Sunday, March 4, 2007

Free Agency: Weekend Recap

Today I want to take a look at what transpired over the weekend with NFL free agency just kicking off. The biggest story of the weekend was without a doubt Nate Clements becoming the highest paid defensive player in the NFL by signing an 8-year $80 million dollar contract. We all know Nate Clements is good, but that is shutdown corner money and Nate Clements is certainly not a shutdown corner. Sorry Ohio State fans who rep your players with an uncanny sense of passion and a complete disregard for logic but this contract is absurd.

On the Cleveland Browns front things went well over the weekend. The Browns locked up Eric Steinbach who was considered by many to be the best offensive lineman in free agency with a 7-year $49.5 million dollar contract. He will be plugged in immediately at left guard and should help solidify that side of the line. There really aren't any negatives on this guy. He can actually play any position on the line and is probably better than all of our O-Lineman at their respective positions. He did join in the Bengals arrest parade by racking up a DUI, but I look at this as a positive. As I have said many times before, certain positions require a certain type of attitude. Good running backs generally fall into the domestic battery category, good defensive backs need to get in club fights (just getting into a club fight is a positive, you dont even have to win.....Ken Hamlin is a very good example), and good offensive lineman should drink and drive (Alex Boone's NFL stock plummeted due to going the sober route after his DUI).

The Browns also signed the Houston Texan's Antwan Peek to a 3-year deal. Peek was a third-round pick in 2003 out of Cincinatti where he played defensive end and he made the transition into a 3-4 OLB in the NFL ( had him ranked as the 4th best OLB prospect, just behind your very own Chaun Thompson). He had six sacks in 2005 but was lost in the mix after the Texans went back to the 4-3 last year. There isn't much out there on this guy but he is an 81 overall on Madden, which should give you an indication of his abilities since Madden football rankings hit the bullseye on every player they rank and truly mirror the real NFL (Charlie Frye is terrible and if you can break a big run with Reuben Droughns then you belong on Madden Nation)

Other Notables

Dennis Northcutt- The Jaguars inked the former Browns superstar to a 5-year deal. Once a fan favorite, Northcutt lost his following after a drop on third-down in the 2002 playoffs against the Steelers that Reche Caldwell could have caught blindfolded. Northcutt really fits the Jags smashmouth style of football. Not only is Northcutt a terrific football talent, he is also a rising star in the broadcasting world as was evident from his weekly appearances on Browns Table (it was always comical to watch Les Levine try to dance around the fact that Northcutt dropped a key pass at a crucial moment every week).

Adalius Thomas- In a stunning turn of events the New England Patriots gave a football player money, a lot of money (over $20 million guaranteed). In my opinion this is the best signing thus far and a perfect fit. They now get back the pass-rusher they have been looking for and if they can just get a hold of a decent reciever they are a lock to win the Super Bowl the next 4 years in a row.

Leonard Davis- The Cowboys were able to secure the former #2 overall pick in the 2001 draft with a 7-year $49.6 contract. Leonard Davis is one of the biggest busts in recent hisotry. Is it just me or has the NFL turned into the NBA? That is an Ira Newblesque contract.

Ahman Green- The Texans signed the former Green Bay running back to a 4-year deal. This should come as good news to Browns fans who are on the Adrian Peterson bandwagon (which I am on, actually I am the founding member of the AP bandwagon). The trade down with the Texans rumors will now cease to exist.
Photo courtesy of


Ira Newble said...

Leonard Davis is my boy. Play on player.

Kenny Wright said...

What about me???

King Nick said...

Good riddens Northcutt. Good article JG.

Edwards said...

you blow at madden

Justin Welsh said...

Adalius Thomas isn't half the football player that Peyton Marino was. I mean seriously, who does Thomas remind you of at this point in his NFL career?

A) Tim Couch
B) Karl Malone
C) Brian Urlacher
D) Alex Rodriguez

He is obviously physically comparable to Alex Rodriguez. Thomas only had 1 sack in one of games that I watched for 5 minutes last year. If I had my pick i'd take Kevin Durant if I were the Browns.

REAL justin welsh said...

Yeah, real funny, assholes. I guess this debate has migrated to a NFL board...but fine, I'll say it again. Greg Oden is a fine player, but he's not Kevin Durant. If my job sucking off pediatricians to get them to buy my medicine was on the line, and I needed someone to spur sales, Durant is my guy. And especially since there's NO empirical evidence to suggest that you can't build a championship team around tall, sweet stroking players that dominated in college even though they can't play D (Adam Morrison, Keith Van Horn, Glenn Robinson, Mike Dunleavy), Durant is the chosen one!

Justin Welsh said...


I thought there was an age limit to this.

Jeremy, I liked the article. One thing I did want to say is Nate Clements (while the contract is ridiculous), has to be considered one of the closest players along with Champ Bailey and DeAngelo Hall to being a shutdown corner. Plus he gives teams another option on kick returns and punt returns. You are correct in saying though, that the NFL is starting to mirror the NBA with these ludicrous contracts.

correction said...

actually, Steinbach was arrested for boating under the influence. Which I think is a lot cooler than your standard DUI.

Elliott Feldman said...

These contracts are nothing like NBA contracts because only 1/4 of the contract comes in guaranteed money. Clements got about $22 mil and Thomas got $18-$20 mil guaranteed. In the NBA you can have Alan Houston not playing for years making $20 million or Webber getting bought out for $40 million and still making money (not much) on a new team.

Thomas will also probably be paid more per year than Clements because he only signed a 5 year. The odds of Clements staying more than 3 years in San Fran are probably next to 0 if he has any big escalators in there. Who is the last free agent signing that lived out his entire contract? If anything, Thomas cashed in over Clements.

Jeremy G said...

Elliott, law school has made a smart man out of you. Keep up the good work and keep pointing out the errors in my articles.

Elliott Feldman said...

Haha and to think...I gave you the other half of my "Best Friends Forever" Star of David. I'm gonna need you to mail that back to me. You just lost your carpool to temple. I hope edwards has room in his car.

King Nick said...

I agree with Welsh, I'd take Kevin Durant over Greg "I have the touch of Ryan Dolatowski" Oden anyday. And is it me, or does this guy have bricks for hands? He drops more passes than Kenny Cloud.

Justin Welsh said...

Thank you Nick. Anytime you can agree with me, AND throw an insult towards Ryan Dolatowski (my least favorite West G basketball player of all-time history, and I'm sure I made this clear during my days of cheering/booing/being obnoxious) I am all for that. Wonderful.

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