Kevin Kolb to the Cardinals

The long-anticipated trade of quarterback Kevin Kolb came to fruition Thursday afternoon when the Philadelphia Eagles shipped the fifth-year signal caller to the Arizona Cardinals. In exchange, the Eagles received cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick.

Although Kolb is relatively inexperienced — he started only seven games in four seasons in Philadelphia–he instantly raises the Cardinals’ ability to compete again in the NFC West. The Cardinals played a game of musical chairs with their quarterbacks last year–Derek Anderson, Max Hall and John Skelton all started games–in the wake of Kurt Warner’s retirement.

The most anticipated trade of the offseason is finally done. FoxSports.com reports the Philadelphia Eagles are sending backup quarterback Kevin Kolb to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round draft pick.

Those three QBs combined for 10 touchdown passes and 18 interceptions for Arizona, which went 5-11 and finished last in the division just two years after going to the Super Bowl.

A second-round draft pick in 2007 out of Houston, Kolb entered the 2010 season as the Eagles’ starter following the offseason trade of Donovan McNabb to the Redskins. But Kolb got hurt in the first half of the season opener. He was replaced by Michael Vick, who started most of the rest of the season.

In his career, Kolb has completed 194 of 319 passes (60.8 percent) for 2,082 yards and 11 touchdowns, with 14 interceptions.

As part of the deal, the Cardinals signed Kolb to a five-year, $63 million contract extension, including a guarantee of $20 million.

This deal may help the Eagles as much as it does the Cardinals. Rodgers-Cromartie gives Philadelphia another strong cornerback to team with Asante Samuel, who has gone to the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons with the team. Rodgers-Cromartie, a first-round pick by Arizona in ’08, had three interceptions last seasons.

With their secondary ostensibly strengthened, the Eagles become even more of a threat to repeat as NFC East champions.

Read more: http://aol.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2011-07-28/report-eagles-qb-kevin-kolb-to-arizona-cardinals-is-a-done-deal#ixzz1TX3wklFu

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Reggie Bush to the Dolphins

MIAMI — Nine years later, the Miami Dolphins have again traded for a New Orleans Saintsrunning back who won the Heisman Trophy.

This time it’s Reggie Bush.

The Dolphins completed a trade for Bush on Thursday by negotiating a new contract with him. Saints coach Sean Payton confirmed the deal, which sends reserve safety Jonathon Amaya to New Orleans and also involves an exchange of undisclosed draft picks.

Miami acquired former Heisman winner Ricky Williams from the Saints in 2002, with mixed results. He won an NFL rushing title with the Dolphins, but they haven’t won a playoff game since that trade.

Bush agreed to a two-year contract for nearly $10 million with the Dolphins, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter Thursday. The trade was announced Friday by Miami.

Bush was due about $11.8 million this season, the final year of his Saints contract. It would have been difficult for them to justify paying that given their salary-cap constraints.

“Change is never easy but I look forward to building something special in Miami and can’t wait to embark on this new journey!” Bush said while sending a series of tweets. “To the city of New Orleans you will always have a place in my heart. … I love you guys you are my family & I will never forget our good times. … I wish the New Orleans Saints the best of luck I will always be a fan! The team, coaches, and fans will be deeply missed!”

Trade talks with Miami began late Wednesday. Bush’s agent, Joel Segal, worked with Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland until after 2 a.m. Thursday on the terms of a new contract.

Later in the morning Bush agreed to the deal and was en route to Miami. The Dolphins begin practicing Friday, but because Bush signed a new contract, the NFL’s post-lockout calendar requires he wait until Aug. 4 to join practice.

Miami sought a running back to pair with second-round draft choice Daniel Thomas. Last year’s leading rushers, Williams and Ronnie Brown, are free agents.

The Saints reached a four-year, $14 million deal with Chargers running back Darren Sproles, a source told ESPN’s John Clayton. Sproles will receive $6 million in guarantees while helping to replace Bush.

The Dolphins remain in the market to acquire a quarterback to compete with Chad Henne for the starting job, and they’ve reportedly talked with the Denver Broncos about acquiring Kyle Orton.

The Saints hope Amaya can contribute as a punt returner. He signed with Miami as an undrafted rookie free agent last year and played in 10 games, all off the bench.

While the injury-plagued Bush has been paid handsomely since signing his six-year rookie contract worth up to $62 million, his pro career has never reached the heights he and many fans expected when he was selected second overall in the 2006 draft.

Bush has had his share of highlight-reel touchdowns on punt returns, receptions and runs, but has never been to a Pro Bowl or even rushed for as much as 600 yards in a season.

Last season he missed eight games, and during the other eight games was used as a role player, with only 36 carries for 150 yards and just 34 receptions for 208 yards. Knee and leg injuries forced Bush to miss playing time each of the past four seasons — a total of 20 games.

But the speedy Bush gives the Dolphins big-play potential they’ve lacked. Last season Miami ranked third-worst in the NFL last year in scoring, rushing touchdowns, yards per carry and rushes of 10 yards or more.

The Heisman Trust no longer recognizes Bush as the winner of its award. Bush relinquished his title to it in 2010 after an NCAA investigation concluded the former Southern California star and his family accepted improper benefits from would-be sports agents while Bush was still playing for USC.

The same probe led the Bowl Championship Series to vacate the Trojans’ 2004 BCS national title.

Soon after the Saints made a trade for a second first-round pick in April’s NFL draft to take Alabama Heisman winner Mark Ingram, Bush wrote: “It’s been fun New Orleans,” on his Twitter site. Bush later said he regretted that comment and hoped to find a way to stay with New Orleans.

Payton had consistently said there remained a place in his wide-open offense for Bush. But after a salary cap of around $120 million was included in Monday’s labor agreement that ended the lockout, it became apparent New Orleans would have trouble paying Bush what he wanted while addressing other needs.

Before the lockout, the Saints re-signed running back Pierre Thomas to a four-year, $12 million extension. New Orleans also is high on Chris Ivory, who made the squad as an undrafted rookie last season. He filled in while both Bush and Thomas were hurt, and wound up leading the club in yards rushing with 716 yards and TDs rushing with five. It all made for a crowded backfield.

In his five-year pro career, Bush has rushed 524 times for 2,090 yards — an average of 4.0 yards per carry — and 17 touchdowns. He also has 294 receptions for 2,142 yards and 12 TDs. He also has four career TDs on punt returns.

Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and The Associated Press was used in this report.

Haynesworth to the Patriots

Before defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth could get to training camp and take his conditioning test, the Washington Redskins traded him to the New England Patriots for a fifth-round pick in 2013, according to league sources.

Haynesworth still will have to pass his physical in New England, as any player in any trade would.

Washington believes it is ridding itself of a player it had no intention of bringing back to its team this season, while New England is getting added help along its defensive line for a reduced price.

The former Pro Bowl defensive tackle is scheduled to make $5 million this season.

Now in a 24-hour span, the Redskins will have unloaded Haynesworth and quarterback Donovan McNabb, giving Washington an entirely different atmosphere as it prepares to open camp.

Washington traded McNabb to Minnesota for a sixth-round pick in 2012 and a conditional sixth in 2013 in a trade that will become official today.

New England has had a propensity on reaching out for talented but troubled players and succeeding, having previously done so with running back Corey Dillon and wide receiver Randy Moss.

WRITTEN BY Adam Schefter is an ESPN football insider & FULL STORY HERE

Kobe Bryant to Meet With Turkish Team Besiktas

The Turkish team Besiktas recently signed Deron Williams and may be closing in on a deal to sign superstar Kobe Bryant.

Despite reports of Besiktas having financial trouble, they’ve managed to round up sponsors to pay big names.  Bryant has expressed interest in playing overseas during the lockout.  His two choices were either  Turkey or China.  Bryant already has an endorsement deal with Turkish Airlines.  According to Besiktas president Seref Yalcin, contract negotiations are progressing and  they have lined up four sponsors to facilitate the deal.  A meeting is planned for July 30th in Washington D.C., at the site of the Manchester United vs. FC Barcelona exhibition soccer match held at FEDEX Field.

Sidney Rice Reaches Deal With Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks have agreed to a five-year, $41 million contract with wide receiver Sidney Rice, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

After a breakout 2009 season where he racked up 1,312 yards receiving with eight touchdown catches, Rice suffered setbacks in his career due to injury.  He had hip surgery last August and missed the Minnesota Vikings first nine games in 2010 and  he was selected to his first Pro Bowl in 2009 but missed the game when he was injured in the NFC Championship Game against New Orleans.

The deal with the Seattle Seahawks will be complete pending Rice passes the physical examination.  The 6-foot-4, 202-pound wideout finished the year with 17 receptions for 280 yards and two touchdowns and is looking to get his career back on track.  Rice adds size to the Seahawks.  He and Tarvaris Jackson also bring knowledge of the passing game coordinator Darrell Bevell brings with him from Minnesota as all three reunite.

Information from the Associated Press

Carlos Beltran Joins the Giants

According to sources a deal is in place to trade Mets right fielder Carlos Beltran to the San Francisco Giants.

Carlos Beltran is scheduled to fly from Cincinnati to Philadelphia on Wednesday night to join the San Francisco Giants, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney.  A New York Mets spokesman told ESPNNewYork.com’s Adam Rubin that Beltran collected his belongings and left Great American Ball Park on Wednesday night.

The Associated Press later reported the two teams agreed to a trade and were seeking Beltran’s permission to complete the deal, saying the Mets had contacted the commissioner’s office for a 24-hour window to negotiate with Beltran to waive his no-trade clause. With Beltran set to join the Giants in Philadelphia, that no longer appears to be an obstacle.

As part of a package for Beltran, the Giants would include pitcher Zack Wheeler.  To complete the deal, the Mets will pick up $4 million of the $6.5 million that Beltran has left on his contract.

When Beltran signed his seven-year, $119 million contract with the Mets in January 2005, it included a complete no-trade clause that requires him to give permission before the Mets deal him.

Though Beltran’s teammates knew this trade was coming they were still sad to see him go.  ”You lose a guy like that in July, it’s big, it’s huge,”  Jose Reyes said. “We’ve got to continue to play with what we’ve got. It’s not easy to replace that kind of player. It’s going to be tough.”  Beltran was an all-star and definitely will be missed by the organization.  He originally expressed a desire to stay within the National League, but soon changed his mind saying he wanted to be traded to a championship contending team.  His wish was granted as he now joins the World Series defending champions the San Francisco Giants.

Information from ESPN The Magazine’s Tim Kurkjian, ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick, ESPNNewYork.com’s Adam Rubin and The Associated Press was used FULL STORY HERE.

Plaxico Burress Meeting With Giants & Steelers

It appears likely that Plaxico Burress will be playing for one of his two former teams, the New York Giants or the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to team and league sources.

After a dinner with Giants coach Tom Coughlin on Friday night, Burress plans to fly to Pittsburgh to meet with coach Mike Tomlin, sources said.

Sources believe only a productive, fence-mending meeting between Burress and Coughlin stands between the wide receiver rejoining the Giants and making more than $10 million over two years. The Giants have talked of paying Burress in the range of $10.5 million over two years, approximately 60 percent in salary and bonuses with the balance earned on play-time performance and incentives. Terms remain negotiable, sources said.

However, Tomlin expects to make his own strong sales pitch for Burress to join the Steelers, who made him a first-round draft choice out of Michigan State in 2000, sources added.

The Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets also have expressed varying degrees of interest in Burress, according to sources.

Burress traveled to New York on Tuesday night via a private jet courtesy of billionaire Seth Bernstein, who is serving as an unofficial broker between the wide receiver and the Giants, sources said. Bernstein is CEO of Empower Software Solutions and is a friend of Giants co-owner Steve Tisch.