Posted by: Tom Duch | March 7, 2010

Are you ready for some football!? In March?

As soon as midnight hit on Thursday night, no Rex Ryan didn’t turn into a pumpkin, but NFL free agency began. The collective bargaining agreement is up and teams enter an uncapped year starting March 5th. Teams didn’t waste any time going after big name free agents, and as Eric Clapton’s song states, “After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down.”

Here are the some of the big moves that came on the first day of free agency through free agent pickups and trades:

Sausage and PEPPERS for Bill Bradsky and the SuperFans

5-time Pro Bowler Julius Peppers signed a 6 year contract with da Bears on Friday.  The deal is worth a reported $91.5 million, $42 million of that in guarenteed money.  The D end has 81 career sacks and should help improve a Bears defense that struggled last year when Brian Urlacher went down for the year with an injury.

Boldin out of Arizona

The Cardinals Pro Bowl wide receiver was signed a 4 year deal worth about $25 million with the Baltimore Ravens.  The receiver is the second addition added to the Ravens receiving corps this offseason, joining Donte’ Stallworth.  If Derrick Mason stays put, Joe Flacco will have three legit receiving threats at his disposal.

Baby Lockdown has a new wingman

The New York Jets have acquired cornerback Antonio Cromartie from the Chargers in exchange for a 2011 draft pick.  After the release of Lito Sheppard, Cromartie will be a more than worthy replacement to the Jets secondary.  Cromartie has struggled the past two seasons, but Rex Ryan could be the motivator he needs to get him back to his All-Pro form.  And he will take some of the load off the shoulders of the Masterlock, Darrelle Revis.

Daylight come and you’re going DELHOMME

Quarterback Jake Delhomme was sent packing after spending seven years as the starter in Carolina.  Panthers’ GM said it was the toughest decision he’d ever made, and coach John Fox couldn’t hold back his tears when answering questions about his QB.  Delhomme led the team to a berth in Super Bowl XXXVIII, losing a heartbreaker to Tom Brady and the Patriots.

Day 2 had some big names moving as well.  Two more Cardinals following Boldin out of Arizona was the biggest news.

Rolle-ing into East Rutherford

Soon after meeting with the Giants in East Rutherford, Antrel Rolle decided he would make New York his new home in 2010.  After signing a 5 year deal worth $37 million, Rolle had become the highest paid safety in the NFL. The former Cardinal is very excited about playing next to fellow Miami Hurricane, Kenny Phillips, saying “I know we can be the best pair of safeties in the league.”

Phins land a shark on defense

The third Cardinal on the move was Karlos Dansby, signing a 5 year deal with the Dolphins for $43 million. After visiting with Miami, it took the biggest contract ever for a linebacker to keep Dansby from visiting other teams and put him in Dolphin aqua and orange.

We Got a Situation: some of the developing moves that might be ahead

  • T.O. said he would change his name to Ochouno if he were to join Chad Ochocinco on the Bengals. T.O.’s agent Drew Rosenhaus said the Bengals have shown interest.
  • Jets may look to re-sign their recently released running back Thomas Jones. They saved almost $6 mil by cutting the 1,400 yard back, but now they want him back.

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