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Tag:Will Brinson
Posted on: July 28, 2011 1:17 pm
 

Bears sign Matt Spaeth, put Greg Olsen on block

Posted by Will Brinson

Everyone knows that Mike Martz' offense doesn't really benefit tight ends all that much, but there's still some pretty surprising news coming out of Chicago on Thursday that involves the shifting of bodies on the depth chart.

First, there's the news that the Bears are shopping Olsen to anyone that might be interested. And they don't even want that much! At least that's according to his agent Drew Rosenhaus, who penned an note to all the other NFL teams on Wednesday night.

"The Bears have granted me permission to seek a trade for Greg Olsen," Rosenhaus wrote in an email obtained by the Chicago Tribune. "Please let me know if interested.

"Sounds like the Bears will be very reasonable on the compensation in return for Greg."

However, Rosenhaus backtracked about 15 minutes later, writing, "Please disregard my previous email regarding Greg Olsen."

That's a nice sentiment and all, but as Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, "Know this: the Bears are indeed shopping Olsen."

Want more proof? The Bears signed Steelers tight end Matt Spaeth on Thursday too, per Michael Lombardi of the NFL Network. Spaeth is a much better blocker and a bigger benefit to the Bears in the running game than Olsen, even if he's not even close to the receiving weapon that Olsen presents.

So where to for Olsen? Well, how about the Panthers who just so happen to employ Rod Chudzinksi as an offensive coordinator, who just so happens to have worked with Olsen in college at Miami and who just so happens to have had some success with tight ends in the past. (You may have heard of Antonio Gates.)

Jensen noted, in fact, that an NFC exec believes the Panthers would be "a good fit" but also reports that the Bears "will not just give Greg Olsen away to the highest bidder."

There's also the matter of Olsen not sounding too thrilled at the prospect -- NBC Chicago's Peggy Kusinski cites a "source close to" Olsen who says the tight end is "not happy at all [with the] trade talk" because he "wants to play his entire career in Chicago."

Unfortunately for Olsen, that may not be an option the way things are unfolding.

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 10:22 am
Edited on: July 28, 2011 10:22 am
 

Braylon Edwards tweets that Jets don't want him

Posted by Will Brinson

The Jets haven't shied away from making aggressive plays in free agency thus far. They signed Santonio Holmes on Wednesday morning to the tune of $50 million over five years and are reportedly going hard after Nnamdi Asomugha as well.

Unfortunately, they don't seem to interested in wide receiver Braylon Edwards. At least that's according to Braylon himself anyway.

"I would love to be a Jet but the feeling doesn’t seem to be mutual with the management," Edwards wrote in a tweet Wednesday.

Edwards has since deleted the tweet (you could argue it's harmless, but, yeah, probably not the smartest move) and later added that he "Will always love jets nation no matter what happens."

Braylon then brought a little humor to his Twitter account ([sic]'s may apply):

"On another note whatever team wants B easy step to the fore front so we can get this thing moving forward. "will work for touchdowns" lol," Edwards tweeted.

The wideout also made some jokes about his trip to the courthouse on Wednesday and his avoiding a prison sentence for DUI.

Edwards was the 30th-ranked player on Pete Prisco's Top-50 free-agent list, but he's also now one of two unsigned wide receivers, along with the Giants' Steve Smith) on that list.

He'll certainly find a market somewhere, but it doesn't appear to be with Gang Green.

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 9:16 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 9:33 pm
 

Donovan McNabb trade to Vikings 'done'

Posted by Will Brinson

At various points on Tuesday and Wednesday, Donovan McNabb was as good as gone from Washington, borne out into the great midwest to mentor Christian Ponder with the Vikings, as first reported by CBSSports.com's own Mike Freeman.

But there was a little matter of McNabb agreeing to changing up his contract, since Minnesota obviously wasn't going to give him eight figures to do so.

That issue appears to have been cleared though, and the McNabb-to-Minny deal is "now official."

That's according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, who reported Wednesday that the deal is "done" and will be announced on Thursday.
Free Agent Frenzy

A league source has confirmed the report to Freeman as well.

There haven't been precise details of the trade released yet, but it stands to reason that, as we previously noted, the Redskins will still receive a pair of sixth-round picks in return for McNabb.

Given that near-sickening drop in value, it's hard to imagine that McNabb will be getting all that much money from the Vikings just to play the role of mentor. But then again, he's out of Washington so whatever he had to give up is probably worth it.

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 8:31 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 8:44 pm
 

Steve Breaston headed to Chiefs on five-year deal

Posted by Will Brinson

Wednesday was another day of bananas free agent rumors, signings and general insanity (reminder: follow everything in our updating Free Agency Experience and with our 2011 NFL Free Agency Tracker!), but there was a really fun little run on wide receivers late in the evening when Seattle went out and got themselves a downfield threat in Sidney Rice and Kansas City stepped out and grabbed a very good No. 2 in now-ex-Cardinal Steve Breaston.

Breaston, according to Sports Illustrated's Jim Trotter, is reuniting with old offensive coordinator Todd Haley with the Chiefs, and doing so with a five-year deal that guarantees him $9.5 million.

The last time Breaston and Haley were working together, 2008, the wideout piled up 1,006 yards and caught three touchdowns. (Since then, he's totaled 1,430 yards and four touchdowns in two seasons.)

Breaston's addition to the Chiefs roster gives them a non-rookie option (Jonathan Baldwin is there as well) to line up across from Dwayne Bowe, and should help equate to pretty strong offensive firepower from the defending AFC West champions.

Just for comparison's sake, Breaston's pretty good value too, when you consider that Rice netted $18.5 million guaranteed from Seattle, and the Jets coughed up $24 million guaranteed over five years for Santonio Holmes.

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 8:01 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 9:34 pm
 

Sidney Rice gets 5 years, $41M from Seahawks

Posted by Will Brinson

With the exception of Rex Ryan's crew making a big-time, big-money play for Santonio Holmes, the high-profile wideout market's been a little quiet. Not anymore -- according to a report, Sidney Rice has agreed to terms with the Seattle Seahawks and will be goin' out west on a five-year deal.

Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, who initially reported the news, did not provide immediate information on the financials of the deal.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reporte that Rice will receive $41 million over the course of the deal with $18.5 million guaranteed.

Free Agent Frenzy

One very interesting point: Rice is probably going to have to pass a physical before that deal is consummated. That's no surprise for any free agent, but most of the players we're discussing aren't coming off a year where they struggled with a hip injury.

Another interesting point: as we mentioned when discussing the recent signing of Tarvaris Jackson, the Seahawks were very much in the market for Rice thanks to the presence of Jackson and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, formerly of the Vikings.

The reunion might not necessarily guarantee on-field offensive success for the Seahawks, but Seattle's ability to put up points looks improved over 2010. And if they can land a franchise quarterback in 2012, they might actually have a nice little thing going on up there.

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 11:30 am
Edited on: July 27, 2011 11:51 am
 

2011 NFL Free Agency Experience, Day 3

Posted by Will Brinson

Free agency is ROLLING, folks, and so are we -- Day 3 of our 2011 NFL Free Agency Experience kicks off just like before.

We'll have live updates, chats, questions, pictures, rumors and -- maybe, just maybe -- some rants. Especially if the rumors about how much money Matt Hasselbeck is getting are true.

Dive in and don't forget to check out our 2011 NFL Free Agency Tracker.



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Posted on: July 27, 2011 10:47 am
Edited on: July 27, 2011 10:52 am
 

Santonio Holmes agrees to 5-year deal with Jets

Posted by Will Brinson

The wide-receiver dominos are beginning to fall -- Santonio Holmes agreed to terms on a five-year deal with the Jets, according to multiple reports.

Holmes was considered one of the priority for this offseason for the Jets, especially given that the Washington Redskins were rumored to be pursuing him as well.

[Related: 2011 NFL Free Agency Tracker]

However the Redskins made their own noise over the past two days in terms of wideouts, re-signing incumbent No. 1 Santana Moss and then inking Donte Stallworth on Wednesday.

Holmes was a critical addition to the Jets in 2010 and despite missing several games because of suspension, still posted big numbers.

The Jets decision to re-up on Holmes contract means it's unlikely that they'll re-sign Braylon Edwards. It also means that we could see a big run on free-agent wideouts in the near future as other free agents now see what the market Bears out and beginning heavier negotiations with other teams.

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Posted on: July 26, 2011 8:49 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 8:35 am
 

Assessing the NFL free agency and trade QB market

Posted by Will Brinson



We knew Tuesday's free-agency action wasn't going to be "calm." But man-oh-man did things heat up late, what with the Panthers dropping the equivalent of Charlotte's gross annual income on defensive end Charles Johnson, and the Redskins and Ravens making moves for their own free agents.

If anything, it showed that teams who have favorable relationships with their current players did get a bit of an advantage during this hectic offseason. But what about teams who need to find help -- specifically, quarterback help -- from the outside? Well, there's a market, but it's percolating more often than my coffee pot Tuesday.

So let's break down the values of the three biggest names out there, shall we?

Kevin Kolb
Kolb's the hottest target on the market, but is he the quarterback most guaranteed to succeed with a new team next year? Not necessarily, but it doesn't matter.

His value's done nothing but skyrocket since the lockout began, and it sure does seem like all the reports that he's locked into the Cardinals will come into fruition.

The Cardinals are reportedly keeping their options open -- Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reported on Tuesday that Arizona was talking with Denver about Kyle Orton as well as discussing the possibility of adding Marc Bulger and Matt Hasselbeck -- but the reality is they're not just trying to secure a quarterback for 2011.

They're also trying to secure a quarterback for the future and make sure they don't risk losing superstar wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald to the open market should he become disgruntled.

Lest you think that matters to the Cardinals, who were in the Super Bowl just a few years ago, wait until push comes to shove and the marketplace starts to bear itself out.

For now, Arizona's front office can pretend to play chicken with the Eagles in a deal for Kolb. Once things become a little clearer and quarterbacks begin aligning with various teams (see: Seattle jumping on the bandwagon that is Tarvaris Jackson) there won't be nearly enough leverage hanging out there for the Cardinals to lean on.

Potential Suitors
: Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins
Best Bet
: It's the Cards by a longshot now that the Seahawks are ruled out. Miami could come sprinting around the turn at the last minute, but at this point it would be a borderline surprise if Kolb wasn't traded to Arizona.

Kyle Orton
Orton's the de facto red herring for the Cards (see: above) apparently, but if you poll most folks, they'll probably at least agree he can be as productive in the right system as Kolb.

In fact, Orton's piled up more than 3,500 yards and 20 touchdowns each of the last two years. And get THIS: each of those years equated to a large total of both yardage and touchdowns than Kolb has in his entire career.

Yes I'm aware that Kolb's only started seven games in his four years in the league and, yes, I'm aware that he's had a rough go of things given that no one really saw Michael Vick usurping his would-be throne in Philly.

But none of that bad luck guarantees that he'll succeed any more than someone like Orton who has two clear-cut years of production in the right system.

My counting-stats rant aside, Kolb's still the top guy available, but there's definitely a market for Orton. And one spot that really makes sense is Miami, where the Dolphins have struggled since Dan Marino retired to find a suitable replacement under center.

Those struggles have manifested themselves in the continual wasting of second-round picks and -- lo and behold! -- that's exactly what everyone thinks Denver wants in return for Orton.

Rather than gambling on another rookie down the road, it seems reasonable that Miami could invest another second-rounder in Orton. Unless Stephen Ross is as obsessed with Vince Young as Bud Adams anyway.

Potential Suitors: Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals
Best Bet
: The Fins. Orton's a better bet than either Vince Young or Matt Moore and, again, it's "just" a second-rounder.


Donovan McNabb
:
Which brings us to this guy. Poor Donovan hasn't had the easiest year in the world -- he's been mortified by Mike Shanhan and the Redskins coaching staff on national television (seriously: wouldn't you rather get pansted in DuPont Circle than get yanked mid-game for Rex Grossman?) and basically been castoff into free-agent oblivion.

There's even been talk of retirement. But the talk today has circled primarily around the Vikings. Which -- of course -- is where McNabb was supposed to go all along.

There was no deal finalized on Tuesday and/or even agreed to, but it's looking like Minnesota will bring in McNabb to try and provide a stabilizing veteran presence on the roster.

Christian Ponder's obviously the future, and I agree with my life coach Pete Prisco that he's the best-suited rookie quarterback to succeed from Day 1.

But that doesn't mean rookie coach Leslie Frazier shouldn't have a backup option in place should he find out that Ponder's not ready quite yet.

Plus, the two teams play on Christmas Eve, man. And that's something that just has to happen in terms of potential revenge games that may or may not feature McNabb running over Ponder's foot the week of the game just to get the start.

For all of that to even happen, though, McNabb's going to need to agree to work out a significant change in his contract. But if it gets him out of purgatory Washington, it's worth the lost money.

Potential Suitors: Minnesota Vikings
Best Bet: Vikings. It just doesn't seem likely that the Titans or Dolphins will step up and trade for McNabb. If he's released by Washington, this could all change but for now the Vikings appear to be the clear-cut leader in the clubhouse when it comes to Donovan's services.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com