Let's Talk: NFL free agents and traded players speak up

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FILE - Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky throws a pass during an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis, in this Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, file photo. The Buffalo Bills agreed to sign former Chicago Bears starter Mitch Trubisky to a one-year contract on Thursday, March 18, 2021, and serve as Josh Allens primary backup.(AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn, File)

Let's talk.

Now that the muzzles have been removed for NFL team executives and the players they either re-signed or added in free agency, Thursday was a time for explanations and reflections.

Yes, there were more transactions: Miami acquired wide receiver Will Fuller, Las Vegas got running back Kenyan Drake while Denver bid adieu to RB Phillip Lindsay. The Giants agreed to terms with tight end Kyle Rudolph. New England brought back LB Kyle Van Noy, Buffalo grabbed QB Mitchell Trubisky, Tennessee got All-Pro long snapper Morgan Cox, and San Francisco added center Alex Mack.

There also were plenty of words from guys switching teams (Carson Wentz, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Joe Thuney, A.J. Green), players staying put (Leonard Williams, Derek Wolfe) and even a player coming out of retirement (Kyle Long).

Wentz was the headliner, in great part because of the perceived nastiness of his split with the Eagles, who got two draft picks from Indianapolis for their once-franchise quarterback. Wentz took the high road in his Zoom news conference.

“Anytime you hear those things you want to play detective and figure out who said it. But it really doesn’t matter,” he said of anonymous comments in Philadelphia during and after the season ended. “If it’s out there, then you have to ask yourself how can I learn from it? It’s unfortunate people have those opinions and if any of my teammates didn’t think I was the best teammate, I apologize. I wish I could have been better.”

The Colts expect Wentz to be the right successor to the retired Philip Rivers.

“I can’t emphasize how strongly I feel Carson is the man for the job for the Colts at this time,” team owner Jim Irsay said. “I really think he can be that guy that’s going to be the centerpiece for the next decade who can give the Colts a chance at greatness.”