Posted: 2/6/2013 9:13 PM
Posted: 2/7/2013 1:22 AM
Posted: 2/7/2013 1:13 PM
Posted: 2/8/2013 10:14 PM
njphinatic wrote: Only one man's opinion but still ...... Those to Avoid ... Looks familiar ... http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl...are-free-agentsThose to target ... http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl...ree-agents-tier
In NFL free agency, it's important to exercise discretion when making moves. Sometimes the moves you don't make can be more significant than the ones you do. Even if your team needs an upgrade at a position, paying top dollar in an inflated market for a player can be costly. Years down the line, it is those big flops that hurt a franchise unable to rebuild as it lives out its impetuous mistake of trying to find a quick fix.
So which players come with a "buyer beware" tag in 2013? Here are the top 10 when viewed through the Pro Football Focus prism.
Note: More detailed explanations of the advanced statistics used below can be found here.
2012 team: Baltimore Ravens
If reports are to be believed, Williams bet on himself by turning down a three-year, $15 million contract from the Ravens last year. Two postseason interceptions, to go with four in the regular season (along with 11 pass deflections), might suggest that was a wise move from Williams.
But watching the tape a little closer doesn't leave you quite as impressed. Williams gave up 39 first downs in the regular season and six more in the postseason, meaning his combined 45 first downs surrendered were the second highest of all cornerbacks. He wasn't a shutdown corner but rather someone teams moved the chains on. He may be looking for top cornerback money, but teams shouldn't be fooled into thinking he is one.
2012 team: New York Jets
On the back of what ended up being a Pro Bowl season, Landry has positioned himself to get paid. He won't be taking a hometown discount with the Jets because in his eyes his stock is at an all-time high after he proved he could handle the rigors of an NFL season by playing 96.6 percent of the Jets' defensive snaps.
Only the tape doesn't back up his performance. Eighty-eight tackles represent a big number, but his 4.7 run stop percentage was only 14th among safeties despite his spending 46.2 percent of his snaps in the box. He also got beat for 16 first downs and four touchdowns, the 11th-highest number of all safeties in coverage. Sure Landry can put a big hit on a receiver at times, but don't let those big plays fool you. He's not an elite, difference-making player, and he misses too many tackles (his 13 were 12th highest among safeties).
2012 team: New York Giants
Despite what Umenyiora may say, the tape definitely isn't kind to him after a 2012 where he looked a step slower and was a whole lot less productive.
The soon-to-be former Giant is above all else a pass-rusher, but his 8.6 pass rushing productivity score was down from 11.3 in 2011 -- and a large part of why he finished just 31st in our 4-3 defensive end rankings. A non-presence against the run for the most part, some team in desperate need of help in the pass rush may turn to him hoping to find answers, but the truth is he's better suited to a situational role with lowered expectations on his output.
2012 team: Houston Texans
This season was supposed to be the year that Barwin broke out. In theory it should have been, given that with teams paying extra attention to J.J. Watt, fewer resources were dedicated to stopping him. Only he couldn't take advantage of this, to the point where Houston can consider itself lucky to be priced out of his re-signing.
Barwin finished the season as our third-lowest-ranked 3-4 outside linebacker, struggling in all areas of the game. As a pass-rusher, he had the fourth-lowest score of his peers in our pass rushing productivity rating after notching 40 combined sacks, hits and hurries on 533 pass rushes, while in the run game, his run stop percentage score of 4.0 was the sixth-lowest number. You spend big money on impact players, and Barwin just isn't one of those.
2012 team: Miami Dolphins
There are times when I watch Smith and think he can be an elite cornerback; there are other times when I watch him and think he shouldn't even be on the field. For proof, no cornerback gave up more combined first downs and touchdowns than Smith's 46.
Smith started the season playing well but finished poorly, reminding us how badly he played in 2011 where he had the second-lowest coverage grade of all cornerbacks. Smith is as talented as he is inconsistent, and for that reason teams should be hesitant to part with the big bucks for him.
2012 team: Cincinnati Bengals
Granted, no team thinks it's going to be getting a superstar linebacker with Maualuga, but it might think it has found itself a stopgap starter and pay him as such.
And it would be wrong to do so.
Maualuga was our lowest-ranked middle linebacker this season, struggling all over the field but being a particular liability in coverage (London Fletcher was the only linebacker to give up more than Maualuga's 37 combined first downs and touchdowns). Throw in 16 missed tackles -- fifth most among inside linebackers -- and you have a liability on your hands.
2012 team: Jets
If you were building an ideal tight end, he'd probably look a lot like Keller: explosive and able to do damage with the ball in his hands.
Yet all too often he's not a mismatch, and with the way he blocks, ensuring the Jets can't use him as an every-down tight end, he really needs to be more of a playmaker in the receiving game. This season he picked up only 1.48 yards per route run, a number that if he had run enough routes to qualify would have ranked tied for 15th with Martellus Bennett, a much more complete player.
Keller is capable, but there's too much inconsistency in his game for him to be relied upon and given big money.
2012 team: Dolphins
There's a lot to be said for the position of left tackle being less important now, with teams getting rid of the ball quicker and quarterbacks defined by how they handle pressure. For example, has Joe Thomas propelled to Cleveland Browns to victory?
Even if you don't share that viewpoint, you would be hard-pressed not to see a depressing trend in Long's recent play. In his first three years in the league he was exceptional, but whether it's injuries or wear and tear, his past two years have created more questions, to the point where investing big money in him is a true gamble. If you judge a left tackle by his work in pass protection, Long has gone from ranking first in our pass blocking efficiency stat in 2009 and 2010 to 13th (2011) and what would have been 14th (2012) if he had have played enough snaps to qualify.
Is that the kind of recent performance a team should put a substantial part of its salary cap into, in the hope he turns it around?
Bush was 14 yards away from a second consecutive 1,000-yard season, but despite his high profile and success in Miami, there isn't much reason to invest significant money in him.
Out of 59 running backs to play at least 200 snaps, Bush finished 31st in our rankings, and that was mostly due to his receiving skills. For Bush, the same old problems prevail, as he averaged just 2.06 yards after contact per carry, a number that was better than only five backs with more than 100 carries. He just isn't a convincing runner between the tackles, teasing us with the idea he will be and then being quick to bounce the ball outside.
The truth is that the New Orleans Saints used him the way they did because that was the best use of his talents. Now he is older and has less tread on the tires.
2012 team: Indianapolis Colts
Given how obsessed Andrew Luck was with Reggie Wayne at times (179 balls thrown his way), it might be a minor miracle for some that Avery was able to walk away with 781 yards. That's a decent number for a No. 2 receiver.
But Avery benefited from a pass-happy offense in which Bruce Arians at times seemed determined to treat him as he had Mike Wallace in Pittsburgh. It meant the former Ram was targeted 25 times on balls aimed over 20 yards in the air (13th highest in the league), yet he caught only six of them while dropping four.
Indeed, drops were a huge problem for the unreliable Avery, as he led our drop rate signature stat for wideouts after dropping 12 of 72 catchable balls. A team might think he can provide another dimension to its offense, but it will overspend on plays left on the field.
Posted: 2/8/2013 10:29 PM
As a GM, when I approached free agency, I utilized a tier system based on how I valued players. It involved three classes, which you'll see below:
Free-agency tiersA Players: Worth paying big, starter-caliber money.B Players: Guys I would sign but only if the value made sense.C Players: Guys I'd sign for low-salary, short-term (one or two years) value, with low bonuses.
Within each of those groups, there are further considerations, particularly injuries, age and character. The concern with injury is obvious, as that player might never recapture his previous level of performance or even see the field. Age is a concern for anyone older than 26 because a five-year contract would take the player past age 30, a precipice after which players usually decline rapidly. This is a concern for some positions more than others, however, and must account for how much a player has been used to that point. An every-down running back at age 26 might have less tread on his tires than a 28-year-old who has seen limited carries to this point.
Based on the information we have as of Feb. 4 and using my tier system, what follows is a 35,000-foot view of the free-agent landscape based on player performance, positional scarcity and the overall market for certain players. In short, these names are my best available free agents for 2013.
As teams make additional cuts, there likely will be new names added to the mix before March 12. For now, we're working with the players normally scheduled to reach unrestricted free agency. Where applicable, I've indicated any concerns I have due to age, injury or character. They are grouped first by tier, then by position. Appearing higher within a certain tier does not mean a player is more valuable than those below him.
Statistics are inclusive of postseason where applicable.
I would assume he will be franchised or reach a long-term agreement with the Ravens. He definitely deserves top-tier money, however; he has proved that much. Flacco is streaky, but when he's on, he can win for you. This past postseason has shown exactly that.
For running backs, seven seasons is about the time when tread runs out on their tires. Jackson has been in the league for nine, but I think he's the best back no one really celebrates. His age and service time are a concern but he's a warrior and a guy you want on your team. If the price is right, a contender could get him for two to three years and feel pretty good about it. I think he could be a Corey Dillon-like find but without the baggage. He's a true blue guy.
He will be 32 at the start of the 2013 season and is a big age concern. How much money do you want invested in a player who is small, is not very fast and excels in New England's offense but doesn't have a lot of years in front of him? That's the question teams face with Welker. The Patriots didn't sign him long term, which should be an indicator of his value. Will they franchise him at $12 million? I don't know. Will he command more on the open market? I don't know. You can't deny he's a good player. It's his value that remains a question.
Wallace is a good route runner, has good instincts and typically has good hands, but he's small and you worry about injury. Inconsistency in the past also is a concern. Pittsburgh didn't reach a deal with him, which will make some teams wary, but this league is always looking for WRs with speed who can take the top off a defense -- and he can do that.
Bennett is young, but to date he has never really lived up to his potential. He has great speed, above average hands and good size to be a good blocker, but he doesn't play consistently. He's one of those free-agent gambles who might or might not pay off.
I think there's a lot of upside for Cook, but he has not played to the level of an A player just yet. Still, I think he'll command some money based on his potential. He is more consistent than Bennett and had a better year in 2013, but I'm always a little skeptical of players who come on in a contract year. There's a chance he could be franchised.
Even at age 31, Jones is a good player and adds value because of his toughness and work ethic. If he's affordable, he's a guy I want on my football team. Of course the questions are: Can he pass a physical? And is he affordable? He is one of the few FBs who can carry the ball and do it well.
Levitre is a very solid, professional, strong, offensive guard. While he has the talent, his position might limit the money he'll see.
His shoulder injury might be a concern, but he has been solid for the Broncos since he was a rookie. Tackles such as Clady command big money, and he will, too … assuming his shoulder is OK.
Pass protection is his strong suit. He has pretty good feet and long arms, and moves well. He has had some injury concerns, but he came to football late in life (relatively speaking), so there might be some latent upside. It would be worth sinking some money into him, assuming he's got a clean bill of health.
He's big and powerful, but Bushrod is not a great pass protector and his feet are a concern. His size and length help him some, though. As an all-around guy, he's a fit. A long-term deal should still provide decent value for a team.
Solid, but nothing spectacular, Cherilus has no glaring deficiencies. Solid tackles are hard to come by, but with lots of linemen in the draft, it might drive down the money for linemen in this free-agent class. GMs know that, and it will be reflected in their offers. I put him with the A's because he's been a reasonably good starter for a time.
His reputation will make him an A player, but he is an injury and age concern to me. He is turning only 28 to start next season, but he already has played 74 games, making a long-term deal a risk. He's missed time the past two seasons as well. Someone will pay him, though.
He's a high draft choice who has disappointed at tackle for Kansas City. There has been some talk about him moving to guard, which is where I see him fitting best and which will affect the offers he receives. I tend to slot him more as a B player, but certain teams get enamored by size and he's certainly got that (6-foot-5, 316 pounds), so there probably will be a market for him.
Melton is a converted college FB who became a great 3-technique player in a Dungy Tampa 2 defense. The trouble is, he fits only that defense and that seriously limits his market. That said, if you're going to play that scheme, this position is of critical importance.
He's older, but he could be effective as an inside, space-eating 3-4 or power 4-3 kind of tackle. He had a very good year with Miami. This type of player is hard to find, so I imagine he'll have a market.
He played OLB in Dallas' 3-4 scheme, but I think he's more of a 4-3 end. He is an outstanding pass-rusher. As I mentioned earlier, I'm normally wary of players having good seasons in contract years, but putting him at OLB doesn't allow him to do what he does best, which is rush upfield. And I see upside for him in a 4-3 scheme.
Avril is an outside rusher who is not particualrly stout against the run, but pass-rushers are always in demand. I see low-A money in his future, but not right on the mark. He's a talented player and young (27 in 2013 season).
As you'd imagine I'm rather familiar with him. I see Freeney as a fit in a Wide-9 scheme or as a 4-3 DE. I believe he still has a lot of talent, but age is definitely a concern.
Great size and production (11.5 sacks) make him an ideal target for teams in the market for a pass-rusher.
An outside pass-rusher, Kruger can play OLB or DE. He is coming off his rookie contract and really came into his own this season. He's become a very efficient pass-rusher, and there is a market for a player like that.
He's had off-field issues, although none recently. I think free agency will really benefit him because he's more of a B player, but he is a starter in Cincy and could be a solid starter elsewhere. There aren't a lot of interior LBs on the market, so I think he'll command A money.
Solid young player, but injury concern (Achilles) might reduce his value. He's a starting-caliber corner if he answers his health question.
Williams is a very good man-to-man corner who stepped in for Lardarius Webb and outpaced expectations with the Ravens. He's probably low A, but because of his good year, I think he'll be able to cash in and get A-level money.
Moore is not a spectacular player, but he could start for most teams in the league. He's a good all-around type, solid in all phases of the game.
Timed speed is a question mark, but instincts, toughness and production are not.
Delmas has good range and good instincts, and is very tough. He battled a knee injury all season, but I see him as a very interesting safety. His position might not command a big-money deal, however.
For years, Reed has been the best safety in the NFL, unconventional as he might be. His instincts are unparalleled, but age is a concern at this stage of the game, and I'm not sure whether there's a long-term deal out there for him. He probably will go back to Baltimore, but I've seen some rumors mention New England. That's a possibility. He is on the down side of his career but still is a great player and a Hall of Famer. Could he have value as a tutor for younger players? Sure, but no one plays the position like Reed does. He's one of the smartest and most unconventional safeties I've seen, and I don't think anyone could emulate him.
Landry had a good year for a bad team. He's a striker, a big hitter. While he is a little older, he's still a pretty serviceable player. We're closer to B territory now, but for a team looking for a safety, he could do a good job.
Just an athletic, tough safety. If you want a safety to play man, cover ground, and go up and play in the nickel on the line of scrimmage, this is a guy who does all of that well. I think he has more value to Houston than to another team, so I think the Texans will do what they can to sign him. Within the role he plays, he's very good.
If you're in the market for a punter, there are good ones on the market. People don't really chase punters, but Colquitt is one who can flip the field, and that bears mentioning.
Lechler is an incredibly gifted punter. He can flip the field seemingly whenever he wants and manipulate the ball to his bidding. I'd rank him slightly ahead of Colquitt, but both are talented. How much do you want to pay for a punter? That will depend on the team. But he's a weapon.
He is a B as a punter, but he also is a good kickoff guy and can be a kicker, so there's value in that versatility as you manage a limited roster. Indianapolis might pay him if the Colts believe he can replace Adam Vinatieri eventually. He's not the punter Lechler or Colquitt is, but just a notch below. He has become better directionally than in the past.
Posted: 2/8/2013 10:30 PM
tier b: offense (notables)
as i mentioned above, the b players are guys worth pursuing only if you can get them at a good value. a lot of these players might surprise you because there are some big names in this group. for those, i've detailed some of the reasons keeping them out of a territory. i've also provided some detail on players i think could be particularly appealing in this tier. the remainder are grouped into the chart below.
2012 team: carolina
teams without a quarterback probably will consider him. he has proved to be relatively reliable over the course of his career. as a backup he's ideal, but if the price is right, you ought to think about him as a starter.
2012 team: indianapolis
stanton certainly warrants consideration as a backup and might even have starting ability, but he does not have the body of work anderson does. he's an interesting prospect.
2012 team: dallas
you'll recognize the name, but 2012 was just the second time in his five-year career he's played 16 games.
2012 team: tennessee
ringer is a good short-yardage and goal-line runner. he's coming off a serious knee injury, which worries me, but he's a solid player. i see him as a no. 2 back in a san francisco-style attack. in indianapolis, we needed and wanted someone like him.
2012 TEAM: Miami
He's a name, but at this stage in his career, he's a third-down guy.
2012 TEAM: Green Bay
Jennings will be a big name, but this is the classic question mark: How much do you pay a guy who will turn 30 at the start of the 2013 season and is coming off of two injury-plagued seasons?
2012 TEAM: Kansas City
Bowe is certain to be one of the names all the gurus will be talking about, but he has inconsistent hands. The QB situation in Kansas City doesn't affect him that much; you have to catch the ball when it's thrown to you. Bowe will intrigue some people, and others will shy away.
2012 TEAM: St. Louis
He's coming off injury, but I see him as a younger Wes Welker. He's a good possession receiver.
2012 TEAM: Indianapolis
Injuries are the concern, particularly the concussions. That will be reflected in the amount of money he gets. If you're willing to gamble a little on the health questions and he can put it behind him, Collie is a very solid slot receiver -- smart, tough and resourceful.
2012 TEAM: Cleveland
At this stage, Cribbs is a return man only, and his age will drive the price and longevity of term down.
Receiving and speed aren't his strong suits, but he can block. As a solid, all-around guy, he'll get the job done.
2012 TEAM: San Fran
He's a valuable role player. He can catch the ball, block, even play a little fullback. At the right price, he's a good addition to a contending team. He's reliable.
2012 TEAM: Carolina
Built with a long body, he catches pretty well and has been pretty reliable. He won't be a big-money guy, but he'll probably be a pretty good addition to a team.
Tier B: Defense (notables)
2012 TEAM: Denver
Age is a concern, but he plays awfully well. Defensive tackles tend to play a little longer than most positions, though, so the risk isn't as big as with other positions.
2012 TEAM: Jacksonville
His lack of consistent effort and conditioning is a concern.
2012 TEAM: Tennessee
An interior pass-rusher and pretty good at it, Marks will be sought after. He has gotten better against the run over the years as well. For teams with a need at defensive tackle, he fits the bill.
Ricky Jean Francois
Another player I've seen improve year over year, he can play all three 3-4 defensive line positions, although he probably is better suited to play a 3-4 end. A solid player, he is young and has shown he can develop.
Dorsey has never played to the level of his draft position, but his big name will command attention.
2012 TEAM: NY Jets
He's a hard-playing run-defender, and teams that play the 3-4 will take a look at him as a valuable role player.
2012 TEAM: Detroit
Durant is still young, with upside. Depending on the value of the deal, he could make for a good pickup. Some might see him as an A.
2012 TEAM: Oakland
Wheeler had a good year in Oakland in 2012. His best position is SAM LB, which is not a big-demand position. But he can run, hit and blitz. He's gotten better every year.
He's an up-and-coming guy. He flies around the field and is tough. He's well suited to the 3-4, young and with upside. I don't see a big market, but nonetheless he's an asset.
He's a fit as a nickel CB who has good skills and insticnts. He can also contribute in the return game.
2012 TEAM: New England
He has a big name and talent, but he's an injury concern.
Tier B: Special Teams
Bironas is old but still a good kicker.
2012 TEAM: NY Giants
He gets points for handling the winds of the Meadowlands and for his experience in clutch situations.
Remaining B free agents
Now we're into roster filler territory. That isn't to say these players won't contribute and can't provide value, but they aren't going to command a long-term commitment nor a particularly big salary.
Tier C free agents
Posted: 2/8/2013 11:15 PM
Great size and production (11.5 sacks) make him an ideal target for teams in the market for a pass-rusher.He is a beast! If he is not tagged, we need to go after him an PAY him. This is the kind of guy that can take our front 7 from really good to #1. Signing him would help our secondary tremendously.He plays for Cincinatti so Coyle is very familiar with what he brings to the table. He is EXACTLY what we have been looking for to play opposite of Wake.
Last edited 2/8/2013 11:25 PM by Littletrim7
Posted: 2/9/2013 9:40 AM
Littletrim7 wrote: I completely forgot about this guy... A Michael Johnson DOB: 2/7/87 HT: 6-7 WT: 270 POS: DE 2012 TEAM: Cincinnati Tkl 54 Solo 36 Sack 11.5 FF 0 Player Analysis Great size and production (11.5 sacks) make him an ideal target for teams in the market for a pass-rusher.He is a beast! If he is not tagged, we need to go after him an PAY him. This is the kind of guy that can take our front 7 from really good to #1. Signing him would help our secondary tremendously.He plays for Cincinatti so Coyle is very familiar with what he brings to the table. He is EXACTLY what we have been looking for to play opposite of Wake.
Posted: 2/9/2013 11:05 AM
Posted: 2/9/2013 1:05 PM
packphinsfan wrote: Trim, so he is a DE in a 3-4, right? And that is what Coyle runs for us correct? Johnson at DE, or Kruger at LB work for me. Add a good corner, and some weapons (TE, WR) on O and I`m good.
Posted: 2/9/2013 3:00 PM
Posted: 2/9/2013 7:48 PM
Littletrim7 wrote: packphinsfan wrote: Trim, so he is a DE in a 3-4, right? And that is what Coyle runs for us correct? Johnson at DE, or Kruger at LB work for me. Add a good corner, and some weapons (TE, WR) on O and I`m good. Ummm nope. He is a Pass Rushing DE in a 4-3 and a very good one at that. If he was on teh opposite side of Wake, BOTH of their sacks would go up.
Posted: 2/10/2013 8:58 AM
Posted: 2/10/2013 9:40 AM
dstock21 wrote: I am starting my wish list of second tier free agents and I am putting Godser Cherilus on it. I see him listed as an A and I agree he is good but I don't see him as a hot comodity. I think we can get him for half of what Jake Long gets.
Posted: 2/10/2013 8:06 PM
Posted: 2/18/2013 1:33 PM
No big names; no game changers in that FA list. Would like to see us keep Starks and if the money is right, Bush.I would let Long and Smith walk.Bring in a free agent DE and OT for depth and then draft one of each within the first three rounds.Top 5 areas to pick would be DE, OT, WR, Safety, CB. Should be able to get all of those before round three is up. 1st round: top DE available.2nd A: top WR/OT available2nd B: top WR/OT available3rd A: top CB/Safety available3rd B: top CB/Safety available
Posted: 2/18/2013 2:18 PM
Posted: 2/22/2013 9:20 AM
Posted: 3/4/2013 4:41 PM
Posted: 3/5/2013 1:55 PM
Bigjoe13 wrote: Quick update.Dwayne bowe signed a 5 year dealAnthony spencer got taggedBrandon Albert got taggedJared cook didn't get tagged