NFL Offseason Transactions Ending 03/15/09
Total Pro Sports – Who’s In
In time honored tradition of this post, just as I finish it a big deal breaks forcing me into a scrambling re-write. Well, it was Detroit and Seattle’s turn to trump me as they finalized a deal taking 5 time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Julian Peterson to the Motor City in exchange for defensive tackle Cory Redding and a 2009 5th round selection.
Whilst I personally found the selection of Aaron Curry 1st overall a no go, this should put those rumors definitively to bed; Peterson will apply pressure despite looking a little shaky in coverage last year, and will make an athletic combo with willing tutee Ernie Sims. As for the Seahawks, I don’t really understand what they get out of this. The defensive tackle of the worst run stopping team in the league coming off an injury hit season and a draft selection in a round where you will likely cut, don’t seem healthy compensation for a player contributing a sixth of your total sacks. I understand that Seattle was maneuvering for cap room and Peterson was aging, but it seems so risky. Maybe I’m being too conservative on this one, but if Crabtree is yours at 4 then you can cut Deion Branch and save money. If you’re guaranteed Aaron Curry as his replacement then I understand beefing up your D-line with a 28 year old who is considered to have some talent, but Curry falling past Kansas is unlikely. Expect Clint Sintim at linebacker or Sean Smith at safety to be their second round pick, with their third being spent on whatever position they don’t fill.
I don’t really want to harp on Terrell Owens becoming a Bill since we’ve heard enough, but to all those expecting him to blow up consider this: if he makes it 4 for 4 on GM fallout’s, he will see minimal interest and little money next season. The Bills need to keep him on a tight leash, not let him demoralize a wavering quarterback and give him a year extension max at the end of the season and not a day before if they want to utilize Owens as the talent he is. Also, poor James Hardy: he loses his number and likely his spot given he’s too big to be an effective slot guy. I was really interested to see his progression next year.
Here’s my one sentence whip-round of the best of the rest of free agent additions in the last week: Bryant McFadden when healthy is a talent, good news for his new home of Arizona; Tra Thomas is a nice addition on the Jacksonville line, and the Eagles were probably done with him being 34 and expensive anyway; and the character issues of a has-been player are the prime reason why Mike Peterson may not make it to Atlanta’s opening game.
Trades didn’t materialize for Orlando Pace and Tory Holt who were subsequently cut by the Rams. I expected at least one to find a late round trade, but if everyone else in the league knows you want to ship players out they’ll dig their heels in and risk the auction of free agency. I’ve heard rumblings about the Jets as a possible destination for Holt, and the Titans were trying to trade for him pre-cut but didn’t want his large St Louis contract. Has he lost a step, or was his poor season a product of being a Ram? Either way I don’t think you sign him as a number 1 like Tennessee would, but a trusted pair of hands amongst a young receiving core (similar to Amani Toomer) is a better fit. The Eagles or Washington might be interested in that sort of player, though Marvin Harrison might be in front of Holt in the free agent receiver line.
3 to Watch…
1) Does Jay Cutler get a trade, and if so where? Likely destination: still a Bronco. Long shot: Tampa or Detroit (Cutler won’t want to be a Lion though).
2) No one really noticed it, but these free agent fullbacks are quality: Tony Richardson re-signed with the Jets after gifting Thomas Jones 1000 yards, Lorenzo Neal is still available and could be the prime reason behind LT’s demise, top run blocker Mike Karney is a Ram, whilst the more offensive minded Heath Evans became his replacement at New Orleans. However it’s Seattle’s Leonard Weaver who is the cream of the crop; young, a solid blocker and a decent weapon in the passing game make him a candidate for New England and Minnesota. Give it up for the fullbacks.
3) What trade will gazump this post next week? First it was Cassel and then it was Owens’ cut, so does Cutler move? Peppers? Someone else?