Of course, I'd also like to point out that Alex "Skillet" Scarlett has been active as my second writer here at Big Derf Sports so be sure to check out all of his work including today's list of best MLB teams.
Today some of the last few gems on the free agent market were finally locked up, and news from camps has finally really started to come in so I'm just going to get into all of that right now...
Zach Miller - Tight End - Signed with Seattle Seahawks - Miller was easily the best tight end available on the free agent market, and I was quite surprised that he didn't see more action earlier in free agency. It seemed like a lock that he would be returning to Oakland until the Seahawks swooped in a picked him up today. And now that the details of the contract are out, it makes sense. Seattle gave Miller 34 million over five years with 17 million guaranteed, outbidding the Raiders in order to sign him. Seven million a year for a tight end is a pretty large number, and it's a healthy chunk of cap room. His crazy price is why Miller likely didn't draw much interest elsewhere. It was too much to pay for him, but Seattle did get a good player here. The problem is it's starting to seem a bit like they are following the Dan Synder team-building plan a bit here this offseason, overpaying everyone to bring in the best available players. This won't work out long term.
For fantasy purposes, this move does two things. For one, John Carlson's value has officially been murdered and he is no longer relevant as a sleeper in your deeper leagues. On the other side of this, Miller's value here should definitely go up. When you shell out that much for a tight end, he's going to become a focal point in your offense, and with Tarvaris Jackson (who Pete Carroll announced today was the expected starter) at quarterback, I have to assume there will be plenty of dump off passes to the tight end.
Aubrayo Franklin - Defensive Tackle - Signed with New Orleans Saints - In a bit of a surprise move, Franklin, a very good nose tackle, signed a one year deal to play with the Saints in their 4-3 defense. While I'm sure he'll be an upgrade here for New Orleanse against the run, I don't know that it was the best career move for Franklin. He's not going to rack up the stats as defensive tackle or a nose tackle, but 4-3 defensive tackles are far less valued than 3-4 nose tackles. He's going to be back on the open market a year from now, but will worth less than he is now.
Bryant McKinnie - Left Tackle - Cut by Minnesota Vikings - McKinnie reported to camp overweight with an undisclosed injury and was quickly replaced by the Vikings. They signed Charles Johnson from the Colts yesterday, and now that they have someone to take over the left tackle spot, have cut Bryant McKinnie. McKinnie was a massive physical presence, but never developed into the great left tackle expected when he was drafted in the first round. He'll catch on with another team because of his size, but not right away until he can pass a physical.
Ronnie Brown - Running Back - Signed with Philadelphia Eagles - I'm surprised that Brown couldn't find himself a job somewhere were he would get to compete for a starting job or at least somewhere where he'd get a decent amount of carries. In Philadelphia, behind LeSean McCoy in the Eagles pass-first offense, he's not going to get either. He signed a one year contract with Philly, but I feel like he is just going to hurt his own value here the same way Franklin will.
- Rob Ryan took the first shot at the talkative Eagles today. He said that he liked his team's signings, even if they didn't "win the all-hype team.... [they]'re going to beat their ass when we play them." He refused to specify who he was talking about and quickly ended the media talk, but it was plainly clear who they were talking about. With Jason Babin comparing the Eagles to the Heat...It was fairly obvious things had gotten out of hand with the Eagles' declaring themselves the off-season champions. Ryan did a good job of stepping out and starting the backlash against the Eagles here, as they aren't going to be that great this year. If they keep talking trash all off-season, every team is going to come out playing extra hard against them. Even if they did get better this off-season, it won't show in their record if they get every opponent's A-game.
- And last but not least, it didn't take long for the internet to produce cold hard stats that help my opinion that Plaxico Burress is done. Guys don't come back from from not playing two years, especially at 34 years old. Especially when he was having a bad season before he left the league. It's pretty simple, if you are expecting anythign out of Plaxico this year, you are expecting too much.
And that's it on the football today. Looking to produce a podcast with Skillet for either later tonight or tomorrow, so check back here for that soon.
-Fred "Big Derf" Tobin