PFF Free Agent Reaction Blog: 03/23/12
PFF Free Agent Reaction Blog: 03/23/12
Free Agency isn’t moving quite as fast as it once was and with that in mind we’re scaling things back, but we’ll still be here near enough round the clock providing you with quick hits style analysis on all things NFL as and when they happen.
You can check out our Top 75 Available Free Agents for a peek at the talent still on the market as you look to see what’s still available, or simply look at our Deal Grader to see how we’ve analyzed all the moves to date.
(Check back every hour for constant updates )
22:20 RE-SIGNING! Thanks to a handful of franchise tags, there weren’t many kickers to hit the open market. It also meant teams with a kicker had few options of who to bring in. This led the Arizona Cardinals to bring back Jay Feely to be their kicker for the 2012 season. His 79.2% field goal percentage wasn’t very strong, but his 69.5 yards per kickoff was amongst the highest in the league.
20:50 RE-SIGNING! The Minnesota Vikings have been fairly quiet thus far in free agency, but today has been a day for them to bring back their own players. This time it was wide receiver Devin Aromashodu. He entered the starting lineup in Week 7, and over the course of the season had more snaps than any other Vikings receiver at 684. While he had one of the highest yards per catch at 18.0, he had one of the lowest catch rates at just 33.3%.
18:00 RETIREMENT! Big John Henderson becomes the second player today to announce his retirement, having played with the Raiders last season. Henderson is 33 years old and was released by the Raiders for a failed physical, but he was always likely to become a cap casualty of the new regime in Oakland. Henderson was one of the better run defenders in the NFL last season, with only four defensive tackles grading better against the run, none of whom played more snaps than the former Jaguar. Henderson could undoubtedly still help a team, but apparently would rather call it a career. The league will be worse off without him.
18:00 SIGNING! The Colts are still adding pieces and this time they’re looking for receiver help in the form of Donnie Avery. Once the first receiver taken in a weak draft, Avery’s career has been blighted by injury and was only able to play 111 snaps last year for the Titans. Avery has talent, but he’s now a long way removed from being healthy enough to show it. At best he’s an interesting project for the Colts to take a look at as they revamp their roster.
18:00 SIGNING! The Saints continue to overhaul their underwhelming defense, this time by signing LB Chris Chamberlain formerly of the Rams. Chamberlain was a low-round pick of the Rams back in 2008, but last season he played 612 snaps and performed especially well against the run. The Saints have had issues in their LB corps for years now, but they are going some way to addressing them with upgrades this off-season.
18:00 SIGNING! The Bengals have signed DE Jamaal Anderson as a direct replacement for the loss of their run stuffing specialist, Frostee Rucker. Anderson is widely considered as a 1st round bust, having been a high draft pick of the Falcons, but he can do a job as a run defender and is an interesting player rushing inside from defensive tackle in sub-packages.
17:02 SIGNING! The Seattle Seahawks have signed Kregg Lumpkin from the Buccaneers. Last year he was in for 376 plays, with 315 being pass plays. In that time he allowed 16 overall pressures which is fairly high for a back, but also had 291 yards. This could very well be a sign that the Seahawks won’t be re-signing Justin Forsett who is an unrestricted free agent, and Lumpkin will take Forsett’s role in passing downs.
16:55 TRADE! The Drew Stanton drama in New York is over. Jenny Vrentas reports that the Jets have traded him to the Indianapolis Colts. The move makes plenty of sense as the Jets no longer have a need for him now that they have Tim Tebow. The Colts on the other hand only have Trevor Vittatoe on the roster, who was signed as a rookie free agent with the Bears last July, but didn’t make the roster and it wasn’t until March that he was signed again. Stanton can provide insurance if the rookie the Colts get isn’t ready to start day one, or if they get injured.
16:28 RE-SIGNING! The Atlanta Falcons have made a few moves according to Adam Caplan. They re-signed long snapper Joe Zelenka and Vance Walker signed his restricted free agent tender. Zelenka has been in the league since 1999, and has been with Atlanta since 2009. The Walker re-signing was reported on the first day of free agency, but the team announced it today. He played 389 snaps as a backup defensive tackle in 2011 and had 12 stops. With this re-signing, the Falcons retain their eight defensive linemen from the 2011 season.
15:47 RE-SIGNING! In a move we’re big fans of, the Minnesota Vikings have re-signed Erin Henderson. While Henderson excelled in his primarily two down for the Vikings last year, he also demonstrated an ability to play every day when called upon. It was vital for the Vikings defense that he was re-signed, and they’ll be glad to bring back our 4th ranked 4-3 OLB on the year.
15:45 SIGNING! The busy Baltimore Ravens have brought in Sean Considine on a one year deal. Considine managed just one snap in 2011 with the Panthers, but his two previous years with the Jaguars should be enough to convince anyone that he’s not likely to see anything more than special teams if he’s to stick on with the team.
15:43 RETIREMENT! He’s only 29 years old but Marion Barber has had enough of the wear and tear playing in the NFL can have on your body. The Chicago Bears have announced that he’ll be retiring after he struggled to get much going with the Bears.
15:41 SIGNING! We’ve been waiting for some reunions to take place in Denver as Peyton Manning gets some of his old Indianapolis Colts toys to play with, and finally we have one. That man is Jacob Tamme who was our 4th ranked pass catching tight end in 2010 with Manning throwing to him. He’s signed a three year deal with the Broncos.
14:15 SIGNING and RE-SIGNING! The Bengals have taken over from their AFC North rivals in terms of being the team to watch making moves today. In addition to bringing back the intriguing Anthony Collins they’ve added to their defensive line depth by signing former first round bust Derrick Harvey. Over the years Harvey has shown some degree of talent, but has followed that up by long stretches of invisibility, including a 2011 that saw him pick up just 91 snaps. There’s a chance to catch on in Cincinnati as an early downs DE but is he up to it?
14:10 RE-SIGNING! A busy day for the Ravens as they announced Jameel McClain would be returning to the team. It’s hard to imagine him coming back to anything more than his base package role after he netted a -4.0 grade in coverage. The plus side is his +3.6 grade in run defense and solid blitzing ability that left him picking up 12 sacks, hits and hurries combined on 71 pass rushes.
13:20 SIGNING! It seemed inevitable that Jeff Saturday would sign with the Denver Broncos, but he’s only gone and joined the Green Bay Packers. Reports of Saturday’s demise have been greatly exaggerated; he was our fifth ranked center in 2011.
11:30 RE-SIGNING! It’s a special (teams) day for the Ravens, as they’ve brought back Brendon Ayanbadejo on a three year deal. Ayanbadejo has always been something of a special teams ace, but looked handy while on the field in the Ravens sub package defense in 2011. It wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see him get more than the 315 snaps he managed in 2011.
10:32 SIGNING! The Broncos have snapped up underrated, all round tight end Joel Dreessen. The former Houston Texan was our 6th ranked tight end in the league in 2011, on the back of grading positively in every area. Financial details aren’t in, but this could prove a very useful signing for a Broncos team that have struggled to get production from the spot in recent years.
10:15 The Bengals appear interested in bringing back Pat Sims and Anthony Collins. There isn’t a great deal of recent tape of Collins who has been left backing people have in Cincinnati, but we’re surprised that given how he’s played there hasn’t been more interest in him considering the state of the tackle market.
09:30 SIGNING! The Baltimore Ravens have snapped up Corey Graham on a two year deal. One of the leagues’ premier special teamers, Graham flashed an ability to play the slot cornerback role in limited opportunities with the Bears where he snagged three picks despite being in primary coverage on only 11 plays. With the depth the Ravens have at the spot it’s unlikely he’ll see much action here (barring injury), but he should contribute immediately on special teams.