pro Football talks top free agents.  He beat out Cortland Finnegan’s deal by 100k.

5/14 WR DeSean Jackson – (Eagles) Eagles – 5-years/ $51 million.

– Following a sub par 2011 season Jackson was designated with the franchise tag. With receivers being locked up to absurd contracts (Thank You Redskins!) the Eagles take a shot with one of the more explosive players in the NFL.

5/14 WR Laurent Robinson – (Cowboys) Jaguars – 5-years/$32.5 million.

– Robinson became a go to guy for Tony Romo is 2011 putting up career numbers including 11 receiving touchdowns.

5/14 RB Peyton Hillis – (Browns) Chiefs – 1-year/$3 million.

– The Madden curse struck in full force as Hillis’ career took a nose five following a sensational 2010 campaign.

5/14 QB Chad Henne – (Dolphins) Jaguars – 3-years/undisclosed.

– Henne will be brought in to backup Blaine Gabbert but should find his way into a starting role at some point in 2012.

5/15 DE/OLB Mario Williams (Texans) Bills – 6-years/$100 million.

– The Bills land the premier defensive prize of free agency.  Williams will be a disruptive force again offensive units in the AFC East for the next several years.  Look for the beginnings of good things in Buffalo.

5/15 DB Brandon Meriweather (Bears) Redskins – 2-years/$6 million.
– Seems like a perfect fit for Washington.  Semi-big name player with declining skills. Meriweather is a 2-time pro-bowlers who feel out of favor in New England & Chicago.  There shouldn’t be high expectations that he will change that trend.

5/17 DL Kendall Langford (Dolphins) Rams – 4-years/$24 million.

– The Rams grab themselves a good versatile linemen who should be able to grown with an up and coming team.

5/17 LG Evan Mathis (Eagles) Eagles – 5-years/$25 million.

– Mathis was signed to serve in backup duty but ended up having a strong season. He graded out as the league’s number one guard by Pro Football Focus.

5/17 QB Brady Quinn (Broncos) Chiefs – 1-year/undisclosed.

– The former first round choice of the Browns will continue the fight to keep his career going.  Though Quinn never developed into a star he is a serious upgrade over Tyler Palko.

5/17 T Eric Winston (Texans) Chiefs – 4-years/$22 million.

– The surprise cut had plenty of suitors on the open market.  He will be able to help immediately and help strengthen the Kansas City line.

5/17 WR Brandon Lloyd (Rams) Patriots – 3-years/$12 million.

– Lloyd isn’t necessarily the deep threat the Patriots need but he does provide some very good depth and another weapon for Tom Brady. Lloyd has had an up and down career but his best days came when paired with Josh McDaniels in Denver & St. Louis.

5/18 WR Mario Manningham (Giants) 49ers – 2-years/undisclosed.

– Manningham’s numbers took a dip in 2011 as the number three option for Eli Manning but his catch on the Giants final drive of Super Bowl XLVI helped his stock rise again.

5/18 QB Matt Flynn (Packers) Seahawks – 3-years/$26 million.

– Flynn gets $10 million guaranteed and his first crack at a starting job.  He has performed well in limited action over his first 4 years though he was part of a good system with excellent weapons.

5/19 RB Mike Tolbert (Chargers) Panthers – 4 years/undisclosed.

– Tolbert scored 21 touchdowns in 2010-11 in San Diego.  He is a serious weapon in the red zone and his addition may mark the end of the Jonathan Stewart era in Carolina.

5/19 WR Donte Stallworth (Redskins) Patriots – 1 year/undisclosed.

– Stallworth adds a little depth.  He isn’t guaranteed to make the team out of the preseason. But the Patriots are 16-0 in regular season games when Stallworth is on the active roster.

5/19 SS LaRon Landry (Redskins) Jets – 1 year/ $4 million.

– The Jets take a shot on Landry who is attempting a comeback following an Achilles injury. Its a solid low risk addition.

5/19 QB David Garrard (Jaguars) Dolphins – 1 year/ undisclosed.

– Garrard gets a non-guaranteed contract. The Dolphins lock up Garrard after missing out on Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn and likely Alex Smith.

5/20 DL Kamerion Wimbley (Raiders) Titans – 5-years/$35 million.

– The Titans missed out on a chance to acquire Mario Williams during their failed pursuit Peyton Manning.  Wimbley is no Mario Williams but he represents a solid addition to a defensive line in a serious need of help.

5/20 QB Peyton Manning (Colts) Broncos – 5-years/$96 million.

– John Elway successfully landed the biggest free agent in NFL history.  Manning missed the entire 2011 season, health pending he catapults the Broncos among the elite teams in the NFL.

5/20 LB DeMeco Ryans – (Texans) Eagles – Traded for a 4th round draft pick.

– The shocker of the off-season, because the Eagles finally filled a need in obtaining a potentially pro bowl caliber linebacker.

5/20 QB Alex Smith – (49ers) 49ers – 3 years/ $12 million.

– Smith was one of the surprise players in 2011 as he flourished under Jim Harbaugh. The 49ers have provided him with a few more weapons so expect his numbers to rise in 2012.

5/21 QB Tim Tebow – (Broncos) Jets – Traded with a 7th round pick for a 4th & 6th round draft pick.

– The Jets jumped on the opportunity to grab a little buzz back from the world champion Giants by acquiring one of the most polarizing athletes in modern day sports.

5/21 DL Mark Anderson – (Patriots) Bills – 4 years/ $27.5 million.

– Anderson had a big year in New England (12.5 sacks) in a part time role. He cashes in with $8 million in guaranteed money from Buffalo who continues to build a strong defensive line.

5/21 RB BenJarvis Green-Ellis – (Patriots) Bengals – 3 years/ undisclosed.

– The Law Firm found the end zone 24 times over the past 2-years in New England including 1,000+ yards in 2010. Green-Ellis doesn’t have great speed but he makes up for it with great vision and ball control skills.

5/22 RB Michael Bush – (Raiders) Bears – 4 years/ $14 million.

– Bush get plenty of carries in 2011 due to the nagging injuries to Darren McFadden (256-977, 7 td’s). This should mark the end of the Marion Barber era in Chicago and also serves as insurance should Matt Forte decide to hold out.

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