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Lombardi: Falcons sign a CB, but it doesn't help

UFA notes: Panthers thinking 2011, Holmgren in charge and more. Michael Lombardi

Print This March 06, 2010, 02:23 PM EST

QUOTE: “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” -- William Arthur Ward

Free agency basically started in Chicago, with the Bears leading the way and setting the tone. Here are some random thoughts from day one:

The Bears had better hope that talent improves their Tampa 2 concept of defense since most of the NFL is moving away from that style. The Bears feel they need better players, not a scheme change, so this will be interesting to observe….

Some teams are more interested in 2011 than 2010 in terms of free agency. The 2011 UFA class will be a very talented group, and if the cap returns, teams will have to have the room to participate. With the exception of a few players, this year’s group is not very talented….

Someone tell me what tape to watch last year where Texans corner Dunta Robinson covered anyone. How can he get over $23 million guaranteed? The Falcons needed a corner, and after signing Robinson, they still need a corner….

You think the Panthers are thinking about 2011? So far, all their moves seem to indicate they are. Consider this: Every coach on the staff is on a one-year deal, including their head coach, John Fox. Then they cut a player, Jake Delhomme, even though they still owe him $12.6 million and gave him $19 million last year. They still need a player to back up Matt Moore at quarterback, and there are at least 50 NFL quarterbacks who make more than $1.650 million per year in the league. So by cutting Delhomme, they actually will increase their player cost — but they get to dump a cap charge into 2010….

Somehow, I think Tim Tebow is very high on the Panthers’ draft board, but that’s just a thought….

Happy to see the Browns’ Joshua Cribbs get his deal worked out. From watching that press conference conducted by team president Mike Holmgren, it’s clear Holmgren has taken over and head coach Eric Mangini is simply the coach and no longer in charge of everything. One thing is for sure: There will be no more secrets in Cleveland….

I’m told by reliable sources that the Dolphins were never in the Antrel Rolle sweepstakes, that it was all posturing by the agent. The Giants’ main competition did come from the Cards wanting Rolle back….

I sincerely hope Giants safety Kenny Phillips can come back, but there’s major concern inside the organization about his knee being able to fully heal. He has bone on bone right now….

Smart move by the Packers to re-sign offensive tackle Chad Clifton. He might not be very durable, but Clifton can still play left tackle, and had they not signed him back, the Packers would’ve had a huge void. Before he signed, they just had candidates for left tackle, and Clifton was the only solution….

I hear the Cards will sign two veteran quarterbacks, and if they lose David Carr to the 49ers, they’ll keep looking for two more. Derek Anderson of the Browns might be a good fit….

I like the move by the Ravens for Anquan Boldin and think he’ll help their inside passing game if he can stay healthy. Once the Cardinals lowered their demands on the trade, and once Boldin lowered his demands on a contract, a deal got done. But last year, Boldin passed up $8 million per year from the Cards, so he had to make this deal….

New England seems more interested in the draft and re-signing their own, then engaging in signing players in this market. As for Peppers, they were never going to pay him more than Tom Brady. Never….

As for Boldin, the Patriots were never involved. Never.

Tomorrow at the Sunday Post, it will be more UFA notes, so check back.

Follow me on Twitter: michaelombardi

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