MMQB: Top Free Agent Deals

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Goaldeje

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James Madison


5. I think my British friend Neil Hornsby has done the fans of the hidden game of football a good service with his deep analysis of players on profootballfocus.com. The site tracks every player's plays in the league, and its finding of who actually is playing well and who isn't is often a surprise. On Sunday, after the Eagles signed an invisible guard named Evan Mathis, Neil came out with this gem: Mathis has played 724 snaps over the past two years and allowed zero sacks. I asked Neil to give me his best deals of free agency so far. Here are his top five:

Nnamdi Asomugha, Eagles (5 years, $60 million). The Eagles haven't just picked up a great player; they got him at a great price. The simple fact of the matter is the NFL is low on shutdown corners, which Asomugha is. In three years he's been thrown at 87 times; 25 cornerbacks were thrown at more than that in 2010 alone.

Ray Edwards, Falcons (5 years, $27.5 million). It's a mystery why the market for Ray Edwards never developed. He's young and consistently productive at defensive end. Edwards is getting half of what Charles Johnson got in Carolina, and while Johnson does have a higher ceiling, Edwards was one of the most productive pass rushers in the league last year with 69 combined sacks, hits and hurries on 416 pass rushes. (Johnson had 81 on 481).

Josh Wilson, Washington Redskins (3 years, $13.5 million). How did the Redskins pull this one off? They've upgraded on Carlos Rogers (because like Rogers, Wilson can also play outside and move into the slot in sub packages) and done so without shedding a lot of money. Wilson's excellent play last year got lost playing with names like Lewis, Reed, Ngata and Suggs, but he was superb once he cracked the starting lineup. He allowed just 46.9 percent of passes to be completed, intercepted three balls and had nine pass breakups.

Takeo Spikes, San Diego Chargers (3 years, $9 million). You know, even if Spikes only plays one year he's nearly worth that amount. The surest tackler in the league (he's missed just four in three years), he's been playing in the shadow of the excellent Patrick Willis so long most people have forgotten how good he is. He's also one of those rare inside linebackers that not only can get off blocks and make plays, but also is effective dropping into coverage. He's an upgrade on both Stephen Cooper and Kevin Burnett.

Quintin Mikell, Rams (4 year, $28 million). Mikell has long been one of the best safeties in the league no one has heard about. He can play the run, as evidenced by his safety-leading 27 defensive stops (a tackle Pro Football Focus considers a defeat for the offense). He can play the pass too, with his 11 pass defenses being more than any other safety last season.


Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/peter_king/08/01/camps/index.html#ixzz1TmP71mLf
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/peter_king/08/01/camps/2.html


Liking this signing even more now.
 

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Bulldog

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I thought Asomugha would get $30M minimum in guarantees and was wondering if someone would offer him a Haynesworth-like deal.

Philly got him for a great price for a team that is looking to win this year.

It allowed them to then sign Cullen Jenkins.
 

Neophyte

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Yeah but he wanted to play with Philly all along too. I have not seen it said anywhere but it wouldn't surprise me if he wasn't getting offered more somewhere else.
 

Lanky Livingston

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Nnamdi took less money to play for a winner. The only way to get him to DC would have been to throw tons of money at him, which is against every principle of a rebuild. And frankly, wouldn't have worked. Come on, Ryman - I know you know how terrible an idea that is.
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Rymanofthenorth

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UTEP

There are few positions that talent simply transcends scheme, Dlinemen can be schemed around, Linebackers can be schemed around, even safety can be schemed around but true shutdown corner can play in almost any scheme. If we had gotten a true shutdown guy (of which there are maybe 3 in the league) we would have had a huge key piece to championship team.

a large part of the abject fail thus far of the 3-4 came because we tried too hard to disguise coverages and our guys simply didnt recover. we dropped easy picks that we should have gotten by playing unsound football. If we had great cover guys they mask a lot of the problems we had last year.

a rebuild doesnt mean you bail on everything else, I firmly believe there are times even during a massive rebuild , that you grab the best players you can when he fits what you do. I also think you can sell a guy like ASO on being a lynchpin in a rebuild. but then im in sales lol. Corners play a long time look at woodson in GB.
 

Lanky Livingston

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My main point was he took less money to play for a winner, so chances are he would have just laughed at any offer the Redskins made. If we're going to be honest, the Redskins are at least 2 years away from competing for a superbowl. Would Nnamdi have made us closer? Maybe...but he's 30 now, and wants to win now.
 

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