Tag:2011 NFL Free Agency
Posted on: August 2, 2011 2:33 pm

Zach Miller about to be 'back with the Raiders'?

Posted by Will Brinson

The Raiders made a splash by giving linebacker Kamerion Wimbley a five-year, $48 million deal on Monday, though when we wrote about the deal, we expressed some concern that it could end up costing the team the services of tight end Zach Miller, especially after their franchise-tag flip-flop.

Miller's been visiting the Seahawks (and therefore cranking up a little west-coast drama, as they currently employ ex-Raiders coach Tom Cable) but, according to Raiders radio guy Greg Papa, via the San Francisco Chronicle, the black-and-silver is about to bring their tight end back.

"Zach Miller will be back with the Raiders," Papa said, per Vittorio Tafur. "Al Davis didn't just give Kamerion Wimbley $29 million to lose Zach Miller to Tom Cable."

Papa also said that he expects an announcement to come on Tuesday.

Miller's easily the top free-agent tight end remaining on the open market, and landing him would be a coup for either Oakland or Seattle, both of whom could use an extra safety blanket for their shaky quarterbacks on the roster.

Raiders coach Hue Jackson, per our Raiders Rapid Reporter Eric Gilmore, noted as much on the radio Monday night.

"Zach was a Raider last year, we want him to be a Raider now," Jackson said. "That thing is going to come to a head here soon. It has to. I feel good about where we are and, hopefully, he'll get back to us, we'll get back to him, and we'll try to get something resolved."

Based on Papa's claim, that resolution could come sooner than Jackson might have expected.

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Posted on: August 1, 2011 11:39 pm

Braylon Edwards' latest run-in with John Law

Posted by Will Brinson

It hasn't been the best offseason for Braylon Edwards. Even though he recently managed to avoid jail time, he's been unable to find gainful employment from an NFL team (and awkwardly tweeted about the Jets not wanting him).

And now he's reportedly had another "incident," this time in a Birmingham, Alabama club. According to My Fox Detroit (via PFT.com) Edwards was allegedly at a bar on Sunday and two of his "entourage" were arrested for "roughing up some employees" late at night.

Robin Murdoch of the station also reports that Edwards' buddies got into an argument with employees that "eventually spilled into the kitchen" and that one worker was "sliced with a knife requiring 14 stitches." Murdoch also notes that "another was attacked with a fork."

Making matters (allegedly) worse is the fact that Edwards (allegedly) tweeted two statements -- "Damn. Get ya knuckles ready" and "Don't fight if. You don't know how" -- around the time of the incident.

Those tweets are no longer present on his timeline, but there is an odd message that Edwards left up on Twitter late on Monday night.

"Yo...Lost my phone last night someone sent tweets," Edwards tweeted. "Deleted them and changed my password. Sorry for the mishap hopefully never happens again!"

Read: he's claiming his Twitter account was hacked. (He also added "Friends & Fam if you need me DM or hit @NickBeam up he can reach me.") Of course, that's the oldest trick in the book, but it's not really possible to pinpoint anything on Braylon here, especially since the station reporting the news says he wasn't involved in the fight.

But it's still a "where there's smoke" matter, and it's hard to imagine anyone will be knocking down his door given the latest incident.

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Posted on: August 1, 2011 8:14 pm

Kamerion Wimbley lands $48M deal from Raiders

Posted by Will Brinson

Kamerion Wimbley was franchise-tagged by the Raiders before the lockout. But, it was only after the Raiders decided to franchise tag tight end Zach Miller, rescinded it, and then hit up Wimbley.

Given that Wimbley cost more than $10 million for just 2011 under that tag, this seemed like a weird move. Whatever, it won't matter because the Raiders have reportedly signed Wimbley to a five-year deal worth $48 million that also contains $29 million in guaranteed money, according to Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network.

Yes, that's a chunk of change, but the Raiders were bumped up on the salary cap and needed to loosen up some money -- restructuring Wimbley's deal does just that.

Wimbley will turn 28 in October, and he posted nine sacks last year, giving him 35 on his career. So, the deal's not bananas crazy or anything (unless you want to compare it to Nnamdi Asomugha, a former Raider, and what he got on the open market anyway!).

My beef with this whole shebang stems more with the fact that a) there's more value to the money spent on someone like Miller and his relative franchise-tag number, b) they could have signed Wimbley to this deal before the lockout and also tagged Miller, c) they probably could have done so without giving Wimbley as much leverage by telling him he's worth north of $10 million a year, and d) the whole Wimbley saga got started because someone in the Raiders' front office forgot how to do math.

Therefore, it seems only fair to criticize the deal a bit.

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 6:29 pm

Benson re-signs with Bengals

BensonPosted by Josh Katzowitz

With RB Cedric Benson looking for a big payday, the Bengals instead had most of the leverage after Benson was arrested yet again for alleged assault. And instead of his long-term contract, the Bengals offered him a one-year deal that was accepted today.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Joe Reedy, the deal is worth $3 million with incentives that could push the worth up to $5 million.

But after his latest arrest -- at some point, he’s going to have to serve a suspension, right? -- his value dropped. In fact, the Bengals reportedly were looking at other RBs, including Ahmad Bradshaw. But it was expected the Bengals would sign Benson anyway.

Said Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis: “I’m happy to have Ced back.”

And Benson, I imagine, is happy to have a job again.

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 2:18 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2011 4:30 pm

Heap to Arizona will help Kolb, Fitzgerald

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

HeapThe Cardinals haven’t been a big “throw it to the TE” squad lately, but after the team announced it had signed Ravens castoff Todd Heap to the mix, that most likely will change.

Heap, cut by Baltimore last week, inked a two-year deal, and though he’s the sixth TE in camp for Arizona, he immediately moves to the top of the depth chart.

Apparently, Heap -- who caught 40 passes for 599 yards and five touchdowns last season -- was visiting the Jets when he decided to take the offer from his hometown team. According to Ravens Insider Aaron Wilson, the contract is worth between $5 million and $6 million, and he immediately becomes a big-name target for new QB Kevin Kolb while helping alleviate some pressure off No. 1 WR Larry Fitzgerald.

It's a homecoming of sorts for Heap, who played in college at Arizona State and is from the Phoenix area.

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 1:32 pm

Vonta Leach signs deal; Rice tweets happily

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

FB Vonta Leach, regarded by many as the best lead blocker in the game, has signed a three-year deal worth $11 million with the Ravens, eschewing the Texans in the process, and making Baltimore RB Ray Rice a happy man.

That’s according to the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain, who reports that the Texans wanted to keep Leach but weren’t willing to put out as much money as the Ravens.

Combined with the re-signing of OL Marshal Yanda, the addition of Leach should help a Ravens running game that slipped to 14th last season (it was No. 5 in 2009 and No. 4 in 2008).

Almost immediately after the news, Rice sent a tweet to Leach that read, “Let the fun begin.”

The rest of the AFC North might beg to differ.

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 10:54 am
Edited on: July 31, 2011 4:15 pm

Report: Bears, Kreutz only $500K apart

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Bears and free agent C Olin Kreutz still haven’t come to an agreement on a new contract, and apparently, the two sides are only $500,000 apart.

That’s the word from the Chicago Tribune, which writes that the Bears have offered Kreutz a one-year deal worth $4 million while Kreutz is seeking $4.5 million.

KreutzDoesn’t sound like a big difference, does it? Especially when you consider Kreutz is a long-time emotional leader on the team and word is that real damage could be done to the team’s psyche if Chicago doesn’t retain his services (not to mention that G Roberto Garza -- who has one career start at center -- might have to slide over if Kreutz doesn’t return).

The paper reports that the Bears initially offered a one-year, $3 million deal while Kreutz’s agent countered with $5 million. Chicago apparently refuses to go above the $4 million mark, and because of that, writer Brad Biggs wonders if there’s a divide between the coaching staff and the front office (the assumption here being that coach Lovie Smith would give Kreutz the extra $500,000).

One team source called the situation a “ticking time bomb,” which certainly doesn’t sound like a positive development. Particularly when, according to Biggs, there were at least six botched snaps at Saturday’s practice.

UPDATED (4:13 p.m. ET): It's been reported that the Bears have signed former Seahawks C Chris Spencer. This means Kreutz is done in Chicago.

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 10:01 am

Burress finds new home with NYJ

BurressPosted by Josh Katzowitz

He spent most of the day Saturday at Steelers camp, eating breakfast with coach Mike Tomlin and meeting with the front office, and by the end of it, free agent WR Plaxico Burress seemed to have a real shot at landing a spot with his old team.

Instead, as CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman writes Sunday morning, Burress has a new destination in mind -- the New York Jets.

Freeman writes Burress has accepted a one-year deal with the Jets -- it’s worth, according to ESPN, $3.017 million -- even though he had flown west to meet with the 49ers.

Burress told the Newark Star Ledger on Saturday that he had been invited to visit the Jets but that he wasn’t sure he would make it. Instead, it appears he accepted the job without going for an interview.

“I know they have a good team and everybody knows Rex (Ryan), so …” Burress told the Star-Ledger on Saturday, before making his decision. “I think (Ryan) is great. He stands behind his players, I think his players have a lot of respect for him and they play hard for him. … He’s a great coach, great personality. He seems like he’s always upbeat.”

Burress -- fresh off his 19-month prison stint -- gives the Jets another big-name WR signing after they rewarded Santonio Holmes with a five-year, $50 million deal earlier this week. While it seems unlikely that Burress will be good enough to become a star again, he could fill Braylon Edwards’ old role as the No. 2 receiver.

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