NFL Offseason Transactions Ending 02/28/09

Albert HaynesworthWho’s In

The opening week of free agency was huge, and $100 million men, blockbuster trades and big name cuts have already made this off season something a little special.

Washington has never been cautious with their money, and the down economy wasn’t enough to dampen their reckless spending as they made Albert Haynesworth a Redskin. 7th against the pass, 8th against the run, 28th in sacks – which stat is the odd one out? The Redskins couldn’t get to the quarterback in 08, and considering Haynesworth’s 8.5 sacks is a third of what the whole of Washington could manage the problem is solved; not only will Haynesworth cause chaos in the backfield, he’ll draw the double team and open holes for others. My only reserve with him is that after his big payday does he regress to Fat Albert mode?

Another team who problem solved quickly was the Miami Dolphins. Susceptible to the deep ball, the Dolphins needed to retain Yeremiah Bell or bolster their secondary another way – Miami chose both. Gibril Wilson was overpaid by the Raiders and became expensive collateral in a poorly managed side, but streamline the contract, refocus the player and Miami will have one of the top safeties in the game. Alongside the re-signed Bell, and hopefully a new corner in the draft, Miami could be building themselves a very tidy defence just a year removed from a 1 win season.

On the safety theme the Broncos signed hall of fame bound Brian Dawkins – huge news… 3 years ago. He’s a leader and can make plays at scrimmage for one of the worst run defences in the league, but he looked sluggish in coverage and is just plain old. Nobody knows what a ‘Ryan Torain’ is, but according to fantasy footballers and Denver Broncos’ fans he’s a good thing to have. And don’t you remember a year ago when Selvin Young got 1000 all purpose yards in 8 games? Or full back Peyton Hillis racking up 5 TDs in 4 games? Or Andre Hall, Tatum Bell, Michael Pittman? None of these names make Denver out to have a dominant runner, they may even look to Knowshon Moreno on draft day, but they are enough reason to make the signings of Correll Buckhalter and J.J. Arrington totally nonsensical. What are you doing Denver?

Last week I mentioned the Ravens badly needing corners – enter Domonique Foxworth. Leigh Booden will likely become a Patriot and the Jets stole Lito Sheppard for a 2009 5th rounder and conditional 2010 selection, making it a busy week for free agent defensive-backs.

New England signing Fred Taylor was a sideways move for me. They have the veteran change-of-pace back in Kevin Faulk and Taylor isn’t a workhorse number 1, so is the Patriots’ backfield going to be a Taylor, Faulk and Sammy Morris committee? I’m surprised they didn’t make a move for a pass catching back like Derrick Ward, who would fit their air first offence well. Elsewhere in the AFC East, Pats’ veteran Mike Vrabel joined the Chiefs for an undisclosed pick and Bart Scott finalized his expected move to the Jets. I’m interested to see Scott’s level of play outside of the dominant Raven unit. Higher? Lower? This is one of the more intriguing summer acquisitions.

In the ‘Hmm… Really?’ move of the week, the Vikings traded a fourth round pick for Houston’s Sage Rosenfels. Like Tavaris Jackson, lots of yards and lots of turnovers is Sage’s game; meaning we are still a long way from knowing the Vikings’ starting QB.

Finally, the Buccaneers traded a 2009 second and 2010 fifth for Kellen Winslow. The Browns like backup Martin Rucker and will make a move for a receiver in the draft so won’t be complaining, whilst the Bucs’ multiple 2 TE sets will mean Winslow fits in well. Smiles all round.

Who’s Out

The Bucs cut Galloway, Dunn, Brooks and June who may not be outstanding on field contributors but are still big names in a crappy economy who can sell jerseys, making at least attempting to restructure their contracts worthwhile. Restructuring a contract is something the Colts couldn’t do with Marvin Harrison, who abruptly left mid-week. Hopefully he re-signs, because you feel that Harrison in a Rams uniform would be an acrimonious end to a hall of fame career. Old and expensive Laveranues Coles also lost his job; he can be a solid number two somewhere but no more than that. Buffalo Bills anyone?

3 to Watch…

  • Braylon Edwards – re-sign the talented player coming off a weak season to a long term deal or trade him. They chose the latter for Winslow, but what about Edwards? Likely Browns’ number 1 wideout in a post Braylon world: Houshmandzadeh. Long shot: Kenny Britt.
  • Derrick Ward’s final destination. Likely: Buccaneers. Long shot: Eagles.
  • A week ago Kurt Warner was a lock to re-sign, but now…? Everyone expects the deal to still get done, but a stall in talks followed by a Warner walkout isn’t crazy. Likely outcome: Warner re-signs. Long shot: Warner rekindles the magic in St. Louis.

Tags: Albert Haynesworth, braylon edwards, Domonique Foxworth, kellen winslow, Knowshon Moreno, Kurt Warner, Laveranues Coles, Marvin Harrison, NFL, NFL Offseason Transactions,