Peyton Manning is the biggest fish in the 2012 pool of NFL free agents and is still meeting with teams, with the Tennessee Titans next on the list. Does Manning being a Vol alumni make any difference? Does the house he owns in Chattanooga make any difference? Manning isn’t the only free agent out there, and we take a look at what’s happened around the league so far, with the Brandon Marshall trade from Miami to Chicago grabbing most of the headlines.
Vincent Jackson – Chargers to Bucs
The plenty disgruntled wide receiver finally left San Diego after 7 season with the Chargers, signing a five year, $55 million deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have seemed to make a bit of a risky move. He is probably the best receiver on the free agent list and a two time pro bowl selection, but worth that kind of money? They need to hope Jackson will be happy while the Bucs and Freeman sort out their other, plentiful, problems. 2011 Numbers – 60 receptions, 1106 yards, 9 touchdowns.
Cortland Finnegan – Titans to Rams
The Rams aren’t only building through the draft after getting a bounty of picks from the Redskins, but going for free agents. Finnegan, a six year veteran, all seasons with the Tennessee Titans, was the best corner left on the board after the better guys got re-signed. He isn’t a top speed kind of guy, but you’ll find few with better positioning and awareness. He was signed for about $50 million for 5 years. 2011 Numbers – 58 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception.
Jason Campbell – Raiders to Bears
The Oakland Raiders had a good start, and decently a good thing going on with Jason Campbell, before he got injured, winning four of his six starts. Carson Palmer took over, and Campbell is heading over to Chicago, where the quarterback spot belongs to Jay Cutler, but it isn’t a 100% thing. As a backup, Campbell is probably one of the best you can have. He’s not bad as a starter either. He signed a one year contract with the Bears. 2011 Numbers – 1170 yards, 6 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 60.6% completions.
Pierre Garcon – Colts to Redskins
The Washington Redskins have begun loading up on weapons for Robert Griffin III to use. He signed a 5 year, $42.5 million deal with the Washington Redskins, who have already made a bold move by giving up plenty of draft picks to land the no.2 draft spot, leading to RG3. A #1 guy? I’m not sure. 2011 Numbers – 70 receptions, 947 yards, six touchdowns.
Brandon Marshall – Traded from the Dolphins to the Bears
The Bears didn’t go after Vincent Jackson like many suspected, but rather got Jay Cutler someone from his Denver Broncos days to throw to. The Bears sent two third-round draft picks south to Florida, getting the three time pro bowler (including 2011), who caught 81 passes last season, with 1214 yards and six touchdowns.
Re-signings were also part of the day – Reggie Wayne won’t go with Peyton Manning but continue, after 11 seasons, to remain a Colt, signing for three more years. Last season was the first time Wayne didn’t make 1000 yards since his third NFL season, but had more to do with their QB issues than him slowing down in my opinion. The New York Giants re-signed cornerback Terrell Thomas.
In terms of rumors, it’s pretty much Peyton Manning, but Mario Williams has also entered the Fray. The Houston Texans, surprisingly, decided to release the 2006 NFL draft no.1 pick. His injury and money issues were the case, and Williams is currently on tour, last meeting with the Bills, looking for a new home that’ll pay well.