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Uncapped Free Agency Continues

Posted by in NFL General on March 15th, 2010 | Comment »

There were more than a few sportsbook questions heading in to the NFL’s first uncapped free agent signing period since 1993. One week later, a lot of those questions now have answered, with several teams making big additions to their teams, and several teams deciding to stand pat.

The biggest online betting winner so far is the Chicago Bears, naturally, after they signed the biggest free agent prize in defensive end Julius Peppers, and the perfect complement to Matt Forte at running back in Chester Taylor. A five-time Pro Bowl rushing end, and two-time All-Pro, Peppers adds the speed presence off the edge that fits perfectly in the Cover-2 defensive scheme in Chicago. In tandem with the return to health of linebacker Brian Urlacher, the Bears’ coaching staff is hoping their defense can return to the form that led them to an NFC Championship in 2007. Taylor, who complemented Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson for the rival Minnesota Vikings brings experience, durability, and a receiving option out of the back field.

Another team that has been very busy in the offseason is the New York Jets. After falling to the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game, the Jets raided the roster of one of the few teams that have enjoyed success against the Colts in recent years, the San Diego Chargers. After trading for former Pro Bowl cornerback Antonio Cromartie, the Jets signed free agent running back LaDanian Tomlinson to a two-year deal to fill the void created by the release of Thomas Jones. Despite having the top ranked rushing attack, the Jets chose to release Jones and go with the 2006 NFL MVP as a complement to sophomore running back Shonn Greene. Tomlinson ranks eighth on the all-time career, rushing list with 12, 490 yards, and his 138-career touchdowns rank second. However, the former TCU-star ran for 730 yards on just 3.3 yards per carry, both career lows.

Cleveland was also busy making high profile changes. General Manager Mike Holmgren traded former first round pick Brady Quinn to the Denver Broncos for a pair of draft picks. The move came on the same day it was reported that the Browns had signed free agent quarterback Jake Delhomme to a book per head two-year deal. Delhomme is expected to compete with former-Seahawk Seneca Wallace for the starting job. The Browns also released Derek Anderson, who split time with Quinn during the 2009 season.

A former defensive standout returned to his former team. After playing one season with the Detroit Lions, linebacker Larry Foote inked a three-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team that he played for from 2004-08.

Safety Roy Williams agreed to a one-year deal that will keep him with the Cincinnati Bengals. The former Dallas Cowboy started at strong safety for the first three games, but suffered a forearm injury that limited him to just one more game going forward. NFL free agents will continue to search for a home, even entering the March Madness bracket period.

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