NFL Free Agency 2009

The NFL’s 2009 Free Agency period started out with a bang late this week, with numerous big name players getting signed to new (in some cases, very large) deals very quickly.

Here’s a quick recap of some of the things that have gone on within the first 24 hours of Free Agency ’09:

REDSKINS

Deal(s): The Washington Redskins sign DT Albert Haynesworth (pictured right) and CB DeAngelo Hall to large long term deals.  Haynesworth received a seven-year, $100 million contract and Hall received six years, $54 million. 

Analysis: The Redskins were obviously looking to shore up their defense (which over the years has been something that they are very proud of – even if it means lack of offense and fewer wins). 

DeAngelo Hall (pictured left) returns to the Redskins (after being picked up midway through the season when the Oakland Raiders released him).  Hall gives them a much stronger defensive secondary, and is still (in my opinion) a top 5 cornerback in the NFL in terms of talent.  If used properly he can be a franchise player and a game breaker.

Albert Haynesworth was at the top of many teams’ lists.  The Redskins offered him HUGE money, and I’m not sure if he’ll really end up being worth it.  While Haynesworth is one of the most dominant defensive linemen in the league, you have to wonder what else the Redskins could have done to enhance their team by using that salary cap space differently.

Rating:The redskins have acquired/kept two very good players, and haven’t really lost any big name assets this off season.  We’ll have to wait and see how Haynesworth fits into their scheme, but right now… I’ll give them an “A-” rating.  The minus is there because of the amount of money that they spent on just 2 guys… it could come back to bite them.

NY JETS

Deal(s): It’s been widely reported that LB Bart Scott (pictured right) will be signing with the Jets for 5 years and approximately $40 million.  The Jets also traded a 5th round draft pick, and a conditional pick for CB Lito Sheppardof the Philidelphia Eagles.

Analysis: While the Bart Scott signing technically not “final” yet… news of Scott going to the Jets is so widespread that I won’t be the only one with egg on my face if it doesn’t end up happening… so I feel safe including it here.  Scott leaves Baltimore and follows Rex Ryan (Baltimore’s ex-defensive coordinator who is now the head coach of the Jets) to NY.  This will be a good deal for all parties involved.  Ryan will have a linebacker to lead his defense that he trusts and who knows his system an is familiar with his coaching style.

Lito Sheppard (pictured left) was the odd man out when the Eagles signed Asante Samuel last year.  Sheppard is still only 27 and is a great cornerback with speed and awareness.  Acquiring him for a 5th rounder and a conditional pick is good work by Jets management.

Rating: Pending the “official” signing of Bart Scott, the Jets receive an “A” rating.  Similar to the Redskins, they beefed up 2 areas of their defense with two very good players.  Unlike the Redskins, they didn’t break the bank to do so.

PATRIOTS

Deal(s): The Patriots signed RB Fred Taylor (pictured right), who was recently cut by Jacksonville.

Analysis:Not really sure what to say about this one.  Lawrence Maroney has been good, but gets injured easily.  So this appears to be an insurance policy against Maroney getting injured. 

As it is, Maroney only gets 10-15 carries a game, so I really don’t understand bringing in another back if not for the injury/depth concerns.

Rating: “C” … Acquiring another running back, when you don’t use the one you have in the first place seems kind of silly. 

TAMPA BAY

Deal(s): The Bucs aquired TE Kellen Winslow Jr. (pictured right) from the Cleveland Browns for a 2nd and a 5th round pick. 

Analysis:Good move by the Bucs to bring in one of the better young receiving tight ends in the league.  Winslow brings drama andinjury concerns with him though, so only time will tell really how good this deal was for both sides. 

When he’s on his game though, Winslow Jr. is an absolute force to be reckoned with.

Rating:  “B” … Winslow could be great.  Or he could be trouble.  Either way, the draft picks that they gave up were worth the chance that he’ll be great. 

BALTIMORE

Deal(s): The Ravens appear to have lost LB Bart Scott to the NY Jets, and they also have possibly alienated franchise LB Ray Lewis… The only positive it seems so far in Free Agency is their signing of CB Domonique Foxworth (pictured left) for 4 years at $28 million.

Analysis:The Ray Lewis “drama” could just be posturing as he tries to get the largest deal he can (since it will very likely be his last contract before retirement)… so we’ll have to wait to see exactly how that side story plays out.  He very well may end up with the Ravens next year (despite reports that he claims otherwise).

Signing Domonique Foxworth was a great move for a team losing a lot of depth at the defensive back and linebacker positions this off season.  Foxworth is a local guy (went to High School in the Baltimore area, and college at University of Maryland), so in addition to what he brings on the field, he’ll also help out at the ticket office.  Good, Good signing.  Also, players always seem to play harder when they are playing in front of friends and family.

Rating: “C” … As good as the Foxworth signing is, all signs point to the Ravens losing 2 of their starting linebackers from this past season.  That’s a huge blow that they might not be able to counter with mere free agent signings.

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For a list of the “top 100” free agents (complete with updates as they are signed), Click Here.

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One Response to “NFL Free Agency 2009”

  1. […] Free Agency 2009 – Part II A couple of days ago, I posted some initial reactions of the 2009 NFL free agency period here on F.E.G.N.S.  Since then, there have been more signings, wheeling and dealings, and tidbits of news.  So as […]

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