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Positive NFL Offseason Transactions Could Lift Contenders

6-30-09

Okay BetUS NFL sports betting fanatics, with the start of the 2009 NFL wagering season drawing closer by the day, this look at which NFL teams helped themselves out the most during the annual free agent signing period, will give NFL sports betting enthusiasts everywhere the inside knowledge they will need in order to make a multitude of bankroll boosting wagers each and every Sunday of the upcoming 2009 NFL preseason, regular season and postseason.

Several of the teams on this list helped themselves in a big way with one or more free agent signings while others may have signed a lesser amount of players but ones that will undoubtedly make an impact in their new places of employment.

With NFL preseason camps set to open in just a few weeks, let me get started.

New England Patriots

RB Fred Taylor

WR Joey Galloway

WR Greg Lewis

TE Chris Baker

TE Alex Smith

CB Shawn Springs

Analysis: Say what you like about the New England Patriots, (11-5 SU, 9-7 ATS, 8-7-1 O/U in 2008) but they’ve been maddeningly consistent over the years, posting a stellar 11-5 record even after losing starting quarterback Tom Brady in the first game of the 2008 regular season.

Now, if Brady can come back healthy, New England is set to make another run at a Super Bowl title by making the best offseason free agent signings of any team in the league.

New England added Hall of Fame-bound running back Fred Taylor to help shore up its mediocre rushing attack while also adding veteran wide receivers Joey Galloway and Greg Lewis and tight ends Chris Baker and Alex Smith, not to mention veteran cornerback Shawn Springs.

While many football pundits may think most of these players are on the respective last legs, I say the Pats made some excellent free agent additions that could lead to a Super Bowl title either in 2009 or 2010. The Patriots are +600 to win Super Bowl XLIV in the BetUS Sportsbook.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

TE Kellen Winslow

RB Derrick Ward

QB Byron Leftwich

Analysis: The Buccaneers (9-7 SU, 8-8 ATS, 8-8 O/U in 2008) are getting a top-flight tight end in Kellen Winslow and one that could reach Pro Bowl status immediately with his new change of scenery should first-year head coach Raheem Morris figure out how to use the fleet-footed tight end properly.

I also love Tampa Bay’s addition of former New York Giants running back Derrick Ward, a runner I think has 1,200 yards written all over his 2009 season if the Bucs use him early and often.

Finally, I think the addition of veteran quarterback Byron Leftwich could turn out to be a stroke of genius, (although I admit I never would have parted ways with Jeff Garcia) following a positive season as the backup QB for the Super Bowl-champion Pittsburgh Steelers. The Buccaneers are +4000 to win Super Bowl XLIV in the BetUS Sportsbook.

Atlanta Falcons

Tony Gonzalez

Analysis: The Falcons (11-5 SU, 9-7 ATS, 7-9 O/U in 2008) pulled off a move that I thought was an absolute stroke of genius by adding future Hall of Fame tight end to their explosive offense which features the best young quarterback in the game in my estimation in second-year signal caller Matt Ryan.

Now, Ryan, who is advanced and poised beyond his years, has two reliable wide receivers, one of the game’s most elusive running backs and now, a hall of Fame tight end that led all tight ends in receptions and receiving yards in 2008.

Sounds like the Falcons have a Super Bowl quality offense to me. Now, if Atlanta can improve its uninspiring, but improving defense, this team could be a force for years to come in the NFC. The Falcons are +2500 to win Super Bowl XLIV in the BetUS Sportsbook.

Denver Broncos

QB Kyle Orton

QB Chris Simms

RB Correll Buckhalter

RB LaMont Jordan

WR Jabar Gaffney

S Brian Dawkins

Analysis: The Broncos (8-8 SU, 4-11-1 ATS, 8-7-1 O/U) may have a rookie head coach this season in Josh McDaniel, but the franchise wisely added several veteran players that will make the first-year head coach’s life a lot easier.

Denver got an absolute steal by nabbing on of the top 5 safeties in the game in former Philadelphia Eagle Brian Dawkins. The Broncos also added another former Eagle in running back Correll Buckhalter that should make an immediate difference in his first season in Denver. I also like quarterback Kyle Orton who was traded to replace former starter Jay Cutler who clashed with McDaniel just soon after his arrival in Denver. For those that don’t remember, Chris Sims was once one of the best the up-and-coming young quarterbacks in the game as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before suffering a serious spleen injury two seasons ago. Veteran running back LaMont Jordan should help show Moreno the way as a rookie. The Broncos are +4000 to win Super Bowl XLIV in the BetUS Sportsbook.

Philadelphia Eagles

Jason Peters

Ellis Hobbs

Analysis: The Eagles (9-6-1 SU, 10-6 ATS, 7-8-1 O/U in 2008) landed a Pro Bowl left tackle in veteran Jason Peters and added a four-year starter in veteran cornerback Ellis Hobbs, two solid moves that will help Philadelphia immediately in 2009.

However, Philadelphia also parted ways with several key free agents, which puts them in both categories for offseason free agent transactions, positive and negative.

Philadelphia added wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and running back LeSean McCoy through the draft but may have set themselves back by losing Pro Bowl-caliber veteran safety, Brian Dawkins, a player that many believed to be the heart and soul of Philadelphia’s defensive unit. The Eagles are +1600 to win Super Bowl XLIV in the BetUS Sportsbook.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Torry Holt

Analysis: The Jaguars (5-11 SU, 7-9 ATS, 6-9-1 O/U in 2008) beat several idiotic teams (Philadelphia, Miami) in need of a veteran wide receiver to the punch when it comes to Torry Holt, a receiver that I still believe will top the 1,000-yard mark at least for the next two seasons or so. Now, if Jacksonville quarterback David Garrard can bounce back from an absolutely dismal 2008 season in which he was finally named the unquestioned starter, the Jags could be back in the postseason in 2009. The Jaguars are +3200 to win Super Bowl XLIV in the BetUS Sportsbook.

Kansas City Chiefs

QB Matt Cassel

WR Bobby Engram

LB Mike Vrabel

G Mike Goff

Analysis: The Chiefs (2-14 SU, 8-8 ATS, 8-8 O/U in 2008) have gotten off to an excellent start in their transformation process under knowledgeable first-year GM Scott Pioli. Not only did the Chiefs make a good hire by naming former Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator Todd Haley as head coach, but Pioli brought in quarterback Matt Cassel who was a revelation for the New England Patriots last season while also adding dependable but not spectacular veterans Bobby Engram, Mike Vrabel and Mike Goff. While none of these players will immediately turn the lowly Chiefs into instant contenders, they will all help the franchise start to move in the right direction as they start to turn things around. The Chiefs are +6600 to win Super Bowl XLIV in the BetUS Sportsbook.

Oakland Raiders

QB Jeff Garcia

Analysis: The Raiders (5-11 SU, 7-9 ATS, 6-9-1 O/U in 2008) pulled off one of the best free agent signing of any team in the league by adding veteran quarterback Jeff Garcia, a player I absolutely love despite his physical shortcomings.

I saw Garcia up close and personal when he took an underachieving Philadelphia Eagles team to the postseason after starting quarterback Donovan McNabb went down with a season-ending injury a couple of years back and I can unequivocally say that there may not be another quarterback in the entire league that can inspire an entire team to play above its talent and apparent capabilities they way Jeff Garcia can.

It’s kind of hard to not go all out for your team when you see the smallish Garcia bounce up off the turf time after time following a vicious hit, cheering guys on as if they had just made a Super Bowl-winning play.

The Raiders have a solid defensive unit, a spectacular core of running backs and now a veteran signal caller that knows how to get the job done when it counts most. Unfortunately, the Raiders are still run by out-dated owner Al Davis and have a first-year head coach that may be overmatched after looking overmatched as an interim replacement last season, not to mention a grossly overpaid former No. 1 overall draft pick at quarterback (JaMarcus Russell) that doesn’t have one iota of a clue.

However, knowing the sad-sack Raiders, Garcia may not get on the field to a large extent, no matter how much he can help them win ballgames right now. The Raiders are +10000 to win Super Bowl XLIV in the BetUS Sportsbook.

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