Mar 2, 2009
Here are some more signings, as well as a few stragglers I missed over the weekend.
Jets sign free agent LB Bart Scott – The Jets won a bidding war with the Ravens that netted them the 28 year old veteran Scott, who signed a contract worth $48 million for six years.
Fantasy Analysis – Scott, of course, played for head coach Rex Ryan and new Jet defensive coordinator Mike Pettine in Baltimore last year, and he’s very familiar with Ryan’s scheme and approach on defense. One area of that approach is the defense’s versatility, and Scott will help the Jets create confusion for opposing offenses with his ability to line up at both inside LB spots. He’ll also go a long way in transforming the Jet defense into Ryan’s, which prides itself on being very physical. Scott wasn’t a fantasy factor in 2008, but he had 100+ tackles from 2005-2007. Scott also had 9 ½ sack in 2006, and was a top-20 fantasy LB. He should be productive enough to draft as a #2 LB this year, and he will definitely help the Jet fantasy DT. Keep in mind New York was the 5th best fantasy defense in 2008, and the 3rd best the second half of the season, so this defense is clearly a viable starter. The only downside is how it might take them some time as a unit to adjust to Ryan’s scheme.
Giants sign free agent DE Chris Canty – Canty, born and raised in the Bronx, signed a six-year, $42 million contract that includes $17.25 million in guaranteed money.
Fantasy Analysis- Canty, 26, has been a DE in the Cowboys’ 3-4 defense, but the 6′ 7″ 305-pounder will move to DT in New York, presumably pushing Barry Cofield to the bench. Canty can rush the passer, but he’s better known for his ability to stop the run. The Giants have the unenviable task of trying to play defense without standout coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, but with a DL that now includes Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, Chris Canty, Mathias Kiwanuka, Rocky Bernard, Fred Robbins, and Barry Cofield, that shouldn’t be a problem. The Giants now have one of the best and deepest defensive lines in the history of the NFL. Obviously, they have a ton of versatility on their defensive front, and players will be able to remain fresh for all four quarters, so this should be an incredibly disruptive defensive line. Canty’s numbers may not be through the roof, since he’ll be part of a rotation and may move from DT to DE, but even though Spagnuolo is gone the Giants deserve serious consideration for the #1 DT spot in preseason rankings due to their embarrassment of riches on their defensive front. This is not good news for the rest of the NFC east.
Texans sign free agent QB Dan Orlovsky – The 25 year old signed a three-year, $9.1 million contract with the Texans. He will be the primary backup behind starter Matt Schaub.
Fantasy Analysis – Considering the potency of this offense, a prudent strategy last year was to draft the fragile Schaub and back him up with the capable Sage Rosenfels – but we won’t be advocating a similar approach in 2009. Orlovsky at least is something of a gunslinger, and he does have a certain moxie to him, plus he doesn’t turn the ball over. But he has bad mechanics and his drops are poor, and he’s very erratic, frequently missing open receivers even in the intermediate level. We can’t say we’re in love with the signing, and it likely makes drafting their key players a little riskier.
Rams sign free agent C Jason Brown – The Rams have signed Brown, considered the best C available in free agency, to a five-year, $35.5 million contract.
Fantasy Analysis – The Rams are at least trying to beef up their tattered offensive line, first signing free agent G Jacob Bell last year, and now bringing in a young and talented center in Brown. A very good interior linemen, Brown can play G or C, but he will play center for the Rams. He’s a good run blocker, but he particularly excels in pass protection. This signing is good news for their offense and RB Steven Jackson, but there is still work to be done – especially if they unload veteran LT Orlando Pace, who is on his last legs anyway.
Dolphins sign free agent S Gibril Wilson – Wilson, 27, signed a five-year deal with Miami, after getting released by the Raiders, worth $27.5 million, with $8 million in guaranteed money.
Fantasy Analysis - Miami also re-signed S Yeremiah Bell, giving the team one of the hardest-hitting S tandems in the league. Bell was the #1 DB scorer for fantasy last year, while Wilson was #3. Wilson’s tackle numbers will surely go down, as will Bell’s. Bell last year played strong safety, and for now he is expected to stick there, with Wilson playing free safety. That may hurt them in coverage down the field, but they will be wreaking some serious havoc on receivers running pass routes and trying to haul in passes, and their defense overall will be even more physical than last year.
Broncos sign free agent LB Andra Davis – The veteran Davis, 30, signed a two year deal with the Broncos. He is expected to replace veteran Nate Webster and play inside in their new 3-4 scheme.
Fantasy Analysis - Davis is a smart, hard-working veteran, but he’s not that big, fast, or athletic, so he does have some limitations. Playing inside in the 3-4 for should result in a decent number of tackles for Davis, but nothing ultra-special.
Broncos sign free agent S Renaldo Hill – The Broncos the veteran Hill, a starter in Miami last year, to a four-year, $10 million contract with $3 million guaranteed money.
Fantasy Analysis - Hill’s a decent player who is particularly good against the run, but he’s also versatile enough to cover slot receivers as a nickel back. He wasn’t, however, a viable fantasy starter in Miami last year, and he won’t likely be in Denver this year. He will at least shore up their secondary with a veteran presence, paired with Brian Dawkins. Their overall S play compared to last year should improve.
Broncos sign free agent CB Andre’ Goodman – The former Lion and Dolphin corner agreed to a five-year, $20.4 million contract with the Broncos that can reach $25 million if he plays 75% of the team’s defensive snaps.
Fantasy Analysis -Goodman really cashed in on his stellar play in 2008, that’s for sure. He was “just a guy” going into ’08, but he played so well that he is now considered the future for the Broncos at the position. He’ll replace the disappointing Dre Bly, and he should help shore up a leaky Bronco secondary teamed with veteran Champ Bailey.