Tag:2011 NFL Free Agency
Posted on: July 27, 2011 9:44 am
 

Report: Titans set to cut Vince Young

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Though this won’t come as a surprise to just about everybody who follows the NFL -- you know, because of Matt Hasselbeck signing -- the Titans will waive QB Vince Young on Thursday. That’s according to TitanInsider.com’s Terry McCormick.

As CBSSports.com’s Ryan Wilson pointed out the other day, the Titans have to cut Young as soon as possible so they don’t have to pay him his $4.25 million roster bonus.

And now we wonder where Young will be headed.

Not Seattle and, obviously, not Tennessee. Probably not Minnesota, considering that’s probably where Donovan McNabb is headed. Where does that leave him? Miami or Arizona, perhaps? Maybe Washington?

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 8:22 am
Edited on: July 27, 2011 12:57 pm
 

Hasselbeck to sign three-year deal with Titans

HasselbeckPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Free agent QB Matt Hasselbeck has a new home, and new Titans coach Mike Munchak has a new signal-caller.

Per CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman, the 35-year-old Hasselbeck will sign a multi-year deal with the Titans worth a reported $21 million over three years. That means the SeahawksHasselbeck’s former employer who signed Tarvaris Jackson on Tuesday – are officially done with him, and that means Vince Young is out in Tennessee.

It’s also tremendous news for rookie QB Jake Locker. With the retirement of Kerry Collins, Locker was looking at starting in Tennessee with no veteran leadership around him to let him learn.

Now, Hasselbeck probably will take the first-team snaps while Locker gets to learn what it’s like to be an NFL quarterback.

Hasselbeck's new destination
Hasselbeck also will be a good team guy, considering he helped lead the offseason Seahawks workouts, despite knowing there was a good chance he wouldn’t be back in Seattle.

In fact, Freeman thinks Tennessee made such a good move that the Titans are heading for the playoffs. While that’s still going to be a tough bet with the Colts still in the AFC South, it’s an interesting thought. Chances are, unlike last year when Hasselbeck led the 7-9 Seahawks to the postseason, Tennessee actually will have to own a winning record to make the playoffs.

Now, the next step for Tennessee: making sure RB Chris Johnson doesn’t hold out in hopes of getting more money from the Titans.

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 12:28 am
 

Report: Cowboys give big contract to Doug Free

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

For the Cowboys, it seems like the starting offensive line is falling into place quite nicely.

After telling RT Marc Colombo the club would be cutting him, Dallas shored up the tackle position Tuesday night by, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports, agreeing to terms with Doug Free on a contract worth four years and $32 million ($17 million of that is guaranteed).

As CBSSports.com’s Andy Benoit told you after the draft, the plan for Dallas was to get rid of the “slow-footed” Colombo. Then, the Cowboys would use their first-round pick Tyron Smith at the other tackle spot opposite Free.

And that’s exactly what seems to be happening (assuming Smith signs his contract as well).

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 12:05 am
 

Ike Taylor to return to Steelers

Taylor

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

For those teams looking for a CB who was a talent level below Nnamdi Asomugha but also would be much less expensive, the multiple reports that have surfaced about free agent Ike Taylor re-signing with the Steelers for a four-year deal is not welcome news.

All along, we thought a team could get much better values in CBs like Taylor and Cincinnati’s Johnathan Joseph, rather than pay $18 million a year for Asomugha (who likely will have to take less than that anyway).

Instead, Taylor is now off the board and returns to a top-notch defense that includes LB James Harrison, LB LaMarr Woodley, DE Brett Keisel, S Troy Polamalu, etc.

He’s always been a good fit for the Steelers, and it’s no surprise that he returned (even if he is, by chance, making less money than he could get on the open market).

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Posted on: July 26, 2011 11:17 pm
 

Alex Smith returns to 49ers for $5 million deal

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

For a guy who was nearly replaced in a Monday Night Football game last year by David Carr, 49ers QB Alex Smith is making out pretty well this season in what probably will be his last chance as a San Francisco starter.

ESPN, via the National Football Post, is reporting that Smith has reached an agreement for a one-year, $5 million contract with the 49ers.

The former No. 1 draft pick has been a major disappointment for San Francisco, which took Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick in the second round of the 2010 draft.

Unless Smith somehow has a breakout year, in his sixth season in the NFL, 2011 most likely will be the final opportunity for 49ers fans to gnash their teeth over him.

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Posted on: July 26, 2011 10:08 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 10:23 pm
 

Takeo Spikes agrees to terms with Chargers

SpikesPosted by Josh Katzowitz

After three seasons in San Francisco, free agent LB Takeo Spikes has a new destination. The Chargers announced Tuesday night that Spikes and San Diego have agreed to terms on a three-year deal.

Even though Spikes will turn 35 in December, he’s coming off a standout year in which he combined for 109 tackles, his biggest number since 2003, and recorded three interceptions. Though it’s understandable why the 49ers wouldn’t want to give him a long-term contract -- though one of the San Francisco beat writers earlier this year said signing Spikes was a “no brainer” -- Spikes clearly still has value.

Even better for Spikes, his old defensive coordinator in San Francisco, Greg Manusky, is now in San Diego.

And maybe for Spikes, it’ll be nice to play for a team that has a pretty good chance to win. From my Five Questions (or More) with him last November:

4. CBS: You know, your career is fascinating to me. You’ve played at such a high level for so long, but you’ve only been on one team that’s finished with a winning record. After 12 years in the league …

Spikes: Thirteen years.

CBS: After 13 years, how do you still get excited about football, even when the teams you’ve played on haven’t been so good?

Spikes: I walk on faith. I think that’s the bottom line. Back in the day, early in my career, you don’t know anything about how a team is supposed to feel, and not understanding the reasons why we’re paying quarterbacks $10-12 million per year. If you have a good quarterback, you’re able to go out and compete no matter how bad your defense is. That’s a fact. Earlier in my career, I didn’t understand that. I thought the defense could do it all. But you still need help. Now, how do I keep myself going? I’m surrounded by a great group of guys, and it’s an even push. They push me all the time. I know what we can be. I see us working toward that as a defense.

- In other former Bills LB news, Paul Posluszny has agreed to a six-year deal with the Jaguars, according to NFL.com's Jason LaCanfora.

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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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Posted on: July 26, 2011 8:42 pm
 

All the Jets news that's fit to print

AsomughaPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Whenever any of us do a radio interview, one of the questions we’re seemingly always asked is where free agent CB Nnamdi Asomugha will play in 2011. The Texans maybe? What about the Buccaneers or the Lions?

Now, we have a clue, and if true, it would send Jets fans into a state of nirvana.

The Newark Star Ledger’s Jenny Vrentas is reporting the Jets have made contact with the No. 1 unrestricted free agent on the market.

Assuming they get rid of Antonio Cromartie -- there's no way they could keep him -- a Jets secondary of Asomugha and Darrelle Revis would automatically become the top DB corps in the league (Revis and Cromartie previously had that title).

The sticking point, of course, will be money. Revis is owed $7 million this season with an $18 million option. Asomugha most likely would want $18 million a year unless he drops his expectations for a humongous salary (and it sounds like he might have to do exactly that).

But if Revis and Asomugha end up working together, that won’t be a pretty picture for the opposing offensive coordinators who have to dream up gameplans to beat them.

In other Jets news:

-QB Mark Sanchez said today, via Rapid Reporter Lisa Zimmerman, that he would be willing to renegotiate his contract in order to help the team (maybe to, ahem, sign an Asomugha type).

He also said he might not be the only Jets player who feels that way.

"Whatever we need to do to win, we'll do whatever we can," Sanchez said.

-OT Damien Woody, coming off a season-ending Achilles injury, has decided to retire, the New York Daily News reports.

The fact that Wayne Hunter signed a four-year deal earlier in the day might have sealed Woody’s decision. Woody -- a Pro Bowler in 2002 -- had said that if he couldn’t play for the Jets, he would give up the game for good.

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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