Friday, February 27, 2009

FA - Day 1 Commences...

As day one of Free Agency has unfolded, the money flowed like beer at a frat party -- plentiful, and quick.

Washington, after a prudent year last year went nuts and spent $100 Million ($41 Million Guaranteed) AND resign Deangelo Williams to a 5 yr $54 Million contract with $23 Million guaranteed. Between him, Asmoguah, and Foxworth who signed with the Ravens at 4 year $28 million ($16.5 million guaranteed) the market for CB's is officially into Nate-Clements-Crazy-Land.

Rumor is McFadden is supposed to be meeting with the Lions soon, but hopefully the fact he isn't signed yet means he will come a lot cheaper than the other signed CB's. It also looks like whatever the Lions are going to pay for a CB may be in the range, or below, the contract Bodden is going to get. He is in talks with the Patriots last I read.

Going back to Washington, I noted in one article that stated how Washington was quiet in FA last year after spending big for several years in a row...but, that after going 8-8 "with an aging roster" Washington had to make a big splash. Why is Washington's roster aging so quickly? Because when you build through FA versus the draft, the guys you are getting start 5 - 8 years (at best, typically) than the guys you draft. They just don't stick around at all.

Washington is the poster child for how not to build a team -- through FA.

One of my favorite targets for the Lions - Vincent Fuller - resigned with Tenessee, so he is off the radar. Also, the Lions lost Moran Norris to the 49ers for a 1.5 mil bonus, 3 yrs 5 million. Good contract for a FB who was a street FA and started for the 30th ranked offense on an 0-16 team… At least it will go toward the Lions getting compensatory picks for 2011. Same if DanO signs elsewhere this ifseason, as the Lions tried to retain both.
Kellen Winslow of the Browns was traded for undisclosed draft picks to Tampa Bay. BTW - at least the new Bucs front office was left with a good situation. They are in Florida, where weather helps draw FA. They have 50+ Million in cap space after cutting everyone but Ronde Barber over 32 (literally), and having been decent in recent seasons, they will attract many FA. Mind you, don't be fooled. Tampa Bay is rebuilding as drastically as the Lions are this year, and their records/performance will be a good comparison moving along as to the progress of the Lions.
Bart Scott Just signed with the NY Jets - 5yrs $43 Million and a boatload guaranteed. Vilma re-signed with the Saints for a similar number. Either one would have been a positive addition for the Lions -- but that is too much money on a FA LB for a team that is just starting to build its' roster.
Chris Carr is a guy I wanted the Lions to look to, and he apparently has been contacted by the team, as well as 3 others. I think the Lions will be in on the bidding, but they won't overbid -- if the numbers get to high, they will drop out and focus elsewhere.

Dockery (LG) and Washington (WR) in town today -- though neither is said to have signed. Wash may be close to a deal was reported earlier, but now it is being reported he left town without a contract. Although TJ hoozyamomma would be an awesome #2, he is 31 and I think the price will be too high, even if he did want to come to the Lions. Washington would be good at the right price, but I think he left town because he was asking more than the Lions were willing to pay out. If the other #2 WR candidates get signed, look for them to sweep in on him -- but it is too early to be overpaying, and I like how Mayhew is conducting this so far.
Dockery would be a solid addition and upgrade at LG. It is unclear whether he is staying in Detroit, or left town. Another Buffalo player, Jabari Greer CB is set to visit Detroit this weekend. He'll probably command a little less than Foxworth money, but would be a solid starting CB. Buffalo doesn't really want to lose him, but wasn't able to work out a deal.
There are rumors that Mourice Morris was signed from Seattle to be Kevin Smith's backup, but as of right now it is unconfirmed, though the numbers put out there are 3 yrs $7 million which is reasonable #2 RB money. He's a good all around back, and solid #2 RB. If true, great signing by Detroit. As was so aptly stated by Killer...explains why they hadn't contacted Derrick Ward. Morris is just as good, will be more supportive in a backup role than Ward, and is a lot cheaper.
More on FA as it continues to unfold...

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