Free Agency: Day One Recap

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Free Agency: Day One Recap

Asante Samuel

The Former Patriots cornerback signed a six-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles that will pay him an average $9.5 million a season.

As, what many consider, this offseason’s top free agent, Samuel will be expected to play a significant part in Jim Johnson’s defense.

 

Ernest Wilford

The Miami Dolphins grabbed Wilford with a four-year, $13 million contract.

He will improve the Dolphins’ receiving core, but to be honest, that doesn’t take a whole lot. However, Wilford is a big receiver who has shown the ability to be a high performer and, if he can play at a high level, he should easily fill the role of a possession receiver and be a good compliment to Ted Ginn Jr.

 

Gibril Wilson

The Oakland Raiders just signed this free safety to a $39 million contract with $16 million in guaranteed money.

Signing Wilson gives the Raiders an excellent compliment to strong safety Michael Huff. Considering Wilson is 26 and Huff is two years younger, the Raiders could have a great safety tandem for years to come.

 

Jeff Faine

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed the former Saints center to a $37.5 million deal that makes him the highest paid center in the game. Faine will be a solid addition to their offensive line and at 26, could be an anchor on their line for years to come. 

 

Deshaun Foster

The 49ers agreed to a one-year deal with the former Carolina Panthers running back.

Foster is a quick back with solid hands, and although he's encountered some injury problems in his career, he will be a great back to spell the bruising Frank Gore and add another element to the 49ers’ offense.

 

Some Key Moves

Cleveland Browns: Resigning Derek Anderson could prove to be one of this season’s biggest free-agent moves.

His three-year contract could prove to be one of the best investments the Browns could have made. This move not only allows for the Browns to keep a quarterback who had over 3,000 yards and 29 touchdown passes, but allows for the development of Brady Quinn.

Now, instead of having to push their young QB and rush him into the starting lineup, like Oakland with JaMarcus Russell, they can spend ample time developing his abilities and easing him into the role of starting quarterback.

The Browns also traded their second-round pick in this upcoming draft to the Green Bay Packers for defensive tackle Corey Williams. Although he's not quite the right size for Crennel’s 3-4 defense, he is a great player and, at 27, is someone you can build a defense around.

New Orleans Saints: The Saints acquired Jonathan Vilma in a trade with the Jets for an undisclosed draft pick. Although Vilma's numbers have declined over the last two years, it was due mostly to the 3-4 defense he played in than any loss of skill.

In the Saints’ 4-3, Vilma will be able to play either outside or middle linebacker and be an instant contributor to their defense.

New York Jets: In a trade with the Panthers, the Jets exchanged a third and a fifth-round draft pick for three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kris Jenkins.

At 28, Jenkins is in the prime of his NFL career and at 6-foot-4 and 349 pounds, Jenkins has the size to play a significant part as the nose tackle in Mangini's 3-4 defense.

 

Three (more) Free Agents to Watch

Bernard Berrian: In my last article, a commenter brought up Berrian as a player to watch and I have to agree.

Berrian may not be the league’s best receiver, but he is well-respected as a deep threat that can really stretch the field. At 27, he has plenty of years to go and the fact that he's been able to put up solid numbers with sub-par play from his quarterbacks makes Berrian, at the very least, is a very interesting prospect for any team’s receiving core.

Marion Barber: He's a restricted free agent but that shouldn’t stop teams from looking at him this offseason.

Barber is a fantastic running back with a bruising style that many teams love. Even though a team would have to give up some draft picks to get him, they could take comfort in the fact that they'd be getting a running back that’s already well adjusted and proven in the league.

He may not be generating much buzz now, but if Dallas is looking to move up in the draft, you'll be hearing his name floated around quite a bit.

Alge Crumpler: He may be 30 and coming off an injury, but his ability as a playmaker shouldn’t be ignored.

Alge has had some very productive years and probably has a few years left in him. He's a big body that’s a decent blocker on the line and is a solid receiver.

 

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