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Reviewing the first weekend of NFL free agency
Biggest (but not best) moveThe whopper of the first three days was that the Redskins "technically" made Tennessee defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth the game's first $100 million defensive player. A guy who once stomped on the head of Dallas center Andre Gurode got "franchise quarterback" money in a deal that's really worth $48 million over four years. The inside word is that several other teams agreed to pay that amount or more, but that agent Chad Speck liked the idea of becoming one of owner Daniel Snyder's best buddies and enjoyed flying on his private jet. Granted, Haynesworth is one of the game's most-dominant players, requiring constant double-teams. But over the past six seasons, he has missed 22 of 96 games and there continue to be doubts about his character, coupled with the major question of how he will respond to financial security and all this money. Still, this could be a major win for Snyder, who doesn't have the greatest track record in free agency. Bruce Smith, Deion Sanders, anyone? Snyder also gave CB DeAngelo Hall way too much money, but was fortunate to sign guard Derrick Dockery, a former Redskin.
Best moveThe best move might have been Scott Pioli's trade of a second-round pick to New England for Matt Cassel, the $14.6 million quarterback, and 12-year linebacker Mike Vrabel. Even though it is difficult to believe that Pioli pulled one over on his former boss, Bill Belichick, the trade was necessary because the Chiefs are desperate for a franchise quarterback, plus a solid old pro (Vrabel) for the locker room.
Biggest ego tripWho can blame either Tampa Bay or Detroit for attempting to be part of a three-way (trade) that could have landed them Cutler? The fascinating revelation was that young Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, the guy that GM Scott Pioli really wanted as his head coach in Kansas City, was willing to deal Cutler in order to land another first-round draft choice and Cassel.
Biggest losers (so far)Most look at the Eagles as losers, simply because they lost veteran safety Brian Dawkins to the Broncos, who also signed Philly's backup runner, Correll Buckhalter. The Broncos took a reach on safety Reynaldo Hill and Colts defensive tackle Darrell Reid while signing two proven New England veterans in long snapper Lonie Paxton and receiver Jabar Gaffney.
Philadelphia also lost some depth by trading Lito Shepherd to the Jets for a song when compared to his moaning last summer that he was worth a first- or second-round pick.