The NFL free agency basically began today with their “legal tampering” period, and it has been extremely exciting! I am going to give you my thoughts on the signings so far.
Trey Flowers – Detroit Lions
I am giving an A+ for the Lions on this agreement. Trey Flowers if you couldn’t tell in the previous article I love. It came to no surprise he found himself with one of his former defensive coaches Matt Patricia. I really thought Flores and the Miami Dolphins would have the upper hand signing him since he broke out as one of the top edge player’s in the NFL last year under Flores.
Lions beat them and rest of the NFL to him agreeing on $17 million a year for the next five years which is a very fair price tag for a twenty-five-year-old edge rusher entering his prime.
Landon Collins – Washington Redskins
The Redskins came to a six-year, $84 million agreement for Collins making him the highest paid safety in the NFL. I am still giving this signing an A grade. He is arguably the NFL’s best strong safety with the ability to make plays all over the football field.
Critics throughout Twitter are saying the Redskins overpaid but when there is one of the league’s premier players at a key position, teams will always find themselves “overpaying” initially. I think in the next few days Earl Thomas’ contract will top yearly average and put it into perspective that this is the going rate for a premier safety.
Kwon Alexander – San Fransisco 49ers
Do people want to criticize Landon Collins for being overpaid? Let’s take a minute to discuss Kwon Alexander. I have loved Alexander since he has come out of LSU but a four-year, $54 million for a guy who is coming off a torn ACL is just too much money. That is a million more a year then what the NFL’s best linebacker (Luke Kuechly) makes a year. Even when healthy I would not put him in the elite category, although he is very good. I am going to grade it a B-, although I do believe it was too much money he fills a massive hole that Reuben Foster left.
Ja’Wuan James – Denver Broncos
The Bronco offensive line is a mess, bringing in one of the top right tackles in the NFL was an excellent move. It like all these deals came at a hefty price of $52 million over four-years making him the highest paid right tackle in the NFL. The price is really the only negative thing I have to say about it as there is only one other right tackle in the NFL (Lane Johnson) getting more than $10 million a season. Saying this James is in that elite category and when the Broncos had such a need at the position they likely needed to pay an extra couple million then he was worth. Overall I like the deal and am going to grade it a B+.
Trent Brown – Oakland Raiders
The Raiders managed to make the James deal look like a steal. Brown is an average tackle at best and yet he got paid like a franchise tackle. $66 million for four-years is absurd for a player of this calibre and is why I am giving the Raiders an F for this move.
Tyrann “Honeybadger” Mathieu – Kansas City Chiefs
The Honeybadger got a deal he deserved and is exactly what the Chiefs need on their defence. He is a true Swiss army knife as he can blitz, play nickel, and safety at an elite level. I love that they agreed to a three-year deal with the26-year-old. His game is derived from his athletic ability which could be reevaluated when he is 29. I do not believe they overpaid for him either since it is not a long term commitment. An A+ deal by the Chiefs.
Nick Foles – Jacksonville Jaguars
Quarterback is the most position in football no doubt, and when a team is desperate needing one it shows. Four-years, $88 million for someone who is an average quarterback shows us how needy the NFL for starting quarterbacks. Foles is obviously is good enough to win a championship if you surround him with a great team but the Jacksonville Jaguars are far from that.
The offence will need to be put on Foles’ shoulders like when he played for the Rams. I do not believe this will work out and contracts like this hurt teams in the long run. There is no guarantee he won’t work out though but there is a large enough sample size to say assume he won’t. I am giving this a B-.
Kareem Jackson – Denver Broncos
Although a rather happy Twitter reaction I am giving this deal a C+. The Broncos need a corner but paying a 30-year-old $11 million a year for the next three years isn’t wise. Corners typically fall off in their thirties and Jackson isn’t to be considered an elite cornerback.
Mitch Morse – Buffalo Bills
Morse was the Chiefs second best lineman last year, they didn’t have the cap space to keep him around though. It was a great pick up by the Bills since they are in such need of offensive line help. I don’t believe this will set them over the edge, but I’m giving the deal an A-.
It’s Still Early
Despite free agency not opening until Wednesday, March 13th at 4:00 PM Eastern Time, teams have wasted no time getting to work. While all eyes will be on the big names going off the board (or already being off the board). Look for teams like the Patriots, Packers and Seahawks etc. to make their “value” signings later on this week and the weeks to come.
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