There goes Albert Haynesworth, heading from Mike Shanahan’s Redskins to Bill Belichick’s Patriots – where he’ll be joined by New England’s other big pickup Thursday: Chad Ochocinco.
Reggie Bush? The Saints sent him to the Dolphins. And the Kevin Kolb saga ended the way pretty much everyone expected, with a trade from the Eagles to the Cardinals.
NFL clubs made a move a minute Thursday – and those big-name deals were only the beginning.
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Day 3 of the compressed, post-lockout off-season also included more contract agreements and plenty of cuts, which teams were finally allowed to start announcing at 4:01 p.m. ET. Among the players getting released were Vince Young by the Titans, Nate Clements by the 49ers, and Jake Delhomme by the Browns.
In the first dramatic example of how the new labour deal’s rookie salary system will affect elite players, No. 2 overall draft pick Von Miller got US$21 million guaranteed over four years from the Denver Broncos. By contrast, the No. 2 pick in 2010, Detroit Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, signed a five-year deal worth $40 million guaranteed and as much as $68 million overall.
Broncos football chief John Elway tweeted, “We have agreed to terms with our 1st round pick, LB Von Miller. Can’t wait to get him on the field.”
The man widely regarded as the best available player in free agency, Nnamdi Asomugha, didn’t pick a team yet. But another top cornerback, Johnathan Joseph, agreed to terms with the Houston Texans, according to a person with knowledge of the deal, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the signing hadn’t been announced.
Belichick has had success reining in outspoken, do-it-my-way players such as receiver Randy Moss, and now New England’s coach gets two more guys who fit that description in defensive tackle Haynesworth and receiver Ochocinco.
All the Patriots gave up for Haynesworth was a 2013 fifth-round pick. By shipping the defensive tackle to New England, the Redskins rid themselves of a two-year distraction and fiasco of a free-agent signing – Haynesworth was guaranteed a then-record $41 million in the seven-year, $100 million contract he got in the early hours of free agency in 2009. On the same day, he infamously declared: “You’re not going to remember Albert Haynesworth as a bust.”
Haynesworth played in only 20 games for Washington, making 6 1/2 sacks, and was in constant legal trouble away from the field. Last season, he feuded with Shanahan and was suspended for the final four games for conduct detrimental to the club.
A person with knowledge of the Ochocinco deal told the AP he agreed to a new three-year contract with the Patriots. It was not known what the Bengals received in return.
In the Kolb deal, Philadelphia received cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2012 second-round draft pick from Arizona, which was in need of a starting quarterback. Kolb had lost the Eagles’ No. 1 QB job to Michael Vick and wanted a chance to lead a team.
Kolb, who turns 27 next month, reportedly will get a $63-million, five-year contract with the Cardinals. Rodgers-Cromartie, who went to the Pro Bowl in 2009, will play opposite four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel in Philadelphia, shoring up a pass defence that struggled last season.
The Dolphins finalized their trade for Bush by negotiating a new two-year contract for nearly $10 million with the running back. New Orleans gets reserve safety Jonathon Amaya in the swap, which also involves an exchange of draft picks.
“Change is never easy but I look forward to building something special in Miami and can’t wait to embark on this new journey!” Bush wrote on Twitter.
New Orleans replaced Bush with free-agent running back Darren Sproles, who told the AP on Thursday night he had agreed to a four-year contract with the Saints.
In other transactions Thursday:
-Five-time Pro Bowl kicker David Akers agreed to a deal with San Francisco, leaving Philadelphia after 12 seasons. Akers told The Associated Press on Thursday that his contract with the 49ers is for three years.
-Kansas City released longtime star guard Brian Waters, who made 149 starts in 11 seasons for the Chiefs and went to five Pro Bowls. Waters said he plans to continue playing.
-Chicago traded tight end Greg Olsen to Carolina for an undisclosed 2012 draft choice. A first-round draft pick in 2007, Olsen has 194 catches for 1,981 yards and 20 touchdowns in his career, but Bears offensive co-ordinator Mike Martz prefers blocking tight ends. Olsen finished 2010 with his lowest totals in receptions (41) and yards (404) since he was a rookie.
The Bears also agreed to a five-year contract with punter Adam Podlesh, who comes to Chicago from Jacksonville to replace Brad Maynard, whose contract expired after 10 years at Soldier Field.
-San Diego released receiver Craig Davis, cornerback Donald Strickland, linebackers LB Brandon Lang and Jyles Tucker, and tight end Kris Wilson.
-Linebacker Clint Session left the Colts but stayed in the AFC South when he agreed to a five-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars worth slightly more than $29 million, with $11.5 million in guaranteed money.
-Dallas made official nine cuts, many of them leaked previously. Gone are tackle Marc Colombo, guard Leonard Davis, receiver Roy Williams, running back Marion Barber, placekicker Kris Brown, offensive linemen Robert Brewster and Travis Bright, linebacker Kelvin Smith and receiver Troy Bergeron.
-Buffalo agreed to a four-year contract worth about $15 million with Brad Smith, the versatile receiver-running back-kick returner who was a force in the wildcat formation with the Jets.
-In addition to officially releasing quarterback Delhomme, Cleveland terminated the contract of linebacker Eric Alexander and waived tight end Tyson DeVree. Delhomme, 36, was signed to a two-year contract a year ago and played in only five games.
-Atlanta agreed to a one-year contract with linebacker Mike Peterson, who started 13 games last year with the Falcons, making 79 tackles, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and forcing one fumble.
-Minnesota released starting safety Madieu Williams, who spent three seasons there but was largely a disappointment after signing a big-money deal to come over from Cincinnati in 2008. He was due to make $5.4 million this season.
The Vikings also released defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy and receiver Freddie Brown.
-The Redskins added free-agent defensive end Stephen Bowen, whose agent announced the deal on Twitter. Bowen played five seasons with the Cowboys; he had 1 1/2 sacks in nine starts last year.
-Philadelphia put defensive end Brandon Graham (left knee) and offensive tackle Winston Justice (left knee) on the physically unable to perform list. Also, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and cornerback Samuel were excused from training camp for personal reasons.
-Linebacker Justin Durant is leaving Jacksonville for Detroit; receiver Rashied Davis also agreed to join the Lions after six years in Chicago.
-New Orleans left tackle Jermon Bushrod agreed to a two-year deal to remain with the Saints. He’s been a key part of Drew Brees’ pass protection.
-Daryn Colledge, the starting left guard for the Super Bowl champion Packers, agreed to a five-year deal with Arizona. Colledge started 76 games over five seasons for Green Bay.
-Linebacker and special teams standout Matt McCoy is returning to Seattle after agreeing to a one-year deal.
AP Pro Football Writers Barry Wilner, Rob Maaddi and Arnie Stapleton, and AP Sports Writers Howard Ulman, Steven Wine and Chris Duncan contributed to this report.