2009 NFL Free Agent Tracker

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2009 NFL Free Agent Tracker

The NFL free agent period is underway and players are flying around like hotcakes. 

Deals are going down like crazy so keep refreshing this page for updates as they happen.

(Feb. 26) Deal: Giants re-sign RB Brandon Jacobs (4 years, $27 million)

Reaction: With the future of WR Plaxico Burress in question, the Giants re-signed their frieght train running back.

The 26-year-old, 264-pound back out of Southern Illinois produced his second straight 1,000-yard plus season with a career-high 15 rushing touchdowns.

Some question this deal with the style of running he does and the toll it will take on his body over the next few seasons but he perfectly fits the Giants physical offensive attack.

Deal: Redskins acquire DT Albert Haynesworth (seven years, $100M); re-sign CB DeAngelo Hall (six years, $54M)

Reaction: These deals sounds like what the New York Yankees did with signing Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett in spending in excess of $400 million; it sounds good on paper but we have to see how it pans out on the field.

I don't think Daniel Snyder will be giving a dime of this money back.

Haynesworth, who will be 28 on opening day, will earn $41 million in guaranteed money along with performance-based incentives (league MVP, conference title game berth, etc.) which could boost this record-breaking contract to around $115 million.

Given his recent injury history, this deal seems mind-boggling but Haynesworth's production gives Washington a defensive force that makes them competitors in a physical division with explosive offensive attacks.

Haynesworth will stay in the 4-3 scheme in Tennessee where he constantly commanded double teams that allowed other defenders to roam free and attack the quarterback.

Haynesworth has never played a full 16-game season so maintaining health will be crucial for him.

Hall, 25, was acquired off of waivers in the first year of what was supposed to be a seven-year, $70 million deal with Oakland but was released in Week Eight after being constantly burned in pass coverage.

Hall will earn $22.5 million in guaranteed money and keeps him in a struggling secondary with Carlos Rogers and LaRon Landry; Hall grabbed more interceptions on his own in seven games than the whole Redskins defensive backfield combined.

Sorry, Redskins fans but these deals probably will not get you a Super Bowl berth.  I would not be shocked if these signings end up like all the other blockbusters that Snyder has executed.

April's draft should allow Washington to improve an offense that started hot but got ice cold down the stretch.

Deal: Patriots sign RB Fred Taylor (two years, $5M) and TE Chris Baker

Reactio: They always seem to get the right players up in Foxborough.

Fred Taylor will have something to prove not just to Patriots fans but to the entire AFC in general.  He will be the perfect fit for this team in the kind of weather that they play in and also gives Tom Brady a great pass blocker against the blitz.

He also gives this offense a legitimate running threat to go along with an explosive passing game and keeps him away from in-division opponents.

Chris Baker provides an excellent run/pass blocker as well as a red-zone touchdown threat for Brady; it also gives him chance to stick it to the archrival New York Jets.

Deal: Vikings acquire QB Sage Rosenfels from Texans for fourth round pick in 2009 and sign him to 2-year, $9M extension

Reaction: I guess they're still looking for Daunte Culpepper's heir apparent.

Rosenfels, 30, will compete for the starting job in training camp along with Tarvaris Jackson and John David Booty.

He has shown propensity for being a great quarterback but also makes dumb mistakes in key games.  Also, he has proven to be a viable insurance policy everytime Matt Schaub ends up hurt.

To me, this is a risky decision and he will have to watch his back with Booty and/or Jackson waiting in the wings even though neither have proven themselves.

Houston now has big questions as to who will back up Schaub who has had a history of not being healthy since signing a six-year deal with the Texans in 2007.

Deal: Bears sign T Frank Omiyale (four years, $14M)

Reaction: When I read the news, I had no clue who this guy was.

Though this contract will not generate shock value, the Bears needed a right tackle and needed to get younger along the line.

Even with Matt Forte, Chicago's offense was not something to write home about so the rebuilding process is beginning in the trenches.

Deal: Colts re-sign C Jeff Saturday to a three-year extension

Reaction: Now we know why Bill Polian is one of the best general managers in the NFL.

Keeping continuity on Peyton Manning's offensive line was an absolute must and it also guarantees that Saturday will retire as a Colt.

The undrafted free agent out of North Carolina came to Indianapolis in 1999 and has been the most important piece of the Colts offense. 

The heart and soul of the Colts offensive line, Saturday is responsible for relaying protection calls and blitz pick-up assignments in order to protect the three-time NFL MVP.

Fantastic move by the Colts and now they turn to the draft to find a new receiver to complement Reggie Wayne.

Deal: NY Jets reportedly acquire LB Bart Scott (five years, $40M)

Reaction: I turned on WFAN radio this morning and host Joe Benigno (life-long Jets fan) was ecstatic.

Scott gives the Jets the quality pass rush and pass coverage they desperately need.

Gang Green was pitiful against tight ends, especially in the red zone.

He will line up along side Calvin Pace in Rex Ryan's new attacking 3-4 scheme.

The Jets are off to a good start in free agency and now must to turn to the draft to address more pressing needs at quarterback and wide receiver.

5:00 PM UPDATE: This deal is not finalized as Baltimore can still match New York's offer.

5:45 UPDATE: Deal is finished, now six years, $48 million with a player option in 2015.  More details below.

Deal: Dolphins re-sign safeties Yeremiah Bell (four years, $20M) and Gibril Wilson (four years, $27.5M)

Reaction: I don't understand these signings at all even with Bill Parcells running the show but he produced a winner in 2008 so he gets a pass. 

The Dolphin defense was a key component to their AFC East run last season so signing cornerstones to their secondary was a good move.

TRADE: Browns trade TE Kellen Winslow to Tampa Bay for draft picks

Reaction: Great move by both sides.

Eric Mangini gets rid of a headache and Winslow gets a fresh start in Florida.

When right, he is one of the most explosive tight ends in football.  With wide receiver speed and a tight end's body, Winslow gives whoever will be Tampa's quarterback a vertical threat at the tight end position as well as a quality pass/run blocker.

The question with all signings is health.  The sixth overall pick in the 2004 draft has not had a complete 16-game season since 2006 (89 catches, 875 yards, 3 TD) and is two years removed from an 1,100-yard Pro Bowl season.,

Deal: Ravens sign CB Domonique Foxworth (four years, $27M)

Reaction: Ozzie Newsome has a great track record in evaluating talent but this is a bit of a head scratcher.

Foxworth, 25, replaces Chris McAllister who was released two weeks ago.  The fourth year veteran out of Maryland has four career interceptions.

He was traded from the Broncos (where played safety in the same secondary with Champ Bailey and Dre' Bly) to the Falcons for a seventh-round pick.

At 5'11" and 180 pounds, it seems a bit of a gamble to pay him this much money as a starting cornerback in the NFL.

With the loss of Bart Scott and the questionable return of Ray Lewis, the Ravens had to do something.

2:59 PM UPDATE

TRADE: Chiefs acquire LB Mike Vrabel from Patriots for draft picks

Reaction:  A fixture on three Super Bowl championship defenses, Mike Vrabel was a versatile player for Bill Belichick and gets a chance to play for his old boss in Scott Pioli.

With this trade, New England now gets its youth movement going on its defense.  Jerod Mayo was a jackpot hit in last year's draft and this almost guarantees Tedy Bruschi's time in Foxborough is running out and will retire as a Patriot.

This is a good trade on both sides.  Tom Brady will miss Vrabel's versatility and ability to catch touchdowns but Chris Baker can more than fill his role in the red zone.

Vrabel gets to teach the young linebackers in Kansas City not just how to play but how to win as well with the "Patriot Way."

The trade will free up about $3.5 million in cap room so give kudos to new GM Floyd Reese for pulling the trigger.

New England gets extra draft picks to bolster its depth, youth and speed on the defensive side of the ball.

3:24 PM EST

RUMOR: S Brian Dawkins visits Broncos

Free agent safety Brian Dawkins will visit the Denver Broncos today, NFL Network reports.  Dawkins, 35, has played his entire career in Philadelphia and is the heartbeat of their defense.

The Broncos were near the bottom in total defense last season, riddled with injuries to Pro Bowl cornerbacks Dre' Bly and Champ Bailey.

3:43 PM EST

Deal: Bengals re-sign S Chris Crocker (four years, $10M)

Reaction: Not a big move here, the Bengals need to do something to keep continuity in their defense and build it up piece by piece

Crocker only started six games and grabbed one interception, had 1.5 sacks and one forced fumble.

There are conflicting reports that say T.J. Houshmanzadeh will remain in Cincinnati but those are unconfirmed.

4:07 PM EST

Deal: Steelers re-sign G Chris Kemoeatu (five years, $20M)

Reaction: The Steelers keep a line fixture and prevent him from going to the New York Jets. 

Pittsburgh's offensive line was a big question mark in 2008 with the departure of G Alan Faneca which produced an alarming number of sacks on Ben Roethlisberger.

Good signing but they still must do more address this problem.

4:10 PM EST

Deal: Titans re-sign QB Kerry Collins (two years, $15M)

Reaction: No brainer.

Until Vince Young can prove he has the mental toughness to be an NFL quarterback, Collins will continue to be under center in Tennessee.

Collins will not wow you with his stats but all he does is win and with the departure of Albert Haynesworth, his role might be a bit more expanded since the Titans' record without Haynesworth is not as good when he is in the starting lineup.

4:30 PM EST

Deal: Titans re-sign LB/S Vincent Fuller to three-year extension; WR Nate Washington visits team

Reaction: The Titans keep a veteran piece of their defense for three years and now are eyeing a number one receiver in Nate Washington of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

4:37 PM EST

Story: Kurt Warner wants to stay in Arizona

I watched NFL Live today and they interviewed Kurt Warner down at Disney World in Orlando.

He said he would love to stay with the Cardinals and repeat as NFC champions but would not hold a grudge if they could not agree to a contract.

When asked if he would consider playing for another team or retire he said, "I'm not saying I would retire if it doesn't work out with the Cardinals. I would obviously open myself to any opportunities elsewhere."

5:11 PM EST

Deal: Lions sign RB Maurice Morris (three years, $7M)

Reaction: Good move by Detroit as the Lions get a backup to Kevin Smith as well as a capable blocking fullback.

5:13 PM EST

Report: Derrick Ward visits Bengals Saturday

Reaction: Cedric Benson had a mini-resurgence in Cincinnati but he is not the answer there. 

Ward, who had 1,025 yards rushing in 2008 for the Giants, will look to be re-signed in New York but the Bengals need a starting running back. 

If they cannot sign Ward, they will likely look to the draft.

5:25 PM EST

Deal: Saints re-sign LB Jonathan Vilma (five years, $34M; $17M guaranteed)

Reaction: Great signing by the Saints as he will be a key fixture in new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' attacking scheme.

The next step will be to fix a very porous secondary that finished near the bottom in passing yards and touchdown passes allowed.

Deal: Broncos sign S Brian Dawkins (two-year deal) and RBs Correll Buckhalter and J.J. Arrington (four-year deals each)

Reaction: I like Dawkins' passion but his skills are diminishing and I'm not sure if he is the answer to fix a terrible defense though he does bring a fiery leadership and knowledge to their secondary.

Neither Arrington nor Buckhalter have proven themselves as starting running backs in this league so the length of both contracts seem questionable to me.

Gone are the days of the zone-blocking scheme and 1,000 yard backs with Mike Shanahan as Josh McDaniels likes to attack down the field with the passing game.

I figured they would address this problem in the draft but Denver will have a season with a huge backfield mess as they went through seven different running backs.

5:36 PM EST

Deal: Broncos sign WR Jabar Gaffney and S Renaldo Hill (four years, $10M each)

Reaction: It looks like Josh McDaniels is looking to the AFC East to upgrade his roster.

Gaffney proved to be a very reliable slot receiver in New England in 2007 and 2008 under McDaniels when he was offensive coordinator.

He gives Jay Cutler a great matchup receiver to go along with Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal.

As for Hill, he was somewhat of a forgotten man in the Dolphins defense yet grabbed no interceptions or sacks so I'm somewhat surprised they signed him to be placed along side newly acquired Brian Dawkins.

5:45 PM EST

Report: Jets officially sign LB Bart Scott (six years, $48M)

Reaction: SNY just broke this over the wire so the deal is now official.  The sixth year of this contract is a club option.

7:26 PM EST

Deal: Jaguars sign S Sean Considine (2 years, $3M)

Reaction: Relatively cheap for a good veteran safety.  The Jaguars had a huge dropoff on defense with the problems relating to Mike Peterson.

Deal: Vikings re-sign TE Jim Kleinsasser (3 years, $9M)

Reaction: Seldom used in Minnesota's run based offense, Kleinsasser gives Adrian Peterson a good run blocker and also will give whoever will be the Vikings starting quarterback an extra man in protection.  

11:22 PM EST

Deal: Redskins reacquire G Derrick Dockery (five years, $26M)

Reaction: The Redskins closed out day one by bringing back an old friend in Derrick Dockery, whom they shipped to Buffalo in 2007.

Dockery re-joins Washington to bolster a struggling offensive line that allowed 38 sacks and boost a passing game that faded down the stretch.

Washington spend almost $170 million on today alone and are trying their hardest to compete in a very tough NFC East.

Deal: Rams sign C Jason Brown (five years, $37.5M)

Reaction: Jason Brown give the Rams a much needed face-lift to an injury-riddled offensive line. 

Brown was an anchor on a strong line in Baltimore that helped guide the NFL's fourth-best rushing attack.

Deal: Jets acquire CB Lito Sheppard (terms undisclosed); New York gets 2009 fifth-round pick and 2010 conditional pick

Reaction: The Jets needed a shutdown corner along with Darelle Revis and Sheppard provides fills a gaping hole for them.

The extra pick allows New York to find a diamond in the rough and fill another need, possibly at wide receiver or quarterback.

 

This completes Day One of a wild NFL free agent period.  Leave comments about deals, trades and other free agent news you deem appropriate.

Check back tomorrow for Day 2!

 

 

 

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