Updated 11:00am, Saturday March 9, 2013
The following are the latest Truths and Rumors from the NFL as they enter their inaugural “Legal Tampering” window:
UPDATE: Boldin rejects Ravens’ offer
USA Today reports Anquan Boldin has rejected the Ravens’ proposed pay cut and is “preparing” for unrestricted free agency.
While talks remain “ongoing,” the Ravens’ initial offer clearly wasn’t to Boldin’s liking. Boldin stated after the season that he’d retire if Baltimore cut him, but that’s not happening. Boldin is notoriously and bullish in opinions about his worth dating back to his Arizona days. “Once he’s decided, you might as well try to move the Rock of Gibraltar,” a source said. “I think he was trying to express loyalty to them,” the source added of Boldin’s retirement pledge. “I know that he’s hoping to stay with them, but he’s willing to go someplace else.”
CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reports the Bucs are trying to trade LeGarrette Blount after re-signing him to a one-year, $1.75 million contract on Saturday.
La Canfora thinks Blount could fetch a mid-round pick, and “some have suggested a fifth-round pick.” Blount doesn’t have a role in Tampa Bay, and that was blatantly clear last season. La Canfora mentions the Lions as a possible trade partner. Detroit is looking for a scat back, not another plodder. We could see the Cowboys, Chargers, Rams, Titans, and Chiefs being mildly interested.
Saints re-sign rush ‘backer Galette
Saints re-signed OLB Junior Galette to a three-year contract.
Galette is viewed internally as a likely starter at rush ‘backer in new coordinator Rob Ryan’s 3-4. 25 years old and built to rush from a two-point stance at 6-foot-2, 258, Galette posted a career-high five sacks in 2012, operating mostly as a nickel end. He now has a chance to be an every-down player. The Saints’ other OLB position will be up for grabs, with Martez Wilson as the leading in-house candidate. Victor Butler would be an intriguing free-agent pickup.
Steelers release Harrison
Steelers released OLB James Harrison.
“It’s been a great run but all good things must come to a end,” he tweeted. “Thank you Steelers Nation I will miss you all!” Cutting Harrison saves Pittsburgh $5.1 million versus the salary cap. Jason Worilds is the top in-house candidate to replace him opposite LaMarr Woodley, but the Steelers may look to the draft for more help.
Bills keep return ace McKelvin
Bills re-signed CB Leodis McKelvin to a four-year, $20 million contract.
McKelvin was the most explosive return specialist in football last season — Jacoby Jones included — but the money here is surprising and may indicate the Bills envision McKelvin as a 2013 defensive contributor. He’s long struggled in pass coverage and with his ball skills. Turning 28 before the season, McKelvin will probably compete with Aaron Williams to start at left corner opposite RCB Stephon Gilmore. The LCB position figures to remain an exploitable weakness if Mario Williams and Mark Anderson can’t generate better pass rush.
Chargers offer Tender to Alexander
Chargers assigned the original-pick tender to restricted free agent WR Danario Alexander.
The move is surprising and may indicate San Diego’s new front office isn’t thrilled with Alexander’s knees. Rather than tender Alexander at the first- or second-round level — and protect themselves with draft-pick compensation if a team tries signing him away — the Chargers have left themselves open to being pick-pocketed. Alexander was originally undrafted, and San Diego would receive nothing in return if a club signed him to an offer sheet and the Bolts failed to match. Alexander is 24 years old. In a nine-game stretch last year, he racked up 37 catches for 658 yards and seven touchdowns — numbers that extrapolate to 66/1,170/13 if prorated across 16 games.
Tampa Bay re-signs Blount
Buccaneers signed RB LeGarrette Blount to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.
The deal consists of a $1.25 million salary, $350,000 reporting bonus, and $150,000 workout bonus — but no guaranteed money. Blount is a clear backup, but the fact that he signed this deal before even testing a weak running back market indicates agent laziness. He at least should’ve gotten a small signing bonus. With Doug Martin locked in as the Bucs’ bellcow, Blount will again play a limited role if he makes the team. Last season, Blount played just 93 snaps.
Ravens set to release Boldin:
In the wake of a victory in Super Bowl XLVII, Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin dropped a bombshell when he told NBC Sports Radio that he would retire if the team cut him in a salary-cap related move.
The Ravens reportedly came close to releasing Boldin on Friday, so close he started drafting a letter to fans thanking them for his time in Baltimore, according to the Baltimore Sun. If Boldin doesn’t accept a pay cut for 2013, he will almost certainly be released, a source told The Sun.
Boldin, 32, carries a cap hit of $7.531 million in 2013, the final season of his four-year, $25 million contract. The 10-year veteran is coming off a season where he led the Ravens with 65 catches for 921 receiving yards. The three-time Pro Bowl wideout raised his game in the postseason, leading the team with 22 receptions and four touchdowns.
Falcons re-sign Safety Moore:
The Falcons have a pile of their own free agents hitting the market this offseason, but they’ve reportedly retained at least one critical player in safety William Moore.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports the Falcons have signed Moore to a five-year deal, which will keep him on the team through 2016.
Moore, our 26th-ranked free agent, was a guy the Falcons simply had to re-sign provided the dollar amount was right. As I noted in the Falcons free-agency preview, bringing back one or two of their own guys was critical for the Falcons this offseason.
Browns to pursue Mallett?:
Another source, however, said Patriots coach Bill Belichick “won’t part” with Tom Brady’s backup. That could change if Matt Cassel becomes available — he will — and replaces Mallett behind Brady. Cleveland would have to fork over a second-day draft pick or perhaps two of them because last year’s second-rounder was used on Josh Gordon in the Supplemental Draft. Mallett would be a solid fit for new Browns coach Rob Chudzinski’s long ball-based vertical attack. via Cleveland Plain Dealer
Chiefs sign Dunta Robinson:
And so it begins. One hour before the free agency frenzy kicks off with the opening of the legal tampering window, the Chiefs step in and grab Robinson, who was released by the Falcons last Friday. Robinson was routinely beaten in coverage on the outside in Atlanta, but he’s always been a sure tackler in the run game. Kansas City could be snatching up Robinson to play slot corner or even free safety next to Eric Berry. He was owed $8 million with the Falcons, but shouldn’t get much more than half that from the Chiefs. The Robinson deal should not keep the active Chiefs out of the running for Sean Smith. – via Adam Schefter
Cardinals want Carson Palmer:
According to Profootballtalk.com, there is “speculation in league circles” that the Cardinals are “waiting” for the Raiders to release Carson Palmer.
Very interesting. Although Palmer is so immobile at age 33 that he requires strong pass protection — not something Arizona possesses, currently — he still throws the football well enough downfield to fit Bruce Arians’ vertical passing game. Palmer is a middle-of-the-road quarterback at this stage of his career, but he’d be a mammoth upgrade on last year’s Skelton-Kolb-Lindley merry-go-round. It’d be a big plus for Larry Fitzgerald’s 2013 fantasy outlook. via Profootballtalk.com