The Washington Redskins have re-signed free-agent tight end Fred Davis. The move keeps a valuable weapon of quarterback Robert Griffin III's passing attack in place.
ProFootballTalk.com reported that Davis will sign a one-year deal. It's a smart, short-term deal from the Redskins, given some of Davis's injury and disciplinary concerns.
However, when he's on the field, Davis is one of the best young players at his position in the NFL. He is a true playmaker head coach Mike Shanahan's passing schemes need.
The New Orleans Saints have agreed a deal to sign free-agent outside linebacker Victor Butler. The signing adds a player who could be key to the success of the Saints new 3-4 defense.
Butler has spent his first four pro seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, as the chief backup to DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer. He is a natural edge-rusher in a 3-4 front.
At 6'2" and 245 pounds, Butler has the right frame and quickness to collapse the pass pocket from the outside. The 25-year-old has showcased some good pass-rush potential in Dallas.
The Atlanta Falcons have signed free-agent pass-rusher Osi Umenyiora. The move boosts the Falcons pass rush and gives them a credible replacement for John Abraham. Fox Sport's Jay Glazer reported Umenyiora has received a two-year deal.
Improving their pass rush is certainly a priority for the Falcons. They managed only 29 sacks in 2012, with Abraham predictably leading the way with 10.
That feeble rush contributed to a defensive ranking that saw the Falcons finish 24th in yards allowed. The lack of pass rush also put pressure on Atlanta's high-powered offense to consistently win shootouts.
Opposing quarterbacks simply had too much time in the pocket and were able to dissect the Falcons' coverage schemes. The problem was particularly costly in the playoffs.
The Falcons built commanding leads against both the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. However, in both cases, they allowed the opposition to mount a comeback.
Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson was afforded all the time he needed to manufacture big plays on the ground and through the air.
Food for Thought: Should Green Bay Have Followed Atlanta's Lead in Learning Info About the Zone Read?
16 carries for 181 yards, with two touchdown runs of 20 and 56 yards. And these stats weren't made by All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson, either.
Green Bay coaches should remember these numbers too well. After all, they were made by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is an artist when it comes to running the zone read, having run it to perfection under former Nevada head coach Chris Ault during his time as Wolfpack quarterback. Both the Packers and the Falcons got a taste of what Kaepernick and the zone read are capable of, and how it has added life to both the passing game and the running game. The Washington Redskins and the Seattle Seahawks also ran the zone read under their rookie quarterbacks in Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson, respectively. And they, like Kaepernick, are artists in reading the defensive ends and deciding whether to keep it themselves or hand it off to their running backs, and it was a big reason the 49ers, Seahawks and Redskins were among the best when it came to running the football.
NFL Trade News: Quarterback Matt Flynn Is Wanted By The Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars And Oakland Raiders
Backup quarterback Matt Flynn could find himself on the trading block, with three passer-needy NFL teams expressing interest.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com, the Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders are all interested in trading for Flynn.
The ex-Green Bay Packer was a big money free agency signing for the Seattle Seahawks last offseason. However, Flynn was promptly usurped by third-round rookie Russell Wilson.
The Seahawks went 11-5 and won a playoff game with the superb Wilson under center. That leaves Flynn consigned to the same backup role he left the Packers to avoid.
Flynn first came to prominence in Week 15 of the 2010 season, when he deputized for an injured Aaron Rodgers. The Packers were facing a tough road trip to take on the New England Patriots.
Although they were narrowly beaten, Flynn acquitted himself superbly. He threw for 257 yards and three touchdowns, immediately sparking trade rumors.