Mar 12, 2007
As I hope you’ve noticed, we’ve covered the key (and some not-so-very key) free agent moves up until this point. I’ve been busy following and analyzing all of that, so I haven’t done much blogging. Things are slowing down, so I have a topic to cover here.
It’s very easy to be nothing but positive this time of the year when analyzing the free agent movement. When players go to new teams, it’s always because that need needs him, so it’s easy to be bullish. You have the change of scenery, players talking about being “excited” or “energized” by the moves, and there’s usually some encouragement caused by the unknown.
I like a lot of the moves that have been made, but there are a few that don’t do much for me. So, submitted for your digestion, is my top-10 list of the worst free agent moves so far. Some of these moves, I think, will go down as busts, while others I just can’t get particularly excited about.
- Jamal Lewis to the Browns – It’s only a one-year deal, so don’t assume the Browns are out of the mix for Adrian Peterson. Teams use two backs more than ever now, and the bruising Lewis and the speedier Peterson would be a solid combo for one year. But I think Lewis’ skills will continue to deteriorate, so I just can’t get excited about him running behind a weak line and with a questionable supporting cast.
- Joe Horn to the Falcons – For athletes, the first thing to go are the legs, and Horn’s appear to be going (calf and hamstring injuries the last two seasons). The Falcons got better on offense with this move, for sure, but can a 35-year old Horn make a fantasy splash on this team, with other weapons to throw to (especially the TE) and Michael Vick throwing it? In a new system? I doubt it.
- Joey Porter to the Dolphins – I don’t know what the hell the Dolphins are doing this off-season, letting receivers Wes Welker and Randy McMichael go and overpaying for Porter. Porter will benefit playing with Jason Taylor, but Porter’s skills are on the decline, so I think he’ll have only 1-2 good years here. The Dolphins aren’t ready to make a serious playoff run, which would have been the only way this move would have made sense.
- Ahman Green to the Texans – I think Green will get things done this year in this system, but can you really get excited about an older player who doesn’t have the same explosiveness as he once had, on this bad team? If healthy, Green will put up 1100 or so yards rushing with 6-8 TDs. That’s not bad, but it’s not particularly good, either.
- Ashley Lelie to the 49ers – I’ve given up on Lelie realizing his potential, but my gut feeling is that he has some bright moments these next few years in the NFL. But QB Alex Smith might take a step back this year with Norv Turner gone, and he doesn’t have a strong enough arm to consistently make big plays to Lelie.
- Visanthe Shiancoe to the Vikings – The Vikings like his speed and hope he emerges as a serious force down the seam. We’ll see. I’m not holding my breath and I don’t think there’s anything close a body of work that illustrates the Vikes made a good call here.
- David Martin to the Dolphins – The Dolphins are projecting him as a better fit for their offense, one that will ask the TE to make plays down the field, similar to what Antonio Gates did for the Chargers. Martin, a former wideout, has the speed and ability to do that, but it remains to be seen if he can hold up in a full-time role. He’s been injured a lot even playing behind Bubba Franks.
- Dominic Rhodes to the Raiders – I don’t like this move simply because it creates a committee situation, at least for this year it does. When the Raider want to pound the ball, LaMont Jordan will be a better option, so this move basically reduces from both players’ potential.
- Reuben Droughns to the Giants – Similarly, this one could create a committee situation. At the end of the day, I think the Giants made this deal because Droughns came at a cheap price, and he’s a good presence and insurance policy. But in a perfect world, the Giants would have added more of a scat back (they may still, in the draft).
- Daniel Graham to the Broncos – I like Graham, but I also like Tony Scheffler, and this move hurts the potential of both. Both have a lot to offer, and they will offer it to the Broncos, but at the others’ expense. Graham could double Scheffler’s TD total, and Scheffler could double Graham’s yardage total. Graham’s a pretty good receiver with more potential as a playmaking type than people think, but there’s no way they ignore the receiving potential of Scheffler, so both will play.