Free Agency has begun! A lot of rumors were shot into the world yesterday, but not too many of them stuck. I’ll take you through some of the juicier rumors and the stickier innuendo:
Jake Delhomme: He has been released by the Panthers due to suckiness, but also for money concerns which are boring. Now that he’s on his way out I feel some regret for constantly mocking him, but he just wigged out and lost all his ability to distinguish his receivers from the other team’s cornerbacks. With his experience there is no doubt he’ll find a team to give him shelter, but it would be amazing if he were to turn his career around at this point.
Matt Moore: Delhomme’s departure has left the quarterback position for Moore. This is pretty good news for Steve Smith since Delhomme was having trouble getting him the ball. Moore isn’t going to be a fantasy starter in the Panther’s run first offense, but he could move his way up into backup status.
Nate Burleson: Burleson has signed with the Detroit Lions. This is very good news for our man Calvin Johnson. If Burleson can stay healthy (a Rex Ryan sized if) he will take a lot of heat off Megatron and give Stafford three good targets in Pettigrew, Burls and Megatron.
Chad Pennington: It was looking good for Pennington to head back into the crowded Dolphin’s quarterback club, but he wants a no trade clause that the Dolphins don’t want to give him. Chad Henne has the starting QB job, and they also like Tyler Thigpen and Pat White. Pennington doesn’t feel like a necessity.
Chester Taylor: He is visiting Halas Hall today (that’s where the Bears hold their frozen rituals). This visit is very bad news for Forte owners. It doesn’t have to be 3rd down for running backs to catch passes in Mike Martz’s system, but since Forte’s value looks like it will be as a receiver next season, a back like Taylor who can catch the ball will really cut into his numbers.
Julius Peppers: The Bears were busy last night, especially Lovie Smith who showed up on Peppers doorstep at midnight and asked if he could sleep over. I think they played Madden. Peppers and Smith will form a singing duo and headline a show in Vegas over the summer. With Peppers going to Chicago for a visit it’s looking like he’ll probably end up there. Bears management is looking to save their jobs.
Brandon Marshall: Most of the news coming out about Marshall is that teams don’t want to mess with him. He has the stink of petulance, a murder trial, and greed, all over him. The rumor mill has the Seahawks as a suitor right now. Pete Carroll could really use him now that Burleson is a Lion.
Thomas Jones: No concrete rumors have been circulating. Can rumors be concrete? Adam Schefter believes the Browns will look hard at Jones which makes a lot of sense. The Browns don’t believe Jerome Harrison can be an every down back (that must be why they gave him 100 carries in the last three games!). It’s too early to get into Jones’ impact with the Browns since I have no clue who he’ll be playing for next season.
Darren Sproles: After deciding not to tender the scraptastic back slash kick returner, the Chargers took a gander at their depth chart and saw it peppered with scrubtastic backs, so they rethought and gave Sproles a 1st and 3rd round tender. But there are rumors that they are willing to trade him for less than his tender. I’m guessing because they don’t want to pay him 7 million dollars.
Kevin Walter: For some reason he is getting a lot of buzz. He had a great chance to make some noise in the Texans pass heavy offense last season, especially after TE Owen Daniels went down, but instead he did a whole lot of jack squat. The Ravens seem to be interested. Sounds like a recipe for bluh.
Antonio Cromartie: The Jets traded a third rounder for Cromartie. The guy is a little soft (take a look at his fake attempt at tackling Shonn Greene in the playoffs), but he does have cover skills. Him and Revis will make the Jets defense even better. They have to be the first D/ST off the board in drafts next season.
Derrick Mason: I couldn’t see the Ravens letting him go, but there have been rumors flying around that have him going to New England or Miami. These could be rumors to help Mason get 2 years out of the Ravens.
Aaron Kampman: The Bears were looking hard at Kampman, but harder at Peppers. It’s now looking like the Seahawks are the front runners in the Kampman race. His injury may make his signing a little further off, but he’ll help a team.