The NFL free-agent market doors blew off their hinges on Tuesday, as huge deals were made and contracts restructured so more deals could be made.
Teams like the Detroit Lions got some much needed salary cap relief, by re-working Ndamukong Suh, Matthew Stafford and Nate Burleson’s contracts.
They also gave Calvin Johnson nearly $130 million over eight years, making him the richest wide receiver in NFL history, blowing past Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, and his eight year, $120 million deal he signed just before the beginning of last season.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made three big acquisitions on Monday, signing wide receiver Vincent Jackson, guard Carl Nicks and cornerback Eric Wright to long-term deals.
This is clearly the time when teams and their owners go strong to the marketplace for players who they think will make them Super Bowl contenders, or at the worst, put them in position to make a championship run over time.
The Cardinals have been relatively quiet so far, as the prize bull they want, Peyton Manning, is still traveling and meeting with other teams, and has yet to make a decision where he wants to play this coming season.
Arizona released tackle Levi Brown on Tuesday, freeing up $14.5 million of cap space, and effectively getting the team under the NFL salary cap of $120.6 million.
It’s been quiet because the team is waiting on Manning’s decision.
They’ve had Raiders wide receiver Chaz Schilens come in for a visit, and Titans guard Jake Scott on their schedule for a visit on Wednesday.
The team is also trying to set up a visit from Cowboys wide receiver Laurent Robinson, who’s peaked the interest of quite a few teams.
Names bouncing around, but no signings just yet.
The clock is ticking quickly though, as quarterback Kevin Kolb is due a $7 million roster bonus if he is still on the roster on Saturday.
If the Cardinals decide to release Kolb, they have to do so by Friday at 1 p.m. MST.
So everyone is in a holding pattern until Manning comes out with “The Decision.”
Let’s just hope it’s not at a Boys & Girls Club with Jim Gray on stage with him…