Saturday, July 30, 2011

NFL Player Movement Reactions - 7/30/11

Whew... It finally calmed down some.  News was probably lighter partially because it's the weekend and partially because the free agent pool has slimmed some.  There were still a few big name moves today, and even though it's the weekend, they still deserve some analysis.  Before we get to that you can check out my reactions to Tuesday's player moves here (cuts) and here (signings), Wednesday's player moves here, Thursday's moves here and Friday's moves here.

All of today's reactions coming up right here...

Richard Marshall - Cornerback - Signed with Arizona Cardinals - I don't know why Arizona made this deal.  I get that they need cornerback help after trading away Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, but why sign Marshall to a one year deal?  He's only 26 years old and has proven himself to be a solid starting cornerback in this league.  You should be locking him up.  I get why Marshall did it.  He gets out of Carolina and can play in Arizona for a year and reassert his value for next year's offseason, when he won't be overshadowed on the cornerback market by guys like Nnamdi Asomugha and Johnathan Joseph.  He'll help Arizona here, but they are going to be kicking themselves next year when he's commanding much more money than they would have paid this year.

Kelly Gregg - Nose Tackle - Signed with Kansas City Chiefs - Like this signing here by the Chiefs.  Gregg has been a good nose tackle out in Baltimore for years and years now, and at 34 they finally were willing to part ways with him.  He moves to the Chiefs where he takes over for the departed Ron Edwards.  Gregg is definitely going to be a step up there in the middle for Kansas City, and should instantly improve that defense for next year.

Peyton Manning - Quarterback -Resigned with Indianapolis Colts - This was all but confirmed all offseason any way with Jim Irsay saying they wanted to make him the highest paid player in the league.  There was no way Peyton wasn't coming back after that.  He's still Peyton Manning, he's still the best in the league.  The only real news here is that Manning came back for less than Indianapolis' original offer, allowing them a little more flexibility when it comes to signing free agents this year.

Amobi Okoye - Defensive Line - Released by Houston Texans - Okoye seemed to be on the way out ever since the Texans brought in Wade Phillips to be the new defensive coordinator.  Okoye is a smaller, penetrating defensive lineman, not at all the type of space eater generally required in the 3-4 defense.  He should latch on somewhere else, because even after four years in Houston, he's still just 24 years old.  He's basically a red-shirt senior draft pick at this point.  He'll catch on for a decent price in a 4-3 defense somewhere and be a good rotational lineman.

Joseph Addai - Running Back - Resigned with Indianapolis Colts - Addai has had a few poor seasons in a row statistically, but is still a good back for this offense.  The reality is that the Colts offensive line has been awful at run blocking for a few years, and that has hurt Addai's stats.  He's still a good pass protector in terms of blitz pickup and catches the ball well out of the backfield.  He's still just a flex play in fantasy leagues this year though, as I don't see the Colts line blocking any better.

Trent Edwards - Quarterback - Signed with Oakland Raiders - Edwards used to start in Buffalo and started a few games for Jacksonville last year, so his path is pretty clear.  His new backup quarterback job with Oakland is just one or two stops away from the unemployment line.  It's a fairly defined quarterback career trajectory.

Cullen Jenkins - Defensive Tackle - Signed with Philadelphia Eagles - The Eagles signed Jenkins and then traded away Broderick Bunkley for a fifth round pick.  Because they got rid of Bunkley, this is more of a lateral move than a real upgrade here for Philly.  Jenkins is a bit more versatile along the line than Bunkley, but I'd say that Bunkley is the better run stopper of the two.  Philly has made more moves that usual this year and signed player in areas (like defensive line) that they don't normally sign people in.  I wonder if Andy Reid is worried about his job security.

Michael Jenkins - Wide Receiver - Signed with Minnesota Vikings - This is only news because it basically signals the end of the Vikings passing offense for this year.  If they really think Jenkins and Devin Aromashodu are going to make up for the loss of the departed Sidney Rice, they are crazy.  They are one Percy Harvin migraine away from facing nine-man fronts after the way Bernard Berrian has played the last few seasons in Minnesota.

Nate Clements - Cornerback - Signed with Cincinnati Bengals - That didn't take long.  Just a few days after the 49er cut him for salary cap reasons, Clements found himself a new home in Cincinnati.  While he's not the player he used to be and also not as good as the player he'll be replacing in Johnathan Joseph, Clements is still serviceable at corner.  It's definitely better than making Morgan Trent the new starter.

And that's a wrap here for now.  Will update later if needed, and more reactions coming tomorrow as the NFL continues to take shape for 2011


Marion Barber - Running Back - Signed with Chicago Bears - This is a great deal for the Bears.  For just two years and five million, they are getting a very capable short yardage running back who is also good enough to take over as your main back for a few weeks if Matt Forte gets hurt.  I'm surprised though that with all of the big deals that linebackers have been getting around the league that a guy like Barber couldn't get more money from someone.

From a fantasy perspective, this does what I warned it would when the Cowboys cut Barber.  He is going to take a huge bite out of Forte's fantasy value this year.  Forte was already a worry to lose goal line and short yardage carries to Chester Taylor (who I'm sure will be cut shortly).  Now that they have a much better short yardage back on the roster, Forte's fantasy value is going to drop some.

Amobi Okoye - Defensive Tackle - Signed with Chicago Bears - Good move here by the Bears.  As it says above in his column, i like Okoye as a high upside pickup, and he's just the kind of up field penetrating tackle that should work great in Lovie Smith's cover two type defense out in Chicago.  I don't know why they went with a one year deal though.  I'd have made a low risk multi-year offer that let me cut him for little to nothing against the cap if it doesn't work out...With just a single year deal, they have to splurge to keep him if he has a good year this year.

-Fred "Big Derf" Tobin

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