Day Two Free Agency Recap: NFC
The Lions made an impact signing by acquiring Reggie Bush for 4 years, $16 million with a $4 million signing bonus. It may not seem like much for a running back that came into the league with so much potential and seemed to demonstrate his value as an every down back last year on the Dolphins, but it’s a pretty good deal for a veteran running back and he had to negotiate against a very deep and talented running back class this year. If he plays to his potential he will earn every penny, but it will require the Lions to use him creatively. The Lions also signed Glover Quinn to help solidify the safety position, as well as Jason Jones to play defensive end. Jones playing defensive end doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, as his best play has traditionally been inside at defensive tackle. The Lions don’t really need much help there with Suh and Fairley, but perhaps playing him at defensive end and rotating him inside is what the Lions will try to do. Detroit also resigned Chris Houston to retain the starting corner. I’ve never been a big Houston fan, mostly because of his largely non-existent ball skills, but his play seemed to improve last year and the Lions wanted him back. I am always wary of bringing guys back when the light seems to come on in a contract year, so I’m skeptical of how this will go for Detroit.
The 49ers signed Glenn Dorsey and we will finally get to see if a different or better coaching staff can get more out of him than he showed in Kansas City. I always thought he could be a good player in a 4-3 scheme where he could play inside at defensive tackle and not out at end in a 3-4 defense, but we’ll see what he does in San Francisco. I still think there is ability there, so it will be interesting to see how this pans out. This is his chance to resurrect his career so to speak.
The Buccaneers threw a ton of money at Dashon Goldson to pair him with Mark Barron in their defensive secondary. Goldson signed a 5 year deal worth $41.25 million with $22 million guaranteed according to Ian Rapoport. That’s a LOT of money to pay a safety, and I personally think he got overpaid, but the Bucs clearly wanted to strengthen their secondary and pairing Goldson with Barron is certainly intriguing. However, I don’t necessarily agree with them letting Michael Bennett walk and throwing a ton of money at Goldson and attempting to acquire Darrelle Revis. The Bucs need secondary help, and they have Da’Quan Bowers and Adrian Clayborn entrenched as starters, but given their injury history I would be nervous expecting them to be healthy for a full 16 game season. The Bucs are being aggressive and if healthy their defensive line could really help that secondary look good, but I prefer building from the inside out, and the Bucs are putting a ton of resources into their secondary. If their core defensive linemen (Gerald McCoy, Clayborn and Bowers) all stay healthy then they will look smart, especially if they end up with Revis, but this potential influx of talent is certainly intriguing.
The Cardinals have been active today, as they signed Rashard Mendenhall to a one year deal for $2.5 million with the potential to make another $1 million in incentives. I love this deal for both sides. The Cardinals get a running back with a lot of upside with little financial risk, and if he comes back healthy he could be a very good back for them. Not only that, but if he AND Ryan Williams manage to stay healthy they could have two good backs in their backfield for the first time in a while. The Cards also signed the versatile Lorenzo Alexander today, and released safety Kerry Rhodes. Rhodes appears to be a cap casualty as he had a $4.5 million base salary and another $1 million in bonuses. The Cardinals are also supposedly close to signing Josh Cribbs, but nothing has been confirmed at this point. The Cardinals also announced that they signed back-up quarterback Drew Stanton, cornerback Jerraud Powers, and safety Yeremiah Bell according to Darren Urban. Apparently Powers wasn’t as committed to that Chargers visit as was previously reported.
The Panthers haven’t made any splash news, but in a year with almost nothing available as far as back-up quarterbacks, the Panthers managed to bring back Derek Anderson to back up Cam Newton. The Panthers also signed cornerback Drayton Florence to a one year deal.
The Bears made two nice acquisitions yesterday in Jermon Bushrod and Martellus Bennett, and today the Bears released tight ends Kellen Davis and Matt Spaeth after acquiring the black unicorn the day before. I expected Davis to be released, but cutting Spaeth surprised me. Davis has had issues with drops and isn’t a long term solution for anyone at tight end, but Spaeth is one of the best blocking tight ends in the league and will likely be missed in that phase of the game. I expect him to sign an affordable, short term deal with a team that values run blocking from their tight ends.
The New York Giants signed Cullen Jenkins to bolster their defensive tackle recently, but today they moved on from Lawrence Tynes at kicker and brought in Josh Brown. The 33 year old kicker last kicked for the Bengals, and signed a one year deal with the Giants.
The Seattle Seahawks signed Cliff Avril to a 2 year, $15 million deal. Avril reportedly turned down a 3 year, $30 million offer from the Lions a year ago and seemingly overplayed his hand into significantly less money. He likely took this deal to try to boost his stock back up and play on an active defense. The pass rush market seems to be very soft, and teams aren’t overpaying for available talent like they have in the past. It’s certainly interesting, but it’s not good news for players like Avril who were looking for a big pay day.