NFL Free Agent Madness; Mario Williams Signs With Buffalo
As of this past Tuesday at 4pm, the New Year for the NFL was officially underway. In what was already expected to be one of the more intriguing off seasons in recent NFL history, the first few hours of the free agency signing period kept fans in as much anticipation as it did confuse.
Within minutes of the 4pm start time, news spread that The Miami Dolphins had agreed to terms to trade Pro Bowl Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears for two 3rd Round Draft Picks. The sudden move reunites Marshall with Jay Cutler, his former quarterback from their Denver Bronco days. No question that the two of them had their best success together, and should make the Chicago Bears legitimate contenders in the NFC North.
Despite getting hit with stiff salary cap fines the day before, The Washington Redskins still managed to snag Pierre Garcon to add to their WR depth, and are expected to make more moves before the week is over.
The Wide Receiver Free Agent pool is heavier than it has been in previous seasons, but the Detroit Lions wasted no time in locking down Calvin Johnson, who signed a $132 million dollar contract extension. This deal tops the one signed last season by the Arizona Cardinals Larry Fitzgerald which was worth $120 million.
Fans were also excited when news broke that Pro Bowl WR Randy Moss was officially out of retirement, and now a member of the San Francisco 49ers. His work ethic has always been a question, but there is no doubt that when motivated Moss is easily one of the elite receivers to have ever played the game, and adds to an already strong 49ers team.
On the defensive side of things The Philadelphia Eagles have resigned Defensive End Trent Cole, while former Number 1 Draft Pick Mario Williams has decided to ink a deal with the Buffalo Bills; making him the biggest free agent acquisition in Bills history. Williams was being coveted because of his potential to be a big game changer on defense, as well as one of the best pass rushers in the game today. Buffalo acquiring him has made the Bills a premier destination for many players looking to change zip codes moving forward.
Meanwhile there is still a certain player on the Free Agent market that everyone is waiting patiently for. Possibly the most coveted Free Agent prospect in the history of the NFL’s free agency era, Peyton Manning is weighing his options as he decides which team he will inevitably sign with. It’s already been made clear that not only will teams hand him the keys to the Franchise, but are willing to put their current Quarterbacks on the bench until further notice.
At least 12 teams have made efforts to reach out to Manning, and he has already met with The Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos. While no negotiations have been made, he is expected to continue his free agent tour until he makes a decision. Where ever he winds up at, the impact from his decision alone will easily be the biggest storyline heading into the 2012 NFL season this fall.
days hours go on, there are sure to be even more unexpected signings and pairings, especially with the NFL Draft on the horizon.