With the collective bargaining agreement set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, many NFL teams have been busy making moves in advance of the expected lockout. Some of those moves include tendering contracts to restricted free agents, placing the franchise tag on players and releasing a number of veterans. Below is a rundown of the transactions that have happened (or could happen) in the NFL this week.
- Defensive tackle Shaun Rogers signed with the New Orleans Saints yesterday. (UPDATE: According to Jason La Canfora, Rogers will make around $4 million with the Saints and could have made $6 million elsewhere. I guess he really does want to play for a winner.)
- The Chicago Bears released offensive lineman Kevin Shaffer, defensive tackle Tommie Harris and linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer on Tuesday.
- The Washington Redskins released running back Clinton Portis on Monday.
- The New York Jets released offensive tackle Damien Woody, defensive end Vernon Gholston, defensive tackle Kris Jenkins and linebacker Jason Taylor.
- Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice wants to test free agency before he considers re-signing with his current team. As mentioned the last time I talked about Rice, I don't pass this along because I think the Lions would be interested, but rather because it's possible he could leave the NFC North.
- Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy wants linebacker A.J. Hawk back next season, but he may be released because of his contract. He has a base salary of $10 million next season, and it will become guaranteed on the first day of the league year (i.e. when a CBA is in place). The thinking is he would want to re-sign with Green Bay by working out a new contract, but if he hits the open market I'd expect the Lions to take a look at him. There is a need at linebacker, and Bobby Carpenter, who is expected to be back next season, is his former teammate from Ohio State.
- This last one isn't player related, but the Chicago Bears gave head coach Lovie Smith a contract extension through 2013.