NFL's Free Agency Opens: Ken's Take

Ken SheehanAnalyst IFebruary 29, 2008

Asante Samuel: Coming off a Pro Bowl season, Asante meets today with the Eagles.  According to, they could come to a contract agreement before the end of the day.

However, I think the Eagles should be careful about this investment because no matter what, Asante will demand a hefty fee.  As good as everyone (Asante included) will tell you he is, I'm not sure this corner—who will not be a significant improvement over corner back Sheldon Brown—will be worth the contract.

Jerry Porter: Porter will instantly improve the Jacksonville's receiving core.  Although his numbers last season were lower than before his little spat with Art Shell, if he can return to form he would be an incredible compliment to the Jaguars' powerful run game.

This would provide the team with a legitimate receiving threat.  Let's just hope he won't be the headache for Del Rio that he's been in Oakland.

Parcells' Pick Ups: After cutting nine players, including Trent Green and Dolphins' favorite Zach Thomas, Bill Parcells went out and picked up some solid players.  At 27 years of age and coming off a 98-tackle season, Calvin Pace is a linebacker coming into his prime.  Plus, he has the size to play in a Parcells' 3-4 defense.

The Big Tuna also signed Randy Starks, a former Titans d-tackle, and Josh McCown. Although Starks isn't quite big enough to play nose in a 3-4, he certainly has the quickness to play end instead.  McCown is a solid back-up, and will give John Beck some competition for the starting spot.

Madieu Williams: With Williams just 26, the Vikings are getting a player who's not only entering his prime years as an NFL player, but who is also a free safety with four years of experience.  In three of those years he's started at least 13 games.

Although he may not have the speed of Dwight Smith—the safety he was signed to replace—Williams is a solid safety who has the size and speed to be a big force for the Vikings' defense.

Kawika Mitchell: The Buffalo Bills picked up this young linebacker from the Giants and he should be an excellent compliment to the Bills' young linebacking core.  At 28, Mitchell not only brings in more NFL experience, but comes in with serious playoff skills, coming out of the Giants' Super Bowl season.

Three Agents to Watch

•Alan Faneca: He's scheduled to meet with the Jets this weekend, but I wouldn't count on him to stop there.  Faneca will be looking for big time money, and teams will be hesitant to put significant time and money into a 31-year-old guard.

•Michael Turner: Even after a three year low in both yards and yards per carry, Turner should generate significant interest in the market this year.  Today he's meeting with the Falcons who are, after releasing Warrick Dunn, looking for a running back. 

Unless they figure out a way to get both Matt Ryan and Darren McFadden, look for the Falcons to make a significant push for Turner.

•Erik Coleman: Coleman is a young, strong safety with some big time experience, getting over 100 tackles in three of his four years as a Jet.  At least 25 teams looking to add some long-term talent to their secondaries (like the Falcons who he is visiting today) would like to go after a safety like Coleman.