The biggest news this weekend so far in the NFL free agency frenzy of 2012, if you can actually call it a frenzy, was wide recievers switching teams. Mario Manningham leaving the Giants and signing the San Francisco 49ers, while Brando Lloyd join the New England Patriots.
Manningham didn’t have a great 2011, but he had a very good Super Bowl, with 5 receptions for 73 yards and one big catch in the fourth quarter. He finished the season with 523 yards and 39 receptions, catching nine touchdowns. He joins the receiving crew of Randy Moss and Michael Carbtree, with the option of Peyton Manning throwing to them sounding very tempting. Alex Smith, upon the news that the 49ers were thinking of making a move for Manning, has started making visits to other teams, like the Dolphins.
The Patriots wanted to find a deep threat for Tom Brady to throw to, landing Brandon Lloyd, the 30 year old Pro Bowl selection for 2010. Lloyd was traded from the Denver Broncos to the St.Louis Rams last season, doing rather well on a terrible team. He had a total of 70 receptions, 966 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2011.
John Abraham, a 12 year veteran and part of the Atlanta Falcons orginization since 2006 will stay in Georgia, signing a 3-year contract. At the age of 33, this might be the last one the 12 year veteran defensive end signs. Abraham is a four time pro bowler and 3 time All-Pro. His 112 career sacks put him at 16th all time. He finished with 9.5 sacks last season
The Baltimore Ravens also made a move for one of their most experience players, re signing Matt Birk, who’s been with the team since 2009 and in the NFL since 1998, on a 3-year deal. Birk, a six time pro bowl selection, has started all 16 games for the Vikings & Ravens over the past six seasons.
Another Center who got re-signed was Chris Myers of the Houston Texans. Myers has been with the team since 2008, beginning his career with the Denver Broncos in 2005, playing as a Guard. He made the shift to Center in 2007. He was signed on a four year deal worth $25 million.
Keeping on with offensive line moves, the Kansas City Chiefs signed right tackle Eric Winston, who has played with the Houston Texans since arriving in the league in 2006. Winston was cut by the Texans to save cap space. The Chiefs also picked up Brady Quinn, who didn’t get to play last season as the third string QB in Denver.
Evan Mathis, one of the more coveted Guards in this free agency re-signed on a five year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, getting $25 million and $7 million guruanteed. He paid visits to a few teams before deciding to stay in Philly after a very good year for him personally.