With the lockout now over, it’s a frenzied week of free agent signing and players moving to new teams as the NFL, while getting a very late start are opening training camps. many players are reporting to camp, as intended but there are always a few names, under contract who seem to buck the system. This is nothing new at all. Being “professional” and playing out a contact is not necessarily what some players do.
Take Titans running back, Chris Johnson who is scheduled to make $800,000 this year. He is now holding out and wanting a new contract. Now in his case I’ll agree his stats the past few years should be enough to secure a long term deal with Tennessee, but will management cave and restructure that deal this year or not?
The other notable who wants to play games is Philly wide receiver, DeSean Jackson. As the Eagles opening training camp today, Jackson was a no show. This rumor came from signal caller and now starter, Mike Vick, “DeSean just has some things to think about and some decisions to make that only himself can make.” DeSean lead the NFL in yards per reception last year, but his overall stats were not all that impressive (47-1056-6 TD).
This free agent frenzy seems to be dominated by the quaterback. The first name to secure a starting job in new colors was that of Tavaris Jackson, now in Seattle with Pete Carroll. Jackson probably got a bad deal in Minnesota when Favre signed a few years back and then Joe Webb got the starts late last season. So a new venue for Jackson could improve his situation.
More importantly his signing has set the tone, so to speak of what’s to come. Kevin Kolb, current Eagles back up QB doesn’t seem to be as hot a commodity as he once was. Arizona is still trying to work a trade to secure his services, but at what cost to the defense? I don’t believe Kolb is worthy of a starting job right now, especially with a short pre-season in new colors. This could be a huge task to achieve. I do believe the Cardinals need a QB as Hall and Skelton are not ready to call the signals.
Gone from Seattle is Matt Hasselbeck, the other QB signed yesterday with the Titans replacing Kerry Collins (retired) and Vince Young, who is one his way out as well. They did draft Jake Locker, but as a rookie is not ready as well. Tutelage under a veteran such as Hass would be a great thing for Jake who looks to be the future signal caller in town.
Other rumors have Donovan McNabb heading to Minnesota to take over the starting job, which would be great for the team, as they are still looking to secure the services of Sydney Rice. I believe if Rice signs, the McNabb deal will be finalized as well. This would also give ADP a legitimate QB, which could equate to another big year for Peterson.
Kyle Orton’s being run out of Denver in favor of Tim Tebow. I don’t believe Tebow is ready for “prime time” even after finishing last year as the starter. Orton is looking towards Florida and the Dolphins, but is asking for $6 million a year and a long term deal. It will be interesting to see if he gets that sort of deal done.
Today should be a bigger signing day as there are many unanswered questions and many potential deals to be made. The salary cap is the sticking point for many teams, we will see who ends up making the best moves (on paper at least) by the end of the day. Football is here, first preseason games take place August 11. In the words of Hank, “Are you ready for some football?”