Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Free Agency: Patriots Clear Winners.....Browns Lose Big

I myself sometimes get annoyed with the nonstop grab-assing that the Patriots franchise gets from the media year to year but it is often justified. The way this offseason went for the Patriots, I wouldn't doubt it if Tom gets to hold up a couple more of those. I don't think anyone came even close to them in terms of hitting the mark this year in free agency. As I have mentioned in previous articles, the Patriots were a good receiver or two away from the Super Bowl this past year. That is no longer the case. The patriots went out and completely overhauled their receiving corp this year by signing Donte Stallworth, Kelley Washington and Wes Welker. Donte Stallworth provides the playmaker that they lost in Deion Branch last year (whom they should have just kept). Wes Welker is the perfect caucasian slot-receiver that everyone is looking for these days. Last but not least, they picked up Kelley Washington who had the injury-bug last year and struggled to get balls amongst Cincinatti's talented group of receivers. To cap it off, they picked up arguably the best defensive player in free agency when they signed LB Adalius Thomas. Adalius Thomas is not on the downside of his career, he is playing as good as he ever has been and his age is just a number at this point. Besides, we all know that if you play on the Patriots and you are starting to lose a step then you get let go (and subsequently sign with the Browns......Check Willie McGinest and Joe Andruzzi).
I can't say the Browns whole offseason was for naught, we did pick up the top guard in free agency when we signed Eric Steinbach. Rumor had it that we also offered Kris Dielman big money to come here but he opted to stay in San Diego for less. I don't want to fault Phil Savage entirely for this year's crop of mediocre free agents, because I believe it is a pretty tough sell when someone is offering a similar contract to come to Cleveland. However, before free agency Phil Savage made it sound as if we were going to go strong after a few big names as opposed to spreading the money so thin like we did this year. Like I said I have no qualms about the Steinbach signing and Jamal Lewis is a slight upgrade over Reuben Droughns. Other than those two, this free agent class is laughable. The offseason is generally the most optimistic time of the year for most Browns fans including myself because we don't have to actually watch them play, we can just imagine how great things could be. Today I laid back and was visualizing a cornerback trio of Leigh Bodden, Daven Holly and newly signed Kenny Wright. What came to me in this dream sequence was startling (my dream also did allow for all three players to be healthy, but remember this was just a dream). And let me tell you something about our defensive line, it is awful (probably the worst in the league). Alvin McKinley is one step below mediocre, Ted Washington was once fat and good at football but now he is just fat, and everyone's favorite Orpheus Roye played nine games last year. Lets talk about the depth though. Simon Fraser did come up with 4.5 sacks this year but he only earned .5 of them. His only accolade is that he has the palest skin complexion in all of sports. Not one of these guys would start on any team with playoff aspirations. So what did we do, we signed Shaun Smith to an offersheet and he brings with him 47 tackles over three years (that means he averages a little under 1 tackle a game for his career).

I hope for the sake of the Browns guys like Antwan Peek pan out, but I just can't quite see this team making it over the hump anytime soon.

Photo courtesy of shotsdaily.com


tim carter said...

Relax, we will be fine.

tim rychel said...

the browns just signed DT/DE Robaire Smith. By most accounts the best defensive lineman available in a weak free agent class. That means the browns signed the top offensive lineman and the top defensive lineman in free agency, their two biggest needs. I would have liked them to get a starting DB, but outside of Nate Clements (Insane Contract) there wasn't anyone worthwhile there. Lewis will be no worse than Droughns and proabably better. I'm okay with the browns free agency.

AT was a great signing for the pats. But I am not overly impressed with those receivers. They still don't have a legit #1 for Brady. I also thought giving a up a 2nd and 7th for a guy with 1 career recieving touchdown was a lot.

jeremy g said...

I am happy with the two recent additions....I wrote this two nights ago

Ben said...

The worry is that the Browns will point to their free agent class after they use their first day picks on skill position players instead of young, big linemen

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