NFL Offseason Transactions Ending 02/21/09
Total Pro Sports – New Jaguar GM Gene Smith spent his time rectifying his predecessor’s expensive mistakes; Drayton Florence and Jerry Porter were pricey free agent flops who will be quickly forgotten along with the rest of Jacksonville’s season. Florence started the year as Jacksonville’s number 1 corner but failed to register a single interception all year, leaving the Jags as the 24th ranked team against the pass – they need a starting corner in the first two rounds.
Meanwhile Porter, the apparent solution to the Jag’s mediocre receiving core, caught 11 balls in 10 injury plagued games. Horrible. The Jags also cut Fred Taylor who, if Rudi Johnson can get a job, should be signed and given a shot at a time share somewhere. Remember: this guy put together back to back 1000 yard season just a year ago. Maurice Jones Drew has never carried the ball 200 times in a season, and if the Jags want a full season’s production from him need to find a complimentary back. Correll Buckhalter or Maurice Morris could fill this role, but Jag management would struggle to pass on Shonn Greene should he slide to them in the third.
Veteran runners Ahman Green and Deuce McAllister were let go by the Texans and Saints after struggling to stay healthy. When he was healthy Ahman Green got reps, so the Texans will obviously look to add a power runner to compliment Steve Slaton this offseason. Deuce McAllister meet Pierre Thomas – enough said.
Antrel Rolle is expected to be cut by the Ravens who already released Chris McAlister this week, meaning Baltimore will have to dip into a rich pool of free agent corners to rebuild their secondary. These cuts had to happen. The Ravens were slow, old and susceptible to the deep ball – Vontae Davis is a serious possibility at 26. Matt Millen tried to force Leigh Bodden into his zone system and it didn’t work, but don’t be fooled: Matt Millen is a moron and after his release Leigh Bodden in the strongest free agent corner available.
The man Chad Johnson heralded as the best corner in the league is elite talent in man to man coverage, and will be paid accordingly. The 26th ranked Denver pass defense cut the aging Dre Bly and will look for a solid starter opposite Champ Bailey next season. Domonique Foxworth, Ronald Bartell and Bryant McFadden had exceptional seasons, are all under 28 and should be sought after if they can’t resign this offseason. Denver, New England, Baltimore and Cleveland will also consider the mercurial Deangelo Hall, who has the physical gifts but not the attitude to be an elite NFL player.
Everyone is sick of him, so here’s my one sentence appraisal of Brett Favre’s retirement: Kellen Clemens and Brett Ratliff should battle for the starting job in training camp, but unfortunately the Jets will likely turn to Josh Freeman at 17th overall – I like them all more than Favre.
No signings to report, but the league saw a record number of franchise tags with 14.
3 to Watch…
- Julius Peppers was tagged to trade and the Panthers will expect at least a second if not more for him. Likely destination: He wants Dallas. Long shot: Browns.
- Terrell Owens is done with Dallas and they’re done with him… so I guess he really will be cut. Likely destination: Raiders or Redskins. Long shot: Chicago or a return to San Francisco.
- Jeff Garcia to be cut. Luke McCown was re-signed and is apparently the guy in Tampa. Really? Likely opening day starter: Luke McCown. Long shot: Nate Davis or Brett Favre.