NFL Free Agency Kicks Off – Day 1 Recap

And unlike during the actual season there were no touchbacks on the first day of NFL free agency.

The Big Moves

Washington Redskins:  Surprise, surprise.  Just when you thought Dan Snyder was going to be cautious due to the reduction of cap space over the next two years he surprises you…er, acts exactly like he always does.  After pulling off the huge trade up to select Andrew Luck/Robert Griffin III in this year’s draft, the Skins made sure to get him a few targets in Pierre Garcon (5  years, 42.5 mill, 20.5 guaranteed) and Josh Morgan (first 2 years worth 12 mill, 7.5 guaranteed).  Not only that but they re-signed Adam Carriker (4 years 20 mill).  Meet the Skins’ front office, same as the old front office.
While the Skins clearly want to surround their QB of the future with receiving talent I’m not sure sinking so much money into Garcon is a good thing.  He is a deep threat that can sometimes get a case of the dropsies (not to be confused with dropsy).  He is coming off his best statistical year of his career but with the Colts being down early I’m sure much of those accrued stats were against soft coverage.  Morgan showed promise in San Fran but never turned the corner into the reliable WR they thought he could be.  Not to mention the 49ers were concerned more about signing the formerly retired Randy Moss over worrying about re-signing Morgan.  In any case we’ll see how this works out.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:  Does this mean Vincent Jackson is currently gruntled?  After signing a HUGE deal (5 years, 55.5 mill) the Bucs are sending a clear message, they want to compete now.  Seeing as how Jackson is going from the pass heavy Norv Turner Chargers, with a gun slinging Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates drawing attention in the middle of the field, it should be interesting to see if Jackson is worth all this money or not.  One thing is for sure, Josh Freeman finally has someone to throw the ball to (whether he ends up being triple teamed or not is a different question).

St. Louis Rams:  They are having quite the week.  They moved down a mere 4 draft spots and picked up an addition 2nd rounder in this year’s draft, and two future first round picks over the weekend.  Now they kick the FA period off by signing arguably the best cornerback in this year’s FA class in Cortland Finnegan (5 year, 50 mill).  He’s a bit of a headcase but isn’t afraid to hit and could become the face of a Rams’ defense that has lacked an identity for a while.

Chicago Bears:  They didn’t even sign anyone and still made a splash.  No reason for any in depth analysis here, but I do have three questions.  Will the Cutler to Marshall union be as sweet as the original?  Miami you only got to third round picks for a perennial Pro Bowl receiver (having traded two 2nd round picks to get him from the Broncos in 2010), what were you thinking?  Seriously, what were you thinking?

Please Don’t Go

The San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints, and Indianapolis Colts all decided to not let some of their key players take a dip in the free agent pool.  Carlos Rogers reupped with the 49ers (4 year, 30.1 mill max).  Marques Colston stayed with the Saints (5 year, 40 mill, 19 guaranteed).  And Reggie Wayne shockingly came back to the Colts (3 years is all the info), even though many thought he was gone.

Left At the Alter (Seemingly)

Being a fan of the Buffalo Bills, I was completely shocked that they had two free agents fly into Buffalo immediately in Mario Williams and Robert Meachem, for a little wining and dining.  Also being a Bills fan I am not shocked at all that while in Buffalo Meachem signed a ridiculous contract to be a member of the San Diego Chargers.  But wow, that’s a hell of a move to agree to a contract while visiting a different city (musta been some bad food at dinner).  Not to mention I wouldn’t be surprised if Mario Williams also left Buffalo without a contract and signed somewhere else.  In any case clearly some shrewd moves by their agents as Buffalo has a ton of cap space and always has to overpay for wanted free agents.

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