Since I haven’t been posting a lot lately, I missed the heart of the free agent frenzy in the NFL offseason. To make it up to all you loyal readers, I’m going to run through a bunch of more notable free agent signings, and maybe a couple trades, and give them a thumbs up or thumbs down (I know, original) on how beneficial they are for the new team. On to my belated opinions!
Kyle Vanden Bosch to Lions
Although Vanden Bosch is definitely getting old with 10 years of experience behind him, that’s not exactly a bad thing. The Lions lack any leadership on defense, and this signing really helps not only Detroit’s defensive line, but also gives them a more powerful voice. The Lions know they can’t fill all their holes through the draft, so they also went shopping for some veterans on offense and defense. A smart move for a rebuilding team.
Chester Taylor to Bears
Matt Forte clearly isn’t cutting it being the starting back, but he might be able to be more effective with less touches. This is where Taylor comes in. He’s a great third-down back, and can pound away with the ball to give Forte a couple downs of rest so that his durability can last a little longer. Very good pickup as it not only gives you a running back, but saves another one.
Dunta Robinson to Falcons
DeAngelo Hall called, he wants his role of overpaid Atlanta cornerback back. A six-year deal for a secondary player who didn’t record an interception last season? Bad decision.
LaDainian Tomlinson to Jets
I don’t know why this deal seems so great to some people. Tomlinson goes from facing cupcake running defenses in the AFC West like the Chiefs and Raiders to solid lines in the AFC East with the Patriots and Dolphins. I understand that the Jets wanted to get younger so they released Thomas Jones, but why replace him with another aging back? Maybe I’m wrong and Tomlinson has a comeback season, but I see Shonn Greene getting the majority of the touches anyway.
Julius Peppers to Bears
The Bears are trying to recreate their solid defense that they’ve always been known for, and getting Peppers really helps. He’ll help shut down the running game against Chicago if you’re a team in the AFC North.
Thomas Jones to Chiefs
Jones gets to run against easier defensive lines in the AFC West than the AFC East, and also is a perfect complement to Jamaal Charles. Good pickup by the Chiefs.
Larry Johnson to Redskins
Clinton Portis is constantly getting hurt (and older), but having Johnson back him up is not the best option. The Redskins are always the off-season champions, but this year it doesn’t seem like it.
A.J. Feeley to Rams
This may not seem like a major signing, but I’m looking a little deeper on this. At first it was basically all but assured that St. Louis was going to take Ndamukong Suh with the first pick in the draft, but then the combine happened and names like Jimmy Clausen and Sam Bradford were thrown around, and now the Rams are considering a quarterback. I don’t really see that as a smart move, though. Suh could immediately make an impact on their defense, while a quarterback would take much longer to learn the schemes and work out the kinks. If St. Louis lets Feeley start, who is definitely not a bad quarterback, they can try and focus their draft on filling more defensive holes or choosing offensive weapons for him to throw at, instead of thrusting a rookie behind center and hoping he’s the next Matt Ryan.
Nate Burleson to Lions
This gives Matthew Stafford another receiving threat besides Calvin Johnson. Despite the fact that Megatron can catch anything within five yards of him, getting Burleson takes secondary pressure off of Johnson and will hopefully establish a passing presence for the Lions.
Anquan Boldin to Ravens
It gives Joe Flacco another target besides Derrick Mason, who they re-signed, and Ray Rice. Even if teams double-cover Boldin, at least that leaves Mason and Rice open for even more looks than last season.
Brady Quinn to Broncos
Thumbs up (but Thumbs down to the Browns)
The Browns got absolutely robbed on this trade (they got Peyton Hillis and two late round draft picks, one of them conditional. Conditional.) With quarterback mastermind Josh McDaniels, Quinn can try for a fresh start and battle Kyle Orton for the starting spot on the Broncos.
Jake Delhomme to Browns
I really tried, but I don’t like anything about this. Cleveland gets rid of the two quarterbacks who struggled and battled to start (Quinn and Derek Anderson) for Seneca Wallace and Delhomme? He had one of his worst seasons last season (8 TDs, 18 INTs) and you sign him for a two-year deal? Sure, I know there’s nowhere for him to go but up, but really?
Charlie Whitehurst to Seahawks
I know nothing about this Jesus-looking fellow from Clemson, but anything’s better than Matt Hasselbeck right now, I guess.