NFL Free Agency

2017 NFL Free Agency Reactions – 3.0

The second wave of NFL Free Agency is certainly starting to take shape. Let’s have a look at some of the notable moves from weeks 1 and 2 of free agency (2017).

A lucrative prove it deal for Poe. A potentially motivated piece along the defensive line that at a minimum will improve the Falcons’ run defense.


The 4-year deal is worth $62 million with $40 million guaranteed; the Giants clearly understand the importance of a dominant defensive line. I’m not sure JPP gets $15.5 million per year from anyone else but I can’t knock the re-signing of a proven pass rusher, missing fingers and all. However, considering the depth at edge rusher in this draft and the glaring need (and lack of depth) at offensive tackle in the upcoming draft class I wonder if that money would not have been better spent in protecting Eli Manning.


And that was with RGIII at the controls. I never quite understood why Garcon got marginalized in the offense in 2014 and 2015. After deciding to involve him in the game plan out of necessity in 2016, Garcon demonstrated once again that he is a more than capable NFL wideout. Now he waits for Kirk Cousins to join him in San Fran in 2018.


This deal makes a lot of sense considering the desperate need the Titans had/have at cornerback. Ryan has performed very well in recent years. Good size and physicality with the ability to play inside and outside of the numbers. The question is will he be as effective in Tennessee now that he no longer has the “mastermind” that is Bill Belichick putting him in a position to be successful?


Never realized his full potential in Detroit after a promising rookie season in 2013. The key to the Saints’ passing game success is affording Drew Brees the opportunity to climb the pocket, no interior pass rush allowed. Warford is decent and has the capacity to be a consistent starter, but don’t expect Pro Bowl level performance.


Branch will earn $12 million over the life of the deal; a handsome reward for the two-down run stuffer. He’s been one of the best in the business helping force the opposition to be one dimensional.


The versatile Hyde gets a 5-year $32.5 million deal with $14 million guaranteed. His tenure with the Packers is a bit uneven but he has had several intervals of brilliance in Green Bay and he finished 2016 strong. This signing won’t get a ton of publicity but Hyde’s success in Buffalo will go a long way to turning around the defense that Rex Ryan dismantled.

Who says fullbacks are obsolete? DiMarco’s deal could net him $8.5 million over four years and he stands to help improve the NFL’s top rushing attack. This is a substantial loss for the Falcons assuming they do not find an adequate replacement to pave the way for Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman.


Three-year deal worth $18 million; good run defender (see Alan Branch). The thought process is to fortify the run defense and free up Gerald McCoy to make more plays.


Church will earn $21.6 million ($12 million guaranteed) over four seasons. He’s a solid, intelligent safety that is a pretty sure tackler but average in coverage at best. Should be a slight upgrade to Jonathan Cyprien. His experience and leadership are noteworthy.


Anything the Colts do to get more physical at the point of attack is a move in the right direction. That being said, Sheard is not a foundational player. He’s a piece to a much larger puzzle.


Fairley was terrific last season and as long as his $28 million ($14 million in the bank) doesn’t compromise his motivation this deal could reap huge benefits in New Orleans; particularly with Sheldon Rankins and Fairley collapsing the pocket.


 We’ve discussed Zeitler previously. Love that signing.

JC Tretter’s deal is worth $16.5 million with $10 million guaranteed for three years. Tretter struggles to stay healthy but could be an adequate replacement for former Browns’ center Alex Mack.

Kenny Britt $32.5 million with $17 million guaranteed. Why?!? That being said, if I were a Browns fan I could live with 2 out of 3.


Cheeseburg… I mean Eddie Lacy inked a one-year deal with the Seahawks for $5 million. I sincerely hope he realizes that his career beyond 2017 is in jeopardy if he doesn’t control his weight.

Murray is a solid ball-carrier but he’s in for a rude awakening if the Vikings don’t do more to address their offensive line. This signing for all intensive purposes means Adrian Peterson’s playing days are over in Minnesota.


It pays to be a 6’7″ ($45 million) just ask Brock Osweiler. Let’s not kid ourselves, Glennon isn’t as bad as Osweiler.


I like Bennie Logan. But at this price why not bring back Poe? Poe may be trending towards the type of player Logan is (strict 2-down run stuffer) but he has demonstrated (unlike Logan) when healthy, he can push the pocket.


Shrewd signing. The deal is worth up to $4.5 million. Minter strikes me as the type of player that still has his best football in front of him. Also, Vontaze Burfict has proved that he cannot be relied upon.


Three years $16 million (half guaranteed) to Cooper. He’s a cost effective injection of talent into a Bears’ secondary that certainly needed it. He was asked to play a ton of man-to-man in Arizona and acquitted himself fairly well. The Bears will likely utilize a more conservative defensive approach which could result in an improved performance by Cooper in 2017.

Amukumara had to settle for a one-year deal that will pay him $7 million. His earning potential will always be capped by injury concerns having only played all 16 games in a season once in his six year career. On top of that, he makes very few plays on the ball with a career total of 5 interceptions. However, he is solid in coverage and in run support and should improve the Bears’ cornerback situation.



Low risk high reward deal. Smith is your classic deep threat and I expect him to be motivated after having been saved by Philly from the train wreck that has been San Fran over the last few years.


One of the better Crimson Tide corners in recent history. Good decision by the Bengals to retain his services. I think Kirkpatrick would flourish in a Cover 3 scheme as he is excellent in defending the go route but susceptible to double moves. Let him keep his eyes on the QB.


Carr didn’t live up to expectations in Dallas (by any stretch of the imagination) but he brings experience, physicality and durability to a Ravens’ secondary that has struggled to field healthy bodies. The deal is worth $24 million over four years but amounts to a one-year experiment in reality.

The light bulb finally went off for Mo Claiborne in 2016 but the injury bug continues to ail him. The Jets will give Claiborne a raise in 2017 ($5 million) but he’ll do so on another 1 year deal. His man-to-man coverage ability will play in Todd Bowles’ system if he could just stay healthy.


Cyprien signs a 4-year $25 million deal to join the Titans. The Titans obviously like the player considering that they see him twice a year and he certainly helps the Titans get younger and more athletic on defense. As for me, the former FIU star offers throwback, enforcer type strong safety collisions but misses too many tackles and is far too often out of position when defending the pass. Assuming he gets the requisite coaching and is afforded the opportunity to play around the line of scrimmage more often than not he could be solid. Even with the Logan Ryan and Cyprien signings I would be tempted to address the secondary yet again in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft despite the need for offensive weapons on the perimeter.


Neither deal makes much sense to me. Joeckel offers a marginal upgrade to a very bad offensive line and Okung’s play on the field is now a question mark in addition to his ability to stay on said field. Interestingly enough Okung’s deal is worth $53 million (he’s his own agent). After his playing days he should open up an agency of his own.


Things have come full circle for the 37-year-old veteran. He returns to the Panthers on a one-year $3.5 million deal. He should provide rotational pass rushing depth and continues to set a physical edge against the run.


One of the unsung heroes of the contemporary “Great Wall” in Dallas. Leary netted a four year deal worth $36 million and $24 million in guaranteed money. Keep in mind this is a guy Dallas was trying to trade a couple offseasons ago. Denver nets an immediate upgrade to their rushing attack and the offensive line meeting room. Excellent signing.


Timmons had the look of a career-long Steeler but most things change. He brings a wealth of experience, leadership, and toughness to the table with high end two-down production and low-to-mid end three down production. This is the type of veteran acquisition that teams poised to make a deep playoff run make. I like the Phins’ mindset here but the QB will ultimately be their undoing.


I really liked Kenny Stills in New Orleans. I like him in Miami with head coach Adam Gase at the helm as well. While he didn’t break the bank, this contract’s value seems more reflective of Still’s potential rather than his production. He’ll need to take a substantial leap in terms of game-to-game consistency to pay dividends.



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