Lets take a look at some of the early Free Agent signings, I’m not going to show them all, since who cares about the 4th string tight end right? I’ll try and update a bit as we go on, and just the actual signings, no rumors, OK?
Re-sign DE Adrian Clayborn
Good against the run, not so much against the pass. Purely a rotation guy.
Sign C Alex Mack (Browns)
This is the second time Mack has tried to leave the Browns for Atlanta, but was matched last time. Now he gets to leave. Matt Ryan is going to love this guy, and I hate this guy already. He’s still working his way back into shape after a broken fibula, and that might be the only reason the Browns let him go, but if he’s close, this was one of the best signings yet.
Sign WR Mohamed Sanu (Bengals)
Roddy White’s replacement, he doesn’t have the hands Roddy does, and isn’t as clean a route runner, but he’s younger and is used to playoff ball. I think he’s a bit overpaid, but the Falcons need weapons.
Sign DE Derrick Shelby (Dolphins)
High effort guy, but not really a difference maker, but he’s the type of rotation player good teams need. I don’t quite get the contract, but I’m not going to hate a bad contract for the Falcons.
Sign S Tyvon Branch (Chiefs)
If he’s healthy, and he’s only been healthy one full year, he’s a great signing. He’s going to be counted on to be on the field the entire time now, and could start getting hit by the injury bug, so this could be a feast of famine deal.
Re-sign RB Mike Tolbert
At 2M per, Tolbert is underpaid, but anything that keeps this bowling ball around makes me a happy Panthers fan.
Re-sign DE Charles Johnson
Rare instance of being cut for cap reasons, and coming back to resign. Johnson had an unreal contract, so he made his money, but the Panthers getting back Johnson back is always a great thing. I do wonder if there is an idea to keep rolling over the defenses to fill cap space, could be dangerous.
Sign OT Bobby Massie (Cardinals)
Great deal for the Bears. He’s got tackle size at 6’6 315, but needs to be coached up a bit on pass protection and should let Kyle Long slide over, and is a good run-driver.
Sign LB Danny Trevathan (Broncos)
Was a good player under John Fox, and has really good speed. Fox is pretty good at getting action from his front seven, and Bears fans are going to love him, as he never comes off the field and won’t get eaten up by blockers.
Sign DE Cedric Thornton (Eagles)
Weakens a rival, always a bonus, my biggest problem is he is going from a 3-4 to a 4-3, always a red flag. I think the fact he doesn’t stop running could work to his advantage, but he can get blocked and taken out of the play.
Re-sign LB Rolando McClain
Hard to complain about this signing, as he’s a great player, if he behaves himself, always a question mark for McClain. It’s only a one year deal, so the Cowboys won’t get nailed if he gts stupid again, but there isn’t many teams that wouldn’t have done this deal.
Sign WR Marvin Jones (Bengals)
Missed all of ’14 with injury, didn’t have a problem in ’15 with a career contract year, going for 65 catches. Imagine Calvin Johnson going for 65 catches, and that’s Jones’ best year. This is a bit of an overpay, and 5 years is a long time, but considering the Lions have to find SOMEONE to try and keep the offense going, it’s a defensible deal.
Re-sign DT Haloti Ngata
I’ll be honest, I didn’t think he had that much left in the tank, but Ngata is still a very good player, but I wonder why he came back to the Lions, when he’s a situational run-stopper on what could be his final deal, isn’t that a Pats move? He can provide omse leadership for a Lions team that might be rebuilding, if it’s not careful, but with the Packers so content to stand pat, they could also be making a move.
Re-sign ILB Tahir Whitehead
The Lions defense got better as the year went along, and Whitehead was a good part of that. Whitehead came cheap, and has good coverage skills. I’m not sure if he’s going to be a one year wonder, but he definitely picked the right time to do it. He is a good hitter, but can get caught out of position, but at 4M per, worth a shot.
Re-sign LB Nick Perry
The Packers passed on the fifth-year option, but was able to keep Perry anyway- a choice that cost Perry about 2.5M. Perry has problems staying healthy, and staying consistent when healthy. But this is a one year deal for both sides to see if Perry is worth a long term deal.
Sign G Alex Boone (49ers)
Boone is a fun signing, he might be considered too big for a guard at 6’8, but isn’t consistent enough to be a top tier tackle either. He would be an exceptional stopgap guy to plug in anywhere on the line but center for road grading, but he’s getting paid too much to sit. My guess is he’s going to be plugged into whomever’s spot leaves first between Kalil or Loadholt.
Sign LB Emmanuel Lamur (Bengals)
Mike Zimmer should be happy to get back with Lamur as he’s quick and can cover. Lamur was hurt last year and a knee injury could slow him down a bit, and that might make it a bit of a scary deal. I do look at this as a solid deal for both sides, and Zimmer gets a dependable piece to plug into a team that has under-performed lately.
Sign TE Coby Fleener (Colts)
The Saints Cap situation sucks, still, and they got priced out of the Ben Watson market, losing him to Baltimore. I kept drafting Fleener on my fantasy teams, thinking he would click with his Stanford QB, but no dice. Fleener is a good-sized target, but needs to run better routes but has good hands. A five year deal gives the Saints some stability, but Brees is obviously on decline, and Fleener might be missing Luck sooner rather than later.
Sign NT Damon Harrison (Jets)
Harrison is young (27), athletic, and is able to play vs the rush and the pass. He’s not a top-flight guy, but he’s one of the best of the second-tier guys. He is going to walk in the door day one and be looking for a new deal in 3 years when he outplays the current deal.
Sign CB Janoris Jenkins (Rams)
The big get of the free agent market, Jenkins has all the tools to be one of the best corners in the year, but has a lot of mental mistakes and does take himself out of a play or two at times, and if left on an island, that’s an easy way to give up 7 points. This is expensive as Hades, with 12.5M a year for the next 5 years. It’s going to be fun to see what happens to Jenkins when he blows a game for New York, and he will.
Re-sign DE Jason Pierre-Paul
Lets be honest here, before the Fourth of July accident, 10.5 for JPP would have been a STEAL or a deal, now? I’m not so sure. He can be stiff armed, and I’ve seen him miss tackles on guys how would have flattened before, and its not just the hand. I have no problems with this deal, the Giants have to see what he has before dropping a truckload of cash on him, and JPP isn’t going to get a bigger deal than he will from the Giants. Some guys just fit better in New York and JPP is one of them.
Sign DE Olivier Vernon (Dolphins)
HOLY SHEEPDIP. Vernon is going to get paid. He’s going to combo with JPP and form one heckuva pass-rush for the money, its going to be fun to watch all those rushers in New York slam into that Dallas offensive line to see who breaks first, and you can bet the Giants went into free agency with that Dallas line on their minds. The Giants defense stunk on ice last year, and they certainly threw bucks at the problem to fix it.
Sign S Rodney McLeod (Rams)
Not a fan here, the Rams had a very good pass rush, and that makes any secondary look good, the Eagles are not going to hit the QB as fast as the Rams did, and that extra bit of time to cover can cause problems. He’s a bit on the small side and doesn’t have elite speed for a number one corner, but works hard, and doesn’t bite on double moves, if he can stay covering the underneath guys, that’s going to work out ok, but you don’t pay a guy over 7M a year to cover curl routes.
Sign G Brandon Brooks (Texans)
8M deal here, goodness. He’s a good blocker, but inconsistent, but at only 26, its possible a chance of scenery could make him a better player, but 8M? At least they locked him down for 5 years, so if he does develop they have him, and if not, maybe they can dump him to Miami.
Sign QB Chase Daniel (Chiefs)
Ol’ Chase, the most popular backup QB in the NFL, and he could play a good bit with Sam Bradford being injured more than Derrick Rose. It could be interesting to see if he doesn’t take the job outright, since he knows the system since he was with Doug Pederson in Kansas City. But how many of these “Best Backups” end up stinking on ice when getting the big deal/starting job? Lets keep in mind, he’s been in the NFL for 7 years holding a clipboard. In case you were wondering, he’s still just 6 feet tall and hasn’t gotten any faster either.
Re-sign NT Ian Williams
Oh if he can stay on the field. Williams can be a great tackler, and can push the pocket and shed blockers to nail a runner- IF he’s on the field. The problem is, he’s only got one year on record of being 100%. The Niners have to keep him though, and he can be the type of player to build a front seven around, IF he’s there to build around.
Re-sign WR Jermaine Kearse
Without Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks are going to have to throw more, and Kearse is quick, and doesn’t drop a lot of passes. Kearse isn’t a high volume receiver, but does tend to find the end zone. Kearse might be more valuable to Seattle than anywhere else, but this is still an expensive deal. Kearse is only 26, and has kind of grown up with Russel Wilson, who they also need to keep happy (and healthy).
Re-sign LB Mark Barron
Has very good cover skills, being a former SS, but needs a lot of work vs the running game. He’s still young, but is improving game by game, but 9M? That’s awfully expensive for a team that has so many people to try and bring back.
Re-sign DE William Hayes
He’s been getting more and more playing time as the years have come on, becoming a starter, finally. Hayes isn’t the fastest player, and does miss on occasion, but has experience, and might be on his last contract.
Sign DE Robert Ayers (Giants)
Not a bad contract for the team, but a situational pass rusher. The Bucs have got to get after the QB in the NFC South, so this should help.
Sign CB Brent Grimes (Dolphins)
He’s used to the Florida heat, at least, and has a nose for the ball and above average cover skills, but at 33, he’s going to start to decline eventually, but the Bucs should be looking at a replacement next month for him to mentor. He’s going to be a steady hand for a secondary that tends to get lit up at times.
Re-sign RB Doug Martin
Paying 7M a year to a running back, even a very good running back is almost always a mistake, something the Bucs should have learned from watching the Panthers have problems with it for almost the past decade. But the deal is done, and Doug Martin is other teams problems now, as long as the fumbling problems are gone.
Sign OG J.R. Sweezy (Seahawks)
Could be interesting, as he’s still learning the position, but he’s worth a shot, and with a five year deal, can take his time to learn how to passblock, Sweezy has shown flashes of being a very good Guard, so can’t complain here.
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