Offseason Movement
By Staff
June 7th, 2010

  Intro/Lead By Michael Brown

The offseason movement feature makes yet another appearance. It's one of the few staples of football that you know isn't going anywhere. Unless the players and owners come to some bizarro labor agreement next year, there will ALWAYS be players changing teams. Some will end up in better situations, some in worse ones. It's up to us to tell you which ones look good or bad from a preliminary look below. And it's up to you to continue to return to our website over the summer to see how some of these guys look to be panning out with their new teams. If nothing else, it will provide you with a refresher course or keep you informed on something you may have missed in April.

We wish we had a crystal ball to tell you exactly what is going to happen, when it is going to happen, and how much turnover there will be statistically. But the truth is, it's only May. The key directive we can give you right now is to stay informed. Players change teams almost daily during the summer months, and a seemingly insignificant move in late August can have a huge impact on both the real NFL and your fantasy league. Heck, Brett Favre didn't even sign until late last offseason! (ok so that was a slightly different situation but you get the point)

We all want to know how player X will fit in with team Y. We all want to know how a superstar will react to the first major move of his career, or which journeyman on their last legs will resurrect their stat lines with a move elsewhere. And we can help you with that over time. For now, though, educate yourself on what you see below. Get a good basis for how the moves should impact each team, and we'll continue to let you know how they ARE impacting each team. And in the meantime, you can be assured that you won't be that guy at the bar saying something like, “I think Boldin is gonna have a huge year with Leinart as QB” while your friends give you blank stares and wonder where you were all offseason.

Quarterbacks

  By Jason Wood

1. Donovan McNabb - Washington (from Philadelphia)

  • What happened: The Eagles career leader in yards (32,873), TD passes (216) and wins (92) was traded to division rival Washington in exchange for the 37th overall pick in the NFL draft.
  • What it means: McNabb becomes the centerpiece of Mike Shanahan's new offense, and will look to inject stability and productivity to a team that struggled to put points on the board at times in recent memory. McNabb's trade also opens the door for Kevin Kolb to start in Philly and sent Jason Campbell to Oakland, where he's the presumed starter.
  • 2. Jason Campbell - Oakland (from Washington)

  • What happened: Few quarterbacks have had to look over their shoulder more than Campbell, and he mercifully was traded to Oakland, ending any thought that the Redskins would try to keep him as Donovan McNabb's backup. The Raiders quickly added another year to Campbell's contract.
  • What it means: Many believe Campbell has gotten a bum rap because of the turnover in scheme and coaching in Washington. Suffice to say, he's the odds-on favorite to start in Oakland, but must adjust to yet another offensive system with relatively unproven supporting talent.
  • 3. Jake Delhomme - Cleveland (from Carolina)

  • What happened: The Panthers cut the long-time starter, despite owing him $12.7 million this year guaranteed. The Browns quickly signed the veteran to a 2-year, $12.4 million deal that guarantees him another $7 million.
  • What it means: The Browns want Delhomme to start in 2010 and provide a stabilizing force, but there are no guarantees. Team President Mike Holmgren tried to trade up for rookie Sam Bradford, and then drafted Colt McCoy in the third round. Seneca Wallace is the most likely alternative in 2010.
  • 4. Derek Anderson - Arizona (from Cleveland)

  • What happened: After completing just 43% of his attempts in 2009, the Cleveland Browns released the strong-armed veteran. Anderson quickly signed a 2-year, $7.25 million deal with Arizona.
  • What it means: Anderson threw for 3,787 yards and 29 TDs in 2007, which means he's done a lot more in a season than projected starter Matt Leinart has. But Leinart will get every opportunity to win and keep the job. If he falters, Anderson could see the field again, but it is a low probability bet that he would re-emerge as a productive, consistent starter.
  • 5. Charlie Whitehurst - Seattle (from San Diego)

  • What happened: Perennial third-stringer Charlie Whitehurst became a hot commodity as a restricted free agent, ultimately signing 2-year, $8 million contract in Seattle. The Chargers traded Whitehurst for a third round pick in 2011 and swap of 2010 second round picks.
  • What it means: With Pete Carroll running the show, anything is possible. The new coach gave Whitehurst lip service and has hinted that it will be an open competition between the new QB and incumbent Matt Hasselbeck. When push comes to shove, we expect Hasselbeck will be the opening week starter, but it's a training camp situation to watch.
  • 6. A.J. Feeley - St. Louis (from Carolina)

  • What happened: Feeley signed a 2-year, $6 million deal with Saint Louis and reunites with offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, who worked with Feeley in Philadelphia.
  • What it means: The Rams drafted Sam Bradford first overall and he will be the long-term starter. But the Rams hope Feeley is competent enough to hold down the fort for a period of time. Whether that's a few weeks or the entire 2010 season remains to be seen.
  • 7. Seneca Wallace - Cleveland (from Seattle)

  • What happened: The Seahawks traded Wallace to the Browns for a late round conditional pick. Wallace believed at the time it was a chance to compete for a starting job, but the subsequent signing of Jake Delhomme and drafting of Colt McCoy argue otherwise.
  • What it means: Jake Delhomme is no sure thing at this point in his career, and if he struggles, Wallace could very well take the field. But if Wallace does get the opportunity, it's likely as an audition for another team in 2011. Colt McCoy will be groomed for the starting job in 2010 or 2011.
  • 8. Brady Quinn - Denver (from Cleveland)

  • What happened: The Broncos acquired Quinn from the Browns for RB Peyton Hillis, a sixth round pick in 2011, and a conditional 2012 draft pick that can rise as high as a third rounder depending on Quinn's playing time.
  • What it means: The coaching staff has insisted Kyle Orton remains the unquestioned starter for 2010, and the selection of Tim Tebow in the first round of this year's draft removes what little chance Quinn had of becoming the long-term answer in Denver. At best, Quinn will get a chance to start this year at some juncture, and play well enough to entice another team to give him a shot as their starter in a season or two.
  • Running Backs

      By Jeff Pasquino

    1. Thomas Jones - Kansas City (from New York Jets)

  • What happened: The New York Jets released Jones prior to free agency and failed to re-sign the former lead rusher. Kansas City stepped in and snapped up the five-time 1,000-yard rusher.
  • What it means: Yet another running back by committee backfield emerges in Kansas City. Jamaal Charles does not have the build for a feature back, so getting Jones gives Charlie Weis a good mixture for a ‘thunder and lightning' approach. The Chiefs will likely keep Jones between the tackles and allow Charles to work the perimeter and get the majority of screen calls. Jones should dominate the short yardage and goal line chances, which will keep his fantasy value elevated.
  • 2. Chester Taylor - Chicago (from Minnesota)

  • What happened: The Minnesota Vikings chose to let one of the best backup running backs leave and sign with another team in free agency. Chicago signed Taylor for $12.5 million over four years, including $7 million guaranteed - but did not proclaim him as a starter.
  • What it means: Despite all of the blame heading Matt Forte's way for the woes of the Bears' 2009 rushing attack, not much has been done to improve the offensive line. Whether it is Forte or Chester Taylor back there this season, neither of them can expect many large holes to get to the second level. Couple that with the addition of new offensive coordinator Mike Martz (who never met a pass play he didn't like) and it's entirely possible that Chicago will once again be nowhere near the top of any rushing categories in 2010. Chester Taylor should take away some snaps from Forte, but both are relatively interchangeable for the Martz offense.
  • 3. Larry Johnson (from Cincinnati) and Willie Parker (from Pittsburgh) - Washington

  • What happened: Johnson signed a three-year free agent deal with the Redskins, while Parker inked a one-year free agent deal with Washington.
  • What it means: This will be an interesting camp battle to watch. New head coach Mike Shanahan has produced many successful 1,000-yard rushers while in Denver, so whoever gets significant work in Washington could have good fantasy value this year. Clinton Portis is still the likeliest starter, especially given his history with Shanahan, but his injury history and age are concerns. Johnson could not hold off Jamaal Charles in Kansas City, but he did show some burst with the Bengals. Parker was in a similar situation as another younger back (Rashad Mendenhall) pushed past him for the starting job in Pittsburgh. Both Johnson and Parker have incentive-laden contracts which pay off well if they start, but it is also cheap for the Redskins to release one of them prior to Week 1.
  • 4. Leon Washington (from New York Jets) - Seattle

  • What happened: Washington (and LenDale White) was traded to the Seahawks during the NFL Draft in April.
  • What it means: Pete Carroll got a whole new backfield in Seattle on the cheap with late round draft picks heading to Tennessee and the New York Jets. LenDale White was expected to get his second chance to start as he gets out from being behind Chris Johnson in Tennessee, but the Seahawks quickly released him. Leon Washington is coming back from a compound leg fracture from last season but has great upside potential. Julius Jones and Justin Forsett are both still in the mix of a suddenly crowded Seahawks backfield. All three remaining backs will be fighting for touches in another training camp battle to watch.
  • 5. LaDainian Tomlinson - New York Jets (from San Diego)

  • What happened: San Diego and Tomlinson just could not coexist any longer, and Tomlinson signed a free agent deal with the Jets.
  • What it means: Shonn Greene takes over in New York as the dominant rusher for the Jets, but head coach Rex Ryan loves to rely on that ground game. The Jets had over 600 carries in 2009 and there is no realistic way that Ryan would allow Greene to get more than 350 touches, if that. Tomlinson and rookie Joe McKnight will split an expected heavy workload.
  • 6. Mike Bell - Philadelphia (from New Orleans)

  • What happened: New Orleans let the short yardage back leave via free agency. Bell inked a one-year deal with the Eagles.
  • What it means: Philadelphia is not much for running the ball, even with the departure of Donovan McNabb. Head coach Andy Reid loves to call passes, but the Eagles have struggled greatly in short yardage efforts both at the goal line and on third downs. Bell could take over that role and also get extra work spelling new starter LeSean McCoy as Leonard Weaver moves towards a more traditional fullback role.
  • Wide Receivers

      By Mark Wimer

    1. Brandon Marshall - Miami (From Denver)

  • What happened: After a tumultuous first year playing for head coach Josh McDaniels, Marshall parlayed his 101 reception/1,120 receiving yards/10 TD season into the richest contract in NFL history at his position ($47.5 million over four years) after being traded to Miami for a set of second-round draft picks.
  • What it means: Marshall's arrival in Miami instantly upgrades a pedestrian receiving corps and provides the Dolphins with a clear number one wideout who is a threat to score every time he touches the football. His departure leaves a huge hole at wide receiver for the Broncos, further diminishing Kyle Orton's fantasy prospects for 2010 (Orton also lost tight end Tony Scheffler to Detroit this past offseason).
  • 2. Anquan Boldin - Baltimore (From Arizona)

  • What happened: Boldin had been unhappy with his contract in Arizona since Larry Fitzgerald's then-record extension, and agitated for a trade in the time since Fitzgerald signed. He got his wish when he was sent to Baltimore for third- and fourth-round picks in the 2010 draft. The Ravens awarded him a contract extension that added $25 million in new money to his then-current deal, including $10 million in guaranteed money.
  • What it means: Boldin steps in to become the clear number one in Baltimore, and will be complemented by wily veteran Derrick Mason on the other side of the field. Joe Flacco's passing attack should greatly benefit from Boldin's presence in Baltimore. The Cardinals, meanwhile, expect Steve Breaston to step into Boldin's shoes across from Larry Fitzgerald (a role Breaston capably handled during games when Boldin was injured over the past couple of seasons).
  • 3. Antonio Bryant - Cincinnati (from Tampa Bay)

  • What happened: Bryant (an unrestricted free agent) was signed to a four-year, $29 million contract.
  • What it means: Bryant will team up with Chad Ochocinco to give the Bengals a solid 1-2 combination for Carson Palmer. Bryant is an upgrade over Laveranues Coles, who didn't have much gas left in the tank in 2009. Bryant's departure from Tampa Bay led to a youth movement at wide receiver during the draft for the Buccaneers (Arrelious Benn was selected in the second round, and Mike Williams was taken in the fourth).
  • 4. Santonio Holmes - New York Jets (from Pittsburgh)

  • What happened: Holmes is set for a four-game suspension due to violating the league's substance-abuse guidelines, and the Steelers decided they could do without his presence on the roster. They traded him to the Jets for a fifth round pick. The Jets promptly restructured Holmes contract so most of his 2010 pay comes in signing bonus, roster bonus and reporting bonus, greatly reducing the monetary impact of his four-game suspension (prior to the trade, most of his pay was due in base salary, which a player loses on a per-game basis while suspended).
  • What it means: Holmes is expected to be in the mix as the second or third option along with Jerricho Cotchery and Braylon Edwards once his suspension is served. Mark Sanchez has a nice set of experienced receivers to utilize when the Jets decide to call passing plays - the team may go with more three-wide sets once Holmes is available to join in games. The Steelers are expecting Mike Wallace to fill Holmes' shoes across from Hines Ward this year.
  • 5. Nate Burleson - Detroit (from Seattle)

  • What happened: Burleson was an unrestricted free agent this year, and signed a five-year deal worth $25 million to play in Detroit during 2010. The deal includes $11 million in guaranteed money.
  • What it means: Burleson is a big upgrade over Bryant Johnson in Detroit - his presence should help free up all-world receiver Calvin Johnson. Seattle drafted Golden Tate in the second round to fill the hole Burleson left, and they still have Deion Branch on the roster to challenge for the number two position in the wide receiver corps.
  • 6. Torry Holt - New England (from Jacksonville)

  • What happened: Though he signed a three year, $20 million contract with the Jaguars last year, Holt was released early in the offseason. With a serious knee injury dogging Wes Welker, the Patriots signed Holt to help out across from Randy Moss while Welker recovers.
  • What it means: Holt may start for New England while Welker recovers. Welker's injury was surgically repaired just the first week of February with an 8-12 month recovery time frame for the knee reconstruction (torn ACL and MCL in his left knee). Holt didn't impress in Jacksonville, but the Patriots have a knack for getting production from aging veterans. Julian Edelman is also in the mix to get reps while Welker is out. In Jacksonville, Mike Sims-Walker and Mike Thomas are expected to be the starting wide receivers for David Garrard in a make-or-break season for the Jaguars' starting quarterback.
  • 7. Donte Stallworth - Baltimore (out of football 2009)

  • What happened: Stallworth served a year-long NFL suspension for hitting and killing a pedestrian with his car while intoxicated. He was signed by Baltimore to a one-year contract.
  • What it means: Stallworth will be the deep-threat receiver for big-armed Joe Flacco and likely beat out Mark Clayton for the #3 wide receiver position behind Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason. He may have some ‘boom' potential in fantasy terms when the matchups are good.
  • 8. Ted Ginn - San Francisco (from Miami)

  • What happened: Just prior to the NFL draft, Ginn was traded to San Francisco for a fifth-round pick. He didn't pan out as a number one option for the Dolphins (who invested a top-ten pick on him in 2007).
  • What it means: Ginn is viewed primarily as a kick and punt returner at this stage in his career, though he stated that he believes he can still become an elite receiver in the NFL. However, with Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis headlining the 49ers' passing attack, Ginn is unlikely to make many waves this year.
  • 9. Arnaz Battle - Pittsburgh (from San Francisco)

  • What happened: Battle, an unrestricted free agent, signed with the Steelers for a three-year deal.
  • What it means: Battle will provide veteran depth to the Steelers, and injury insurance for Hines Ward and Mike Wallace.
  • 10. Reggie Brown - Tampa Bay (from Philadelphia)

  • What happened: Brown was traded to Tampa Bay for a sixth-round pick in the 2011 draft.
  • What it means: Brown hasn't been a headliner in the NFL in years, but given the extremely young wide receiving corps in Tampa Bay, he could move up the depth chart during training camp. Michael Clayton, another underperforming veteran, is the current candidate for the top job at wide receiver, but he hasn't impressed anybody either. The wide receiver position/depth chart in Tampa is wide open entering 2010 organized team activities.
  • 11. Matt Jones - Cincinnati (UFA, out of football during 2009)

  • What happened: Jones got in trouble due to violating the NFL's substance abuse policy and was released by the Jaguars. He didn't catch on with another team until Cincinnati decided to roll the dice on him this spring. Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said Jones has to earn his way onto the final roster next season. "We're not locked into him. We're only investing in his chance for him to make it."
  • What it means: Since the tragic death of Chris Henry, the Bengals have been searching for a third wide receiver. If Jones' time out of pro football knocked some sense into him, he may be able to contribute to Cincinnati as the third receiver. One more transgression, though, and he's likely out of the league.
  • 12. Kassim Osgood - Jacksonville (from San Diego)

  • What happened: Osgood was an unrestricted free agent, and signed a three-year deal worth $6.675 million with Jacksonville. The deal could be worth as much as $10.875 million with incentives.
  • What it means: Osgood is a key special-teams contributor, and reportedly will get a chance to play more at wide receiver with the Jaguars. He said: "You want to contribute the most. In San Diego I felt I wasn't being utilized to capacity. Definitely, it was the opportunity. I want to be a safety valve for the quarterback. He's scrambling and I want to be open. I want to mix it all in. I want to learn it all and be able to do it all." The depth chart in Jacksonville isn't settled by any means, so Osgood could challenge for significant playing time if he turns heads in training camp.
  • 13. Antwaan Randle El - Pittsburgh (from Washington)

  • What happened: Randle El was released by the Redskins, and re-signed with his old team, the Steelers, on a three-year deal.
  • What it means: Randle El gives the Steelers a veteran presence (he was a locker room leader in Washington) and injury insurance for Hines Ward and Mike Wallace.
  • 14. Jerheme Urban - Kansas City (from Arizona)

  • What happened: Urban was an unrestricted free agent, and signed with the Chiefs
  • What it means: Urban will likely serve as the number three/slot receiver for the Chiefs as they continue to remake the offense during year two of the Todd Haley regime.
  • 15. Reggie Williams - Seattle (from Jacksonville)

  • What happened: Williams, an unrestricted free agent, signed a contract with the Seahawks.
  • What it means: If Williams plays hard, he might resurrect his NFL career with head coach Pete Carroll. He'll have to impress, though, as there is a big flock of Seahawks wide receivers with the team right now.
  • 16. Hank Baskett - Philadelphia (from Indianapolis)

  • What happened: The Eagles signed unrestricted free-agent Baskett to a one-year contract.
  • What it means: Baskett is familiar with the Eagles' offense (he played there most of his career until a one-year stint in Indianapolis last year), and provides veteran depth for the Eagles.
  • Tight Ends

      By Maurile Tremblay

    1. Tony Scheffler - Detroit (from Denver)

  • What happened: Scheffler was part of a three-team trade in which the Broncos traded Scheffler and a seventh-round pick to the Lions, the Lions sent OLB Ernie Sims to the Eagles, and the Eagles sent a fifth-round draft pick to the Broncos.
  • What it means: Scheffler has good hands and athleticism, and was an adequate fantasy starter in 2007 and 2008 before his role was reduced under Josh McDaniels in 2009. Scheffler was suspended for the final game last season due to a poor attitude. The Lions' first-round draft pick from 2009, Brandon Pettigrew, is more well-rounded than Scheffler, who lacks strength as a blocker. As long as Pettigrew is healthy, therefore, he is expected to start, while Scheffler will be used in two-tight end sets, and may occasionally line up in the slot (a la Dallas Clark in Indianapolis). Pettigrew is recovering from knee surgery, and Scheffler will likely see more work if Pettigrew is not 100% by the start of the season. If Pettigrew looks okay during training camp, however, Scheffler should generally go undrafted in traditional fantasy leagues. In Denver, Scheffler's departure will mean more playing time for last year's second-round draft pick, Richard Quinn.
  • 2. Ben Watson - Cleveland (from New England)

  • What happened: Watson played out his initial six-year contract with the Patriots, becoming a free agent after the 2009 season. He signed a three-year, $12 million deal with the Browns ($6.35 million guaranteed).
  • What it means: Watson is a talented athlete with the speed to get downfield, but his hands have been inconsistent and he is not very effective as a blocker. Nonetheless, he is the favorite to start for the Browns over Evan Moore. Moore flashed talent as a receiver last season, but is less experienced than Watson, and not an overpowering blocker. The tight end position may be heavily featured in Mike Holmgren's version of the west coast offense, and Watson has decent fantasy potential for that reason. Of course the excitement over that potential is tempered by lackluster expectations for the Browns' passing offense as a whole, and perhaps by threat of competition from Moore as well. Watson will likely go undrafted in most traditional fantasy leagues, but could become a waiver-wire gem if the Browns' offense starts to click.

    3. Chris Baker - Seattle (from New England)
  • What happened: The Patriots released Baker, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent. He signed a two-year deal with the Seahawks worth $4.75 million.
  • What it means: The Seahawks signed Baker for depth behind starter John Carlson, but we wouldn't be surprised to see Baker eat into Carlson's playing time a bit. Carlson is a talented pass-catcher (although he regressed in 2009 from his stellar rookie season the year before), but is largely ineffective as a run-blocker. Baker, meanwhile, is a well-rounded tight end who could push Carlson to either play with better consistency or find his snap counts reduced. Carlson's superior athleticism makes him the much better fantasy prospect, however, as Baker will get too few targets to be worth a roster spot in just about any fantasy league.
  • 4. Alge Crumpler - New England (from Tennessee)

  • What happened: After releasing Chris Baker and declining to re-sign Ben Watson this offseason, the Patriots signed free agent Alge Crumpler to a two-year deal worth $4.8 million, including a $1 million signing bonus.
  • What it means: Now a ten-year veteran, Crumpler was once an excellent receiving tight end for the Falcons. From 2003-2006, Crumpler was a top five fantasy tight end four years in a row. Since joining the Titans two years ago, however, Crumpler has been relegated mostly to blocking duties. Crumpler is effective both as a run-blocker and as a pass-blocker, but his days of fantasy relevance are likely over. With his experience and his skill as a blocker, Crumpler has the inside track to start over rookie draft picks Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, and Crumpler may get some looks around the goal line, but he won't get enough receptions or yards to be a consistent fantasy contributor.
  • Offensive Linemen

      By Chris Smith

    1. Rob Sims - Detroit (from Seattle)

  • What it means: Sims is a very good pickup for the Lions and a big upgrade. Blessed with great size (6'3 and 312 pounds) and good athletic ability, the Lions are very happy to have him onboard. Now in his fifth season and with 34 career starts under his belt, he has all the tools needed to become a consistent top-fifteen guard in the NFL. Last year he was one of the better guards in the league, and he is still coming into his own. He will add stability and promise to a unit that has been lacking in both areas for a long time.
  • 2. Wade Smith - Houston (from Kansas City)

  • What it means: The Texans signed Smith via free agency this spring and he'll have a really good opportunity to start at left tackle for the club. The 6'4, 296 pound guard can also play tackle and we'll help to upgrade the Texans depth. He has 16 starts over the last two seasons and played very well for the Chiefs last season.
  • 3. Rex Hadnot - Arizona (from Cleveland)

  • What it means: The 6'2, 320 pound guard has started in 76 of his 87 career games. The 7-year pro has played with both the Dolphins and Browns in his career and is a dependable option at guard. He missed seven starts last season but was one of the more consistent right guards in the NFL. He is an upgrade for the Cardinals and should start at right guard.
  • 4. Artis Hicks - Washington (from Minnesota)

  • What it means: Hicks has great size at 6'4 and 335 pounds but has only 13 starts in the past few seasons. Still, with 58 career starts over eight seasons he gives the Redskins options at both guard and tackle. It looks right now like he'll emerge as the starter in the right guard spot but there are no guarantees at this point.
  • 5. Alan Faneca - Arizona (from New York Jets)

  • What it means: The Cardinals happily picked up Faneca after the Jets released him this spring. The 13-year veteran with 185 career starts under his belt will bring leadership and experience to the Cardinals offensive line and they will be better with him inserted as a starter. It appears that he'll slot into left guard with Reggie Wells moving outside to right tackle.
  • 6. Hank Fraley - Saint Louis (from Cleveland)

  • What it means: Fraley is a good, veteran lineman who can start at both guard and center. The 6'3, 310-pound player is in his 11th season in the NFL and has 123 career starts. He should slot into the right guard position and help stabilize the interior of the unit.
  • 7. Ben Hamilton - Seattle (from Denver)

  • What it means: Hamilton is an undersized guard that had some very strong seasons earlier in his career with the Broncos. It was the perfect scheme and system for his talents and it may be a difficult transition for him heading to Seattle. That said, he is talented and could be an upgrade for the Seahawks if he is healthy and ready to go. He will compete with the starting left guard spot with former tackle Ray Willis.
  • 8. Richie Incognito - Miami (from Buffalo)

  • What it means: Incognito is a classic mauler in every sense of the word. It's also been said that he is the classic 'meathead' and that is why he has bounced around the league. He has tremendous size at 6'3 and 324 pounds and is a tenacious, intense lineman. However he doesn't have great quickness and his composure has been non-existent at times. He has been promised a chance to compete for the starting left guard position with rookie John Jerry but he'll need to have a good camp for that to happen.
  • 9. Andy Alleman - Indianapolis (from Kansas City)

  • What it means: Alleman has been on three different teams in three seasons and has earned just seven starts. He is at best a journeyman player but with the big hole at guard for the Colts, it appears he may emerge as the starting left guard. He'll compete with a few other players for the spot.
  • 10. Tony Pashos - Cleveland (from San Francisco)

  • What it means: Pashos started 47 of 48 games from 2006 to 2008 with both the Jaguars and Ravens. Those three years were without question the highlight of his career. He has great size at 6'6 and 326 pounds and can do a good job when healthy. He started only one game for the 49ers last year and was never able to make an impact. The Browns expect him to be much better this year and he should emerge as a starter at right tackle.
  • 11. Cornell Green - Buffalo (from Oakland)

  • What it means: Green has been a journeyman tackle throughout his entire 12-year career. Never staying in one place for more than three seasons, 38 of his 46 career starts came over the past few seasons with the Raiders. He'll be given every opportunity to start for the Bills but will be up against second-year lineman Jamon Meredith, Kirk Chambers, Demetrius Bell and rookie Ed Wang for a starting job. Right now it appears that the competition is wide open and whoever does the best in training camp will emerge with the job.
  • 12. Casey Weigmann - Kansas City (from Denver)

  • What it means: Weigmann is back with the Chiefs for what may be his final season. At 37 years old and in his fifteenth season, he is there for depth at center and guard.
  • 13. Eric Ghiaciuc - Cleveland (from San Diego)

  • What it means: Ghiaciuc is a pretty good interior lineman. He will get every chance to compete for a job at both guard positions as well as at center. He currently looks likely to be a good, veteran backup but don't be surprised if he winds up as a starter somewhere along the interior of the line.
  • Defensive Linemen

      By Aaron Rudnicki

    1. DE Julius Peppers - Chicago (from Carolina)

  • What happened: After turning down a 4-year, $54 million offer from the Panthers, Peppers signed with the Bears for $91.5 million over 6 years with $42 million guaranteed.
  • What it means: Peppers has averaged double digit sacks during his eight years in Carolina and is clearly one of the league's elite pass rushers. He combines ideal size with incredible athleticism and should provide a significant upgrade to the Bears pass rush. While he has gained a reputation for inconsistent effort during his days in Carolina, the motivation to justify the large contract and the coaching of coordinator Rod Marinelli should help keep him focused. At 30 years old, his days on top might be numbered but Peppers should remain a top-10 player for the next few years with top-5 upside.
  • 2. DE Aaron Kampman - Jacksonville (from Green Bay)

  • What happened: Following an unsuccessful move to 3-4 OLB last year, Kampman will return to his natural position after signing with the Jaguars for $26 million over four years with $11 million guaranteed.
  • What it means: From 2006 to 2008, Kampman played LDE and averaged 51 solo tackles and 11.5 sacks. He was not happy with the move to outside linebacker last year, and then suffered a torn ACL that ended his season after just nine games. Kampman fills a huge need for the Jaguars - who recorded just 14 sacks last season - and should be more comfortable lining up at RDE opposite Derrick Harvey. The injury is certainly a concern and could limit his effectiveness early on, but once healthy he should produce like a top-10 DE again.
  • 3. DE Kyle Vanden Bosch - Detroit (from Tennessee)

  • What happened: Head coach Jim Schwartz recruited his former player to sign with Detroit for $26 million over four years.
  • What it means: Vanden Bosch was a very productive player during his first three years in Tennessee, but he was ineffective in an injury-shortened 2008 and finished with just three sacks in 16 games last year. The Lions defense is still a work in progress but Vanden Bosch is a tireless worker who should see a lot of playing time and enjoy a rebound season. He'll likely make a solid number two DE on your fantasy squad.
  • 4. DE Alex Brown - New Orleans (from Chicago)

  • What happened: Alex Brown was released from the Bears and quickly signed with the Saints for $6 million over two years.
  • What it means: Brown has been a very consistent performer during his seven years in Chicago, usually finishing with around 40 solo tackles and six sacks. The Saints had an opening in their starting lineup thanks to the release of Charles Grant, and Brown should be a good fit playing opposite Will Smith. Brown will likely get more pass rush opportunities this year thanks to the explosive Saints offense and wind up as a reliable DE2 once again.
  • 5. DE Chris Clemons - Seattle (from Philadelphia)

  • What happened: The undersized speed rusher was traded to the Seahawks for Darryl Tapp and a fourth round pick.
  • What it means: With the retirement of Patrick Kerney, trade of Tapp, and loss of Cory Redding in free agency, Clemons has an ideal opportunity to emerge as the Seahawks primary pass rusher this year. At only 240 pounds, he is not likely to help much against the run, but he makes up for it with his quickness and ability to disrupt plays behind the line of scrimmage. He is a sleeper worth keeping an eye on, especially in sack-heavy scoring systems.
  • Linebackers

      By Aaron Rudnicki

    1. ILB Kirk Morrison - Jacksonville (from Oakland)

  • What happened: After the Raiders drafted Rolando McClain with their first round pick, Morrison became expendable and was traded along with a fifth round pick to the Jaguars for a fourth round pick.
  • What it means: Morrison led the Raiders in tackles all five years he's been in the league, averaging nearly 100 solos per season. However, the Raiders felt that he was not as good as his numbers indicate and shipped him out of town. Morrison appears set to take over the MLB job in Jacksonville, but may see a slight drop in production given the increased competition there. As long as he can establish himself as a three-down MLB, he should be a LB2 at worst.
  • 2. ILB Karlos Dansby - Miami (from Arizona)

  • What happened: The Dolphins made a big splash in free agency by signing Dansby to a 5-year contract for $43 million, with $22 million guaranteed.
  • What it means: Dansby emerged as one of the league's best all-around linebackers during his six years in Arizona. He has put up 90+ solo tackles in each of the past two seasons and makes plenty of big plays. Dansby has primarily played inside linebacker in the Cardinals 3-4 defense but is also versatile enough to shift outside if needed. For now, it looks like he'll line up inside and become the focal point of the Miami defense. Expect LB2 numbers with upside.
  • 3. OLB Will Witherspoon - Tennessee (from Philadelphia)

  • What happened: The Eagles released Witherspoon and he signed a contract with the Titans for $11 million over three years, with $5 million guaranteed.
  • What it means: Long-time WLB Keith Bulluck suffered a torn ACL late last year and remains a free agent. While he may still return, Witherspoon currently is in line to replace him. The Eagles felt that he was not worth the $5 million salary he was due to earn, but Witherspoon has been a very productive player in the past and could do well as a three-down linebacker playing next to MLB Stephen Tulloch. Witherspoon should make a solid LB3 this year.
  • 4. OLB Ernie Sims - Philadelphia (from Detroit)

  • What happened: Coming off a disappointing season in Detroit, Sims was traded to the Eagles as part of a three-team trade.
  • What it means: Sims was a top-10 draft pick in 2006, but he had trouble fitting into the new Lions defense last year and was outplayed by rookie Deandre Levy. In Philadelphia, he's expected to take over as the team's starting WLB but could see some competition from Akeem Jordan. Sims is undersized and not much of a big play threat, but he is a physical tackler who could see more blitzing opportunities in the aggressive Eagles defense. Expect LB3 numbers from him.
  • 5. OLB Joey Porter - Arizona (from Miami)

  • What happened: Following his release by the Dolphins, Porter signed a 3-year contract with the Cardinals for $17.5 million with $4 million guaranteed.
  • What it means: Porter is 33 years old and coming off a disappointing season with the Dolphins, so this contract was surprising. While his skills may be in decline, a healthy and motivated Porter should still be able to get after the quarterback as evidenced by his 25.5 sacks over the past two seasons. Given the size of the contract, the Cardinals clearly hope that he can be an every down player and replace some of the production they lost when Karlos Dansby left in free agency to sign with the Dolphins.
  • Defensive Backs

      By Aaron Rudnicki

    1. FS Antrel Rolle - New York Giants (from Arizona)

  • What happened: The Giants made a big move to try and shore up their secondary by signing Rolle to a five-year, $37 million contract with $15 million guaranteed.
  • What it means: Rolle made a successful conversion from CB to FS with the Cardinals over the past few years and should be an upgrade for the Giants. If Kenny Phillips can recover from microfracture surgery on his knee, the Giants should have a talented safety tandem to rely on. The potent Giants pass rush should provide plenty of playmaking opportunities for Rolle, and the weakness at linebacker should ensure some decent tackle numbers as well. Rolle should produce like a number two safety in most scoring systems.
  • 2. FS Kerry Rhodes - Arizona (from New York Jets)

  • What happened: After a frustrating season with the Jets, Rhodes was traded to the Cardinals for a fourth and future seventh round pick.
  • What it means: Rhodes earned a reputation as one of the league's best playmakers early in his career, but he was benched midway through last year in New York. He bounced back and played well down the stretch, but the team apparently decided he wasn't worth his contract so they shipped him to Arizona. He'll take over for Antrel Rolle at free safety playing next to Adrian Wilson. Rhodes should put up solid numbers and make a decent number two safety.
  • 3. SS Sean Jones - Tampa Bay (from Philadelphia)

  • What happened: After spending a year with the Eagles, Jones signed a two-year contract with Tampa.
  • What it means: Jones was a productive starter during his years in Cleveland but he wasn't a great fit at FS in Philadelphia last year. Tampa signed him to compete with the disappointing Sabby Piscitelli at SS and if he wins the job, he could emerge as a very valuable fantasy contributor. Jones is a physical hitter who is at his best playing up in the box, but he also has 16 interceptions over the past four years so he can contribute in several ways. He can probably be drafted as a number two safety, but has a chance to return to top-ten status this year.
  • 4. SS Chris Harris - Chicago (from Carolina)

  • What happened: The Panthers decided that Harris wasn't worth his contract and traded him back to the Bears for LB Jamar Williams.
  • What it means: Harris was the most productive safety in the league back in 2007 thanks primarily to the eight forced fumbles he caused. He hasn't been able to replicate that success in the two years since then, but Harris should provide a big upgrade for the Bears at SS. Coverage isn't his strength, but Harris is a big hitter who should see plenty of time playing up in the box. He is probably a good choice as a number three safety with plenty of upside.
  • 5. CB Dunta Robinson - Atlanta (from Houston)

  • What happened: The former Texans franchise player signed with the Falcons for $57 million over six years, with $25.5 million guaranteed.
  • What it means: The Falcons have been weak at the corner position for years, but made one of the offseason's biggest free agent moves by bringing in Robinson. While he hasn't been able to match the success from his rookie season in 2004 (74 solo tackles and six interceptions), Robinson is a physical and aggressive corner who should fit in well with his new team. If he can add a few interceptions to his low totals from recent seasons, Robinson would likely make a solid number two or three cornerback.
  • Place Kickers

      By Mike Herman

    1. Jay Feely - Arizona (from New York Jets)

  • What happened: The Jets signed Nick Folk at a bargain price, and then did not come to terms on re-signing Feely. In Arizona, The Cardinals did not come to terms on re-signing Neil Rackers.
  • What it means: The Cardinals replace one veteran kicker with another veteran kicker, and Feely will now be tweeting from the desert.
  • 2. Nick Folk - New York Jets (from Dallas)

  • What happened: Folk underwent hip surgery the previous off-season and then struggled to make kicks in 2009, leading the Cowboys to release him before the season ended. New York signed Nick Folk prior to the free agency period.
  • What it means: The Jets and Folk are hoping he'll return to his pre-surgery accuracy levels. The team may not be sold that is a certainty, as they were scheduled to meet with Neil Rackers until Houston snatched him up. Folk could still face competition for the job, possibly from Clint Stitser, or from someone yet to be signed.
  • 3. Neil Rackers - Houston (from Arizona)

  • What happened: Kris Brown struggled last year and head coach Gary Kubiak subsequently indicated kicking competition would be brought in early this year. After Rackers and the Cardinals could not come to terms on a new contract, Rackers opted to compete for a job that will pay more than other options that were out there.
  • What it means: The Texans have a highly unusual kicking competition, in that both players have a decade of NFL experience.
  • 4. Steve Hauschka - Atlanta (from Baltimore)

  • What happened: The Ravens opted to go with Hauschka, the heir apparent to Matt Stover, last year - however he missed some kicks and was cut after nine games. The Falcons signed him late last year when Matt Bryant was questionable due to an injury.
  • What it means: The strong-legged Hauschka will challenge the veteran Bryant and/or compete with rookie Garrett Lindholm for the Falcons kicking job.
  • 5. Justin Medlock - Washington (from Toronto Argonauts, CFL)

  • What happened: Medlock got the quick axe from Kansas City during his rookie season. He went to Canada and demonstrated that he's a good kicker.
  • What it means: Medlock will compete against second year player Graham Gano, whom the Redskins signed for the final four games of 2009 after bailing on Shaun Suisham.
  • 6. Mike Nugent - Cincinnati (from Arizona)

  • What happened: Nugent began last year as the Buccaneers kicker, but was released after missing four of six FGs in the first four games. He resurfaced in Arizona at the end of the year to fill in for an injured Neil Rackers for two games. Shayne Graham ended his Bengals career on a down note, missing two kicks in the wildcard playoff loss last year. In the midst of this year's draft, the Bengals opted to sign Nugent rather than drafting or signing a rookie.
  • What it means: Nugent will compete with Dave Rayner for the job.
  • 7. Dave Rayner - Cincinnati (from Washington)

  • What happened: In 2008, Rayner filled in briefly when Shayne Graham was ailing. In 2009, he lost out in the preseason to Shaun Suisham for the Washington Redskins kicking job. The Bengals re-signed Rayner this February.
  • What it means: Rayner will compete with Mike Nugent for the job.
  • Returners

      By Mike Herman

    1. Leon Washington - Seattle (from New York Jets)

  • What it means: One of the better return specialists in the league, the extent of Washington's involvement on returns will hinge on his workload on offense and the coaching staff's willingness to let him multitask.
  • 2. Nate Burleson - Detroit (from Seattle)

  • What it means: Burleson has demonstrated the ability to handle returns with both Minnesota and Seattle. How much work he gets on special teams with the Lions will depend on how their other return options fare this year, and whether the coaches want to keep Burleson on offense only.
  • 3. Antwaan Randle El - Pittsburgh (from Washington)

  • What it means: Although Randle El might compete on punt returns, he'll more likely serve as a backup in that role since his better years on returns appear to be behind him.
  • 4. Brian Witherspoon - Carolina (from Detroit)

  • What it means: Witherspoon showed flashes during his rookie year with Jacksonville in 2008, but has also been hampered by minor injuries. He'll get a chance to compete on both kickoff and punt returns for the Panthers.
  • 5. Ted Ginn, Jr. - San Francisco (from Miami)

  • What it means: Ginn should step into the kickoff returner role and could also compete to handle punt returns.
  • Other Players That Changed Teams

    Other notable quarterbacks that changed teams:

  • Kyle Boller - Oakland (from Saint Louis)
  • David Carr - San Francisco (from New York Giants)
  • Rex Grossman - Washington (from Houston)
  • Chris Simms - Tennessee (from Denver)
  • Jim Sorgi - New York Giants (from Indianapolis)
  • *As of press time, Marc Bulger (formerly of the Rams) and JaMarcus Russell (formerly of the Raiders) remained unsigned

    Other notable running backs that changed teams (includes fullbacks):

  • Quinton Ganther - Seattle (from Washington)
  • Peyton Hillis - Cleveland (from Denver)
  • Marcus Mason - San Diego (from Washington)
  • Ryan Torain - Washington (from Denver)
  • * As of press time, LenDale White (formerly of the Titans and briefly of the Seahawks) remains unsigned

    Other notable wide receivers that changed teams:

  • Brian Clark - Detroit (from Tampa Bay)
  • Chris Davis - Cincinnati (from Tennessee)
  • Joey Galloway - Washington (from New England)
  • Chad Jackson - Buffalo (from Denver)
  • Ruvell Martin - Seattle (from Saint Louis)
  • Bobby Wade - Washington (from Kansas City)
  • *As of press time, Terrell Owens (formerly of the Bills), Kevin Curtis (formerly of the Eagles), and Muhsin Muhammad (formerly of the Panthers) remained unsigned

    Other notable tight ends that changed teams:

  • Brandon Manumaleuna - Chicago (from San Diego)
  • Other notable offensive linemen that changed teams:

  • Adam Terry - Indianapolis (from Baltimore)
  • Other notable defensive linemen that changed teams:

  • DE Jason Babin - Tennessee (from Philadelphia)
  • DE Dwan Edwards - Buffalo (from Baltimore)
  • DE Jarvis Green - Denver (from New England)
  • DE Quentin Groves - Oakland (from Jacksonville)
  • DE Mike Montgomery - Minnesota (from Green Bay)
  • DE Cory Redding - Baltimore (from Seattle)
  • DE Darryl Tapp - Philadelphia (traded from Seattle)
  • DE Jimmy Wilkerson - New Orleans (from Tampa Bay)
  • DT Justin Bannan - Denver (from Baltimore)
  • DT Adam Carriker - Washington (from Saint Louis)
  • DT Ma'ake Kemoeatu - Washington (from Carolina)
  • DT Damione Lewis - New England (from Carolina)
  • DT Fred Robbins - Saint Louis (from NY Giants)
  • DT Shaun Smith - Kansas City (from Cleveland)
  • DT Kevin Vickerson - Seattle (from Tennessee)
  • DT Gerard Warren - New England (from Oakland)
  • DT Corey Williams - Detroit (from Cleveland)
  • DT Jamal Williams - Denver (from San Diego)
  • *As of press time, DT John Henderson (formerly of the Jaguars) remained unsigned

    Other notable linebackers that changed teams:

  • ILB Akinola Ayodele - Denver (from Miami)
  • ILB Andra Davis - Buffalo (from Denver)
  • ILB Tim Dobbins - Miami (from San Diego)
  • ILB Larry Foote - Pittsburgh (from Detroit)
  • ILB Scott Fujita - Cleveland (from New Orleans)
  • ILB Paris Lenon - Arizona (from Saint Louis)
  • OLB Na'il Diggs - Saint Louis (from Carolina)
  • OLB Chris Gocong - Cleveland (from Philadelphia)
  • OLB Alex Hall - Philadelphia (from Cleveland)
  • OLB Landon Johnson - Detroit (from Carolina)
  • OLB Freddie Keiaho - Jacksonville (from Indianapolis)
  • OLB Travis LaBoy - San Francisco (from Arizona)
  • OLB Jason Taylor - New York Jets (from Miami)
  • OLB Kamerion Wimbley - Oakland (from Cleveland)
  • *As of press time, OLB Adalius Thomas (formerly of the Patriots) remained unsigned

    Other notable defensive backs that changed teams:

  • S Will Allen - Pittsburgh (from Tampa Bay)
  • S Aaron Francisco - Carolina (from Arizona)
  • S Brodney Pool - New York Jets (from Cleveland)
  • S Matt Giordano - Atlanta (from Green Bay)
  • S Deon Grant - New York Giants (from Seattle)
  • S Kevin Payne - Saint Louis (from Chicago)
  • CB Sheldon Brown - Cleveland (from Philadelphia)
  • CB Phillip Buchanon - Washington (from Detroit)
  • CB Antonio Cromartie - New York Jets (from San Diego)
  • CB Kevin Dockery - Saint Louis (from New York Giants)
  • CB Tye Hill - Tennessee (from Atlanta)
  • CB Chris Houston - Detroit (from Atlanta)
  • CB Marlin Jackson - Philadelphia (from Indianapolis)
  • CB Tim Jennings - Chicago (from Indianapolis)
  • CB Nathan Jones - Denver (from Miami)
  • CB Bryant McFadden - Pittsburgh (from Arizona)
  • CB Karl Paymah - San Francisco (from Minnesota)
  • CB Lito Sheppard - Minnesota (from New York Jets)
  • CB Donald Strickland - San Diego (from New York Jets)
  • CB Nathan Vasher - San Diego (from Chicago)
  • CB Jonathan Wade - Detroit (from Saint Louis)
  • *As of press time, S Gibril Wilson (formerly of the Dolphins) remained unsigned

    Other notable kickers that changed teams

  • Connor Hughes - Dallas (from Philadelphia Soul, AFL)
  • Clint Stitser - New York Jets
  • Sam Swank - New York Giants
  • Other notable returners that changed teams:
  • RB Mike Bell - Philadelphia (from New Orleans)
  • RB Chester Taylor - Chicago (from Minnesota)
  • WR Arnaz Battle - Pittsburgh (from San Francisco)
  • WR Chad Jackson - Buffalo (from Denver)
  • CB Phillip Buchanon - Washington (from Detroit)
  • CB Dunta Robinson - Atlanta (from Houston)
  • CB Nathan Vasher - Chicago (from San Diego)
  • FS Antrel Rolle - NY Giants (from Arizona)
  • Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to stuart@footballguys.com.