Fun With NFL Free Agency!

I’m not really as bullish on the whole Michael Turner deal as a lot of other people. There’s a lot to be said for the guy’s running style, but he spent a lot of his time running against beaten down defenses that had been facing LaDainian Tomlinson during his days in San Diego, and also running behind Lorenzo Neal at fullback and a very good offensive line (the Chargers released Neal, and I don’t think they’ve tried to sign him for less yet, which is a mistake.) That said, the Falcons had a need for Turner, trying to get the whole power and speed dichotomy with two backs. Of course, Warrick Dunn was the odd man out here — and has been cut this morning. Dunn’s best days are gone — but he is one of the more remarkable men in the NFL with his charity initiatives. If he still wants to play, here’s hoping he can.  Secondary thought: the Falcons obviously want no part of Darren McFadden for character reasons (although baby mama drama is low on the list of character issues to be concerned about) and they don’t have enough confidence in Norwood despite a nice yards-per-carry average. That #3 pick is going for either Matt Ryan or Jake Long now. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

The Falcons are clearly OK with the concept of clearing out most of the players associated with Michael Vick — not necessarily because of the Vick association, but because they probably view that team’s window as closed and time to start over. It will be to the Titans’ benefit now, to create a team around another superstar QB in waiting — Vince Young — by adding one of the more solid names at receiving in the TE category in Alge Crumpler. The Titans will still need to address the WR issue, but to have Crumpler there will give VY another target in crucial spots over the middle. [Nashville Tennessean]

Ben Roethlisberger’s $102 million contract extension is kind of a no-brainer — and really, it’s about the guaranteed money right now. With about half of that appearing to be guarantees or bonuses, that $50-something million is what he’ll get, and the rest will be renegotiated several years down the line. But that’s the move you have to make to solidify in the starting quarterback game — and in terms of scale, he’s got a contract reflecting a Super Bowl winner. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Is Bernard Berrian really worth the money he got from the Vikings? Not in any normal marketplace, but this is the NFL’s inflating marketplace, where guys who haven’t even had 1,000 yard seasons receiving can get a ton of cash (more power to ’em, it’s hard to carve out a career in a sport with no guaranteed contracts).  The Vikings needed somebody, anybody, who could catch passes in order to speed Tavaris Jackson’s development along and give him a target. Whether it will work is something for the 2008 season to decide. [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]

Amusing note of the wheeling and dealing right now: the league shot down the Lions-Bengals trade that sent DT Shaun Rogers to the Bengals, and now he’s headed to the Browns for a third-rounder. Bengals fans were not amused (via First and 10 Inches). [Cincinnati Enquirer]

The impetus is really on the Patriots to do something to re-sign Randy Moss now – letting Donte’ Stallworth go to the Browns and bleeding cornerbacks like Asante Samuel and Randall Gay hurts slightly, not as much because Coach Hobo always manages to find replacements — but they do need to hold on to someone in order to keep a high standard of play going. The Boston Globe has a picture look at the players the Pats have kept and lost. [Boston Globe]


One Response

  1. Signing Berrian takes away Rex Grossman’s favorite option on 3rd and long, too, which is of interest if you share a division with them. I couldn’t tell you how many Bears offensive drives would have been closed down in their own territory if not for a clutch grab by Bernard on 3rd and 10+.

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