Nov 18, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick congratulates cornerback Aqib Talib (31) after his punt return for a touchdown during the second quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Legal Tampering: Day 3 - One day until Open Season

Twenty four hours until Open Season on all free agents begin, and teams are scurrying to protect their bears from the hunters…

…wait, I got that twisted around with my favorite animated movie of all time.

What I meant to say is that Boog and Elliot go into the puni-mart in Timberline and trash the place…so the local sheriff cuts them loose, saving the team $8 million against the cap.

In a related story, Shaw has targeted Boog to be his big acquisition of the season and has had preliminary discussions with girl scouts about a box of thin mints and an open face bear sandwich smothered with gravy.

There is little interest in Elliot, however, but Shaw is willing to take both he and Boog as a package deal, provided it takes just one shot to do the deal…

Anyone who has seen the animated classic starring the voice talents of Martin Lawrence and Ashton Kutcher recalls the crude humor and visually distracting background action, though these things are veiled masterfully to allow family members of all ages to enjoy the film.

“If your kids like poop jokes as much as I do, Open Season will put a big smile on their faces.” was the review from At the Movies with Ebert and Roeper.

and, whatever…I desperately need some sleep before free agency begins in earnest, but the incredibly large amount of coffee that I have consumed in the past three days is staggering and is causing my feet to twitch and my brain to conjure images of the animated characters in the film.

But the thoughts that race through my brain during the brief lucid moments are those of the New England Patriots pending free agents, whose contracts expire at 4:00pm tomorrow afternoon…and though this Legal tampering hasn’t been the most informative for us fans, it has been an invaluable tool for Bill Belichick to use to both grade the interest of other players and also to gauge dollar offers made to his players due to become free agents.

The feeling here is that all three of the Patriots “Big 3″ free agents will be re-signed.

Even Welker.

The rest of this afternoon’s NFL window shopping news:

Report: Pats considered run at Victor Cruz

“Several sources” tell CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora that the Patriots had  considered a run at restricted free agent Victor Cruz before Cruz switched  agents to Tom Condon on Monday.

Slapped with the first-round tender, acquiring Cruz would  require teams to fork over a large long-term contract in addition to a  first-round pick. The Pats apparently considered it nonetheless, but have a  well-documented history of staying away from Condon’s clients. Cruz presumably  would have replaced Wes Welker in the slot. La Canfora believes there is still a  possibility someone will make a run at Cruz, despite the costly restricted  tender.

Broncos released LB D.J. Williams.

This move was a no-brainer. Williams was due $6 million in the  final year of his deal, and he wasn’t going to be a starter in Denver anymore.  The 30-year-old is coming off a multi-suspension season that saw him register  just 14 tackles in seven games. Denver will move forward with Wesley Woodyard,  Von Miller, and likely Nate Irving as their starting linebackers. The Redskins,  Texans, Raiders, Falcons, and Ravens have recently been mentioned as possible  suitors.

The Tampa Bay Times reports the Buccaneers are shopping Arrelious  Benn.

A colossal disappointment since the Bucs took him 39th overall  in the 2010 draft, Benn has managed 59 catches for 862 yards and five touchdowns  across 37 career games, making 24 starts. Tampa Bay would lucky to get back a  seventh-round pick, although Benn’s $630,000 salary does figure to help his  market.

49ers acquired WR Anquan Boldin from the Ravens in exchange for a sixth-round  draft pick.

The Ravens were on the verge of releasing Boldin, so GM Ozzie  Newsome did well to get a pick back for a receiver entering his age-33 season  and still clearing all of his $6 million base salary off of the books. Boldin  adds another physical possession receiver to Colin Kaepernick’s arsenal, though  we’d expect Boldin to take a bit of a backseat to Crabtree and Vernon Davis in  2013. As great as Boldin was in the playoffs, he does not create separation in  the passing game. To fully capitalize on Kaepernick’s arm, the 49ers either need  A.J. Jenkins to step up as a vertical stretcher, or they’ll need to find one  someplace else.

Cardinals informed RB Beanie Wells of his release.

Wells is only 24 and has never lacked for talent, but it’s  telling that the Cardinals cut him despite an affordable $1,407,500 base salary.  Beanie is completely inept in the passing game and new coach Bruce Arians is a  pass-first mind. The 31st overall pick in the 2009 draft, Wells’ four-year  Arizona career ends with one season of 200-plus carries, seemingly countless  “nagging” injuries, and a pedestrian 4.0 YPC average. Wells will get another  chance, but he’s just another “guy” in a middling group of free-agent running  backs.

Tags: Aqib Talib New England Patriots New York Giants Victor Cruz

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