With the NFL back open for business, teams started making moves right away.  First up, the Minnesota Vikings.  They drafted Christian Ponder from Florida State to be the heir apparent to the Brett Favre era.  However, given that they have a pretty solid defense, arguably the best running-back in football, and an above average offensive line, it might be wise not to squander those years on a rookie quarterback’s adjustment years.  That’s why they are in thick contract negotiations with all-pro Donovan McNabb.  We’re all familiar with his impressive body of work in Philadelphia, but his one-year stint with the Redskins was a complete failure.  This, however, does not mean he’s done.  McNabb certainly has gas left in the tank and would be a great fit to simply execute the Vikings offense (which is basically what Favre did).  Plus McNabb has those same ‘Wow!’ moments as Favre, when he’ll miraculously pick up the first down on 3rd and 13.  This could be very good for Minnesota… if the contract goes through.

Next up, the Seattle Seahawks.  Yesterday, they decided to pull the curtain closed on an era, allowing their franchise quarterback of the past decade, Matt Hasselbeck, to become a free agent.  They needed a replacement, and based on the above news from Minnesota, that basically freed up Tavaris Jackson to switch teams.  According to reports, the Seahawks are looking to land Jackson for $8million per year.  Jackson has critics, but remember he’s been a perpetual backup the last few seasons, and never really got a chance to shine in Minnesota.  He’ll have something to prove going to Seattle.  However, there are also reports that Seattle is looking to bring in Matt Leinart, which would reunite Leinart with his USC coach Pete Carroll.  The Seahawks made the playoffs last year, and are hoping to continue that success this season.

Finally, the Plaxico Burress era in New York may not be over.  According to reports, Burress is in negotiations to sign with the Giants.  That would give them that tall, superstar wide receiving threat they need.  Sure, Burress has been out of the league 2 full years, but sources say he’s in great shape and ready to play.  He most likely has a few more great seasons in him.  And in Carolina camp, the Panthers have signed their hyped defensive end Charles Johnson to a 6-year deal worth around $72 million.  They couldn’t take a chance letting this guy go, as he is a key component to their defensive rebuilding efforts.  Carolina is a team in flux right now, and this will be a ‘growth’ year for them, but they might just surprise you with Cam Newton at the helm and a motivated team behind him.

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