First thoughts on Free Agency

We’re busy working on the beginnings of what will be our 2008 Free Agent Tracker, which will include all the straight info on each key signing, as well as my fantasy analysis. That’s not something we can produce instantaneously, so we might not have the first wave up until Monday (but then it will be updated daily).

In the meantime, I’m going to use the blog to touch briefly on some of the recent moves.

Posted: 2/29/08 @ 4:40 p.m. ET

Some other stragglers…

  • Andre Davis re-signs with the Texans – Davis might be a one-trick pony, but what a trick. I’ve always liked his playmaking ability, but he’s never come close to fulfilling his potential. That is, until 2007 when they subbed brilliantly for the injured Andre Johnson and make big play after big play, showing an ability to make the spectacular catch in the process. With Davis locked in, the Texans have secured an excellent option for depth, and a dangerous return man. I liked how they used him as the #3 even after Johnson returned, too, so he should help this offense even if Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter are ahead on the depth chart.
  • Jet acquire DT Kris Jenkins – They paid a steep price for a guy who’s had one good season (2006) out of his last four, plus they will have to hope he winds up as a perfect fit at NT for their 3-4 defense. He’s a big name, and the Jets needed someone on their D-line, but I’m not so sure they’ll be loving this move in 1-2 years.
  • Browns trade for DT Corey Williams – The Packers do have good depth at this position, which I presume is why they’re able to stomach this move. They get a #2 pick in return, and they don’t have to break the bank to retain Williams, who in some ways is “just a guy” on the Packers. The Brown pass rush was non-existent last year, and their run defense suspect as usual, so adding a quality player on their D-Line has to be considered a wise move, although they paid a steep price.

Posted: 2/29/08 @ 2:15 p.m. ET

  • Jaguars sign Jerry Porter – Hey, the Jag receiving corps got better, but I’m not so sure they’ll be happy with Porter, whose track record as a team player isn’t all that great. Porter’s not a burner, but he can run, unlike most of their other receiver. They also added former Viking Troy Williamson, who is a definite burner. Assuming they open the season with Porter and Reggie Williams starting with Dennis Northcutt in the slot, and with Williamson their 4th receiver, there is at least some potential with the Jag passing game. It’s good news for David Garrard. And the question has to be asked: are the Jags an offensive-oriented team now?
  • 49ers land Deshaun Foster? – Now that he’s officially a backup, let me officially say that Foster is a damn good backup. Now at least we can all rest easy knowing we have a clear handle on the handcuff for Frank Gore. Foster is a decent receiver with some power; he’d be solid if Gore went down. Note: This deal isn’t official yet as of 3/2.

Posted: 2/29/08 @ 1:30 p.m. ET

  • Browns retain Derek Anderson – The move had to be done because they probably would have lost him had he officially entered free agency. Now I think they should do the opposite of what the Chargers did when they were in a similar situation: trade the young #1 pick in Brady Quinn and keep the proven (at least compared to Quinn) veteran in Anderson. Anderson has to be considered the real deal based on what he showed in 2007, so this is good news for the Brown offense (plus they re-signed Jamal Lewis, which is also good). There should be excellent stability and continuity here.
  • Muhsin Muhammad to Carolina – Or back to Carolina, that is. Muhammad is clearly on the downside, but he can still give the Panthers toughness, physicality, and reliability. Plus he knows QB Jake Delhomme and WR Steve Smith well. OC Jeff Davidson’s offense was a big hit very early in the season, so the Panther offense should be solid in 2008. Muhammad himself is probably better for this team than Drew Carter and Keary Colbert combined.
  • Falcons re-sign Chris Redman – This is a wise move. People scoffed when they brought Redman in last year, but there is a place for him in the NFL, that much he showed. He can throw the ball well and manage an offense. He’s the perfect stopgap for a team that may still use its #1 pick on a quarterback.
  • Todd Collins back in Washington – The assumption was that the veteran Collins would go with his boy Al Saunders in St. Louis, especially with Gus Frerotte apparently calling it a career. But that will not be the case. It’s certainly a wise move the Redskins keeping Collins around. Now they have a viable fall-back option if Jason Campbell struggles with the new offense or gets hurt again. Keep in mind Campbell is coming off knee surgery.
  • Titans re-sign WR Justin Gage – Gage showed some game last year, and he’s clearly risen to the top of the team’s current depth chart now. He should stick as a starter and key receiver for Vince Young, even if they do woo Bernard Berrian away from the Bears (and Vikings, who are going hard for him).

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