2013 Free Agency Live Blog: Day 6
After a hectic first few days to free agency comes the calm weekend.
As always, we’ll have the blog manned around the clock (well it’s the weekend, so probably a bit more infrequently than you’ve come to expect) to update with PFF notes and comments on each bit of free agent news, but between flurries make sure you stop in to the past days’ entries to get our takes on all of the moves to date:
You can also catch up to us on Twitter, and browse our exhaustive Free Agent Tracker that comes complete with 2012 PFF player grades and snap counts. And, if you want more detail than that, then you really need to get yourself a PFF Premium Subscription.
Day 6 time!
(Updates will be hourly today.)
Day 6 Recap
The final news item of the day is a huge one as Pro Football Talk reports that Jake Long has officially signed with the Rams with Ian Rapoport reporting that the contract is for four years and worth up to $36 million. Multiple sources indicate that Long took his time in making a final decision between the Rams and the Dolphins, but in the end, he decided to leave the team that drafted him to join the rugged battle in the NFC West. Jake now joins Chris Long as the top two picks from the 2008 draft unite in St. Louis.
Jake ranked as our No. 2 offensive tackle in both 2009 and 2010 before falling to No. 21 in 2011. Injuries affected his performance in 2012, including a season-ending torn triceps, on his way to a career low -0.4 overall grade. The Rams are hoping he bounces back to his elite form and they’ll likely move third-year left tackle Rodger Saffold to the right side after he posted the first positive grade of his career at +8.6.
A quick update in the Josh Cribbs saga as Mary Kay Cabot reports that he is visiting the Cardinals and taking a physical.
While everyone is busy filling out their NCAA tournament brackets, be sure to check out our PFF Free Agency Contest and take a look at how the PFF Analysts have fared to this point in our own March Madness tournament.
RUMOR! From 1500ESPN, the Vikings are exploring the possibility of bringing back released cornerback Antoine Winfield who graded at the top of the position last season at +25.5. He was far and away the top run-stopping cornerback grading at +14.6 and his 7.3 Run Stop Percentage also lead the league. Winfield brings valuable versatility to the defense as he covers the slot amongst the best in the league and he provides the run support of an extra linebacker in sub package sets. As cornerbacks continue to sign as bargain-basement prices, Winfield could become one of the big steals of the entire free agency period.
SIGNING! In the biggest news of the day, the Oakland Raiders announced the signing of linebacker Kevin Burnett. The recently cut Dolphin joins Kaluka Maiava and Nick Roach in a completely renovated linebacking core in Oakland. Burnett instantly becomes one of the best run stopping players on the Raiders defense who has lost a lot of it’s weapons. His 9.9 Run Stop Percentage was fourth best amongst 4-3 outside linebackers. With the depleted defensive line, that number might jump even higher in 2013. While the numbers aren’t out yet, it could be yet another bargain buy for the Raiders defense that is trying to fight against a unit that has lost a lot of its depth.
SIGNING! This one comes from Field Yates who breaks the news that the Patriots have signed offensive tackle Will Svitek. The former Falcon spent most of his time in Atlanta playing the role of sixth offensive linemen, but came into the starting lineup when Sam Baker went down in 2011 and fared reasonably well. A -2.2 grade was no shame though he did get worse as the season went on. We wouldn’t expect him to crack the starting lineup in New England.
RUMOR: This one comes courtesy of Adam Schefter who is reporting that free agent running back Ahmad Bradshaw is drawing interest from both the Steelers and Packers. It makes a lot of sense, with both teams in need of a complete back, and Bradshaw being the definition of that. He can run, he can catch and he can block, and he’s only a free agent because of ongoing injury concerns. He’s been a top-10 ranked back in our system for the past three years.
SIGNING! The first one of the day by our recollection. At least that constitutes new news. The Saints are bringing back Courtney Roby. He managed 60 offensive snaps last year after being on the field for 19 the previous four years. But it’s not his receiving prowess the Saints value, but rather what he brings to their special teams unit. He has 48 special teams tackles in five years, a very impressive output indeed.
Much was made of the Patriots possibly making an offer for Emmanuel Sanders after they brought the restricted free agent in for a visit. Well Steelers GM Kevin Colbert has confirmed that no team has made an offer for Sanders. With Mike Wallace in Miami he’s set to start in Pittsburgh so it would be a big blow to a team short on wide receiver help and lacking the cap room to backfill. Sanders earned a +2.2 grade for his work in 2012 though it would have been a lot better but for that horrorshow of a game against the Ravens in Week 13.
This one is for the Browns fans out there with the news that Cleveland are expecting to use Ahtyba Rubin at defensive end next year. Rubin was part of the Browns defensive line in 2010 when they last used a 3-4 defense and had a hard time of things as the teams starting nose tackle, earning a -21.3 grade with his work in the run game being particularly disappointing. He’s coming off a year where he earned a +4.1 grade.
RUMOR! Jim Irsay is a tease. He tweeted that the Colts are pursuing a wide receiver and hometown newspaper the Indianapolis Star is speculating that the man they’re after is Doug Baldwin. The former undrafted free agent is likely to find a reduced role for him in Seattle after the trade for Percy Harvin, and a move to Indianapolis would re-unite him with Andrew Luck. Baldwin still earned a +7.6 grade last year despite only playing 452 snaps for Seattle. His knack for getting open and moving the chains would be an excellent addition to an Indianapolis team short on wide receiver talent. Still it’s just speculation at this point so let’s see where the tweet from Irsay would take us.
RUMOR! This one comes from the official Bengals site so should be credible. The team are apparently closing on re-signing both Adam Jones and Rey Maualuga. Jones is known for his off the field problems, but since ditching the “Pacman” name he’s developed into a solid corner. He was our 11th ranked cornerback despite being limited to the duty in the Bengals nickel defense. We can’t say such nice things about Maualuga who unsurprisingly found himself a soft market after finishing 2012 our lowest ranked middle linebacker in the league. Yep, he wasn’t very good at all.
RUMOR! Miami are hoping that they can bring back Jake Long, but accordingly to Ben Volin they’ve got a Plan B in mind. Who is that Plan B? Well it’s former Texan and Chief Right Tackle Eric Winston. He’s made a reputation for himself as a very good, but ultimately not elite right tackle which has led to him being a cap casulaty the past two years. He was our 26th ranked tackle overall last year, and if the Dolphins move for him it would likely mean that Jonathan Martin is the team’s left tackle going forward.
Not much to report. In fact nothing to report. But it’s early on Sunday so what do you expect? Maybe treat yourself to some of the other articles we’ve produced this week including the look of Sam Monson at the five worst signings of free agency.
Quiet times as we presume NFL executives are recovering from a heavy night of pre-St. Patricks festivities. Or maybe not. Nothing really to report except from the National Football Post where Dan Pompei is hearing that the Giants will use Jason Pierre-Paul exclusively as a left defensive end next year. In 2012 he was the starting right defensive end who would switch over to the left side when Justin Tuck came out of the lineup. JPP spent 43.1% of his 2012 defensive snaps at left defensive end. Tuck spent just 1.2% at right defensive end.
VISIT! From Matt Maiocco this one who reports that Nnamdi Asomugha is on his way to visit the Saints. New Orleans clearly were not happy with the production they got from their cornerbacks last year, as can be told from the acquisition of Keenan Lewis. But is Asomugha the right answer? There seems to be a 50/50 split right now as to whether “Scrabble” was ever as good as he was hyped, or whether the Eagles just mismanaged him, not using him as a press corner enough. Never mind he spent the fourth highest amount of time of any corner lined up as a press corner in coverage, but still.
Something from last night and it’s that Vikings guard Charlie Johnson has agreed to a restructured contract. A poor move at the time, the Vikings brought Johnson in to be a starting left tackle. After failing there (as everyone expected) Minnesota brought in Matt Kalil to shore up the spot and move Johnson to guard. Naturally he was far from convincing, despite the logic dictated the entire line played well to help Adrian Peterson to his mammoth year. In a just world a healthy Joe Berger might actually beat him out for the starting left guard spot. Berger earned a +11.0 grade in 2011 when starting at all interior spots and playing 502 snaps.
So since last you left our blog what’s happened? Well Chad Johnson is apparently intent on making a comeback. He was with the Dolphins in camp before a domestic abuse assault saw him released. You have to go back to 2011 to when he was with the Patriots to see what Johnson still offers. Back then he managed 354 snaps for New England but only turned that into a -0.3 grade. 2009 was the last great year from Johnson we’re likely to ever see, and given his at all times overwhelming personality, it’s hard to see a team taking a chance on him. Still, he was fun on Hard Knocks right?