1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Monday. “NFL-Free Agency Report Card”

Posted by on March 29th, 2021  •  0 Comments  • 

-0-“NFL Free Agency–Scorecard”
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We are now 14-days..2-full weeks into NFL free agency.
A record 191-players have changed teams.
Now we have the blockbuster Dolphins-Eagles-49ers trade to add in the mix.
Miami traded the 3rd pick to the Niners for a bundle-dropping to 12th pick
Miami then traded the 12th pick and more to the Eagles-jumping back up 6th
Prior to that the historic Jared Goff-Matt Stafford-Rams-Lions deal.
And the Eagles-Colts-Carson Wentz delivery.
Some off season so far, a record off season so far.+

As the week begins, there are not many ‘names’ left on the board:
..QB-Alex Smith
..WR-Antonio Brown-Dez Bryant-Alshon Jeffrey
..OL-Alejandro Villanueva-Eric Fisher-Russ Okung
..DL-Jadaveon Clowney-Melvin Ingram
..LB-Ryan Kerringan-KJ Wright
..DB-Richard Sherman

An overview of what has happened.

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Broncos: A conservative start for new general manager George Paton, who opted to concentrate on in-house players (defensive end Shelby Harris and safety Justin Simmons) while adding cornerback Ronald Darby (Washington)…Kyle Fuller (Bears).

Arizona: Call them the Arizona Graybeards. Joining young quarterback Kyler Murray have been defensive end J.J. Watt (age-32 season), receiver A.J. Green (33), center Rodney Hudson (32), kicker Matt Prater (37), and safety Malcom Butler.

Atlanta: Because of salary cap issues, new general manager Terry Fontenot has mostly been a spectator aside from trading for Buffalo tight end Lee Smith and signing Las Vegas safety Erik Harris.

Baltimore: The Ravens’ only big addition was guard Kevin Zeitler (Giants) and receiver Sammy Watkins (Chiefs). They re-signed defensive end Derek Wolfe and lost edge rushers Matthew Judon (New England) and Yannick Ngakoue (Las Vegas).

Buffalo: Coming off last year’s AFC runner-up finish, the Bills kept their core intact by re-signing linebacker Matt Milano, right guard Jon Feliciano and right tackle Daryl Williams. They added receiver Emmanuel Sanders (New Orleans) and backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky (Chicago)…plus running back Matt Breida (Miami).>

Carolina: The Panthers hit every aisle of the supermarket — three linebackers, two receivers and one cornerback, offensive tackle and guard apiece. The biggest name was edge rusher Haason Reddick (Arizona).

Chicago: The cap-strapped Bears re-signed receiver Allen Robinson (franchise tag) and added quarterback Andy Dalton (Dallas) to start, then running back Damien Williams (Chiefs_.

Cincinnati: The normally conservative Bengals acquired three free agents averaging at least $6 million — edge rusher Trey Hendrickson (New Orleans) and cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie (Dallas) and Mike Hilton (Pittsburgh). On Friday, they added right tackle Riley Reiff (Minnesota), then DBs Eli Apple (Saints) and Ricardo Allen (Atlanta). Good work.

Cleveland: The Browns raided the Rams’ secondary for safety John Johnson and cornerback Troy Hill. This was a roster that didn’t need many reinforcements.

Dallas: Quarterback Dak Prescott re-signed. Business completed, but did add safety Ke’Anu Neal (Atlanta) and teammate Damontae Kazee plus Jayron Kearse (Lions).

Detroit: New general manager Brad Holmes came from the Rams’ front office and he acquired quarterback Jared Goff and defensive lineman Michael Brockers in trades. A key was re-signing edge rusher Romeo Okwara and receiver Tyrell Williams (Raiders).

Green Bay: Packers’ only move was re-signing running back Aaron Jones.

Houston: Hooboy, credit new general manager Nick Caserio. He didn’t like what he saw so he added players. By our count, the Texans signed or traded for 30 players, all of the free agents on one- or two-year deals, including running backs Phillip Lindsay (Broncos) and Mark Ingram (Ravens), plus corner Desmond King (Titans). Quarterback Tyrod Taylor (Chargers) is in place to succeed Deshaun Watson.

Indianapolis: Quiet except for trading for quarterback Carson Wentz (Philadelphia), likely saving money for in-house standouts Quenton Nelson and Darius Leonard, but did add Sam Tevi (Chargers)

Jacksonville: A shop-for-quantity week for new coach Urban Meyer (12 players). The headliners are cornerback Shaquill Griffin (Seattle), defensive tackle Roy Robertson-Harris (Chicago) and, via trade, defensive tackle Malcom Brown (New Orleans), plus QB-CJ Beathard (49ers).

Kansas City: The Super Bowl was a pass protection debacle so the Chiefs responded by signing guards Joe Thuney (New England) and Kyle Long (out of retirement).

L.A. Chargers: If the goal was to help quarterback Justin Herbert, the Chargers succeeded, signing center Corey Linsley (Green Bay), right tackle Matt Feiler (Pittsburgh) and tight end Jared Cook (New Orleans). They also re-signed ascending cornerback Michael Davis and rush linebacker Ky Fackrell (Packers).

L.A. Rams: Well, the good news is the Rams will gain multiple compensatory picks because they have lost seven free agents and signed none. Their big moves were trading for quarterback Matthew Stafford (Detroit) and re-signing edge rusher Leonard Floyd, plus late addition receiver DeSean Jackson (Eagles).

Las Vegas: An interesting week for the Raiders, who traded Hudson, right tackle Trent Brown (New England) and right guard Gabe Jackson (Seattle), signed running back Kenyan Drake to a four-year deal even though they have Josh Jacobs and added edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue (fourth team in less than a year) for $26 million, plus receiver Willie Snead (Ravens).

Miami: The Dolphins traded for Houston linebacker Bernardrick McKinney. Receiver Will Fuller (Houston) could be a boon on a one-year deal, as well as corner Justin Coleman (Detroit).

Minnesota: Defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson (Giants) was a terrific addition to help stop the run and Patrick Peterson was worth a one-year flier ($10 million) to lead an overmatched cornerback corps along with safety Xavier Woods (Cowboys).

New England: The Unofficial March Champion? Making up for their recent dreadful drafting, the Patriots added 13 players, headlined by Judon and tight ends Jonnu Smith (Tennessee) and Hunter Henry (Chargers) and Nelson Agholor (Raiders), linebacker Kyle Van Noy (Miami) and trading for tackle Trent Brown (Raiders). But Cam Newton is still their quarterback.

New Orleans: Once Jameis Winston was signed to compete with Taysom Hill at quarterback, the Saints’ biggest decision was made.

N.Y. Giants: A $63 million contract to keep defensive tackle Leonard Williams was their big business. The Giants took a one-year flier on receiver John Ross (Cincinnati), and paid a ton for receiver Ken Golladay (Lions) and corner Adoree Jackson (Titans).

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N.Y. Jets: General manager Joe Douglas had cap space and used it on edge rusher Carl Lawson (Cincinnati, $15 million average) and receiver Corey Davis (Tennessee, shade over $12 million average). They also tagged safety Marcus Maye. Late signings were DT-Sheldon Rankins (Saints)  and DE-Vin Curry (Eagles).  They still have QB-Sam Darnold.

Philadelphia: At least the Eagles got somebody to take Wentz. On Friday, they signed their first player (Minnesota safety Anthony Harris) then QB-Joe Flacco.

Pittsburgh: The Steelers re-signed receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (one year) and cornerback Cam Sutton (three years). A quiet start to free agency.

San Francisco: The in-house route was the 49ers’ strategy in re-signing left tackle Trent Williams and fullback Kyle Juszcyzk. They also added veteran center Alex Mack (Atlanta) and WR-Mo Sanu (Patriots).

Seattle: The Seahawks found reinforcements at cornerback (Ahkello Witherspoon from San Francisco) and guard (Gabe Jackson from Las Vegas) and then brought back DE-Carlos Dunlop and RB-Chris Carson.

Tampa Bay: Quarterback Tom Brady wanted everybody back so everybody is back. Re-signed were receiver Chris Godwin, tight end Rob Gronkowski, kicker Ryan Succop and linebackers Shaq Barrett and Lavonte Davis plus Nodamokong Suh.

Tennessee: Bud Dupree (Pittsburgh) was signed to help a dismal pass rush, but cornerback will need to be a priority in the draft. Late signings included WR-Josh Reynolds (Rams), pass rusher Morgan Cox (Rams) and CB-Janoris Jenkins (Saints)

Washington: Three big signings for WFT — starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (one year) and three years apiece for cornerback William Jackson (Cincinnati) and receiver Curtis Samuel (Carolina) and Adam Humprhies (Titans).

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