• Any way you cut it, the Jets' top-ranked pass defense just got better Thursday night with New York trading a 2011 third-round pick to San Diego for fourth-year Chargers cornerback
But let's be clear about one thing: The Cromartie who will be pulling on green and white next season is not the same Cromartie who was named first-team All-Pro in 2007, when he led the league with 10 interceptions in just his second season..
If the Jets and head coach
Opposing quarterbacks have picked on him at times, and as the Jets well know, his tackling is shoddy, at best. It was Cromartie who whiffed on the game-clinching
Cromartie won't turn 26 until next month, and still has time to rehabilitate a career that has seemingly lost its way the past two years. And with the Jets giving up a third-round pick that can turn into a second-rounder if Cromartie reaches certain playing-time levels, the price will be right if Ryan can resurrect his game. New York is wisely not giving him a new deal as part of the trade, and Cromartie is entering the final year of his contract. If he produces, the Jets will be in the driver's seat to secure him long term.
Cromartie is an upgrade over
It's a decent win for San Diego, because it got good value for a player it wanted no part of anymore. It's a risk-versus-reward move by the Jets, but probably a pretty good gamble. Defenders usually love playing for Ryan, and Cromartie is young enough and still talented enough to make the most of the fresh start he's been handed. But there's no time to waste. Cromartie might only have one season in New York to turn things around and make the past two years seem like the aberration.
• Now that the
The deal included $20 million guaranteed, and the Panthers are reportedly having to eat the last $12.7 million of it upon his release. Good thing there's no salary cap in the NFL this year, or Delhomme would still be in Carolina, of that you can be sure.
Cutting ties with Delhomme -- the only Panthers quarterback to take the franchise to the Super Bowl -- was the right move for Carolina's future at quarterback. The Panthers weren't going to be able to ever put that genie back in the bottle, and having third-year quarterback
• Everything one writes this morning about the pursuit of Carolina defensive end
To the surprise of many, sources say Washington will actually try to restrain itself and sit out the early hours of the free-agency frenzy, making sure not to overpay for anyone like it did last March for defensive tackle
With no picks in the first two rounds of April's draft, the Bears have precious few ways to improve their 7-9 club, if they don't make a big splash in free agency this year. And with general manager
After talking so much about his desire to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defensive formation at times last offseason, Peppers would be joining a 4-3 team and remain at defensive end in Chicago.
• With the Bears going all-out to land Peppers and maybe Taylor too, it doesn't surprise me to hear they've dropped out of the running for Arizona safety
The Dolphins might end up giving Rolle his richest deal, and the former University of Miami Hurricane has said he'd love to come home and play for the Fish. The Giants are also pursuing Rolle, as are the Cardinals. But Miami should be in the best position to land Rolle, and I'd be surprised if New York or Arizona hangs in the bidding for long.
• Rolle might not be the only Cardinals free-agent who's Miami-bound. Linebacker
The Giants are interested in Dansby too, and while New York has said it'll spend cautiously this offseason, losing out on both ex-Cardinals wouldn't build much momentum for the defensive makeover being undertaken by new Giants defensive coordinator
• If there's one free-agent pairing of player-team that I feel good about from my
• The Colts are said to be close to re-signing middle linebacker
• The buzz is whichever team fails to sign Peppers will immediately pursue Packers free-agent linebacker-defensive end
• Just because the Chargers reversed direction and decided to tender restricted running back
Tendering Sproles at that level, however, protected the Chargers' investment, and gave San Diego the option of getting good value in exchange for letting him go. That's just smart football in this age of the uncapped NFL, even if the Chargers didn't quite figure out the wisdom of that approach from the start.