What I learned so far
Free Agency used to start the day of it, in this case Tuesday (today) at 4pm EST. Then the ever innovative NFL decided to turn it into yet another eventful attention monger. Three days, yes three days to talk to potential free agents prior to offering them a contract, sort of a job interview process. Boy did it not work that way!!!
If there are any rules in place that still protects the contract team until 4pm today, then basically all teams have destroyed that rule. We have more information now than we usually do after a day of any normal free agency year. Don’t get me wrong, its NFL news, and I love it! But can we just call it what it is? Free Agency started on Saturday, with a small caveat and possible problem: this could be a “seller beware market”, thus destroying the old American slogan ‘buyer beware”. Why?
Any and all these guys that have “leaked out” that they will sign with so and so team, really have no contractual obligations what so ever to that team, even if they already signed the dotted line. Frankly, neither does the team. By 16:00:01 today, a player that has already agreed with a franchise, can simply agree with another. This will become a problem and leave some GMs rather upset. A disaster in the makings, unless the rules are changed.
Our division has so far been rather active, or so we think. What I have learned is probably obvious to all, unless you’re blindfolds do not permit you to see clearly.
- The New York Jets are willing to overspend. Resigning Harris is something I was hoping would happen, however, he got overpaid by about 2-3M. We will see Mo Wilkerson resigned to a number higher than if Idzik had done it last year. Jets will probably sign someone like Spiller for far more money than he deserves. I can see the Jets offering Revis a contract they would have never signed him to, two years ago. All because they have a ton of CAP room, and NFL rules will force them to spend almost all but a few millions of it. Is this good? NO!!!!
- The Miami Dolphins are willing to have another spending spree. The signing of Ndamukong Suh is probably as big a surprise to the fans as it is to Suh himself. He will be paid higher than JJ Watt, but is he worth more? Who cares? JJ Watt needs to pull a Revis a hold out yearly; he is worth a new contract every year. The Dolphins are in a “we must make the playoffs now” mode, and the signing spells that clearly. But at what price? The team has been gutted to accommodate $114M. Such is good, but he cannot win alone and he certainly will not save the GM and HC from the firing squad. This is a Tannebaum move, buy now pay later; and this move will assure him the GM position in a year.
- The New England Patriots are being frugal. Winning a Super Bowl comes at a price; I wrote this the week after the game, and that price is being paid. Hard to keep all your pieces, even when your most important player is willing to play at a level far below market value. But does it matter? NO!!!!!! The Patriots have what none of the other teams have, a real winner at QB, and with that comes leverage. They will be able to replace the players lost with fill-Ins and still win the division next year. What Belichick does better than any HC/GM I have ever seen is play the “scrap game”. He waits, and in June and July he finds bargains, players no longer needed elsewhere, and he wins with them, why? Tom Brady allows you that luxury, and this year will be no different.
- The Buffalo Bills are spending! Our distinguished blogger CK has always reminded us of how cheap the old regime was, and actually hard to argue; but, Pegula is all in, and its obvious. He hired Rex with the intention to win now. The week leading to the Super Bowl, I listened to Rex interviewed by WFAN NY, and by a Jets fans he always had good conversations with, Joe Benigno. Joe asked him about his new job and the freedom he was getting away from John Idzik. Rex made it very clear with his answer, let me show you, I have many things I want to do here in Buffalo,it’s my last gig. Well, it shows, Rex is in charge! Bills are spending! Traded for McCoy, a good move because running will be Rex’s modus operandi, however McCoy played them and got his wish, a new and more lucrative contract. Why not? Money is flying around these days like never before. Resigning Hughes was huge, but a month ago, before the free spending began, the Bills could have signed him for less.
Our teams are spending, but what really changes? The Dolphins were huge spenders just 2-3 season ago, at a rate never seen before, and?
The Redskins have always been big time spenders, and?
The Eagles threw money away a few years ago like it was nothing, and?
This is great for us fans, it really is, but unless you find a Tom in free agency, nothing changes.