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Running Friday Free Agency Thread

It keeps going and going and going... remember, Friday night is when all these moves actually become official.

1:30 AM EDT
Chicago signs WR Roy Williams (DAL)
Detroit signs CB Eric Wright (CLE)
Houston signs S Danieal Manning (CHI)
Seattle signs DT Alan Branch (ARI)

NFL Network now retracting report that Oakland has cut CB Chris Johnson and G Cooper Carlisle.

10:00 AM EDT
Atlanta releases DT Jamaal Anderson
Atlanta releases WR Michael Jenkins

11:30 AM EDT
Seattle re-signs LB Leroy Hill
Seattle releases OL Stacy Andrews
Chicago signs WR Sam Hurd (DAL)
Miami signs QB Matt Moore (CAR)
New York Jets release QB Kevin O'Connell
Green Bay releases LB Brandon Chillar
Cincinnati re-signs RB Brian Leonard
Pittsburgh releases OT Flozell Adams
Tenneessee signs DT Shaun Smith (KC)

12:15 PM EDT
Denver signs RB Willis McGahee (BAL)
Jacksonville releases DE Derrick Harvey
Jacksonville releases G Vince Manuwai

12:35 PM EDT
New Orleans releases CB Randall Gay

1:10 PM EDT
Atlanta signs DE Ray Edwards (MIN)

2:10 PM EDT
Cincinnati releases DE Antwan Odom
Cincinnati releases DB Morgan Trent

3:00 PM EDT
New England releases DE Ty Warren
New England releases T/G Nick Kaczur
New England releases TE Alge Crumpler
St. Louis signs G Harvey Dahl (ATL)

4:30 PM EDT
Dallas re-signs DE Marcus Spears
St. Louis signs LB Zach Diles (HOU)
Jacksonville signs S Dawan Landry (BAL)
Miami releases LB Channing Crowder

6:15 PM EDT
Philadelphia signs CB Nnamdi Asomugha
Seattle re-signs DT Brandon Mebane

10:30 PM EDT
St. Louis signs WR Mike Sims-Walker (JAX)
St. Louis releases OL Jacob Bell
St. Louis signs CB Al Harris (MIA)
Houston releases QB Dan Orlovsky
Cincinnati signs OL Deuce Lutui (ARI)
Jacksonville signs CB Drew Coleman (NYJ)
Miami signs LB Kevin Burnett (SD)
Chicago signs DE Vernon Gholston (NYJ)
San Diego signs LB Travis LaBoy (SF)
Carolina signs LB Omar Gaither (PHI)
New Orleans re-signs S Roman Harper

Comments

198 comments, Last at 02 Aug 2011, 10:25pm

1 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

Eegads! A Texans secondary including at least three legitimate NFL starters! That hasn't happened since 2004.

40 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

Isn't it going to be Glover Quin moved over to FS though? So the secondary will be: CB1 Joseph, CB2 Kareem Jackson or Brandon Harris or Rashad Carmichael (with one of the three being the nickle back), SS Manning, FS Quin?

I'm as happy and hopeful for the Texans as I've been in years. So delighted they didn't throw money at Cromartie.

69 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

The problem the Texans have had for a few years was a terrible secondary. While it is good that they seem to have fixed that I think they would have been better staying in a 4-3. Philips is a good DC but he is getting way more talent to play with on the back end than his predecessors.

83 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

I think the recency of the 2010 debacle may be coloring your thinking. The defense's ranking dramatically improved from where it was before his tenure, all the way to #2 in the league in 2009. Phillips has improved his team's defensive ranking at each stop (Buffalo, Atlanta, San Diego, Dallas). And if you're just judging on pass rush, he CERTAINLY knows how to get to the QB, as his teams in San Diego and Dallas and their perennial placement in the top 10 in sacks should indicate.

125 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

Huh? Outdated and inflexible? Do you mean the back end or the front? Phillip's 3-4 scheme is different since it's a 1-gap scheme similar to a 4-3 scheme.

Per NFL Matchup, Phillips has 3-4 personnel, but they line up in a 4-3. Each player has a specific gap to attack. It's not a "read and react" scheme, the players need to "read while running to the ball carrier." If one person misses his assignment, then the defense gives up a big play. On the other hand, it's easy to know what went wrong and how to fix it.

I think the Cowboys' secondary, or lack of, was more of a problem than the front 7.

2 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

Chicago signs WR Roy Williams (DAL)

Oh dear me, why?

A 30 year old receiver who hasn't broke 40 receptions in 3 years (with a pretty good QB in Romo), has attitude issues, is generally a laughing stock. I just know Martz is going to overuse him and force him the ball too.

This has to be the most depressing signing since Adam Archuleta. I still believe him to be personally responsible for costing the Bears 2 wins in 2007 which might have given them a playoff birth (I don't remember how the tie breakers with the Redskins would have worked out).

9 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

Roy Williams before Mike Martz: 55.7 yards per game
Roy Williams with Mike Martz: 76.7 yards per game
Roy Williams after Mike Martz: 34.6 yards per game

He's only 29. I think there's a reasonable chance he has a big time rebound in production.

13 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

There have been 31 players in NFL history who had 30 or more receptions at age 29 while amassing no more than 36 yards per game. Of those, two retired after that season (Al Toon and Saxon Judd); Deion Sanders also falls into that category, but he was not used nearly as much as a WR after age 29, so we'll exclude him as well. (One other player, Leonard Thompson, was 29 in 1981 and thus had his 30-year-old season during the 1982 strike season, but he played all 9 games for Detroit, and we're looking at averages rather than totals, so I have left him in the sample. Sam McCullum also turned 30 in 1982, but he played only six games with Seattle and only two as a starter. It's likely the strike affected his role, so I've removed him.)

The remaining 26 are split as close to "down the middle" as is possible: 13 saw a decrease in receiving yards per game the following season and 13 saw an increase. The mean change for the entire sample was -1.4 YPG, and the standard deviation was just over 14 YPG, so a reasonable estimate would be something between 21 and 49 YPG this season.

The best-case scenario is Willie Jackson, who had an 81-catch, 1046-yard season for New Orleans in 2001, increasing his YPG by 30.5. On the other end of the spectrum ... Rashied Davis, who needs no introduction for this group. 5 receptions, 35 yards, a drop of 25.6 YPG at age 30.

If we narrow the group further and look at only those players who changed teams at age 30, we end up with just 8 players. Five of them had a decrease in production - three of the five dropping at least 13 YPG - and only three had an increase, with only one of those improving more than 7 YPG. Best-case scenario is Floyd Turner, who went from the Colts to the Ravens and improved 11.1 YPG ... but on the other end, Frank Sanders left the Cardinals for the Ravens and dropped from 33.3 YPG to 12.1 YPG.

None of this says for certain that Williams will not have a great season. After all, one player did, and Willie Jackson did have a new QB in Aaron Brooks ... but Mike McCarthy was the OC in both seasons, so we can't necessarily point to a significant change in offense as the reason for his revival.

What I think we can say is that it would not be reasonable to expect anything more than a decent jump in productivity. Williams' days of being a headline WR are likely over, and even if he does improve this season, it's worth noting that after that 2001 season, Jackson had only 25 receptions in 2002 and retired at the end of the season.

18 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

Expect might be pushing it, but I would not be at all surprised if Williams had a 1000 yard season. I think something like 60-850-5 is about what I'd expect.

Williams is pretty clearly atypical of that list of comparables: he's at the absolute bottom of the age bracket (December birthday), he produced at a high level earlier in his career, and he's moving back to an environment much more similar to the one in which he was productive. In fact, if you expand your class to include players in their age 30 seasons, you get one recent case that I think is really quite a good comparable: Deion Branch.

31 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

I don't expect huge numbers out of this, but it makes sense.

1. IMO the Bears WR corps is a little thin especially because I believe they really don't see Hester as more than a situational wr. So they need to add someone.

2. Martz' system is hard to learn; wrs often have difficulty in it for a year or so. There is not much time to get a new WR ready.

3. Williams already knows the system.

4. The Bears traded their #2 red zone target from last year (Bennett had 18 RZT, Olsen 15, and Knox 12). Olsen is 6'5", Knox and Bennett are listed at 6'.

5. Williams is 6'3" and led the 2006-2007 Lions in RZT/game. In 2009-2010 combined, he was #2 in RZT in Dallas.

So the Bears acquired a wr that their OC can integrate rapidly, provide some depth if not start, and is a red zone target who the OC has had some past confidence in. My projections are 55/800/7 if he plays 16 games (a big if since he's only done it once in his career). Discounted to 14 games, 48/700/6. The TD number may seem high but is consistent with the per game rate at which Williams scored TDs in DET with Martz, and about what he's had the last two years in Dallas.

42 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

It's possible - 13 players have taken five or more seasons to post another 1000-yard effort, the last two being Joey Galloway and Terry Glenn in 2005, and two of them, Curtis Conway and Mark Carrier, were 30 when they did it - but that accounts for just over 2% of the 600 1000-yard seasons posted to date.

It's also going to take a lot of targets to get him to 1000. Williams has never posted a catch rate higher than 61%, and in 2006, he caught 82 of 151 passes (54%). If he stays near last season's 58%, it might be possible: if he drops back to the 40s, it's going to be very difficult. That actually makes Branch a really poor comparable ... Branch's lowest catch rate, 51% in 2008, is better than four of Williams' seven seasons, and he's broken 60% four times. (Certainly QBs, offenses, and routes can play a factor in this. All four of Branch's 60% seasons came with New England, counting 2010.)

What's interesting is that if you look at FO's similarity scores, the guy at the top of the list for Williams' 2010 season is ... 2000 Willie Jackson, the guy who was about to go off in 2001. There are also guys like Marcus Robinson on the list, though.

It's probably fair to say that we're on the same page, just on different parts of it. There are examples of players who've succeeded in similar situations to Williams', but I'm just not convinced that there are enough factors in his favor to lead him to a breakout season this year. (This is completely separate from being a Lions fan, btw ... I'm looking at this simply from my impression of his play as a somewhat-neutral fan and from what I can glean from data.)

21 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

as a jay cutler fan, I love it. as stated roy williams was very good with martz until he got hurt. and that was with kitna and sundry forcing him the ball. I think Roy compares favorably to brandon marshall, and jay cutler had a pretty good time with him

30 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

no, no, no! sorry, I shouldn't've said "compares favorably" and just said compares. what I meant was they have the same build and skill set, and williams is just the type of receiver that can make jay cutler look good. Roy's still got the dropsies, so he'll probably never catch 21 in a game, but it's silly to me to think he doesn't improve this offense, or half the offenses in the league for that matter.

people hate him because he got paid like an elite receiver, which he's not, rather than the good receiver that he is

70 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

I think it makes some sense in terms of; the Bears have little risk in a one year deal, Williams has been productive in this offense, the Bears are going to be using more WRs (no Olsen), there is no guarantee that he will even crack the top three WRs, he offers a different type of target especially in the red zone.

I don't mind the signing, I just wish Angelo would get a new starting guard.

94 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

FYI, the Trib is reporting that the Bears have signed Hanie, Roach, and A. Adams; that Carimi has agreed to terms; and the Forte is at camp and, so, apparently not holding out. All very good news from a keeping-the-team-intact perspective, now they've got to sign Kreutz, at least one FA O-lineman, and a starter-quality LB, and I'll be semi-satisfied.

99 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

I was going to ask why a linebacker, but I didn't realize both Tinoisamoa and Roach were free agents. I would be happy bringing back either of them. Apparently the Bears are looking at Durant from Jacksonville. I don't know anything about him.

170 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

I haven't been following the rumors too closely. As a plan b roach is fine to me. He'll probably see the field less than the nickel back, and the state of the secondly concerns me alot more than who plays lb next to Briggs and Urlacher.

169 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

I'm actually way more excited for Hurd than Williams. I really don't like Roy Williams, his attitude, approach, production, and play style are all the opposite from what I want in a football player.

At worst Hurd will be a useful special teamer.

5 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

Detroit is shopping in the bargain bin, but Wright is still an upgrade over what they had. He's young, I bet they'll coach him up a little.

17 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

Chicago also signed Sam Hurd, who Cowboys fans will miss more than Roy Williams.

He's an excellent special teamer.

29 Re: Sam Hurd

In reply to by Charles Jake (not verified)

"He can play," former Cowboys receivers coach Ray Sherman told the Tribune. "He has a great work ethic and is smart. Tough. He has no fear. He's a great special teams player. He probably was the best special teams player there[.]"

Good enough for me. He's also six years younger (and much bigger) than R. Davis. The Williams signing is a gamble with big upside but huge risk; this one seems like it's nothing but good.

41 Re: Sam Hurd

In reply to by TomC

You're going to love him covering punts.

Did well on kicks too, but don't know how important that will be now with the rule changes.

22 Re: MIA signs Matt Moore

He's not awful but the signing just doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I don't see him as an upgrade over Henne; they've got different skill sets but their potential seems to be about the same: good backup, fair-to-middling as a starter. They're gonna have to start Henne, as there's probably not time for a fair "camp battle" with the compressed offseason.

With the quality of their o-line, MIA really should have gone after Orton (I'm assuming they got outbid for Kolb). He's already got a rapport with their best receiver, he's shown the ability to produce in several different systems, and though he lacks elite arm strength it's not like MIA has a WR to really stretch the field anyway.

Perhaps this signing doesn't preclude an Orton trade, and they got Moore for cheaper than I assume they did. They do have the roster space for all three, but between this and the Bush trade I'm wondering how much more money they're planning to spend this offseason.

27 Re: MIA signs Matt Moore

I for one, think Henne can be a pretty decent QB. I'm fine with Orton as long as he's brought in to compete for the job, but not if he's going to cost a fortune plus a long-term commitment.

From that perspective, I love the Moore signing. It sends a message of "moving on". If the Broncos and Orton want to make a deal, they'll both need to lower their demands. If not, the best thing for the team is to address other needs.

WTG, Ireland!

32 Re: MIA signs Matt Moore

Haven't seen this on Twitter. Most I saw was someone from ESPN saying "Don't count out Moore to MIA". I would think if this happened there would be more discussion of it.

33 Re: MIA signs Matt Moore

Henne's problems seem to be 100% mental. Forcing throws, holding the ball too long, etc. I haven't seen a lot of him on tape but he's got the tools to do the job for sure. Hopefully someone in the organization can tighten up Henne's above-the-shoulders game.

Good point on the Moore signing as leverage with DEN. Looks like Orton might be staying with the Broncos for another year.

38 Re: MIA signs Matt Moore

Fans are all doom 'n gloom about Henne, but objectively speaking, I don't see any reason why he couldn't improve. He's a young guy, he can get better. I hear a lot of "his faults are not correctable" in Dolphin boards, but as you say, he has talent, and lack thereof is the only thing that's not correctable as far as I know.

With Henning gone, a better OL, hopefully better INT luck, no more play-action, and 1 more year of experience, I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do.

44 Re: MIA signs Matt Moore

"Looks like Orton might be staying with the Broncos for another year."

I just can't imagine that happening because he's going to make too much to be their backup. They need to figure out if Tebow can play and the fans will absolutely go nuts if Tebow isn't the starter. And making things even dicier, reports out of yesterday's camp had Orton looking way better than Tebow. I think they need to move him just so the Tebow experiment can be played out.

46 Re: MIA signs Matt Moore

Just speculating here. If Orton doesn't go to Miami, where else could he go? Buffalo? Seattle's island of misfit quarterbacks? Maybe the Colts if they are seriously worried about Manning. Ideas?

49 Re: MIA signs Matt Moore

If the 49er's lose out on Asomugha, they should definitely make a play for Orton. They want to make the mistake of going with Alex Smith again, their loss, but they should at least make him earn the job by beating out a real QB. I have a feeling he wouldn't though...

54 Re: MIA signs Matt Moore

After spending a high 2 on the Angry Ostrich and re-upping with Smith, I can't see SF sending any picks/players to DEN for a QB, especially with what they're probably asking for Orton. Harbaugh has plenty of time to develop through the draft; he'll let the chips fall this year, get his system installed and staff straight, and save his cap space and draft picks for a franchise QB.

60 Re: MIA signs Matt Moore

I doubt he gets any interest from BUF; not a good fit for their system and they've already got two QBs battling for the starting job. Seattle makes more sense; they're willing to spend the money, but it's already a little crowded at the position with Jackson and Whitehurst, who are both slated to make #2QB money this year.

62 Re: MIA signs Matt Moore

Well, going to Seattle makes sense in that Orton is clearly better than Whitehurst or Jackson, but it makes no sense in terms of acquiring Jackson this year and acquiring Whitehurst last year.

107 Re: MIA signs Matt Moore

Yeah, I think they held out for too much thinking Miami wouldn't call their bluff. This will be interesting. The fans have largely turned on Orton in Denver (no real reason other than the losing, which I can't pin on him given their terrible defense and all the other issues McDaniels created) and were ready to see Tebow.

I'm not at all convinced Tebow can beat out Orton in a fair competition, so they may be forced to just hand Tebow the ball to see if he can make it in the NFL. But that would leave them with an expensive backup in Orton. I don't get the impression he's loved enough in the locker room for there to be an uprising, but if Tebow struggles, they'll be in an uncomfortable position, because Orton may not be spectacular, but he's solid.

133 Re: MIA signs Matt Moore

The Broncos have not asked for the moon for Orton -- the steepest report I've seen is a 2 and 3. The real obstacle is Orton's contract. He is due to make almost $9 million this year, which is not inconsequential. The Dolphins don't want to pay that, and Orton will only restructure if he gets a multi-year deal with more than that guaranteed. Taking a pay-cut for the privilege of being a one-year transition guy is not in his best interests.

Two earlier posts deserve response. First, as to the Broncos putting themselves in a bind, let's be clear: Josh McDaniels put the Broncos in a bind. He signed Orton to the extension that includes the aforementioned salary, and he traded into the first round to draft a quarterback who simply cannot play at the NFL level.

Second, as to Orton being an over-priced back-up, he is only such if you consider Tim Tebow an actual quarterback. He is not. Orton is, by far, the best quarterback on the roster, which is faint praise indeed. His competitors are, possibly, the two worst quarterbacks in NFL history not named "Rusty". I favor trading Orton only because I favor trading anybody over age 25; that is how awful the current roster is.

157 Re: MIA signs Matt Moore

Dude, lighten up. You don't seem to like anybody on your team. Orton has averaged 3700 yards, 20 TDs and 10 INTs over the past two season playing for a gawdawful team with no defense, no running game, and pretty much no coach. His numbers are better than he actually is as a player, but he's a legit NFL QB and his salary isn't crazy for a decent starter. It seems the Dolphins would rather save a few bucks and go with Henne/Moore. Best of luck with that. Sometimes you get what you pay for.

As for Tebow, the kid has played 3 games in his career and one was darn good. Doesn't mean he'll have lots more at that level, but he's definitely an "actual quarterback." Brady Quinn has never taken a snap for your team, so you apparently pegged him from his single season playing for another gawdawful team in Cleveland. I guess you're only into fast starts, meaning you must have beein driving the McDAniels bandwagon when he started out 6-0, huh?

188 Re: MIA signs Matt Moore

Wow, this is quite the litany of false accusations.

First, I like several players on the team, including Orton. I did not say anything negative about him in my post. I did not say that he was overpaid, only that the his salary is not inconsequential, and I stand by that as a very reasonable statement.

As for Tebow, I'm not sure which of his starts you considered "darn good", but I saw every game he played, including preseason and the six he did not start, and saw nothing to make me think he can play quarterback in the NFL. It doesn't matter, as it is completely subjective. I am not damning Tebow for lack of a fast start; after his college career, I did not think he was an NFL quarterback (an opinion shared by many, with numerous draft analysts suggesting he was only draftable if he were willing to change positions), and nothing I've seen from him has changed my mind.

Brady Quinn is entering his 5th NFL season and is nearly 27 years old. My opinion is not based on a "single season" but on a mediocre college career and a four-year professional career of failure.

As for my "fast start" tendencies, please produce one positive post I made regarding McDaniels, before, during or after the 6-0 start. Simply, you cannot. McDaniels was an easy read, so obviously overmatched in his first few weeks on the job, that the remainder played out as obviously and inevitably as a Lifetime movie. The Matt Cassel debacle, the scouting department fiasco, the power-grab, the atrocious draft -- any reasonable observer saw an incompetent megalomaniac well before the first regular season snap. So, no, I was not driving the McDaniels bandwagon, but thanks for the series of utterly unsubstantiated accusations.

173 Re: MIA signs Matt Moore

You're saying the Broncos were prepared to take less than they wanted in order to get rid of Orton and he blocked the trade by refusing to restructure on the terms offered, right?

If so, what can the Broncos do? Either commit to him long-term and trade Tebow, release him, or use him this year and let him walk in the offseason when he becomes a FA.

187 Re: MIA signs Matt Moore

I'm not saying the Broncos were willing to take less than they wanted, only that what they wanted was not over-the-top silly. Based on reporting, I don't know how close the two teams might have been in draft pick compensation, or if things even got that far. There does seem to be agreement that the contract situation was a real obstacle.

189 Re: MIA signs Matt Moore

The Broncos have a "Tebow issue" as long as he is on the roster. Fans want to know if he can play. NFL people already know the answer.

35 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

Derrick Harvey, drafted 7th overall, in 2008. Three seasons, 8 sacks, now cut. Officially a bust. Think Jacksonville would have rather drafted Jerod Mayo, DeSean Jackson or Joe Flacco with that pick?

141 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

I remember that draft. I remember texting a friend of mine who is a JAX fan (believe it) and he was very excited about the guy, and was pissed off at the talking heads in NFL Network or ESPN that were giving JAX a bad grade on that pick for giving too much in return.

I agreed with them, that class of DEs were severely overrated.

43 Edwards to Atlanta

Yuck. As a Saints fan, I hate to see them stockpiling all this talent on both sides of the ball. NFCS is going to be an interesting place for the next few years.

45 Re: Edwards to Atlanta

Edwards is a good player. But he's been helped by having really the Williams Wall next to him and Allen on the other side. I think he'll be exposed in Atlanta. Edwards will still be ok, but nowhere near the money they'll be paying him with an aging Abraham on the other side. At least Blank can afford it.

47 Re: Edwards to Atlanta

Yeah, Edwards is the most inexplicably over-rated free agent of the year. Has anyone in the history of watching football ever said "Oh, that Ray Edwards, you really need to account for him, he's such a game-changer." It's always suspect when a guy has a career year in a contract year, let alone when he does so playing alongside 3 guys that will probably end up involved in Hall of Fame discussions...

66 Re: Edwards to Atlanta

I'd be very surprised if any of Jared Allen, Kevin Williams or Pat Williams garners any serious Hall of Fame consideration. They are all good players, but they've really done nothing so spectacularly amazing that you scratch your head in wonder at their achievements. Especially considering if all 3 were truly hall of fame worthy, they should have shown a hell of a lot more dominance playing alongside each other than they have.

77 Re: Edwards to Atlanta

I'm not saying any are slam dunks, but the Williams wall is the consensus best DT duo of the past 20 years. Their run-stopping is all-time legendary and all the stats back it up. Many people will be making their case when they retire. Allen is one of the pass-rushers of this decade, certainly Top-3 - and he's great against the run. If he continues the way he has, he will most certainly be a very reasonable candidate. Maybe none of them will get in, but all 3 will be brought up...

96 Re: Edwards to Atlanta

Agreed on Allen. His backside pursuit ability is so good that most teams slice the H or Y to cut him off; otherwise he chases RBs down in the backfield. I don't wade into HOF arguments but that dude is just a stellar all-around player at the position.

82 Re: Edwards to Atlanta

Charles Johnson would be that career year in a contract year guy. Edwards put up 8 and 8.5 sacks the last two years, so at least he was consistent.

But I'm with you, he was the 4th Musketeer on the Vikings d-line, so his actual talent level is questionable. He'll be helped this year by having Abraham on the other side however.

79 Re: Edwards to Atlanta

It's true, the last thing the NFC North should want to see is yet another speed rusher in Detroit. There just isn't really a good spot for him: the Lions already have a Purdue DE in Cliff Avril, and a younger one at that. (At least for now ... it's possible that Avril could become an unrestricted FA next season, as it seems that talks about a contract extension are a lower priority for the Lions, given that Avril is a restricted FA.)

52 Re: Edwards to Atlanta

True, I always saw Edwards as more of a strong-side anchor that can take advantage of one-on-one blocking vs the pass. But a guy like that is valuable; not "top-tier pass-rusher" valuable, but an important piece in the kind of defense ATL wants to play. They zone blitzed a lot more than they wanted to last year because their 4-man rush wasn't getting home. If Abraham has anything left in the tank they'll be pretty formidable this year, especially against the less-than-stellar line play of CAR and TB.

115 Re: Edwards to Atlanta

Falcon fan here, and it's unanimous that this was a very good signing, and the money makes it a no-brainer. Jamaal Anderson - who we picked at #8 in 2007 ahead of Willis and Revis - had 4.5 sacks in four years and a cap figure of $5 million. I don't know much about Edwards, but sight unseen he's a big upgrade on Anderson for about the same money. Eight sacks and a proportionate number of hits and hurries would be just fine; he doesn't have to rack up 15 sacks for it to be a good deal.

50 I'm trying to think of an

I'm trying to think of an analogy of what it must be like to be Kyle Orton... the closest I can think of is being really good friends with a bunch of girls who "just don't see you that way"... even though you're smart and funny and good looking. And you're just like what's WRONG with me? What more do I have to do to get someone to like and want me?

51 Re: I'm trying to think of an

It's even worse than that, it's like dating a girl and being a really great boyfriend... but then she breaks up for you for no real reason, doesn't herself seem clear as to why she's moving on. And then the same thing happens again with your next girlfriend. That girl moves on to a different guy that she doesn't even seem that crazy about and has some pretty obvious problems that may or may not wreck the relationship... and all Orton ever did was be good to her.

146 Another Analogy!

Think of Kyle Orton as that TV you bought at Best Buy when you had a bit of cash, but not too much. Sure, the TV doesn't have many bells and whistles, and the screen is not small, but not exactly big either--it has HD and is dependable to the max.

Now let's say you get a new, higher paying job and you're feeling fancy. You stroll into a Sharper Image and, in a fit of consumer fervor, you buy what a guy in a polo shirt tells you is the latest and greatest in television technology. So you take this 60" monstrosity home and set it up, and it has all the extra features as promised: it plays music and DVDs, it gives you updated weather reports, and even microwaves leftovers. It does everything except, you know, actually let you watch TV. Rather, it is constantly asking you to install software updates, complete with menu screens that promise that all of the Sharper Image engineers are working tirelessly to improve your new TV's software and make it the best TV of TVs. Despite the TV's bluster, all improvements are marginal, and its constant statements regarding its potential greatness only add to your overall annoyance. Moreover, because there is so much going on inside, it is extremely slow to change from one channel to another--sometimes it takes more than five or six seconds. It takes so long that you limit your channel surfing to only two or three favorite channels, but even that doesn't totally fix the problem. What's worse is that when the TV does occasionally get it all together, the picture looks really, really good, giving you just enough sugar so that you hold out hope that it will someday live up to its promise. However, you really could have just saved yourself a lot of misery by chucking the new piece of junk and reinstalling the TV that was fine in the first place.

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Yes, SackSEER has become self-aware.

56 Re: I'm trying to think of an

What puzzles me is that McD et al. thought highly enough of Orton to insist he be part of the Cutler trade. He comes to Denver and puts up sick numbers, apparently validating the coaching staff's opinion of him. Then they get Tebow fever, and Orton is all of a sudden chopped liver (apologies for the mixed metaphor).

To continue Nathan's analogy, it's like this girl comes on really strong to you, and you start dating and it's going awesome, then she dumps you for some flavor-of-the-month doofus with a hipster mustache.

103 Re: I'm trying to think of an

Yes. In fact, the original screenplay for The Fugitive suggested that the one- armed man was prosthelytizing.

Dr. Richard Kimble: . . . . When I came home, there was a man in my house. I fought with this man. He had a mechanical arm and a Bible. You find this man. You find this man.

101 Re: I'm trying to think of an

McDaniels ran hot and cold on guys his whole time in Denver. Don't forget that less than a month before the draft he sent Peyton Hillis to Cleveland for Brady Quinn. For about 10 minutes it looked like he might be planning on having Quinn compete with Orton, then he goes and drafts Tebow and Quinn never plays all year. That would be in addition to him initially wanting to sign Cassell, which is what caused the blow-up with Cutler in the first place.

But living in Denver, I can tell you that a large contingent of fans desperately want to see Tebow as the starter. They think they've seen Orton's best, that it wasn't all that great, and they want to see if Tebow has what it takes. I kind of doubt Tebow will succeed, but I do see that they need to answer that question. The most interesting part for me, and what I think is eventually going to upset the most diehard of the Tebow fans, is that Elway and Fox seem kind of lukewarm to him. Usually, young QBs get a bit of time to get established, but being they didn't draft him, I think they may be pretty quick to declare the experiment a failure. I think Tebow needs to pick up things VERY quickly if he wants to be in Denver's plans past this season.

105 Re: I'm trying to think of an

To my Kyle Orton is the guy who shows up at the party but no one really knows him, he's not the popular one, neither is he pretty or rich, but he goes around banging every loose chick that walks around. Not the prettiest chicks that everyone is after, but the ones that at least score a 6+.
Sure he has another girlfriend every other semester, but you don't hear him complain, he shakes the breakup off and moves on to the next party; the next chick with the short hair but great body. He's the guy your girlfriend isn't safe with.

58 Edwards

I think the Vikings made a big mistake not locking this guy up. People forget how young Edwards is (26 next year). Here's a list of the top ten sackers of all time plus Ray Edwards and the sacks they accumulated by
25 years of age.

Smith,B 44.5
Dent,R 37.5
White, R 31
Edwards 29.5
Oneil, L 29
Taylor, L 28
Randle 22
Strahan 18
Taylor, J 16.5
Greene, K 13.5
Doleman 3.5

61 Re: Edwards

In reply to by jmaron

These numbers are completely misleading and appear to be pointless. How can you compare what Reggie White did in 2 seasons to what Edwards did in 5? Reggie White had 18 SACK IN A SINGLE SEASON when he was 25. The most Edwards has ever had is 8.5. I'm not even sure what your post is trying prove it's so ludicrous.

71 Re: Edwards

In reply to by chemical burn

I don't think the poster is trying to say that Edwards is comparable to the all-time greats. I think the list is to show that Edwards is in some good company with his career sacks so far. And that the Vikes probably screwed up in not retaining him.

63 Re: Edwards

In reply to by jmaron

Sure...but there are lots of guys who had MORE sacks than Edwards by age 26 who did not end up being all-time greats. Not sure this is a good metric.

I think the reason you don't get too concerned about an Edwards signing is that he plays the run well, so if he doesn't end up getting to the QB at an elite level then you're still getting some production, unlike somebody like Tamba Hali or Edwards' old linemate Allen who can ignore the run sometimes and are much much less useful if they can't get to the QB.

My concern on Edwards would be this: If you can't notch double-digit sacks playing next to Kevin Williams, Pat Williams, and Jared Allen...are you ever going to be able to do it? It's possible, sure, because he's just hitting his physical prime, but it's a little worrisome.

159 Re: Edwards

In reply to by Tim Wilson

Sure...but there are lots of guys who had MORE sacks than Edwards by age 26 who did not end up being all-time greats.

I have no idea if this is true or not, but I really doubt that it is true.

162 Re: Edwards

In reply to by jmaron

Here's the list: http://pfref.com/tiny/S5pxh

I would say that at least Tim Harris, Shawne Merriman, Jim Jeffcoat, Greg Townsend, Jevon Kearse, Kevin Carter, Charles Mann, Jeff Bryant, Reggie Camp, John Abraham, Burt Grossman, Lee Williams, Dan Wilkinson, Clyde Simmons, Sean Jones, Dexter Manley, Peter Boulware, Chris Mims, Alonzo Spellman, and Garin Veris are short of all-time great. That's more than half the list before you even get to whether, say, Simeon Rice is an all-time great pass rusher.

It's probably arguable on quite a number of the players on that list, but I think it's undoubtedly true that there are a number of players who had more sacks through age 25 than Ray Edwards and ended up well short of all-time great.

163 Re: Edwards

In reply to by Shattenjager

If they get another Abraham, Kearse, or Spellman, I bet they'll be pretty happy honestly.

167 Re: Edwards

In reply to by tuluse

Definitely, but the question presented was whether there were many who had more sacks than Edwards to the same age and ended up short of being an all-time great.

If you set the bar at "good" or "useful," there aren't a lot of guys on that list who don't qualify.

172 Re: Edwards

In reply to by Shattenjager

The point is, the stat of "sacks by the time they are 26" is 100% useless and stupid. Reggie White had 2 NFL seasons: one of 12 sacks and one of 18 sacks by the time he was 26. To compare that to Edwards' 5 seasons that reach a slightly higher total is so fucking dumb it hurts. There's no legit comparison going on whatsoever. You picked the seemingly one stat in the universe that makes him look impressive and twisted it as far as you can go to make it fit your concept of "Ray Edwards, really great prospect."

You can't compare the raw, cumulative total of what any of these players did when some of them are 10 sack guys who don't break out until they see the field their sophmore year after having entered the league at slightly older age than Edwards and some are are legends who only played 2 or 3 seasons in the NFL by age 26 but got double digit sack totals. Edwards is an outlier in this group in that he's one of the few to have plodded along getting decent single digit sack number after having entered the league at an early age. Stop comparing his "age 26" sack totals to Jevon Kearse and Reggie White - it's moronic.

178 Re: Edwards

In reply to by chemical burn

"The point is, the stat of 'sacks by the time they are 26' is 100% useless and stupid."
That's your point, to which I did not respond. jmaron's post to which I was responding was taking issue with Tim Wilson's statement "Sure...but there are lots of guys who had MORE sacks than Edwards by age 26 who did not end up being all-time greats." Tim Wilson's statement is demonstrably true and can be simply backed up, which is all I was doing.

"Reggie White had 2 NFL seasons: one of 12 sacks and one of 18 sacks by the time he was 26."
Go do a search on here and see who said this the last time someone brought it up on FO.

"You picked the seemingly one stat in the universe that makes him look impressive and twisted it as far as you can go to make it fit your concept of 'Ray Edwards, really great prospect.'"
Sure, because I'm the one who did that. I forgot about how I had that other account and sign in as jmaron instead once in a while for no apparent reason.

"Stop comparing his 'age 26' sack totals to Jevon Kearse and Reggie White - it's moronic."
jmaron proposed the use of this metric, which I agree is not very useful. Tim Wilson pointed out a possible flaw in the results of the metric, namely that "there are lots of guys who had MORE sacks than Edwards by age 26 who did not end up being all-time greats" and jmaron questioned whether these results were indeed accurate. I did a search to find whether Tim Wilson's simple statement is true, which it definitely appears to be. It is not by any means a defense of this metric and frankly it's "moronic" to think that it is.
The fact that I said that there aren't many on that list who weren't at least "useful" is not a defense, either. It's an empirical observation of the results of doing that pfr search.

182 Re: Edwards

In reply to by Shattenjager

So we agree: there's a list of DE's from the past several decades selected by a pointless methodolgy that proves absolutely and most of the DE's on that list were at least ok. And Edwards is somewhere on that list.

Aren't engaging the empirical facts of this debate a giant waste of time? The only point to be made in this debate "sacks by age 26 proves nothing."

193 Re: Edwards

In reply to by chemical burn

you certainly seem to throw around terms like "stupid" and "moronic" rather casually. I know I am neither, nor do I think the point I was making was moronic or stupid. You might have tried a word like incomplete, or perhaps not particularly useful.

I don't spend my life running studies of football players. From time to time I take quick looks at stats that I think show a potential trend.

Production in any sport by a certain age is an important metric. While my quick little sample may not be useful enough to provide a complete analysis, it is a potential clue that Ray Edwards might be a pretty darn good player.

I try to learn something from this site, from both the writers and the comments. I add thoughts I think interesting or useful. But it really is trying to have people like yourself heave insults at comments.

194 Re: Edwards

In reply to by Shattenjager

I stand corrected. That's a cool site. Can anyone run such queries?

By the way - another poster suggested I compared Edwards to the all time greats...which wasn't my point. I just personally thought having watched Edwards for the past few years that he was a pretty darn good DE. So I just looked up the top 10 sackers and compared the totals to lend some support to the idea. Had I known how to dig up the information you did it would have tempered my enthusiasm quite a bit.

Thanks for the info.

196 Re: Edwards

In reply to by jmaron

Just head to the play index tools and you can run all sorts of searches.

197 Re: Edwards

In reply to by jmaron

Oh, PFR's a spectacularly useful site. It can sometimes take a little while to work out how to ask it what you want, and there are a few things which I'd like it to be able to do that I don't think it can (like ask for individual seasons by players with a given level of career performance, or a given level of performance in some other specified season or seasons) but it's still extremely cool.

198 Re: Edwards

In reply to by Mr Shush

Also, specific games by specific players either based on some performance threshold or by opponent would be nice.

68 Re: Edwards

In reply to by jmaron

Reggie White also had 23.5 sacks in 2 seasons in the USFL by that time. Of course, he had only been out of college for one year by the time he joined the Eagles so he would have only had 1 additional NFL season but it's safe to estimate he would have had double digits in sacks.

And Edwards gets an advantage because he's been in the league 5 years. White put up his numbers in 2, Smith did it in 4, Dent did it in 3, Taylor did it in 3 (he had been in the league 4 years but they didn't keep track of sack numbers his first year). It would be more relevant to compare those guys through their first 5 years in the league or to compare Edwards to other guys who came into the league at 21.

75 Re: Edwards

In reply to by jmaron

As noted in one of the guest columsn, Ray Edwards has never seen a double team playing alongside the Williams Wall and Jared Allen. Yes, he's better than the other scrubs the Vikings hoped would benefit from this. I just don't think he'll do as well without the other guys tying up everyone. We'll see...

160 Re: Edwards

In reply to by andrew

"Ray Edwards has never seen a double team"

I don't chart games or anything, but I watch every Viking game and that comment simply isn't true. He definitely gets less attention than Allen, but I've seen many a time where Edwards got extra attention. I've also seen games where Edwards was a dominant player. In particular the playoff game against Dallas in 2009.

177 Re: Edwards

In reply to by jmaron

Against Marc Colombo, who was returning from 8 weeks off and was basically crippled. For whatever reason, Witten and the other TEs were assigned to help Free with Allen in that game, so Colombo was one-on-one with Edwards and he clearly wasn't up to the task. So that example actually is a case where Edwards benefited from his teammates getting double-teamed.

195 Re: Edwards

In reply to by Tim Wilson

If I recall correctly Allen's only sack in that game came when Witten completely whiffed on a one on one assignment with Allen. The Dallas blocking that game was ridiculously bad.

My comment stirred up a bunch of anger in one fellow who was apparently burned in a Chemical accident, so one can understand his hostility, but also led to some great info from another and a good comment from yourself. Sensible reasoned arguments without insults are really interesting. Personal attacks are annoying.

64 Cincinnati releases Odom, Trent

Everyone could see Odom's release coming. But I'm a bit surprised they released Morgan Trent. He's still on his rookie contract, and he had played reasonably well as a nickel/dime back. Plus, they just lost Johnathan Joseph - are they planning on having Leon Hall cover all the opposition's WRs?

67 Re: Cincinnati releases Odom, Trent

Folks were debating that on Twitter BEFORE Trent's release.

I'll be surprised if the Bengals win more than two games this year. How are they gonna even get to the salary floor unless Palmer shows up to camp?

74 Re: Cincinnati releases Odom, Trent

If I'm Andrew Luck I'm trying to figure out how to get an extra year of eligibility next year in order to avoid this train wreck. But then again, Mike Brown would probably pass on Luck because he's already got his QB of the future in Andy Dalton.

73 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

CRIPES. I hope releasing warren is just to restructure or something. I hope it's not because he can't play anymore after his injury

87 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

I saw that the Pats released Ty Warren as well. I thought he was a very solid, if underrated defenseive lineman. I also thought that after the Pats acquired Phat Albert, they would use some 4-3 looks with Warren, Albert, Vince Wilfolk and maybe Gerard Warren. With all of that beef up front, it would allow MLB Jerod Mayo to run free and make plays, very similar to what the Baltimore Ravens' D had from 1999-2001 with Tony Siragusa, Sam Adams and Ray Lewis.

My best guess now is that Belichick is gonna slide Albert into Warren's old spot at weakside DE. That might work too.

Man, that Richard Seymour trade is really biting them in the you-know-where.

123 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

Presumably there were lingering questions about Ty Warren's hip.

The damage from the Seymour trade was done long ago. It's not clear that Seymour would have recovered his form if he hadn't gotten the kick in the butt of being traded.

81 Re: Running Friday Free Agency

Harvey Dahl to the Rams. Not sure of the money. If the money isn't completely unreasonable, this is a home run signing. The Rams line went from possibly starting John Greco or Hank Fraley to suddenly having the potential to be REALLY good, not to mention 8-deep.

84 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

Doesn't the salary cap floor start this year? I know the Bengals don't have a very likely chance of winning anyway, but isn't Mike Brown supposed to be spending money they were 50 million under the cap before letting go of chad and Odom. How is it possible they are not adding players? and does Palmer's salary count even though they are not paying it?

97 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

If he retires they don't have to pay him. I'm not 100% sure on when the salary floor kicks in, but with the way CAR has been burning money I assumed it was this year. I know teams can borrow some money against next year's cap to get UNDER, but I think they've gotta hit the minimum payroll this season.

Maybe Brown swoops in and steals Nnamdi and Orton, then gives Ronnie Brown $20m guaranteed.

100 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread

They do have to hit the floor this year, but they don't have to be at the floor until the END of the season. So if a team extends players in the middle of the year they can play games to put more on this years cap to get up to the floor. They don't have to spend it now is the main point.

110 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread (Asomugha to EAGLES!)

It's not really fair to have Asomugha *and* Samuel. Eli might break the record for most INTs in a game.

(Poor Zeke Bratkowski -- as bad as his 12-28, 7 INT game was, it wasn't even his worst game that year. His 5-16, 5 INT game was worse.)

That said, they seem to have no remaining LBs, so it might be interesting in run defense. They're sort of the anti-Lions at the moment. (It's usually good to be the anti-Lions)

111 Re: Running Friday Free Agency Thread (Asomugha to EAGLES!)

The Eagles are now going to turn around and trade one of their other corners for a draft pick. And some other team is going to give them one instead of waiting to see how they try to fit all these conrers under the cap.