NFL prepares for free agency and some cuts go deep.
By Bill Smith
The Giants had to put the franchise tag on RB Brandon Jacobs. It was a good move because RB Ahmad Bradshaw is in jail in Virginia from a probation violation and the top backup to Jacobs, Derrick Ward is a free agent as well. The Giants front office screwed up by allowing both top RBs to become FA in the same year. It will cost them because Jacobs will be the average of the top 5 RB salaries which should be around 7.5 million dollars.
It will also cost them to resign Ward. He fired his agent and hired Drew Rosenhaus who is famous for getting the max for his players. When the agent is wearing a mask and carrying a gun, you know the deal is going to be costly.
The Ravens have franchised DELB Terrell Suggs. That means that Ray Lewis will be an unrestricted free agent (UFA). Lewis has already said that while he would like to continue to play in Baltimore he would not give the team a “home town discount.” If Lewis moves to another team it will take a couple of years for the D to get back to where it was in 08. It is well documented that Lewis is the heart and soul of the D but there is more to the issue. He is also the brains and the enforcer.
It is the enforcer role that the D will miss most. When a Raven is not playing up to expectations in either a game or practice, it is Lewis that gets on him and challenges him to change gears. A team like the Vikings, Redskins, Dolphins or Cowboys would benefit greatly from signing Lewis. Each team has an above average D lineup but each has not produced on the field up to expectations. Lewis would straighten out the kinks in the D and get them producing.
The Bungles are at it again. Instead of franchising their one offensive weapon WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh, they franchised their kicker. Now it looks like the Bengals will be without both starting WRs because Chad Johnson is also rumored to be on his way out. The Bungles will probably pick up a WR or two in the 09 Draft. While PK Shayne Graham is valuable, the punter Kyle Larson is on the field more than Graham. Mikey Brown, this is another fine mess you’ve gotten us into!
New Orleans cut RB Deuce McAllister. If they think that Reggie Bush can carry the load of 250+ carries, they are wrong. Bush will be on IR by the 4th game.
The Jaguars released RB Fred Taylor after 11 years of service. Taylor was disappointed but expected the news. Taylor is 33. Expect the Jags to sign RB Maurice Jones-Drew to an 8 million a year deal. Former FB Greg Jones will be the backup.
The Buccaneers will not try to resign FA QB Jeff Garcia who started for them for the last 3 years. The team signed Luke McCown to a 2 year contract. That is not good news for a very good defense that is aging. The team is capable of winning now and McCown is not capable of managing the offense to wins at this level.
The Ravens cut about 8 mil off their payroll by releasing CB Chris McAlister. McAlister has been one of the top CBs in the league when he was healthy. Unfortunately that was not very often. McAlister will only be 32 by the start of the 09 season and should be able to find work.
The Broncos released DL Dewayne Robertson on Monday, Feb. 16. Robertson was one of the huge mistakes in FA signings that cost those involved their jobs. He was scheduled to make 16 million this season. That would have been about 4 mill per sack.
The Broncos also released DL John Engelberger, LB Niko Koutouvides, SS Marquand Manuel, and LB Jamie Winborn from a D that couldn’t buy its way off the field.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .
My email is [email protected]