Posts Tagged ‘free agency’

Toby Gerhart – Jacksonville Jaguars RB

Jacksonville signed a starting caliber running back for under $4 million/year. The signing of Gerhart allows Jacksonville to focus on other areas of need in the draft (QB, DE, OLB, DB). Spending a fair but still affordable amount of money on a talented starter is the habit of a winning franchise.

Golden Tate – Detroit Lions WR

Detroit signed Tate to a $31 million contract over five years. Tate’s got excellent hands and admirable speed. He’s a solid breakout candidate on a Detroit offense that’s sorely needed a clear number two receiver for the past several seasons. Tate’s contract will look like a bargain if he can develop a rapport with Matthew Stafford.

James Jones – Oakland Raiders WR

Jones’ will quickly become the Raiders number one receiver regardless of who lines up at QB. Jones signed a three year, $11.3 million contract with Oakland. If Oakland ends up starting a veteran like Matt Schaub or a rookie like Derek Carr, they will be glad to have a wide receiver with a nose for the endzone like Jones.

Garrett Graham, Houston Texans TE

Graham stepped up in the absence of Owen Daniels and played tremendously well. Graham’s been rewarded with a three year, $11.5 million contract. Graham provides excellent value and talent at the position. Graham’s presence will be a major boon for whichever rookie Houston ends up drafting in May.

Hakeem Nicks, Indianapolis Colts WR

Nicks signed with the Colts for a one year, $3 million contract. If Nicks works out, Indianapolis can resign him to a longer contract to remain with the team. If he doesn’t they’ve only lost $3 million attempting to bolster their receiving corps.

Smart Free Agent Movers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers displayed patience and wisdom in free agency by cutting loose underperforming LT Donald Penn and signing a talented Anthony Collins to a reasonably priced long term contract. They also signed a quality Center in Evan-Dietrich Smith and an underrated TE in Brandon Myers. The importing of Josh McCown shows Lovie Smith is already preparing a strong roster for 2014.

Nonsmart Free Agent Movers

Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie and head coach Dennis Allen are worried about getting fired next season so they’ve made a number of offseason moves to make sure it happens. After a number of questionable FA signings including an aging Justin Tuck, Lamarr Woodley, Antonio Smith and Donald Penn, the Raiders went the extra mile and traded a sixth round pick to Houston for the privilege of paying QB Matt Schaub $10.5 million to be a bad backup or a worse starter.

These are the six wide receivers on the Panthers active roster as of 5:21:12 PM Eastern time, 3/17/2014.

  • Kealoha Pilares – Hawaii. 5’ 10” 205 lbs. Career numbers 2 receptions for 42 yards and one touchdown.
  • Tavarres King – Georgia. 6’0”. 191 lbs. No statistics.
  • RJ Webb – Furman. 6’2” 205 lbs. No statistics.
  • Marvin McNutt – Iowa. 6’2” 216 lbs. No receptions.
  • Toney Clemons – Colorado. 6’2” 210 lbs. Career numbers of 3 receptions for 41 yards.
  • Brenton Bursin – Wofford. 6’3” 210 – No statistics

The Panthers wide receivers have a collective five receptions for 83 yards and one touchdown between the six of them. Carolina lost four wide receivers in free agency, Cam Newton will want someone besides Greg Olsen to catch the football in 2014 if the Panthers expect to outpace New Orleans in the NFC South. Premium free agent WR’s Hakeem Nicks and Eric Decker have already signed with Indianapolis and the New York Jets, respectively.

Noteworthy wide receivers remaining in free agency include:

  • James Jones
  • Danario Alexander
  • Miles Austin
  • Lance Moore
  • Sidney Rice

Riverboat Ron Rivera watched as his starting left tackle retired from the game. He and Panthers GM Dave Gettleman will have to decide if they want their first round pick to go towards a shiny new receiver, a position of need for the past several years, or on the second most important position on the team, left tackle.

Gettleman could choose to resign former tackle Bruce Campbell. Campbell, a physical specimen heading into the draft, has never started a game in his NFL career. Campbell would provide added depth at the position, if little else.

Other options include Ryan Harris and Eric Winston. Harris’s been a solid right tackle for Houston and has allowed only 3.5 sacks over 26 starts in his career. Eric Winston had built a reputation as a solid starter until last season when his performance seemed to collapse on a terrible Cardinals offensive line. Winston might benefit from a change of scenery in Carolina.

If the Panthers can squeeze solid OT play out of a veteran like Winston or Harris on a nominally-priced contract they will come out of free agency looking like geniuses. Arizona, Miami and Oakland all dished out a hefty pay-day for tackles like Jared Veldheer, Branden Albert, and Austin Howard. Veldheer and Albert, while talented, have struggled with injuries in the past. Howard has improved significantly since his rookie days but still doesn’t deliver the same presence as a true bruiser like Matt Kalil or Joe Staley. Overspending on a free agent doesn’t make him better. Just ask Dan Snyder.

Gettleman may have to find both their starting wideouts in the draft. Fortunately the draft is supposedly stocked at the position, making prospects hopeful for the future in Carolina.