Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Free Agent Feeding Frenzy

OK, Fools; it's on. The most important thing we can do in the next week or two is figure out who's going where, and who's staying put. I'll do my best to track the important fantasy players here, and I'll update this list as soon as I hear something official. Because you can rarely believe what you hear from owners, players and their agents, I'm going to stick to the official announcements, and try to avoid the rumor mill.

No's going to be plenty interesting even without the rumors. Here's what we know as of August 6:


Derek Anderson, Panthers -- Released by the Cardinals and landed in Carolina.
Jake Delhomme -- Dumped by the Browns.
Trent Edwards, Raiders -- Former Bill will push Jason Campbell.
Bruce Gradkowski, Bengals -- Former Raider has agreed to two-year deal in Cincinnati. Wouldn't be a shocker if he started the season.
Rex Grossman, Redskins -- Returns to Washington to battle for the starting job. Let the dancing in the streets of DC begin!
Matt Hasselbeck, Titans -- Released by Seahawks. Signed by Tennessee.
Tarvaris Jackson, Seahawks -- Traded from the Vikings.
Kevin Kolb, Cardinals -- As expected, Philly shipped him to Arizona for CB Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2nd-rounder in 2012.
Donovan McNabb, Vikings -- Traded from the Redskins for a 6th-round pick and a case of Schlitz.
Matt Moore -- Released by Panthers. Signed by Dolphins to two-year deal. And with that, every Dolphin fan is deflated.
Tyler Thigpen, Bills -- Signed three-year deal with Buffalo after leaving Miami.
Vince Young, Eagles -- Released by Titans. Signed one-year deal with Philly to backup Vick.

Marion Barber, Bears -- Continues the migration of Dallas castoffs to Chicago.
Ronnie Brown, Eagles -- Joins the Super Bowl-or-Bust Eagles from the Dolphins.
Reggie Bush, Dolphins -- Saints and Dolphins agreed to a trade that will send Reggie to South Beach.
Mike Hart -- Released by Colts.
Tim Hightower, Redskins -- Traded by the Cards.
Brandon Jackson, Browns -- Ryan Grant's backup now becomes Peyton Hillis' sub.
Vonta Leach, Ravens -- Will open holes for Ray Rice instead of Arian Foster this year.
LeRon McClain, Chiefs -- Signed a one-year deal to leave Baltimore for KC.
Willis McGahee, Broncos -- Released by Ravens. Will poach TDs from Knowshon Moreno instead this season.
Jerious Norwood, Rams -- Moves from Atlanta to St. Louis to back up S-Jax.
Clinton Portis -- Cut by Redskins before the lockout.
Darren Sproles, Saints -- Leaves San Diego to take over where Reggie Bush left off.
Cadillac Williams, Rams -- Suddenly, the St. Louis backfield is crowded.
Ricky Williams, Ravens -- Signs two-year deal to team with Ray Rice in Baltimore.

Devin Aromashodu, Vikings -- Moves from Bears to division rival.
Steve Breaston, Chiefs -- Heading to KC from AZ.
Plaxico Burress, Jets -- Takes his shot with the other New York team.
Chris Chambers -- Released by the Chiefs.
Jerricho Cotchery, Steelers -- Released by the Jets. He'll round out the WR corps in Pittsburgh.
Buster Davis, Bills -- Former first-round Charger pick will try to matter in Buffalo.
Braylon Edwards, 49ers -- Moves cross-country after being crowded out of the Jets lineup.
Lee Evans, Ravens -- Leaves Buffalo to become No. 2 wideout in Baltimore.
Jabar Gaffney, Redskins -- Traded from Denver to Washington.
Michael Jenkins, Vikings -- Moves from Atlanta to Minnesota.
Derrick Mason -- Released by Ravens, and signed with the Jets.
Legedu Naanee, Panthers -- Vowel-blessed wideout moves from San Diego.

Chad Ochocinco, Patriots -- Traded by the Bengals. about upgrading your surroundings.
Terrell Owens -- Won't return to Bengals. Hoping to find a new team willing to gamble on him, especially since he'll likely miss at least half the season with a torn ACL.
Antwaan Randle El -- Released by the Steelers.
Sidney Rice, Seahawks -- Will join old backup QB Jackson in Seattle.
Laurent Robinson, Chargers -- Packing his bags and leaving St. Louis behind.
Steve Smith, Eagles -- Injured wideout bolts from Giants to division rivals.
Mike Sims-Walker, Rams -- Cut by Jags before lockout, then signed one-year deal in St. Louis. I'm intrigued.
Brad Smith, Bills -- Perennial sleeper pick by other "gurus" signs four-year deal to move upstate.
Donte Stallworth, Redskins -- Former Raven signed with Washington.
Brandon Stokley -- Leaving Seattle, but not for Washington. He turned down the Redskins' offer because of the glut of WRs (like him, mostly over 30) they have recently amassed.
Roy Williams -- Axed by Cowboys, then signed with Bears. He'll join ex-Cowboy WR Sam Hurd there as well.

Kevin Boss, Raiders -- Former Giant will replace Zach Miller.
Alge Crumpler -- Released by New England.
Daniel Graham, Titans -- Moves from Denver.
Todd Heap, Cardinals -- Released by Ravens, and landed in Arizona.
Zach Miller, Seahawks -- Seattle won the bidding war with his old team in Oakland.
Greg Olson, Panthers -- Traded by the Bears. Carolina also signed Jeremy Shockey prior to the lockout, and just got Ben Hartsock from the Jets.
Bo Scaife, Bengals -- Former Titan could be Andy Dalton's relief valve.
Matt Spaeth, Bears -- Brought over from Pittsburgh to help fill Olson's old shoes, along with Desmond Clark.

David Akers, 49ers -- Heads to the left coast from Philly, which will roll with rookie Alex Henery.
Kris Brown -- Released by Cowboys.
Brandon Coutu, Seahawks -- Will battle with Jeff Reed for the kicking gig in Seattle.
Shayne Graham, Redskins -- Signed with Washington, then released again.
Olindo Mare, Panthers -- Moves from Seattle to Carolina.
Jeff Reed, Seahawks -- Former 49er and Steeler will compete with Coutu.


Alex Smith, 49ers -- Re-signed to a one-year deal.

Joseph Addai, Colts -- Agreed to contract renewal to stay in Indy.
Ahmad Bradshaw, Giants -- Stays in NY with a new four-year contract.
Cedric Benson, Bengals -- Staying in Cinci for another (losing) year.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Patriots -- Stays put and solidifies the Pats' running attack.
Brian Leonard, Bengals -- Will stay put in Cinci as Cedric's backup.
Mewelde Moore, Steelers -- Sitting tight in Pittsburgh.
Jason Snelling, Falcons -- Will remain Burner Turner's handcuff.
DeAngelo Williams, Panthers -- Agreed to a five-year renewal with Carolina.

Michael Clayton, Giants -- Former Buc re-signs with the team that picked him up last season.
Malcom Floyd, Chargers -- Stays put in San Diego.
Santonio Holmes, Jets -- Has agreed to a massive five-year deal ($18.5 million guaranteed) to stay in the Big Apple. He's good, but not that good.
Vincent Jackson, Chargers -- Will stay in San Diego after signing non-exclusive franchise tag.
Jacoby Jones, Texans -- Agreed to terms to continue underachieving in Houston.
James Jones, Packers -- Returns to the Super Bowl champs.
Lance Moore, Saints -- Will remain in New Orleans after signing a five-year extension.
Santana Moss, Redskins -- Re-signed to a three-year deal.
Steve Smith, Panthers -- Quashed trade speculation and agreed to report to Carolina camp to play under current contract, which has 2 years remaining.

Desmond Clark, Bears -- Re-signs with Chicago, and could reclaim his starting role now that Olson is a Panther.

Connor Barth, Bucs -- Sticking with the up-and-coming club.
Mason Crosby, Packers -- Re-signed to five-year deal.
Nick Folk, Jets -- Will return to the team on a one-year deal.
Ryan Longwell, Vikings -- Agreed to multi-year deal to remain in Minnehaha.
Adam Vinatieri, Colts -- Re-signed with Indy.


Marc Bulger -- Decided being a backup was no longer for him.
Kerry Collins -- 16 years of mediocrity will have to be enough.
Brett Favre -- Please. Just stay home.
Carson Palmer -- The Bengals won't trade him, so he appears ready to retire as threatened. Welcome to the big leagues, Andy Dalton.
Randy Moss -- The Freak is hanging up his cleats.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Wassup, Windy City?

Nealy lost in the hoopla over the ratification of the new CBA by the NFL owners -- and the players' refusal to be rushed into voting on the deal -- was the news that the prestigious Chicago Sun-Times has elected to carry The Fantasy Fool in its pages beginning this season.

I'm excited and honored to break into the Windy City for the first time with my weekly columns, and I'm looking forward to welcoming a new generation of Fools to the dark side.

My first column -- covering the Rookie Class of 2011 -- is slated to run in all my papers (and on this blog) on Monday, August 8. My first round of positional rankings will appear a week later.

Yes, it's time to hit the books! And this August should be even more fun than normal, with potentially 100 or more big names seeking greener pastures in free agency.

The team to watch? Tampa Bay. They have not only had two excellent draft classes in a row, but they have roughly $60 million of salary cap room that they must spend. Don't be surprised if they scoop up two or three of the top free agents right out of the box.