The offseason lull has grinded to a halt just a bit as some big moves were made yesterday. Two of them directly affect the draft, and the third is noteworth because of the player involved.
First, Miami signed offensive tackle Jake Long as their top draft pick. This is a big deal because it forces the other teams to re-evaluate their draft boards(which they probably do every 30 seconds anyway), and gives us a bit better idea of where the top teams might be going with their picks.
Second, defense end Jared Allen was traded from Kansas City to Minnesota in exchange for the Vikings' first round pick, their two third round picks and a swapping of sixth round picks(#182 for #187). It's a monster deal, especially when you consider that he's also getting $31+ million in guaranteed money. Minnesota had been thought to be targeting a defensive end with their first round pick, and Allen instantly erases that need. It will be interesting to see what the Chiefs end up doing with their stockpiled selections.
Lastly, Shaun Alexander was released by the Seahawks yesterday. His future, or lack thereof, in Seattle was decided as soon as Julius Jones and T.J. Duckett were signed. For the most part, it appears that Alexander has handled it well, eventhough he did endure a lot of ridicule from fans after failing to live up to their expectations following the signing of his massive contract. There are a few teams out there that will probably be willing to give him a shot. Arizona could decide to pair him with Edge for a season or two. Dallas might look to add him to help out Marion Barber. Denver is always acquiring running backs for their committee. Chicago could use some help with Benson still questionable for the start of training camp.
So far, this has been an exciting week for NFL fans, and it figures to get even more eventful the closer we get to the draft. Especially, with talk of possible trades involving Jason Taylor, Anquan Boldin and Pacman Jones(though, that seems to have slowed way down).