Monday proved to be a busy day around the NFL, as teams throughout the league prepare for free agency to open on Tuesday. Two major trades occurred -- both of which strengthened the NFC West, while the New York Jets signed a quarterback to compete with Mark Sanchez.
News and rumors will continue to swirl throughout the week -- and here's a look at Monday afternoon's news throughout the NFL.
Percy Harvin got his wish on Monday, as the Minnesota Vikings traded the former Florida Gators star to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for 2013 first- and seventh-round picks, and a mid-round pick in 2014. The Vikings were unwilling to pay Harvin top dollar after this season, and 2013 marks the final year of Harvin's contract.
Now in Seattle, Harvin joins an already-explosive offense led by quarterback Russell Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch. Harvin joins a receiving corps that features Golden Tate and former Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice.
Surrendering three draft picks in exchange for Harvin is certainly a gamble by Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, but there's little doubt that Seattle just asserted itself as a Super Bowl contender next season.
Not to be outdone by NFC West rivals, the San Francisco 49ers acquired wide receiver Anquan Boldin from the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick. Though a sixth-round pick might not seem like much, Baltimore had little-to-no leverage, as the Ravens were expected to cut Boldin had the receiver not accepted a pay cut.
Boldin joins a very talented offense in San Francisco. Michael Crabtree enjoyed a breakout year in 2012, and will now be joined by Boldin in addition to Mario Manningham, who is recovering from a knee injury. San Francisco's passing offense also boasts Vernon Davis, and of course, the dynamic Colin Kaepernick.
Mark Sanchez officially has competition in the Big Apple. The Jets signed Garrard, a nine-year veteran in the NFL, despite the fact that Garrard didn't appear in a game in 2011. Garrard signed with the Dolphins last offseason, but was cut at the conclusion of training camp. Garrard suffered a knee injury during camp, and consequently was passed on Miami's depth chart by both Ryan Tannehill and Matt Moore.
Garrard will compete for the starting gig in New York, but will likely have to outplay Sanchez by a wide margin to be anointed the starter in Week 1.
At the least, Garrard provides sound veteran insurance for Sanchez, should he falter again in 2013.
Ed Reed hires agent
Impending free agent safety Ed Reed hired an agent on Monday, according to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora -- a move that could indicate that Reed is ready to move on from Baltimore. Reed had represented himself in the past, but that is no longer the case, as the future Hall of Fame safety gets ready to hit the free agent market.
Patriots were interested in Victor Cruz; Tom Brady wants to play into his 40s
The New York Giants placed a first-round tender on restricted free agent Victor Cruz, but that didn't stop Bill Belichick and the Patriots from considering making a move on Cruz. According to Jason La Canfora, the Patriots were considering making a run at Cruz -- until Cruz switched agents. Cruz is now represented by Tom Condon, and the Patriots typically avoid doing business with Condon.
CBS Sports also reported that future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady wants to play beyond his current contract, which takes him through his age-40 season. Patriots owner Robert Kraft told the media at a press conference that the three-time Super Bowl champion wants to play beyond his current contract. Brady's tune could change with another Super Bowl ring or two in the next five years, but for now, his competitive fire is as strong as ever.
Minor moves and rumors
The Arizona Cardinals finally parted ways with former first-round pick Beanie Wells. Wells spent four years in Arizona, and never lived up to first-round expectations.
D.J. Williams was released by the Denver Broncos on Monday, in a move that will save Denver roughly $6 million against the salary cap in 2013. Williams enjoyed a successful career in Denver, but only appeared in seven games in 2012 thanks to a nine-game suspension, and had a diminished role upon return.
Though the Atlanta Falcons cut Dunta Robinson last week, the Falcons are reportedly not interested in acquiring Darrelle Revis from the New York Jets. Of course, the Vikings weren't interested in trading Percy Harvin last week, either.