2005 NFL FREE AGENCY PREVIEW – OFFENSE

Previewing the NFL Free Agency Period: The Offense (3/1/05)


ED: Ed Agner : BB: Bill Barnwell : PR: Phil Rippa


ED: Some teams draft well. Some teams do well with FA signings. Bill and Phil are Giants fans. I am a Raider fan. We know nothing of either category. So we aim to ruin your off-season the same way that our teams ruin ours. And that’s why you love us.

BB: Rest in peace George Young. Ernie Accorsi…you make a wonderful model for the Madden computer GM.

PR: I am sure that Ernie’s drafts wouldn’t get C+s. Stupid Madden drafts.


QUARTERBACKS

Shane Matthews Bills
Jim Miller Patriots
Sage Rosenfels Dolphins
Brad Johnson Bucs
Kordell Stewart Ravens
Kelly Holcomb Browns
Charlie Batch Steelers
Tony Banks Texans
Matt Mauck Broncos
Bradlee Van Pelt Broncos
Todd Collins Chiefs
Brock Huard Seahawks
Jeff Garcia Browns
Mike McMahon Lions
Jay Fiedler Dolphins
Doug Pederson Packers
Gus Frerotte Vikings
Josh McCown Cardinals
Kurt Warner Giants
Ty Detmer Falcons
Vinny Testaverde Cowboys
Jesse Palmer Giants
Jeff Blake Eagles
Tim Hasselbeck Redskins
Rodney Peete Panthers

BB: OK – Is Bradlee Van Pelt the Bills backup? His brother? His cousin? His son? The great thing is you could tell me any of those answers were true and I wouldn’t be inclined to disbelieve you.

PR: Doesn’t he anchor the overnights at ESPN News? How does this affect Michael Kim?

ED: Does it even matter?

BB: You also have to account for Kordell Stewart’s punting skills. And his man-on-man skills.

ED: What? Kordell’s trying to be a cornerback too?  I am confused.

PR: The natural joke would be that he is practicing those man-on-man skills with Jeff Garcia.

BB: Ed forgot Drew Bledsoe who has of course already made himself a Cowboy, scoring in the upper 90’s on the Veteran Presence TeamFinder™ Scale.

ED:  Experts and non-experts agree – Bill Parcells has already gone through a vat of hand cream since the Bledsoe signing.

PR: Drew Henson has not. I am assuming he tried to smash a chair but missed the wall.

BB: Josh McCown was tendered a contract by the Cardinals and it’ll take a first round pick to get him away. Of course, Dennis Green will cut him in training camp, but you just have to humor the big fella.

PR: I really really really really hope the NFL Network does the behind the scenes training camp thingy this year at Cardinals camp. The battle for the QB job. Watching star receivers blow out their ACLs. The death pool on overheated OL men.

BB: I know I might get made fun of a little bit for this but I think if I was looking for a backup quarterback I’d probably turn to Gus Frerotte, who has been pretty nifty in limited time over the last four or five years, keeping his completion percentage around 57-58%. He’s thrown a bunch of interceptions but generally the games he’s been in and had to throw in, I’d imagine, have been lost causes. If he can be put into the WHITE FIELD MANAGER role that Tom Brady plays so well I don’t see anyone really on this list who I’d rather have in there.

PR: To me… that is damning with faint praise. Its like being asked “Would you like to be kicked in the jimmy, give a tongue bath to Grady Jackson or have to sit in a room with Mike Martz, Brian Billick and Mike Tice for 24 hours?”

ED:  As long as ol’ Gus remembers what hand he throws with, he can be all right.

BB: On the advice of Dave Hogg I retract my Mike McMahon support.

PR: The most enjoyable thing to me about the Lions this offseason (besides Matt Millen having to come to grips with possibly signing Jeff Garcia) are the rumors that they are thinking about bringing Charlie Batch back in. I wonder if Roy Williams has gotten a sympathetic phone call from Herman Moore or Johnnie Morton yet.

BB: People have talked a bunch about how Kurt Warner needs to be playing behind a good line to be effective. That’s the thing, though – what quarterback doesn’t need to be playing behind a good line to be effective? Sonny Jurgensen?

ED: Steve McNair?

PR: Well clearly not Tom Brady. Touchdown Jesus can play 1 v 11 dammit.

BB: If good ol’ boy scrappy throwback love of the game old-fashioned gritty gutsy Brett Favre retires, I think Jeff Garcia would be a really good fit to replace him for the next year or two. Signing him would allow the Packers to go grab a guy in the draft and let him develop and…well, it would allow them to not have to give San Diego a first rounder and more for Philip Rivers or Drew Brees.

PR: Last I checked, Accorsi isn’t the Packers GM so their first rounder should be safe. I can envision Jay Fiedler ending up in the Bay. I am not sure why. Maybe it is because, the rumors of him going to the Jets to be their backup are unsettling. Not as unsettling as Vinny T returning but close. And yes, I am purposely ignoring the fact that reports have the Giants as the front runners for Fiedler.

PR: So bachelor boy might be done with the Giants. Every since his real abilities torpedoed his Madden abilities, I no longer care. (Well except thinking up amusing scenarios where Palmer makes the moves on Elizabeth Hasselbeck. Thus, an enraged Tim Hasselbeck gets confused and giving Trista Rhena holla. Then Starr Jones makes the moves on Daniel Snyder but only if the Redskins sponsor her honeymoon.) I am still trying to figure out the mysterious disappearance of Jared Lorenzen. It’s not like he could easily hide from detection.

PR: Aww… the Panthers cut ties with Rodney Peete… yet somehow Chris Weinke stays on the roster for the moment. I guess they didn’t want to get too young, too fast.

PR: Oh – for the record, the guy I would like the most at of all those QBs is Sage Rosenfels. I am strange.


RUNNING BACKS

Rabih Abdullah Patriots
Lamont Jordan Jets
Leonard Henry Dolphins
Travis Minor Dolphins
B. J. Sams Ravens
Chester Taylor Ravens
Rudi Johnson Bengals
Kenny Watson Bengals
Vernon Haynes Steelers
Jarrod Baxter Texans
Jonathan Wells Texans
James Mungro Colts
Dominic Rhodes Colts
Chris Fuamatu-Ma’afala Jaguars
Jarret Payton Titans
Garrison Hearst Broncos
Derrick Blaylock Chiefs
DeJuan Green Raiders
J. R. Redmond Raiders
Amos Zereoue Raiders
Jesse Chatman Chargers
Adrian Peterson Bears
Anthony Thomas Bears
Najeh Davenport Packers
Tony Fisher Packers
Butchie Wallace Vikings
Brandon Bennett Panthers
Rod Smart Panthers
Fred McAfee Saints
Rashard Lee Cowboys
Eddie George Cowboys
Ron Dayne Giants
Michael Cloud Giants
Brian Westbrook Eagles
Correll Buckhalter Eagles
Dorsey Levens Eagles
John Simon Redskins

BB: It’s safe to say that Brian Westbrook won’t be going anywhere – even though he signs elsewhere every time as a restricted free agent in 2005 in Madden.

ED:  You mean the Redskins can’t somehow warp the cap rules to sign him too?

PR: Are you sure you didn’t wanna talk about Correll Buckhalter Bill? Come on… ya know you wanna. Poor little fella.

BB: The Packers already resigned Tony Fisher which might mean that they’ll let Najeh Davenport go. He’s a restricted free agent but the Packers’ cap situation is very tenuous and I’m not sure if there’s another running back I’d rather have on the market. Sure, he defecates in sorority closets. How many NFL players do you think do that WITHOUT getting caught? And really, I don’t care, guy averages 5 yards a carry. Considering the flood of running backs this year in the draft and available in trades, Davenport will end up being an absolute bargain for someone.

ED: My gut feeling says he’ll be a Dolphin – and not as any sort of steal.

PR: Yeah, when the Raiders give him like an 8 million dollar signing bonus, I think the word bargain will be out the window. Oh – on a side note – Najeh’s Packer bio talking about how he had a job selling cutlery is outstanding.

BB: LaMont Jordan is pretty much about where Najeh Davenport is statistically, but by virtue of playing in New York, he’s received an inordinately large amount of hype. The Jets should be able to afford him if they want to hold onto him, but he’ll probably require a lot more money than Davenport and I don’t think he’s worth it.

PR: I am guessing that the ability to control his bowels is going to be a reason Jordan gets a bigger deal than Davenport. Well, that and his ability to be healthier than Davenport (hurt coming out of college, hurt rookie season, hurt last year). It will be interesting to see what Jordan sets on fire after either getting a huge deal or when he and his agents overvalue his worth. Poor little Maryland grads.

BB: Rudi Johnson got franchised by the Bengals which, considering how many running backs are available, is probably one of the worst moves of the offseason. That’s not even accounting for the fact that they drafted Chris Perry last year.

PR: Actually – the Raiders franchising Charles Woodson isn’t looking too bright. But that is a different section. And I am not sure that I buy the quantity over quality argument here with the running backs… Yes, there are a lot of running backs available but some of the names are Garrison Hearst and Eddie George and Ron Dayne and Travis Minor.

ED:  Screw you!  The Bengals are going to the Super Bowl next year.  ‘Least that’s all I’ve been a-hearing lately.  As if the Curse of Bo doesn’t exist or something.

BB: One team that really needs to upgrade are the Texans. I’m sorry. Domanick Davis is ugly. He’s a nice receiving back – maybe he’s the poor man’s Edgar Bennett – but there’s no reason he should be getting the ball 300 times.

ED: Speaking as a bitter Davis fantasy owner, I concur.

PR: Does this officially end the “Jonathan Wells will challenge Davis for the starting position” stories that have cropped up… well every year this team has been in existence.

BB: Man do I love hearing the “Eddie George is rejuvenated because he hasn’t gotten the ball all year” arguments. It’s freaking Eddie George. Not only did he destroy my fantasy team four years ago – not only did he not produce that much the three years after that – he couldn’t get the rock under BILL PARCELLS. If Bill Parcells thinks Eddie George is washed up…he’s just ready to be a Raider.

ED:  Oh, so that’s your revenge for the Ron Dayne remark in the first version of this list.  Gotcha.

PR: What amazes me is the George is only 31. See what being all sorts of scrappy will eventually get ya? I am assuming the sounds of cursing you hear are him screaming at his body… and at Steve McNair for making him look bad… and from Bill still wanting his first place money. Of course, George has to make a stop in Arizona first before he can officially be wooed by Al Davis.

BB: Dominic Rhodes got re-signed by the Colts. And Edgerrin James got franchised. You can make your “Peyton Manning will play both ways” and “They still won’t be able to beat the Patriots” jokes and that’s fine, but I really want to know what they’re doing. Does Tony Dungy think that he can get away with playing what basically resorts to a replacement-level defense if his offense is good enough? Does he think he can fill in his defense with undervalued players like the Patriots? Is he building a team based around the onside kick? I’d rather try and win the Colts way as opposed to the Bengals or the Broncos.

ED:  The Bengals and Broncos have a way to win?

PR: I am guessing Dwight Freeney is just going to have to tackle for 11 again. Dungy officially stating he hates shut down corners is one of the highlights of this offseason so far. So not sexy Tony.

BB: I can’t wait for someone to sign Dorsey Levens only to find that he’s washed up again. Since the Giants already took their turn the TeamFinder says…Detroit! That sounds about right.

ED: Well he is manly.

PR: Now there is the guy I think who is going to end up in Miami. Though Domanick Davis would make more sense. Possibly Kevin Faulk. Or maybe they can find whatever rock LaBrandon Toefield crawled under. I probably shouldn’t assume that Nick Saban is going to be Spurrieresqe.

BB: Rod Smart got a long-term deal, too. Good for him. Make your smarmy remarks. He’s got more money than you.

ED: Yeah, you gotta like the fact that he’s only a bad gimmick from being an AFL lifer.  More power to him.

PR: Yes, I have nightmares. Yes, I have one that involves the Giants resigning Ron Dayne. That one usually ends with me not sleeping with Summer Sanders and waking up crying. The other times involve me storming the Giants practice bubble trying to wrap my hands around Tom Coughlin’s neck but then Luke Petitgout holds me and I start twirling in a shower of yellow flags.


WIDE RECEIVERS

Derrick Mason Titans
David Givens Patriots
David Patten Patriots
Travis Taylor Ravens
T.J. Houshmandzadeh Bengals
Andra Davis Browns
Andre King Browns
Lee Mays Steelers
Plaxico Burress Steelers
Corey Bradford Texans
Troy Walters Colts
Troy Edwards Jaguars
Ronald Curry Raiders
Bobby Shaw Chargers
Eddie Drummond Lions
Tai Streets Lions
Kelly Campbell Vikings
Dane Looker Rams
Nathan Poole Cardinals
Cedrick Wilson 49ers
Curtis Conway 49ers
Tim Brown Buccaneers
Joey Galloway Buccaneers
Charles Lee Buccaneers
Bill Schroeder Buccaneers
Dedric Ward Cowboys
Willie Ponder Giants
James Thrash Redskins
Jerry Rice Seahawks
David Terrell Bears

PR: Everyone is chomping at the bit for wide receivers this year. The Raiders didn’t even let Jerry Porter test the waters. And Mushin Mohammed was available for about 60 seconds. David Terrell, on the other, I expect to be around for awhile.

ED: The real beauty of the Randy Moss trade is that the Raiders won’t sign Plexiglass. Tim Brown, Joey Galloway and Bill Schroeder? Ahh, the 90s.

BB: This is actually a really ugly group of wide receivers – really the running back crop is as deep as the wide receivers’ shallow, especially when you factor in the draft as well. There’s a lot of unnecessary, overaged junk on this list – there’s no reason Tai Streets, Curtis Conway, Tim Brown, Joey Galloway, Bill Schroeder, or Dedric Ward should have NFL jobs at this point.

ED:  I really want to know what Tai Streets did to you, Bill.  Maybe I don’t want to know.

PR: Yeah – Bill hating on the Wideouts but giving a whole bunch of running back folks a pass is strange. Is Hearst really any less crappy that Streets or Ward? This isn’t too say that there is a single FA WR I like. I am guessing Bill Schroeder is some sort of new OCWGYY (or however you would convert LOOGY into One Catch White Guy into an appropriate acronym)

BB: Everyone is rushing to anoint Ronald Curry as the best slot receiver in football when he comes back, but what do you have? Eight good games in the NFL, multiple knee injuries, and a great career in high school.

ED:  If he signs with New England, he could be the best point guard in the Boston area.  Otherwise…umm…I dunno.

BB: The rumors I’ve read have Derrick Mason going to the Jets, which makes no sense with or without a Laveraneus Coles trade. He would fit nicely as a Plaxico Burress replacement in Pittsburgh, though.

PR: Hey! The Jets have it all figured out. Just keep signing former Titans. They at least made the Super Bowl that one time. I am assuming that they are going to try and talk Frank Wycheck out of retirement to replace Anthony Becht. I am sure Yancey Thigpen would play for the veteran minimum.

BB: In my dreams, Burress goes to Oakland and they resurrect the Run and Shoot. Mmm…discredited offenses. When we make the VP links page, there definitely needs to be one to the page defending the Run and Shoot.

ED: Jerry Glanville has a web page?  I never figured he’d know HTML.

BB: Someone will give David Givens more money than he deserves, probably next year. I love the Patriots fan site that said they were worried about the Chargers giving up one of their first rounders to sign Givens as a RFA this year. If that happened, I think Bill Belicheck would have to change hishoodie.

ED: A first round pick for David Givens?  Man, and I thought the Raiders whizzed away a first rounder on Janikowski.

PR: What is the Pats equivalent of Sons of Sam Horn? Daughters of Mosi Tatupu?

BB: Eddie Drummond was one year too late. If only he’d harnessed the X Symbol….

ED: MVP!!!!

BB: TJ Housezapatientslife better be praying to his Peerless Price Starting Lineup every night. The Bengals could cap off their miserable offseason by signing him and letting Peter Warrick be their third receiver. Awful drafting and signing. Whee!!!

PR: Man, if ever there was a team destined to sign Dane Looker, it is the Cincinnati Bengals. “I SCORED A TOUCHDOWN ONCE! I BRING THE PASTINESS THAT YOUR TEAM SORELY NEEDS!!!!”

ED: Welcome to Ohio. Rust season is in full effect.

PR: I love the Washington Redskins. Supposedly, their big need this offseason was to upgrade their wideouts and then they would be SUPER BOWL BOUND~! (Work with me here people. We can laugh at that statement later.). So what do they do? Well let’s see. One guy is already a FA that they don’t plan on resigning (Thrash). One guy is good but isn’t a good “practice player” so never plays (Darnerien McCants). One they tell to seek a trade because they have no roll for him (Rod Gardner). And they are trying to trade their best one because he is unhappy (Coles). Maybe Steve Spurrier still has Snyder’s ear. TAYLOR JACOBS BABY~!


TIGHT ENDS

Ryan Neufeld Bills
Anthony Becht Jets
Keith Heinrich Browns
Matt Murphy Texans
Brian Jones Jaguars
Jeb Putzier Broncos
Kendall Gammon Chiefs
Antonio Gates Chargers
Justin Peelle Chargers
John Gilmore Bears
Casey Fitzsimmons Lions
Stephen Alexander Lions
Bubba Franks Packers
Jermaine Wiggins Vikings
Cam Cleeland Rams
Freddie Jones Cardinals
Itula Mili Seahawks
Dwayne Blakely Falcons
Eddie Johnson Panthers
Lamont Hall Saints
Ken Dilger Buccaneers
Rickey Dudley Buccaneers
Dave Moore Buccaneers
Sean Ryan Cowboys
Brian Kozlowski Redskins

ED: Yeah, this looks like the usual list of TE suck that I have to pick from midseason in fantasy football. You know, going with the run and shoot and just punting the TE position isn’t such a bad idea.

BB: Wow – who would’ve thought, two run and shoot references in one roundtable.

PR: I am sure the Skins traded like 5 draft picks to acquire Kozlowski too. I might be dreaming that though. And I definitely read Casey Fitzsimmons as Cotton Fitzsimmons and started thinking of a “so only dead NBA coaches are hetro enough to play for the Lions?” joke.

BB: Antonio Gates is an RFA and will require a first and a third to get him. And even then the Chargers will match. So don’t get your hopes up.

ED: I can see Danny Ainge making that deal though.  Maybe Isiah Thomas.

BB: God, the Buccaneers group of receivers – on both sides – is ugly. UGLY.

PR: It seems like Chucky collects Tight Ends like LaRussa collects catchers. I mean that is a HUGE batch of doughiness right there.

BB: I wonder if John Gilmore got arrested when he tried to play in NFL Europe.

BB: Freddie Jones never had the giant year he was supposed to in Arizona but there’s no reason he can’t help someone for a year if they have a hole at tight end.

PR: One of these years, I will draft him and it will pan out. I truly believe this. Of course, I always try to get by with white QBs not named Peyton Manning. This is also a mistake.

BB: Jermaine Wiggins had a huge year replacing FRANCHISE PLAYER Jim Kleinsasser and will also get big money for no reason. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention here that I hate Southie.


OFFENSIVE LINE

Jonas Jennings Bills
Tom Ashworth Patriots
Brandon Gorin Patriots
Adrian Klemm Patriots
Kareem McKenzie Jets
Damion Cook Ravens
Ethan Brooks Ravens
Barrett Brooks Steelers
Oliver Ross Steelers
Marcus Spears Texans
Ryan Diem Colts
Bob Whitfield Jaguars
Langston Walker Raiders
Carlos Joseph Chargers
Stockar McDougle Lions
Orlando Pace Rams
Floyd Womack Seahawks
Jerome Davis 49ers
Kevin Shaffer Falcons
Matt Willig Panthers
Victor Riley Saints
Anthony Davis Buccaneers
Greg Walker Giants
Brandon Winey Giants
Ian Allen Eagles
Tra Thomas Eagles
Billy Yates Patriots
Stephen Neal Patriots
Joe Andruzzi Patriots
Brandon Moore Jets
Jonathan Goodwin Jets
Casey Rabach Ravens
Mike Compton Jaguars
Carlisle Cooper Broncos
Ron Stone Raiders
Chris Dielman Chargers
Terence Metcalf Bears
Marco Rivera Packers
David Dixon Vikings
Anthony Herrera Vikings
Chris Dishman Rams
Tom Nutten Rams
Jeremy Bridges Cardinals
Cameron Spikes Cardinals
Chris Gray Seahawks
Kyle Kosier 49ers
Eric Heittman 49ers
Martin Bibla Falcons
Michael Moore Falcons
Roberto Garza Falcons
Steve Herndon Falcons
Tutan Reyes Panthers
Cosey Coleman Buccaneers
Ben Noll Cowboys
Matt Lehr Cowboys
Jermane Mayberry Eagles

ED: Fat men looking for paydays before their first heart attack. It’s kind of sweet when you think about it.

BB: That’s a long freaking list.

PR: Also confusing. I already thought Chris Dishman was Chris Doleman and I read Terrence Metcalf as Eric Metcalf. That prompted me to prepare a “Well, of course, the Bears couldn’t protect the QB comment” before realizing the errors of my ways. And yes, I went to the same joke well more than once. Leave me alone.

BB: Probably the most talented lineman out there is Packers guard Marco Rivera, along with his soon-to-be-cut counterpart at guard, Mike Wahle. Where will they go? Whoever’s smartest.

PR: Would the Patriots not resigning Joe Andruzzi be a sign that the terrorists won? Would it be un-American? Would it be an insult to his relatives who didn’t die on 9/11? Am I allowed to make these jokes?

BB: However many jokes Casey Rabach’s had to put up with, it’s definitely not enough. He’s just a cook!

PR: I believe that Casey Rabach officially likes his life more than Morris Chestnut, Eric Bogosian, Katherine Heigl, and Erika Eleniak. Heck, he probably has a bigger rack than Eleniak. And manlier than Bogosian. AND Chestnut.

BB: It’s hard to make comments about offensive linemen. I am already stretching to a Michael Moore joke.

ED:  In the end, it’s all about Porkchop Womack.  I could care less about anyone else.

PR: I still have to figure out where the Rams offering the Giants Orlando Pace came from. I am still uncertain how to feel about that one… would that mean the Giants would be required to annually franchise him. Since Pace doesn’t have an agent, who is going to smooth talk Accorsi into a comical extension? Since its not the Chargers, does Ernie offer first round picks? How does this work?


KICKERS

Wade Richey Ravens
Jeff Reed Steelers
Lawrence Tynes Chiefs
Morten Andersen Vikings
Todd Peterson 49ers
Jay Feely Falcons
Steve Christie Giants

ED: I like how the Patriots put the franchise tag on VinaRivera. Aww, a “dynasty” begins to crumble. The rest? Well, Remy Hamilton could be had cheaply enough if an NFL team wanted to think outside the box. Yeah, that’s not gonna happen.

BB: Or Remy Bonjansky.

PR: The Giants supposedly will only resign Steve Christie for the veteran minimum. I don’t mind getting a new kicker. What I do mind is if it is anyone not named Morten Andersen. Somehow I see Jose Cortez in their future.

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