After months of bickering and crying about billions of dollars, the NFL finally opened for business the last week of July. That made for a fast and furious period of cuts, signings and trades. Adam Schefter had a free agent tracker implanted in his brain after drinking a Red Bull at ESPN HQ. John Clayton hasn’t slept in weeks. Things are nuts and names are flying around at a rapid pace.
Today we take a look at many of the names you are familiar with and, of course in BC style, some names that aren’t getting publicity. You won’t hear ESPN discussing the Gayest Name Free Agent To Sign a deal, but we will give Dan Gay some credit.
2011 Free Agents:
WTF Kinda Name Is That Free Agent To Sign Contract: C.J. Ah You, DT, St. Louis
Free Agent With Most NFL Years Experience To Sign: Brunell, 18 years
Punter With Most NFL Years Experience To Sign: Punter Matt Turk, 16, Jacksonville
Free Agent Who Won’t Make It To End Of Season: Matt Hasselbeck, Tennessee
Of Course He’s Beyond Washed Up Free Agent: Jason Taylor, Miami
Porkiest Free Agent To Sign Contract: Max Jean-Gillis, Guard, 358-lbs., Cincinnati!
New England Patriots Sleeper Free Agent Of The Year: Sammy Morris
Gayest Free Agent Name To Sign Contract: Dan Gay, T, New Orleans; William Gay, Steelers
Matt Hasselbeck, Tennessee Titans
Hasselbeck may be old, but he’s apparently still good enough for the Tennessee Titans, who cut Vince Young and lost Kerry Collins to retirement. The 35-year-old signal caller hasn’t done much since having a career year in 2007. In fact, most people would say he was below average in 2010, when he threw for 3,001 yards with 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. In Tennessee, Hasselbeck will be expected to hold down the fort until rookie first-round pick Jake Locker is field-ready. Does anyone else see this as another Jake Delhomme-to-the Browns move?
Kevin Kolb, Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals gave up a king’s ransom for Michael Vick’s backup. They traded former Pro Bowl cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick for Kolb, but they needed him. The Cardinals were 31st in the NFL in passing offense and their quarterbacks were a combined 285-for-581 for 2,921 yards, 10 touchdowns and 19 interceptions in 2010. Those numbers are the opposite of pretty. With Kolb, they should contend for the NFC West crown.
Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins
The man formerly known as the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner was traded from New Orleans to the Dolphins for peanuts because the Saints didn’t want to pay his $11.8 million salary. Bush has a new, two-year deal with the Dolphins and a chance to be the featured back in Miami. Last year’s Miami running back tandem of Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown won’t be back.
Donovan McNabb, Minnesota Vikings
After one failed season in Washington, McNabb was dealt to the Minnesota Vikings for a sixth-round pick and a bag of chips. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. In Minnesota, the former Eagle will take over for another old quarterback – Brett Favre. He’ll also try to keep the Vikings relevant in what looks like a stacked NFC North, while rookie first-round pick Christian Ponder figures things out. That means this is probably McNabb’s final season as a starter.
Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks
He was injured for most of 2010, but Rice was largely considered the Vikings best receiver after breaking out for 83 catches and 1,312 yards in 2009. The Vikings reportedly tried keep him, but Rice bolted town the first opportunity he got, signing a five-year, $41 million deal with the Seattle Seahawks. Rumor has it, he even booked and paid for his own flight to Seattle, which is unheard of in the world of NFL free agency. Now that’s a man on a mission. Unfortunately, Rice will have former Minnesota teammate Tarvaris Jackson throwing him the ball in Seattle, so this may be the last time you hear his name.
Albert Haynesworth, New England Patriots
You remember when Albert Haynesworth was one of the most dominant defensive tackles in the game, don’t you? It was only three years ago he had 51 tackles and 8.5 sacks for the Titans. Then the Redskins jumped in and, like they usually do, ruined everything, overpaying Haynesworth to the tune of seven years and $100 million. Haynesworth became a fat, useless P.O.S. in Washington, posting 53 tackles and 6.5 sacks in two seasons with the team. Enter the Patriots, who just gave the Redskins a fifth-round pick for a guy who can be a game-changer if he wants to be. If anyone can fix this reclamation project, it’s Belichick.
Vince Young, Philadelphia Eagles
No one really wanted Vince Young as a starting quarterback after the Titans released him, so he decided to take the Michael Vick route. Ironically, he’ll be Vick’s backup in Philadelphia this season. Unfortunately for the Eagles, Young is no Michael Vick and he’s probably going to see the field at some point. Vick has only played all 16 games once in his career. Even though he’s not the starter, Young is talking big. He’s called this year’s Eagles a dream team.
Plaxico Burress, New York Jets
Ladies and gentlemen, straight from Oneida Correctional Facility, Plaxico Burress! That’s right, the guy who shot himself in the leg in a club is back from his two-year stint in the clink. It’s unclear what he has left at 33 years old with two years of rust built up, but the New York Jets were willing to find out. Burress looks like a good candidate to start opposite Santonio Holmes. The Jets gave Burress a one-year deal instead of re-signing Braylon Edwards.
Nnamdi Asomugha, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles landed the biggest prize of free agency when they signed Asomugha to a five-year $60 million deal. The former Raider is widely considered the second-best cornerback in the NFL, behind the Jets Darrelle Revis, and he shores up one of Philadelphia’s weakest areas. The signing sent a message to the rest of the NFC, as well. The Eagles are Super Bowl or bust this season and they plan on matching elite passing teams like the Green Bay Packers strength on strength.
Cedric Benson, Cincinnati Bengals
Ced nearly killed his old roomy in an Austin street brawl a couple weeks ago, but that didn’t deter the Bengals from re-signing their road grader.
Brad Smith, Buffalo Bills
The guy went from being a triple threat for the Jets to a ‘Why did he go there,’ guy in Buffalo. Athletes have a short period of time to sign the biggest contract of their lives. Brad just got paid and better get used to losing.
Matt Leinart, Houston Texans
Yet another year of holding a play chart. Paying child support must suck big Texan bull balls.
Mark Brunell, NY Jets
You might remember how Brunell lost a fortune in the economic downturn. He’s broke and has to keep standing on sidelines to repay banks and hope like hell his football pension gets him through life. It’s not like he can play. He can barely get off the couch.