Tag:free agency
Posted on: March 14, 2008 7:31 pm

Still moving


Here's some thoughts on some of the recent free agent news:

---I like the move by the San Francisco 49ers to sign receiver Bryant Johnson to a one-year deal. Johnson, who was the third receiver in Arizona, will have a chance to get a lot of playing time with the 49ers. Here's a bet that he plays better than Isaac Bruce, the verteran receiver the 49ers signed last week. It was a big surprise to me that Johnson was still on the market this late. But he can show the league and the 49ers he can be a good second receiver this year and cash in next spring.

---Tampa Bay waited and waited to sign players, even though they had a lot of cap room. They took a lot of heat for that. But they did it the right way. Now they're getting bargains. The latest bargain they landed was New England corner/safety Eugene Wilson. They signed him to a one-year deal that will pay him a reported $1.8 million. Wilson can play both safety and corner, but the Bucs will give him a chance to play corner first. He will compete with Phillip Buchanon for a starting job.

---I am not a big fan of the Cincinnati Bengals signing Indianapolis Colts tight end Ben Utecht to an offer sheet as a restricted free agent. The Colts will almost certainly not match the sheet, which they can do, and that means Utecht is on his way to the Bengals. I think he's too soft a player to be a real factor in an offense. He can step in and make some plays now and then, but he isn't tough enough.


Category: NFL
Tags: free agency
Posted on: February 28, 2008 9:47 pm

Free agency eve


Free agency won't officially begin until midnight Thursday, but that doesn't mean there isn't already a buzz about some deals that might be jumping the gun.

Tampering? Yeah, right.

Here's some of what's making the league rounds Thursday night, according to league sources:

---Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Justin Smith is said to be on his way to San Francisco where he will get a contract that will pay him $20 million in guarantees. The interesting thing there is that the 49ers are not a 4-3 team, but could be switching to that defense. Bears linebacker Lance Briggs is also said to be a target of the 49ers, and he is strictly a 4-3 linebacker.

---Cincinnati safety Madieu Williams is a "hot" player. There are several teams interested in Williams, who is expected to command a bonus of $10 million. That's a lot of money for a player who doesn't look instinctive.

---New England corner Asante Samuel, one of the top players in the market, could be on the verge of signing a big deal with the New Orleans Saints.

---The Miami Dolphins are now in the talks to land Detroit Lions defensive end Shaun Rogers. The Dolphins are interested in Rogers as a nose. The Lions are asking for a second-round pick for Rogers. Miami's second-round pick is too high, the first in the round, so it will likely be a third-round pick if they make the deal. There are other teams considering Rogers, including Denver.

Category: NFL
Tags: free agency
Posted on: February 28, 2008 7:40 pm

Buckle up for the wild ride

Tommy Kelly hasn't played in a Pro Bowl in his four seasons in thre league. He is also coming off a torn ACL.

So what did he Oakland Raiders do Thursday? They gave him a contract that makes him the highest-paid defensive tackle in the NFL.


I like Kelly. He was on my list of top-32 free agents even though he was coming off the torn ACL, but I never imagined he'd get the type of deal he got from the Raiders. They gave him seven-year deal that has a reported $18 million in guaranteed money.

That is outrageous.

But it also may be a precurser of what is to come: The NFL free-agency period is going to be wild.

There are a lot of teams with cap room and few players. I do give the Raiders credit for keeping one of their own, but that money is crazy.

The Houston Texans re-signed receiver Andre Davis to keep him off the market, giving him a deal that includes $8 million in guaranteed money. Davis played well last season for the Texans as both a receiver and a return man, but the Texans are his fourth team. Giving a player with his past failures a deal that averages $4 million a season is eye-opening. But word is Davis had other offers as well from other teams that might have topped those numbers.

If these two signings are an indication, we're in for a lot of questionable spending in this free-agency period.

Then again, what else is new?

Category: NFL
Tags: free agency
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