While the season came to an end over a month ago, football continues to provide some exciting moments. NFL free agency is in full swing, and some of the best players in the league now have new homes.
Without question the biggest move of this free agency period is the departure of wideout Wes Welker from the Patriots. Welker had been in New England for six years and was Tom Brady's favorite target, along with being a fan favorite. Welker was offered a two-year, $10 million deal to remain with the Patriots, but instead decided to sign with the Denver Broncos, who offered $12 million over the same span. He is a great addition to the Broncos, who finished last season tied for the best record in the league.
|Photo by: Al Bello
The Vikings were in the market for a No. 1 receiver after shipping Percy Harvin to the Seahawks last week, so Minnesota made a move for former Green Bay Packers standout Greg Jennings, who agreed to a five-year deal. The Vikings also signed former Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel after he was released by Kansas City. Minnesota later announced that Christian Ponder will remain the starter, and Cassel will be the backup. Stay tuned there.
Another quarterback that was given his walking papers is former Arizona Cardinals signal caller Kevin Kolb. He was released when the two sides couldn't agree on a restructured deal. Kolb is still on the market, but is being heavily touted by the New York Jets. The Jets famously struggled with their quarterback situation last season, and Kolb would certainly have a chance to take over the starting role there.
One of the biggest names still available is Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed. The Baltimore Ravens are hopeful they can re-sign the five-time All-Pro, but other teams are interested, including the Houston Texans. Reed met with the Texans on Friday and left Houston without a deal in place, but heavy interest is still reported between the two. A decison could be made sometime this week.
Other big names that are heading elsewhere include WR Mike Wallace to Miami, RB Steven Jackson to Atlanta, DE Cliff Avril to Seattle, OLB Paul Kruger to Cleveland, RB Reggie Bush to Detroit, and TE Martellus Bennett to Chicago.
It's still fairly early in this free agency period and we've already seen plenty of surprising moves, which is perfect water cooler talk for diehard NFL fans everywhere. Besides, would we want it any other way? Expect more big moves in the coming weeks leading up to this year's draft.