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Your boy Scoop here once again to offer my random thoughts on the furious free agent period from the occasional solid move to the more often than not, WTF?!-moves in the crazy world of SML Free Agency. So without further ado…
Has Matt Millen secretly gotten the GM job in Arizona?! He’s the only GM I know who would spend first-round picks 4 years in a row on WRs. The Cards were already stacked at WR with Fitz, who led the league in receptions and receiving yards last year, 2012 first rounder Michael Floyd and the surprising fleet-footed UDFA Darrien Landry who led all rookies in receiving. But apparently that wasn’t good enough as they went on a free agent spending binge doling out $83million over 6 years for Greg Jennings and $52million over 4 years for the track man with hands of stone DHB, more than DOUBLE the amount that other teams were reportedly offering him!!
That’s over $27 million per year just on the top 3 WRs alone! Are they planning a new 10 WR formation in Arizona?! Or maybe they’ve found a loop-hole in the rules that allows multiple balls on the field at once. Whatever the eccentric Coach Scousebronco has planned I’m sure it will involve passing at Andy Reid proportions.
In another move of over-abundance, the Packers signed not one but two of the top defensive lineman on the market. Green Bay brought in Justin Tuck and Justin Smith to revamp their defense. Does this signify a shift to a 4-3 in Green Bay or are they hoping Tuck can make the switch to 3-4 OLB to form a dangerous tandem with Clay Matthews? Either way, Justin², or should we call them the Justincredible duo, will be much needed additions to the Cheesehead Defense. The Pack had the cash to spare as they still have over $11 million under the cap and they sorely needed an improved pass-rush so this is a move of over-abundance that Scoop can fully approve.
On to the Falcons, in one of the most WTF?! moves of free agency; they decided to let franchise QB Matt Ryan walk. No franchise tag and I’m told no serious negotiations. Just let him walk right out the front door and said don’t let the doorknob hit ya where the good Lord split ya. This wasn’t because they didn’t have money, they’ve still got over $7.5 million under the cap, or because they felt they had a backup QB ready to take over the role. They honestly felt it made more sense to bring in 34 year-old Carson “What have you done for me this decade” Palmer instead of resigning their All-Pro, still on the right side of 30 QB. But, but they must have saved a ton of money doing that, surely? No, they saved exactly $200,000 per year by downgrading from a top 5 QB to a BOTTOM 5 QB. Nice move Atlanta. Either Matt Ryan slept with Falcons Owner Arthur Blank’s daughter or … no he MUST have slept with his daughter, nothing else could explain that move.
One of the hottest under the radar names on the free-agent market this year was the underachieving athletic freak Bruce Irvin. He reportedly visited 6 different teams and all of them were impressed. The interested teams seemed to agree that his lack of production was due to a scheme change to the 3-4 in Seattle that just didn’t fit his skill set. Five of the teams pursuing him were 4-3 teams promising he would be their Day 1 starter at RE. Irvin ended up choosing to go to sunny San Diego where he’ll most likely sit the bench once again in their 3-4 defense. Apparently, he likes getting paid to do nothing. Can’t say I blame him. Nothing beats the year-round 23C°, sun and beach babes in San Diego.
My 2014 Free Agent winner has to be the Minnesota Vikings though purely for swooping in at the last minute to scoop up Tony Romo for an affordable price of $9.6 million per year. Their offense was already tops in the league (36.9 point per game) with the unstoppable Adrian Peterson and Ponder performed admirably despite his limitations as a QB. But now with a top 5 QB at the helm the Vikes may just break every offensive record next season. And they’ll need to in order to return to the playoffs after just missing out last year. Their Defense gave up over 27 points per game last season and also lost two of their top defenders Kev “QB Monster” Williams and “Sweet” Twoine Winfield to retirement this offseason. Minnesota's best defense will have to be its high-powered offense.
So that’s the scoop on the most recent free agency happenings. If I didn’t mention your team that’s probably a good thing as “Dream Teams” aren’t bought during free agency, just ask Dan Snyder or that 2011 Eagles team.
~ Scoop McLeak