With the NFL's free agency period open for business, here's our quick takes on the early action. Check back periodically for the latest developments. ...
• The Browns really had no choice but to find a way to get things done with quarterback
The bottom line is that things at the quarterback position change rapidly in the NFL, and you've got to protect yourself at the game's most pivotal position. If you have two good quarterbacks, you keep two good quarterbacks. Especially if you have the cap room to do so. Quality quarterbacking is the hardest thing in the league to find.
And remember, no long-term deal really commits a team to much of anything past the coming season. The NFL salary cap is a one-year-at-a-time proposition these days. As veteran defensive end
• Speaking of the Bucs, they've apparently made
So let me get this straight. Faine gets basically run out of Cleveland when the Browns make Bentley the game's highest-paid center, and two short years later he gets the last laugh by becoming the NFL's highest-paid center in Tampa Bay. What a wonderful world the NFL is.
• With ex-Steeler
Faneca has been a very productive player for a long time in Pittsburgh, but he's 31 and some feel his play has started to slip in the past year or two. While he was clearly one of the most proven commodities available in free agency this year, he's also a prime example of a player hitting the free agency jackpot with his third contract. Ideally, free agency works best when you reward a player who has just earned his second contract after out-performing his rookie deal.
And here's another way to look at the Jets' signing: Is Faneca really miles and miles better than
• File these early free-agent deals under major head-scratchers:
-- Miami moved quickly to wrap up 49ers guard
-- Minnesota jumps all over Cincinnati safety
• The Jets traded for Carolina defensive tackle
Jenkins still has something left, but his body has broken down in recent years and he's most effective when he's not over-used. Let's see if he can stay healthy in New York.
• Say this much for the Eagles' signing of
Samuel likes to guess a lot and take chances, which often led to big game-turning plays in New England. But that style wouldn't have fit as well if the Patriots defense didn't create pass pressure, which at times greatly aided Samuel's coverage. It'll help even more if Philly signs a pass rusher in free agency, or drafts one in the first two rounds in April.
• One name to watch as free agency unfolds: Raiders defensive end
• One deal that seems like a grand slam to me at first glance is the Browns acquiring Packers defensive tackle
The Browns now have no first-day draft picks, having sent their '08 first-rounder to Dallas in the Brady Quinn trade last April.
• When it's all said and done, I think the Saints will wind up picking the Jets' pocket in acquiring middle linebacker
The former NFL defensive rookie of the year may be a bit undersized, but it certainly never hurt him when he was starring at the University of Miami or in his first two years with the Jets. He's a smart, aggressive tackler and he upgrades the Saints 4-3 defense, which currently has
• I'm not predicting greatness for
• On the other hand, forking over $5 million a year for ex-Raiders receiver
• And while we're at it, is
• When he wants to, Detroit defensive tackle
The Bengals are desperate for an upgrade at defensive tackle, and one thing this deal tells me is that they aren't too hopeful that USC defensive tackle
• All this time we thought the one thing above all else that
With Ferguson's trade from Dallas to Miami on Friday, he has now been united with Parcells with the Jets, who drafted him in 1997 when The Tuna was New York's head coach, with the Cowboys, where he played for Parcells in 2005-2006, and with the Dolphins, where you-know-who is the team's new football czar.
• Faithful readers of Snap Judgments have heard this before, but I've always been fairly high on quarterback
While we still don't know what Parcells and Co. really think about
Every time I write something positive about McCown's talents, he seems to shortly thereafter be donning a new uniform. He has played for the Cardinals, Lions and Raiders in his six-year career, which is a lot of moving around. But take note that all of those teams have one thing in common: They were pretty awful. I wish I could say that the streak is over now that he's in Miami, but we all know better.
• It just dawned on me that if your last name is Porter and you're a free agent in the NFL, you've got a great shot to have stupid money shoveled your way by a team in Florida. The Dolphins did it with Joey Porter last year, and the Jaguars followed suit with Jerry Porter this year.