With the NFL calendar flipping to the 2009 season, several veterans have been released or had their contracts expire this week, including two former Vikings. See the week that was in the NFL as teams prepare for free agency.
CB Leigh Bodden had his contract terminated by Detroit. Bodden ripped the outgoing coaching staff after last season. He was upset he didn't start the season opener. "When I first stepped foot in the door, did I start?" Bodden said. "That doesn't make any sense. I don't know what conclusion they had for that. It ain't like I didn't make plays during training camp. It was just baffling to me. From that point, I wasn't happy." Bodden started the rest of the Lions' games. But he was upset when the Lions moved him from the right side to the left. "Eventually I got used to it, but it would have been great if I had just started on one side and just left it at that," Bodden said. "But they didn't have a clue what they wanted to do with me."
Bodden also criticized the Lions' defensive play-calling after defensive coordinator Joe Barry was fired. "You've got to be unpredictable, and I feel like sometimes we were kind of too predictable in what we were calling, and that costs you," Bodden said. "If the offensive coordinator can pretty much tell what you're about to run, then he's going to beat whatever you have."
WR Martin Nance's practice squad contract with Pittsburgh expired.
S Dwight Smith (failed physical) had his contract terminated by Detroit.
QB Brett Favre has informed the Jets that he intends to retire. "Mike and Woody, as well as the entire organization, have been nothing short of outstanding," Favre said in an email to ESPN sent by his agent, Bus Cook. "My teammates -- Thomas (Jones) and Kerry (Rhodes) included -- were a pleasure to play with. Eric could not have been any better. I enjoyed playing for him. My time with the Jets was short, but I'm honored to be given that chance." Favre, 39, had two years left on his contract and was due to make $13 million next season. After the season, Favre was diagnosed with a torn biceps tendon, although he didn't require surgery.
QBs Kellen Clemens and Brett Ratliff are the front-runners to replace Brett Favre as the starting quarterback, although the Jets could also dip into the free-agent market.
WR Mike Furrey had his contract terminated by Detroit. Furrey was placed on injured reserve in December because of lingering effects of a concussion suffered Nov. 9 against Jacksonville. He said he was 100 percent and disappointed in the decision.
DE Chris Canty, who was drafted by the current Dolphins regime when they were running the Cowboys, is a free agent and wouldn't be unhappy if he was re-united with Bill Parcells. "I've always said, there's a part of me that's always gonna be a Parcells guy. I've played under Al Groh in college and then coming in as a rookie under Bill. What they instill in the brand of football that they play, it's been with me so that would be a place that would be a good fit," he said.
OLB Morlon Greenwood was released by the Texans. He had 45 tackles with 10 starts last season.
CB Terry Cousin had his contract terminated by Cleveland.
LB Antwan Peek (failed physical) had his contract terminated by Cleveland.
WR Hines Ward underwent surgery on his shoulder, but is expected to be healthy in time for the team's offseason program. He will not need surgery on the right knee he strained in the AFC Championship Game.
CB Byron Westbrook re-signed with the Redskins. The younger brother of Eagles RB Brian Westbrook, Byron spent the past two seasons on the Redskins' practice squad after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Salisbury State in 2007.
LB Eduardo Castaneda's practice squad contract with Arizona expired.
OG Edwin Mulitalo had his contract terminated by Detroit. Mulitalo (ankle) was placed on injured reserve in December.
QB Ken Dorsey had his contract terminated by Cleveland.
CB Drayton Florence and WR Jerry Porter were released by the Jaguars after signing large free-agent deals last offseason. "In going through our personnel evaluations and roster analysis we are making decisions that we believe will help improve our team for the 2009 season and beyond," said Jaguars general manager Gene Smith.
QB Bruce Gradkowski was claimed by Oakland off waivers from Cleveland, where he started the season finale last year.
CB Adam (Pacman) Jones was officially waived by Dallas in a move the team announced last month.
RB Ahman Green was released by the Texans in a move expected after two injury-plagued seasons with the team. He rushed for just 554 yards in 18 games.
TE Alex Shor's practice squad contract with Arizona expired.
TE Dan Campbell had his contract terminated by Detroit.
CB David Barrett, who started 37 games in five seasons with the Jets, was released by the team. The move saves the Jets more than $5 million against the salary cap.