Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

15 Mar 2012

Running Free Agency Thread

Please use this thread to discuss the latest signings, rumors, and general speculations about NFL goings-on. We'll be updating this thread when signings are reported.

Wednesday Overnight
Chiefs sign RB Peyton Hillis to one-year, $3 million deal.
Buccaneers release C Jeff Faine.
Chargers sign FB Le'Ron McClain to three-year deal.
Dolphins sign DT Paul Soliai to two-year deal.
Panthers re-sign QB Derek Anderson to one-year deal.
Vikings re-sign DL Letroy Guion to three-year, $9 million deal, $2.5 million of which is guaranteed.

10:30 a.m.: Saints and G Ben Grubbs agree to five-year, $36 million deal, with $16 million fully guaranteed

11:00 a.m.: CB Dimitri Patterson agrees to three-year, $16 million deal with Cleveland.

12:30 p.m.: DE Mario Williams agrees to six-year, $95 million deal with Buffalo, $50 million of which is guaranteed.

1:50 p.m.: S Brandon Meriweather signs two-year, $6 millon deal with Washington.

5:45 p.m.: 49ers sign RB Rock Cartwright to one-year deal
Browns re-sign T Oneil Cousins.
Cowboys sign S Brodney Pool to one-year deal.
Browns sign DL Juqua Parker to one-year deal.
Giants sign S Chris Horton to one-year deal.
Titans sign OL Steve Hutchinson to three-year, $16 million deal.
Patriots re-sign OL Dan Connolly.
Broncos sign S Mike Adams to two-year contract.
Patriots sign S Steve Gregory to three-year deal.
Cardinals re-sign T Levi Brown to five-year deal.
Lions sign S Erik Coleman to one-year contract.
Chargers sign WR Eddie Royal to three-year, $13.5 million contract.
Bears re-sign DE Israel Idonije to one-year contract.
Chiefs sign TE Kevin Boss to three-year, $9 million contract.
Dolphins sign G Artis Hicks to one-year, $2 million deal.

1:50 p.m.: Giants sign P Steve Weatherford to five-year, $12.75 millon deal.
Cowboys sign G Nate Livings to five-year, $19 million contract. $6.2 million guaranteed.
Redskins sign DB Cedric Griffin to one-year, $2.5 million deal.
Bears re-sign TE Kellen Davis to two-year deal
Seahawks re-sign FB Michael Robinson to two-year contract.
Panthers sign S Haruki Nakamura to three-year contract worth $4.8 million, with $1.3 million in guarantees.
Dolphins re-sign DL Ryan Baker to one-year deal.
Raiders released LB Kamerion Wimbley.

2:23 p.m.: Falcons re-sign John Abraham to three-year deal.
Colts sign S Tom Zbikowski to three-year deal.
Jets sign WR Chaz Schilens.
Jets sign QB Drew Stanton to one-year, $1.25 million contract.
Ravens sign C Matt Birk to three-year contract.

7:20 p.m.: Rams agree to terms with C Scott Wells on four-year, $24 million contract with $13 million guaranteed.
Raiders sign G Mike Brisiel to five-year, $20 million contract.
Raiders sign CB Ron Bartell to a one-year, $3 million contract.
Cowboys re-sign WR Kevin Ogletree to one-year contract.
Vikings sign CB Nate Taylor to three-year deal.

1:50 p.m.: Rams sign DL Kendall Langford to four-year, $24 million contract. $12 million of which is guaranteed.
Texans sign C Chris Myers to four-year, $24 million contract. $14 million of which is guaranteed.
Chargers sign S Atari Bigby to two-year, $2.5 million contract.
Chargers sign QB Charlie Whitehurst to two-year deal.
Chargers release QB Billy Volek.
Seahawks sign DT Jason Jones to one-year deal.
Vikings re-sign DT Fred Evans.
Cardinals release WR Chansi Stuckey.
Cowboys release OL Kyle Kosier.
Bengals sign G Travelle Wharton to three-year, $10 million deal.

11:30 p.m.: Chiefs sign T Eric Winston to four-year, $23 million deal.
Eagles re-sign G Evan Mathis to five-year, $25 million contract. $7 million of it is guaranteed.
49ers sign WR Mario Manningham to two-year deal.
Patriots sign WR Brandon Lloyd to three-year, $12 million contract.
Patriots sign DL Trevor Scott to one-year contract.
Bengals sign CB Jason Allen to two-year, $8.2 million deal.
Lions re-sign T Jeff Backus to two-year, $10 million contract.
Lions re-sign QB Shaun Hill to two-year contract.
Patriots sign WR Anthony Gonzalez to one-year deal.
Chargers re-sign TE Randy McMichale to two-year deal.
Redskins re-sign QB Rex Grossman to one-year deal.
Chiefs sign QB Brady Quinn to one-year deal.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 15 Mar 2012

209 comments, Last at 24 Mar 2012, 10:29pm by Mr Shush


by Danish Denver-Fan :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 10:39am

Grubbs signing: That makes a lot of sense. Grubbs is pretty good right? Saints might still have the best pair of guards in the league.

by Mort (not verified) :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 10:40am

So the Saints replace Nicks with Grubbs, for half the guaranteed money that Nicks got elsewhere?

I don't know their cap situation but that seems like a pretty reasonable move to me.

by widderslainte :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 11:43am

Where are they finding this money?

by Joseph :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 11:44am

Exactly what they could afford under the cap. After franchising Brees, & re-signing Colston, they didn't have much $ left.
I hope it works out as well as their replacement of one very unique offensive player did last year. (Sproles replaced Bush)

by Will Allen :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 10:47am

This is where there is no substitute for grading every snap that a player was part of for the past couple years. Justin Smith just overpowered almost anyone he faced last year, even some very good players. Carl Nicks fought to him a draw in January, which is, in good measure, why the Niners had to have big fourth quarter to win.

Is Grubbs' performance more likely to be closer to Nicks' performance, or more likely to be closer to the average NFL starting guard's? Hell if I know.

by Sophandros :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 10:50am

I'll have to take your word for it, because I've erased that game from my memory.

Sports talk radio and sports message boards are the killing fields of intellectual discourse.

by Peregrine :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 11:29am

I loved that game. I need to check out the highlights again.

If Gregg Williams doesn't lose his mind in the 4th quarter, then the Saints pull out a win and I think they are Super Bowl champs today.

by Joseph :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 11:42am

If you're a NO fan, that is a double cut-your-heart-out-and-stomp-on-it game. Our 3 best players on offense (Brees, Sproles, Graham) make 2 great plays for TD's to give us the lead in the 4th Q, and the defense gives it up.
On the Saints being SB champs, who knows. They definitely get to the SB (there is no way they would have lost AT HOME to a NYG team they had just soundly beaten about 2 months before), but since TE's killed us all year, we would have had problems with Welker, Gronk, & Hernandez. Not to mention our defensive line could not have pressured Brady the way NYG did.

by justanothersteve :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 12:40pm

They definitely get to the SB (there is no way they would have lost AT HOME to a NYG team they had just soundly beaten about 2 months before),

Sure. Just like Green Bay would never have been blown out at home to a Giants team they had already beaten in Giants Stadium earlier in the year. The Giants were a completely different team in the playoffs. I doubt the Saints would have won at home against the Giants.

by Independent George :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 1:17pm

Except the Giants lost a close game to Green Bay, and got blown out by New Orleans.

For whatever reasons - I would argue it's their superior OL - the Saints are a much, much tougher matchup for the Giants than Green Bay.

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 1:21pm

I'm not a Saints fan, but I really wouldn't have liked the Giants' chances in the Superdome. Actually, I wouldn't hugely have cared for anyone's chances in the Superdome at that point, but I'd have given the Pats or Packers significantly more chance than the Giants (in a hypothetical world where that was possible).

by JIPanick :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 1:52pm

Yeah, upsets can happen, but the baseline scenario for Giants @ Saints is the Giants getting smoked.

by 40 oz to Freedom (not verified) :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 2:19pm

Have to disagree with you on that one. Saints have consistently beat the Giants over the last few seasons. If you look at the Saints offense there were specific personnel packages, formations, and motion to throw off the Giants defense while keeping Brees protected. It seemed half the time the Giants didn't know if it was a run or pass and the initial hesitation let the HB get a good gain or the WR got open.

by JasonK :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 4:15pm

Yeah, I'll go with the consensus here and say that the Giants would not have had much hope playing the 2011 NFCCG @NO. NO is just a huge matchup problem for a team like the 2011 Giants. Specifically because the Saints have so many weapons at positions that typically match up on Linebackers. The Giants D might be able to minimize the damage of one of Sproles/Graham/Thomas/Moore working short-to-intermediate routes, but they just don't have the personnel to deal with the range of threats that the Saints bring in that area without fundamentally compromising other defensive responsibilities.

by Locathus (not verified) :: Sat, 03/17/2012 - 1:07pm

As a Giants fan I was rooting hard for San Fran to win that game. It's all about matchups, and the Giants just didn't match up well with the number of options that NO can bring to the passing game.

Green Bay presents a similar challenge, but their weapons aren't as diverse and none of them remembered that they were supposed to catch passes in the playoff game anyway.

by TomC :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 12:43pm

No, no, no, you're doing it all wrong. Let me help you:

"They definitely get to the SB (there is no way they would have lost AT HOME to a NYG team they had just soundly beaten about 2 months before), and then they pound the living sh!t out of the sorry-a$$ Patsies who r nothng but cheaterz I hate BB! SAintz ruuul 4 eva."

We don't tolerate modest, reasonable fan bases around these parts.

by Bjorn Nittmo (not verified) :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 7:08pm

A real shame we'll never get to find out.

by BigWoody (not verified) :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 12:22pm

I haven't watched a Vikings game in a couple years. My Seahawks released Robert gallery and are taking a look at bringing back Steve Hutchinson. What is your thoughts on Hutch circa 2010-2012?

by BigWoody (not verified) :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 12:26pm

*are your thoughts.

by Will Allen :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 1:05pm

He's at the point of his career that he is getting banged up, and that is affecting performance. His last injury was a concussion, which these days means that a recurrence might take him off the field for a very long time, if not permenantly. He was still pretty good when healthy, but there was no way the Vikings could justify his cap number going forward.

by BigWoody (not verified) :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 2:07pm

OK. Robery Gallery = same,same. Thanks Will

by BigWoody (not verified) :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 2:15pm

* Robert. My inner RJ is coming out.

by trill :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 11:56am

Ideal situation for the Saints. Keep Colston, buy more time to negotiate the best long-term deal for Brees, and replace an excellent player with a good one for 1/2 the price. That's some pretty good management, especially in the midst of all that bounty drama.

by Tim G (not verified) :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 1:31pm

Since when is $36 million half of $47.5 million?

by trill :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 1:49pm

Guaranteed money is the only real money in the NFL, bro. 30/2 = 15.

by Karl Cuba :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 12:43pm

So the Bills defensive line has Kyle Williams, Mario Williams and Dareus. Scary. If they could add Coples or Ingram they'd have a line that would dominate games. Given that they can already score points and have some decent defensive backs they could really challenge for the AFC East next year.

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 12:49pm

I'm afraid the first half offensive uptick was smoke and mirrors. Haven't investigated it, but their late-season collapse just seems to align better with what we thought before the season.

by Timmah! (not verified) :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 1:03pm

In the second half of the year, the Bills had a QB with cracked ribs, lost the league leader (at the time) in offensive yards to a broken leg, lost both the starting left tackle and his backup and their starting center to various injuries and had so many receivers injured that they were signing street free agents every week just to meet roster requirements.

Its actually quite likely that the first half of the season is closer to what the Bills offense is capable of - maybe not quite that good, but they can still score some points. The defense needed a pass rusher very badly, though, and now they have one.

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 1:23pm

Jackson is old and coming off a serious injury. He may well never return to his prior level.

by Timmah! (not verified) :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 1:28pm

Jackson didn't really start playing until his very late 20's - he's 31, but relatively low mileage. There really isn't much in the way of comparables for him (Priest Holmes, maybe?) - most RBs are done by his age, but he was having a borderline offensive-player-of-the-year season before the broken leg last year - it might be a little premature to call him done. He certainly might be on the decline, but even 85% of 2011 Fred Jackson is one hell of a good RB.

by Locathus (not verified) :: Sat, 03/17/2012 - 1:10pm

Tiki Barber might be a decent comparison. He didn't get a lot of touches early, so he was able to stay productive later than many backs.

by Dr. Mooch :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 1:07pm

Partly I think it represented regression to the mean in Fitzpatrick's play. Probably more from decline in his performance due to rib injury. There was a bit of a merry go round at WR, too, with mid season injuries.

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 12:44pm

What is Mario thinking? This just seems weird. Even if he's getting crazy money, wouldn't you sell some of that for a shot at a ring. I just don't see the Bills being relevant during this contract.

The signing is huge for the Bills though - they signal that they ar not just a place for veterans to revamp their careers.

by bills are in the race (not verified) :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 1:15pm

Super Mario going to Buffalo makes me recall many years ago when another free agent elite passrusher went to a small-market northern cold weather town that hadn't won anything in years and everyone thought it was strange.
hopefully this works out as well as that did.

by Independent George :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 2:02pm

It depends on how real you think Fitzgerald's 1st half of 2011 was. I remain skeptical, but we'll see.

by Lebo :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 2:43pm


by Independent George :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 3:08pm


by dryheat :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 2:11pm

The reported 50 million guaranteed will buy a lot of firewood.

by Will Allen :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 2:33pm

Unless he is knucklehead, which he has shown no evidence of, to my knowlwedge, this guy is going to earn 113 million in his first nine years in the league. Not bad for a non-quarterback.

Also, Buffalo having an outstanding defensive line is another reason for a long-necked fella to not sign in Miami.

by Thalwitzer (not verified) :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 8:20pm

The contract is 6 years. You're saying you expect them to be relevant by year 7 or later, or never? The Bills declined immediately after Fitzpatrick broke his ribs against the Redskins. I was bearish on them until the injury was revealed. Fitzpatrick was a top-10 or better QB for the first 7 games. Williams got huge money, top-tier defensive line cohorts, and a solid offense. The Bills still need depth at LT since they probably can't afford Bell, another WR, and a CB. That's a short list for a team coming off 6-10. I posit that they are ascending and the rest of the AFC East is at best standing pat.

by RickD :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 11:19pm

"I posit that they are ascending and the rest of the AFC East is at best standing pat."

Standing Pat at 13-3? I could live with that.

by Rabbit :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 11:54pm

I posit that everyone claiming one of the league's worst defenses is now all fixed because of one man doesn't know anything about the game.

by Karl Cuba :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 12:55pm

Look at what Peppers did in Chicago, the defense that was regarded as in a terminal decline bounced back and regained its position as one of the better units in the league (though they got Urlacher back as well).

by DisplacedPackerFan :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 3:15pm

You also have the example from the other side of look at what happened with Green Bay when they lost Nick Collins and Cullen Jenkins (that was pretty much the changes, sure there were other injuries but they were similar to previous years) and you have a top of the league defense turn into a record setting bottom of the league defense.

I agree one player really can have a huge impact on an entire unit. It may not solve all the problems, but it can cover enough of them up to get you to respectable or even good.

Of course the reality is that every player changes every year. Williams could play well, but 3 other defensive players could have career years next year and boom! This site has shown that there is much less year to year correlation on defense in recent years than their is for offense (I say recent years but it seems to go back to the star of DVOA tracking which is still recent for a sport that is as old as football, it's pretty much just the "free agency" era).

by SFC B (not verified) :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 1:30pm

The addition of Jonathan Joseph and Wade Phillips in Houston seemed to make a HUGE difference. And I'm willing to bet the Texans would have improved significantly with only one of them.

Of course, it helps when the baseline you're improving from is "worst in the league".

by Mr Shush :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 3:14pm

Let's not forget the simultaneous addition of JJ Watt, Brooks Reed and Danieal Manning, plus the return from injury of Connor Barwin and a big step forward from Brian Cushing. That defense was massively overhauled at considerable expense in cap room and draft picks.

by Rabbit :: Sat, 03/17/2012 - 8:32am

Phillips and his 3-4

I think that it's quite evident that proved the major difference. Joseph was a nice pickup, as was Watt, Smith and Reed, but Phillips and his scheme had the group mesh into one of the league's finest. Mario really had nothing to do with that.

Mario Williams and the Houston defense; FO defensive passing rank (overall defensive rank):
2005: 30 (32)
2006: 31 (31) (Mario's rookie year)
2007: 29 (30)
2008: 24 (29)
2009: 18 (19)
2010: 32 (31)
2011: 7 (8) (switch to 3-4; Mario gone after game 5)

Granted Houston's DL was pretty horrid while Mario was a member of it, which won't be the case in Buffalo with Dareus and Williams, still, I fail to see $100mm impact Mario's game had with Houston.

by SFC B (not verified) :: Sat, 03/17/2012 - 10:45am

Yeah. I completely forgot about the addition of Watt and Manning.

There goes my point.

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 4:20am

No way he stays in Buffalo for more than 4 probably 3 years on this deal. That's just how contracts work. So lets look at 4 years. What are the odds that the Bills will reach the playoffs in the next four years? Lets say 50%. Championship game? 15% maybe, super bowl: 7.5%. Is any of that unreasonable?

Had he stayed in Houston, the above odds are probably DOUBLE. They were the best team in the AFC, even with limited value from Andre Johnson Williams. When Schaub went down, it just broke the camels back.

Any way you look at it, he just traded some ring-equity for cash. Understandable, I'd probably do the same, but he isn't kidding anyone about it.

by Mr Shush :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 10:12am

A lot of cash, though. I doubt the Texans could (or at any rate would) have paid him more than half of what the Bills are. They're looking at losing their starting center, right guard, right tackle, fullback and blocking tight end, and have four star players - Schaub, Brown, Barwin and Cushing - with contracts expiring at the end of this coming season, none of whom I can imagine they're willing to lose (with the possible exception of Barwin). Schaub's extension may not be much more cap-intensive than his current deal, but the other three are currently playing on cheap rookie contracts and will want a lot more money.

by Theo :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 12:44pm

Padoem Tssssshhh!
Super Mario is going to Buffalo.
Are the Bills still who we think they are? They were a mirage last year.

by sundown (not verified) :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 12:50pm

Nice addition for the Chiefs assuming Hillis decides he wants to play. He could take some of the load off Charles and should be a clear upgrade over the aged Thomas Jones. I wonder if they will dial back the rushing role of McCluster? He had 500 yards last year on a 4.5 average, so he was actually pretty effective.

by chemical burn :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 3:21pm

Is it? In the modern NFL, you barely need 1 quality back to contend and certainly don't need a back with a big contract. To tie your money up in several big name backs with sizable contracts sure seems like money mismanagement to me...

by tuluse :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 3:24pm

The Chiefs have like 40 million in cap room and this is a one year deal.

And 3 million is not really sizable.

by chemical burn :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 3:38pm

For a second or possibly even third back? It's borderline crazy to bring in someone for anything other than chump change. Mediocre teams continue to be mediocre by tying their money up in the wrong places. the contract for Charles was probably unwise, so a more modest one for a guy who its not clear can/will play compounds that mistake. For a team with no money tied up RB, it'd be defensible, but it's just not a place they should be spending, considering the holes they have all over their team...

by tuluse :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 3:49pm

Well there's a lot of facets to why they did this. It could be they struck out on a lot of free agents they were targeting, and were forced to spend enough money for the NFL to reach the cap minimum.

by Joseph :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 4:10pm

I believe that the Saints have $3M/yr tied up in Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles, & 1st round pick Mark Ingram. While none are Adrian Peterson, they are a good RB group. Thus I contend that a 1yr, $3M contract is NOT in any way a bad deal.

*I KNOW PT's contract was 4yrs, $12M; I believe Sproles' contract averages $3.5M/yr; and I think Ingrams' does too.

by sundown (not verified) :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 4:19pm

Charles is coming off a knee injury, Thomas Jones is gone and McCluster is actually a WR. Jones' contract had been for 2 years, $5 million so Hillis isn't making crazy money in comparison.

by Ward C. (not verified) :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 5:25pm

Didn't Jackie Battle lead them in rushing last year? I heard he was going to try free agency, so if he and Jones are both gone that would leave no real running back with any experience except Charles.

by chemical burn :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 2:11pm

Well, that's also what played a part in my thinking - I assumed Battle had proven himself viable and would be getting a shot at the #2 slot at least. ou all convinced me this isn't a terrible deal, but spending money on an Rb when already have a couple of them never seems like a worthwhile use of money...

by LionInAZ :: Sat, 03/17/2012 - 9:39pm

I think it's a decent move, with the caveat that Hillis is motivated. The Chiefs are different than the other "modern" NFL teams in that they depend on the rush more, because Cassel is not much of a downfield QB, and they have an OL that is effective in the run game. Why do some people think that can't possibly work in the NFL? There's room for multiple philosophies -- whichever one is implemented best will win in the end!

Bringing in Hillis means the Chiefs can use McCluster more as a Percy Harvin kind of player.

by Will Allen :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 1:09pm

I'm surprised that Williams signed with Buffalo, but perhaps I'm ignorant of just how wide the disparity in money was between the Bills and elsewhere. In any case, I always love watching great defensive line play, so there probably will be a good reason to watch Bills games next fall.

by TBW (not verified) :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 1:52pm

How did Dmitri Patterson get 3 years and $16 million ? This is the guy who reminded Eagles fans of the Human Crouton himself during the 2010 season.

by chemical burn :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 3:19pm

The Cleveland GM used to be in Philly. He's brought in a lot of borderline useful Philly players including Sheldon Brown and Gocong. He clearly think Patterson has upside (and, to be fair, in the first few games he started in 2010, Patterson was on a Pro Bowl pace in terms of INT and td returns - if you want to blame McD and an inexperienced secondary for some of his late season struggles, you could make that argument...)

by Jimmy :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 1:52pm

Bugger. Three days of staring at web pages hoping that Mario Williams would leave the Bills facility and get on a train wasted. Not that it wouldn't have represented a fairly large waste of time anyway but now there will be no Peppers/Williams lunacy in Chicago.


by Lothar (not verified) :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 5:08pm

For some reason, when I first read this comment, I thought you meant that you hoped a wasted Mario Williams would get on a train. Perhaps you thought that the Bills got him drunk before signing him?
I realize he got a ton of cash, but I like the idea of Williams looking at a team like Buffalo as a place to land. It helps to put a thorn in the side of the Cowherd-style thinking that 'stars' should only play in major media markets.

by tuluse :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 5:11pm

"I thought you meant that you hoped a wasted Mario Williams would get on a train."

Hey man, whatever it takes.

by Independent George :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 5:22pm

It's not so much a matter of media markets as plausible contenders. People are divided as to how good the Bills really were last season; I count myself a skeptic, and doubt how much of an impact Williams will have on them.

by RickD :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 5:22pm

The NFL is driven by national media. If it weren't, teams like Green Bay and Pittsburgh couldn't dominate the way they have.
That Cowherd should be wrong about something is hardly a surprise.

by Will Allen :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 5:42pm

I loved listening to Cowherd the day the Peyton derby started, confidently telling the audience that Miami was nearly certain to be the destination. What a putz.

by Lothar (not verified) :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 7:36pm

Will, I actually heard him that day, too ( I was driving around on my dayoff and had the radio on, I usually avoid him at all costs ), and I seem to remember his point being that a guy like Manning would want to be where the 'stars' congregate and that it was a great career move for him. I was trying to remember where Mr. Manning had been playing for the last 14 years, and exactly how many thousands of ads I'd seen him in over that time, to even grasp this concept.
But, as others have pointed out here, Cowherd may be the stupidest commenter on all of sports radio, so this made perfect sense. Then I changed the dial to music.

by Lance :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 9:15pm

I've never been much of a fan of him, either, as he's a bit too stuck on his own edgy ideas for my tastes. But yes, his point was that since Manning has a place in Miami already, and since it was the hip place to be, it was the logical choice.

To his defense, LOTS of people on ESPN were convinced that Miami was going to be his choice-- but at the same time, they'd also talk about how Manning also wanted to go to a "winner" team. No offense to Miami fans, but their track record in the last 5 or 6 years hardly said "winner" and it's hard to imagine how anyone could think that Manning-to-Miami made sense if you also said that a main factor was going to be a team's chance of winning the Super Bowl.

by RickD :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 5:24pm

"I thought you meant that you hoped a wasted Mario Williams would get on a train"

Since that's what he wrote, you had some reason to think so. Now that seems to not be what he meant. But really, a little grammar would be useful.

by Jimmy :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 6:51pm

Yes plane. Not sure why I wrote train. And yes to the grammar police, I am guilty.

by Lothar (not verified) :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 7:28pm

No grammar police intended, it's just how I first read it. Made me chuckle.

by Sidewards :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 7:35pm

Tell it to the grammar judge, buddy.

by Dfields (not verified) :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 2:18pm

Super Mario is now the 18th richest person in Erie County.

by Peregrine :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 3:31pm

FO scoopage: I saw John Abraham in the flesh in Atlanta about two hours ago.

by bravehoptoad :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 3:55pm

The 49ers land Rock Cartwright. I laughed because I remembered all the "free Rock Cartwright" propaganda on this site once upon a time. Of course, he's now 30-something years old and will spend most of his time on special teams.

Has anyone seen him play recently? Can he still tote the rock from time to time?

Also, the 49ers lose Shawntae Spencer, which makes me sad. He was a good CB and probably the most sweet and at the same time depressive sounding guy I've heard interviewed about football. You just don't get many Eeyore's playing CB.

by sundown (not verified) :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 4:27pm

Rock's days toting the rock are pretty much behind him. 4 rushes last year for 45 yards (awesome average though!) and 9 times for only 22 (horrid average) the year before. I've always like him. I remember him in college and he's missed just a very few games his whole career. One tough dude.

by BigCheese :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 4:16pm

bears re-sign TE Kellen Davis to a 2-year deal.

- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs

by cisforcookie (not verified) :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 4:30pm

now if only there were some real evidence that williams was as good and as healthy as julius peppers, i would care. williams has always seemed like the kind of guy you can dream on, with his huge size and athleticism, but the texans have hardly gotten their money's worth the last 6 years.

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 5:03pm

Well, he's not as good as Peppers at his best. Almost no players are. But the Texans have got their money's worth out of him: he was average as a rookie, very good every season since, and only missed serious time in one year (2011). His sack numbers are pretty good, but they're depressed by both the dreck that played inside him and, even more, by the perennial awfulness of the Texans secondary during his time there. An awful lot of hits and hurries (which he invariably had a lot of) would have been sacks if anyone back there could cover.

by xanderphilip :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 4:56pm

Since Meacham went to SD, BUF should pursue Giants' Manningham.

I just want to use the phrase Super Mario Bros.

by Joseph :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 5:33pm

I care less about BUF, but this NEEDS TO HAPPEN.

by tuluse :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 5:41pm

Any Luigis in the NFL?

by Bryan Knowles :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 7:41pm

You could squint at Luis Castillo...

by RickD :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 11:24pm

Apparently there's a RB coming out of BYU named JJ Di Luigi. Rated #57 among RBs. That would seem to mean his odds of making the NFL are very long.

by akn :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 12:13am

How about anybody named Princess Peach or Toadstool?

by Karl Cuba :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 12:57pm

There will be a Poe (the ghost thingies).

by InTheBoilerRoom :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 2:30pm

Poe is from the Legend of Zelda series, so doesn't quite fit in with the Super Mario Bros. theme. Just saying.

by Karl Cuba :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 2:44pm

Damn you!

I was sure that there were Poe ghosts in the haunted house level on Super Mario 64 that kept disappearing and sneaking up on you.

by Mr Shush :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 3:18pm

The ghosts in the Marioverse are called Boos.

by Karl Cuba :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 3:43pm

Then he's going to have to change his name.

by DavidL :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 7:41pm

Indy has a rookie DE named Mario Addison, which would be pretty much perfect.

by Bernie (not verified) :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 6:00pm

Why, oh why, has no one signed Curtis Painter yet?

by Lothar (not verified) :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 7:38pm

Denver is still probably gonna need another quarterback, particularly since I'm guessing Manning is going to Tennessee.
I'm only half-kidding, and 100 percent crestfallen that he may be an upgrade.

by RickD :: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 11:22pm

Curtis Painter is a minimal QB. He's not an upgrade over anybody.

by tuluse :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 2:05am

Curtis Painter is like Tim Tebow if you took away his running ability, and some of his arm strength.

by Shattenjager :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 9:41am

He fumbles a lot less.

by Will Allen :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 11:23am

Yeah, but watch Painter try to feed the crowd with one vendor's box of hot dogs, and one tray of beer!

by Hurt Bones :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 7:00am

I believe the overly seasoned Kyle Boller is still available.

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 7:19am

I'd rather have a random 7th rounder as a back up than Boller. If Boller is your starter your season is over anyway, and sometimes that 7th rounder turns into Tony Romo.

by Hurt Bones :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 8:26am

Or Gus Frerotte if we really want to talk 7th Rounders.

The Boller comment was meant as a cruel joke, but if I had to chose between a random 7th round QB and Kyle Boller as my backup, I'd take Kyle Boller. 7th round QBs are generally dreadful. Since the league went to 7 rounds in 1994, 41 quarterbacks have been picked in the 7th round. 15 of those 41 never played a game in the NFL. The average AV of the 41 = 3.68. Remove the top 4 and the average AV for the remaining 90% is .78. Boller's career AV =17.

In the 7th round for every Matt Cassel there are 10 Seth Burfords or Wes Pates.

by dryheat :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 10:33am

I would agree. A backup should be able to come into a game upon an injury and perform competently. I would have much more confidence in a Kyle Boller, JP Losman, or the Fabulous McCown Brother of your choice than a rookie 7th rounder. If you need a camp arm, or see someone worthy of stashing on the practice squad, fine...but if you're going into the season with a 7th round rookie as your backup, you're just asking for trouble.

Of course, exceptions do arise. Some guys slip because of injury or off-field issues. Some were backup QBs in college with little to no game film. But most 7th round QBs are available that late for good reason.

by tuluse :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 10:44am

I don't know about 7th round, but if you have a veteran 2nd string QB, I think the 3rd QB is a good place to have a developmental prospect. For what it's worth, JP Losman and Kyle Boller are #1 and #2 in worst DVOA last year. So you might have more confidence in them, but it's probably misplaced.

by justanothersteve :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 12:55pm

I don't agree. There's a far better chance that late round developmental QB turns out to be Spergon Wynn than Tom Brady. Losman and Boller, while they've never lived up to their draft status, are still good enough to hang around and hopefully never need to do more than hold a clipboard. That they are still good enough to be a #2 QB shows just how tough it is to find a decent NFL starting QB.

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 4:51pm

The point is not the size of the chance that generic 7th round QB becomes Frerotte, it's the fact that it's non-zero. There is zero percent chance that Boller will be your future QB, or even get you some value via trade.

And if you are starting Boller, your season is over anyways. No way you win anything other than worse draft position with him as your starter. Might as well se if you have Jeremy Lin sitting on your bench.

The season is OVER - might as well try to evaluate some talent.

by dryheat :: Sat, 03/17/2012 - 9:00am

I understand the point, but I don't agree with the assumption that the season is lost with a journeyman backup, nor the one that throwing a rookie 7th rounder to the wolves is a proper way to get a good evaluation.

by tuluse :: Sat, 03/17/2012 - 11:01am

These aren't your average journey man is bad, we're talking specifically about Boller and Losman, the two worst QBs in the league last year.

by Mr Shush :: Sat, 03/17/2012 - 1:52pm

Over tiny sample sizes. Neither's actually as bad as Gabbert or Hanie, for starters. And both are probably quite a bit better than the average 7th round rookie, which if you're a contending team which loses its starter for two or three games could be quite a big deal.

by dancingeek@gmail.com :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 11:22am

Chargers have signed Eddie Royal

by sundown (not verified) :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 11:50am

Hmm, he stays in the same division. I'd read the Redskins wanted him to play the slot. I wonder if they are still shopping or if they'll keep Santana Moss?

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 12:38pm

I hope they keep Moss. he may be slowing down but he has been a very consistent performer for them and he has evolved into the type of receiver who can still be productive as he loses his speed.

by sundown (not verified) :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 1:05pm

Totally agree. I'm not convinced Royal would have been an upgrade for the Skins even though he is younger. The allure was that he had a really strong rookie season in Denver under Shanahan, but he's been hurt quite a bit since then and has never gotten back to that level.

by Shattenjager :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 12:53pm

I'm glad to see him sign with a division rival.

by Ferguson1015 :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 6:11pm

That's good, he caused enough headaches for the Chargers over the years. Plus, it isn't a bad thing that the Chargers now have a viable punt return man, and someone who can make things happen in space. Even if his numbers haven't been anything spectacular.

by Joseph :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 12:42pm

Hey, FO--where's FRIDAY'S THREAD?? It's almost 1 PM!! (ET)

by Rivers McCown :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 1:58pm

We kinda decided things have slowed down enough to not warrant additional threads at this point. Feel free to use this thread to discuss more FA signings!

by BigCheese :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 3:19pm

Hey FO!

Why no love for Kellen Davis? I know he's not a flashy name, but he's the Bear's #1 TE *sobs* and is certainly at least as important to know about as Erick COleman or Ryan Baker.

- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs

by Rivers McCown :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 4:06pm

You got it man.

by BigCheese :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 4:20pm

Now that's service :)

- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs

by Joseph :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 3:53pm

It's okay, Rivers. Personally, I was worried that FOXSports had locked Aaron in their facility until he signed a RFA offer sheet which ESPN Insider would then have seven days to match.

by Rivers McCown :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 4:08pm

Helicopter truck footage or it didn't happen.

by t.d. :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 3:12pm

so the 49ers are a stealth finalist for manning? Harbaugh is pretty slick. good for him, it would have been an indictment of him if they didn't at least look into it

by Karl Cuba :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 3:39pm

Ssshhhh! Don't jinx it.

by bravehoptoad :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 3:50pm

Harbaugh and Co. are always doing things to make me think they're half-way competent.

It's a strange, strange feeling to trust your coaching staff.

by t.d. :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 4:49pm

you guys seem slow to embrace a guy who's clearly at worst very good. Harbaugh's got a very impressive resume, and while a lot of college guys win through recruiting, Stanford doesn't seem like the kind of place where a guy can pull that off (and he was good at San Diego before that). He really seems to know what he's doing

by bravehoptoad :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 5:55pm

Embrace him? Good lord, what 9er fan isn't ecstatic that he's the coach? The distrust is just instinct.

10 years of crappy coaching will do that to you.

by Karl Cuba :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 7:10pm

We're still worried that he could drop his trousers at any second.

by 40 oz to Freedom (not verified) :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 7:16pm

As long as he has boxers, it's okay

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 9:50pm

Why? SF hates GB almost as much as MIN does.

by dbostedo :: Sat, 03/17/2012 - 11:01am

That was a Singletary reference... not a Randy Moss reference. Or maybe I'm missing your reference.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 11:26am

I was thinking of when Moss mooned the Packers fans -- right about the time Joe Buck's mind exploded.

by Will Allen :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 7:19pm

All the chatter last week that Harbaugh had no interest in Longneck never did seem right to me. I mean, yeah, Harbaugh is a strong-willed guy with strong opinions on how he wants to win, but fer' the love of Y.A. Tittle, Harbaugh ain't a bleepin' maroon!

Now we learn that he was the guy smart enough to see Manning throw without anyone finding out.

by Mr Shush :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 4:00pm

That always seemed to me like the best fit. A scary prospect.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 5:24pm

Not as Scary as Baltimore.

by Mr Shush :: Sat, 03/17/2012 - 1:32pm

Maybe not, but that was never even remotely on the cards given the Ravens' cap situation.

by TomC :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 3:43pm

Curious if the Bears will go after Wimbley, or if they're resigned/content to pursue DE in the draft.

by Joseph :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 3:54pm

Just saw that they re-signed Israel Idonije(sp?). Don't know if that precludes them from going after any other DE.

by tuluse :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 4:56pm

I wouldn't think so, but it doesn't bode well either.

by Slaymont Harris (not verified) :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 6:16pm

They need still need a third DE apart from Idonije and Peppers. The problem is that Wimbley will probably cost too much. I'm sure they'll look into though.

by Bernie (not verified) :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 3:57pm

God I hope Manning goes to the 49ers. I would love to see what that team could do with the defense and special teams, and an offense that has Peyton Manning, Randy moss and Vernon Davis. If they can sign Manningham for a reasonable price, and shore up the o-line with some young talent, that team could be very solid indeed.

by Will Allen :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 4:15pm

Brady and Peyton Manning may be the only two qbs in football for whom Moss would try to become a nonobvious psycho case, as opposed to being an obvious psycho case.

by Led :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 4:18pm

Goddammit Randy!

by Will Allen :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 4:33pm

It's so crazy, it might just work.

Love to hear the phone call from Harbaugh to Smith, after they come to terms with Peyton Manning..........."Alex, it's not you, it's me...."

by rich31689 (not verified) :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 4:20pm

Meanwhile, the Eagles extend the criminally underrated Trent Cole for about 11 million per year. Better performer than Mario Williams over the past 5 years, and at half the price. That is a truly excellent move.

by LionInAZ :: Sat, 03/17/2012 - 10:18pm

This seems like an amazing bargain. I hope Eagles fans other than you appreciate it.

by chemical burn :: Mon, 03/19/2012 - 1:04pm

Eagles locking up Cole and Mathis is wonderful. All those folks making fun of them for "winning the off-season" last year, should be praising them for locking up their best players (even if I don't love the Djax contract...)

Cole might be my third favorite Eagle of all time - he even has the traditional Eagles badge of honor: under-rated by the fans!

by sundown (not verified) :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 5:00pm

Drew Stanton to the Jets, taking over for the elder statesman Mark Brunell.

Interesting bit about Brunell's contact that was brought to my attention: They originally signed him for 2 years at $1 million in 2010 and $1.25 in 2011, but they released him before the 1.25 was due and re-signed him for $575,000 (I think that might have been the league min. for his years of experience). For a guy who was only playing because he'd blown all his big money from when he was young, that must have really stung. On the one hand that seems crazy cheap for a backup QB who could at any moment become the starter. On the other hand he went 1 for 3 for the season so maybe they overpaid.

by Exy (not verified) :: Sat, 03/17/2012 - 9:39am

From my understanding Brunell was kind of a player-coach, so given Sanchez's performance they probably still overpaid.

by LionInAZ :: Sat, 03/17/2012 - 10:21pm

If anything they overpaid Sanchez -- grossly.

Strangely enough, I think Stanton could give Sanchez a run for his money, although I don't think he could ever have been good enough to start for the Lions.

by Mort (not verified) :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 5:44pm

J. Johnson
C. Redding
H. Nakamura
T. Zbikowski, all gone.

Not to mention the loss of their coordinator, Pagano.

I realize none of the guys above are superstars but they all played a fair amount. The Ravens better hope they can draft, hire, or otherwise dredge up some defensive depth or else we could see a significant drop-off in their performance next year.

by Drunkmonkey :: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 7:19am

I'm going to give the Ravens the benefit of the doubt and say that they will find a way to make things work. They've always been accused of being good drafters, they always promote from within in regards to coaching to keep the same scheme, and they most likely already have the guys ready to take the departed's place somewhere on the roster.

by BigCheese :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 8:51pm

Adam Schefter reports that San Diego signed Charlie witehurst to a 2-year deal. Wonder if they can interest the Seahawks in trading for him? :P

- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs

by Ferguson1015 :: Sat, 03/17/2012 - 1:54am

Thought it was great that the brought Whitehurst back into the fold for cheap. And, to quote the UT:

"The team cut backup quarterback Billy Volek, due a $750,000 roster bonus next Thursday. All told, his release saved $3.5 million off the cap.

Details of Whitehurst's contract were not released, but a team source said he will make less than the $3.5 million Volek was due."

Plus fun fact: The last time the Chargers made the playoffs, they had one Clipboard Jesus (as Whitehurst is called in SD) on their roster.

Plus now we get Tebow against Clipboard Jesus (admittedly as a backup) twice a year...

by wr (not verified) :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 9:58pm

Looks like Arizona has officially given up on Manning. They
paid Kolb his roster bonus.

by BigCheese :: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 10:03pm

According to ESPN, Manning told the Cardinals to proceed without him. Also told the Dolphins they would not be among his finalists.


- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs

by Rabbit :: Sat, 03/17/2012 - 9:15am

Report: Patriots, Brandon Lloyd close to a deal

"..if New England locks up Brandon Lloyd, a likely starting receiver, and LaRon Landry, a likely starting safety, they’d probably have a much rosier outlook on things"

Call me a contrarian; I don't like either one of them.

Lloyd because if signs with NE, he most likely signed a low-ball contract. That's gonna piss him off if he's successful, and if he's not, he'll be pissed off because he's not being used right. I don't see Lloyd wanting to play for the same reasons Moss did: to win, which is why Moss worked so well with Belichick.

Landry because, by the looks of him, his real desire is the sport of bodybuilding. Which isn't a knock on him because that takes more of a commitment than football every could, but I'd rather NE not foot that bill because, 1) At his level, it's no longer football related, and 2) will lead to injuries. I'll also echo concerns about if he's clean.

by Jimmy :: Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:13pm

A happy Brandon Lloyd is a good player and he played well for McDaniels before. I would also reckon him to be a good target for Brady's deep ball because he really goes up and gets it. NE's comfort level with him should be higher than just about any other team in the league. Coralling Lloyd, Welker, Gronk and Hernandez will prove to be a struggle for most teams.

by bravehoptoad :: Sat, 03/17/2012 - 1:52pm

Landry because, by the looks of him, his real desire is the sport of bodybuilding.

Are you having David Boston nightmares?

by Theo :: Sat, 03/17/2012 - 7:26pm

Some players don't understand that football is about looking good on the field - not just off it.
LaRon Landry is one of them.

by jackgibbs :: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 5:50am

you guys, they started israel idhinojay all last season. I don't care if he's eating cannonballs, he would be an improvement, and he can't cost that much

by Shattenjager :: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 10:51am

He has missed 15 games over the last two years. His backup has a good chance to play as much as he will.

by jackgibbs :: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 1:33pm

this is the patriots secondary. EVERYBODY'S backup is just as likely to play. So I really, really, want some quality at least replacement -level depth so we're not starting cast-offs from the worst of all houston's defenses, or old jets special teamers.

also, when I was looking around for his recent stats I found some redskin fansite chatter that the team sat him on purpose last year and that he could've come back so the injury might not have been as serious as all that. but it should make him reasonably priced...

by Shattenjager :: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 3:48pm

If you're paying him as a backup and NEVER having him cover anyone at all, sure, he's a fine pickup.

However, being a name player from one of the league's most popular teams who has gotten the "great player on a bad team" treatment from the media non-stop for five years who was drafted sixth overall tends to work against being paid as a backup.

by RickD :: Sat, 03/17/2012 - 10:32pm

Lloyd because if signs with NE, he most likely signed a low-ball contract. That's gonna piss him off if he's successful, and if he's not, he'll be pissed off because he's not being used right.

This is where you lost me.

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 7:51am

Landry is a good SS (terrible at FS!) but he seems to be injured a lot.

by Rabbit :: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 11:20am

Same should be said about Patrick Chung. But with LSU to before his busted achilles, Landry was noted for being a wonderful FS, which I'd guess if NE signed him he would compete for. But NE just signed Gregory for starters money at FS so where does that leave Landry?

Given that, I think Belichick's interest in Landry, if any, is based on his being cheaper because of his recent injuries. That's a rather obvious theme with Belichick's other signees too. A possible market inefficiency.

by jackgibbs :: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 1:40pm

I could see a lot of nickle/dime being played, with landry/chung replaceing linebackers. what is that, a dollar? one of those 9/11 gold coins?

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 4:53pm

Well, if NE signs him at a discount because of his injuries, good for them. Just don't expect him to play FS.

by Rabbit :: Mon, 03/19/2012 - 1:35am

His playing FS or not will come down to if he's signed and, in NE's case, if he can beat Landry out. But he won't be signed to compete with Chung, NE's present SS, that much I'm pretty sure about.

He just finished talks with both NE and NY, two teams needing a FS but not a SS. Also, PFF has determined that he's a competent FS (I'll know what FO thinks next year). You may be in the minority here.

by Jimmy :: Mon, 03/19/2012 - 8:41am

Without all22 footage how on earth do PFF claim to be able to determine the quality of FS play? TV broadcasts will only show the FS on maybe 10% of snaps. I call bull*&^% on that one.

by The Other Ben Johnson (not verified) :: Mon, 03/19/2012 - 12:16pm

Landry is a pretty incredible sideline-to-sideline athlete when healthy. He's the kind of player who, at strong safety, is tailor made for shadowing mobile quarterbacks and/or busting up screen plays, trickery, and check-downs. There aren't really any mobile quarterbacks in the AFC East, but there will be screen plays, trickery and check-downs a plenty with the Jets and Dolphins, not to mention the Ravens once the playoffs roll around. The Patriots have demonstrated enough player-based scheme flexibility in the past that any player upgrade will be incorporated to make the team better. I'd give them the benefit of the doubt on this one.

Lately they seem the be exploring the "market inefficiency" of the Redskins being stupid (Carter, Haynesworth, Landry, even Lloyd qualifies). It is a huge, huge inefficiency.

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Tue, 03/20/2012 - 8:59am

Redskins sign Meriweather for 2 years, $6 mil.

Jets, not Pats, sign "market inefficiency" Landry for 1 year, $4 mil.

by dryheat :: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 8:55am

3 years and 12 million. And the Redskins paid Garcon HOW much?

It also gives some room to negotiate Welker's deal.

by Rabbit :: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 11:26am

If NE signs Landry, they will have added him for less money than WASH is paying Meriweather (or they won't sign him), and also signed Lloyd for $40mm less than WASH is paying Garcon.


by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 5:02pm

I won't try to argue that WAS didn't overpay for Garcon, but I would much rather have a 26 y/o 5th year player who has improved every year that a 31 y/o 10th year player (on his 6th team!) who was viewed as a massive disappointment for most of his career until he had one fluke year at age 29. It's not like they are equivalent players.

by jackgibbs :: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 5:31pm

they are not equivalent players; I'd argue that lloyd is the superior commodity. lloyd has always shown the flashes of brilliance that had people thinking he could be great, he just had that strange concentration issue that seems to plague a lot of nfl receivers where he'd make the spectacular catch, then drop the easy one. Garcon has this, too. the difference is that lloyd has already shown that he has overcome that. even his time in st louis he was a reasonably effective threat if thay had had an actual quarterback to throw to him. there is no guarantee that garcon will do the same. I can't imagine over-paying that much for youth unquantified upside. I mean, is garcon really that different than manningham? will manningham get nearly that much?

eta. oops. manningham already signed. does anybody know what he got?

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 6:24pm

Like I said, I'm not pretending it isn't overpayment, but yes Garcon is better than Manningham and I will bet you 20 Internet points that Garcon puts up better numbers than Lloyd this year, despite the difference in QB quality. (Is Lloyd really that different from Ochocinco, or Galloway, or Stallworth?)

by Andrew Potter :: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 6:31pm

Stallworth was a good player for New England. He doesn't belong in the same category as Ochocinco and Galloway.

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 6:33pm

Fair enough. He was also under-30.

by jackgibbs :: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 7:09pm

I will not take your bet, because garcon is going into a situation where he will be percieved to be the number 1 target, no matter how many times he effs up, whereas lloyd is going into a situation where he will never be the first read, basically ever.

I'll take the bet on manningham, though

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 11:08pm

I'll go with Garcon over Manningham too. You want a #3 WR coming from a good passing offense over a #2 WR coming from a bad passing offense, fine by me.

by jackgibbs :: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 11:48pm

20 internet points! booked

by tuluse :: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 7:28pm

Lloyd doesn't really play like any of the receivers you mentioned. Galloway and Stallworth were speed merchants. Lloyd's best attributes are his leaping ability and body control while in the air.

As for Ochocinco, well as long as Lloyd can learn a playbook he should be better than him.

by Shattenjager :: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 9:18pm

Lloyd wouldn't really have anything to learn. He's played in the same system under McDaniels the last three years.

by Rabbit :: Mon, 03/19/2012 - 1:39am

Sure, but he hasn't experienced the wrath of TB yet. I'm not going to fool myself, Lloyd has tons to learn.

by Shattenjager :: Mon, 03/19/2012 - 2:21am

I looked at this comment for a good minute trying to figure out what tuberculosis had to do with anything before I figured out that meant T.E.P. Brady.

by tuluse :: Mon, 03/19/2012 - 2:08am

That was more a dig at Mr 8-5 than anything.

How do you not learn the playbook after a full season with the team?

by Mr Shush :: Sat, 03/17/2012 - 1:48pm

Texans have re-signed Chris Myers for 4 years, $25m. I guess they decided they could only afford to keep one of him, Brisiel and Winston, and if so they've clearly made the right choice. Antoine Caldwell will presumably start at right guard, and Rashad Butler at right tackle, with Derek Newton in the swing role.

by Displaced Bolthead (not verified) :: Sat, 03/17/2012 - 10:16pm

What? No mention of Washington signing Rex Grossman to a 1-year deal. Now they'll get RGIII and RG3-and-out (that last one was a tweet from someone else).

by Rivers McCown :: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 12:23am

'pologies. Spending all St. Patty's day by a computer just wasn't in the plans.

by DGL :: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 11:33am

But your headers are green!

by Mort (not verified) :: Sat, 03/17/2012 - 10:49pm

Looks like the Eagles re-signed E. Mathis: https://twitter.com/#!/Eagles/status/181100890118307840

The Ravens offered him a credible deal (to replace Grubbs) and his name had come up for both the Redskins and Colts but it looks like there was no place like home.

by snoopy369 :: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 5:38pm

Matt Flynn to the Seahawks...

Good deal I'd say for both - he gets enough money to set himself up for life even if NFL goes badly, and a chance to prove himself for a big contract, while the Seahawks get 3 years of potentially excellent QBing for a relatively cheap price.

by LionInAZ :: Tue, 03/20/2012 - 12:57am

I'm shocked that no one has commented on this - it may be one of the bigger stories that no one's talking about. Wells was the starting C for the Packers and their second-best OL after Sitton. Now the middle of the Packers O-line is up in the air and I don't think the Packers had anyone in mind to take Wells' place. I find it amazing that Ted Thompson failed to re-sign him. Will the Packers now go out for that rare free agent, or have to find a new center in the draft? Either way I can see the Lions and Bears D-lines drooling over the prospects of facing a new untested guy in the middle of the Packers line.

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 03/20/2012 - 5:57am

Supposedly they were interested in Chris Myers - the only arguably better option on the market - but he re-signed in Houston.

by Ben :: Tue, 03/20/2012 - 9:37am

While unlikely, I've heard that Jeff Saturday is going to at least talk to the Packers. He'd be a decent stop gap until they could develop someone younger.

by DisplacedPackerFan :: Tue, 03/20/2012 - 9:44am

Jeff Saturday is making a visit. Though I'm not thrilled about that either. He's 37 years old now and I don't think there is much left in the tank. Sure you can cover for a center better than a tackle, but we've had enough old lineman getting injured all the time the last few years. Saturday is a stop gap at best and there is nothing in the pipeline right now for this.

Of course Thompson has a history of poor o-line decisions. Allen Barbre as starting tackle? Not drafting anyone to replace clearly aging Clifton and Tauscher until the last minute. I'm OK with him pulling in late round picks and street free agents to see if they develop over a few years, you can get some very good linemen that way and keep costs down, but there isn't much in the pipeline right now. It was flushed a bit last year and I was OK with it because I was assuming that they would resign Wells and that they were set at most of the spots for a few years to reload.

I'm used to them being very quiet in free agency, and trying to fill from the draft, but I was expecting a defense heavy draft, and I'm really not sure there is a day 3 center that can just step in in the draft, spending a day 1 or 2 pick on a center would worry me too. Thompson can reach when he feels there is a big need (Justin Harrell and to a lesser extent AJ Hawk who was a late first round pick not #5 in the draft).

So yeah I may not have been talking about it earlier, but I am worried about it. I think Evan Dietrich-Smith is the only guy on the roster now with any experience as center, and yeah I don't think he is the answer.

by DisplacedPackerFan :: Fri, 03/23/2012 - 2:40pm

Welp the Packers signed an unrestricted free agent that wasn't previously a Packer for the first time in 3 years by signing Saturday.

I want to see contract details before I really judge it. That won't of course stop me from saying a bit more now though. :)

I think it's better than reaching with the first round pick this year, but I'm also worried that one year is all Saturday will have left, though my guess is that it was a 3 year deal. I don't think he's an upgrade over Wells like many have said, and my main concern is his age. With how young the rest of the line is, his demonstrated football intelligence could be a big help too and as I already said center is the easiest position to schematically cover up on the line. I do think he was probably the best option still available.

by Mr Shush :: Fri, 03/23/2012 - 9:05pm

I'd say he's a significant downgrade against Wells. Saturday hasn't been the player he was for at least a couple of years.

by DisplacedPackerFan :: Sat, 03/24/2012 - 7:16pm

I haven't really watched too many Colts games the last few years. But at least it was a clear stop gap signing. I thought he would want at least 3 years, but it's only 2 years and $7.75 million. I didn't figure he would be an upgrade over Wells physically, but I do think he can learn the scheme and make the calls as well if not better. I've just seen several folks in the media trying to claim he would be an upgrade.

The Packers also signed Daniel Muir (DT) who actually got into the league in 07 as an undrafted FA with the Packers before going to the Colts for 08-11. That's not a big deal in my mind as he might not even make the roster. I was a bit interested in the fact that they brought Anthony Hargrove in for a visit. I actually think he might be a decent 3-4 end even though I think he's only ever been a 4-3 tackle.

I realize a visit from a FA doesn't mean a lot for many teams but for the Packers under Thompson I think it's something like 8 of the last 10 FA who visited signed, and yes they've only signed something like 10 total free agents outside of a season since he's been there, there have been quite a few more FA they have signed during the season because of injuries of course.

by dryheat :: Wed, 03/21/2012 - 4:00pm

The Law Firm of Ben Jarvis, Green & Ellis to the Bengals on a 3 year deal, per Shefter.

by snoopy369 :: Thu, 03/22/2012 - 12:28pm

Bears apparently finalized Michael Bush signing, 4 years, 14 million, 7 million guaranteed:

Forte insurance? It's a decent amount of money for a backup running back, but Bush could either split time with Forte (improving Forte's career length) or take over if Forte holds out and/or refuses to re-sign.

by LionInAZ :: Sat, 03/24/2012 - 6:21pm

Or it could mean that the Bears have decided to try to trade Forte. I could see him as a good fit for the Broncos, Jets, or Patriots.

by DisplacedPackerFan :: Sat, 03/24/2012 - 7:19pm

I'd love to see him in Green Bay, not that it would ever happen because Thompson wouldn't give up the picks the Bears would probably want, and he probably would put out a contract that Forte would want. I think Forte would fit in well in Green Bay assuming he is fully healthy again and I don't think the Bears would have franchised him if he wasn't.

by Mr Shush :: Sat, 03/24/2012 - 10:29pm

Decent, but by no means crazy. A quality backup RB is a nice thing for a team with a good defense to have and Bush is on a short list of the very best backup running backs in football. Tate's a better pure runner, but nothing close as a receiver or blocker, and the guys who offer better skills in the passing game don't compare as rushers.