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The Free Agency Notebook: Day 1

| March 11th, 2015

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IN BEARS LAND…

  • Antrel Rolle is not a great player anymore…and I’m not sure he ever was a great player. He was an alarming liability in coverage last year for the Giants. But the second he signs with the Bears he’ll improve the safety position and he is also one of the most accountable leaders in the league. (He also does a weekly radio show in NYC and delivers brutally honest assessments of his defense’s play.) The Bears shouldn’t be relying on his services two or three years down the road but he is someone who can make a few plays short-term.
  • Eddie Royal excites me. Royal is a perfect complementary receiver for Alshon Jeffery and his history with Jay Cutler will lead to an immediate comfort zone. Royal has been one of my favorites for years.
  • J.T. Thomas received a nice contract from the New York Giants. I wrote this about Thomas in August of 2013: “JT Thomas is one of those players who jumps off the preseason screen. But the numbers game does not work in his favor. Williams, Anderson, Briggs, Costanzo, Bostic and Greene are on this roster. Thomas is a long shot but if I’m the Bears I find him a role on specials and let him make plays.”

THE THREE BLOCKBUSTER TRADES

  • My first thought when Jay Glazer reported the Seahawks had acquired Jimmy Graham from the Saints was if they had him a few months ago they don’t throw that moronic slant route and lose the Super Bowl. I have issues with Russell Wilson’s accuracy from the pocket but guess what, it doesn’t matter now. If he puts the ball within three yards of Graham’s head it’ll be caught. Can’t imagine a scenario wherein the Seahawks don’t open the season as favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

  • Lions dealing a 4th and 5th rounder for Haloti Ngata is interesting. But it also strikes me as a bit of a panic move from an organization that lost the most dominant defensive tackle in the sport without much of a fight. Giving up the middle of your draft for a somewhat injury-prone DT on the other side of thirty is a move that should be made by a team on the precipice of a championship. I don’t think the Lions are that team.
  • So the Eagles acquired Sam Bradford for a second round pick and Nick Foles. If Bradford doesn’t start they get a compensatory third round pick. If he starts less than 50% of the snaps, they get a fourth round pick. Peter King reported that “Chip came hard after Bradford.” But are we really meant to believe that Kelly is no longer interested in his dream child, Marcus Mariota, because he has Bradford and Mark Sanchez in the quarterbacks room? He shouldn’t be.

FIVE OTHER WHEELINGS & DEALINGS

  • Da’Norris Searcy got paid like a top of the line of the safety. I’ve never seen that player in all the Bills games I’ve watched and that’s about 75% of the games they’ve played.
  • Jets corners were a train wreck last season. Now that they’re pairing Darrelle Revis with Buster Skrine they’ll be the league’s most improved unit in 2015 and Todd Bowles will have a field day attacking with that front seven. Now about their quarterback…
  • Revis will be studied in sports economics classes for years to come. He is the most brilliant businessman/player in the history of the league.
  • Why do I think Julius Thomas will be a little less productive down in Jacksonville?
  • Pot Roast Knighton might not want to tell media folks teams are out of the bidding for his services until he sees what the bids for his services are.

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