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Dolphins, Browns, Bears open checkbooks wide
Cleveland also brought in lineman Desmond Bryant and linebacker Quentin Groves _ for a lot less money _ to aid the defense. Those are the kind of players who usually remain on the market for a while.
But not when the new guy in the NFL wants to make an impact.
“You usually have this kind of churn through the first day with the higher-priced, better-known players, then it gradually works its way down,” Browns President Joe Banner said. “But you are already seeing players all the way down to minimum salary players signing, so you have to be ready to move quickly.”
The Bears have to move quickly just to keep up in their division, where they not only are looking up at Green Bay and Minnesota, but behind them at Detroit, which might have solved its running back problems by grabbing Reggie Bush.
Chicago added tight end Martellus Bennett to give Jay Cutler a more reliable option at that position; wonder if they wish they never let Greg Olsen leave?
The Bears gave Bennett $20 million over four years, a tidy sum for a tight end. And Jermon Bushrod got almost $36 million over five years, one of the richest contracts in franchise history.
And the Bears still have to find money for Brian Urlacher _ if they are so inclined.
“We are up against the cap,” general manager Phil Emery said. “So, we are going to have to be very slow and methodical and make sure that every decision that we make is going to be in the best interest of our team moving forward in terms of putting the best players on the field to win. It is going to have to be slow because every dollar is going to count against the cap and we are up tight against the cap.”
Which is what happens when teams dive into free agency so quickly.
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
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