NFL Free Agency: 5 Players Who Will Excel with New Teams
Signing a free agent on the open market really is a hit-and-miss proposition. Teams tend to be incredibly careful with whom they select to poach from other teams. After all, there is a reason that the original franchise is letting a certain player go.
Well-run organizations also know that you don't build the foundation of a winning team through free agency. Rather, it is utilized as a supplement to the NFL draft.
With that said, a good free-agent signing that pans out goes a long way in helping a team fill holes and move forward to the draft process without having to reach for a position of need.
This article gives you the five players that are going to have the greatest amount of success with their new teams following just three days of the frantic free-agent period.
5. Randy Moss, Wide Receiver, San Francisco 49ers
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I fully understand that Randy Moss sat out an entire season and wasn't a productive player in 2010. He isn't going to be a 1,500-yard guy anymore.
The San Francisco 49ers did not bring him in to be the 2008 version that everyone came to expect. Instead, he was brought in to be a vertical threat for a 49ers team that didn't have one.
Sure, Ted Ginn had the speed, but he wasn't anywhere near consistent enough. Kyle Williams has shown flashes, but he really isn't mature enough to be a primary threat.
What the addition of Moss does is open up San Francisco's offense a great deal. This is what they were missing during the postseason in 2011, and it came back to haunt them a great deal.
4. Robert Meachem, Wide Receiver, San Diego Chargers
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The San Diego Chargers faced the very strong possibility of losing their No. 1 wide receiver, Vincent Jackson. Once that came to reality when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed him to a massive contract, they needed to get another veteran player on the outside.
Robert Meachem came at about half the price of Jackson and provides the Chargers great value moving forward.
He wasn't anywhere near the top target with the New Orleans Saints, but was extremely productive there. You can bet that Meachem is going to be more of an integral part of the Chargers' offense than he was in the Big Easy.
If that is the case, Philip Rivers is going to have another solid deep threat on the outside.
To take a term from draft experts: "value at a need position."
3. Brandon Carr, Cornerback, Dallas Cowboys
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To say the the Dallas Cowboys needed to add a difference maker at cornerback would be a massive understatement. This is one of the reasons that they gave the full-court press to Brandon Carr in free agency.
In fact, the talented young corner never even visited another city. This is what happens when you are offered more than $10 million per season over the course of five.
He is going to be well worth the investment.
Terence Newman was released, while Mike Jenkins continues to struggle with injuries and inconsistency. This became a primary area of concern for Dallas.
They will probably look to add another corner in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, but this fixes one side of the field.
To those who say that Carr was good because he was the No. 2 corner going up against secondary options in the AFC West, you would be mistaken. The Chiefs played a strict left-to-right corner scheme, not moving either Carr or Brandon Flowers around.
This means that Carr was going up against other teams' No. 1 receivers a great deal of the time. In reality, he is a true shutdown type of guy.
The Cowboys needed this desperately.
2. Mario Williams, Defensive End, Buffalo Bills
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While Mario Williams is set to earn nearly $100 million if he fulfills the contract he signed with the Buffalo Bills yesterday, something leads me to believe that he will work out better than Albert Haynesworth.
Now that we are past the "Mr. Obvious" segment of the article, let's get into the proverbial nuts and bolts.
The former Houston Texans standout is as intimidating and dominating as they come.
Now if that isn't the ultimate respect, I have no idea what is.
What Williams is going to do for the Buffalo Bills is a bigger story here. They were atrocious on defense last season, and it cost them a shot at contending for a playoff spot.
Add his big-play ability to the front seven, and you are going to see a dramatic difference in terms of performance from this defense. He is also going to make their secondary much better just by his mere presence.
Sometimes, it takes a huge contract to make a difference. This is the case when it comes to Williams and the Buffalo Bills.
1. Carl Nicks, Guard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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This is a signing that made sense for a wide array of reasons. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers really don't have the interior force to anchor their offensive line. They had the necessary cap money to poach Carl Nicks from the New Orleans Saints.
And he is the best guard in the entire National Football League.
Of course, acquiring a player of his caliber doesn't come cheap. In fact, it could be said that Nicks received tackle money. Adam Schefter reported that his contract is worth nearly $50 million over five seasons, with $31 million guaranteed.
Talk about breaking the bank.
In the long run, it is hard to imagine that Nicks isn't going to be worth this money. He now joins Davin Joseph and Jeremy Zuttah, two outstanding players, along the interior of the Buccaneers' line.
LeGarrette Blount is going to be a better running back just by their mere presence, while Josh Freeman doesn't have to worry too much about facing pressure between the hashes. This will enable the young signal-caller to step up into a clean pocket when he faces pressure from the outside.
In short, don't expect as many mistakes from Freeman as we saw last season.
In all, you can expect Nicks to succeed in Tampa Bay just like he did with the Saints.