He shows exceptional closing quickness, and his ability to anticipate routes is uncanny for a young player. Although the Patriots' scheme put Samuel in favorable situations, he still ranked as one of the game's premier cover corners. Possessing a clear understanding of his strengths, Samuel and agent
Though some have chided Samuel for choosing Philly over New England (among others), Shavers believes the "the overall philosophy of the organization made the Eagles the ideal fit for Asante".
• The Browns' overhaul of their defensive line gives coordinator
As the Patriots' defensive coordinator from 2001-2004,
• Buffalo's acquisitions of
Johnson excels as a run defender but has developed better-than-average pass rush skills as an interior player. With Stroud occupying double teams on the other side, Johnson's versatile set of skills should allow the Bills to control the middle of the line, while freeing linebackers Mitchell and
• The flurry of trades involving defensive tackles is very surprising given the difficulty in finding quality interior players. Former Pro Bowlers Marcus Stroud,
One personnel executive involved in one of the transactions said, "Whenever you have an opportunity to get a true 'one-technique,' you have to investigate the deal regardless of the flaws surrounding the player." He went on to say, "To win a championship on defense, you must be strong up the middle and having a dominant big guy inside is essential."
Though each aforementioned player has struggled with weight, injury and effort issues, they all are capable of dominating the game when locked in. In fact, each member of the trio is only a few seasons removed from Pro Bowl distinction and in the prime of their careers (all under 30). Therefore, it will be interesting to see how well each player plays for his new team -- and if their former ones eventually regret the decision to dismiss a Pro Bowl-caliber talent.
• The Jets' rebuilt offensive line has the potential to become one of the league's best next season. Seven-time Pro Bowl guard
Last year's unit never recovered from the sudden departure of
• The signings of
Last season, defenses used eight-man fronts exclusively against the Vikings, and the lack of speed on the perimeter prevented them from attacking the single coverage with deep throws. Berrian thrived as a vertical playmaker in the Bears' run-oriented offense the past two seasons, and his penchant for big plays is perfect for the Vikings' offense. With Berrian on the outside, defenses will be less inclined to exclusively play single-high safety looks against the offense. This should open up the field for
Despite playing for his fourth team in four years, Donte Stallworth is an ideal fit for the Browns. Stallworth, who agreed to a seven-year, $35 million deal with $10 million in guarantees, gives the Browns a speed receiver to open up the field for
Pro Bowl quarterback
• The Jaguars' signing of
Though this aggressive style puts more pressure on the secondary, the addition of Florence gives the Jags arguably the best secondary in the division. Florence joins Pro Bowler
This move is the Jags' latest attempt to match up with the perennial AFC South champion Colts. Indianapolis has won the last five division titles and enjoy a 7-3 record against the Jags during that period.
The Jags hope to match Florence and Mathis against