Thursday, March 08, 2007

Free agency madness

This is an exciting time of year for NFL fans, with players changing teams via free agency and the draft approaching quickly. Naively, perhaps, I have long believed that I could do a better job than many NFL personnel gurus and GMs...and frankly, this season of free agency has done little to dissuade me from that belief.

The Ravens win by playing defense and running the ball. So far they've lost their starting OT, OG, RB, and LB. Adalius Thomas signed for $7 million/year in New England, and it was a general consensus that Baltimore simply didn't have the money to resign him at those numbers. I can accept that, maybe, but then Baltimore immediately signed Thomas' backup to more than $4 million/year. They couldn't find a way to restructure someone's contract to pick up $3 million? The difference in athletic ability and production is well worth the extra scratch.

They've added Willis McGahee via trade, and he's an upgrade over Jamas Lewis, but they'll need to pay him a ton of money if they sign him to a long-term deal. At best, this team is moving sideways, but it seems a lot more likely that they are going backwards.

They lost a tackling machine at LB and one of the game's best CBs. They traded away their starting RB. And then they spent $49 million on a guard - a good player, to be sure, but he's never been to a Pro Bowl. Oh yeah, they brought in a tackle from the Raiders too. Marv, feel free to post a salary offer on this thread, and I'll start working on your draft board immediately. It's too late for this year, but in a couple of seasons, we can salvage this train wreck.

Releasing Brian Simmons was a terrible move. They need LBs and they need high-character guys, and Simmons was both. They'll miss Eric Steinbach, but they really didn't have the cap room to overpay him like Cleveland did.

The Browns try again on the OL, signing a big-money free agent for the second season in a row. They signed Jamal Lewis and his 3.3 ypc to a 1-year deal, and they brought in some decidedly mediocre help on defense with Peek and Wright. A lot of analysts are saying that the Jamal Lewis signing takes them out of the Adrian Peterson sweepstakes, but I hope not. Lewis is not the answer, and hopefully the Browns realize that.

Madness. $15 million guaranteed for a blocking TE, $12 million guaranteed for a mediocre RB with character issues, two starters and a draft pick for a CB who's never been to a Pro Bowl. Looks like Denver is becoming the Washington of the west.

Signed 30-year-old Ahman Green for $6 million/year. 30-year-old RBs, especially those with an injury history and declining production, are worth less than a warm six-pack in the NFL, but Houston decided they needed a RB so badly that they overpaid. Still glad you passed on Reggie Bush?

They are up against the cap, and were forced to say goodbye to Monte Reaghor and Brandon Stokely. They won't miss either guy much, as they've both sat out a lot of time last year with injuries. Re-signing Rob Morris was a wise move.

Decided to "upgrade" their underperforming WRs with...Dennis Northcutt. Signed a decent OT away from Baltimore. Re-signed injury-prone Fred Taylor to a big deal.

Kansas City
McIntosh and Harris are ok players that will add depth, but neither one is going to make much of an impact.

They got exactly what they needed: another 30-year-old defender with declining production. What a great way to spend $20 million in guaranteed money! And then they traded away their leading WR and cut one of the better TEs in the NFL. Losing 4 OL to free agency will not exactly help their depth. This team's in a downward spiral, and they'll need a strong comeback from Culpepper if they want to win 6 games this season.

New England
The signing of Adalius Thomas is absolutely perfect. He's exactly the type of hard-working, athletic, and versatile player that Belichick will move all over the field and torment opposing offenses with. I hate to give NE props of any sort, but they deserve a lot of credit for this move - adding this guy is worth 1-2 wins a season. I'm confused by the Wes Welker deal...I don't know why you need to give away two draft picks and over $3 million/year for a guy that is fast and small - the draft is full of WRs that can run, and I don't see what separates Welker from a much cheaper rookie.

New York Jets
Pulled off a real coup by trading for Thomas Jones. All they gave up was a swap of 2nd-round picks. Unless they had compromising pictures of Jerry Angelos, I have no idea what the Bears were thinking when they traded Jones away for almost nothing. Nice move for the Jets.

No moves yet, and who really cares anyway?

I like Mike Tomlin as a coach, but I'm concerned that he's trying to force a 4-3 scheme on 3-4 personnel. They'll miss Porter a little bit, but he was not worth the money he got from Miami.

San Diego
Great job re-signing Kris Dielman. The coaching mess there will cost them a few games, but they are doing a nice job with personnel.

Lost some key contributors in Drew Bennett and Travis Henry. Not sure how they expect Vince Young to keep developing if they don't have any weapons surrounding him.

Ok, I'm bored, I might get to the NFC signings later.


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