March 5, 2010

Free agency opens

by Dan Bilicki In: Football

There wasn’t exactly the same start to free agency that happened last year, with Albert Haynesworth signing his ridiculous deal with the Redskins, but there has been some movement so far.

A quick aside about how quick negotiations can go with these midnight start times:  How can you hammer out a multi-million dollar contract in a matter of minutes without any prior negotiation? I mean, there has to have been some “tampering” involved, right? I just find it hard to believe that terms can be agreed to within minutes of the opening bell. Just saying.

A few things did go down before the clock struck midnight. The Chargers reversed their course and decided that it might be a good idea to keep at least one running back on their roster. So instead of letting Darren Sproles test the waters of free agency, they put on the biggest tender they could to hold on to the restricted free agent.

The Cowboys presented a similar tender to all-pro receiver Austin Miles with the hopes also signing him long term. If I’m Jerry Jones, I wouldn’t mess around with this guy. He’s one of the few great wide outs in the league that also has the unselfish gene – an excellent contrast to the previous elite receiver that Dallas had, T.O. It’s a rarity that a guy this good doesn’t demand the ball every play and for that, it makes him one of the most valuable players in on the team.

After free agency opened there wasn’t exactly a rush to sign Julius Peppers, though the Bears are reportedly close. The million-dollar-per-game man last season looked bound for the windy city to help them improve their pass rush, which hasn’t exactly been solid for a few seasons now. I just hope that they’re not going to pay him what Carolina foolishly did last season.

The Jets traded for San Diego’s Antonio Cromartie in a deal that will give the Jets the best cornerback tandem in the league. Cromartie’s form suffered last season with off-field issues put was an all-pro in 2007 and led the league in INTs. After a change of scenery, he could be the perfect compliment to reigning cover-man extradonaire Darrelle Revis.

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