Thursday was a hectic day in free agency, we went over the quarterbacks and their whereabouts. Although we still don’t know for certain where Tony Romo will end up, there were tons of significant moves made by teams in that time. This will serve as a recap of all the moves that you have missed which are noteworthy.
Niners sign WR Pierre Garcon 5 years/$47 million– One of the very first big moves, it appears the Niners overpaid big time. While although the may have it’s not TERRIBLE with only 17 million of that guaranteed. Garcon had a good year and cracked the 1k mark for the first time in three years, he should be incumbent quarterback Brian Hoyer’s favorite target.
Niners sign FB Klyle Juszcyk 4 years/$21 million– This marks the biggest deal ever for a fullback but I actually love the signing. Juszcyk a pro bowler, big physical and can catch the ball out of the backfield. I’m all for bringing the FB back which is part why I love it and this helps the Niners in what they want to do run the ball in the classic I-formation. It’s a bold move cotton, let’s see if it pays off for them.
LA Rams Bolster line with veteran OT Whitworth- Rams get an old but still elite 35-year-old tackle in Andrew Whitworth from the Bengals. His contract is 3 years/$33.8 million with $15 million guaranteed. Huge improvement I like it, would have loved it at two years, though.
Patriots trade for Colts TE Dwyane Allen– Wednesday, the Pats sent a fourth in return for a sixth and Allen. I get it from the Colts standpoint as fellow tight end Jack Doyle had a breakout year and Allen can’t stay healthy/consistent. But damn. This is great for the Pats another toy for Brady and insurance plan on Gronk.
Patriots sign CB Stephon Gillmore 5 years/$65 million- The contract has 31 million guaranteed so I don’t love it but Gillmore is an upgrade over Logan Ryan who they lost to the Titans. Helps their secondary for sure
Patriot’s trade first rounder for WR Brandin Cooks- I guess we might as well just give the Pats an automatic bid to the Super Bowl at this point. The Pats haven’t had a deep threat as explosive as Cooks since Randy Moss and we know what records work broken then. The Pats give up 32nd pick overall and a third rounder in exchange for Cooks and a fourth. Another steal for the Pats. This aggressive move does tell me the Pats know Brady’s window is closing and that they learned from the Falcons they need some explosion in their offense.
Jaguars make big, splash in free agency, upgrade defense- The Jaguars made a bunch of signings but the highlight was signing the most coveted cornerback in free agency A.J Bouye to a 5 year/$67,5 million deal with $26million guaranteed. They also signed veteran Safety and ex-Cowboy Barry Church. The Jaguars apparently came to an agreement with DT Calais Campbell but he resigned with the Cardinals which would have been huge for them.
Eagles sign WR’s Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffrey- Smith came first his deal was 3 years/$15 million while Jeffrey’s was one year 8 million guaranteed up to 14. Both good signings low risk, medium to high reward. Eagles had the worst WR’s in the NFL last year we will see how good Carson Wents really is. I’m not sold yet, but he’s poised for success and this move helps the Eagles big time.
Packers sign TE’s Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks – The Packers couldn’t resign Jared Cook so Bennett serves as a substantial upgrade and great deal at 3 years/$21 million. Cook came on strong at the end but was never really consistent. Combined with also Lance Kendricks who is a Milwaukee native and went to Wisconsin it’s a near perfect fit. Kendricks is more than capable and better suited as a number two. I think the Packers realized from their WR plague of injuries last year they need more balance on offense, especially tight end and running back. Look for more two-tight end sets from the Pack.
Logan Ryan signs with Titans for 3 years/$30 million- This contract is too steep for me, the Pats agree which is why they let him walk, the Patriot way. Ryan is a decent corner in zone coverage but struggles at times in man to man, which is predominantly how they operate. Not a bad player, but a bad contract.
Detroit Lions sign Guard TJ Lang and RT Rick Wagner– This is a huge blow to the Packers line and a great sign for Lion fans, the deal is reported three years. Lang is a Michigan native and perennial pro bowler who will more than help Staffords protection to go with ex-raven and right tackle Rick Wagner. Wagener’s deal is huge at $47.5 million over 5 years but worth it as he’s a huge upgrade in pass protection over departing Riley Reiff who may have cost even more.
Washington signs WR Terrelle Pryor 1 year/$8 million- In itself this is a great signing at a good price. Pryor has immense talent and with the Browns’ struggles at QB still caught 77 passes for 1007 yards and 4tds. However, they lost both Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon. They took two steps back one step forward, but that’s still worse than where they were.
Colts sign ex-Pat Jabal Sheard and resign TE Doyle- Sheard has been an unsung hero for the Pats for some time. In the past two years combining for 108 QB pressures and 13 sacks as well as being solid against the run. Sheard signed a 3 year/$25.5 million deal with Indianapolis and will upgrade their anemic pass rush for sure. Doyle signs a 3 year/$18.9 million which may be a tad steep but being that he caught 59 of his 72 targets it makes sense. Doyle and Luck have an outstanding rapport that combined with the loss of Dwayne Allen also made this a must sign.
Bucs sign WR Jackson DL Baker- A great offseason for the Bucs, as I previously talked about Jackson going to Tampa perfect fit to Evans. Thunder and lightning. Defensive Tackle Chris Baker signed a 3 year/$15.8 million deal, Baker is a great run stopper and helps solidify their interior defense.
Ravens bolster secondary with Safety Jefferson- The Ravens cash in big here with Tony Jefferson who believe it or not was rated the best secondary player for the Cardinals last year. Yup, even higher than Peterson. 36 million over 4 years, which Jefferson is worth him and veteran Eric Weddle should be one if not the best safety duo in the league. Great signing.
Bills add backs plus Hyde- For some reason, the Buffalo Bills added two full backs in veteran Mike Tolbert and ex-Falcon Patrick DiMarco. Tolbert is just one year for one million and at this point is limited at 31. DiMarco is one of if not the best blocking fullback in the league and is a steal at four years/$8.5million. Micah Hyde is a huge loss for the Packers and a good addition to the back end of the Bill secondary. He can play multiple positions, his contract is decent at five years/ $30 million.
Browns spend their money- Cleveland has quietly had a good offseason, other than getting a second rounder and Brock they’ve signed Kenny Brit. Britt had his first 1k yard season of his career with horrendous quarterback play in LA. Cleveland deemed him worth for 4 years 32 million, why not they have the money? They also had two nice offensive line signings in OT J.C Tretter and G Kevin Zeitler. Tretter was a steal if he can stay healthy at 3 years 18 million and Zeitler was steep at five years 60 million. Did they overpay him? Yes, but he is good and Cleveland is building the right way, at the line and acquiring picks. Proper rebuilding thus far.
Saints sign Ginn- The Saints always seem to be in the middle, they’re clearly the worst team in their division in my eyes. Ginn is a cheaper bargain then Cooks at three years for 11 million. It’s a good signing but far from what they need. Brees’ days are numbered and that defense is still god awful. You would think they would trade him while he still has value. Poor, poor Brees.
Vikings desperately attempt to fix O-line– The Minnesota Vikings offensive line last year was a train wreck, I don’t care if they had zeek, they still wouldn’t have been able to run it. So they decided to invest 8 years and nearly $90 million total in Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers. They are upgrades, but almost anything would be, this is a disaster. Reiff is a solid run blocker but can’t pass protect at tackle and Remmer is the LT who was smoked by Miller for three sacks in the Super Bowl two years ago. Think that says it all, 90 million for these clowns.
OT Okung signs 4 year/$53 million deal with Chargers- Okung once was pro-bowler with the Seahawks, but that was many years ago. Just ask the Broncos how Okung worked out for them. Problems in pass protection and staying healthy apparently let you become highest paid left tackle in football. Now we know what the L in LA stands for, sorry Chargers.
Panthers rekindle with Peppers, Munnerlyn, also sign Khalil- Once again another terrible contract fo an offensive lineman, this may be the worst of them all at 5 years/$55.5 million for. After showing promise his rookie year, the fourth overall pick from USC has been a train wreck since then. It’s a quandary how he is still even a starter let alone this deal. Peppers deal is a good one at just 4.3 million over one year he can play pass rush downs and finish his career with Carolina. Also, they signed Captain Munnerlyn who they lost last year and played well for the Vikings. He’s a nice slot corner which the Panthers could very much need.
So who are the winners and losers? The biggest winners are clearly The New England Patriots and that pains me to say, but it’s true. Both their offense and defense have improved and they just won the Super Bowl. The Giants are also big winners getting Brandon Marshall and DJ Fluker. Other winners include the Eagles for their offensive additions, the Bucs for Jackson and Baker, and the Browns in rebuilding. Losers include the Vikings, Panthers, and Chargers for making terrible long term deals with mediocre at best lineman. Also whoever wins the Tony Romo sweepstakes would be a winner in my eyes.