Free Agency Day 2 – Late Signings

A move to bolster the Seahawks pass rush weakens conference rival Detroit.

A move to bolster the Seahawks pass rush weakens conference rival Detroit.

The Seattle Seahawks are really after a trip to Super Bowl XLVIII and continued to strengthen themselves with the signing of DE Cliff Avril formerly of Detroit. In 5 seasons with the Lions he amassed 168 tackles and 39 1/2 sacks. They almost lost  him last year when they gave him the franchise tag after an 11 1/2 sack season. They had made a 10-6 season and looked to be headed to sunny days when the roof fell in during 2012. Now the front running Seahawks have added a pass rusher in his prime to join Bruce Irvin (8 sacks) and a recovering DE Chris Clemons from injury.

At 27 years of age Avril signs a 2 year contract worth $15 million, to help this team get to the Super Bowl. He has another chance at a free agent contract if he performs during these next two seasons. Even then he’d be 29 years of age and should be able to get after the passer with a three man rush in passing situations. The Seahawks have insulated themselves that two of the three best pass rushers should be healthy by the time we get to the 2013 playoffs.

The Indianapolis Colts come to terms with former New York Jet S LaRon Landry to bolster the NFL’s 21st against the pass defense. Not bad for a team that finished 11-5 in 2012, although they gave up 387 points. Head Coach Chuck Pagano knows his team can’t depend on Andrew Luck bringing the team from behind multiple times again. Now they sign a Pro Bowl S to a 4 year $24 million deal.

Amendola will have to fill some big shoes in New England.

Amendola will have to fill some big shoes in New England.

After losing Wes Welker to conference rival Denver, the Patriots signed former St Louis Ram slot receiver Danny Amendola a 5 year deal worth $31 million. Really?? Over a receiver that set a league record having 5, 100 catch seasons?? Sure Amendola is only turning 28 years old, he’s caught just 196 career passes in 4 years. Compare that to the last two years where Welker caught 240 combined. Go figure. The callousness that Chad Ochocinco was shown to a fan favorite coming off 5 straight Pro Bowl seasons. Amendola will have some pressure on him this year as fans and pundits compare the two all next year.

The Denver Broncos signed former Eagle CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to a one year deal after struggling in the City of Brotherly Love. His story is intriguing since he was almost an after-thought thrown into the trade between the Arizona Cardinals and Eagles for quarterback Kevin Kolb. If he can give a better performance than Tracy Porter, he can possibly turn it into a serious payday next year. He’s also going to a contender and can resurrect his career as a definitive starting corner, or be relegated to that of a nickel back and special teams player only from here on out. He better bring his “A” game since he’ll be playing across Champ Bailey.

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Free Agency Day 2: Wes Welker Signs With the Denver Broncos

Wes Welker is going to the AFC West.

Wes Welker is going to the AFC West.

The New England Patriots tried to render him obsolete last year and once the tight ends went down, they returned to their small receiver. Well they didn’t want to offer Wes Welker what he and his agent wanted. Enter John Elway and the Denver Broncos. They sign Welker to a 2 year deal for $12 million, and he is 8 years younger than current slot receiver Brandon Stokely.

Now the only player in NFL history with 5 different 100 reception seasons is heading to play with Peyton Manning.  Time will  tell and he will definitely get back at the Patriots when they play. With the Ravens coming apart and the Steelers struggling to hold onto their players, Denver is still in the mix for the AFC Championship. It’s now up in the air

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Free Agency Day 2: Dashon Goldson Signs With Tampa Bay

The San Francisco 49ers lost an enforcer with Goldson's departure.

The San Francisco 49ers lost an enforcer with Goldson’s departure.

When a team sends its private jet to fly you cross-country, you knew they were going to throw a contract at Dashon Goldson he couldn’t refuse. The former Pro Bowl and All Pro safety leaves a glaring hole in the back 7 of the 49ers. This is a blow to the defending NFC Champions who are looking at Charles Woodson to replace him. First things first, Goldson is a hitter and terrorized receivers coming into his area.  At 6’2 205 lbs he brings the lumber whether facing a tight end, receiver over the middle, or coming up to support the run.

He’s been a Pro Bowler the last two years and his 67 tackles, 1 forced fumble, and 3 interceptions joins last year’s 1st round selection in SS Mark Barron. Now the Buccaneers have two hitters in the secondary and Barron just gained a mentor.  This move could spell the end for Ronde Barber. Two natural safeties should improve the Buccaneer secondary.

At 28 years of age, Goldson should be able to complete his contract and will be needed to improve the 32nd ranked pass defense last year. They were horrible allowing 4,758 yards and 30 touchdowns. They need all the help they can get. Well he signs a 5 year deal and financial points will be disclosed tonight.

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Free Agency Day 2: Rashard Mendenhall Signs With Cardinals

Mendenhall is headed to the desert.

Mendenhall is headed to the desert.

Former Pittsburgh Steeler workhorse signs a one year deal with the Arizona Cardinals. A deal like that tells The Chancellor that Mendenhall’s agent didn’t find a lot of suitors for his services and is going to have an incentive laden contract. Coming off the heels of RB Beanie Wells release yesterday there should have been a little more commitment from the Cardinals.

Last year he had an assortment of injuries yet is just 2 seasons from a 928 yard rushing performance in 2011. The Steelers feel that his best years are behind him. He should easily be able to best the 357 yards rushing performance by Stephens-Howlings last year. That was their leading rusher?? Yes… it was. The departed Beanie Wells only gained 234 yards.

With the Cardinals unsettled at quarterback and fields one of the league’s best defenses, Mendenhall and the running back they select in the draft will have ample opportunity. Don’t forget that Mendenhall had back to back 1,000 yard seasons in 2010 and 2011. So it’s not a case of being able to do it. It’s a question of how much does this 6th year back have left.

Understand that this is a make it or break it season for Mendenhall & Cardinal Head Coach Ken Wisenhunt. Their mission, should they choose to accept it, is be competitive in the NFC West over the improving Rams, NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers, and tooling for a Super Bowl trip Seattle Seahawks. Good luck gentlemen.

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Free Agency Day 1: Paul Kruger Signs With the Cleveland Browns

They need to re-sign Paul Kruger.

They need to re-sign Paul Kruger.

If you thought things couldn’t get worse for the World Champion Baltimore Ravens, it did as LB/DE Paul Kruger bolted for the Cleveland Browns. They thought he would be available if Dannell Ellerbe was snatched up. However they didn’t prepare for a team to offer Kruger a big deal on day one. He signs a 5 year $40 million deal with the Browns and stays within the division. They already lost Anquan Boldin in a trade to the San Francisco 49ers. Now you can almost guarantee S Ed Reed is gone as well. No chance he comes back to play for a rebuilding defense. The Ravens are definitely in transition now.

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Percy Harvin Traded To The Seahawks

Percy Harvin is going to be a viable threat out of the backfield as well as in the slot.

Percy Harvin is going to be a viable threat out of the backfield as well as in the slot.

Percy Harvin is packing his bags for the Pacific Northwest. He is going to a legitimate Super Bowl contender at the expense of 2 1st round selections. One this year and another next year. Let’s face it he only had a salary of $915,000 last year and provides an explosive element to the Seahawks on offense as well as special teams.

If there is a weakness on the Seahawks, they didn’t have enough play makers around Russell Wilson. The only way to free up Sidney Rice is to get a complete receiver on the other side. Harvin isn’t that guy. He’s the guy that will attack from the slot formation when you split your attention between Marshawn Lynch, Sidney Rice, and the later to be named receiver they should get in the draft or free agency. Understand the dynamic that Harvin isn’t the end all be all.

He’s going to be that wildcard in their offense that you won’t be able to account for. Couple that with Russell Wilson’s running ability and Harvin just needs to stay alive on those plays. Everyone knows he is always one missed tackle from taking it the distance. If you read our Seahawks preview https://taylorblitztimes.com/2013/03/08/2013-seattle-seahawks-preview-ready-to-make-a-move/ you’d know the relative ages of these players. This team is in for a Super Bowl run and they would still have another year before free agency can nick at this team. So giving up 2 first rounders for a team that is loaded at every position but receiver, this was a good trade. If they take the field for Super Bowl XLVIII, it will be looked upon as a great trade.

 

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