The 49ers, Jets, Broncos, and Redskins have been among the big players in one of the most intriguing off-seasons for years.
Mario Manningham to the 49ers
Eli Manning may be soaking up the plaudits for the New York Giants Superbowl win, but he would not have done it without this man. The Manning to Manningham combination will be no more, even though the 49ers entered talks with brother Peyton at the last minute. Manningham was a huge asset to the Giants, with the wide receiver making huge plays late in the season, and one incredible catch in the Superbowl's fourth quarter last month. This one is a great deal for the San Francisco team.
Randy Moss to the 49ers
Moss is the 49ers second wide receiver signed along with Manningham, and many pundits are lining up to praise the deal as particularly shrewd. Former Patriots star Moss has come out of retirement after a season out, and must have shown great physicality in his tryout for the 49ers to sign him up. The franchise have strengthened a key area of attack, to compliment the tight-end position in which Vernon Davis excelled last year. Now all they need is another improved season from Alex Smith. They were only a couple of fumbles away from reaching the Superbowl last season, and have to be among the favourites now.
Tim Tebow to the Jets
Intriguing is one of many words you can use to sum up this trade, with crazy, mind-blowing, and i-did-not-see-that-coming among the others. Tebow's 8-5 starting record took the Broncos to the play-offs last year, where he defeated the Steelers, but Denver decided Peyton Manning is the way forward. Even so, the Jets were not a franchise expected to be in the market for a quarterback after publicly backing Mark Sanchez and giving him a new deal right after Manning was released.
Mark Sanchez was under a host of pressure going into next season anyway, after two promising seasons faltered badly in this third last year, failing to make the play-offs. Tebow would not have signed if he did not believe he would be a starter, so the quarterback situation in New York is going to be fascinating and intense, with acres of column inches ready to be filled by the city's media. Can Tebow be a winner at the Jets? Well he has everywhere else throughout his career, and make no mistakes- he will get starts next year to prove it.
Peyton Manning to the Broncos
This was the deal that sparked the Tebow trade, and one that has immediately propelled the Broncos to be among the favourites for next year's Superbowl. Manning was released by the Colts, who he was a 2006 champion with, but he missed the entire 2011 season with injury. It could be a stroke of genius from the Broncos, who in doing so brought an abrupt end to the Tebow-era. However there is a fair amount of risk involved, given Manning's health concerns. Can he last a whole season? The Broncos will need to draft a back-up to ease those fears.
Pierre Garcon to the Redskins
The Redskins are really trying to build for this coming season. Having secured the number two draft pick, they are in prime position to get highly rated quarterback Robert Griffin III next month. Obviously he needs big targets to throw to, so securing wide receiver Pierre Garcon was a bold move. Garcon was picked up from the Colts, and previously played with Peyton Manning completing 67 receptions in 2010. Last season without Manning he went even better, with 70, even though the Colts won just two games. The Redskins will be looking to him to lead the attack, and he is not the only wide receiver that has been brought into Washington, but he may be the one they have highest hopes for.
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