Free agency for the NFL has started and the deals have started flying on the first day. A great deal of teams took advantage of free agency to make some major improvements to their perspective teams. Some moves were expected but no one could have foretold the final outcome after the dust settled.
To start off NFL Free Agency, Randy Moss was quick to find a new home. I had expected Moss to sign with the New Orleans Saints when the reports of an impressive workout surfaced and I considered how wonderful it would be for him to be paired with Drew Brees. Instead, Moss will be the newest member of the San Francisco 49ers. Moss only signed a one year deal but it could be all that he needs to reach the Super Bowl if the 49ers can pull together a run like the last NFL season.
Unfortunately, two problems may stop Randy Moss’s “Road to Glory”. The first problem is no one knows if Moss is motivated enough to actually play to his full potential. Moss has a tendency to play when he is motivated and take plays off when he does not think it is worth the effort. The second issue is Alex Smith is still the San Francisco 49ers quarterback. I like the way Alex Smith played last year but let’s be honest, Smith is no Tom Brady. In additon, Randy Moss depending on Alex Smith to get him the ball does not make me very excited. I am foreseeing another down year for Moss unless Alex Smith can find his inner Peyton Manning. Moss can make a quarterback look much better than he is; Alex Smith is just a very average quarterback.
An unexpected move that happened today was that Brandon Marshall was traded from the Miami Dolphins to the Chicago Bears. The trade reunites Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall. The Miami Dolphins received two third round picks and the Chicago Bears receive the go-to receiver they have been looking for. With Cutler playing much better as of late, Matt Forte running the ball and receiving out of the backfield, and Brandon Marshall hauling in receptions, Chicago should have a good chance to go far in the playoffs. Of course this relies on the fact that none of the Chicago Bears key players become injured and every player can stay out of off-the-field trouble.
Another player made some waves today by leaving his previous team for greener pastures is Vincent Jackson. Vincent Jackson has been a recipient of most of Phillip Rivers passes besides Antonio Gates over the last seven years. Vincent Jackson has signed a 5-year contract for 55.5 million with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This means that Jackson will be the primary receiving threat for Tampa Bay’s starting quarterback, Josh Freeman. I truly do not know what to make of Josh Freeman, because Freeman has never had a real number one receiver to go to. Jackson could be the catalyst to take Freeman’s passing attack to the next level. On the flip side, Vincent Jackson could expose Josh Freeman as just an average quarterback. Whichever outcome happens, one thing we can be sure of is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not afraid to make some major moves this free agency season.
Lastly, how can we talk about free agency and not mention the biggest deal? Calvin Johnson aka Megatron managed to ink a mega deal. The Detroit Lions signed Calvin Johnson to a 132 million, 8-year deal. The deal includes 60 million dollars guaranteed which trumps the Larry Fitzgerald deal which had 50 million guaranteed. Johnson is clearly the best receiver in the league and worth every penny of the deal. No other receiver in the league even comes close to Johnson’s production of almost 1,700 yards and 16 touchdowns last season. Calvin Johnson is simply the best at his position.
Free agency has just begun and more deals are sure to come, especially as the NFL Draft looms closer. Like every season we will have some free agency winners and losers. A great deal of the time all it takes is the right player in the right season to change a team’s fortune. May the right and wrong free agency moves begin…