Neil's NFL Daily: May 17, 2013
First off, thanks to Khaled (@PFF_Khaled) for filling in so ably for me yesterday even if he failed in delivering on my key request — don’t make me look bad. OK, so it was a big ask, but I just don’t think he made the requisite effort and I’ll be having a word with his agent as a result.
Talking of agents, Dee Milliner became the second high-profile draftee to fire his representation yesterday (following on from Geno Smith, who changed his just after the draft). Now, if this was on the basis of exaggerating the players likely draft position I think the players have a point. “You should come with us because we can get you drafted here” etc. is the sort of thing that needs to be stamped down on. However, if the agency was realistic with the player (and it’s difficult to see how being the first corner taken and being drafted No. 9 overall, as Milliner was, is bad) then maybe there’s more at work. It’ll be interesting to see how he plays.
Friday, May 17th
Still Out There – Part 4
With the news that Charles Woodson will visit the Raiders next week, and Doug Free taking a pay cut (which makes the likelihood of the Cowboys dumping him and signing Eric Winston remote), I thought I’d circle back and pick up a couple of key players I didn’t mention in this series last week.
Charles Woodson, CB/S
As “friend of the site” Pete Prisco tweeted yesterday, “I don’t get how Ed Reed signed a three-year deal but Charles Woodson can’t get anything”. We and Pete agree on a lot more than he’d like to admit, and this is just another example, although I do get a little of the reticence. Although his last genuine All-Pro type season was in 2009, Woodson has still been a quality player at a difficult-to-play position since then. From 2010, Woodson has been a little bit more of a highlight player than we’d like — the type of guy who makes a big play that has the commentators needing a cold shower, and then misses too many tackles (2010: 14, 2011: 18) that no one even mentions. However, through all that, he’s never had a bad year, the QB rating of 86.9 he allowed last year being his worst. He may now be just an average player, but that still makes him better than half the players in the league, and that’s as a slot corner. As a safety, who’s to say he can’t do what Ronde Barber did last year and be among the best?
Best Fits – Washington and Dallas
I know the Raiders are looking at Woodson but I really want Usama Young to be given a chance to play every down — sure it’s possible the ex-Packer is a better option, but the difference is likely to be marginal which is not the case with the teams named above. In each case Woodson is probably considerably better than either starting incumbent. Washington fans tell me, would you feel better with Woodson backing up your linebackers and corners, or Brandon Meriweather and Reed Doughty?
I have no idea what he wants, but if Ed Reed is effectively getting a one year $5m deal then in a fair world Woodson should get something similar. That said, nothing is fair and the marketplace will probably drive a lower number.
Richard Seymour, DT
There’s no question if you need help at either defensive tackle or 3-4 end then Richard Seymour would be an upgrade on what you have. The problem may be how much money he wants, and if he’s prepared to take market value instead of retiring. As we always do, we made performance not sign-ability the criteria when ranking him our No. 1 free agent at the position, and the reasons why are clear — when he plays he’s still very good. Although he played only half the year in 2012 he’s still one of the few players on the D-line who are as adept at getting to the QB as they are at stopping the run. Even his ridiculous 2011 penalty count (which was all that kept us from naming him All-Pro) seemed to be rectified last season.
Best Fits – Green Bay and Indianapolis
In truth, there’s not many teams Seymour wouldn’t upgrade as part of a DL rotation but two teams that might benefit most are the Colts and the Packers. After filling their defensive line with nose tackles and a glut of run stuffers who aren’t, Indianapolis could do with relieving some of the pressure on their OLBs, and Seymour would do that in spades. He’s used to shifting around and can pretty much fulfil any role they need.
Now, clearly the Packers aren’t ones for hiring old gun-slingers — it’s not in their psyche — but sometimes needs must, and with a team so close and with a glaring weakness they’ve struggled to fill for so long, maybe the mark of a true genius is knowing when to break your own rules.
I have to believe this is the issue as Seymour is just too good to ignore for any other reason. Another problem is the salary rankings at the position — when Ahtyba Rubin is scheduled to make $7.6m and Barry Cofield $6.3m (I’m not suggesting either are bad players by the way, just not as good as Seymour) you can see how he’d want to be compensated. However, that’s not happening and it’s possible he’ll say age 34 is long enough to play. It’s not like he’s chasing a ring, and his previous paydays have been extremely lucrative.
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