Friday, February 27, 2009

The first day of Free Agency

Boy has it been a busy day, whew. I don't think I've ever hit the refresh button so many times in my life. 'Bart Scott signed', 'No he didn't', 'He's giving the Ravens a chance to match', 'It's official', 'No it's not'.

Let me start by saying that the 'I must beat other journalists to the punch' type of attitude is very frustrating. Now I understand that it is just them doing their jobs, and it is something that can't be avoided, but reading 10 different things in 10 minutes isn't exactly rosy.

Now on to the signings/transactions

Albert Haynesworth, Skins- Big Al becomes the first non QB in NFL history to see a contract in excess of 100 million dollars. I've changed my mind several times on this signing, as it's a tough one in which to form a solid opinion. Haynesworth has been a great DT for the last 4 years, and an utterly dominant one over the course of the last 2 seasons. But he hasn't played a full season since 2002, and his 2 best years came in contract years. On the flip side, he has been arguably the best DT in football for the last 2 seasons, he provides versatility as he can play both tackle and end, and is flat out nasty against the run. Albert is an excellent player, but after getting his payday will he care enough to continue being the excellent player he has been? 100 million is a lot to give for anyone (there is only one player worth that and his name is Peyton Manning), but the Redskins haven't had a good defensive line since when? The Ice Age? A defensive line rotation featuring Anthony Montgomery, Cornelius Griffin, and Albery Haynesworth sounds nice. We'll see how it works out.

DeAngelo Hall, Washington Redskins- I don't understand how this guy continues to get major paydays, regardless of the Redskins consistently dancing like Beyonce around the salary cap. Well at least Washington didn't give up anything besides the loot for him. The presence of Albert Haynesworth could help him immensely. With Shawn Springs all but out the door, they might as well give Hall a chance to show his worth. The money amount is ridiculous, but Jay-Z might as well be the official spokesman for the Washington Redskins, as their motto should be 'Money Ain't a Thang'.

Bart Scott, New York Jets- As a Jets fan, I'm not pleased that they gave a guy who has done very little since 2006, as much money as they did. Looking at it from an outsider's point of view, Rex Ryan is the new coach, Scott was his former player and the Jets had a gaping hole at ILB, so it makes sense from that standpoint. I've never really viewed Scott as anything more than average, save for his 2006 season, but if anyone knows what he is or isn't capable of it's Rex Ryan. Hopefully Rex knows what he is doing.

Jonathan Vilma, New Orleans Saints- Nice young linebacker, but one who has a knee problem. The biggest problem with the Saints is the defense, so you might as well keep one of the few even remotely bright spots on that defense in hopes that you could build around him. I think he's a better player than Bart Scott and he got signed to a more reasonable contract. This was a no-brainer for the Saints.

Kellen Winslow, traded to the Buccaneers for undisclosed draft picks- I'll keep it short and sweet on this one. Winslow must have REALLY become a malcontent behind the scenes for Cleveland to just move someone as talented as he is for undisclosed draft picks. Though, I'll dust one off for the Jets fans that might read this, 'Winslow isn't a Mangini guy'. Boy did I ABHOR that expression. Good grief.

Lito Sheppard, traded to the Jets for conditional picks- I've long said that Lito is one of the more overrated players in the entire NFL. The little, and well over hyped, success he did have was a product of the scheme more than anything else, and even with that he got burnt a ton in Philadelphia. The compensation can go as high a second, but I'd be floored if Philadelphia sees that. At least here, he'll be covering #2s for the most part, which should help him. I just can't get excited with Mr. Burnt Like Toast lining up opposite Revis come opening day. As I said earlier, hopefully Rex knows what he is doing. By the way, this move isn't official yet.

-Ray Lewis' ego must have taken a big hit today. Bart Scott's phone ringing off the hook since yesterday, and Lewis' ex coordinator, choosing Scott over him? Ouch, I wonder if Ray still thinks he is a 10 million a year player, or is he going to go back to Baltimore and take less. I'm very interested to see how that plays out.

- A zillion contradictory reports coming out about Brian Dawkins to the Broncos. If that happens, it honestly makes me sad, though I am the furthest thing from a fan of the Eagles. He gave his heart and soul for 14 years there, and never got the ring he was chasing. For it to end basically over the difference between one and two years would be heartbreaking, but it's business. We'll see what happens.

There are still a lot of names out there to be had. It has definitely been a good start to the FA period though.

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