What We Learned This Week in the NFL Offseason:
- Peyton has a teary goodbye from the Colts and begins his Magical Mystery Tour to find his new team
- The Jets give up on having a good QB and sign Sanchez to an extension
- The Rams get their king’s ransom for their #2 pick from Washington
- The NFL gears up towards Free Agency and sets salary cap for the year
Peyton and Jim Irsay played out their public divorce last week in a tearful press conference in which Peyton quickly left town and landed in Miami sparking Brett Favre-like coverage of his whereabouts for the week. Peyton only officially visited two teams this week and there’s no doubt with the free agency period beginning this Tuesday and roster bonuses due all over the league that many more teams will be forced to drop out of the running for Manning. The Jets were the first team to officially take their name out of the draw, signing Sanchez to a three year extension followed by Washington who traded their entire draft picks from now till roughly 2042 to St. Louis for their second pick in this year’s draft. As the Free Agency period begins this week, Steeler Nation will be able to see if Colbert and Rooney’s repeated expression to make resigning Mike Wallace a top priority was for realzies or if they’ll be more than willing to send him packing for a first round pick.
Peyton was wined and dined in Denver and Arizona this week no doubt getting way more perks and cash thrown at him than he ever did on his SEC recruiting trip. Immediately following Peyton’s visit to Denver, trade rumors began swirling around Tim Tebow, who apparently was pouting in Tampa during a charity fund raising event over the weekend. Following Denver, Peyton arrived in Arizona to meet with Whisenhunt. Now that Arizona and Denver appear to be the front runners in the Peyton Manning sweepstakes, the Dolphins are wondering how they got cut out of the whole deal. Peyton is now back at his home in Miami but there are no reports yet of an official visits to the Dolphins facilities on deck. Arizona owes QB Kevin Kolb about $7 million this week meaning they could quickly drop out of this process if Peyton wants to take his time making a decision. Remember when Kolb was the hottest FA to be signed last year? The Jets took themselves out of the running for Manning by signing Mark Sanchez to a 3 year extension. Who else thinks they just gave up after Peyton kept sending their calls to voicemail?
The Cleveland Browns played the game to negotiate with the Rams for their #2 pick about as well as they do football games. The Browns, sitting on two 1st round picks this year, including the #4 overall, completely whiffed on this opportunity to put Colt McCoy on the shelf and start a new future with RG3. Nice job, Brownies, you never cease to amaze me. Thank you for giving me a reason to make fun of you in March, I usually have to wait until at least August. Meanwhile, the Redskins are in draft pick debt to the Rams for the next 3 years after trading for the rights to the #2 pick overall, which will most likely be RG3. No telling if this will work out for the Redskins, who also have a whole lot of money under the cap to work with to pick up free agents, which is good because they won’t be able to draft any help for Griffin.
As the cap number was released at $120.6 million for the year, the Steelers had gone from over $20 million over the cap to about $10.5 under the cap before free agency begins. This should be a very interesting week to see who goes where, and if anyone will bite on that first round tender for Wallace. I still think it’s a risky move by Colbert to put him up for that, but I also have a feeling that it will work out for them, like it always seems to do. Aside from Ward, which I’m still contending should have been able to contribute this season, the Steelers have had a history of being able to cut WR’s without any messy side effects. Santonio caught the most amazing catch in the Super Bowl anyone has ever seen and was dealt to New York for a 5th round pick that turned out to be Antonio Brown. If Wallace gets picked up by another team, could the Steelers get that lucky again? Stay tuned to NPC this week for all the latest Steelers Free Agency news, we’ll be all over it for sure.
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