Raise your hand if you've ever come back from vacation and found so much work piled up on your desk that you don't know where to start.
Or have you ever been trying to take some time off from your job and, in order to do so, find yourself working a gazillion hours over the last few days before you — now totally exhausted physically and burned out mentally — can finally leave?
These days, those folks in the National Football League can certainly relate. Welcome to the NFLFAFF. Yes, that's the NFL's Free Agent Feeding Frenzy.
After losing 41/2 months due to the owners' lockout which ended last weekend, NFL franchises are now frantically making up for lost time in an amazing, around-the-clock game of seemingly non-stop roster shuffling.
It's been chaotic and difficult to keep up with, to say the least, as teams try to cram four-plus months of front-office maneuvering into a few weeks' time before the 2011 season starts.
And many of the moves involve former Utah collegiate stars.
The Chargers gave safety Eric Weddle, the former University of Utah star, 40 million reasons to stay in San Diego. Alex Smith, one of Weddle's former Utah teammates, re-signed with the San Francisco 49ers, still hoping to prove that the Niners chose wisely when they made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft.
And the Washington Redskins traded away six-time Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb to Minnesota, opening the door for former BYU star John Beck to become the Redskins' starting QB this season.
Let's try to recap some of the highlights from the first four days of the NFLFAFF, although more deals will no doubt be finalized before this newspaper hits your doorstep today:
All-Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, the most prized player on this year's free agent list, surprisingly signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. After spending eight seasons with the Oakland Raiders, Asomugha had been rumored to be going to either the New York Jets or Dallas Cowboys. Instead, he landed with the Eagles, where he'll be joined by two other All-Pro cornerbacks, eight-year veteran Asante Samual and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who was acquired in a trade with Arizona a day earlier.
With such a dynamic defensive backfield, Philadelphia coach Andy Reid's team is now being projected as a potential Super Bowl contender.
Matt Hasselbeck, who spent 10 seasons as Seattle's quarterback and led the Seahawks to a Super Bowl berth in 2005, signed with Tennessee. With the Titans' release of Vince Young, who wound up landing in Philadelphia, Hasselbeck will be the starter and will tutor rookie QB Jake Locker, the former University of Washington standout.
Two of the NFL's more notorious players, Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco, both wound up with the New England Patriots. Haynesworth is a defensive tackle with a terrible attitude who may turn out to be a perpetual headache like he was in Washington, though no-nonsense New England coach Bill Belichick might be able to straighten him out.
But the talkative, fun-loving Ochocinco gives Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady another great, potential receiving threat like the one he had when Randy Moss starred there.
Running back Reggie Bush got traded to Miami, where he'll try to resurrect a sagging NFL career which certainly hasn't gone the way many of us thought it would. A change of scenery might be a good wake-up call for the disgraced former Heisman Trophy winner, who had to give the coveted trophy back for his family's NCAA-violating financial shenanigans while he played for USC.
Several other established veterans switched teams, including linebacker Stewart Bradley (from Eagles to Cardinals), wide receivers Steve Breaston (Cardinals to Chiefs), Sidney Rice (Vikings to Seahawks) and Mike Sims-Walker (Jaguars to Rams), offensive lineman Robert Gallery (Raiders to Seahawks), running back Darren Sproles (Chargers to Saints), and cornerback Eric Wright (Browns to Lions).
Several others stayed put, including wide receivers Vincent Jackson (Chargers), Lance Moore (Saints) and Santana Moss (Redskins), running back DeAngelo Williams (Panthers), and kickers Adam Vinatieri (Colts), Ryan Longwell (Vikings), Phil Dawson (Browns) and Mason Crosby (Packers).
Some others, like 13-year veteran offensive tackle Barry Sims (Utah/49ers), were still unsigned. Still others, like linebacker Brady Poppinga (BYU/Packers), were let go.
Quarterback Kevin Kolb will be switching birds — from the Eagles to the Cardinals — and, for no apparent reason, got a $64 million, five-year contract from Arizona. All that for a guy with just seven NFL starts? No wonder so many NFL teams are always sqwauking about their money problems.
One guy who won't complain about his bank account is Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, who the team will pay $90 million over the next five years. But, to his credit, Manning is telling the team to spend more of its money on other players in order to strengthen the team.
That's the type of rare, refreshing story we don't hear very often in professional sports these days.
And let's hope we hear some more of them as NFLFAFF heads into its second week.
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