It’s been a busy week in the NFL. The free agency period started on friday and after the first few days, a lot of activity has happened. The NFL doesn’t waste any time in signing prized players, since only a portion of their contracts are guaranteed, unlike the MLB and NBA. The Redskins and Jets have already made a big splash, but will it pay off with a Super Bowl ring?
Albert Haynesworth – Haynesworth was a major reason why the Titans dominated the AFC regular season. They were a different team when he went out with an injury. The Washington Redskins offered him a $100 million dollar contract and he couldn’t resist. I don’t know why this deal reminds me of Dan Wilkinson, ’cause I don’t see anyone really paying to see an NFL game to watch an interior lineman. The Redskins need help in other areas and they still need many pieces to compete in the loaded NFL East.
Kellen Winslow – The Browns traded Winslow to Tampa Bay for draft picks. I don’t like this trade for Cleveland. If they are sold on Brady Quinn being their quarterback, he needs a pass-catching tight end to be effective. He likes to dump off short passes, like he did to John Carlson when he was at Notre Dame. I know Winslow is a problem child, but you have to think that they could work this out.
Fred Taylor – New England signed Taylor this week to a short-term contract. This reminds me of Corey Dillon’s deal with the Pats. Taylor should have a similar role with New England. The backfield is a bit jumbled with Maroney and Faulk still there.
Sage Rosenfels – The Minnesota Vikings traded a fourth-round pick to the Texans for Rosenfels. I know Rosenfels gave a game away to Indianapolis early this season, but he is a proven back-up in the NFL. When he is in the game, he can rack up yardage.
Correll Buckhalter and J.J. Arrington – The Denver Broncos picked up both Buckhalter and Arrington. The Broncos don’t have a number one running back and they still don’t. Buckhalter has been a good fill-in for Westbrook and can catch out of the backfield. Arrington gives you a proven return-guy if they move Eddie Royal out of that role. I still see the Broncos drafting a young back in the draft.
Brandon Jones – The 49ers signed Brandon Jones for a multi-year contract. San Francisco must see something in the young receiver that the Titans looked over. The Titans lack and explosive receiver, but the Niners think Jones can fill that role. I think this signing could be a mistake.
Lito Shepherd – The Jets traded draft picks to Philadelphia for Shepherd. The Jets secondary is starting to take shape and I like what I see. Revis is a good, young talent and with Shepherd, it could be one of the best in the AFC.
Bart Scott – The Jets was busy and landed Bart Scott as their #1 target this free agency period. A lot of people thought that Ray Lewis would end up in New York, but they went with the younger, more talented linebacker. The Jets’ defense will be the best in the AFC East.
Matt Cassel – Kansas City landed their franchise quarterback by trading a 2nd round draft pick for Cassel and the verteran, Mike Vrabel. Cassel with be a better long-term fit than Tyler Thigpen. “Thiggy” did cement himself as a competent back-up, in case Cassel struggles.
Brian Dawkins – The Eagles secondary is getting more and more depleted by the day. The Broncos picked up Brian Dawkins and will trot out Champ Bailey, Dre Bly, and Dawkins in their secondary. I know they are all kind of “long in the tooth,” but they should play much better than last year.
Jon Kitna – The Dallas Cowboys traded their starting cornerback, Anthony Henry, to the Lions for Jon Kitna. This is probably the worst transaction since the Cowboys traded for Roy Williams. The Lions were going to cut Kitna, so I don’t know why they would trade Henry for him. It saves Dallas less than $2 million dollars, so it can’t be categorized as a money-saving move. I sure hope Tony Romo stays healthy or we will see the Kitna/Williams tandem once again.
Keith Brooking – Dallas signed the veteran and makes the Cowboys linebackers some of the oldest in the league. They should be adequate, but nothing to write home about.
Dan Orlovsky – The Texans needed a back-up QB, since they traded Rosenfels to the Vikings. Orlovsky did well last season, but has a lot to prove to be an adequate back-up to a fragile quarterback. The Texans need to draft a young QB in the draft as an insurance policy.