Happy New Year, everybody. It took a few months, but things are finally happening. Starting today, teams can sign drafted and undrafted rookies and make trades. So while it'll be a few days before free agents can officially be signed, some players could be on the move as early as this morning. Specifically, Eagles backup quarterback Kevin Kolb, whose immediate and long-term future were hostages of the lockout, could soon find out where he's going to be playing in 2011.
As of 10 a.m. ET today, teams are free to talk trade, which means that all of the Kolb-to-Arizona speculation of the past several months can morph into actual discussion that could lead to an actual deal. Will the Cardinals offer cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in exchange for Kolb? If they do, will that be enough to convince the Eagles to send Kolb away? Or do the Eagles deal Kolb for picks and keep themselves in the market for Nnamdi Asomugha or one of the other very good cornerbacks on the looming free-agent market? And where do the Seattle Seahawks fit into all of this? They need a quarterback, and it doesn't sound as if they'll bring back Matt Hasselbeck. Do they jump in here and steal Kolb away from the Cardinals once the doors to the trading season swing open?
Obviously, all indications are that Kolb will go to Arizona. But if neither the Cardinals, the Seahawks nor anyone else offers enough value for the Eagles to justify trading away a game-ready backup quarterback they like a great deal, they could always keep him.
We should have some answers soon. To this and many other questions. For the first time in months, there are plenty of options for the links.
Kevin Callahan says the Eagles can win the Super Bowl this week if they make the right moves once free agency opens. He runs down a list of potential moves with which we're all familiar, but I continue to take issue with this Albert Haynesworth stuff. The Redskins do not have to release Haynesworth, even if they're unable to get good value for him in a trade. And the main reason they won't release him is because they don't want the Eagles to get him, reunite him with former Titans defensive line coach Jim Washburn and beat them twice a year. I would be floored, stunned, flummoxed, astounded and befuddled if Haynesworth were an Eagle in 2011.
Joe Banner spoke about the differences fans will see in training camp this year -- no two-a-days, no hitting in the early days, etc. Big win for the players there in the negotiations. They wanted stuff that will help them play and live longer.
Tim MacMahon runs down some options for the Cowboys at safety, but Cowboys fans aren't going to like this list. Tim announces before the list begins that he's going to "skip over Michael Huff, Eric Weddle and Quintin Mikell, who might be good fits for the Cowboys but could be expensive." Those guys will be expensive, sure. But if the Cowboys don't come away with this with at least one of them, it's going to be hard to say they did enough to address the safety position.
Keith Brooking tells Matt Mosley he's not worried about having to learn Rob Ryan's defense in this compressed, post-lockout training camp time period. Says he and some other defensive players met with Ryan before the lockout and have some idea what it's all about. We'll see. I think that's the biggest issue the Cowboys face, other than, obviously, signing enough players to field that defense.
New York Giants
Kevin Boss says his "No. 1 priority" is to remain a Giant, but he also says he's going to enjoy free agency and make sure to find out and consider all options. So yeah. Kind of non-committal there. Which is fine. I think he's going to hear from other teams. Not a big-numbers guy, obviously, but he's well thought of around the league.
Shaun O'Hara tells Zach Berman that he doesn't see why it'd be necessary to talk about re-working his contract as long as his injury is healed up and he's ready to play. Folks, this is a contract situation worth watching. The Giants may have some tough choices to make. They'll need to get under the cap. They have quite a few of their own free agents to sign. And they did manage to get by without O'Hara for most of 2010. Not saying he'll be cut, but it's not completely crazy to imagine it. Especially if he doesn't want to talk about re-working his deal.
Jason Reid is on the Redskins-must-dump-Haynesworth bandwagon. I guess I just don't see the harm in keeping him around. Does anybody really think Haynesworth's mopey presence was the reason the Redskins didn't win last year? As far as I can tell, his issues were his own and didn't bleed into the rest of the team, except insofar as he was unable/unwilling/unavailable to play and help them on the field. He has value. If he gets into a 4-3 defense with a coach with whom he clicks, he can again be a monster player. Mike Shanahan knows this, and that's why I don't think he's just going to set him free on the open market. And why I don't think he should.
I do not believe we can fully rule out a Redskins pursuit of Asomugha. My issue with it is that I don't think Asomugha will want to sign in Washington. If he's leaving Oakland, it's not because of dreams of big-money deals. It's because he wants to win a Super Bowl as soon as possible. And free agents aren't going to view Washington as the place where they can do that.
Lots more to come today, including the first post-lockout NFC East chat at noon ET. I'm also going to be on "First Take" on ESPN2, talking free agency. So check that out if I haven't posted in a little while and you just can't live without me.