Santonio Holmes, probably the 2nd biggest free agent this year behind Nnamdi, has elected to return to New York for 5 years $24 million. It’s a very nice contract and shows he didn’t give a hometown discount to return. It’s an excellent move. Holmes and Sanchez showed good chemistry, particularly in the 4th quarter on come from behind drives. Pairing them together for several years should continue to encourage Sanchez to develop while he has a reliable target. Reportedly the Jets are debating bringing in Randy Moss as well.
Marshal Yanda has elected to return to Baltimore, and most of the news coming after the deal was signed said he never wanted to leave. He got a nice 5 Year $32 million. Yanda was probably the best lineman available in this years free agency, the only possible arguments in Leonard Davis, Tyson Clabo, and Jeremy Bushrod, and considering that Yanda’s primary position is guard that’s saying something. His versatility and ability to play RT as well was a big boost for his stock. The Ravens will likely try to move him back inside where he’s a pro bowl caliber guard, but know that if they can’t find a solid tackle he’s more than capable of sliding outside again this year.
Matt Hasselbeck is jumping shores to join the Tennessee Titans. I haven’t seen the terms of the deal, but I would think it would be a 2 year deal in order for him to head there. It’s a decent fit, I would’ve preferred him to head to San Francisco where he could unit with another West Coast guy in Harbaugh, but he’s shown the ability to play outside of the West Coast and there’s no guarantee that the Titans won’t run it. He’ll be an excellent mentor for Locker to try to curb some Locker’s scrambling tendencies and help hone his passing skills.
Donte Stallworth is moving south to Washington where he’ll be reunited with Jim Haslett who drafted him in St. Louis. This seems like a good fit and hopefully he’ll be utilized better than in Baltimore where he saw more carries than catches. Stallworth still brings a lot of speed to the table and fairly reliable hands. Pairing him with Santana could create stretch the field, make the play action very dangerous, and opening up the vaunted Shanahan running game. The Redskins are back to their old ways in free agency, also signing Barry Cofield which had been rumored for a while. They also managed to trade McNabb (from the sounds of it) and are still pursuing Cullen Jenkins. The only thing left on their agenda should be finding out where Haynesworth stands this year and trading him once they realize he’s not interested in playing for them.
The Buccanneers announced the signing of their first round draft pick Adrian Clayborn. Like the Bears, the Bucs tend to get their draft picks signed quickly, setting the market for other teams. Clayborn has a lot of talent, but concerns about his right side strength caused him to slip some. Still he has produced throughout college and the risk is worth the gamble for the Bucs.
For those of you who are like me and enjoy checking the undrafted free agent signings, here’s a list of every teams signings. Note these are not yet confirmed, many because teams frequently don’t admit any until they have an entire class under contract.
Lastly some of the rumors flying about now:
The Raiders, under former Baltimore quarterback coach Hue Jackson, are pursuing soon to be former Baltimore OT Jared Gaither. Gaither has had a couple significant injuries last year and lacks motivation, but he has prototypical size and is very young. He’s only going to get better if he can stay health. Frankly, I would call it a mistake for the Ravens not to try to bring him back when he was part of a dominating run line 2 and 3 years ago which has not looked the same since Oher flipped from right tackle to left.
The Jets have been the front-runners since Tuesday to land Nnamdi Asomugha, however there are reports the 49ers have jumped in with both feet to try to keep Nnamdi on the west coast. They’ve been looking for a corner this off-season and Nnamdi would certainly make a solid defense ten times better. Houston, Philadelphia and Baltimore still lurk in the wings.
Kyle Orton is in the Broncos facility, negotiating a new deal with several teams. Likely this means Miami and Arizona. If Miami gets a deal done, Arizona is in serious trouble in their negotiations with Philadelphia. Andy Reid will sit on Kolb until he get’s the best leverage, and once every quarterback is off the market except Kolb the Cardinals will either go into camp with Skelton at the helm or will bend to the Eagles demands. The situation is precarious because the Cardinals are also in the running to get Orton, who they consider a 1B option. I get the sense Miami isn’t looking to trade for Kolb, but they might be more desperate for someone to supplant Henne than I think. Whoever doesn’t get Orton will be in jeopardy of being hammered for draft picks in 2012.