The 2010 NFL off-season is underway.
Blackberries are firing up.
Journalists and pseudo-journalists are listening to the keyboard crunch beneath their fingertips.
and Love is in the air.. in the form of general managers throwing money around like a Fat Joe music video.
Yes, one day into the 2010 off-season most of the nfl's most coveted Unrestricted free-agents are off the board. Thanks to the uncapped year, the UFA's that are left resemble a dish full of jelly beans at a family gathering. While most the tasty red and pinks are gone, there are some satisfying orange and green one's left, however there just happens to be a ton of purple left in the bag that have probably been there for some time.
Winner's so far:
Chicago : added one of the more feared DE's in the league in Peppers, thus adding another sack artist to the NFC north. While Peppers was the biggest prize, I believe they will get more substance from the other big signing, in Chester Taylor. Many forget Taylor surpassed 1300+ yards in his first season with the Vikings, then came AP. Taylor didn't complain, just did what he does..which apparently is pick up many first down's via however he got the ball. Then when asked to spell AP during injuries, he came in and played like a starting back. Which I believe will definitely give Chicago, and dual edged sword with him and Forte.
Washington : Now hear me out, I know the only signing they have is a low-key OL Hicks. However, I think they held back with reaching for their wallets because..*gulp* ..maybe they realize throwing money & draft picks at DL and WR don't equate to championships..maybe? But then again, with Clifton re-signing back with GB they did miss a chance to fill a glaring hole with a solid albeit aging LT who knows the zone concept Shanahan will surely implement. They did release Randle El, and many other players before FA, so I'm still waiting for Schneider to throw the dough on someone.
Green Bay : While yes, retaining a FA you almost let slip away and sign with Washington is more of re-enforcing your line, and not signing a big-name FA, it was a NECESSITY for GB. With the addition of Peppers and KVB, had GB lost Clifton they would either be in one of two case's:
Case A) Letting one of the current O-lineman on their depth chart amass the LT spot, and try and handle Allen (Minn.), Peppers (Chi.) and KVB (Det.). Which did not prove too well when Clifton went down last season, in which the O-line gave up Rodger's backside more than a prison inmate on OZ.
Case B) Drafting a OT in the first round, and throwing him in the gauntlet right away, testing his mantel will the pro-bowl & former pro-bowl DE's the NFC north has to offer.
So with the signing of the Clifton, they have a battle tested LT who WHEN healthy, can shut down a pass-rushing threat. I say, give him the off-season to heal, and still draft a OT very high in the draft and let him learn. For if Clifton does go down in the season, GB won't have to shuffle their line which I believe ultimately let to their demise early in the season.
It's way too early to tell the loser's of the off-season. It's been one day, so just because your team didn't sign Peppers or Rolle doesn't mean your doomed for a losing record..unless your Cleveland. Just kidding..kind of.
So with that, let the money flow like beer at a frat party, and may you gents and ladies be merry.