12:36 p.m. | Updated
Big signing news of the day, so far:
The Eagles, having shipped their backup quarterback, Kevin Kolb, to the Cardinals on Thursday, have reportedly decided his replacement will be Vince Young, who was released by the Titans on Thursday. The Eagles’ last quarterback reclamation project, Michael Vick, said he was thrilled the team was taking on Young as its next project.
In other news, the Denver Broncos have reportedly found someone to complement running back Knowshon Moreno by agreeing to a three-year, $7.5 million deal with Willis McGahee. Wide receiver Roy Williams, who was cut by the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, will be reunited with his former offensive coordinator Mike Martz in Chicago after reportedly agreeing to terms with the Bears.
Friday’s biggest looming mysteries:
These involve perhaps the most talented player still dangling in free-agency limbo, cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who is expected to choose between the Jets and the Cowboys, and the most talented player ever to shoot himself in the leg, receiver Plaxico Burress. Reportedly, the league has reinstated Burress, freeing him to sign on some available bottom line, and he is expected to sit down with Giants Coach Tom Coughlin Friday night to either hash out their differences or perhaps discuss the nutritional failings of jailhouse cuisine.
The Texans made some bold moves Thursday by signing cornerback Johnathan Joseph and safety Danieal Manning, and want to be even bolder by adding Asomugha. NFL Network is reporting that the Texans are now out of the running and the Cowboys are in, but the favorites are the Jets, who are trying to create a supertandem in their defensive backfield, writes Bucky Brooks on NFL.com, with Darrelle Revis.
There is still lingering debate over one of Thursday’s other big deals, the trade of quarterback Kolb from the Eagles to the Cardinals for cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. The consensus is that the Cardinals paid a steep price for Kolb, but had to go bold to fill their biggest need. But Clark Judge of CBSSports.com also warns that investing in discarded Eagles quarterbacks is not usually a good move.
Cutsville: As the Asomugha-Jets negotiations carry on, the team said goodbye to their three-time Pro Bowl quarterback and Mark Sanchez mentor, Mark Brunell, along with cornerback Will Billingsley and guard Marlon Davis.
Reverberations from Thursday’s big moves:
The Patriots joined the backyard party on Thursday and did one giant cannonball into the middle of the pool. They didn’t just shove Albert Haynesworth and his cartful of emotional baggage off the high board, they hurled Chad Ochocinco in there after him.
Yes, that was Thursday, and by the end of the day Friday the whole thing might explode into an “Animal House” toga party, but let’s just pause for a second to say, “Wow.”
Now, whether this move turns into an epic team chemistry chain reaction that leaves Patriots Coach Bill Belichick with a set of fried eyebrows, that will be the central mystery of the Patriots’ season. But it certainly got everyone’s attention, writes Greg A. Bedard in The Boston Globe. Belichick is clearly counting on his magical powers to reclaim wayward talent, writes Don Banks on SI.com, at least in the case of Haynesworth. With Ochocinco, it’s how to manage the cultural clash between the league’s most buttoned-down team and the Queen Mary of self-promoting showboats. Dan Wetzel of Yahoo.com urges Ochocinco to shut down his Twitter account and behave now, but that would be rather like asking Niagara Falls to act like a nice little waterfall.
To a lot of people right now — including Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com — Belichick looks like a genius. But, as Alex Marvez writes on Foxsports.com, by the end of the season he might be getting measured for a straitjacket with a hood.