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Forum Offseason Media Thread

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  • Raiders Send McFadden to Rival Broncos
    by DC Insider Rick Bennett

    McFadden will move to Mile High.

    In the days where Al Davis was in charge of the Raiders, trading a quality (though oft-injured) RB to the hated rival Denver Broncos would have never happened.

    But as new Oakland GM Reggie McKenzie establishes himself with the team, no player is sacred and no team is too big of rival to trade with if the offer is right.

    When healthy, McFadden is one of the most dangerous backs in the league. However, he is rarely healthy and Oakland's lack of draft picks made this proposition too good to pass up.

    Oakland will receive Denver's first round pick, #25 overall, in return for McFadden. The Raiders feel that 2nd year player Taiwan Jones can be their speed threat in the backfield and will likely look for another back, possibly attempting to resign RB Michael Bush, to compliment him.

    An accelerated cap hit from McFadden's signing bonus means that the Raiders only gain about $2 million towards the salary cap, but having a first round draft pick makes it well worth it.


    • Bears Release Four
      by DC Insider Rick Bennett

      The Chicago Bears have announced today that they've released four players, RB Marion Barber, OG/C Chris Spencer, DT Anthony Adams, and OG Mansfield Wrotto.

      Barber and Adams in particular fell out of favor with the coaching staff last season, and their salary wasn't justified as backups.

      This series of moves will save the Bears $6-7 million.


      • Bears Ready to Spend
        by DC Insider Rick Bennett

        Dwayne Bowe is HIGH on the Bears wish list.

        New Bears GM Phil Emery recent told the media that "money won't be an issue" for the Bears this offseason.

        With a number of aging veterans on the roster, many believe that the Bears window is closing. Making a splash in this year's free agency period would go a long way towards helping the Bears get back into the championship hunt.

        Target #1 on the Bears list? Former Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe.

        Bowe was in town last night to speak with the Bears, and the Bears tried hard to keep him there. Much like they did with free agent WR Muhsin Muhammad years ago, the Bears did everything in their power to keep Bowe from leaving town without a contract.

        Bowe was reportedly flattered and very impressed by the Bears offer, but he is going to take a look at every offer before accepting one.

        The Bears will be right back to work today interviewing other free agents.


        • McNeill Visits Lions
          by DC Insider Rick Bennett

          Protecting Stafford's blindside in 2012?

          Marcus McNeill's season ended last year due to concerns about his neck. The injury was apparently concerning enough that it was thought that McNeill's career might be in jeopardy.

          But he's still making the free agent rounds and today's stop was in Detroit. Long time starter Jeff Backus is an aging free agent who may not return to the team, so the Lions are doing their homework on alternatives.

          McNeill's history of neck issues makes him a risky signing, but when healthy, he is one of the league's better blindside protectors.


          • Lloyd Visits Patriots
            by DC Insider Rick Bennett

            Will he reunite with McDaniels?

            From the very moment Josh McDaniels rejoined the Patriots staff, soon-to-be free agent WR Brandon Lloyd was immediately linked with the team.

            This link was well grounded in reality, particularly after the WR visited the Patriots today.

            While Lloyd has gotten some high level interest elsewhere in free agency, players have taken less money in the past to sign with perennial Superbowl contender New England.

            Lloyd has said that he feels that he and McDaniels are "connected" in the past, and has enjoyed the greatest success of his career when McDaniels was calling the plays.

            Lloyd will reportedly consider all offers, but put a star next the Patriots if you're keeping track at home.


            • Dolphins Host Flynn
              by DC Insider Rick Bennett

              Are two starts enough to justify signing him?

              A day after showing free agent QB Peyton Manning around town, the Dolphins flew in another highly rated free agent QB in Green Bay's Matt Flynn.

              Flynn has only made two starts in his career, but performed extremely well in both of them. He made his first confirmed free agent visit to Miami today.

              The Dolphins pretty clearly have Manning as their first choice, but appear to be doing their due diligence on Matt Flynn as a possible plan B. If signed, Flynn would likely come in and compete with incumbent Matt Moore for the starting job in Miami.


              • Vikings Host Thomas
                by DC Insider Rick Bennett

                Will he be in purple next season?

                CB Terrell Thomas missed the entire 2011 season due to a knee injury, but that hasn't stopped several teams from expressing high levels of interest on the open market.

                Prior to the injury, Thomas was considered the Giants top CB, intercepting 10 passes in the previous two seasons.

                The Vikings are one of the teams interested in Thomas. Thomas was apparently very interested by the Vikings offer and where they see him fitting into the defense.


                • Orton Visits Seahawks
                  by DC Insider Rick Bennett

                  Seattle is that uh-way.

                  QB Kyle Orton enjoyed a career year in Denver two seasons ago, but found himself pushed out by Tim Tebow and finished the season with the Chiefs. Orton started the final weeks of the season with the Chiefs and defeated the playoff bound Packers and Broncos in that time.

                  Now, the Seahawks have an interest in the journeyman QB. Many feel that Seattle is a good QB away from being a competitive team, and Seattle thinks that Orton may be the man for that job.

                  Orton was reportedly intrigued by Seattle's offer, capped off with the team essentially guaranteeing him the starting job.

                  Orton will wait to hear other offers, but it sounds as though "neckbeard" has a good chance of winding up in the Emerald City in 2012.


                  • Jackson Heads North, Visits 49ers
                    by DC Insider Rick Bennett

                    VJax to the Bay Area?

                    A day after a good visit with the Philadelphia Eagles, WR Vincent Jackson headed back across the country to visit with the 49ers in San Francisco.

                    The 49ers are highly expected to resign QB Alex Smith, and if they do, he'll need some additional weapons on offense.

                    Jackson would provide an elite #1 type presence at WR and would really open the 49ers passing attack which struggled at times in 2011.


                    • Peyton Tour Hits Washington
                      by DC Insider Rick Bennett

                      Manning given the presidential treatment in the nation's capital.

                      Things were fairly quiet on the Peyton Manning front after his highly publicized visits to Miami, Arizona and possibly (don't tell the Tebow fanatics) Denver. But Manning resurfaced in Washington today as part of his visit to the Redskins HQ.

                      The welcoming party was out in full force, as owner Dan Snyder spared no expense in making sure the prize free agent QB got the best experience in Washington possible.

                      Manning met with the front office staff and coaches as the parties made their best pitches possible the QB.

                      Washington is in desperate need of help at the position, as they cannot possibly go into another season with the likes of Rex Grossman and John Beck at QB.

                      The Redskins have done well to clear out cap space the last few years after a decade of constantly living in cap hell, but Manning will be the first to point out that money is less of a big deal than the team's situation.

                      Currently, the Redskins don't have a Larry Fitzgerald or Brandon Marshall to offer Manning at WR, but the Redskins have the cap space to bring one in.

                      Manning has also said before that he may wait until after the first free agents have signed to see which team creates the best situation.

                      One thing we do know is that Washington is going to do whatever it has to in order to provide the best possible situation for Manning to sign.


                      • Release updates:

                        Cincinnati Bengals:
                        S Chris Crocker - $1.9 million
                        CB Brandon Ghee - $540k

                        Green Bay Packers:
                        LB Frank Zombo - $490k
                        TE Tom Crabtree - $490k

                        San Francisco 49ers:
                        CB Shawntae Spencer $3.2 million


                        • Vikings Bolster Secondary

                          The Minnesota Vikings have emphasized the importance of improving the secondary this offseason, and followed through on that in free agency.

                          The Vikings announced today that they have come to terms on a contract with cornerback Tracy Porter and free safety OJ Atogwe, and that they have re-signed strong safety Husain Abdullah, outside linebacker Erin Henderson, defensive tackle Letroy Guion, and wide receiver Devin Aromashodu.

                          Porter, most known for his Super Bowl XLIV clinching interception, said his final choice came down to the Vikings and Raiders with multiple other teams showing interest. Porter will be slated to start opposite Antoine Winfield with Chris Cook, barring further legal consequences stemming from a domestic dispute case, expected to play in the nickel. Porter had a bit of a down year in 2011, but the Vikings expect for the 25-year old to bounce back.

                          Atogwe will take over at free safety for a Vikings team that struggled mightily in the secondary with many lapses in coverage, despite primarily playing cover 2 which is known as a system that makes the safeties’ responsibilities simple. The Vikings hope Atogwe brings a playmaking aspect the Vikings secondary has been missing. In 2011, the Vikings set an NFL record of most consecutive passes thrown against without an interception, and ended the season tied for last in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts with only 8 interceptions. Atogwe had 3 interceptions in 13 games with Washington last season and has 25 career interceptions in 7 seasons.

                          The Vikings would like to move away from the cover 2 to a more man oriented system, but lacked the coverage corners and the safeties to cover tight ends and slot receivers to do so. They believe that with the addition of Porter and getting back Cook, who showed vast improvement before coach Leslie Frazier sat him after his arrest on Oct. 22 for domestic assault, that they have the corners to play man said new general manager Marshallb. He added that Atogwe will be a huge improvement over the combination of Tyrell Johnson and Jamarca Sanford at free safety, allowing the team to mix things up and that they won’t be forced to play such a vanilla concept.

                          Henderson started 15 games at weak-side linebacker in 2011 next to his brother EJ, who is also a free agent and remains unsigned. Henderson is again slotted in as the starting will linebacker and is expected to play the nickel snaps this year barring another addition at linebacker as the team hasn’t been in contact with EJ Henderson and it appears as though they are willing to let him walk.

                          Abdullah missed half of the 2011 season with concussion issues, but was a solid starter at strong safety prior to that and played well in 2010 after getting a chance to start. Abdullah is slated to be the starter opposite Atogwe in 2012.

                          Aromashodu started five games in 2011 following a season ending knee injury to Michael Jenkins, and caught 26 passes for 468 yards with one touchdown on the season. Aromashodu is expected to take a step back into a depth role in 2012 with Jenkins back and marshallb added that the team will never stop looking for weapons to surround quarterback Christian Ponder with.

                          Guion, who started 3 games in 2011, rotated with Christian Ballard and Remi Ayodele at nose tackle after Kevin Williams returned from suspension, and is expected to play a similar role in 2012.

                          Marshallb declined to give exact terms on contracts at this time, but said that they gave Porter an “elite contract”, Atogwe a “quality contract”, Henderson a “mid level contract” and Abdullah, Aromashodu, and Guion “low level contracts”.

                          Earlier this offseason the Vikings released offensive guards Steve Hutchinson and Anthony Herrera, and cornerback Cedric Griffin to free up some cap space. By cutting those three, the Vikings saved slightly under $14 million. Hutchinson has since signed with the Tennessee Titans while Herrera and Griffin remain unsigned.

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                          • "Fat Al" Sighted in St. Louis
                            by DC Insider Rick Bennett

                            Might they reunite?

                            After a tumultuous couple of seasons in Washington, New England and Tampa Bay that saw Albert Haynesworth fall from "dominant pass rusher" to "fat, out of shape and lazy," many believed that Haynesworth had hit the end of the line.

                            Not so if today's news is any indication. Haynesworth was sighted in St. Louis where he could potentially reunite with his former head coach in Jeff Fisher. Haynesworth was drafted by Fisher and enjoyed the greatest success of his career under Fisher.

                            Haynesworth certainly won't get the uber-deal he got last time he was a free agent, but if he can show that he still has the desire to go with his talent on a short term, low-value deal it could prove beneficial to both Haynesworth and the team.


                            • Reggie Nelson Popular in Round 2 of Free Agency
                              by DC Insider Rick Bennett

                              Could he be back blowing up receivers in the AFC North?

                              Reggie Nelson was a borderline bust in Jacksonville, struggling to adapt to the speed and complexity of the NFL as he failed to live up to his first round billing.

                              Fast forward a few years, and Nelson is coming off a career best season in Cincinnati. He started every game, wracked up over 80 tackles and was the most consistent member of the Bengals secondary after Leon Hall was injured.

                              Nelson didn't get many offers that he liked during the first round of free agency, but now some teams are talking to the Cincinnati safety.

                              The Bengals are one of them and would like to have him back. Miami is also interested and may be willing to up their offer from the first round in order to secure his services. Several other teams are interested in speaking with the free agent safety as well.


                              • Reggie Wayne Speaks With Cardinals
                                by DC Insider Rick Bennett

                                Together again the desert?

                                Reggie Wayne was extremely disappointed by the lack of interest in him in the first round of free agency. Perhaps his expectations were too high, as he is 33 and coming off of his worst season in the last 7 years.

                                Still, Wayne is a savvy veteran who, despite lacking ideal physical abilities, has sure hands and runs tremendous routes.

                                One team now showing interest is the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals signed Peyton Manning to be their QB in 2012, and bringing a receiver he has a connection with in would be a great benefit.

                                The Cardinals already had all-world WR Larry Fitzgerald, who was one of the biggest reasons Peyton signed with the team. They went out and added deep threat Robert Meachem in free agency, though he can be rather inconsistent. Adding Wayne as a #3 option to work with Manning would be a great boost for the club.



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