Torry Holt is actively pursuing work now that he’s back from his vacation.  Last week he visited with Jacksonville Jaguars and he’ll meet with the Tennessee Titans later this week.  Both teams heavily favor the run, but Holt would give them a valuable possession receiver.  He runs crisp routes and has excellent hands.  Holt will turn 33 this summer, which isn’t too old for a Wide Receiver.  Jacksonville has a more immediate need following the departure of Matt Jones.  Tennessee, however, has a better team and a better group of wides with Justin Gage and Nate Washington in the mix.  Holt was cut a few weeks ago by the St. Louis Rams.

Meanwhile Marvin Harrison’s phone remains silent.  Considering his legal woes stemming from last year’s shooting incident, that may be a good thing.  I guess I figured Marvin had a little in the tank, and that his February release from the Colts was simply based on economic factors.  Perhaps that’s what is keeping his phone silent.  Harrison may be looking for a payday that exceeds what teams would be willing to bring him in for.

The remaining crop of Free Agent receivers is pretty thin.  Reggie Williams, Ronald Curry, Amani Toomer, Brandon Lloyd, Shaun McDonald, Darrell Jackson, and Keary Colbert are the top options.  None of whom appear to have fantasy relevance regardless of destination.

According to ESPN’s James Walker, the Baltimore Ravens have reached a deal with Tight End L.J. Smith.  Smith had 231 catches for 2525 yards and 18 TDs in six  years with Philadelphia.  Smith was at his best in 2005 & 2006 when he averaged 55 catches for 650 yards and 4 TDs.  He has missed  nine games the past two seasons though, bring his average down to 30 catches for 235 yards and 2 TDs in 2007 & 2008.

Smith forms a solid Tight End duo with Todd Heap, who is also talented but has missed time with injuries.  Heap has 374 receptions for 4300 yards and 30 TDs.  Twice (2004 & 2007) he was limited to six games.  Once one of the most feared Tight Ends in the game, he was held to 35 catches for 403 yards and 3 TDs in a full 2008 season.

If they can both stay healthy the pair will rival Chicago’s Greg Olsen and Desmond Clark as the league’s top Tight End duo.

J.D., a young Bleacher Report writer and creator of The Sports Report with J.D., contacted me to see if I wanted to post some of his articles on the site.  Always looking to encourage an aspiring writer, I agreed.   J.D. discusses NFL rumors.

J.D. discusses Torry Holt
Unfortunately Holt is on vacation so don’t expect a signing any time soon, though a lot of teams are interested.

Before he was released by the Rams, the Tennessee Titans were in negotiations to acquire Holt in a trade.  They could use him along with newly acquired Nate Washington and holdover Justin Gage.  That would give Tennessee a solid trio of wides, and it would allow Holt to remain a #1 receiver.

The 49ers could also express interest in Torry Holt, although they have concerns with the condition of his knees.  He would add a veteran presence to a team featuring Brandon Jones, Josh Morgan, and Vernon Davis.

The Jaguars could also express interest in Holt after releasing Matt Jones.

Keep an eye on the Ravens.  He would join Derrick Mason, Mark Clayton, and Todd Heap in the passing game while being a No. 1 target for Joe Flacco.

How about them Colts? He would be a great replacement for Marvin Harrison.

My favorite though is the Eagles. Holt would make a great target for Donovan McNabb.  McNabb called for more weapons, and Holt would qualify.  He would take pressure off of Brian Westbrook and DeSean Jackson in the passing game. 

Lester Discusses Julius Peppers Situation
According to several sources, unidentified by NFL.com, the Patriots have expressed interest in aquiring Julius Peppers, who earlier this year was slapped with the franchise tag.  Peppers wants to make the switch from Defensive End in a 4-3 system to Outside Linebacker in a 3-4, which the Patriots run. 

According to NFL.com’s Vic Carucci the Patriots would send the second-round pick (34th overall) acquired from Kansas City in the Matt Cassel trade to Carolina for the four-time Pro Bowler.  Since Peppers has yet to sign the franchise tender, his camp will have to broker the deal. 

Many thought the Patriots were crazy taking a second-round pick for Matt Cassel, but if they can turn that pick into Julius Peppers, Bill Belichick will come out smelling like roses.  New England has long been ahead of the curve with personnel matters, and while it appeared that they could have received a first rounder, the economics of that pick may have made it more difficult to move.

Rams Release Torry Holt

13 March 2009

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Photo courtesy of Icon SMI

The Rams continued to purge by releasing future Hall of Famer Torry Holt on the heels of their release of future Hall of Famer Orlando Pace to officially close the door on the Greatest Show on Turf. 

Holt had his streak of eight straight 1188+ yard season snapped last year as he managed just 796.  He managed just 64 receptions, which was the first time he dipped below 81 since his Rookie season.  He also scored a career low three TDs.

Does that mean Holt is finished as a fantasy factor?  Hardly.  He played on a miserable team last year.  He will turn 33 this summer and should have a couple of good years left in him.  He is one of the smartest receivers in the league.  He runs great routes and has tremendous hands.  Derrick Mason, Marvin Harrison, and former teammate Isaac Bruce are examples of WRs who have produced in their early thirties.

Speaking of Isaac Bruce, San Francisco is one of the possible targets according to Rotoworld.  Other likely destinations include Tennessee, the Giants, and Carolina.  Right now that’s just speculation and I wouldn’t put any stock into it until he starts going on visits. 

One thing I would put stock in is improved numbers for Holt in 2009.  He’s too good of a receiver to have less than 800 yards and 3 TDs.  A change of scenery will do him good.  The Rams have a lot of work to do rebuilding, and it’s best for the team and Holt for them to part ways.

With Holt gone, Donnie Avery will assume the #1 WR status on the team.  While his value will go up next year, don’t get carried away.  The Rams have issues on the line and at Quarterback, which puts a cramp in any WRs style.

T.O. Lands in Buffalo

8 March 2009

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Drew Rosenhaus said T.O. wouldn’t be out of work for long.  He wasn’t kidding.  ESPN’s John Clayton reported that the Buffalo Bills secured his services for $6.5 million.  Anyone else notice Jay Glazer lost his mojo? 

The Bills did the right thing by signing T.O. to a one-year deal.  If he wants another payday next year, he’ll have to be on his best behavior.  In the past T.O. has been outstanding in his first season with a new team as he shined in 2004 with the Eagles (1200 yards, 14 TDs) after a strained relationship with the 49ers and in 2006 (1180 yards, 13 TDs) after doing the same in Philly.  He wasn’t as effective last year (1052 yards, 10 TDs), but he still has good football left in him.  He should be a nice compliment to Lee Evans.  It will be interesting to see how he meshes with Trent Edwards.  While a decent QB, he’s no Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb, or Tony Romo.  If he does his thing, Edwards could be a borderline fantasy starter next year.  He should also benefit Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson by keeping Defenses honest.  It was an unlikely landing spot for T.O., but if the Dallas departure proves humbling, Buffalo could make some noise next year.

Here’s J.D.’s take in a special Junior Report*:

Well, we thought that T.O. was hopeless and he will never get signed.  Just a couple of days after being released, T.O. reached an agreement with the Buffalo Bills.

It was a one-year, $6.5 million contract.  Owens looks to help out Lee Evans and James Hardy in the passing game.  With T.O. in, they can cover up the scandal of Marshawn Lynch.

But here is the problem T.O. is going to have:  Trent Edwards.  Right now, I am praying that T.O. will not do the things to Trent Edwards that he did to Tony Romo, Donovan McNabb, and Jeff Garcia.  Let’s just hope.

With T.O. the Bills look to be playoff contenders, and it will be T.O. vs. Randy Moss every time they take on their heated rival, the Patriots.  The Bills can actually sweep the Patriots next year.  We’ll see how next season go.  This is a big step for the Bills. Let’s see how they will handle it.

*J.D., a young Bleacher Report writer and creator of The Sports Report with J.D., contacted me to see if I wanted to post some of his articles on the site.  Always looking to encourage an aspiring writer, I agreed.

T.O. Wears Out Welcome

5 March 2009

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Everything seems a little bigger in Big D, and that sure was the case when it came to the profile of the player the Dallas Cowboys cut on Wednesday.  After three turbulent years, the Cowboys have parted ways with Terrell Owens.

As it has in all of his stops, T.O.’s distractions finally became too much.  Tony Romo is a talented QB, but he spends too much time worrying about getting everyone involved than running an Offense.  T.O. complained that Romo was too close with Jason Witten.  This time around, though, it was more than just his mouth that sealed his fate.

His production was down.  Sure he caught 10 TD passes, but his 69 receptions and 1052 yards were his lowest since 1999, aside from 2005 when he played jut 7 games.  He just drops too many passes, especially for someone constantly begging for the ball. 

He is T.O., and despite turning 35 on the 67th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor, he’ll catch on with a team.  He’ll play nice for a while, but when things don’t go his way, he’ll carry on once again.  His fantasy value almost certainly takes a hit as he’ll have a hard time finding a spot in a more potent Offense.  Tony Romo and Jason Witten’s values take small hits as well.  Say what you want about the person, but T.O. the player commanded a lot of attention.  Roy Williams is good, and should see an increase in fantasy value, but let’s face it.  He’s not going to keep Defensive Coordinators up at night.  Patrick Crayton will likely start opposite Williams.  His value, and Miles Austin’s will increase.  Jerry Jones played with fire when he brought in T.O.  Three years later there is no playoff Win to show for it.

For more detail, check out ESPN‘s story broken my Michael Smith.

It didn’t take long for the Cincinnati Bengals to replace their classy possession receiver with another classy possession receiver.  The similarities don’t stop there.  They are just three months apart in age and have both made one Pro Bowl.  Plus, both Cincinnati and Seattle have used the nickname Queen City.

The Bengals signed Coles to a four-year, $28 million deal.  Houshmandzadeh’s deal with the Seahawks was five years at $40 million.  Coles hasn’t been as productive in recent years, but is consistent with 5-7 TDs in seven of his last eight seasons.  He doesn’t attract as much attention as Houshmandzadeh, which could play well with Chad Ocho Cinco. 

Coles is the second key Offensive players signed in the past two days.  Yesterday the Bengals signed Running Back Cedric Benson.  The combined contracts of Benson and Coles is $5 million less than the one inked by Housh.


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