We look back at what proved to be a monumental news day in the NFL…
SAINTS PUNISHMENT DELIVERED
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the verdict in the Saints’ Bountygate and delivered easily the harshest punishment of his tenure as commissioner and one of the most severe acts of discipline ever dealt to a professional sports franchise.
When the dust settled head coach Sean Payton was suspended without pay for a year, former defensive coordinator Greg Williams (now w/STL) was suspended indefinitely, GM Mickey Roomis was fined and suspended for the team’s first eight regular-season games and the team was stripped of 2nd Round picks in 2012 and 2013.
TEBOW DEALT TO THE JETS
One day after signing free agent quarterback Peyton Manning the Denver Broncos traded Tim Tebow to the New York Jets along with their seventh round pick in exchange for the Jets 4th and 6th Round selection. In addition, the Jets will reimburse Denver half of the $5 million advance on Tebow’s contract.
Shortly after the deal was announced there was a minor snag in the contract which opened the door for Jacksonville to re-enter trade discussions. However, in the end Tebow choose New York over his hometown Jaguars. He is expected to be the backup to Mark Sanchez, but will likely be used in some Wildcat-type packages by new offensive coordinator Tony Sporano.
BENGALS SIGN LAW FIRM
Two days after he visited the Queen City, the Bengals signed free agent running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis to a three-year deal. The former Patriot will replace Cedric Benson on the team’s depth chart for the time being though the team could still add another running back in April’s draft.
Green-Ellis, 26, has scored 24 touchdowns over the past two seasons for the Patriots. The team also welcomed Michael Bush to town earlier this week, but the former Raider has several suitors and is likely to command a larger contract.
SMITH STAYING IN SAN FRAN
The 49ers made it official on Wednesday that Alex Smith will remain under center for the foreseeable future in San Francisco. The team made a run at signing Peyton Manning, but quickly locked up Smith after the future Hall of Famer opted for Denver by agreeing to a 3-year, $9 million deal.
Smith posted career highs in 2011 by completing 61.4 percent of his passes for 3,144 yards and a 90.7 QB rating. He threw 17 touchdown passes and just five interceptions while starting all 16 games.
--Ward Retires A Steeler
--Caldwell Headed To Denver
--Bills Sign DE Anderson
--Texans Deal Ryans
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