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Many Questions Surrounding Free Agency

Written by Matt Marcil
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With the NFL labor stoppage just about coming to a close, the next logical step in the progress of the offseason is free agency. Due to the lockout, however, there has been much speculation as to how the free agency period will be dealt with. In the normal duration of the free agency period, coaches and organizations would have had multiple meetings and workouts with the players they are considering. Then both sides go to negotiations and work out some type of contract that includes guaranteed money, workout incentives, and things of the like.

This season will be much different. Free agency looks to be squeezed in with the start of training camp. Teams will have less time to go through their normal evaluations. This may cause the teams to either overspend on players, or sign a high end talent who will not fit into the coach’s scheme. In theory, the teams will be paying for the previous performance of the player as well as the reputation rather than their current skills and attributes.

There are several players on the current free agent market that, without a doubt, will be commanding top dollar .Teams who are looking to strictly add depth pieces will shy away from the multi-year, big money contracts. With his late game heroics in both a super bowls and playoffs, there is no doubt the Santonio Homes will warrant a pretty hefty pay day. Putting aside the off the field concerns, Holmes was a sure target for second year quarterback Mark Sanchez. Holmes led the team in receptions since week 5 of last season. The Jets would have to choose between Holmes and their other big target, Braylon Edwards. Edwards’ spotty catching can make fans jump out of their seats or end up heartbroken from a preventable loss. If the Jets are smart, they put their money on the former Super Bowl MVP.  Arguably the biggest free agent on the market this year is Oakland Raiders defensive back Nnamdi Asomugha. Asomugha, who is unrestricted, will look for not only a change of scenery, but a change in pay as well. The rumors surrounding a possible home for the All-Pro defensive back have him heading north to Green Bay, where he has ties to Charles Woodson, or east to the New York Jets.  The Packers are an unlikely destination due to their already overpaid secondary and the Jets will most likely be outbid by a team with more cap space.

This shortened free agency period may favor teams that are only looking to add for depth rather than talent. The New England Patriots seem to fit this bill year in and year out. They have always worked free agency to perfection and look for them to stay true to form. With the league best 14-2 regular season record, New England appears to have little holes to fill. Their early exit in the playoffs begs to differ. The Patriots need to not only fill the void in the pass rush department, but they have yet to address the importance of the role Randy Moss played. Sydney Rice is a name that has been tossed around to give the Patriots that added deep threat.

A rather interesting prospect is where in the world does Plaxico Burress end up? The Giants have expressed interest in bringing him back. That would makes sense considering the on the field familiarity with Giants quarterback Eli Manning.  Some teams will pass up Burress because he has been out of football due to his incarceration. If he can keep the work ethic he had before going into jail, Plaxico will remain one of the elite wide outs in the game.

There is a lot going on in free agency this year. With the lockout clouding what would have been one of the most exciting times in football; it’s now an all-out blitz for teams to find the right piece to fit their puzzle.


0 victor 2011-07-18 12:17 #1
brady to rice....that would b a good connection

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