The NFL off-season is in full swing with the start of free agency landing some big names in the headlines via fat new contracts, big time trades, and surprising cuts. While all of the changes can be a bit hard to follow, unemployment has blessed me with the ability to watch SportsCenter 14 hours a day, so I'm here to help. And remember, this is no fun for me. I'm gluing myself to ESPN every day for you people, so... yeah, you're welcome.
Albert Haynesworth- Possibly the biggest name (and biggest everything else for that matter) on the market signed a monster deal with the Washington Redskins worth $100 million over 7 years. The hefty defensive tackle is also slated to earn considerable bonuses each season, based of course upon how many in-division heads he is able to stomp.
Brian Dawkins- The seemingly ageless safety wanted to remain a Philadelphia Eagle, but wound up signing a 5-year deal with Denver when nothing materialized. Maybe, however, the Eagles had the right idea on this one? If I'm a GM I can't in good conscience sign anyone whose file photo looks like this to a five year deal. Then again, this is the NFL, so the Broncos can always just cut him in two years when osteoporosis has ravaged his bones.
T.J. Houshmanzadeh- The Bengals lost their most versatile receiver and perhaps their most creepy hairdo when T.J. signed a 5 year, $40 million deal to head to Seattle. All I can say is it's a good thing Jim Mora has replaced Mike Holmgren as the Seahawks head coach, because with this signing there is no telling just how disgustingly soaked in saliva Holmgren's mustache may have become from having to say Houshmanzadeh over and over.
Bart Scott- The Jets made their first big move of the Rex Ryan era, snatching Pro Bowler Bart Scott out of Baltimore with a six year, $48 million deal. The much sought after linebacker said that a late-night visit from Jets coaches really helped sway his decision, and that waking up in their team van after being chloroformed showed the Jets’ were truly committed to him.
Matt Cassel and Mike Vrable- In a deal that surprised many to say the least, the Patriots traded their valuable backup quarterback and their long time linebacker to the Chiefs for next to nothing in return. The deal has aroused suspicion around the league because it seems that the Pats could have gotten so much more, but essentially handed the players to their former buddy and current Chiefs GM Scott Pioli. In any case, I'm sure this will all be cleared up when Bill Belichick points out that they simply felt obliged to offer Pioli the standard "thanks for not outing me for cheating all those years" discount rate.
Kellen Winslow- After five rocky years with the Browns, Winslow was finally shipped out of town to Tampa Bay for undisclosed draft picks. Although an undeniable talent, Winslow couldn't seem to shake the injury bug in Cleveland, battling a bad shoulder and most recently a staph infected testicular region last year. To make matters worse his sometimes abrasive personality didn't help any with the front office. So there you have it Bucs fans, all it took was a few draft picks to land you a legitimate threat at tight end with an irritated set of balls and a bad attitude. Enjoy!
DeAngelo Hall- The Redskins were able to re-sign the big play cornerback by offering him a 6-year, $55 million contract to remain in Washington. Team owner Dan Snyder would like to extend his thanks to Al Davis, without whom the Skins never would've even landed Hall in last year's "Holy hell the Raiders are such a friggin' mess we're just going to start cutting superstars at mid-season" lottery.
Derrick Ward- The Giants lost the all important wind in their three-headed "Earth, Wind and Fire" running attack when Derrick Ward signed a 4-year, $17 million deal to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Earth (Brandon Jacobs) and Fire (Ahmad Bradshaw) were reportedly so devastated they spent the entire day watching old highlight montages, while stuffing their faces with Rocky Road ice cream and listening to “After the love has gone” on repeat.
Laveranues Coles- In a bit of a surprise move, the Jets cleared cap space by electing to cut long time number one receiver Laveranues Coles. While upset to be parting ways with Gang Green, with whom he has spent the majority of his career, Coles says he is looking forward to a possible reunion with former QB Chad Pennington in Miami and playing a vital part in screwing the Jets in 2009.
Plaxico Burress- While he is facing quite the daunting off-season in court, the Giants have said that if he is able to resolve his legal issues, wide receiver Plaxico Burress will be welcomed back to New York with open arms (and kevlar vests). If he in unavailable however, Big Blue will likely look to sign another big name receiver, possibly a Harris Smith, to fill the void.
Kurt Warner- Despite a fledgling interest in the 49ers it looks like Warner will likely land back in Arizona as negotiations with the Cards continue progressing. In a wise strategy, the Cardinals didn't complain a bit when their notoriously christian QB decided to visit San Francisco, and even supported him in exploring his options. And so, after only a short visit in the city with a... let's call it larger than normal Bravo Channel watching community, and an inordinate amount of dreadlocked heathens praying to the gods of their choice, Warner bolted back to Arizona, even offering the Cards a discount rate.
Jim Leonhard- Clearly picking at the remains of his former team, Jets coach Rex Ryan landed another former Raven in safety Jim Leonhard. While not a big time name, Leonhard, whose name is derived from the Gaelic word for Lionheart, should prove a valuable commodity on defense as he is able to debilitate opposing team members by shooting rays of hearts from his fluffy tummy.
Jason Taylor- Looks like the former Dancing with the Stars runner up will be taking his fancy feet elsewhere this year, as the Redskins cut the Pro Bowl defensive end after his refusal to take a pay cut. Although reluctant to drop him outright, the Skins realized their need to make room for the other geriatric former stars they'll inevitably sacrifice draft picks for in order to hold down fourth place in the NFC East.
Michael Vick- Still no foreseeable plans for Vick's NFL future, as the remaining 23 months of his sentence will be served under house arrest thanks to a lack of room in halfway houses. To me this seems too easy, I say do to him what he did to the dogs. Let him finish out his sentence on a convict filled barge, and send them out to sea where they will do battle until one is crowned king of their floating hell.
(gotta love the Simpsons)