Only a few days into the 2009 NFL Free Agency period and already plenty of NFL teams have made a move or two towards improving their teams, through either free agency or trade. Here then are the NFL teams making the biggest splash this off season.
One of the many Cowboys concern this season, was finding a suitable backup for Tony Romo. When Romo went down with injury last season, Dallas was caught without a suitable backup. To remedy the situation, the Cowboys acquired 12 year journeyman Jon Kitna from the Lions. The cost for Kitna was cornerback Anthony Henry. Kitna, who passed for over 4,000 yards in both 2006 and 2007, was injured for most of the 2008 season. Still, he should be a far better option than Brad Johnson was last season. A far better signing for the Cowboys this off season is former Falcon linebacker Keith Brookings who was plucked from free agency for $6 million over the next 3 seasons. Brookings a first round draft pick in 1998 has racked up over 100 total tackles the last eight seasons, in route to five Pro Bowl appearances.
The Dallas Cowboys have also released star wide receiver Terrell Owens (Thursday March 6, 2008 ; http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AgJAhwfnFSm5s_NgaErvC9zsYNAF?slug=ap-cowboys-tocut&prov=ap&type=lgns) after a three year tenure with the team. At 35, the 6-3, 225 lbs Owens leaves the Cowboys after having played in 47 regular seasons games for the team, catching 235 passes for 3,587 yards and 38 touchdowns.
The Cowboys will start former Lion’s Roy Williams at the number one receiver slot.
The Redskins sent shock waves around the league when they signed Pro Bowl DT Albert Haynesworth for an unheard of $100 million over seven years. The signing comes with $41 million in guaranteed cash. Not done with their spending spree, the Redskins also inked cornerback DeAngelo Hall, signing him to a $54 million dollar contract. After two Pro Bowl seasons in Atlanta, Hall struggled last season in Oakland before being cut by the Raiders. Hall ended the season in Washington after signing a one year deal.
Kansas City Chiefs:
After a 2-14 seasons, the Chiefs have nowhere to go but up, and with a trade for New England Patriot quarterback Matt Cassel, they may be on their way. Cassel, who enjoyed a good 2008 season, throwing for 3,693 yards and 21 touchdowns, comes over with LB Mike Vrabel. The cost? A high second round draft pick (#34 overall).
New England Patriots:
The Patriots, whose running attack was led by committee last year, signed Jacksonville castoff Fred Taylor. The often injured Taylor has put managed to put together seven seasons of over 1,000 yards rushing in his 11 year career. However, with over 2,400 lifetime careers, there is no telling how much more Taylor has in the tank. Look for Taylor to be no more than a very able backup.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Tampa Bay has cleaned house this season, sending head coach John Gruden, quarterback Jeff Garcia, Future Hall of Famer Derrick Brook,s and fan favorite Warrick Dunn packing, along with a few other lesser players. In return, the Bucs traded for often injured TE Kellen Winslow. The trade cost the Bucs a 2nd and 5th round draft pick. Still, the Bucs will need to do much more than that to be competitive in 2009.
The Bucs also signed running back Derrick Ward (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-buccaneers-ward&prov=ap&type=lgns) to a four year $17 million contract. Ward is coming off his best season in the NFL having rushed for 1,025 yards for the Giants last season.
Only two days after being released by the Dallas Cowboys, Terrell Owens found a new team to play for, signing a one year deal for $6.5 million (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=ArFuzKHykY4N6a3l0Fr3JyodsLYF?slug=ap-bills-owens&prov=ap&type=lgns). Owens who has had a troubled filled career, has nevertheless posted Hall of Fame numbers since coming into the league in 1996; in 189 career games, Owens has caught 951 passes for 14,122 yards and 139 touchdowns.
White, Josph, “Haynesworth: record $41M guaranteed from Redskins”; http://sports.aol.com/story/_a/haynesworth-record-41m-guaranteed-from/n20090228064509990004
Withers Tom, “Browns trade Kellen Winslow to Tampa Bay”; http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090227/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_browns_winslow_traded
“Cowboys acquire Kitna from Lions, sign LB Brooking”; http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090228/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_cowboys_kitna