Countdown to NFL free agency: what you need to know before midnight

A lot has happened this week and is about to happen in the coming week in the NFL.

For those who haven’t had time to keep up, I’m here to fill you in with some quick updates on some news from the week with your favorite teams and players that you will need to know.

On Tuesday, Colts QB Peyton Manning underwent neck surgery in Chicago. Don’t worry fans of Manning, it wasn’t a major surgery, and was performed to fix a pinched nerve; perhaps too much strain looking at Drew Brees holding up that Superbowl trophy?

But most importantly: this has been tender week for teams to make offers to current players prior to the deadline at midnight tonight.

What does this mean in an uncapped year? A team will show just how much a player is worth to them.

A tender is offered to a free agent, or a player whose contract with their current team has expired.

After this tender offer, if another team signs that player, then that new team will have to give up whatever the players tender offer was, which is draft picks; for example Brandon Marshall of the Broncos has a tender offer of a first and third round so if another team signed him, they would have to give them their first and third round draft picks.

Starting with the best team around (BALTIMORE, of course), the Ravens tendered about 10 players.

Baltimore Ravens: The first round tenders were CB Fabian Washington, LT Jared Gaither and FB Leron McClain.
Second round tenders: Safety Dawan Landy and punter Sam Koch.
Third Round tenders: QB John Beck and G Chris Chester.
Fifth Round, Tony Moll and sixth round is LB Prescott Burgess. Low tender was offered to back-up QB Troy Smith.

The Denver Broncos went first and third round tendered big name Brandon Marshall and first round tendered QB Kyle Orton. They also tendered first and third round tendered Elvis Dumervil.

The San Diego Chargers, before the deadline hit, changed their mind on letting running back Darren Sproles hit the free market and placed a first and third round tender on him earlier today. He now joins Vincent Jackson and Malcolm Floyd, along with outside  LB Shawne Merriman and LT Marcus McNeill, as restricted free agents given first- and third-round tenders.

The Washington Redskins first round tendered QB Jason Campbell, CB Carlos Rogers and LB Rocky McIntosh was given a second round tender.

The Carolina Panthers, in breaking news, released QB Jake Delhomme around 11:30 tonight; what will that mean as midnight strikes? Remember; Julius Peppers also is free agent and plans to meet with the Chicago Bears Friday.

The Indianapolis Colts: they tendered two safety’s, most note-worthy is first round tender to Antoine Bethea for $2.521 million.

The Dallas Cowboys: first and third round tender offer to receiver Miles Austin among others.

Some other big names to look out for: Anquan Boldin and Karlos Dansby with the Cardinals, Matt Moore with the Jets, Chester Taylor with the Vikings, Darren Sharper with the Saints, Ladainian Tomlinson from the Chargers, Brian Westbrook from the Eagles, Terrell Owens from the Bills, Joey Porter from the Dolphins among others.

There were 212  unrestricted free agents tendered this year. Stay tuned this week as the mad dash to make offers as free agent frenzy begins now to sign big names.

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