Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Happy New (NFL) Year!

Yes, it's officially the 2014 NFL league year, and with the kickoff of the new year comes the official opening of free agency, where unrestricted free agents can sign with any of the league's 32 teams.

With the caveat that the team that "wins" free agency tends to not end up winning the final game of the league year, it's still a very exciting time for fans. Let's recap the opening 6 hours of free agency:

Offensive Tackles Won the Day:
Brandon Albert - Miami - 5 years/$46 Million/$25 Million guaranteed
Eugene Monroe - Baltimore (re-signed) - 5 years/$37.5 Million/??? guaranteed
Jared Veldheer - Arizona - 5 years/$37.5 Million/$17 Million guaranteed
Roger Saffold - Oakland - 5 years/$42.5 Million/$21 Million guaranteed

Oakland Lost the Day:
The Raiders have been building toward this offseason for 2 years (since GM Reggie McKenzie was hired). McKenzie has been biting the bullet and cleaning off all of the terrible deals Al Davis signed before passing away. Finally, the skeletal rosters were going to pay off, as Oakland entered this offseason with about $66.5 Million in cap space, most in the league. The Raiders also had two quality free agents: OT Jared Veldheer and DL Lamar Houston. Surely, then, the Raiders would take care of their own before going on a spending spree to start their climb back to repsectability?

Well...no. Houston signed with the Bears (who lost out on their first choice, Michael Bennett) today. And Veldheer signed with tackle-desperate Arizona. So Oakland went 0-for-2 on keeping their quality free agents.

Okay, but McKenzie can still salvage this by using his cap space to replace these players with better players or better value...right?

You tell me:
They repllaced Veldheer with Roger Saffold. Veldheer missed 11 games this past season, but played in the previous 48 and had solidified the left tackle position for the Raiders. Saffold has missed 17 games in the past 3 seasons, has bounced from left tackle to right tackle to guard, and he cost more than Veldheer signed for.

That's right, Saffold is probably a downgrade, and he's costing more money.

The more things change...

The Seattle Brand has Value:
Clinton McDonald (backup DT), got 4 years and $12 Million
O'Brien Schofield (7 tackles in 2013), got 2 years and $8 Million

Jacksonville FINALLY Admitted a Colossal Mistake:
The Jaguars traded QB Blaine Gabbert (2011 1st rounder, 10th pick overall) to the San Francisco 49ers for a 6th round pick.

The 49ers, in turn, somehow downgraded at backup quarterback from Colt McCoy.

The Market is getting even More Crowded:
DeMarcus Ware got cut
Darrelle Revis is about to get cut (Tampa signed a different cornerback rather than pay Revis $16 Million this season)

Jonathan Martin has a New Home:
He's reunited with his college coach, Jim Harbaugh, in San Francisco for a conditional draft pick.

No comments:

Post a Comment