|Ron's been keeping up with the free agent news and he has some viewpoints he'd like to share with us.|
As I've said many times before, free agency is vastly overrated and it does not, in any way, guarantee success. For proof, please see the Washington Redskins. However, while you can't build a winner through free agency, you can patch holes and add missing pieces. This makes free agency a valuable tool for already contending teams. Thus, free agency IS important, and it bears major observation. And who better to make those observations than our good friend from San Diego (which means...), Ron Burgundy! Ron, tell us what you think!
(Note: Ron allowed some of his friends from the Channel Four News Team to chime in with their thoughts.)
"For one night let's not be Co-workers. Let's be Co-people."
Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco don't really fit the New England Patriots' ethos. Quite a revelation, right? Yet, for the meager cost of a few late round picks, it's well worth the risk to see if both/either of these guys buy in for at least one season. Haynesworth in particular could turn out to be one of the defining moves of the offseason. Sure, he's fat and lazy, but he's also completely unblockable when he decides to give a crap. After his two year debacle in Washington, Haynesworth could finally feel like he has something to play for...you know, because $100 million clearly wasn't enough motivation. Even if New England only gets 50-75% of what Haynesworth used to be, that represents a significant upgrade to their defensive line and a great return on their meager investment. For a team who's window could be closing fast, it makes a lot of sense to swing for the fences like this.
Grade: 5 glasses of scotch
"I don't know how to put this, but I'm kind of a big deal."
Nnamdi Asomugha was easily the biggest name out on the market, and his "recruitment" certainly did not disappoint. After various reports linking to Nnamdi to just about every team imaginable, it came down to Jets vs. Cowboys in the end.....at least, until the Eagles swooped in unannounced and stole him from right under my beloved Cowboys' nose! OK, so I'm being a bit over-dramatic. Even as the Cowboys were annointed as the "favorite" to land Nnamdi, my excitement was tempered by the unfortunate real life knowledge that we were completely capped out. Of course, that doesn't make me any less bitter towards our NFC East rival! In retrospect, and tinged with complete bias, I'm glad we didn't spend the money on him. He may be the best or 2nd best CB in the game right now, but at 30 years old, who knows how long that will last? Given the presence of Asante Sameul and previous acquisition of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Nnamdi's signing strikes me as a pure luxury acquisition...and a poor long term allocation of the Eagles cap.
(By the way, if you ask me whether I'd be happy if Dallas had landed him, the answer would be a resounding YES! I'm a bitter hypocrite, I know.)
"Did I say that loud?"
"Yeah, you pretty much yelled it."
For a guy who shot himself in the leg and hasn't played football in two years, Plaxico Burress sure got a lot of attention. I mean, did we really have to get hourly reports on how Tom Coughlin's "be on time" policy would affect his decision? Look, I understand that Burress is a big name and his inglorious departure from the NFL affords him endless amounts of notoriety, but do we really think Plax is going to change the landscape of the AFC East? At 34? After two years in prison? Didn't think so. Moving on.
"That's how I roll."
OK, the Redskins must be doing this on purpose now, right? What other possible explanation could there be for signing backup DE Stephen Bowen to a mammoth 5YR $27.5MIL deal? I mean, he only has 11 starts and 5.5 sacks in his 5 year career! He couldn't even start for the Cowboys!
"I'm sorry, I was trying to impress you. I don't know what it means. I'll be honest, I don't think anyone knows what it means anymore. Scholars maintain that the translation was lost hundreds of years ago."
I get what you're trying to do Jacksonville, I really do. Getting the fan base excited with some splashy signings and building your defense is a good idea for your moribund organization. I'm sorry though, I'm just not impressed. Paul Posluszny, Clint Session, and Dawan Landry are all slightly overrated players. Now, they're all overpaid as well. Committing $37MIL in guaranteed money to these three guys is a horrible mistake, pure and simple. Beyond the fact that none of them are noted playmakers, LB and S are probably the two most easily replaceable positions on the defense. As witnessed by the bargain basement steals of Barrett Ruud and Stephen Tulloch late into the free agency period, Jacksonville totally miscalculated the market for LB and could have comparably filled their needs at a fraction of the cost. They would have been much better served by spending their money on a WR I've actually heard of. Again, good try Jaguars...see you soon in LA!
"I immediately regret this decision."
Perhaps my favorite story from this free agent frenzy involves Todd Heap, who signed with Arizona while visiting the New York Jets. As I've mentioned many times before, my hatred for Rex Ryan runs deep, and Heap's metaphoric "screw you" to the Jets makes me very happy. I can only hope that Heap caught Rex staring at his feet and immediately called his agent to close the deal with Arizona.
"Boy, that escalated quickly...I mean, that really got out of hand fast."
"It jumped up a notch"
"It did, didn't it?"
I don't really know what happened over in Carolina. Perhaps there was a giant chemical spill that tainted the water supply over at the Panthers headquarters. Whatever it was, things certainly did get out of hand fast. After an embarrassing 2-14 season, Jerry Richardson's genius solution was to invest $187MIL ($86.5MIL guaranteed) in bringing back DeAngelo Williams, Charles Johnson, James Anderson, and Jon Beason. That number doesn't even count what the Panthers wasted on Thomas Davis! Williams in particular is a horrible signing. There's boatloads of history to suggest Williams, at 28 and with significant mileage on him, will fall far short of earning his $43MIL contract. The most inexplicable part of it is that the Panthers don't even need Williams! With Jonathan Stewart and Mike Goodson still around, Williams is almost as expendable as NASA! But wait, there's more! Just when you think Carolina can do no worse than the 4YR deal they gave K Olindo Mare, they go out and sign Derek Anderson! Yes, that Derek Anderson! I can't stop using exclamation marks, it's so egregious!
"Brick, where did you get a hand grenade?"
"I don't know."
I was under the impression there was a salary cap this year. Why does Philly get to spend $400 million?
"I will smash your face in a car windshield, and then take your mother, Dorothy Mantooth, out for a nice seafood dinner and NEVER call her again!"
It was no secret that Sidney Rice wasn't overly thrilled with how the Vikings handled his injury last season. As if having Brad Childress call him out wasn't enough, Minnesota declined to offer him an extension only one season removed from statistically being the best receiver in football. Given his injury history and the CBA uncertainty, this decision made sense. Apparently Rice is not of the same opinion. Still, I could have never imagined his spite would go this length. He voluntarily chose Tarvaris Jackson as his QB! Voluntarily! Without a gun to his head! Sorry Champ, but that is spiteful.
(Note: I literally just drooled on myself because I'm laughing so hard at the quotes. After watching Anchorman a legit 22 times, it still kills me!)
"Well, I could be wrong, but I believe diversity is an old, old wooden ship that was used during the Civil War era."
"Ron, I would be surprised if the affiliates were concerned about the lack of an old, old wooden ship, but nice try."
Dear Randy Moss,
You're probably not going to believe this, but I actually don't care that you retired. Sure, you were fun to watch back in the day. Honestly, I don't think I've ever seen a more naturally gifted football player than you. The thing is, you're a complete tool. Between your never ending legal issues, your tiresome antics, and your me-first attitude; it was almost satisfying to see your career end so miserably. I'm not at all sad to see you go. I don't know if you think we'll all be clamoring for you to come back, but I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you. In case you forget, let me throw a little reminder your way. You caught 28 passes last season. You played for 3 teams. You're irrelevant. Years from now, when the memory of your indiscretions begins to fade, we'll all probably get caught up in your amazing numbers and hold you up as an all time great. In truth, you are an all time great...but that doesn't I'll give you a pass for quitting on two teams and "playing when you want to play." Nope, you're a terrible person and a worse teammate. Please, if only for my sake, stay away. I'm doing just fine without you.
"I thought you were kidding! I thought it was a joke! I even wrote it down in my diary, 'Veronica had a very funny joke today!' I laughed at it later that night!"
So...Tarvaris Jackson is the starter in Seattle. Umm. Uh. Seriously? Is this for real? There's nobody else out there? See, when everybody pointed out that his former OC Darell Bevell is in Seattle, I figured that would likely work against T-Jax. After all, you'd imagine that one T-Jax experience is more than enough in one lifetime. What can you say? Bevell must be some sort of masochist or something. So, how could something like this happen? I have two theories:
1. Darrell Bevell used the old "These are not the droids you're looking for" Jedi trick on Pete Carroll. Again, I'm not sure why Bevell would want a 2nd helping of T-Jax, but this is literally the only plausible way for someone to be convinced to start Tarvaris Jackson.
2. Seattle has decided they really want Andrew Luck. Unfortunately for them, there seems to be a lot of dumb franchises that have thrown their hat in the "Let's tank this entire season because we really need a QB and Andrew Luck is amazing" ring.
One of those two has to be true. Either that, or all of Pete Carroll's cheating drove him insane. Let me predict how this will work out. Jackson sucks, Seattle loses a lot of games, Pete Carroll murders Bevell for talking him into this, and Jackson becomes the next starting QB of the Carolina Panthers. Put that in your diary!
"The only way to bag a classy lady is to give her two tickets to the gun show...and see if she likes the goods."
I just love how the 49ers signature offseason move is signing David Akers. A kicker. You've just made a splashy hire in HC Jim Harbaugh, the entire NFC West is up for grabs, your roster is thinner than Nicolas Cage's hair...and you get a stud kicker. Color me unimpressed.
"You're so wise. You're like a miniature Buddha, covered in hair."
New Orleans somehow managed to turn Reggie Bush into Darren Sproles (a better player than Bush), a draft pick, a backup safety, and approximately $7MIL in 2011 savings. That's not bad...not bad at all.
"Take me to Pleasure Town!"
"Oh, we're going there!"
THE COWBOYS CUT ROY WILLIAMS!!! I FEEL LIKE I'M ON THE MOST GLORIOUS RAINBOW!!!
I had a ton of fun writing this, and there's plenty more quotes and free agent moves to pair up. Consider this Part I of Mr. Burgundy's Recap...Part II coming tomorrow!