Free Agency in the NFL is slowly but surely taking shape as we have flitted past the deadline to Franchise players. So how did the market change?
First off, good luck finding a good CB as Namndi Asmagouh signed a lucrative 4 year deal in Oakland. Moving to #2 in a FA group with only two top tier playmakers, Daunte Robinson was franchised by the Texans, so unless he is worth a pick 33 to the Lions (which is what I think the Texans will want for him) then we won't see him in a Lions uniform either.
In O-line news, forget your healthiest FA Steelers OG as he was franchised. In related news, Jordon Gross of the Panthers should be sending a big fat thank-you card to Julius Peppers -- his demands forced Carolina into hurrying to get a pretty lucrative contract extension done with him so they had their tag free to use on Peppers so they can retain his rights to trade him.
Seattle also franchised a certain weed-smokin LB, so his chances of coming to the Lions just dropped to nil as well.
In a league wide trend I'm not sure many Lions fans were aware of, premier Kickers and Punters continue to be signed to extensions as well as franchised. Detroit came to a long term extension for Jason Hanson, and punter Shane Lechler was locked up in Oakland. The Bengals and Falcons decided to franchise members of the kicking team as well (kicker and punter respectively). With the kicking game having such a big influence on the outcome of games, more teams are placing an emphasis on keeping and retaining top talent at K, P and LS.
Surprisingly, this is one position grouping in which the Lions are if not the best in the league, darn close to it.
Celebrating a Birthday for one of my Lion Cubs this weekend (spent yesterday getting ready) so I will be on Hiatus til Sunday.
Keep up the great work on the links and thoughts for FA and Combine evaluations. I'll chime in with my first Combine thoughts Sunday, followed by my developing FA thoughts Monday and Tuesday.
Happy Birthday to my middle pick Lion... I know you'll read this. ~ Dad