Football is back! Crazy week ahead….

Now that the lockout is over, 32 NFL GM’s are scrambling to get their priorities in order and get this party started. With over 400 Free Agents hitting the market and over 200 undrafted rookie Free Agent’s joining camps, we can only expect a historic week in the NFL.
Arguably, the top name on the market right now is Oakland Raiders CB, Nnamdi Asomugha. Known for his community service off the field and leadership on, Nnamdi is considered by most to be the best cornerback in the game. Asomugha was a first round draft pick by the Raiders in 2003. At, 30 years of age, Nnamdi is in his prime, he will undoubtedly be a game changer for the team that scores with this pick up. Wasting away in Al Davis land won’t get Nnamdi a ring. The Houston Texans are rumored to be making him the biggest offer, but Nnamdi’s desire to be an actor after his NFL career ends, might sway him toward a bigger market team.
According to various reports around the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys have released Marion Barber, Roy Williams, and Leonard Davis. According to Staff Writer, Rob Phillips, Barber was reportedly informed of his pending release Tuesday. Cutting Barber, the Cowboys will save 4.7 million dollars on this year’s salary cap. When the Cowboys took, DeMarco Murray with a third-round pick this April, the writing was on the wall for Barber. Coming off a disappointing 2010 season, Barber has been recently injury prone. But, a team willing to take a chance may be hitting the lottery. Barber is only 28 years old, when healthy he is a force. In 2007, Barber earned the nickname Marion the Barbarian for being the league leader in breaking tackles and his willingness to give and take a hit.
The New York Jets have a busy week ahead. The Jets have four unrestricted free agents , Antonio Cromartie, Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, and Brad Smith. Holmes is looking for a large payday, and it looks as though the Jets will be willing to give it to him. The Jets have also expressed a willingness to re-sign Cromartie. The arrogant, but talented Cromartie is coming off a decent year with the Jets, after rebounding from his hip injury while playing with the Chargers. The Jets have a lot too lose this week if they aren’t proactive.
There are some big name floating around out there, that could potentially be a gamble for any team that decides to take a chance on them. Whether, it is age, injury, or jail time, the following list is my list of chance:
1. Plaxico Burress WR– Fresh out of jail, Burress has told the press that he is interested in playing again. Current rumors have him linked to the Texans and Redskins. At 33 years old, he may be worth taking a gamble on for a small fee.
2. Randy Moss WR– The ever-so controversial Moss, who has calmed down a bit since he hit his thirties, needs a home. Moss finished his 2010 season with the Titans, setting a career low in receptions and receiving yards, just a few years removed from making magic in New England with Tom Terrific. It might be worth taking a gamble on Moss if he is willing to agree to terms beneficial to both persons involved. But, only if the team is a contender. I don’t see Moss wasting his time playing in 2011 without a chance for a ring.
3. Tiki Barber RB– The thirty-six year old Barber, has been retired for four years and is attempting a comeback. Once respected, Barber has dealt with many off the field scandals, from the collapse of his marriage, infidelity, criticism of his old team and teammates, and the loss of his NBC gig. Barber has been working out hard in his attempt to return to the game he left prematurely. But, I would be surprised if any team takes a chance on this former Giant, unless they are just doing it for the publicity.
4. Steve Smith WR– When Steve Smith cleaned out his locker shortly before the lockout, Panthers fans had good reason to believe in the speculation that Steve Smith might want out. The 32- year old has had a consistent career with the Panthers. In 135 games, Smith has 620 Receptions for 8,884 yards. Many people wonder if he had played with Manning or Brady during his eleven years, how drastic those numbers would change. With he Panthers acquisition of Cam Newton, Smith might be more inclined to stay and try to blend into Ron Rivera’s new system.
5. Jason Babin DE– The former first- round pick is coming off his best season, with 58 tackles. 12.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. The Bears and Eagles are said to be very interested in the the 31 year old. Was last season a fluke? Or was it a precursor of what this guy can do?

My notable mentions:

Joseph Addai RB
Zach Miller TE
Ike Taylor CB
Eric Wright CB
Mathias Kiwanuka CB/DE
Ahmad Bradshaw RB
Charles Johnson DE
Jonathan Joseph CB
DeAngelo Williams RB
Eric Weddle S

My Top Undrafted Free Agents

Dane Sazenbacher WR (Ohio State)
Orie Lemon LB ( Oklahoma State)
DeAndre McDaniel S (UNC)
Mark Herzlich LB (Boston College)- Update 7/26-Drafted by Giants
Terrence Toliver WR (LSU)

There is quite a bit of QB drama on the forefront. Carson Palmer’s career looks to be done after he threatened to retire if the Bengals don’t trade him. Mike Brown, owner of the Bengals, called his bluff. According to Greg Rosenthal, Mike Brown had this too say when asked about Palmer: “Carson signed a contract, he made a commitment. He gave us his word. We relied on his word and his commitment. We expected him to perform here. If he is going to walk away from his commitment we aren’t going to reward him for doing it,” Brown said via the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Let’s be honest here, it doesn’t appear that Carson Palmer has much left in the tank. If I were him, I would be getting my affairs in order and prepare for the future sans football.
Matt Leinart is still looking for the right fit (and is highly unlikely to find it.) And Alex Smith is hoping to milk the 49ers out of more of their money, to either ride the bench, or pretend to know what he is doing when he is on the field. Expect Kevin Kolb to be traded by weeks end, most likely to the Arizona Cardinals.
This looks to be an interesting week with rumors, trades, training camp, pick-ups, injury reports, and of course, drama. Three words for you: Football is back!

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