Holmes stays, Hasselbeck outMatt Hasselbeck is heading to Music City. Santonio Holmes is staying at home in the Meadowlands. Two days after the lockout ended, NFL teams are doing deals at a frantic pace, with some big names changing addresses, and others staying put. Not going anywhere is Giants coach Tom Coughlin, who signed a one-year extension Wednesday that keeps him with the team through 2012.
By: By BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer, The Jamestown Sun
Matt Hasselbeck is heading to Music City. Santonio Holmes is staying at home in the Meadowlands.
Two days after the lockout ended, NFL teams are doing deals at a frantic pace, with some big names changing addresses, and others staying put.
Not going anywhere is Giants coach Tom Coughlin, who signed a one-year extension Wednesday that keeps him with the team through 2012.
“As we said after the season, we strongly believe in Tom,” co-owner and team president John Mara said of the coach who led the Giants to the 2007 NFL championship. “We believe in the job he has done, and we believe in his ability to lead our team in the future. Everybody was on the same page in arriving at the extension.”
Hasselbeck is leaving Seattle for Tennessee, where he likely will start. He spent the past 10 seasons with the Seahawks, leading them to the 2005 NFC title. The Titans drafted quarterback Jake Locker eighth overall in April, but needed a veteran presence after Kerry Collins retired; they plan to trade or release Vince Young.
Given the lack of offseason opportunities for Locker to get up to speed, Hasselbeck figures to be the starter in Nashville.
“From college to the NFL is a big adjustment,” Titans tight end Jared Cook said. “To have somebody to learn under, especially somebody as experienced as Matt Hasselback, I think is going to benefit all our quarterbacks.”
Holmes has been a benefit to Jets QB Mark Sanchez, and will continue to be.
The team made the 2009 Super Bowl MVP their top priority among their five key players who are not under contract, and kept him for the next five years.
Holmes has had some off-field issues, which led to the Steelers trading him to New York. He performed very well for the Jets on the field, with 52 catches for 746 yards and six touchdowns after missing the first four games while suspended.
Free agents aren’t allowed to sign contracts until Friday.
In other moves Wednesday:
—DeAngelo Williams, the Panthers’ career rushing leader, agreed to remain in Carolina. Williams’ 2010 season was cut short by a right foot injury. He rushed for 361 yards and one touchdown. He had his best pro season in 2008, rushing for a team-record 1,515 yards, 18 touchdowns and a 5.5-yard average.
In perhaps the wildest day of transactions in franchise history, linebackers James Anderson and Thomas Davis agreed to five-year contracts. Also agreeing to terms were seven free agents, including kicker Olindo Mare, defensive tackle Ron Edwards, tight end Ben Hartsock, fullback Rick Brockel, defensive backs Cletis Gordan, Devon Hall and Kevin Payne.
Bringing in Mare will end the career of the only original Panther, John Kasay.
—Placekicker Adam Vinatieri agreed to a three-year contract with Indianapolis. The 38-year-old Vinatieri is one of seven players in league history to score 500 or more points for two teams (Patriots, Colts). He is headed into his 15th NFL season.
Safety Melvin Bullitt also agreed to remain with the Colts. He was a backup to the oft-injured Bob Sanders since joining the Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2007, but is expected to become a full-time starter this season after Sanders’ release earlier this year.
—Cleveland will release quarterback Jake Delhomme on Thursday. He was 2-2 as a starter in 2010, but Colt McCoy has that job this year. Delhomme was scheduled to make $5.4 million in base salary.
—Cincinnati reached an agreement with Bruce Gradkowski, who knows the team’s new offensive system and will help develop rookie Andy Dalton. The 28-year-old quarterback was in Tampa from 2008-09 with Jay Gruden, the Bengals’ new offensive coordinator.
Incumbent Carson Palmer has told the team he would retire rather than play another season in Cincinnati, which has two winning records in the past 20 years.