Free agent signings @ NFLRT 3/17


Free agent…

Linemen, RBs, and the Bears sign a QB… oh my…

The Roundtable talks about some of the free agents signings so far in 21017…

1) Free agent offensive linemen did very well in this year’s market, especially offensive tackles with Riley Reiff, Mike Remmers (both signed by Vikings), Andrew Whitmore (Rams), Russell Okung (Chargers) and Rick Wagner all signing very lucrative deals.

 Are you surprised by any of these deals? Why or why not?

Chad: I’m not surprised by these deals.

OL’s typically do get pretty good deals because of the demand for good lineman across the NFL.

Dan: I’m a little surprised by the size of some of the contracts, specially Okung. I didn’t think he was worth that much.

An offense can only go as far as the offensive line takes them.

But, I’m not really surprised teams are paying for offensive linemen. They’ve shown how important an O-Line is to the team’s success, so teams are making it known that it’s a priority on their list to make sure these men get paid. You can’t do anything without an offensive line. It can turn an average running back into a good running back, a good running back into a great, etc… It gives a quarterback extra time and then he can exploit most any defense in the league.

Earl: Offensive lineman are important. You need to protect the running back and you need to run the ball, so they need to get paid. Offensive Tackle in particular is probably the position you need to secure the most after quarterback. You have to pay those guys, and they have to be good if you want a good team. 

2) The market for free agent running backs, on the other hand is slow, with only Kyle Juszczk (49ers) and Danny Woodhead (Ravens) being the only backs signing anything significant.  Adrian Petersen, LeGarrette Blount, Latavius Murray and Jamal Charles are all still waiting on deals.

Is this a surprising turn of events? Why or why not?

Chad: Not in my opinion.

Adrian Peterson among a slew of free agent RBs still looking for a team

Because, the RB free agent market is always a dicey proposition especially with age and injury history at a position in the league where 30 is considered over the hill.

Dan: No, I’m not surprised.

Most of the running backs who haven’t signed yet are big names who have had recent injury problems as well as nearing the end of the road for their careers.

In addition to this aging market, the draft is extremely deep at running back and supposed to be very good. Why spend a lot of money on a player who could turn out to be injured the whole time or contribute very little while healthy when you can get a rookie from the draft and keep him for multiple years?

Earl: Not too surprising. The running back market is watching each other. Once one comes off the board, the rest should in due time. The Seahawks for example have brought in multiple running backs for visits, so I’d imagine that as soon as they choose one, the rest will come flying off the board.

Rate the following signings… good, bad or indifferent and why…

3) Packers signing tight end Martellus Bennett by the Vikings at an average salary of $7 million per season (three years, $21 million, only $6.3 million guaranteed.)

Packers add threat with signing of free agent TE Martellus Bennett

Chad: Good signing,

Gives Rodgers another target down the field from the TE which even with Jared Cook there was not a lot of last season.

Dan: Good.

They needed a tight end and they went out and got two. They signed him for a cheaper deal than what Cook was looking for from them and he’s a huge target that just won a Super Bowl and showed how much of an asset he is to an offense with a top quarterback (Tom Brady in New England, now Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay). Great signing!

Earl: Good.

Aaron Rodgers needed another target and Bennett is reliable as both Eli Manning and Tom Brady can attest to. He and Lance Kendricks should be solid additions at tight end for the Packers.

4) Giants signing wide receiver Brandon Marshall to a two-year, $12 million deal.

Chad: Good signing.

WR Marshall (15) and QB Manning (10) now teammates.

Marshall can go opposite Odell Beckham Jr. and they may be the best pass-catching tandem in the league right now.

Dan: Good.

They get a top receiver in addition to what they already have to make Eli Manning have two top targets to throw to. It bolsters the passing game a lot and should propel an already dangerous offensive team to be even more dangerous.

Odell and Brandon Marshall? What will teams do? You can’t double team both.

Earl: Good.

In Marshall the Giants get the big receiver they haven’t had since Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg. The G-Men needed a receiver with size and with the ability to take pressure off of Odell Beckham Jr. There are some concerns about Marshall not being the best locker room guy, and the receiving corps of the Giants now has one more diva, but it’s a good signing.

5) The Bears (who own the with 3rd pick in the draft) signing QB Mike Glennon to a 3-year deal worth about $14.5 million a year.

(Editor’s note: is saying the deal is for $16 million in 2017, including his $3 million signing bonus, $8 million salary and $5 million roster bonus. That would rank him somewhere around No. 20-25 in starting quarterback pay for 2017. And, the Bears can get out of the deal free and clear after one year AND the only guaranteed money for 2018 would be a $2.5 million roster bonus the Bears would have to exercise by the third day of the 2018 league year.)

Chad: In the short-term, it’s a good deal.

It gets someone there who the Bears feel can help a young drafted QB along.

Dan: Indifferent.

Bears sign free agent QB Mike Glennon to 3-year deal

They needed a quarterback and can still get one in the draft, but, they also have a lot of other needs. While the signing isn’t bad, they don’t really have much of an offense to help him. He probably will be like a Cutler or Brian Hoyer and Bears’ fans will continue to be unhappy with their quarterback regardless of his supporting cast. After letting Cutler go, who has no interest except by the Jets, they needed somebody to play quarterback.

I personally would leave Glennon at quarterback, set up the offense around him and then go for a quarterback in the draft. There’s no point in drafting a Trubisky, Watson or Kizer and give them nothing to surround themselves with. It’ll not only hurt their confidence and destroy their name, but it can also destroy their career and prove to be a waste of time and money for the organization.

Earl: Glennon is unproven but he has the tools. Also, his contract doesn’t preclude the Bears from taking a QB somewhere in the first three rounds, but I don’t see them taking a QB at #3. They can turn their attention to taking the best player at #3 or trading down so that they can land the wide receiver they desperately need.

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