Countdown to Free Agency: Live Blog, 3/9

The PFF Team are on hand to walk through the legal tampering period, discussing all the news, rumors and transactions as they happen leading up to free agency.

| 2 years ago
2013-FA-Countdown-Blog

Countdown to Free Agency: Live Blog, 3/9


2013-FA-Countdown-BlogIt’s perhaps the most turbulent time in the NFL calendar, however fear not as PFF is here to help you through. NFL free agency is rapidly approaching where deals will be signed and players will be cut as NFL front offices dance a graceful number that sees them work the cap to improve their future fortunes.

As ever at PFF we’re going to be commenting on all the transactions, the visits and much more as we give you the most comprehensive service you’ll see anywhere. Before the main event on Tuesday stick with us for the Pre-Free Agency blog that has us reacting to all the news the legal tampering period brings about.

So stay tuned, check us out on twitter via @PFF and  treat yourself to a PFF Premium subscription to get all the grades. You’re worth it.

(We’ll be updating every 30 minutes so keep coming back to see our take on the developments before free agency officially opens.)

 

06:30 Possible signing ahoy in New York Jets as they are set, according to Mike Garafolo, to sign Seahawks guard James Carpenter. Something of a disappointment since being a first round bit, Carpenter initially struggled at right tackle in his rookie year before switching to left guard and continuing to do so. He has improved but not to the level you’d expect out of a first round pick and it’s not hard to see why Seattle have let Carpenter reach the open market. He was our 47th ranked guard in 2014.

06:00 VISIT! This one sees, courtesy of Mike Garafolo, the Bills hosting Charles Clay. Clay was given the transition tag so Miami has the right to match any offer, but it’s always interesting when a divisional rival brings in a player. Last year we saw a similar situation with Andrew Hawkins joining the Browns after getting tendered so it’s not impossible the Bills walk away with one of the top playmakers in Miami. Clay is coming off a year where he was 14th overall in our tight end rankings and would prove a versatile weapon.

05:30 RELEASE! The Receiver market added a couple of players yesterday and one of those was Stevie Johnson who was cut by the 49ers. The enigmatic Johnson has given some of the best receivers in the game plenty of trouble but has failed to deliver consistently in recent years since his big 2012 where he ended with six touchdowns and 1,046 yards. But he flashed his ability last year in a limited role, turning just 305 snaps into a healthy +6.0 grade. We’d be keen for him to land somewhere that will throw more than 49 balls his way, and with a 2.13 yards per route run number (16th best of all receivers) we wouldn’t be surprised if he delivered.

05:00 Some catch up news from yesterday and it appears that the Cardinals are going to sign Mike Iupati to a long term deal. The premier run blocker available in free agency, the hope is he can kick start a line that finished 23rd in our run blocking rankings last year. Perennially one of the worst offensive lines out there, this marks the third year in a row the team have made big moves on the line (drafting Jonathan Cooper and paying Jared Veldheer) as they try to slow down the ferocious defenses in the NFC West. Iupati had the highest run blocking score of any left guard but is far from as impressive in pass protection, where his -7.5 grade was 24th worst of all guards (out of 78). Still he represents a huge upgrade at the position and comes with the added benefit of weakening a division rival.

04:42 The PFF team got themselves an early night sleep, extra excited about this Christmas like Free Agency (even if it feels we opened a lot of our presents already). But we’re going to be with you all day to go catch up on the overnight developments and analyze all the developments as they occur. You can click here for what went down yesterday.

 

  • ThenAtlasSpoke

    Was totally hoping Free would find his way to the Texans. I would like a moment to collect myself, please.

    OK, on to Bulaga.

    • Tim Edell

      You re-signed Derek Newton their OL is set.

  • Jaguars28

    Yay Ryan Davis!

  • Jaguars28

    Ouch. Suh is a monster, but no defender should get that type of money. Glad Caldwell didn’t overpay for him.

    • MrBoo

      so much much just to finish second behind Tom Brady…. Poor Dolphins

    • Chris

      Watt should get that type of money.

      But my brother is a Bears fan, and this is what he had to say,

      “Hey not only is he out of the division he’s out of the conference. Let him go accidentally step on Brady for a few years.”

      • Jaguars28

        Not even Watt should get that money IMO.

      • ItsJustWerner

        Your brother sounds like a very intelligent man. Bear Down! lol

  • W Van Landingham III

    McCoy grades out better than Suh and look at the record in Tampa… a DT can’t win games for you so to give them QB money… ouch.

    • Chris

      I mean one player doesn’t make a team no matter how good they are. Wins are a team accomplishment. Can you argue Watt doesn’t deserve what he makes even though his team can’t win?

      Suh is a great DT, easily top 5 on an every year basis. He deserves big money (not quite as much as he got, but still).

      That said, the DL was already the point of strength for Miami. They could’ve potentially laid claim to having the best collective DL in the league last year. How does Suh help them, collectively?

      • W Van Landingham III

        My point isn’t that Suh is overpaid, I mean he is, but he’s still very good – but I don’t really get why NFL teams have decided that DT’s are as important as QBs, because they’re not. Good for Suh for getting what he can, but man this makes the Bucs look really really smart for getting the younger better player to a cheaper AND longer deal.

        • eYeDEF

          Did the Bucs really get better value? It’s easy to say McCoy is the “younger better player” and the Bucs got a steal by wrapping him up for so much less than Suh. Until you look at their respective injury histories.If the best predictor of a player’s future resiliency from injury is their past history of injury, then McCoy is not at all the “better value” because he’s far less dependable. Committing big money and a longer contract to a less dependable player holds greater risks. McCoy missed 16 games from injury during his first 4 years in the league. Suh has never missed a game from injury.

          McCoy might the younger of the two on a cheaper deal. But it remains to be seen whether the Bucs were wise to hand 51 million guaranteed on a 16 million annual salary and LONGER contract to a guy who had missed the equivalent of a full season to injuries over the course of his rookie deal. There’s a reason McCoy jumped at the chance to sign a huge contract early and accept such a low signing bonus in return for a huge portion of his contract being guaranteed. Between him and Suh, he’s proven to be the far less durable of the two and had he been injured again before free agency hits, he still has his 51 million. The Bucs contract was certainly the riskier of the two because McCoy’s past history suggests he’s less likely to play out the life of his longer contract in spite of being younger. I don’t think it’s anywhere near as one sided as you’re making it out to be.

          • W Van Landingham III

            Even with those injuries McCoy still grades out better and the Bucs can cut him with no penalty in 2 years – so yes, they got the better deal for the better player without a doubt. This last season he broke his hand and still played and outperformed Suh for most of the year – but Bucs shut him down because they were playing for the top pick.That doesn’t mean Suh is bad, but I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that thinks Suh is a better value even with McCoy’s injuries.

          • eYeDEF

            I guess I’m not seeing what you are in terms of McCoy “grading out better” and “outperforming Suh most of the year”. As a pass rusher, no doubt. But in terms of overall performance on a game by game basis, Suh has a higher cumulative grade and leaves McCoy in the dust as afar as run defense goes. It’s actually kind of shocking how poor a run defender McCoy is considering he plays defensive tackle and is supposed to be elite. And in spite of playing 250 less snaps than Suh they had an identical number of penalties. So it’s not even close there either, McCoy was worse. He had three games he rates in the red on penalty ratings whereas Suh doesn’t have any. McCoy also has two games where he finished with an overall grade in the red whereas Suh had only one even though he played in four more games. McCoy finished 5th in DT pass rush productivity while Suh finished right behind him at 7th. But in run stop % it’s not even close. Suh is 6th with a 9.7 stop% while McCoy ranks in the bottom quartet as his 5.6 stop % is 36th of 48. PFF evaluations and sig stats don’t appear to support your claim.

          • W Van Landingham III

            2014
            McCoy, overall 29.7, 36.2 pass rush, 0.1 vs run
            Suh, overall 27.5, 14.8 pass rush, 18.1 vs run

            2013
            McCoy, overall 48.8, 52.5 pass rush, 1.7 vs run
            Suh, overall 32.8, 34.3 pass rush, 3.9 vs run

            2012
            McCoy, overall 24.2, 18.5 pass rush, 5.4 vs run
            Suh, overall 15.2, 28.0 pass rush, -11.8 vs run

          • eYeDEF

            Sorry I was looking at the total cumulative summary added up by week that included Suh’s postseason appearance which includes a +3.9 overall grade in the loss to Dallas which bumped up his cumulative score to 31.4 overall McCoy. But even just looking at the regular season my general point still stands. You can say McCoy had the higher cumulative score of 29.7 to 27.5 but that is still exceptionally close when they’re separated by just +1.7. Furthermore, if you look at each player’s summary by week Suh appears more consistent than McCoy. Not only does he appear in more games but Suh only has one bad game all year in the red mostly due to a -1.3 pass rush grade. McCoy’s weekly summary is littered with far more red boxes where he earns a -4.8 and -2.5 game grade against Baltimore and Atlanta respectively. McCoy, in spite of playing 4 less games, has one game with a poor pass rush score and two with poor run defense scores and 3 games where he was a major liability with his penalties while Suh has none. But they’re close enough to where I think it’s important to go to the sig stats to help get a clearer picture of where their play diverges, which as I pointed out, came down to McCoy being significantly worse at run defense and penalties while not being significantly better than Suh at pass rushing, but just marginally better. At any rate, due to McCoy’s injury history I see it as a wash between them. I don’t think you can generalize about McCoy’s contract being better in comparison since we’ve yet to see how Suh’s contract is structured. Most teams make provisions that free up dead money cuts in latter years of the contract, so that’s no real surprise. The Bucs would still be on the hook the remaining 17 million of the 51 guaranteed that hadn’t been paid to him yet if they cut him after two years though.

          • W Van Landingham III

            Again, I’m not saying Suh is a bad player – I’m saying McCoy grades out better and McCoy has the better contract. Suh has ever right to get whatever he can, but from a value standpoint there is no question. Also when you look at those stats you need to also look at the surrounding talent. The Bucs have basically one starting level talent on that d-line, and that is McCoy – he is constantly double teamed and yet makes plays. In the pass game he can dominate at times in a way I’ve only ever seen Warren Sapp do. Those stats are that close for last year with all those penalties you talked about, which is something McCoy can work on, but take those out of the picture and McCoy grades out even higher. In 2013 when McCoy had Revis playing and the team was doing a lot more man-to-man just look at McCoy’s amazing numbers. This year in a most passive Tampa 2 he’s still dominating, and pretty much only McCoy and David are certain starters. Verner grades out well but thats heavily inflated by his run support numbers as he plays more of a Ronde Barber roll, but nowhere as well as Barber.

            Point being is that scouts, people that watch the game, NFL people, they’d take McCoy in a moment over Suh. Suh is much more well known because he’s such a prick – which I personally don’t have issues with I like his attitude- and Suh will sell jerseys because he’s not a boring person, but mainstream coverage doesn’t mean he’s the better player. If/when Tampa finally gets it together and isn’t a disgrace, McCoy will be very very well know and he’s well on his way to a HOF career – he still needs to do it for another 5 years, but he’s that good. Suh is as if he keeps it up.

          • eYeDEF

            Oh yeah, I agree with you there. I don’t think there’s any question that most GMs would take McCoy over Suh if given the choice. I would too simply because from what I’ve seen from McCoy he just seems to be the smarter player with an ability to adapt, pick up new handfighting techniques, and grow and improve his game where I haven’t really seen the same evolution with Suh whose game is built on his sheer physical dominance over his opponent as a bull rusher. I have more confidence that McCoy can sustain his high play even when the day comes when he’s not as physically dominant as he once was that I don’t share with Suh. I’m also not disputing that McCoy got the more fiscally friendly contract for his team, just pointing out that there were additional risks most don’t consider because of McCoy having missed so much time. Plus, Tampa sort of lucked out that McCoy was willing to sign a deal and grant a discount so close to free agency. Detroit blew its chance of retaining its franchise tackle by not offering him after his 3rd year. Most guys in McCoy’s shoes would have tested free agency without that added security given by his team a full season beforehand.

          • W Van Landingham III

            Well I agree on the injury risk, but McCoy had injuries early and looked like a bust, but since then he’s been the best DT in the league. This last year he broke his hand, but played through it anyways. As I said they just shut him down since they were trying to get the top pick and why have your best player playing when you’re trying to lose. I don’t think McCoy gave any sort of discount, at least not a large one, I think the market changed quite a bit mainly due to the unexpected $10-mil cap rise. While Suh went to Miami, don’t discount that state income tax discount, it’s quite a bit. Last year JJ signed a deal that is cheaper than Suh’s – he didn’t give a discount, that is just what the market was. I don’t think anyone would disagree with Watt being the best defensive player in the league – he got the biggest contract ever for a defensive player. If I remember correctly when McCoy signed his contract midseason he got the 2nd biggest contract ever – at least for a d-linemen. In a few years if the cap keeps going up, which I think is part of the reason Suh got the money he did, Suh’s contract won’t be such a hit.

          • eYeDEF

            No doubt Texas, Florida, and Washington State enjoy the benefit of lacking state income tax that gives them a leg up on signing free agents. The bigger the contract, the more the tax discount features prominently in one’s thinking and I have no doubt it incentivized Miami over San Diego or Oakland in the case with Suh. Yeah, with most guys in the last year of their contract like McCoy if the team hadn’t re-signed by the start of the season, then they don’t want the distraction. Why not just wait the 5 months and test free agency to get the big pay day? It seemed a little odd that McCoy would sign a deal in October when in just a few more months he’d be in the free and clear and his price would skyrocket. That’s why it looked to me like he gave some sort of hometown discount because he didn’t mind staying in Tampa.

          • W Van Landingham III

            I think McCoy likes it in Tampa and the defense under Lovie allows him to play the same position as Warren Sapp – also while Tampa isn’t a huge market (it is 12th as a TV market however) it’s a nice mid sized city, and we already know you can certainly make the HOF by playing in Tampa. As for the discount, perhaps there was some sort of discount, perhaps even McCoy felt the need to cut a little slack for his first years of being paid huge amounts of money while he was injured, but I really think its the salary cap going up again that really drove up the prices. Also the Bucs gave McCoy a ton of money up front, his salary for this last year was north of $20-mil, then its like $16-mil next year, then it goes down to $13-mil and actually goes down a bit each year from there on his 7-year extension. The Bucs have plenty of cap space now so they used it. Also unlike Detroit the Bucs had plenty of cap space and could have tagged McCoy for the next 2 years if need be. So McCoy certainly got a ton of money and gets to play in a place that is sort of married to a system (the Tampa 2) that won’t change much even if Lovie got fired. The Bucs went away from the Tampa 2 under Schiano and evne with McCoy, David and Revis and even with other high priced FAs (Goldson) and draft picks (Barron) the Bucs defense was among the worst in the league. The Bucs, on paper, did very poor this year year, but the defense played quite well down the stretch, which was an issue since they were playing for Winston, thus the reason they shut down McCoy and never played Glennon even though he was the better QB – well better than McCown.

    • Vitor

      The worst part is other DLs asking for the same amount of money. Now Ngata probably won’t accept the extension the Ravens were willing to give him and will have to be cut.

      • W Van Landingham III

        Yeah, the Dolphins just really increased what D-linemen are going to be asking for. But then again when the cap increases $20-mil over the last 2 years, if it keeps going up like that this contract probably won’t be considered a bad contract in 2-3 years when lesser players are getting that type of money.

  • Travis Rodgers

    So where does Rodney Hudson fall in the position ratings? Good? I’m looking at Oakland’s Depth Chart and comparing.

    • eYeDEF

      He was the 3rd highest rated center last season with a +13.0 overall cumulative grade while playing in 99.9% of his offense’s snaps. He only had two poor games where he had an overall score in the red all season, the home opener against Tennessee (no idea what happened there) and against the Jets when he presumably went up against their outstanding but under the radar nose tackle Damon Harrison. He did have a negative pass block grade in the red against Buffalo’s DL too where he surrendered two sacks that game. Outside of that he was very solid. Quite exceptional for a guy that didn’t see the field much his first two years and definitely made strides from his 2013 campaign even though 2013 was by no means a poor year for him. As far as sig stats, he ranked 2nd in the league in pass block efficiency (PBE) coming only behind Mangold who was far and away the best overall center this past season. You should be psyched about nabbing one of the most promising up and coming centers in the league. All the centers that play at his level have been playing much longer while this past season was effectively his 2nd year playing nearly every snap.

      • Travis Rodgers

        Thanks for the detailed response. Much appreciated.

  • Jaguars28

    Any Cowboys fans have word on Parnell? Looks like a good signing.

    Sucks to see Smith and Willis retire.

    • Vitor

      Dam, after the SB I thought Ray Lewis was passing the torch to PW dominate for the next 7, 8 years. It really sucks. Hope he changes his mind before tomorrow.

      • Jaguars28

        He still has CJ Mosley to pass the torch to 😉

        • Smith

          More like pass the torch to Luck Kuechly or Navorro Bowman

    • Nathan

      PFF likes Parnell a lot more than we do as Cowboy fans. His high ratings routinely shocked me.

      • Jaguars28

        Well, hopefully you’re wrong ;).

        At least Jerry Jones was high on him if that’s worth anything.

  • Andrew Sutherland

    The Raiders let Veldheer and Wiz walk because they are average and wanted more money than they were worth. Wiz constantly loses 1 on 1 battles and every game it seemed was snapping balls too early or too low. He was a guard playing center. Hudson is a huge upgrade over him.

    • eYeDEF

      Except Veldheer isn’t average. He graded out as the 9th best tackle in the league last season and proved an excellent free agent pickup for Arizona by plugging their hole at left tackle. McKenzie was obviously concerned that his injury plagued 2013 season didn’t make re-signing him to a huge contract worth the risk. But that’s a whole lot different than thinking Veldheer was let go because he was ‘average’. Quite the opposite, he was considered one the most promising up and coming tackles in the league last year which is why he he had no shortage of suitors in free agency.

  • Jaguars28

    I’ll hold my breath until the details come out, but the Odrick signing looks good.

    When Marks comes back (hopefully) healthy, that will form a dominant interior, and a great D-Line if we add Dante Fowler on the outside.

  • jdouble777

    Can you make it so that we can click the player’s name in bold and go to their ranking, whether via a link to their personal page/ranking or probably easier just to their side of the ball on the team they played for last season? For example, it would be awesome if I could just click on Hudson’s name in the piece above and go straight to KC’s offensive breakdown so I could see where he ranked.