Notebook: Receivers make big first-day splash

The Vikings are in need of a receiver, but other teams were hosting free-agent receivers while the Vikings were monitoring the initial flurry. Four big-name receivers were either signed or traded before free agency was even three hours old.

Garcon announces he's headed to Redskins

The move to acquire the No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming draft, presumably to select quarterback Robert Griffin III, is already paying dividends for the Washington Redskins.

Wide receiver Pierre Garcon, who spent four years with the Indianapolis Colts, announced that he had reached a free agent agreement with the Redskins. If Washington had hoped the prospect of playing with Griffin would attract free agent wide receivers, the plan is already working.

"I wanted you all to hear it from me 1st before u saw it on the news... I will be signing with the Washington Redskins and I'm very excited about the opportunity in front of me," he wrote on Facebook.

Garcon was a secondary target for Colts quarterback Peyton Manning during the receiver's first three seasons, twice topping 700 receiving yards. Last year, with Manning missing the entire season due to a neck injury, Garcon had a career-high 70 receptions for a career-high 947 yards. He matched his best total with six touchdowns.

Former Colts executive Bill Polian had said on ESPN earlier Tuesday that he believed Garcon would get a big free agent payday in part because of his age, 25.

Last season, the Redskins didn't have a 1,000-yard receiver. Jabar Gaffney led the team with 947 receiving yards. The team's top target, Santana Moss, missed four games with a broken left hand

Bears acquire Marshall in trade with Dolphins

Wide receiver Brandon Marshall will be reunited with his former quarterback, Jay Cutler, as the Chicago Bears have acquired him in a trade with the Miami Dolphins.

The Bears announced the acquisition of Marshall but said only that they gave up two undisclosed draft picks. Fox Sports' Jay Glazer reported that Chicago would send this year's third-round draft pick and next year's third-round draft pick to Miami, and the story was later confirmed by other media outlets.

Marshall, a three-time Pro Bowl player, and Cutler were starters together in Denver in 2007 and 2008, and the receiver had the two biggest years of his career in terms of receiving yards (1,325 in '07, 1,265 in '08).

Marshall's string of consecutive 1,000-yard receiving years has reached five, including each of the past two years with Miami. Larry Fitzgerald and Roddy White are the only other receivers with such a five-year streak.

The Broncos traded Marshall to the Dolphins in April 2010 amid reports that the receiver's stellar play was being offset by a sometimes questionable attitude. Then-Denver coach Josh McDaniels suspended Marshall for the 2009 season finale, a game the Broncos lost to keep them out of the playoffs.

Marshall wasn't the only receiving target for Chicago this offseason. The Chicago Tribune reported that the Bears were trying to acquire free agent wide receiver Vincent Jackson before the Buccaneers signed him.

The Marshall trade could have a trickle-down effect, boosting the Dolphins' chances in the Peyton Manning sweepstakes. The free agent quarterback is making the rounds, having already met with the Broncos, Cardinals and the Dolphins. He is due to meet with the Tennessee Titans, too.

One of Manning's former targets, Reggie Wayne, is also on the free agent market. Without Marshall, there's plenty of room for Wayne. That could be enticing to the veteran quarterback looking for a winning situation.

Buccaneers sign Vincent Jackson

With the wide receiver market quickly taking shape, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers landed one of the top prizes: Vincent Jackson.

The Buccaneers and the free agent receiver reached a contract agreement, Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported via Twitter.

ESPN and the San Diego Union-Tribune previously reported that the Buccaneers and Jackson were in negotiations shortly after the free agency period opened at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

Jackson, 29, has played seven seasons with the Chargers, topping 1,000 yards three times. After missing 11 games in 2010 due to a contract dispute, he had 60 catches for 1,106 yards and a career-high-tying nine touchdowns in 2011.

He played last year with San Diego after the team gave him the franchise tag.

Tight end Kellen Winslow was the Buccaneers' leading pass-catcher last year with 75 receptions. Mike Williams topped the team with 771 receiving years, while Dezmon Briscoe had a team-high six touchdown catches.

Colston signs 5-year deal with Saints

Drew Brees won't have to worry about one of his top targets, Marques Colston, testing the free-agent waters.

Colston said Tuesday he had little desire to do so, after the New Orleans Saints announced he signed a five-year contract extension a few hours before he would have become an unrestricted free agent.

The deal was worth between $35-40 million, according to reports.

"This was important to me, to be back with this team in this situation," Colston said in a statement released by the team. "I was not looking to chase free agency; it was more important for me to be back in our program, a program we have been building and a program I believe in.

"The Saints have been loyal to me from the beginning and I want to thank my agent Joel Segal and Saints GM Mickey Loomis for getting this deal done before free agency. Now it is time to get back to work and win some more rings."

Other teams were not as likely to be as happy about the news as the wide receiver would have been among the most coveted free agents at his position.

Colston, 28, has totaled over 1,000 yards receiving in his past three seasons and five of his six seasons with the Saints.

That made him just one of seven NFL players to reach the 1,000-yard mark in five of his first six seasons in the league. He is the only Saint to put together back-to-back 1,000-yard years.

A seventh-round pick in 2006, Colston has moved up the team's record books, where he is tied for second with 48 touchdown catches, and is third with 449 receptions and 6,240 receiving yards.

"Since we drafted Marques in 2006, he's been everything that we are looking for in a New Orleans Saint as a player and a person," Loomis said in a statement. "His combination of production, work ethic and reliability speaks for itself. He has proudly represented our team both on the field and in the community.

"Credit goes to Marques for wanting to get this deal done before free agency started. He's been a major part of our success and we're excited that he will continue to be an integral part of our team for years to come."

Colston has been teamed with Brees for his entire career, including last year when he caught 80 passes for 1,143 yards and eight touchdowns.

The deal was worth $35 million for Colston, with $19-20 million of it guaranteed, according to Yahoo! Sports, while NFL.com reported the deal would be worth $40 million.

Brees is not officially a member of the Saints at the moment, but will be reunited with Colston for at least next season. New Orleans gave the Pro Bowl quarterback the exclusive franchise tag, so he will be locked in for at least next year.

With Colston signed by the Saints, the San Diego Chargers' Vincent Jackson and Indianapolis Colts' Pierre Garcon were expected to be the top receivers available via free agency.

Jackson caught 60 passes for 1,106 yards for the Chargers last year with nine touchdowns. He had at least 1,000 yards receiving in three of the last four seasons.

Garcon had 70 catches for 947 yards with six touchdowns for the woeful Colts last year


Viking Update Top Stories

\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":" The move to acquire the No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming draft, presumably to select quarterback Robert Griffin III, is already paying dividends for the Washington Redskins. Wide receiver Pierre Garcon, who spent four years with the Indianapolis Colts, announced that he had reached a free agent agreement with the Redskins. If Washington had hoped the prospect of playing with Griffin would attract free agent wide receivers, the plan is already working. \"I wanted you all to hear it from me 1st before u saw it on the news... I will be signing with the Washington Redskins and I'm very excited about the opportunity in front of me,\" he wrote on Facebook. Garcon was a secondary target for Colts quarterback Peyton Manning during the receiver's first three seasons, twice topping 700 receiving yards. Last year, with Manning missing the entire season due to a neck injury, Garcon had a career-high 70 receptions for a career-high 947 yards. He matched his best total with six touchdowns. Former Colts executive Bill Polian had said on ESPN earlier Tuesday that he believed Garcon would get a big free agent payday in part because of his age, 25. Last season, the Redskins didn't have a 1,000-yard receiver. Jabar Gaffney led the team with 947 receiving yards. The team's top target, Santana Moss, missed four games with a broken left hand Wide receiver Brandon Marshall will be reunited with his former quarterback, Jay Cutler, as the Chicago Bears have acquired him in a trade with the Miami Dolphins. The Bears announced the acquisition of Marshall but said only that they gave up two undisclosed draft picks. Fox Sports' Jay Glazer reported that Chicago would send this year's third-round draft pick and next year's third-round draft pick to Miami, and the story was later confirmed by other media outlets. Marshall, a three-time Pro Bowl player, and Cutler were starters together in Denver in 2007 and 2008, and the receiver had the two biggest years of his career in terms of receiving yards (1,325 in '07, 1,265 in '08). Marshall's string of consecutive 1,000-yard receiving years has reached five, including each of the past two years with Miami. Larry Fitzgerald and Roddy White are the only other receivers with such a five-year streak. The Broncos traded Marshall to the Dolphins in April 2010 amid reports that the receiver's stellar play was being offset by a sometimes questionable attitude. Then-Denver coach Josh McDaniels suspended Marshall for the 2009 season finale, a game the Broncos lost to keep them out of the playoffs. Marshall wasn't the only receiving target for Chicago this offseason. The Chicago Tribune reported that the Bears were trying to acquire free agent wide receiver Vincent Jackson before the Buccaneers signed him. The Marshall trade could have a trickle-down effect, boosting the Dolphins' chances in the Peyton Manning sweepstakes. The free agent quarterback is making the rounds, having already met with the Broncos, Cardinals and the Dolphins. He is due to meet with the Tennessee Titans, too. One of Manning's former targets, Reggie Wayne, is also on the free agent market. Without Marshall, there's plenty of room for Wayne. That could be enticing to the veteran quarterback looking for a winning situation. With the wide receiver market quickly taking shape, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers landed one of the top prizes: Vincent Jackson. The Buccaneers and the free agent receiver reached a contract agreement, Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported via Twitter. ESPN and the San Diego Union-Tribune previously reported that the Buccaneers and Jackson were in negotiations shortly after the free agency period opened at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Jackson, 29, has played seven seasons with the Chargers, topping 1,000 yards three times. After missing 11 games in 2010 due to a contract dispute, he had 60 catches for 1,106 yards and a career-high-tying nine touchdowns in 2011. He played last year with San Diego after the team gave him the franchise tag. Tight end Kellen Winslow was the Buccaneers' leading pass-catcher last year with 75 receptions. Mike Williams topped the team with 771 receiving years, while Dezmon Briscoe had a team-high six touchdown catches. Drew Brees won't have to worry about one of his top targets, Marques Colston, testing the free-agent waters. Colston said Tuesday he had little desire to do so, after the New Orleans Saints announced he signed a five-year contract extension a few hours before he would have become an unrestricted free agent. The deal was worth between $35-40 million, according to reports. \"This was important to me, to be back with this team in this situation,\" Colston said in a statement released by the team. \"I was not looking to chase free agency; it was more important for me to be back in our program, a program we have been building and a program I believe in. \"The Saints have been loyal to me from the beginning and I want to thank my agent Joel Segal and Saints GM Mickey Loomis for getting this deal done before free agency. Now it is time to get back to work and win some more rings.\" Other teams were not as likely to be as happy about the news as the wide receiver would have been among the most coveted free agents at his position. Colston, 28, has totaled over 1,000 yards receiving in his past three seasons and five of his six seasons with the Saints. That made him just one of seven NFL players to reach the 1,000-yard mark in five of his first six seasons in the league. He is the only Saint to put together back-to-back 1,000-yard years. A seventh-round pick in 2006, Colston has moved up the team's record books, where he is tied for second with 48 touchdown catches, and is third with 449 receptions and 6,240 receiving yards. \"Since we drafted Marques in 2006, he's been everything that we are looking for in a New Orleans Saint as a player and a person,\" Loomis said in a statement. \"His combination of production, work ethic and reliability speaks for itself. He has proudly represented our team both on the field and in the community. \"Credit goes to Marques for wanting to get this deal done before free agency started. He's been a major part of our success and we're excited that he will continue to be an integral part of our team for years to come.\" Colston has been teamed with Brees for his entire career, including last year when he caught 80 passes for 1,143 yards and eight touchdowns. The deal was worth $35 million for Colston, with $19-20 million of it guaranteed, according to Yahoo! Sports, while NFL.com reported the deal would be worth $40 million. Brees is not officially a member of the Saints at the moment, but will be reunited with Colston for at least next season. New Orleans gave the Pro Bowl quarterback the exclusive franchise tag, so he will be locked in for at least next year. With Colston signed by the Saints, the San Diego Chargers' Vincent Jackson and Indianapolis Colts' Pierre Garcon were expected to be the top receivers available via free agency. Jackson caught 60 passes for 1,106 yards for the Chargers last year with nine touchdowns. He had at least 1,000 yards receiving in three of the last four seasons. 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