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Stay with Athlon as undrafted free agents, trades, and veteran free agents start moving
The NFL's offseason frenzy, where moves can be conducted at warp speed, has been kicked up to ludicrous speed, and Athlon will try its best to keep you informed with up-to-the-minute updates as moves get made. Keep this tab open and refresh it liberally as players and teams start reaching agreements.
Texans Continue Secondary Revamp With Bears Safety Manning
--After spending their entire existence being tormented by a Manning twice a year, the Houston Texans have agreed to terms with their own, adding safety/kick returner Danieal Manning (no relation), formerly of the Bears. Manning gives them a rangy center-field style free safety, and also a threat on kickoff returns. Since 2008, Manning has more kickoff returns of 40-plus yards than anyone in the NFL.
Jets Release Veteran QB Brunell
--As the Jets try to clear cap room for Nnamdi Asomugha, they have released three more players, including backup QB Mark Brunell. Brunell has passed for over 32,000 yards in his career. Mark Sanchez will miss him more than anyone.
Bears Add WR Williams
--Former Lions and Cowboys receiver Roy Williams has managed to land on his feet, agreeing to a deal with his former division rivals, the Chicago Bears. Williams gets another chance to play under offensive coordinator Mike Martz, with whom he had his two most productive seasons in Detroit. In the last four years, Williams has averaged 389 yards on 28 catches while missing 19 games.
Texans Agree Terms With CB Joseph, Back Out on Asomugha
--Cornerback Johnathan Joseph, the consensus No. 2 cover man in this year's free agent market, has reportedly agreed terms with the Houston Texans. The Texans were considered a leading suitor for top corner Nnamdi Asomugha, but this deal almost certainly takes them out of that market. Joseph may be even more productive than Asomugha, according to metrics from Football Outsiders. Joseph was targeted twice as many times over the past two seasons, but allowed almost a full yard less per attempt. Joseph also has 14 interceptions in the last four years.
Eagles Move Fast on QB Young
--Only a day after Vince Young received his official walking papers from the Tennessee Titans, he's made a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, according to the NFL Network's Albert Breer. Young will receive the opportunity to back up another scramble-happy QB in Michael Vick, while getting to throw to a better crew of receivers than he ever saw in Nashville. For the Eagles, replacing the more pocket-based Kevin Kolb with Young makes for fewer offensive changes in case of an injury to Vick.
Saints Quickly Replace Bush With Sproles
--The New Orleans Saints replaced one electric kick returner/backfield receiver with another by agreeing terms with former Charger Darren Sproles. Sproles' deal comes on the heels of the trade sending Reggie Bush to Miami. The deal for Sproles is a reported $14 million over four seasons, a substantial savings from the $12M that Bush was slated to make just this year. As a rookie, Sproles was a teammate of Saints QB Drew Brees in San Diego.
Kolb to Cardinals Finally Being Confirmed
--ESPN's John Clayton is getting some use out of his new Twitter account, reporting that the Kevin Kolb-to-Arizona trade is finally being confirmed. The price is apparently CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick. Kolb is also said to be signing an extension worth $63 million over five years with $20M guaranteed.
Redskins Shaft Cowboys in Signing DE Bowen
--The Washington Redskins threw a large amount of cash at DE Stephen Bowen, prying him away from the Dallas Cowboys for $27.5 million over five years. The large contract not only guarantees that the cap-straining Cowboys would have been unable to match the deal, but also sets a new, higher market on other potential targets such as ex-Packer Cullen Jenkins. Bowen has 72 tackles and 5.5 sacks over his five-year career.
Raiders Sign Bulk of Draft Class, Including New Wisniewski
--The Oakland Raiders are close to signing their entire draft class, with only third-round offensive tackle Joseph Barksdale yet to confirm. The class is led by second-round center Stefen Wisniewski, whose uncle Steve is a former Raider player and current assistant coach.
Bears Poach Jaguars Punter
--The Chicago Bears parted with longtime punter Brad Maynard earlier in the week and moved quickly to replace him, coming to terms with the Jaguars' Adam Podlesh. Podlesh's tweet about the deal may have contained a Ferris Bueller joke, but the Bears can only hope he doesn't rack up as much mileage for them as Cameron's dad's car.
Bengals Add Gradkowski as QB Insurance
--The Cincinnati Bengals have agreed to terms with veteran quarterback Bruce Gradkowski to aid in the development of rookie Andy Dalton. Gradkowski has experience in new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden's system from their days in Tampa Bay. He also served as a reasonable fill-in during the 2009 season with the Oakland Raiders.
49ers Sign Full Draft Class Before Camp Opens
--The San Francisco 49ers are puffing out their chests about getting all of their draft picks signed before the first day of training camp. Second-round QB Colin Kaepernick was the most important signing, primarily on a pure numbers basis. The team still plans to release veteran backup David Carr, and needs all the arms they can find during camp.
Colts Retain Safety Bullitt, Kicker Vinatieri
--Indianapolis radio station 1070 The Fan is reporting that the Colts have agreed to new terms with safety Melvin Bullitt, keeping him available to pair with Antoine Bethea. Also, ESPN's AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky tweeted that the Colts have locked up kicker Adam Vinatieri for three more seasons, citing his agent's office as the source.
Matt Leinart Stays in Houston
--Despite reports that he was seeking a starting opportunity and was set to rejoin his college coach Pete Carroll in Seattle, QB Matt Leinart has reportedly agreed to stay in Houston, according to the Chronicle's John McClain. Perhaps Seattle's frequent rain would infringe on Leinart's legendary hot-tub schedule.
Texans Keeping WR Jones
--According to the Houston Chronicle's John McClain, the Texans have agreed to a three-year, $10.5M deal with receiver Jacoby Jones. The deal carries $3.5M in guaranteed money. Jones is expected to return to his role as Houston's No. 3 receiver and kick returner.
Report: Dolphins Exploring Trade for Kyle Orton
--As speculated here, the Miami Dolphins are talking to the Denver Broncos about a trade involving Denver QB Kyle Orton. The Broncos are said to be asking for a "premium" pick. Reuniting Orton with receiver Brandon Marshall could have a very positive effect on the production of both. The Dolphins have had mixed results with former Purdue quarterbacks. Bob Griese helped the team to a perfect season and Super Bowl title in 1972, and they passed on Drew Brees in favor of Daunte Culpepper before the 2006 season.
Report: Kevin Kolb to be Cardinal by Week's End
--Sources are telling ESPN's Adam Schefter that a deal to send Kevin Kolb to the Arizona Cardinals could be finalized by the weekend. The deal is reported to involve Cards cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a draft pick in return for Kolb. Depending on how fantasy owners feel about Kolb, this could bump Larry Fitzgerald up a whole round or more in drafts.
Panthers Decide Not to Give Up On Season, Sign Charles Johnson to $76 Million Contract
--With $30 million in guaranteed money, the Carolina Panthers put their money where there mouth is by giving one of the top pass rushers in the game a giant contract. Rumors had both the Falcons and the Broncos (coached by Panthers ex coach John Fox) had contacted Johnson before he re-signed with Carolina.
McNabb Trade to Vikings Close To Being Done
--Donovan McNabb is almost a Viking. According to reports, the deal is done to send him from the Redskins to Minnesota is done in principle, with just the financial details left to work out. Nothing is finalized, but it looks like McNabb will be throwing to Percy Harvin's migraines this season. It also means Christian Ponder will have a season to figure out why he was drafted so high.
Jets Close To Re-Signing Wide Receiver Santonio Holmes
--The New York Jets have put a long-term offer in front of coveted wide receiver Santonio Holmes and it looks like they will have him under contract soon. Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum made Holmes his "top priority" and expect to sign the Supr Bowl MVP in the next 48 hours.
Titans RB and Top Fantasy Pick Chris Johnson Holding Out
--Tennessee's star running back has made it clear that he is not reporting to camp until he gets a new contract. Pardon me while I slip a little fantasy advice in here, but new QB + new coach + hold out = do not draft. He may have a good year, but he will not be worth the #1 or #2 pick overall.
Seahawks Announce First Batch of Rookie Free Agents
--The Seahawks are the first to put out their list of undrafted free-agent signings. Here are some of the bigger names involved:
Complete list can be found here, with NFLDraftScout comments on Allen and Lockette. (7/26/11, 4:10 PM CT)
Seahawks Reach Agreement With Mystery QB
--Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times is reporting that the Seahawks have come to terms with a quarterback and are officially bidding farewell to Matt Hasselbeck. The Titans and 49ers are rumored to be the main bidders for Hasselbeck, while Pro Football Talk is guessing that Tarvaris Jackson is the new Seahawk. (7/26/11, 3:24 PM CT)
Logan Mankins Not Repeating Holdout
--ESPN Boston reports that Patriots guard Logan Mankins will sign his franchise tender and report to camp on time rather than reprise last season, in which he held out for the first half. (7/26/11, 3:00 PM)
Giants Trimming Offensive Line
--It's a bad day to be an offensive lineman in the NFC East. ESPN New York reports that the Giants have released center Shaun O'Hara and guard Rich Seubert. (7/26/11, 3:00 PM CT)
DeAngelo Williams Staging Bidding War?
--According to Fox Sports Radio's Peter Burns, RB DeAngelo Williams is putting out the notion that he wants to retire a Panther as a way to drive up the bids of both Carolina and Denver. (7/26/11, 2:40 PM CT)
Cowboys Releasing RB Marion Barber, Too
--Add Marion Barber to the list of heads that are rolling in Dallas. When the Cowboys drafted DeMarco Murray to pair with Felix Jones and Tashard Choice, the writing may have been on the wall for Barber.
Cowboys to Release WR Roy Williams
The Eagles Want A Future First Round Pick From Seahawks For Kolb
-- The Philadelphia Eagles don't seem to be interested in any of the Seahawks players, so they are demanding a minimum of a future first round draft pick in return for Kolb. Which the Seahawks don't seem to want to pony up, for reasons unknown (isn't Kolb worth a first-rounder since he's proved he can at least play a little bit?). Arizona still seems like the most likely spot for Kolb to end up. (7/26/11, 1:25pm CT)
Bengals Owner: Carson Palmer is Retired
--According to Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Bengals owner Mike Brown considers his longtime quarterback "retired." Of course, he's also got a parting shot to throw in there as well. So, if your team was banking on trying to make a Palmer deal, it might be time to bark up some other tree. (7/26/11, 1:00 PM CT)
Ravens Release Four Veterans; Making Way For Asomugha?
--The Baltimore Ravens released four veterans -- Willis McGahee, Todd Heap, Kelly Gregg and Derrick Mason -- in a move that cleared a ton of cap space. The questions is: Will they attempt to re-sign some of these players for lesser salaries, or does this mean they are clearing some space to go after the #1 most-coveted free agent Nnamdi Asomugha? (7/26/11, 12:30pm CT)
Pat Devlin, QB, Delaware: Signed with Miami Dolphins
Devlin followed a similar winding path to his Delaware predecessor Joe Flacco, except for the whole first-round pick part. Devlin reportedly turned down the Cardinals, where he would compete with John Skelton and Max Hall, for the Dolphins, where he hopes to compete with Chad Henne. (7/26/11, 12:26 PM CT)
Rumor: Cowboys cutting O-linemen Leonard Davis, Marc Colombo
Guard Leonard Davis has reportedly been told that he is not invited to training camp, according to ESPNDallas.com. Word on tackle Marc Colombo is not quite so definite, but he does sound resigned to being unemployed by week's end. The Cowboys have also parted ways with kicker Kris Brown. (7/26/11, 12:18 PM CT)
Rumor: Tennessee Titans looking hard at Matt Hasselbeck
--The Titans don't have a dependable quarterback, and with the shortened training camp, they know that first round pick Jake Locker will probably not be ready to be thrown into the starting role right now. It looks like they are making a push to make Hasselbeck their QB this year. (7/26/11, 12:11pm CT)
--It was clear this would be the end of the road in GB for Barnett when the Packers re-signed A.J. Hawk and Desmond Bishop. Barnett has been a star for the Packers for a long time. This marks the end of an era for one of Green Bay's veterans. (7/26/11, 12:02 CT)
Dane Sanzenbacher, WR, Ohio State: Signed with the Chicago Bears
--Sanzenbacher actually took less money because he wanted to play in Mike Martz's offense. He was pursued by 25 of the 32 NFL teams and could find a starting spot in the Bears weak WR corps. (7/26/11, 11:58 CT)
Zane Taylor, C/G, Utah: Signed with the New York Jets
--Zane took an undrafted free agent deal with the Jets. No word yet on the numbers of that deal. (7/26/11, 11:52 AM CT)
Josh Portis, QB, California (Pa.): Signed with Seattle Seahawks
--Portis is a travelin' man, starting out at Florida, then going to Maryland, and finally dropping down to Division II. According to Seattle Times writer Danny O'Neil, he's now headed to the other end of the country. (7/26/11, 11:06 AM CT)
--Pugh tweeted that he's on his way, and it's widely reported that Adams is joining him. With these two and OT Lee Ziemba in camp, new franchise QB Cam Newton has a serious comfort zone. (7/26/11, 11:00 AM CT)
Kendric Burney, CB, North Carolina: Signed with Carolina Panthers
--Burney's not going far, according to his Twitter account. (7/26/11, 10:52 AM CT)
Isa Abdul-El Quddus, SS, Fordham: Signed with New Orleans Saints
Mark Herzlich, LB, Boston College: Signed with New York Giants
--Herzlich tweeted it himself that he's decided to become a Giant. He'll be a story to watch as he continues his comeback from Ewing's sarcoma, a form of bone cancer. (7/26/11, 10:32 AM CT)