Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

11 Mar 2014

Free Agency Open Thread Week 1



  • Colts apparently signing DE/DT Arthur Jones. You know, not officially, since that would be tampering.
  • Browns will sign SS Donte Whitner
  • Falcons re-sign DT Jonathan Babineaux
  • Lions re-sign RB Joique Bell


  • Dolphins sign OT Brandon Albert (five years, $46 million, $25 million guaranteed) and DT Earl Mitchell (four years, $16 million, $9 million guaranteed)
  • Cardinals sign OT Jared Veldheer (five years, $35 million)
  • Raiders sign OT Rodger Saffold (five years, $42.5 million, $21.5 million guaranteed)
  • Browns make signing SS Donte Whitner official (four years, $28 million) and sign ILB Karlos Dansby (four years, $24 million, $14 million guaranteed)
  • Bears sign DE Lamarr Houston (five years, $35 million)
  • Bucs sign TE Brandon Myers and DT Clinton McDonald
  • Jaguars sign G Zane Beadles (five years, $30 million, $13 guaranteed)
  • Washington signs G Shaun Lauvao and re-signs WR Santana Moss
  • 49ers sign safety Antoine Bethea (four years, with reported figures between $23 million and $26 million; since he's replacing Whitner, I assume he'll move to strong safety)
  • Also, 49ers cut CB Carlos Rogers
  • Titans sign WR Dexter McCluster
  • Giants sign OLB/DE O'Brien Schofield -- but deal reportedly died due to a failed physical
  • Cowboys cut DE DeMarcus Ware (higher cap be damned!)
  • Falcons -- who seem to be moving towards a 3-4 defensive scheme -- sign 5-tech DE Tyson Jackson and DT Paul Soliai (five years, $33 million, $14 million guaranteed)
  • Falcons cut FS Thomas DeCoud


  • Jaguars trade QB Blaine Gabbert to 49ers for sixth-round pick.
  • Colts sign CB Vontae Davis to four-year, $39 million contract.
  • Ravens sign OL Eugene Monroe to five-year, $37.5 million deal.
  • Eagles sign S Malcolm Jenkins to three-year, $16.25 million deal, release S Patrick Chung, re-sign P Donnie Jones to three-year deal.
  • Raiders re-sign RB Darren McFadden to one-year, $4 million deal.
  • Broncos agree to terms with S T.J. Ward
  • Bucs re-sign OL Jamon Meredith to two-year deal.
  • Giants sign RB Rashad Jennings and OL Geoff Schwartz.
  • Titans waive WR Kevin Walter.
  • Vikings reportedly agree to terms with DL Linval Joseph.


  • Bears release DE Julius Peppers.
  • Browns sign WR Andrew Hawkins to four-year offer sheet. Bengals will have opportunity to match.
  • Cowboys release Miles Austin as a post-June 1 cut.
  • Steelers sign S Mike Mitchell to a five-year, $25 million deal.
  • Colts re-sign RB Ahmad Bradshaw to one-year deal.
  • Bears sign S Ryan Mundy to two-year deal.
  • Jaguars re-sign CB Will Blackmon to two-year deal.
  • Bears re-sign LB D.J. Williams
  • Buccaneers sign DT Clinton McDonald to four-year, $12 million deal.


  • Jaguars sign RB Toby Gerhart.
  • Saints agree to terms with S Jairus Byrd on six-year deal.
  • Buccaneers agree to terms with CB Alterraun Verner on four-year, $26.5 million deal with $14 million in guarantees.
  • San Francisco trades conditional draft pick to Miami for OT Jonathan Martin.


  • Broncos sign CB Aqib Talib (six years, $57 million, $26 million guaranteed)
  • Chargers sign RB Donald Brown
  • Raiders sign OT Austin Howard to five-year, $30 million deal with $15 million in guarantees


  • Broncos agree to three-year, $30 million deal with endbacker DeMarcus Ware
  • Buccaneers release CB Darrelle Revis
  • Dolphins sign DT Randy Starks to two-year deal worth $12 million
  • Ravens re-sign WR Jacoby Jones to four-year deal
  • Browns reportedly will release QB Brandon Weeden on Monday
  • Buccaneers sign QB Josh McCown to two-year deal
  • Lions reportedly sign WR Golden Tate to five-year deal
  • Cowboys sign DT Terrell McClain to three-year deal
  • Giants re-sign LB Jon Beason
  • Redskins sign OL Bruce Campbell to one-year deal.
  • Bears sign S M.D. Jennings to one-year deal.
  • Seahawks release DE Chris Clemons -- not to be confused with S Chris Clemons
  • Jaguars sign LB Dekoda Watson
  • Bills sign OL Chris Williams to four-year, $13.5 million deal with $5.5 million in guarantees.
  • Eagles sign OLB/ST Bryan Braman and S/ST Chris Maragos
  • Steelers re-sign C Cody Wallace to three-year deal.
  • Panthers re-sign CB James Dockery


  • Patriots sign CB Darrelle Revis to one-year, $12 million deal.
  • Titans release OL David Stewart, sign NT Al Woods to two-year deal
  • Jets sign OL Breno Giacomini
  • Packers re-signed DL Mike Neal to two-year deal.
  • Bills signed CB Corey Graham to four-year, $16 million deal, and LB Keith Rivers to a two-year, $5 million deal.
  • Seahawks re-sign DT Tony McDaniel to two-year deal.
  • Browns release QB Jason Campbell.
  • Giants sign C J.D. Walton
  • Seahawks sign WR Taylor Price
  • Chiefs sign LB Joe Mays to two-year, $6 million deal, and also sign OL Jeff Linkenbach
  • Patriots release DL Isaac Sopoaga
  • Chargers sign TE David Johnson to a two-year deal.
  • Cowboys sign DE Jeremy Mincey to a two-year deal.


  • Jets sign WR Eric Decker (five years, $36 million, with $15 million guaranteed) and RT Bruno Giacomini
  • Rodger Saffold fails physical with Raiders, then re-signs with Rams for five years, $31.7 million, of which $19.5 million is guaranteed.


  • Panthers release WR Steve Smith.
  • Saints traded RB Darren Sproles to the Eagles for a fifth-round pick.
  • Buccaneeers sign OL Anthony Collins to five-year, $30 million deal, including $15 million in guarantees
  • Bears sign DL Willie Young to three-year, $9 million deal.
  • Jaguars sign DL Chris Clemons to a four-year contract, and also sign DL Ziggy Hood
  • Eagles sign CB Nolan Carroll to two-year deal.
  • Lions sign DT Vaughn Martin.
  • Seahawks re-sign QB Tarvaris Jackson.


  • Bengals release LB James Harrison after one season.
  • Buccaneers release OT Donald Penn.
  • Chargers sign LB Kavell Conner.
  • Redskins sign CB Tracy Porter.
  • Jaguars re-sign DE Jason Babin.
  • Texans re-sign TE Garrett Graham to a three-year contract.
  • Browns sign TE Jim Dray to a three-year contract.
  • Packers re-sign TE Andrew Quarless.


  • Raiders sign LB LaMarr Woodley (two-year deal for $12 million) and DE Justin Tuck (two-year deal for $11 million).
  • Redskins sign DT Jason Hatcher to a four-year, $27.5 million contract.
  • Cardinals sign WR Ted Ginn to a three-year contract.
  • Vikings sign CB Captain Munnerlyn to a three-year deal that could be worth up to $15 million.
  • Colts sign C Phil Costa, likely ending pursuit of Cleveland's Alex Mack.
  • Chargers sign QB Kellen Clemens to the chagrin of Bernie Kosar.


  • Ravens sign LB Daryl Smith to four-year, $16.1 million deal
  • Titans sign LB Wesley Woodyard to four-year, $16 million deal
  • Lions re-sign TE Brandon Pettigrew to four-year, $16 million deal, with $8 million in guarantees
  • Redskins release Will Montgomery
  • Saints re-sign ILB Ramon Humber
  • Giants sign LB Jameeel McClain
  • Vikings sign CB Derek Cox to a one-year deal.
  • Chargers sign DB Brandon Ghee to two-year deal, re-sign LB Reggie Walker, and re-sign CB Richard Marshall
  • Rams re-sign LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar to two-year deal worth $3.5 million


  • Dolphins sign CB Cortland Finnegan
  • Packers re-sign DT B.J. Raji
  • Bucs sign C/G Evan Dietrich-Smith


  • Ravens sign WR Steve Smith to a three-year deal (no details yet)
  • Bears re-sign CB Charles Tillman


  • Colts sign WR Hakeem Nicks for one year, $3.5 million plus incentives. (Ed. Note: He has to be more hurt than we realize to get him that cheap, right?)
  • Raiders sign CB Tarell Brown
  • Patriots sign CB Brandon Browner (apparently, this time for real, not just a misleading report)
  • 49ers sign CB Chris Cook
  • Titans sign RT Michael Oher


  • Packers sign DE/OLB Julius Peppers
  • Dolphins sign G Shelley Smith


  • Broncos reportedly will sign WR Emmanuel Sanders
  • Patriots re-sign WR Julian Edelman
  • Browns sign RB Ben Tate
  • Panthers sign SS Roman Harper
  • Bills sign MLB Brandon Spikes, announce Kiko Alonso will move to weakside OLB
  • Vikings re-sign G Charlie Johnson, forcing Colts fans to ask "wait, he's still in the league?"

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 11 Mar 2014

220 comments, Last at 18 Mar 2014, 11:08am by Hurt Bones


by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 2:30pm

"Bucs inexplicably decide to cut Revis after trading for him a year earlier because he's too good to fit the defensive-minded coach's philosophy."

Wait, I'm a bit early on that one.

by Tim Wilson :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 2:54pm

On the Revis thing, are there big time savings here (real $ and cap)? Or do they still take a massive cap hit when they cut him? The contract is only a year old so I assumed that this would incur a ton of dead money. I'm trying to understand their logic in cutting ties-- the only thing I could figure out is they get out of almost all of his salary this year and going forward scot-free, but that's hard to believe with such a recent deal.

by justanothersteve :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 3:14pm

IIRC, all Revis's contract was year-to-year with no initial signing bonus. Therefore he could be cut at any time with no dead money.

by Jeff88 :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 3:14pm

Revis' contract was $96 million for 6yrs. None of it was guaranteed. So they can cut him with no dead money hit on the cap

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 4:13pm

Yep, no cap hit, but you're still out a 1st and 4th (instead of a 1st and 3rd). Tampa had around $19 million in cap space before doing anything with Revis, and I have a hard time imaging they're going to spend $35 million on free agents this year.

I could understand cutting him if they were in Cowboys-esque salary cap hell, but they're clearly not anywhere near that point. The team has plenty of cap space, he just doesn't fit "the system".

by DEW :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 4:22pm

That's not necessarily an indictment of the Bucs administration. After all, Revis is one of the best in the world at doing what he does (man cover corner), but if you don't need that skillset, why pay him $16M to *not* do what he's good at? Of course, a better question is, is installing a defensive system that doesn't use Revis's skills itself a good idea, depending on what other defensive talent is on the roster?

by Mash Wilson :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 8:14pm

Because you should design your system around the skills of your best players, not install *your* system and then kick All-Pros whose skills don't neatly fit it to the curb.

by Dired :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 8:19pm

To a degree. No system will perfectly fit all your guys, so even on a "what we have system", there's going to be odd men out. And when those men are older and more expensive, it's often a very easy decision to make.

by Insancipitory :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 8:27pm

There's nothing about Lovie's system that would prevent them from letting Revis freelance some on how he comes off coverage to play the QB/ball. That the Buccs are willing to so quickly turn their back on that suggests that they either have plans for the money, or they view the burned 1st round pick as the last administration's problem (which I definitely don't agree with).

by Hummingbird Cyborg :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 3:18am

It's a sunk cost, so that a first round pick is gone now is irrelevant if keeping him will be detrimental. That pick shouldn't figure into the decision making.

by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 8:56pm

I think there might be an argument for the Bugs converting his salary into a roster bonus. It would mean eating $10_ million or so out of your own cap in order to get a better draft pick in return.

i.e. Revis for $12 million, 3 years with the Bucs eating the remainder.

by dryheat :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 11:54am

Revis would have to agree to that. And if you presume that he wants to retain some input in where he plays next, he wouldn't do that.

The ten million is nice, but Revis will get nice guaranteed money from his next employer regardless, and it's probably not worth it to him if it increases the likelihood of his getting shipped to Oakland or Cleveland.

by The Ninjalectual :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 6:01pm

The Bucs are apparently strapped for cash - the year they signed Vincent Jackson and Carl Nicks, they didn't actually pay any signing bonuses, the bonuses got paid in regular weekly game checks after the team had money coming in. Weird but true.

by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 7:18pm

The Glazers borrowed a ton of money buying Manchester United, then got clobbered by the credit crunch caused by the global financial crisis. It's about to get worse because Man U aren't going to get into the Champions League and so they'll be without the terms of millions that it brings.

by tuluse :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 4:59pm

I find this very perplexing. I know Lovie prefers running a cover 2, but the Bears ran plenty of man, and in fact the last couple years ran man with their corner more often than zone.

by DEW :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 4:27pm

So let's see...Miami got Albert, about a year late, but they got him, so now they only need three more OLs. He's played better over the last two years than Monroe, so I'm happy. Mitchell is considerably younger at DT than Starks and Soliai, though I still hope they're able to bring back at least one of the two.

Meanwhile, the Browns got rid of Jackson and signed Dansby in his place. Dansby played well for Arizona last year, but even so, does this make any sense at all?

by cjfarls :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 4:53pm

Dansby is a far better player than Jackson. Now Whitner vs. Ward... don't really understand that trade-off.

by opticallog :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 5:48pm

Last year Dansby and Jackson had similar stop and defeat totals, stop rate, as well as yards allowed per play. Dansby has easily had the better career, but it's not clear that Dansby is going to be better going forward, considering he's also 2 years older than Jackson, and signed for more money.

by Noah Arkadia :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 7:49pm

And Starks is back. Good signing.

The man with no sig

by dank067 :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 5:06pm

It was unlikely anyway, but if the Packers were going to be active in FA this year I figured it would have been on the defensive line. With this many DTs and DEs off the market this quickly (including supposed targets Arthur Jones and Lamarr Houston), looks like it ain't happening.

by justanothersteve :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 5:41pm

Do players really not want to play for Oakland? Saffold is an ok tackle. But paying him almost as much as Albert and for more than Veldheer got from the Cards seems unusual. I don't know how good Veldheer is. I don't think I saw one Raider game last year. (Sorry RJ) But the impression I got from the "experts" is that he is much better than Saffold.

by Rivers McCown :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 5:45pm

Well, Saffold is now going to be a good guard paid like a good tackle. Reportedly.

by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 8:47pm

That still doesn't explain letting Veldheer go. Who are they planning to spend their money on?

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 8:58pm

They can trade for Revis, of course.


by ChicagoRaider :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 5:59pm

Seeing the Raiders games would not have helped that much because Veldheer was injured for most of the year. Veldheer is a strong, massive left-tackle suited for a power running game. It is hard to assess how his bulking up prior to the last season will play out because of the injury (torn tricep).

It all seems strange to me unless Reggie McKenzie knows something pretty substantial that I don't (which could well be true).

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 5:46pm

I'm not sure I want to live in a world where somebody thinks Blaine Gabbert is worth trading for.

by DEW :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 6:20pm

49ers not only trade up to two picks for him, but will pay him twice what they pay Kaep. Maybe these "ownership hates Harbaugh" rumors have some basis in reality!

by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 8:45pm

I might try to expand on this later but the reports out of SF media suggest he'll redo his deal. Though if you were a historically awful offer, would you voluntarily reduce your guaranteed money?

by Steve in WI :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 7:27pm

I can't figure it out either. I know they didn't give up a lot and presumably aren't going to pay him much, but he's arguably one of the worst QBs in the league at any level. Why would the 49ers want him even as a backup?

by Rhombus :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 7:47pm

I know this isn't the best analysis for a stats website, but Alex Smith was also the worst QB in his rookie year, and didn't much improve until his team changed dramatically. Gabbert was the worst starting quarterback over his short time at Jacksonville, but a new team may bring out the best in a guy who clearly had enough talent to be drafted in the first round.

In any case, Kaepernick has not proven to be injury-prone. This is basically a non-issue, especially since the 49ers own so many picks. Also, a jittery QB in the pocket doesn't really matter when throwing practice squad balls.

by BJR :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 7:51pm

Smells a bit like a Jim Harbaugh vanity project to me. Yes Gabbert still has upside (there are reasons that he was drafted highly that are still relevant) but the Niners are surely one team that doesn't need volatility/variance in the backup QB position. They need an old head who won't lose games on his own for a couple of weeks if Kaepernick gets concussed or some-such.

by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 9:05pm

Not sure I like your logic. The available qbs are also capable of screwing up, he might possibly benefit from a change of circumstance and better coaching.

by Theo :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 5:57am

Super Bowl. 3rd quarter. Kaep is injured. Would you rather have Gabbert or a street free agent rookie?
If you think Gabbert is better (per dollar spent) than any street free agent or any other free agent QB, then a 6th is the minimum.
If you don't want him on the field, you'd have to spend a 1-5th round draft pick on a QB while you have a young QB on the roster.

by jtr :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 5:47pm

I didn't see enough Seahawks football this year to know how Schofield plays. Was he playing the Clemons stand-up-pass-rusher role or was he playing true off-the-line linebacker? He's listed at 242 lbs and that's far too small for a 4-3 lineman in the base package. I hope the Giants aren't trying to shoehorn a pass rusher into their Sam 'backer spot again like they did with Kiwanuka's linebacking experiment.

by Insancipitory :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 6:59pm

He mostly backed up Avril, but he came in for some plays on Clemons side too. He's mosre a 3-4 OLB. I remember him having pretty nice speed, not really anything from him in coverage, and being pretty strong for his size. I never worried that he was in the game. But yeah, he's more edge rusher.

by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 9:34pm

He played 144 defensive snaps in 2013, with eight tackles and one sack. Somehow the Giants determined this was worth $8 million. He's going to make $2.5 million more than Richard Sherman in 2014.

by The Ancient Mariner :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 2:06pm

It's the halo effect from SB XLVIII.

by DEW :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 6:26pm

Raiderjoe's not going to be happy. They let Jennings go to the Giants, but give McFadden $4M. I'd think if all they wanted was a guy to give them 3.3 per carry and miss four or five games with injury, they could have gotten than for a lot less than four million dollars.

by Noah Arkadia :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 8:40pm

I've never seen Raiderjoe unhappy about any Raider move. Ever. Somehow, they are all brilliant strokes of genius. Unless they're old moves, of course.

The man with no sig

by justanothersteve :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 8:30pm

Seventh time's a charm.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 9:29pm

Just saw on Twitter Alterraun Verner has signed with the Bucs. That mollifies me a bit.

by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 9:35pm

Alterraun Verner to Bucs.

Jairus Byrd to Saints.

Steve Smith apparently out in Carolina.

Sucks real bad to be Cam Newton.

by DEW :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 11:26pm

There's a guy who's probably hoping all those "Bucs ditch Revis" rumors are 100% true.

Come to think of it, Ginn and Hixon are both still unsigned FAs as well, which means that Newton is basically supposed to throw the ball to himself at this point. Looks like "nobody repeats in the NFC South" will again be a thing.

by tuluse :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 10:07pm

Could it be that the Bucs just decided Revis wasn't very good, or soon wouldn't be very good anymore?

by BucNasty :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 10:24pm

While it's possible that the team is simply being pessimistic about his chances of returning to true shutdown status due to his age and the knee, I think it's more likely that they've just decided that no cornerback is worth $16 million a year and that the best way to improve the team is to spread the money out across several positions. And frankly, if they are either unwilling or unable to design their defense around him the way Rex Ryan did then they're probably right.

by Purds :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 10:46pm

If it's a purely cash move, I have to agree with them: other than a QB, I can't see paying any player $16m a year. That's more than 10% of the cap -- way too much for anyone that doesn't play QB, and play it very well.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 12:08am

Revis was very, very good last year. As for cash, the team had $19 million in cap space prior to doing anything with him, so it's not like they were worried about it. Not sure what they'll do with all the space; there aren't enough really quality guys left to eat it all up, right? I suspect there's a really large front-loaded Gerald McCoy contract extension coming up soon.

by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 12:30pm

I thought the McDonald signing was a good move for the Buds, decent production, young player, reasonable money and a good system fit.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 1:17pm

This has nothing to do with the current discussion, but are you mocking the Tampa Bay franchise by intentionally misspelling "Bucs" (this post and post #29), or has your spellcheck/autocorrect gained sentience and turned against you?

by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 1:22pm

Oh TT there's no question about it. The Bayards been onto me for weeks now.

by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 1:23pm


It wants me dead.

by TomC :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 7:26pm

"I'm sorry, Karl, I'm afraid I can't do that."

by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 8:38pm

Right, that's it! From now on my Nexus lives in the freezer when I'm asleep.

by Purds :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 9:38pm

Just thought of this: if NE lets Blount walk, would they do well with Donald Brown? He would thrive in the NE screen passing game, and if given blocking, can exploit holes. I guess he might be too much like the other backs, but he'd be cheap and can excel (except on pass blocking!). Could be an interesting, cheap pick up for NE.

by RickD :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 11:51pm

Why am I suspicious of a Colts fan who wants Donald Brown to go to the Patriots?

by Purds :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 2:06pm


Obviously he was signed at SD, but I do think he could be an effective back. He was solid last year behind a miserable run-blocking line. If he had some actual holes, he has the speed to make a lot of plays.

by tuluse :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 10:09pm

That's a lot of money for an end who's career high is 6 sacks and plays for a bad defense.

by DEW :: Tue, 03/11/2014 - 11:21pm

San Francisco seems to be pursuing a strategy of trading its low-end draft picks in on other teams' failed projects instead of seeing what they can get. Which doesn't actually seem to be a bad idea to me in the abstract: Gabbert and Martin are still young, and however much they've stunk it up in the NFL thus far there were reasons why they were projected to be good and hence drafted early. I figure they think it's more likely Harbaugh can coach up players to use their talents than they think they can find NFL-quality players (or at the least, players who aren't as much of a project) with their low picks in the late rounds).

In the non-abstract, I am watching them give a pick for the right to pay Blaine Gabbert two million dollars, and another pick for a Miami offensive lineman not named Mike Pouncey. And we don't actually know what the Martin pick was yet. If Hickey managed to wrangle a 2nd or 3rd out of the Niners, I'm going to be ecstatic.

by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 12:33pm

The Martin pick is a conditional seventh, in 2015, if he makes the opening day roster.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 1:23pm

"San Francisco seems to be pursuing a strategy of trading its low-end draft picks in on other teams' failed projects instead of seeing what they can get"

If you're a team with a roster as good as the 49ers, this makes sense to me. Rookies drafted with low-end picks have a miniscule chance of making your roster anyway, given roster spots on a good team are so scarce. On the other hand, reclamation projects that end up working out tend to contribute much more.

by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 1:26pm

We've done it before: Ted Ginn, Glenn Dorsey and even one of out own ruined first round picks, Alex Smith.

by zenbitz :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 12:26am

Martin was allegedly a conditional (on making the roster) 7th .... which is as close to nothing as you can get, I think.

Is Bethea any good?

by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 12:35pm

Bethea is OK; he can play both safety spots, which gives Fangio the interchangeable safeties he was looking for. He might be showing down though, I'd have been happier with either a shorter deal or something closer to four million per year.

by Roch Bear :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 12:44am

Yup. But the Bears were in a bind. They had to release Peppers due to massive salary and they had no other legit NFL DEs. The draft doesn't look rich in DEs so they were willing to over pay. As a Bears fan I'm just happy they didn't have to over pay more than that ... and that they got somebody legit. It's a start.

by Steve in WI :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 1:09am

I have to believe Houston can be at least as good (if you can call it that) as Peppers was last year, so it seems like a good move. They still need to have a Heck of a draft defensively.

by Roch Bear :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 1:11pm

Sounds right. Age suggests it, since their production was about equal last year and Peppers' is aging. The injury concern is less with a younger player, too. Still, it's the winner's curse in a bidding war.

by RickD :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 12:45am

So Talib got a huge payday from the Broncos.
The details suggest that this was a bigger contract than the Patriots would have considered offering.

Some Pats fans are already bitching and moaning, but really, we see this every off-season.

by dryheat :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 9:50am

I can't imagine too much bitching and moaning that Belichick refused to give a guy with significant injury history and off-field issues 9+ million a year. That's 2 more than I would have been willing to go.

Of course, now it looks like they need to sign Revis or hit on a corner early in the draft. I like Dennard and Ryan, but I'd feel much better with a true #1 type.

by cjfarls :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 4:36pm

As always, the contract was blown way out of proportion by folks that want to deify everything the Pats oo....

After paying Talib 10m (fully guarunteed) this year, the rest of the guarunteed money (~$15m) is only guarunteed for injury... so essentially, they can cut him after this year, take a 4m cap hit (for rest of the 5m signing bonus) and walk away. Or they can keep him at relatively small cap values (under 10m/year) for the next 4 years. I'll take that for arguably a top-5 in the league press-man corner.

Compare to the Revis deal: $12m this year, then up to $20m next... or they cut him and Revis becomes a FA again where he'll again likely be in the $12-$15m range.

by Deelron :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 9:14pm

I think Talib counts as always injured.

by dmstorm22 :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 1:18am

Looks like the offense/defense pendelum is swinging the other way in terms of FA Value. All the big name safeties got signed, some of the top corners, and basically no wide receivers of real note (Andre Roberts? Anyone else?).

If this continues, overtime, we'll see better atheletes going to defense in college as they might start getting paid more than WR. It's a long cycle, but it could happen.

Anyway, the WR round-robin will be interesting. I wonder if the Broncos will be content to go with Caldwell as WR2 (and maybe draft one), or will get in on maybe someone who is suddenly undervalued (Nicks?, unlikely him, but someone else maybe).

by Sifter :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 5:02am

It's just one of those years I think eg. I saw a list of Free Agent WRs that had Hakeem Nicks at the top of it! Eric Decker is the only real 'name' on the WR market. He can afford to wait for the best offer. The corners and safeties group was deeper, with a lot more competition for cash, and would be more willing to settle for early offers. Hence lots of them signing today.

by Hummingbird Cyborg :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 3:17am


by MrDean :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 9:31am

This is really confusing. Looking forward to the contract details come out so we can see what the real numbers are. Looks like the Saints are now completely capped out, and Ward to Whitner is a downgrade for the Browns.

More than anything though, is Oakland going to be able to hit the salary floor? They lost their top 2 internal free agents and only added an expensive guard.

by dryheat :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 9:52am

They can re-sign Janikowski to a long and expensive extension and sign a guy like Jacoby Jones for Larry Fitzgerald money. Sound about right?

by MrDean :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 12:30pm

Sounds about Raiders.

by JimZipCode :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 11:10am

Ravens fans ecstatic about the Eugene Monroe signing. Not that he's Jonathan Ogden: but the Ravens had nothing at the position, and desperately need building blocks on the O-line.

The price baffles me. I was sure Monroe would command $10+ per in this market. Signed with Ravens for $7.5M per. His wife has family in Maryland, he has family in Jersey, about 3 hours away. Maybe those were important factors for him?

by dryheat :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 11:16am

Actually, I think 7.5 million per is an over-payment for a barely starting caliber OT -- certainly not a home-town discount. I think it's a desperation move by Baltimore, realizing, as you say, that they're desperate along the OL.

by jonnyblazin :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 11:56am

Not that PFF is gospel, but they ranked Monroe as the top rated LT over Albert, Veldheer, Saffold, etc. By all accounts Monore is at least above average, so you'll have to dig up some evidence suggesting he is "barely starting caliber".

by dryheat :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 12:07pm

No I don't.

I remember the narrative among Baltimore fans last season, as well as the football media worth listening to, was that Monroe was an improvement over McKenzie, but just barely. Remember Jacksonville had no problem letting him go, and he played poorly in the admittedly limited times I watched him.

Maybe they've been proven wrong, maybe they don't remember saying these things last season, or maybe they think he's suddenly going to start playing to his draft status going forward, but Monroe's not a guy I would choose to invest a lot of money in. It certainly seems like Baltimore didn't try to hard to retain him before free agency started, and re-committed to him after all the other guys were signed and there were no improvements left to be had.

by jonnyblazin :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 5:05pm

Monroe scored 20+ on PFF each of the past 3 years, and he's played in 15+ games every year, so he's pretty good, consistent, and durable. That's more than you can say for Albert, Veldheer, and Saffold. Ravens fans were lamenting the play of Gradkowski (C), Shipley (LG) and Oher (RT) all season, but I don't remember many complaints about Monroe. It didn't help that he was surrounded by incompetence, but he still scored well.

The Ravens FO were consistently negotiating with Monroe before the start of Free Agency according to most reports I've read, I don't know where you are getting that info.

Jacksonville traded him for 4th and 5th round picks after they hadn't won a game and were obviously not competitive. They were trying to get assets for a player they didn't know if they were going to retain.

And it's McKinnie, not McKenzie.

by tuluse :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 1:21pm

The evidence that he's barely starting caliber would the 7.5 million per year he's getting. If he was average, he could get 10 million at a minimum.

by JimZipCode :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:12pm

The Raiders woule throw $10M at Monroe today, post-Saffold, if Monroe were still on the market.

by JimZipCode :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:12pm

The thought was that an average LT would get big money in this market.

Monroe looked ordinary to me (a Ravens fan) last year. I mean that in both negative and positive senses. He was not awesome on the left side, and sometimes got beat. On the other hand, he was not awful on the left side either. He looked pretty solid, at least compared to the rest of the line. The line was TERRIBLE, but he didn't stand out as being the problem.

I concluded that he was "average", or decent, or whatever. Maybe in the range of the 12th to 20th best LT in the league -- that's just a guess. Not "barely starting caliber," but no Pro Bowler either.

I think Monroe gets the benefit of the doubt from most Ravens fans, for a few reasons. First, he's not Michael Oher or Bryant McKinnie, so there's a lot to like right there. Second, he was dropped into the line in the middle of the season, without benefit of OTAs and training camp, and he just plugged away. It was not a situation conducive to looking awesome, but he did what he could and stopped some of the bleeding. Third, there was a gaping hole next to him at LG, after Kelechi Osemele got hurt. It's not like the Ravens had any blocking TEs to help; Dallas Clark was the primary TE! Fourth, the OL coaching situation in Baltimore this past year seems to have been a disorganized mess, with multiple guys preaching different techniques and none of them definitively The Boss.

Two of those OL coaches are now gone, and Kubiak will bring coherence. Monroe is still only 26. He's a mobile guy, and seems a good fit for Kubiak's offense. So there's reason for optimism about him. I guess people have been optimistic about Monroe before. But if he can look "decent" or functional during last year's debacle, then he ought to be able to look above average in an orderly offense.

by Peregrine :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 12:09pm

The Falcons added circus freaks on the OL and DL and there was much rejoicing.

BTW, screw Tony Gonzalez. He made the Falcons cut him and incur a $1.75 million cap hit. Thanks dude.

by dryheat :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 12:23pm

I wonder if Belichick (or another GM of a TE-needy team) called him and suggested to not file the papers so he could be an unrestricted free agent?

I doubt it, but there are those who believe Belichick is some Sith Lord who can alter the NFL landscape to fit his diabolical machinations, and seeing Tony G in Foxboro next year would certainly fit that narrative.

by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 1:28pm

It sure looks like the Falcons are moving towards a 3-4 doesn't it?

by Peregrine :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 1:48pm

Yes, and no complaints here. If nothing else, it would be a change of scenery.

Dimitroff and Smith let the team get soft on the line of scrimmage, and now they are scrambling to correct that mistake.

by LionInAZ :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 5:56pm

The Falcons sweet-talked him into coming back to get beat up for a 4-12 team, so you might think of it as payback.

by MJK :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 12:26pm

Broncos going "all in". That deal has got to make Talib one of the highest paid CB's in the league. And while I think, when healthy, he's in the top 5, his injury concerns would give me pause regarding that much of a payout. Still, as a Patriots fan, it really stings.

I can't fault the Pats for not matching the Broncos' offer. But I do wonder if, last year when the CB market was so depressed, they could have offered him a multi-year deal to avoid this problem...

by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 12:33pm

From his days in Tampa, I'd say Talib's got the potential of being a top 5 corner when he's focused, which isn't nearly often enough. The guy would be brilliant one week and getting toasted the next; he's maddeningly inconsistent. Add the injury history on top of it and it's obviously pretty risky, but the Broncos are clearly going proverbially all-in on one more attempt to get that ring before the Peytonbot finally breaks down.

by RickD :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 2:26pm

And now they've brought in DeMarcus Ware.

Definitely going "all in". My exact words in my comment at ESPN.com.

by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 3:03pm

Is Ware going to provide that much more production than Shaun Phillips did and is Talib that much better than DRC? I think the Broncos have improved but the guys they're replacing weren't exactly scrubs.

by Tim Wilson :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 3:12pm

I think they overpaid for Ware by a bit. His shoulder/neck stingers and his elbow injury are chronic-- it's not a matter of if they come back, but when. He will play through them (first 3 missed games of his career were in 2013), but they sap his effectiveness.

That said, if they're going all in (I don't know their down-the-road cap situation to understnad how much they're mortgaging the future here), he has the potential to be an enormous asset. First, he can still be an excellent pass-rusher-- he was the best player in Cowboys' training camp last year (dominated Tyron Smith regularly) and he had 4 sacks in the first 3 games. So you play him 60% of snaps and hope you get him healthy for significant stretches and he produces like that.

Second, he can be an excellent tutor for Von Miller, if Miller is willing to listen. The two of them have similar physical skill sets, and Ware can educate the younger OLB on hand placement and some of the things he picked up over the years from Greg Ellis and which enabled jumps in his game. He could also show him how to not act like a jackass, but that'd just be a bonus.

So I'd say he has the POTENTIAL to be a significant upgrade over Phillips-- think ~16 sacks, and a top 5 "pressures per snap" rate in the league. Again, that's his healthy upside, which is of course not a sure proposition.

by BucNasty :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 5:16pm

That said, if they're going all in (I don't know their down-the-road cap situation to understand how much they're mortgaging the future here)...

Does it really matter how much they spend now? Whatever cap hell they get themselves into ends the day their Super Bowl window closes. Once Peyton's contract is off the books they should have all the money they need to rebuild in a hurry.

by Tracy :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 4:50pm

Talib replaces Bailey/DRC for about $5 million dollars less
Ward replaces Mike Adams for about $6 million more
Ware replaces Shaun Phillips, who played a one year prove-it deal last year

In all, it's roughly $8mm more in AAV than they spent on those positions last year. For upgrades at each of those positions. That's not quite what I'd call "all-in".

by Tim Wilson :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 5:05pm

They gave out a lot of guaranteed money in these deals. The question is not about 2014, it's "What does their situation look like in 2015+?" Are they going to be paying aging players big #'s on the back end of these deals?

by cjfarls :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 4:40pm

No, they didn't guaruntee a ton of money.

The deals are mostly guarunteed for injury, not performance. The actual guarunteed portions of the money are almost entirely this year's salaries, so they have almost no impact on future year caps. DEN can cut these guys at the end of the year with almost no dead money.

by Noah Arkadia :: Sat, 03/15/2014 - 10:37am

According to overthecap, if the Broncos were to release Talib, Ware and Ward at the end of the year, the dead money would be approx. 15.5m with cap savings of about 9m. That's not almost nothing.

The man with no sig

by The Hypno-Toad :: Sat, 03/15/2014 - 4:17pm

Yeah, I think that perhaps the previous poster was overstating things. The way I understand it is if the Broncos release Talib after three years and/or Ware after two, they can do so with minimal impact to their future cap situtations. I haven't really seen any details of Ward's deal, but my hope is that after four years, the only regret will be that the deal wasn't for more years, so I don't really expect a lot of emphasis to be be placed on the cap consequences of cutting Ward.

by RickD :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 5:06pm

Talib cannot replace both Bailey and DRC.

I agree that it makes more sense to pay Talib $9 million than to pay Bailey $9 million. But that alone doesn't mean that it makes sense to pay Talib $9 million.

And I'm not sure either Talib or Ware is an upgrade. Talib's injury history is problematic. And Ware had a poor season (by his standards) last year - if the Broncos knew they were getting a typical DeMarcus Ware season of 5 years ago, that would obviously be an upgrade, but right now it's not clear.

Your last paragraph doesn't make sense to me. If they're spending more money for better players, why is that not an "all-in"? Isn't that exactly what "all-in" looks like?

by Hummingbird Cyborg :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 5:31pm

Can it be all in without being "Mortgaging the future?" Because Denver had a good amount of cap space and created even more when they released Bailey.

Denver also tends to pay guaranteed money early in the contract allowing them to keep a player on a contingency basis later in the deal or cut them lose if it makes sense without a terrible cap hit.

Personally, I think they paid a bit much for Demarcus Ware, so it is a gamble for sure, but I can't fault them for gambling a bit right now especially because they did have a significant amount of cap space.

As for Talib, I think 9 million per year is good market value for a player of his calibre. I think that he's worth just about that much.

I think that it's a wash between him and DRC. I like Talib slightly more, but I can't say that I truly think one is better than the other.

I really like the upgrade at safety. That's huge for Denver's defense because going from below average to above average promises to have a large effect.

by Tracy :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 6:23pm

Talib can replace both DRC and Bailey (with a roster spot to spare!), since both were on the field at the same time for about 6 quarters of football all year, and most of that was after Chris Harris got injured. DRC was reportedly offered $9mm/yr from the Broncos and thought he could do better, Sam Shields just re-signed with GB for 4/$39mm. In light of those numbers, it's hard to argue that they overpaid for Talib. You're free to disagree that Talib is an upgrade over DRC or Bailey, or that that DeMarcus Ware isn't an upgrade over Shaun Phillips, but I doubt you'll find many people who to share those opinions. And Ware's poor season (by his standards) was still good enough to have the folks over at PFF rate him as the 8th best DE in 2013.

To be more clear about why I don't think the Bronco's are going "all-in" with these signings: I think in the context of the NFL salary cap, "all-in" means that you defer cash payments in the current year to cap charges in future years. The Broncos had $31mm of cap space when FA started, and could very easily have done these deals without creating potential cash or cap problems in future years. The Broncos' current front office has an established record of doing contracts that don't involve cash-over-cap spending, and whose reported guarantees are some combination of injury-only guarantees and rolling guarantees (i.e., a given year's salary becomes guaranteed early in that league year). This can be seen in the structure of the contracts given to Champ Bailey, Elvis Dumerville, Ryan Clady, and Peyton Manning. Given this track record, the available cap space the Broncos had to work with, and the reports of the aggregate value of the contracts for these 3 players, there's no reason to think that the Broncos have gone "all-in" any more than any other team whose salary commitments are within a few million dollars of their salary cap in any given year.

by RickD :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 1:29pm

I think Talib is certainly an upgrade over Bailey and possibly over DRC, but he's not an upgrade over both of them together. I don't know if Talib is worth $9 mil/year, I was just pointing out that one would need a better argument than to say that Baliey's salary was supposed to be $9 mil/year.

For any year but 2013, it would be obvious that DeMarcus Ware is an upgrade over Shaun Phillips. But right now, Ware is not the player he used to be. Phillips had a good season in 2013. This may be a wash. Ware might return to form or he might be crippled by injuries. Between Ware's health issues and Von Miller's ACL surgery the Denver pass rush could range from stellar to non-existent.

by tuluse :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 1:47pm

I don't understand this Talib has to replace 2 people point of view. Bailey barely played last year, when he did play he wasn't very good. A random mid round rookie can most likely replace him.

by jtr :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 2:43pm

Between Ryan Mundy and MD Jennings the Bears have sure cornered the market on terrible safeties. I don't think I've ever seen a player as good as Mundy at concussing his own teammates.

by TomC :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 7:31pm

Can they get a special exemption from the NFL to play all their terrible safeties on the field at once? They still might be the worst rushing defense in the league, but it would be entertaining.

(I'm a Bears fan, so this is laughing to keep from crying. Jesus, M.D. Jennings? He might be the only safety in the division worse than what we already have.)

by justanothersteve :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 8:25pm

I have to admit, I didn't think anybody would be signing Jennings. As badly as the Packers needed safeties, Jennings was a restricted free agent and the Pack still wouldn't offer him a minimum tender.

by Insancipitory :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 9:09pm

He's the perfect compliment to the Lions signing of Golden Tate.

by jtr :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 10:12pm

It might be a fair rule to allow a team 12 men on defense if two of them were Mundy and Jennings. The two of them together might be able to cover a deep half as well as one actual safety!

by Roch Bear :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 10:56pm

I presume he is depth. Only injuries and bad luck in the draft/undrafted/later FA will put him on the field outside of special teams and he is said to be good on those. Bad as he is, he is probably an upgrade if he is Safety No. 4/5 Bears lost 2 Safeties to free agency.

by morganja :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 3:32pm

This Steve Smith thing is baffling. They literally have zero receivers on their team besides Steve Smith....and they are going to cut him?

by Rivers McCown :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 3:40pm

I mean, I think we've all known that the Kealoha Pilares breakout was coming. This just speeds up the timetable.

by Vincent Verhei :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 5:26pm

My only thought is that they might have had zero WRs including Smith, as of 2014, and so they figured they may as well blow the whole thing up.

Or they're just not going to pass this season. Like, ever.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 5:29pm

Well, the team is pretty much Cam plus all RBs and DEs these days anyways, right?

by lionsbob :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 3:52pm

Lions sign Golden Tate to a 5 year deal. He seems to be the perfect fit as a #2 WR for the Lions.

Well maybe they did.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 4:00pm

One of the biggest free agency sins is to sign a WR who put up good numbers as the WR2 on somebody else's offense and expect the same production as your WR1.

I'm totally on board with doing the opposite. Tate will never see a double team as long as Megatron stays healthy. Details of the contract haven't been released yet, but I can't imagine they overpayed him either, given how little cap space they already had.

by lionsbob :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 4:09pm

5/31 with only 13 million guaranteed is being reported...

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 4:44pm

Not bad. I'm not holding my breath that Ryan Broyles will finally stay healthy, but if he does, the Lions will have a decent receiving corps for the first time since the mid-90's.

by LionInAZ :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 6:40pm

A good signing, along with the re-signing of Joique. Tate is physical, doesn't drop many balls, and blocks well. Bonus is that he can get under the skins of the Packers.

Not too bothered about losing Willie Young, other than him going to the Bears. I soured a bit on him after a couple of seasons, mostly because he never reallly learned discipline or how to hold the edge. He should have gone to the Bucs to learn from Lovie.

Like what I've seen so far. Nothing flashy, but real promise of improvement.

by EricL :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 9:49pm

Seconded. I'm going to miss him in Seattle. Only question is whether they'll keep the brashness under control in Detroit. They don't have a good track record on that.

by duh :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 1:39am

That was true under Schwartz but he's not there anymore ....

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 2:05pm

Rank and file Lions fans are always on the verge of nervous breakdown when Mayhew is quiet during the early FA period, but his MO has always been to wait till he can get good value on day two or three. I think that's the best way to go about it when you're not one or two impact players away from a Super Bowl. You only need to look to the Redskins' recent history to see how badly you can screw up by being too eager to make a splash.

On the other hand, I'm pretty disappointed that they re-signed Pettigrew. Maybe he's trying to retain some value from his Roy Williams to the Cowboys trade, but is there a non-running back who's as high-utilization, but low-efficiency as he is? At least he's a decent blocker.

by LionInAZ :: Sat, 03/15/2014 - 6:39pm

Well, from what I've seen, the rank and file thinks the Lions should have signed Champ Bailey to replace Delmas, Phil Costa to replace Raiola, Julian Edelman, and Vontae Davis, then cut Suh and Raiola to make up the busted cap.

I was bugged about Pettigrew also, but I felt better when I saw the terms -- more favorable to the team than I expected after the Pitta deal. If the new regime can coach the drops out of him, he can still be a decent contributor. Could have been worse -- the Cards signed John Carlson, who didn't contribute anything to the Vikings.

Mayhew has done OK in FA, although I think he signs too many low-end garbage guys like Spurlock who end up not contibuting much. I think he's been better making trades. I also wish he could make better decisions on 2nd round draft picks.

by ChrisS :: Mon, 03/17/2014 - 10:15am

Just think of Pettigrew as a tackle with better hands than most tackles, it is less infuriating. He is a good blocker and does catch some passes.

by LionInAZ :: Mon, 03/17/2014 - 10:22pm

...... no, it doesn't work.

by Sixknots :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 4:12pm

And he will play the Packers twice a year!

by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 3:58pm

Revis officially cut. The Jets took Sheldon Richardson with the pick the Bucs traded. The next player off the board was Star Lotulelei. No, really, neither of those players would have been nice to have.

I hated that trade when it happened, managed to talk myself into it later, and now am busily wallowing in self-loathing for ever thinking of it in a positive way.

*frantically stabs Greg Schiano voodoo doll*

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 4:10pm

Sorry to twist the knife, but I'd bet a month's salary that right now Greg Schiano firmly believes that he left the Buccaneers in a better state than he found them in.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 4:14pm

That would only happen if Schiano is a delusional, domineering bully incapable of realizing he isn't right at all possible times, being disconnected enough from reality to insist his way works even in the face of overwhelming evidence he is a walking disaster of epic proportions . . .

Uh . . . well, crap.

by The Ninjalectual :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 6:17pm

Remember when the pick the Broncos used to trade up for Tebow turned into Earl Thomas? That worked out just fine for them, right? Maybe this will be similar.

by Ben :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 4:04pm

Doh. Ninja'd about Golden Tate. Deleting this comment.

by justanothersteve :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 5:09pm

Cleveland fans rejoice. Your team has released both Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell.

by Kaelik :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 5:13pm

Should have kept them for a couple more years and traded them to the Niners for 6th round picks...

by Theo :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 6:06pm

Anyone who watches Carolina regularly knows if Mitchell is a good safety?

by Perfundle :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 6:33pm

He was pretty bad two years ago, and was OK last year, but then he had a much more ferious pass rush to work behind last year. I don't think he'll do as well with a team that doesn't have much of a pass rush, like the Steelers.

by jtr :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 10:09pm

Well, the Steelers didn't have any free safety at all before that; Ryan Clark isn't worth bringing back since his style of play is illegal in a concussion-lawsuit world, and prospect Shamarko Thomas projects as a strong safety. With the top safeties out of their price range (and tending to be box safeties this offseason anyways) this was probably the best they could do to actually HAVE a free safety this year.

by morganja :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 6:24pm

Mitchell brings a healthy aggressive attitude, good run support and is ok in coverage. $5 million/year good? I was surprised. I was thinking $2-$3 million/year good, but then again, I don't need a safety in my line of work.

by runaway robot :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 10:12pm

According to ESPN's AFC North blog, Mitchell's first-year cap hit is $2.2 million, which I believe makes this a nice signing for the Steelers.

by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 8:41pm

Noone offers Revis more than $12m? Really? There must have been some paid contenders who could do better.

Boooo Revis! Booooooo!

And, annoyingly, this might keep Dick Sherman from getting $15m pier year from Seattle.

Boooo Revis!

by PatsFan :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 11:37pm

Interestingly, NE will probably get a 3rd or 4th round compensatory pick in 2015 for losing Talib. But since Revis was cut before NE signed him he won't figure into the compensatory pick calculations.

So FWIW, NE essentially traded Talib for Revis and a 2015 3rd or 4th rounder.

by Tim Wilson :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:00am

Depicting the swap in that way is not totally fair-- they're paying Revis a lot more.

But they've got the space and it's a one-year deal and he's a great player, so why not.

by mehllageman56 :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 8:44pm

I have a feeling this was to stick it to the Jets and their fans. Manish Mehta wrote that the Jets and Revis were in talks; that probably came from the Revis camp. Half an hour later this comes out. Next year he can sell out to the contender who pay him the most.

by RickD :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 9:06pm

I'm sure that's his plan. A lot of players have been taking this route recently.

I'll take a year of Revis. Maybe he'll be able to help Dennard and Ryan improve.

The last 24 hours have been a huge mood swing for Pats' fans.

by mehllageman56 :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 9:24pm

It's not that different from Favre going from the Packers to the Jets and then to the Vikings. He wants to stick it to his old team that they should have paid him, plus a bunch of Jets fans acted like jerks when he got traded. And he wants to win a Super Bowl. I'm still a little suprised, given what he called Belichick in an interview with Gronkowski a couple of years ago.

He probably will help Dennard and Ryan improve a little, but he wasn't able to turn Wilson into anything better than a good 3rd corner, so don't get your hopes up too much. I would think he's a much better guy to have around than Talib, I would think.

As a Jets fan, this is kind of a nightmare, but I have remind myself what Green Bay and New England went through with Favre and Curtis Martin, and what happened with those teams shortly afterward.

by RickD :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 11:09pm

He called Belichick a "jerk" in the context of the rivalry with the Jets. That means nothing.

by mehllageman56 :: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 11:20pm

You are right, since he signed with the Pats. It was just a shocking moment to me, because he really doesn't insult other people at all in his interviews. I remember Gronk was really suprised at it too.

by JimZipCode :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:19pm

Back in the 90s it seemed that Deion switched teams every year or so, and whichever team got him went to the Super Bowl.

by dryheat :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 5:25am

Surprised by Decker signing so quickly with the Jets. I understand the draw of NYC to him and his wife, but Jeebus Eric, wouldn't the Giants make more sense.. WR need is almost as great, and at least the QB over there has been occasionally great.

by Jeff88 :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 4:58pm

Jets needed him more than the Giants IMO. Eli already has a couple good receivers, perhaps he just had one of his off years as usual

by DavidL :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:49am

Jenkins is saying on twitter that the Eagles have signed Darren Sproles as well.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:08pm

Steve Smith was the guy as a Bucs fan I wanted to hate for years, but never could. Shame to see him leave Carolina, another one of those cases where in a perfect world he'd retire in that uniform and be carried off the field by his teammates in his last game.

At this point, I'm waiting for the "Panthers sign Deion Branch and Anthony Gonzalez" news any day now. I guess they can try to get Kenny Britt and hope he doesn't act like, well, Kenny Britt?

by RickD :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 1:32pm

Hopefully Smith will end up on a team that plays the Broncos, so we can all enjoy another Smith-Talib confrontation.

by njwelch75 :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 1:39pm

Fans here are livid about the way this was handled. If they didn't want him on the team anymore, for whatever reason, fine. But to piss around for 3 days looking for a trade that clearly isn't going to happen is disrespectful to a player who has meant this much to this team.

by Peregrine :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 3:41pm

Much respect for #89 from this Falcons fan. At his peak, what an amazing athlete. His acceleration, agility, and power were remarkable. Always reminded me of a gymnast.

by mehllageman56 :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 1:44pm

It's now being reported that the Revis deal includes a 20 million option for 2015. The Pats would never let him play for that much, but it makes it more likely that this will be more than a one year rental.

by dryheat :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 2:09pm

It seems like a win-win. The Pats get another year to spread out the cap hit, and Revis avoids being franchised next year.

What I don't know is if the Patriots can rip up his deal and re-negotiate another longer-term one before free agency next year...that is, if they want to. I think I've heard that you can't re-negotiate a contract before 365 days, but I don't know if that's all contracts or just those that meet certain criteria.

Or course, any new contract would add to the 5 million that's on the books already for 2015, so I don't know how likely it is.

by RickD :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 3:10pm

There are reportedly two purposes being served here

a) Revis is being protected from a franchise tag. The Pats can retain him, but only if they pay through the nose.

b) Because this is a two-year deal, the Pats can defer some of the cap hit to 2015. By that time the Hernandez cap hit will have cleared.

by justanothersteve :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 2:38pm

The Packers continue to resign their own free agents. The team's web site is reporting they have resigned TE Andrew Quarless. No word on contract terms yet. All they need now is to get EDS to resign and all the players I wanted them to keep will be back. (The Bears can have MD Jennings. Maybe the Raiders will sign OT Marshall Newhouse.)

by RickD :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 3:14pm

Now it's being reported that Vince Wilfork is demanding a release rather than a contract restructuring.

I hope he can still play. Really like the guy. But a blown Achilles tendon is a nasty injury for a 325+ lb guy.

by nat :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 3:26pm

That's a shame. If he is released, I hope someone picks him up and pays him well. He's a class act.

by dryheat :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 4:08pm

Yeah. This would've been useful information when guys like Soliai, Starks, and Bryant were still on the market. Something must have gone off the rails really quickly -- they must have broached this subject before -- in fact, just yesterday it was reported that they were working together on a re-structure/extension.

I don't know what plan B is. Kevin Williams or Isaac Sapoaga at a more reasonable salary? Does Kevin Williams have anything left.

by Will Allen :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 4:45pm

Kevin Williams is obviously quite a bit less than what he once was, but I think he could still be above average.

(edit) He really isn't the same type of player, as far as scheme, as Wilfork, however.

by duh :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 1:48am

I have to say this doesn't smell right to me. Why would Wilfork ask for his release?

The Patriots can either pay him the 7.5 million they owe him (which he won't get on the open market coming off an achilles injury) or they can cut him, in which case he's got the release that he's looking for supposedly.

I mean maybe his agent is misleading him or maybe he's deceiving himself but he's never seemed to be that kind of guy.

This seem far more like something the Patriots said to various media types to get this out to the fans to shape the public opinion.

by bingo762 :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 11:54am

He's probably going to be cut or traded. He'd rather it be sooner than later when teams have less money from FA & the draft

by Noah Arkadia :: Sat, 03/15/2014 - 10:25am


Couldn't help myself.

The man with no sig

by Theo :: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 6:37pm

If I were a GM of an NFL team, I'd say it's time to stay away from ex-Steeler star linebackers. The list is just too long:
Kendrell Bell (did nothing for the Chiefs)
Joey Porter (went to underwhelm with the Dolphins)
Jason Gildon (went on vacation to Jacksonville)
Clark Haggans (had 2 ok seasons with the Cardinals)
James Harrison (had spot duties in Cincy, didn't do much)

by dbostedo :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 5:29pm

Don't forget :

Greg Lloyd (1 and done in Carolina)
Levon Kirkland (2 seasons in Seattle and Philly, and done)

Of course, Kevin Greene, Hardy Nickerson, and Chad Brown all went on to places and had good seasons and/or several more productive years.

Seeing as how Woodley is relatively young, he's got a shot to join the second group depending on fitness and health.

by Theo :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 8:14pm

Except that Kirkland was quite good for 2 years.

by andrew :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 1:07am

As a Vikings fan I really like what Zimmer is doing thus far for that defense. I know Spielman is still there but it feels different, like Zimmer is basically telling him who he wants.

I don't expect a miracle, but the fact that he immediately recognized this defense was a major overhaul is promising. It seemed for so long they'd keep trying to get by with what was left of the same eroding core (and yes I know they drafted Floyd and Rhodes last year) rather than attempting to improve via free agency. I don't think they're done yet either. I know losing Allen (and probably Williams) will hurt, but hanging onto them would have gimped them more in the long run...

by Will Allen :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 12:43pm

They might get Williams back, and at the right price, it'd be a good move. I really like the fact that they have picked up enough youngish db talent that they don't need to draft one in the first three rounds, unless a real bargain arises. If a linebacker like Mack or Mosley is one of the best players on their board when it is their turn in the 1st round, they should feel free to pick that guy, other positional needs be damned. I really don't want to see them pick the best qb available, simply because it is a qb. They were bad enough last year that they need to draft the best player available.

by Will Allen :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 2:19pm

I should add that I don't think Vikings dbs have been well coached since Tomlin left for the Steelers; it's why I never was sold on former NFL db Leslie Frazier as either a d-coordinator or head coach.

An infusion of talent and vastly superior coaching could lead to a pretty remarkable turnaround on that side of the ball, which suddenly makes Adrian Peterson relevant again. Hopefully, he hasn't gotten too worn down.

by Will Allen :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 12:57pm

I gotta sympathize with Carolina fans; it can't be fun to root for a team which has had 3 winning seasons in a decade, and all of 5 since the team started 19 years ago, and yet is in a crappy cap situation, forcing a dismantling of a roster that just went 12-4. They don't even have an obviously obnoxious owner to bitch about.

Guess we'll gain some insight into Ron Rivera's coaching acumen by the end of the year.

by tuluse :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 1:23pm

I think Richardson was one of the hardliners during the labor dispute, so they could bitch about him if they wanted.

by Will Allen :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 1:29pm

Well, I'm certainly not vouching for him, but he isn't as obvious an A-hole as the clowns in Dallas or D.C.

Yes, I know, I am making a consignment to Hades via modest endorsement.

by tuluse :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 1:41pm

I guess there is something in at least not advertising that one is an a-hole.

by The Ninjalectual :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 5:32pm

Oh, Jerry Richardson is very obviously an a-hole, he's just not a meddling idiot like Snyder/Jones.

by LionInAZ :: Sat, 03/15/2014 - 6:43pm

Isn't Richardson the one who pissed off fans because he was such a cheapskate?

by The Ninjalectual :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 5:32pm

Oh, Jerry Richardson is very obviously an a-hole, he's just not a meddling idiot like Snyder/Jones.

by morganja :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 1:09pm

It sure seems as if Gettleman intends to tank this year, go at best 4-12, get a decent draft position, and sign Newton to a below market long-term deal, because he 'regressed'.
How else to explain getting rid of every single one of his potential receivers, the LT and 2 guards?
Not to mention the secondary.
But after treating Steve Smith unnecessarily poorly, who is going to give Gettleman a home-town discount, or want to play here as a free agent?

by Will Allen :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 1:25pm

Yeah, it's one thing to have previous signings catch up to you, and get forced into a dismantling. It's another to do it in a way that makes you look like a jerk.

Losing good coverage guys, your best pass blocker and two other o-line starters, and the receiver best able to bail out your qb, is not a recipe for making your very prominent qb happy, and he's a guy who has previously shown some difficulty in dealing with adversity. With just a little bad luck, they might be looking at yet another 1-15 season, and yet another massive rebuilding project.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sat, 03/15/2014 - 10:25am

The LT retired, so that's not his fault.

In 2011 Marty Hurney threw money around to keep together a team that had just gone 2-14. Now in part because of that, Gettleman is being forced to dismantle a team that just went 12-4 and won a division title. But I agree the Smith situation could have been handled much better.

by Will Allen :: Sat, 03/15/2014 - 12:21pm

Well, Woodson was 30 went he went to the Packers, and his value was at its nadir due to being on a horribly managed team, and the fact he was drinking his way out of the league (maybe they were connected). He went to a much better managed team, and stopped drinking like Mickey Mantle, and became a great player again. Peppers is 34, has been on a fairly well managed team, and has always taken care of himself, thus making his decline pretty likely highly correlated with the calendar.

I expect Peppers to still be effective, but nothing close to what he once was.

by Will Allen :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 1:58pm

Anybody have a feel for what the market for Steve Smith is likely to be? There are some teams out there with good qbs who have just lost receivers.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 2:13pm

He just visited the Ravens as the first team of a multi-team tour. I would think the Ravens would want to save their resources to re-build the offensive line first, but who knows? He would get a chance to play the Panthers this season, though.

by Will Allen :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 2:35pm

I have no idea of how much cap space each team has left, or will have left, after they cut more veterans or convert salaries into signing bonuses, but Smith's intelligence would work well with the brainy qbs in Seattle, Denver, and New England.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 3:58pm

I'm very curious to see how Smith is going to handle a different role on a new team; he's been The Man in Carolina for years, and anywhere he goes he's clearly going to be a second or third fiddle on the offensive roster. Personality-wise, I have to imagine he's going to have a hard time handling that sort of a downgrade

by tuluse :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 4:09pm

I don't know. He was 2nd to Moose his first 4 years in the league, and I don't think he complained even when Jimmy Clausen was scattering passes in his general vicinity.

So I think he can handle a reduced role in terms of passes coming his way.

However, I do agree that if the team he goes to doesn't respect him enough or properly, he'll be unhappy.

by Will Allen :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 4:12pm

What's nice about being the third option in Denver is that it still gets you close to 90 catches and 1300 yards. I think Smith is smart enough to grasp the implications of being with a qb who always throws to the best option, and what it means for Steve Smith to be frequently up against an overmatched db, as the opponent deals with Demaryus Thomas and Julius Thomas, and still accounts for Wes Welker. Absent a line of scrimmage butt whipping, like we saw in New York in February, the third fiddle in Denver sees a ton of very important passes thrown his way.

Given the way Decker really doesn't have terrific ball skills since getting his jaw dislocated in college. this actually may be an upgrade for the Broncos. You're right though, if you mean what it may mean if Smith can't handle not getting number 1 receiver money. He isn't getting that anywhere, however, it seems to me.

by morganja :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 6:56pm

The problem for Steve Smith in Denver is that he has zero experience catching balls actually thrown right to him.

by LionInAZ :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 7:53pm

Then he should have no problem in Baltimore.

by morganja :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 2:23pm

The Panthers have a good QB and have just lost all their receivers! Wait....never mind.

by dryheat :: Sun, 03/16/2014 - 8:30am

At least they still have their OL.

by Guest789 :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 11:25pm

"City of Baltimore Establishes New Rules and Regulations, Which Are: 89"



“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”

by Vincent Verhei :: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 11:51pm
by Noah Arkadia :: Sat, 03/15/2014 - 11:19am

Ha! Good one.

The man with no sig

by TomC :: Sat, 03/15/2014 - 10:13am

Very, very happy to have Tillman back. And if it's true that it's 1 year for 3.5M, that is an absolute steal if he stays healthy.

Now ESPN is reporting that the Packers have signed Peppers (3 years, 30M, 7.5M guaranteed). That is going to be very, very interesting.

by ammek :: Sat, 03/15/2014 - 10:22am

Peppers is really on a one-year contract which counts only $3.5m against the cap. I don't think he's a great fit for the Packers defense, but it might indicate a bit of a change in philosophy on that side of the ball, which McCarthy has hinted at. With Matthews, Neal, Perry and Peppers all probably better suited for a 4-3 front, the Packers might be able to mix it up next year — assuming their safeties can cover anybody.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sat, 03/15/2014 - 10:27am

A few years ago the Packers got Charles Woodson for relatively cheap when he was at the nadir of his perceived value, and got a ton of actual value from him. Now I'm worried they're going to get the same out of Julius Peppers.

by LionInAZ :: Sat, 03/15/2014 - 6:45pm

Unless he succumbs to the annual Packer Injury Epidemic.

by Steve in WI :: Sun, 03/16/2014 - 2:25am

Hard to say because the defense was so bad in general last year, but I really feel like Peppers is done. He just seemed like such a nonfactor on the field last year. Or maybe that's just wishful thinking since he's now on the Bears' biggest rival. Sigh.

by Noah Arkadia :: Sat, 03/15/2014 - 10:41am

I like what I've seen of Hickey so far. He brought back Grimes and Starks, let Carroll walk but upgraded with Finnegan, let Soliai walk but brought in an intriguing talent in Mitchell, he brought in an overpaid LT as he had to, and he didn't overpay for Shelley Smith, who might or might not start. Delmas for Clemons is the move that makes me the most nervous.

By all accounts he's a likable guy whose personality has probably helped reel in a couple of these guys. Mitchell, for example, was said to have other offers including an identical one from San Diego. But I particularly like the fact he has a scouting background. With Aponte to help with contracts, if there's chemistry between them it looks like a good formula.

I used to think this was going to be a tricky offseason, but now I can't even remember why. Looks like most of the issues have been taken care of and there's still plenty of cap room left.

My main issue is how well the Pats have been doing for themselves.

The man with no sig

by Karl Cuba :: Sat, 03/15/2014 - 1:06pm

I agree on most of the moves they've made but I'd have a look at how Finnegan played last year, not pretty.

by Noah Arkadia :: Sat, 03/15/2014 - 11:55am

Peppers Picks a Peck of Packers

lol Someone's inspired today!

The man with no sig

by jtr :: Sat, 03/15/2014 - 1:08pm

Is $3.5MM really that low an offer for Nicks? He's supposed to be a deep threat, but he didn't score one single touchdown last year. He also didn't report to training camp on time last year and didn't even return coaches' calls while he was missing. It looked less like a holdout and more like a tantrum. Is it really that surprising that no one wants to open up their wallet for a guy with possible attitude problems coming off a terrible year?

by serutan :: Sun, 03/16/2014 - 1:05am

Also, this draft is supposed to be loaded with WRs, so
teams IMO are taking the attitude that if the FA WRs dont' like the offers, they'll just draft somebody instead.

Was wr

by morganja :: Sat, 03/15/2014 - 4:08pm

So the Panthers use the money they saved from cutting Steve Smith to sign..... Roman Harper.

by The Hypno-Toad :: Sat, 03/15/2014 - 10:54pm

Hmm. I am very curious about the terms of the Denver/Sanders deal. But my instinctive response is that I wish the Broncos hadn't invested in the WR position.

by PatsFan :: Sat, 03/15/2014 - 11:24pm

NE signs WR Brandon LaFell.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 03/16/2014 - 9:05am

I'm starting to wonder if the Panthers are going to simply take receivers with their first 5 draft picks.

by dryheat :: Sun, 03/16/2014 - 10:00am

I'm starting to wonder whether they don't plan on signing six road-graders out front, two sprinters for the outside, and go to a 1930's offense behind a running game and throw deep 4-5 times a game to keep the D semi-honest.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 03/16/2014 - 12:45pm

This could all be part of a grand conspiracy to depose Cam Newton in favor of Tim Tebow. (Ironically, Newton would be better at running that offense than Tebow).

by coboney :: Sun, 03/16/2014 - 7:14pm

Yes but Cam could run an actual NFL offense whereas that scheme is about the only offense Tebow has any chance of 'running'

Obviously competency is not wanted in the passing game therefore Cam must go!

Tebow to Bolt 2014!

by Dice :: Sun, 03/16/2014 - 10:04pm

Not a Panthers fan but I'm feeling bad for Cam. Hoping they have a stellar draft or an awesome trade in the works somewhere.

by morganja :: Sun, 03/16/2014 - 10:53pm

Apparently everyone outside of Gettleman's mind is as baffled as I am.
1. Cam Newton is the one insisting Steve Smith be cut over some personal issue and Gettleman's covering for him.

Why not:
No signs of strife between the two. Newton looked to him every time he needed a catch.

2. The other wide receivers hated Steve Smith and insisted it was him or them.

Why not:
Well, all the other wide receivers are gone too.

which leaves....
3. Belichick!

Why not:
Are his evil mind control powers strong enough to both puppet Gettleman and two Malaysian pilots at the same time?

by Jerry :: Mon, 03/17/2014 - 1:32am

LOL. Thank you for explaining the Malaysian airplane disappearance.

by jtr :: Mon, 03/17/2014 - 11:14am

Perhaps Cam is just such a GLORY BOY that he can't stand to share credit with his receivers on completed passes. Cam to Newton 2014!

by MilkmanDanimal :: Mon, 03/17/2014 - 4:14pm

Cowboys sign Bran . . . *breaks down laughing*

Cowboys sign Brandon W . . . *wracked with violent spasms of laughter*

Cowboys sign Brandon Weed . . . *dies looking like a victim of Joker venom*

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Mon, 03/17/2014 - 5:49pm

I can kind of see the thought process is Jerry Jones' mind. It takes the heat off of Jason Garrett. When the fans and media start criticizing Tony Romo and hinting that he should be benched, all Garrett has to say is, "Guys, our backup is Brandon Weeden...come on now."

by Hurt Bones :: Tue, 03/18/2014 - 11:08am

It's more sinister than that. Orton is the backup to Romo. Jerry is signing multiple backups so people won't know which Cowboy backup QB he's grooming to be head coach (Garrett 2.0).