2013 Free Agency Live Blog: Day 8
With more rumors floating than contracts actually being signed, Day 7 served as a slow intro to the second week of free agency. Those rumors, though, provide plenty of material to keep the speculators speculating and as they build, you can’t think the deals are far off (unless there are Jake Long-like four-day physicals involved). Will Day 8 see the dam break and flood us with exciting new deals to discuss? We’ll see.
As always, we’ll have the blog manned around the clock to update with PFF notes and comments on each bit of free agent news, but make sure you’re caught up on what’s gone before by clicking on the past days’ entries for our takes:
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.
Check in with us throughout the day for Day 8 highlights and PFF thoughts on each new deal.
(Updates will be hourly today.)
According to his Twitter account, CB Brice McCain has signed a three-year deal to stay with the Texans. He’ll maintain his duties as the team’s slot cornerback where he played 382 of his 462 snaps on his way to a -9.0 grade, including -8.0 in coverage. McCain ranked 18th among the top 21 slot cornerback qualifiers with 1.56 Yards/Cover Snap and his 448 yards surrendered were fourth most at the position.
Aaron Wilson has tweeted that former Raiders safety Michael Huff is going to meet with the Ravens “within next week.” Our own Sam Monson chimed in with his thoughts, while Steve Palazzolo broke down Huff’s value to prospective teams. His ability to play a number of positions certainly brings extra value, but with Ed Reed likely out of Baltimore, Huff’s probably going to be looked at as a replacement at free safety.
There are still a number of players left on the market so be sure to check out our Free Agent Tracker to stay up-to-date on the best available players. We’ve also announced our intentions to expand the team here at PFF. If you think you have what it takes, read the qualifications and send us an e-mail.
SIGNING! According to the 49ers Twitter account, they’ve signed former Dolphins wide receiver Marlon Moore. The former undrafted free agent is coming off a career-high 198 snaps that saw him grade at -1.5 overall on the season. Moore caught six of the 11 balls thrown his way for 116 yards (19.3 yards/reception) with a touchdown and two drops.
SIGNING! Another team Twitter account broke a signing as the Titans announced that Robert Turner will be joining the squad. He graded at -1.7 for the Rams last season while playing 651 snaps at center and 432 at left guard. He should be in the mix at right guard next season, as 2012 starters Leroy Harris and Deuce Lutui remain in unrestricted free agency. Turner is also an insurance policy if restricted free agent Fernando Velasco ends up elsewhere. The Titans have made the offensive line a priority with the signing of LG Andy Levitre and Turner adds another versatile option.
After the well-publicized fax issues in Elvis Dumervil’s camp, there are various reports about interest in the former Broncos pass rusher. Ben Volin is hearing that there are about a “half dozen teams” showing interest in Dumervil’s services, though the Dolphins are not one of them. Dumervil picked up 12 sacks, 11 hits and 37 hurries on his 522 pass rush attempts last season, good for a +3.9 pass rush grade and 9.8 Pass Rush Productivity that ranked 11th among 4-3 defensive ends. He’s never been terribly stout against the run as last year’s -6.1 grade indicates, but potential suitors are likely willing to make that sacrifice in order to add a game-changing pass rusher.
SIGNING! Guard Seth Olsen is returning to the Vikings after a couple of seasons as a reserve in Indianapolis. He hasn’t seen much time on the field, but when he has – making five starts in the last two years – he’s put up some significant red grades. Particularly troubled in pass protection, his PFF pass blocking grade in those five starts totals out at -14.8; not good. With Geoff Schwartz gone in free agency and the Brandon Fusco-Charlie Johnson combo returning to fill the guard roles (two more players found lacking in the pass pro department in 2012), Olsen should fit right in.
SIGNING! 38-year-old kicker Phil Dawson tweeted that he has signed on with the 49ers to replace departed (and also 38) David Akers. Dawson finished as our 25th kicker in overall grades last season, dragged down by low marks for his kickoffs. His field goal performance, however, was among the best as he hit on 93.5% of his attempts and was a perfect 7-for-7 from 50+.
SIGNING! The Colts have agreed to a deal with nosetackle Aubrayo Franklin. A year as a part-timer in San Diego saw Franklin come back to form a bit after a 2011 New Orleans downturn followed his successful seasons in San Francisco. Still strong against the run while offering little-to-no pass rush, Franklin can contribute in a defined role.
SIGNING! The Panthers haven’t exactly been active in free agency, as they pay for the deals of yesteryear. But they’ve added to their cornerback depth with the signing of nickelback D.J. Moore, formerly of the Bears. The news comes from Vaughn McClure and makes a great deal of sense with Moore keen to get back on the field after being frozen out in Chicago. He played 368 snaps for the Bears last year and earned a +3.1 grade of his troubles.
SIGNING! He looked done last year but the Jaguars are going to try and squeeze another year out of Brad Meester. He’s signed a one-year deal per Ryan O’Halloran in what we imagine will be farewell tour. It’s by no means a given that he’ll be starting mind you as the Jaguars switch to a zone blocking scheme, and with Meester finishing the year our second lowest ranked center in the league just a year after finishing 11th overall.
SIGNING! With the backup quarterback market losing two of it’s top guys yesterday, the Giants have moved quickly to bring back former first overall pick David Carr on a one-year deal according to Mike Garafolo. There were some speculating that he might his way into a competition for a starting spot somewhere around the league, but the memory of his last starting spot lingers long and it’s not something we’d ever expect to see intentionally. Still, being a backup quarterback isn’t the worst job around.
That pesky owners meeting seems to have slowed things right down, and with so many talented players still left on the market. Imagine that. The only news coming out right now is that the Raiders have given the green light for the agents of Rolando McClain to start making some inquiries to expedite getting him traded out of Oakland per Ian Rapoport. McClain has always graded well in our system in run defense, with a knack for finding tacklers and making defensive stops. But he’s never lived up to the hype of a former top 10 pick and brings with him some massive character concerns. It’s hard to imagine a trade going down when the Raiders are likely to release him imminently.
SIGNING! A first confirmed signing of the day and it’s Miami making the news. This time they’ve brought back versatile lineman Nate Garner according to Ben Volin. With Jake Long moving onto richer pastures there’s the possibility Garner could walk into the season at the very least competing for the starting right tackle job. He handled himself well in a possible audtion for the role starting the final four games of the season, although he was found out a little aganst the Patriots in Week 17.
The Ravens may have lost two of their inside linebackers already, and John Harbaugh is moving to fix the depth issues by moving Albert McClellan to inside linebacker full time. He spent the majority of 2012 as an outside linebacker, but when Terrell Suggs returned from injury he was always going to find snaps at that spot hard to come by. He switched betwee then two positions at the end of the season and recorded a +5.0 grade for his work on the year, with his work in the run game particularly impressive. We’re interested to see how this plays out.
Bengals fans will be hoping that Rey Maualuga can step up his game next year. Marvin Lewis says the plan is to bring him back at middle linebacker next year, despite him struggling at the spot in 2012. He was our lowest ranked middle linebacker in the year, being particularly ineffective in coverage. That marks two seasons in a row he’s earned negative grades at middle linebacker, while if you go back to his first two years in the league he earned positives as an outside linebacker. In any case we find it hard to believe the Bengals are comfortable with him being an every down player for them next year.
It’s not quite a LaBron James style “Decision”, but Terence Newman is days away from making the choice between the Raiders and the Bengals. After struggling in Dallas with injury his final year, Newman bounced back impressively as the left cornerback for the Bengals and earned a +10.0 grade for his regular and post season appearances. He’s still got something left in the tank and it makes sense the rebuilding Raiders would look at him, given their need to find NFL ready talent at a low cost.
A quiet morning but some words from David Caldwell who explains the Jaguars haven’t closed the door on linebacker Daryl Smith returning. Smith may just be one of the most underrated players in the league, but coming off an injury plagued 2012 and being 31-year olds has a proven a combo that has scared off most potential suitors. Still when you’re as talented as Smith you have to imagine a market will develop at some point. He was our second ranked 4-3 outside linebacker in 2011 with a +24.9 which helped him finish 41st overall in our Top 101 players for the year. He’s scheme versatile (he had no problems excelling when the Jaguars flirted with a 3-4 in 2009) and incredibly productive.
Depressing news for fans of Jason Jones. Despite failing at defensive end during the 2011 season with Tennessee, the Lions plan to use him there on first and second down per Dave Birkett. The Seahawks showed that Jones is at his best rushing from the interior, and if you go back to his 2010 season for the Titans you see he can make plays on an every down basis from the spot. Unfortunately we’ll have to settle for him kicking inside on obvious passing downs.
Early morning news from Pro Football Talk who claim the Buccaneers are likely moving on from the idea of trading for Darrelle Revis. It’s hardly a surprise. Not because of the talent of the man, but because with only one year left on his contract and coming off an ACL injury, it’s arisky investment to say the least. Revis is still the owner of the best coverage grade we’ve ever given a corner for his remarkable 2009 season.
Not much going on but if you missed it yesterday we had a look into some data regarding first down and touchdown catches. You can see which receivers had the most, converted the most of their targets into first downs, and picked up the most first downs per route run.
Nothing is going on right now, but then what do you expect at this time of the morning? But we’re here ready to react to any of the developments as and when they happen.
Not much happening out there at the moment (at least not much being reported), so what better time to click around the PFF Free Agent Tracker where we’ve kept tally on player movement by team and by position.
2013 Free agent lists by position:
2013 Free agent lists by team:
And, while you’re at it, have a quick look back at the ‘Team Needs’ and ‘Top FAs by Position’ articles we posted in the lead-up to the league’s new year:
’2013 Team Needs’ articles:
‘2013 Free Agent Rankings’ articles: