Friday, March 14, 2014

Foul Territory: Free Agent Frenzy

By Jeffrey Boswell

* He Got Kicked to the Curb, Which is Where He Did Business in Belle Glade, Florida, or He Left With More Baggage Than He Came With — The New York Jets cut wide receiver Santonio Holmes on Monday, ending his four-year run with the team. Holmes said he understood the economics of the move, but said he would much rather be handed rolling papers as opposed to walking papers.

* I Quit This, Rich, or There's No "Hall" in This Future — Former Steelers and Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall retired at the age of 26. Mendenhall said he now hopes to travel, write, and finally be compared to Barry Sanders.

* Some Are Calling it the Second Coming of Wayne Chrebet, or Big Deck In Town — The New York Jets signed wide receiver Eric Decker to a five-year, $36.25 million offer on Wednesday, and he is expected to boost what was at times a stagnant Jets offense. The Jets ranked 31st in passing offense last year, so apparently money isn't the only thing they have to throw around.

* The San Francisco Cheat, or Jose Canseco Probably Predicted This, or Now He'll Also Be Known as a Performance-Enhancer — Barry Bonds is back with the San Francisco Giants, this time as a roving instructor for the team in spring training. The new job will necessitate a complete redefinition of the term "giving pointers" for Bonds.

* Mutiny of the Bounty — The Buccaneers signed free agent defensive end Michael Johnson to a five-year, $43.75 million contract on Tuesday. Johnson recorded just 3.5 sacks for the Bengals in 2013, but is 6'7", 260 pounds and has a near-seven foot wingspan, which means both Johnson and the Bucs can be accused of "reaching."

* The 49ers "Took a Flyer," and So Did Gabbert, to San Francisco — The Jacksonville Jaguars traded Blaine Gabbert to the 49ers for a sixth-round pick this year's draft and a conditional pick in 2015. Gabbert will serve as an "insurance" policy, in that his presence will insure Colin Kaepernick that he absolutely cannot get injured.

* He Shoots, They Score — The Broncos signed free agent cornerback Aqib Talib to a six-year, $57 million deal on Tuesday, an addition that immediately improves the Denver defense. Talib celebrated by putting his gun on "waivers."

* He's Already Accused Dirty Harry of Harassment — The Dolphins traded Jonathan Martin to the 49ers for an undisclosed 2015 draft choice. Martin feels like a change of scenery will be good, although he does have some apprehension about the haze in San Francisco Bay.

* Island Hopper, or Revis-ionist History — The New England Patriots signed cornerback Darrelle Revis to a one-year, $12 million contract on Wednesday. Revis now wants to play badly against the Jets, whereas before he played badly for the Jets.

* Boy, Does that Succ(ulent), or Foot Fault, or the Home Plate Umpire Called a "Stalk" — Milwaukee Brewers reliever Francisco Rodriguez stepped barefoot on a cactus earlier this week and missed his spring training debut on Thursday. Former slugger Mark McGwire said he's never seen so many needles, before quickly clarifying "in someone's foot."

* He'll Put it on Him, Not in Him — Ryan Braun signed an endorsement deal with baseball footwear and apparel company 3n2. Many are skeptical that Braun will actually use 3n2 merchandise. However, Braun said that wouldn't be a problem, because he's got experience using a product and lying about it.

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