AFC South Free Agency: The Best Moves from the Weekend

Nate DunlevyGuest ColumnistMarch 19, 2012

The Colts add some fire and another ex-Raven
The Colts add some fire and another ex-RavenRob Carr/Getty Images

The AFC South front offices have been restrained in free agency up to this point. That's a good thing. Free agency can pay off big, but more frequently it results in bad decisions. Yes, you can land a Julius Peppers (or a Peyton Manning!), but more often than not you wind up with an Albert Haynesworth.

Free agency is a great way to build some depth, find some value and plug a hole or two. It's just not a great tool for the mid-level team. If your team is a mess and needs warm bodies (Indianapolis, cough) then low-risk signings really help. If you are a middle of the pack team like the Tennessee Titans or Houston Texans looking to take the leap, free agency is a great way to overpay for players that someone else already decided they don't want anymore.

Here are all the moves, err move, from the weekend:


Indianapolis Colts Sign S Tom Zbikowski

The more Baltimore Ravens defenders the Colts can import, the better. Tom Zbikowski may end up being nothing more than a special teams player for the Colts, but even so, he represents a major upgrade.

Indy has had a gaping hole at the safety spot for more than a year now. He's not exactly an impact player, but he's the kind of guy you need if you want to bring some fire to a rebuilding roster.

When it comes to fringe signings, he's the polar opposite from Mike McGlynn. He's got some upside, and his worst-case scenario still represents the Colts filling an area of need by improving on special teams.

Grade: A


Houston Texans Re-Sign C Chris Myers

Faced with losing three of their five starting linemen, the Texans simply couldn't afford to let Chris Myers walk. It's a much better idea to reinvest in your center than to develop a new one or integrate a veteran from the outside.

Myers had an excellent 2011 and the Texans will be shelling out a lot of guaranteed cash for him. Fourteen million dollars is big money, but the cap hits are reasonable.

As long as they get three years out of Myers, this deal should end up paying off. For a guy entering into his prime, that shouldn't be a problem.

Grade: A

No one else from the AFC South signed anyone, but there were some notable defections. The Texans saw Mike Brisiel, Jason Allen and Eric Winston all sign with other teams this weekend. Houston is going to have to rebuild the left side of their line, but things could be worse.

The Titans lost Jason Jones to the Seattle Seahawks. Jones was a starter the last two years, but his production was questionable.