Free Agent Tracker
The craziness is only getting warmed up but by Tuesday night, we saw a bunch of key players either sign or agree to terms on a new contract. Some players like offensive lineman Doug Free signed new deals with their former teams, while others like prized middle linebacker Paul Poszlusny has reportedly agreed with the Jaguars.
While many of the free agent updates below are yet to be finalized until Friday, we can start to take an early assessment as to what these transactions mean to NFL teams and fantasy values for the 2011 season. I will be adding more players to this list as updates come through.
Cowboys – RB Marion Barber, WR Roy Williams, OL Leonard Davis, OL Marc Colombo - With Marion Barber gone, the show should now belong to Felix Jones with Tashard Choice and DeMarco Murray pickup up the slack. Roy Williams was horrible in Dallas, and he can take his act (and his wedding ring) on the road to another town, so they can groan about his poor play. For the Cowboys, this release helps them in the cap and opens the door for Dez Bryant to start. As for the offensive lineman, Colombo is a possible return, but thank goodness they team resigned Free, or I would start to panic about Tony Romo’s pass protection.
Ravens – RB Willis McGahee, TE Todd Heap, WR Derrick Mason, DT Kelly Gregg- Read More Here
Browns – Jake Delhomme - I didn’t like this signing last year and it’s clear that Colt McCoy is next in line to prove he belongs in Cleveland.
Jets – WR Santonio Holmes – Mark Sanchez has his top target back in Santonio Holmes. This is a big signing for the Jets, and other receivers like Braylon Edwards, and Sidney Rice should come off the board in the next few days.
Panthers – DE Charles Johnson - The addition of Charles Johnson may cost the Panthers DeAngelo Williams, but they were smart to make Johnson a top priority. Carolina already lost a great pass rusher in Julius Peppers last season, and if they lost Johnson it would be devastating. This team still has a long way to go before making the playoffs, but at least they have a top ten pass rusher off the edge.
Panthers – RB DeAngelo Williams - So much for the idea of Johnson hurting the Panthers chances of landing DeAngelo Williams, as the veteran has decided to stay in Carolina for 43 million. This is a small let down for me as I was hoping Williams would sign with the Broncos, and that would give both Williams and Jonathan Stewart starting jobs. Now, Stewart is a backup again, and the two will combo to help the Panthers find offense as they bring Cam Newton and the passing game along.
Chargers – S Eric Weddle – After an average year for Eric Weddle’s standards, the Chargers made him the highest paid safety of all time with a five year, 50 million-dollar deal! No doubt the Chargers over paid for Weddle, but he is a key to what they do and this signing should only help guarantee that the Chargers should find the playoffs.
Chargers – TE Randy McMichael - When Antonio Gates was out due to health problems, Randy McMichael filled in admirably at times, so bringing the veteran back, only insures that Philip Rivers will have another familiar weapon on the roster.
Redskins – WR Santana Moss - For all the talk about the Redskins going with Santonio Holmes or Braylon Edwards, they elected to stick with Santana Moss instead. While Moss is a respectable veteran, I must say I’m very unimpressed with the players this team is bring in so far, for what I believe they really need. Poor personnel fits should make this team one of the favorites for Andrew Luck next spring.
Cowboys – T Doug Free - It’s a good thing Dallas re-signed Doug Free after they released Leonard Davis and Marc Colombo on the same day. Their is talk that Colombo will comeback at a reduced price, and lets hope so because I don’t want to see the Cowboys go through a big offensive line change.
49ers – QB Alex Smith - It makes me sick that Alex Smith actually got five million dollars to play one more year for San Francisco, but I can understand the move, in these times. Colin Kaepernick is the future, but he won’t be ready to take the starting job until next year, so keeping Smith around makes sense for one more year.
Texans – WR Jacoby Jones - While Jacoby Jones has failed to become more than a No.3 receiver, he will continue to help Matt Schaub in the passing game, and provide a deep threat.
Steelers – CB Ike Taylor -This was a big signing for the Steelers defense as I was concerned what would happen to this secondary if they lost Ike Taylor. A key cog in the machine, Taylor will continue to help make the Steelers one of the better defenses in football.
Falcons – LB Stephen Nicholas - Big get back for the Falcons and now their linebacker core remains intact. With Sean Weatherspoon and Curtis Lofton around to provide thump in the running game, Nicholas is a key player for pass protection help.
Packers – K Mason Crosby – For all the talent Mason Crosby has he can drive you crazy at times with this accuracy problems in big moments. Still, this is one of the better legs in the game and it was wise for the Packers to keep him.
Texans – QB Matt Leinart – Well as it turns out, Matt Leinart didn’t end up in Seattle as he decided to stay as Matt Schaub’s backup.
Colts – S Melvin Bullitt - Not a house hold name but Melvin Bullitt is a good player for the Colts, and will continue to help them in the secondary
Jets – K Nick Folk - Now two years removed from his hip problems, hopefully we will see Nick Folk find better accuracy.
Colts – K Adam Vinatieri - The old man just keeps hanging on. Hopefully he can stay healthy for a full season.
Panthers LB’s Thomas Davis, James Anderson – If their is a winner in the early going of free agency it probably has to be the Panthers as they’ve resigned just about all their notable free agents. Both of these linebackers are talented as James Anderson broke-out as one of the teams top tacklers. Davis has had major health problems in the past two seasons, but if healthy, he can help this defense.
Buccaneers – LB Quincy Black – It looks like Tampa Bay is set to not re-sign Barrett Ruud but they did keep Quincy Black.
Vikings – K Ryan Longwell - It looks like the Vikings are planning on keeping veteran Ryan Longwell and why not as he’s been great in his time in Minnesota.
49ers – DE Ray McDonald – Finally some good news for the 49ers as they’ve watched key players leave or announce (Frank Gore) they are holding out. McDonald has been a good rotation lineman for the team and should continue to help in the future.
Cowboys – G Kyle Kosier – Another offensive lineman kept in house by the Cowboys. Still interested to see what they will do as Colombo and Davis’s spots remain open the the offensive line.
Cardinals – G Daryn Colledge – While Colledge won’t make headlines, he does give the Cardinals a respectable veteran with starting experience as Coledge played on the Packers front line.
Chargers – DE Jacques Cesaire - Keeping Cesaire makes sense as he’s proven to be a useful rotation option on the front line. Look for Cesaire to continue to help the Chargers vs the run.
Falcons – LB Mike Peterson – Quality veteran depth in the linebacker core, as 2010 first round pick Sean Weatherspoon will start in front of Peterson.
Panthers – WR Steve Smith - Ok, this isn’t a new deal as Steve Smith is still under contract but it was heavily expected that Smith would leave via a trade. Cam Newton lobbied to keep Smith in Carolina and now Smith has publicly announced that he plans to stay in Carolina.
It’s cool that he wants to stay with his long-time team, and I also wonder if his wife’s health problems this spring made him think twice about moving locations this season.
Good for Newton and the Panthers that Smith is staying. For selfish reasons, this won’t help Smith’s fantasy value, but Newton is likely to throw him the ball all day long. Here’s wishing you well Smith, good for you!!
Giants – DE / OLB Mathias Kiwanuka - This is a big two year signing as the Giants will have Kiwi back in their rotation for defensive ends and now have leverage against Osi as he holds out. Jason Pierre-Paul should be a factor in the pass rush this season as I have a feeling, Osi may not come back anytime soon.
Saints – T Jermon Bushrod - Key hold here as Bushrod is Drew Brees’s blindside tackle.
Steelers – T Willie Colon – Despite voicing his desire to stay with the Steelers, it didn’t seem likely that Pittsburgh would find a way to keep Colon before free agency began. At the end of the day, both sides found a way to get it done and this is good news for the Steelers offense.
Falcons – T Tyson Clabo - Thus far, the Falcons have done a good job at keeping key veterans in house. Clabo was a must as he is a mauler in the running game and will continue to bring a nasty tempo to the Falcons front line.
Buccaneers – G Davin Joseph / T Jeremy Trueblood - Some accuse the Buccaneers of having an overrated offensive line, but they are doing something right as inexperienced starters at quarterback, receiver and running back all had consistent success in 2010. Joseph and Trueblood will be around again to help this offense find success.
Agree To Terms
Seahawks – QB Tavaris Jackson - Not in love with the move but it would seem that Charlie Whitehurst is set to take over the start job with Tavaris Jackson backing him up. The Seahawks are looking to add Rice, but in the end, they could be in big trouble if Whitehurst should struggle.
Seahawks – OG Robert Gallary - Great addition for the Seahawks as they continue to re-build the offensive line. This addition should specifically help the running game for Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett.
Vikings – WR Devin Aromashodu - After showing signs of life at the end of the 2009 season, Devin Aromashodu fell out of favor with offensive coordinator Mike Martz and was a non factor. Now in Minnesota, Aromashodu is depth to cover the projected loss of Sidney Rice and Bernard Berrian.
Jaguars – LB Paul Posluszny - After all the talk about Paul Posluszny heading to the Giants, he ends up with the Jaguars. I’m not in love with this fit for Posluszny’s IDP fantasy stock but he should do better than Kirk Morrison last season. From an NFL standpoint, this is a nice move for the Jaguars as long as Posluszny can stay on the field.
Rams – S Quintin Mikell – The Rams needed to do something at safety and they picked up a solid veteran in Quintin Mikell.
Redskins – DT Barry Cofield - I’m a fan of Barry Cofield but I don’t like the fit in Washington as they will likely ask him to be a nose tackle and Cofield is a better fit in a 4-3 defensive scheme. This hurts his IDP fantasy stock, and this is clearly another poor move by the Redskins.
Titans – QB Matt Hasselbeck - It was clear on Tuesday that the Sehawks were ready to move on from Matt Hasselbeck and the veteran has now decided to sign with Tennessee.
Giants – C David Baas – With Shaun O’Hara out of the mix, the Giants needed to land a new center and they got the top man on the market. This signing is a killer to the 49ers as they were looking to keep Baas after he proved to be a productive option after losing Eric Heitmann to what could be a career ending neck injury.
Redskins – WR Donte Stallworth - Don’t like this move as they already have a speedster in Anthony Armstrong. Not in love with the Redskins moves so far.
Bills – QB Tyler Thigpen - Nice signing in Tyler Thigpen as he has ties to Chan Gailey from his time with the Chiefs and in many ways Thigpen is like Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Panthers – K Olindo Mare – It looks like the Panthers are set to move on from John Kasay after so many years. The Seahawks were unable to keep Mare and now he’s the Panthers new kicker.
Bengals – QB Bruce Gradkowski – Nice addition as Bruce Gradkowski can help a team in spots but probably never be a regular starter in the NFL. With Carson Palmer gone, they needed another veteran to add depth on the roster.
Chiefs – WR Steve Breaston - It looks like Todd Haley will use Breaston as the No.3 receiver in the same way he did with the Cardinals. Matt Cassel is starting to look like one of the better backup quarterbacks to draft in fantasy football leagues. Because of the lockout, I wouldn’t be surprised if Breaston starts the years starting over rookie Jonathan Baldwin.
Seahawks – WR Sidney Rice – While the addition of Sidney Rice is a big move for the Seahawks and a clear upgrade for Charlie Whitehurst, it will probably hurt Big Mike Williams fantasy stock. Rice is going to play with one of the worst projected starting quarterbacks in football, so his fantasy stock should be somewhere around the third or fourth receiver to target at fantasy drafts.
Redskins – WR Brandon Stokley – Washington has now added four receivers on Wednesday as it looks like the team is looking to bring in a bunch of names for healthy competition. Note – This agreement is now void.
Redskins – CB Josh Wilson – Another cornerback to help in the secondary. Good play in the backfield is vital as the Redskins have Tony Romo, Eli Manning and Michael Vick in their division.
Lions – LB Justin Durant – If Justin Durant can actually stay on the field, he should be a quality upgrade for the Lions linebacker core. The team is still in hot pursuit of middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch, so we will have to wait and see what happens in the coming days, before we figure out where Durant will lineup.
Eagles – DE Jason Babin - The same guy the Eagles threw to the scrap heap a year ago comes back to them after a huge season with the Titans. This makes sense as Babin’s line coach is now with the Eagles and the team will continue to use him in the same way he was used in Tennessee.
Babin and Trent Cole are going to be an imposing combo all season. The Eagles are looking like an early favorite for a trip to the Super Bowl. Could we see a rematch of the Eagles vs Patriots?
Vikings – DL Remi Ayodele – With the Williams Wall out for the first four games because of a suspension (finally lost StarCaps case) so picking up Ayodele for help inside is a must.
Panthers – DB Sean Considine - Depth for the Panthers secondary as Considine signed a one year deal.
Jaguars – LB Clint Session – Yesterday the Jaguars landed top middle linebacker Paul Posluszny and today the get a respectable starting weak-side linebacker in Clint Session. Both veterans have had their issues with health so this will be something to watch during the season.
Redskins – C Chris Chester - Oh no we suck again!!! That’s the Redskins in 2011. Chester is better than what they have but a 20 million dollar deal? It’s time to say Mike Shanahan has officially lost it.
Dolphins – DT Frank Kearse - Extra depth on the defensive line, Kearse should be a primary backup for nose tackle Paul Soliai.
Bengals – LB Thomas Howard - It was time for Howard to move on from the Raiders and hopefully he can find a way to get the starting strong-side job in Cincinnati.
Texans – CB Johnathan Joseph – It looks like Houston is out of the running for cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha with with signing of Johnathan Joseph. While Joseph is a solid corner, it would have been nice to see them land Asomugha, as he’s the one true cover corner on the market.
49ers – K David Akers - After tearing up fantasy leagues over the past few season with the Eagles, Akers is just a top fifteen option now that he is with the 49ers. Still, this is a good signing for San Francisco and he will give them quality production when called upon.
Browns – RB Brandon Jackson - The Packers were bound to scrap Brandon Jackson after the drafted Alex Green this spring. Jackson will get a few touches, each week, but Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty are the top options on this team.
Saints – RB Darren Sproles - This addition is clearly to fill the void left by Reggie Bush in the passing game and on special teams. Sproles will have the Saints but expect his role to be much like it was in San Diego.
Eagles – QB Vince Young – This is a good move for both the Eagles and Vince Young as it gives the team a comparable back that can use his legs like Michael Vick and has a track record for winning games. At the same time, it gives Young a chance to clean up some of his credibility issues from is time with the Titans. This is just a one year deal so Young will look for a starting job next off-season.
To Vikings – QB Donovan McNabb - This is a nice move for the Vikings as just a year ago they would have had to give up a second round pick and a tone of money to land Donovan McNabb. Now, Minnesota gets a respectable veteran to bridge the gap until Christian Ponder is ready to take over. This move also makes Percy Harvin a more attractive fantasy option.
To Cardinals – QB Kevin Kolb - Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that the Kevin Kolb to Arizona deal will get done later in the week. This is great news for Larry Fitzgerald and the Cardinals chances of winning the division.
To Eagles – CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – It looks like the Eagles will get another play-making cornerback in DRC as compensation for Kevin Kolb to the Cardinals. A few more pieces in free agency and the Eagles could be one of the elite fantasy defenses this season for fantasy football.
To Broncos – DE Jeremy Jarmon - Another rotation end for the Broncos as they need depth on all over the defense.
To Redskins – WR Jabar Gaffney – The Redskins needed wide receiver help and today they’ve added some names as Jabar Gaffney is third receiver on the list today for this team.
To Patriots – DL Albert Haynesworth – Big trade for the Patriots as they pickup an impact lineman on the front line. The Patriots do use multiple fronts in addition to their base 3-4 scheme so I’m sure, Belichick will find a way to use Haynesworth’s strengths.
To Dolphins – RB Reggie Bush – If the Dolphins only bring in Reggie Bush as Daniel Thomas’s main competition I would welcome that with open arms. I wouldn’t be surprised if Miami gets another veteran to backup Thomas but the rookie is inline to do some damage at this point.
To Patriots – WR Chad Ochocinco - Chalk another one up for New England as the Patriots land another productive veteran via trade. Chad Ochocinco will probably get more play in the media than he deserves but this is a nice addition for Tom Brady.
To Panthers – TE Greg Olsen – The Panthers are one of the early big winners in free agency, as they’ve kept all their notable veterans in free agency and have now added another weapon in the passing game for Cam Newton. What looked like a team with major re-building, is now looking like a team that could compete in another year.
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