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Battle Red Onion: 2012 NFL Free Agency Roundup

Wise words from Rick Smith:  Be careful what you wish for.
Wise words from Rick Smith: Be careful what you wish for.
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March 17, 2012

Houston, Texas

The NFL's free agency period began just last Tuesday. While this year's edition of football's equivalent of musical chairs may lack the breakneck speed from last year, it certainly hasn't been lacking in suspense. Teams have thrown money around as if it had the value of Zimbabwean currency at the hopes of improving their talent pools.

Some have been successful in their attempts to woo top-tier talent, others are still trying to haul in that giant forehead fish. Here are just a few of the more noteworthy free agency moves made so far around the NFL.

Mario Williams Forcibly Signed By Buffalo Bills

In a move that stunned the NFL, former Texans defensive end Mario Williams was signed, against his will, by the Buffalo Bills. While Bills fans are ecstatic about signing a player of Mario's caliber, and football experts are praising the Bills for making such a splash in free agency, nobody seems to be happier about it than Williams himself.

"I'm just so glad to be in Buffalo, and I love this place. I brought my fiancee up here and we can see ourselves living well out here. I'm just so so so so happy to be with the Bills. Happy happy joy joy," said Williams about his signing. Understandably, getting $100 million with half of that guaranteed would make anybody happy, but Mario's sentiments, according to reports, did not match the expression on his face.

For good reason, it would seem. Sources from the Battle Red Onion have discovered a taped message dated back to March 14 and sent from an undisclosed location. The envelope had on it an emblem of a fist clutching a sauce-drenched chicken wing.

Here is a brief transcript of that tape:

Greetings from the Winged Underground. We have suffered through year after year of mediocrity here in the glorious city of Buffalo and we, the Winged Underground, will not stand for it any longer. Too long have free agents scoffed at visiting our fair city of perpetual freezing and leaving our beloved Bills to toil under the oppressive yoke of Patriots and Jets domination of our division.

To that end, we have taken matters into our own hands and introduced the wonders of majestic Buffalo.

Identify yourself.

(clears throat) name is Mario Williams, I am a defensive end, and I--what's this word here? (pause) I can't. I can't say that.

Silence! (thwap!) Remember what happened the last time you refused to cooperate

(whimper) I, Mario Williams, intend to sign with (pause) with Buffalo and wholeheartedly recommend to my friends and fellow free agents that they come to the glorious city of Buffalo and ply their craft here. (muffled sobbing)

That's a lie! They're making me say it! Don't come to Buffalo, they're crazy! the blue cheese dressing again...noooooo!!!! (fades)

He will come around, and the Bills, upon the wings of magnificent chicken and hot sauce, will rise like the saucy phoenix and return to prominence once again!

(chanting) Buffalo! Buffalo! Buffalo!

Transcription Ends

An investigation by the NFL into free agent tampering has been called for by the Texans.

Manning, 30 Teams, Sign 5 Year $90 Million Deal

The Peyton Manning chase has finally ended in a draw. To end the speculation once and for all, 30 of the 32 NFL teams have chipped in to sign Peyton Manning. Manning, 36, said he was "thrilled to be a part of a winning team(s) and is looking forward to bringing them all to the promised land.

The logistical aspect has yet to be fully ironed out, but there has been speculation that Manning would spend all 16 games playing one half for one team and then suiting up for the other team on the field in the second half. The playoffs have yet to be figured out yet.

The only two teams to be left out of the Peyton collaborative contract were the Indianapolis Colts and the Oakland Raiders. Manning refused to include the Colts in the deal so he could "stick it to Jim Irsay personally," and the Raiders declined to sign Manning after clocking 43 minutes on his 40 time.

Texans Sign CB, TE, WR, and OLB

Let it never be said that General Manager Rick Smith doesn't listen to the fans. After several days of inactivity prior to the re-signing of Chris Myers, the Texans have made acquired the services of four free agents.

Those free agents include former Panthers cornerback Cletis Gordon, tight end Anthony Becht, wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and former Texans OLB Xavier Adibi. Adibi said he "couldn't believe his luck, getting a second chance with the team that spurned him [before the start of last season]," and "couldn't wait to get back to work at being as good as he was during his last stint with the team."

Smith, after his shopping spree at the bargain bin, said "I read what people are saying, that I haven't done enough in free agency the last four days. So, I took their advice and spent willy-nilly on players that we can afford and provide much needed depth for our franchise."

The last comment was followed quickly by a snort of laughter.

Rare Sign-And-Trade Made During Free Agency

Sign and trades simply don't happen in the NFL, and this is no exception. The sign and trade did not involve players and took place on Battle Red Blog, where the "Jeff Faine being released" joke has been traded to UltimateTexans. No information is certain on what was traded, but UlitmateTexans is expected to give up a couple of meaningless Tweets and a Pancakes joke to be made later in return.

"We never thought anything would come of this joke. In fact, we hoped nothing WOULD come of this joke, and this seemed like the right thing to do for it. Now it can go and be free with writing of its own kind...away from here," said Tim in a statement about the deal.

Cortland Finnegan signed by Rams

The gauntlet has been thrown down. The Rams signed Cortland Innegan to a $50 million deal. With the deal to reunite the corner with his former coach, Jeff Fisher, the NFC West has adjusted to this new arrangement. 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis has demanded to be placed on offense and is expected to have his request granted; because after all, you never say no to Patrick Willis.

Fellow NFC West rival the Seattle Seahawks, have made inquiries to the Texans about a trade for Andre Johnson, for their next three first round picks. When asked about the would-be blockbuster deal, head coach Pete Carroll said, "we think it would be an excellent opportunity to pair Johnson against his old 'friend' and neutralize whatever defensive threat the Rams thought they'd just acquired."

Innegan could not be reached for comment because at hearing this news, he curled up into a ball on the ground and rocked gently back and forth saying "go to your happy place, go to your happy place," repeatedly.

We will have more free agency news as it develops...if it develops.