Some journeymen; some backups… highlighted the NFL free agent news this week… and the Roundtable is abuzz with their thoughts…
1) On the same day that the NY Giants announced they had inked Jason Pierre-Paul to a new four-year contract worth up to $66 million, with $40 million guaranteed, it was also leaked that pending his passing a physical they would also sign QB Geno Smith to a one-year deal.
That “leak” is now a fact… Smith passed his physical and the Giants have signed him to a $2 million, 1-year contract.
The question begs to be asked… Why? Why do you think the Giants would sign Smith as a potential back-up for Eli Manning? And, why would Smith sign with the Giants where it’s essentially guaranteed that if he made the team he would barely, if ever, sniff any playing action?
Dan: Honestly, the signing doesn’t make the most sense but it’s understandable since you always need to have a back-up plan just in case something does happen. Geno Smith likely wasn’t seeing a lot of offers come his way and he does have a chance at grabbing a divisional title or a Super Bowl appearance with the Giants which will bring him not only more money but an awesome experience. I think he signed to be a back-up and learn a lot from Eli Manning.
Plus, Manning also takes a lot of hits. If, he needs to be taken out for a period of time, the Giants want to make sure that they’re covered.
David: Geno Smith has always been talented, sadly he’s also had maturity problems. Best thing for his career is to go into a sable organization, and sit behind someone that can teach him. Geno isn’t getting a starting job anywhere, and the best way to keep cashing dem checks is to get a backup job, shut your mouth and learn the position. Might be the smartest thing Geno’s done since the draft.
Earl: I’m surprised that Geno elected to stay in New York. I thought leaving town and getting away from the media here would have been best for him, but signing with the Giants makes sense. He can learn from Eli, learn a new offense, and if he impresses he might have a shot to replace Eli as the starter in a few seasons.
For the Giants I think signing Eli and bringing back Josh Johnson means that they are not necessarily targeting a QB in the draft. If there’s one that they want to draft late, I think they will, but they won’t necessarily push for one after making these moves.
2) The Philadelphia Eagles signed free agent QB Nick Foles to a two-year deal for $11 million with $7 million guaranteed, despite having a franchise QB in Carson Wentz (the No. 2 overall pick in 2016) and already having a backup in Chase Daniel that they signed to a three-year, $21 million deal just last year.
In your opinion, does this deal make any sense for the Eagles? Why or why not?
Chad: No, With Wentz and Daniel in the fold that is too much for a 3rd string QB.
You already have a franchise quarterback in Carson Wentz. The back-up quarterback is making quite a bit of money. Then, you sign Foles to make a lot of money as well, but as a back-up? So, your third-string quarterback is making an average of $7 million per season?
Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. They’re very well protected in case of an injury or a failure of play in Wentz, but, doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
David: Having 2 backup QBs that are not on rookie deals makes 0 sense to me. Maybe they are looking at dumping Chase Daniel? That’s the only rationale I can see here.
Earl: Surprising but this makes sense since Daniel fancies himself as a starter. He’s being paid a ton to sit behind Wentz who had a good rookie season, so cutting him and bringing back Foles makes a ton of sense. Foles knows Philly and he knows how to play the role of backup. Cutting Daniel so he can try to find a better situation elsewhere only works at this stage.
3) Cowboys’ star running back Ezekiel Elliott, has again enmeshed himself in controversy when he pulled down a woman’s top while they stood on a float in a parade last weekend. So far no charges have been filed and there has been no complaint from the woman involved. Considering the NFL has yet to close its investigation into an alleged domestic-violence incident last summer involving Elliott and a former girlfriend, it isn’t an incident that would arguably help his cause.
Is it time to start worrying about Elliott before he finds himself in a meeting with Goodell who just might curtail his being in the Cowboys’ starting backfield for a fair amount of games in the 2017 season?
Dan: No. The domestic violence incident should have already been closed by the NFL. There were no charges brought up against Elliott in that incident that stuck, so time to close it for the NFL.
This incident now is just an incident that was made known because he’s an NFL player. No charges have even been thought of; this woman didn’t have a problem with what he did; time to just ignore this and move on. It’s nothing. No need to start worrying.
David: Anyone but Elliot, this is no big deal. Some rich dude pulled the shirt up of some eye candy. Everyone look at the bewbs. Moving on.
Elliot? Well, he doesn’t have the best reputation; deservedly so. I think this is clickbait/TMZ fodder and move along home.
Earl: Zeke needs to chill the hell out. He’s exhibiting some reckless behavior and yes I think the organization should worry that he can eventually get himself into some real trouble. For now, I don’t see Goodell taking any action, but it might be time to sit the young man down and see where his head is at.
(Editor’s Note: The editor somehow can’t count and he included two question 4’s in the submissions to the roundtable panel… so, if ,anyone answered both questions… both are presented here.)
4) The Houston Texans defense took a big hit during this year’s free agency season so far by having three starting defensive players signed away from their roster. They also need a QB and that would be true even if they somehow acquire Tony Romo.
If, you are the Texans’ GM what do you target first… defensive players or go after a QB as soon as you can? Why?
Dan: I need a quarterback if I’m the Texans. I was able to get the Browns to get Osweiler off of our hands, so, now we need to make sure we grab a quarterback. The number one position on the entire team that held the Texans back last year was quarterback. Grab a QB as soon as possible and move along.
It’s a deep defensive draft so after they grab a quarterback then they can focus on defense.
Free agency is also an option for QB, but, don’t force it by signing Cutler to a big contract and find out he turns out to be garbage. And, if, I’m the Texans’ GM, I’m not going to sit around and wait for the Cowboys to make a move with Romo. I need to take the steps I need to make to ensure the team is in good standing. Can’t do that waiting around.
David: Houston picks 25th. From most good mocks Watson, Kizer and Pat Mahomes are still available. What I do is wait. I take the best defensive player I can at 25, or, if someone wants to move up, I let them. If, I get down to around 30, (ahead of the Browns) and I snag a QB there.
Romo is out there. If I really get desperate, I give Dallas an offer with all kinds of strings attached. I’m not going to trade for Romo until after the draft.
If, Watson or heaven help me Mitch is sitting there in the 40s and all it costs me is a 3rd to move up to get one, I’m going to be pissed.
Earl: The Texans need a QB so identifying one is a good start. Be it Romo, or, going with Tom Savage, they still need a QB. However, they can draft one a little later, because defense is absolutely the better use of draft picks. Especially in a division full of teams that can put up some points as long as their QBs are healthy. Not repairing that defense could lead to Andrew Luck, Blake Bortles, and Marcus Mariota putting up some numbers on the Texans and the Texans falling backwards in the standings.
4A) The NY Jets just signed a starting QB… Josh McCown. The cost 1-year at $6 million. If, he hits every incentive in his contract terms he could eventually cost the Jets $13 million.
Does signing McCown make any sense for the Jets? Why or why not?
Dan: It does make sense. While, I think the Jets could have grabbed a better quarterback off the market than McCown, they need a quarterback and this signing works out. I don’t think he’ll hit all of his incentives (although I haven’t seen what they exactly are), but, either way, he’s ensuring the Jets a quarterback for this season.
They don’t really have a very bright season ahead so he’s more of a filler until next off-season.
David: Jets pick 6th and 39th. They need a building block at 6 and a QB at 39th. If no QB outside the big 4 is there at 39, or, even if there is, they need a starter so they can avoid the mistakes they made with Geno.
The best thing for the Jets is to suck again and go 3-13. If, they get two building blocks at 6/39 and go 3-13, they get the QB next year.
Earl: As a Jets fan this signing does not make me feel good. Is McCown better than Cutler, Kaepernick, or RGIII who were all linked to the Jets? Maybe, but is he all that much better than Petty or Hackenberg? Who knows. I’m looking at the moves the Jets are making and I’m bracing myself for what will be a LONG season.
5) Which team… so far… has made the biggest splash in this year’s free agent signings? AND… which team did the most to impact its season in 2017?
Chad: I would say the Vikings snagging Latavius Murray from the Raiders is a splash and allowed Minnesota to move on from AP. And, I would say the Giants helped itself in 2017 by getting Brandon Marshall to go opposite Odell Beckham Jr.
Dan: I think the best off-season so far, and I hate to say it, is the New England Patriots. They re-signed Hightower which they needed to do. They got another excellent corner in Stephon Gilmore (which they overpaid a little bit, but that’ll happen). They were able to pull the trigger on a trade for Brandin Cooks from New Orleans to give Tom Brady a huge offensive weapon. They got Dwayne Allen from Indy as a back-up to Gronk. Lawrence Guy signed as well. I think they made the biggest splash and biggest impact.
Two signings I also really like are the TE signings by GB since they really needed a TE and they turned out to be cheaper and better than Jared Cook. The other signing I like a lot is Alshon Jeffery by the Eagles to give them a big target for Wentz to throw to. DeSean Jackson with Tampa was a nice addition to give them a 1-2 punch of Jackson and Evans. Then Prince Amukamara signing with Chicago was a nice solid upgrade at a heavy position of need. He was a player I was hoping the Packers could have grabbed.
David: New England.
Holy shit. Got a good TE to replace a one year stopgap and Brandon Cooks. Holy shit. The wife is a monster Saints fan, so I have watched Cooks all year. If, he embraces winning in New England, he’s going to be amazing. I mean Randy Moss 2.0 amazing.
They brought back Hightower, so that’s a great job, and added Gilmore from a division rival.
Hmm, the Hoodie watches you twice a year, and decides he wants to pay you to join his team, I guess he’s pretty good.
Earl: On both counts I think we have to go with the Patriots. It’s rare that you see a defending Super Bowl Champion make the moves that they have. Trading for Allen and Cooks to bolster their offense, and adding Ealy and Gilmore to their defense are huge moves. Tom Brady is getting up there in age, and even though he has shown no signs of slowing down, the Patriots are loading up to get him a few more rings before he walks out the door.
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