The NFL's free-agency period can often be difficult to keep up with. Signings came in fast and furious, with players changing cities and waving goodbye to their former franchises. Luckily, Twitter is always ready to comment on these moves in real-time.
While some of the smaller signings don't receive much publicity or notoriety, when a key free agent makes a decision, Twitter users are sure to voice their opinions.
With the 2013 free-agency period finally slowing down, now seems like a proper time to reflect on some of the best reactions that Twitter has offered so far. These range from the funny to the informative, but they are all intriguing.
We start with a recent signing that made plenty of headlines. After losing Wes Welker to the AFC rival Denver Broncos, the New England Patriots were quick to find a replacement. ESPN Stats & Info highlighted that bringing in Danny Amendola may not actually be a downgrade after all.
Danny Amendola (66.2) had a better reception pct and fewer drops (1) than Wes Welker (66.0%,13 drops) when lined up in slot in last season.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 14, 2013
The popular parody account, Peyton's Head, referenced Boston mayor Thomas Menino's struggles to pronounce athletes' names. Here is the tweet, followed by a video that showcases some of his Patriots blunders.
The best part of Danny Amendola signing with the Pats is going to be Boston's Mayor Menino trying to pronounce his name.— Peyton's Head (@PeytonsHead) March 14, 2013
On the other side of the coin was Welker, who made it clear that his choices came down to New England or Denver. Welker undoubtedly had many suitors on the open market, but who can blame him for wanting to play with either Tom Brady or Peyton Manning?
Wes Welker: 'There were two teams I wanted to play for. This was one of them.'— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) March 14, 2013
Amendola and Welker were not the only receivers on the open market, as Mike Wallace was considered the biggest prize to be had. However, ESPN's Mike Greenberg raised a popular question after hearing of his five-year, $60 million contract with the Miami Dolphins.
Mike Wallace is good, and very fast, of course. But, am I the only one who thinks the #Dolphins gave him far too much money?— Mike Greenberg (@Espngreeny) March 12, 2013
ESPN Stats & Info again chimed in to note that Wallace's contract puts him in the company of the game's best wideouts, trailing only Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson in salary.
Mike Wallace's reported $30M guaranteed would be the 3rd most in a current WR contract behind L Fitzgerald ($45.0M) & C Johnson ($43.8M)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 12, 2013
While Wallace's departure may be tough for Pittsburgh Steelers fans to swallow, it is nothing compared to Greg Jennings leaving the Green Bay Packers. After seven years with the franchise, he took out a full-page newspaper ad to say goodbye, as tweeted by Bleacher Report. A classy move as he heads to an NFC North rival in the Minnesota Vikings.
Greg Jennings thanked Green Bay fans with a full page newspaper ad as he departs to join the Minnesota Vikings twitter.com/BleacherReport…— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 20, 2013
However, receivers were not the only offensive players making news. There were a few big-time running backs on the open market, none with greater name recognition than Steven Jackson. The former St. Louis Rams star adds a needed versatility to the Falcons backfield, but NFL.com writer Chris Wesseling noted that Jackson is actually making less money to be a starter than Shonn Greene will make to back up Chris Johnson in Tennessee.
So Shonn Greene ($4.5M) got more in guarantees to be CJ2K's backup than Steven Jackson got to be Michael Turner's replacement.— Chris Wesseling (@ChrisWesseling) March 14, 2013
The Detroit Lions went in a different direction at running back, as they hope to emulate the abilities of Jahvid Best by acquiring Reggie Bush. Detroit has been notoriously bad on the ground since Barry Sanders retired, and the following tidbit from ESPN Stats & Info furthers that notion.
Reggie Bush goes to the Lions, who have gone longer than any other team since producing a 1,000-yard rusher (2004 Kevin Jones - 1,133)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 13, 2013
While the Lions added Bush, they also lost one of the NFL's blossoming pass-rushers in Cliff Avril. The Seattle Seahawks were looking for players that could get to the quarterback, and Avril has 39.5 sacks in five seasons of action. NFL.com's Albert Breer noted that with Avril and Michael Bennett now in the fold, Seattle could have a defensive front as imposing as the recent units of the New York Giants.
If Clemons gets right, with Bruce Irvin, Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett on board, the Seahawks d-line could look like the great Giants groups.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 14, 2013
The brilliant offseason from the Seahawks has put them into Super Bowl discussions, but the same could be said for the actions of the Houston Texans. Future Hall of Famer Ed Reed parted ways with the Baltimore Ravens, and even polarizing ESPN personality Skip Bayless noted how big of a signing Reed is for the Texans.
I just gained respect for Texans' chances next season with the signing of Ed Reed. He'll give them some big-game backbone they haven't had.— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) March 21, 2013
Fellow ESPN personality Trey Wingo went in a different direction as he discussed the heavy losses the Ravens defense has suffered this offseason. Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Dannell Ellerbe and Paul Kruger have all left the organization.
Ed Reed's departure means that the Ravens will down 8 starters from last year's team.. 8 out of 22.— trey wingo (@wingoz) March 21, 2013
One of those names mentioned, Dannell Ellerbe, was probably the most surprising departure. The supposed heir apparent to Ray Lewis decided to take a big contract with the Dolphins. Ellerbe himself took to Twitter to mention how welcoming his new quarterback has been.
@ryantannehill1 showed love also by offering to help me find a place and welcoming me to the team!!! Gotta great feeling about my team!— Dannell Ellerbe (@ellerbe59) March 17, 2013
What will be the next free-agent signing to elicit a big reaction from the Twitter-sphere? We will all have to stay tuned to find out.