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Now that Peyton Manning has officially sold poor Tim Tebow to the Pharisees for approximately 4 billion pieces of silver, I have decided that free agency is officially over. Sure, there are still some moves to be made, but I’m just too upset to care anymore. Therefore, just as we did last year, Boris Diaw Time has brought in our good friends from San Diego to recap the 2012 NFL Free Agent frenzy. That’s right, give a big welcome to Ron Burgundy and the Channel Four News Team!
Peyton Manning signs with Denver (5yr $96mil)
“It smells like, like a used diaper…filled with…Indian food!”
That’s what this whole thing smells like to me! Just when I was starting to actually feel an ounce of humanity towards Peyton Manning, a football player I’ve despised for nearly two decades, he goes and does the one thing that could make me hate him worse than any other sports figure alive. He screws over Tim Tebow! How dare you, Peyton!!! I honestly and truly hope the Broncos go 0-16 and Manning throws 40 interceptions.
Beyond the Tebow thing, which is obviously just a personal grudge (yes, I’m aware that Manning is a million times better!), I have to wonder why Manning would choose Denver. Honestly, it makes no sense to me. Their defense is awful, their line isn’t much better, and their skill players are vastly overrated. Basically, this is a 4 win team that rode an amazing (divine?) hot streak into the playoffs. And this is his pick? This is where he wants to finish out his career? Hmm…sounds weird to me. Prince and I talked about the possible clash with Jim Harbaugh, but I guess I just thought a pro like Manning could put his ego aside a tiny bit in pursuit of a championship or two. Guess not.
Steve Hutchinson signs with Tennessee
“They’ve done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time.”
“That doesn’t make sense.”
“Well…let’s go see if we can make this little kitty purr.”
Steve Hutchinson was apparently supposed to be the Titans bottle of Sex Panther, luring in Peyton Manning with his…his…wonderful friendship? I guess? Honestly, this was one of the most bizarre free agent headlines I’ve heard in a while. Because I’m sure Manning was just dying to follow a washed-up, 35 year old LG who wasn’t even good enough to stick with the Vikings.
Brandon Carr signs with Dallas (5yr $50.1mil)
“What? You pooped in the refrigerator? And you ate the whole…wheel of cheese? How’d you do that? Heck, I’m not even mad. That’s amazing.”
If I were trying to remain some level of objectivity, I’d probably be opposed to this deal. After all, I’m the same guy who typically crusades against free agency and mocks the teams that dive headfirst into it. And really, this is a lot of money to give to a CB who has never made a Pro Bowl and might not have even been the best corner on his own team. So am I upset? Not on your life! For years, I’ve been forced to watch clowns like Alan Ball play major roles in the secondary, and I’m genuinely excited to finally have somebody back there who’s more talented than me. I’ll just pretend like we drafted him or something. And that his cap hit won’t be around $20mil in a few years. (Please, please, please be good!!!)
“I know that one day Veronica and I are gonna to get married on top of a mountain, and there's going to be flutes playing and trombones and flowers and garlands of fresh herbs. And we will dance till the sun rises. And then our children will form a family band. And we will tour the countryside and you won't be invited.”
The Dolphins knew exactly what they wanted from this offseason, and I’ll be darned if they didn’t execute their plan to perfection. To set the whole scheme up, the organization made a big deal to its fans about how they were going to be aggressive in acquiring top end talent. Setting unrealistically high expectations…brilliant first move! Then, they put the plan in motion. First, they traded their best offensive player, Brandon Marshall, for two used jock straps and a coupon to Giordano’s, giving the illusion that they would have the cap space to bring in both Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne. Undeterred from their master scheme, Miami quickly lost out on the Manning sweepstakes, following that up with a genius maneuver to low ball the only other decent QB on the market, Matt Flynn. And even though there were still plenty of impact guys left on the market, the Dolphins stood pat, making sure that the team would be even worse than last year. Wow…
Seriously though, can anyone explain to me what happened here? Matt Flynn wasn’t even that expensive! As a Cowboys fan, I don’t get to say this often – I pity you, Dolphins fans.
Dolphins sign David Garrard
“That’s not a good start, but keep going…”
Oh wait, there’s more! After giving away Marshall and striking out on all the GOOD quarterbacks, the Dolphins kept going with their odd plan to destroy the franchise, settling on David Garrard as their QB. The bad news: Everyone in Miami is familiar with David Garrard and knows how bad he sucks. The good news: Nobody in Miami actually cares about sports, and they weren’t coming to the games anyways.
Tampa Bay signs everyone (Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks, Eric Wright)
“You dirtbags have been in third place for five years.”
“Oh yeah? Well you’re about to be in…dead place.”
OK, so Tampa Bay actually finished in last place. You get the idea. This crappy football team that just got obliterated on a weekly basis is apparently putting the league on notice with their free spending ways. Unfortunately, they sunk most of their money into the offense despite the defense allowing 60 points per game. Unless, of course, you think Eric Wright is Deion Sanders. And Ray Lewis. Mixed into one.
You’ve probably already heard analysts talk about how great Tampa Bay did in free agency, and you’ve probably seen various guys give them an “A” because they reeled in a couple big fish. To that, I say, so what? Weren’t these same analysts carving the Eagles name into the Lombardi Trophy prior to last season? How did that turn out? Spending money on one big player to complete the puzzle makes total sense, but using free agency to lay a team’s foundation has never, EVER proven to be a good strategy. Not only that, but how often has a big name free agent WR panned out all that well? (Please note, I wouldn’t have touched Vincent Jackson with a ten foot pole.) Just because the Bucs “won” March does not mean they will win come the fall. In fact, I’d say it’s a great way to NOT win come the fall.
The idea that SF would have to pay more money to retain Alex Smith after the Manning thing.
“Garth, if I would give you some money out of my wallet, would that ease the pain?”
OK, it didn’t end up happening, but it was amusing nonetheless. I also find it amusing that Alex Smith would feel disrespected by the 49ers in any way shape or form. Check that, I find it arrogant and hypocritical that Alex Smith would feel that way. For starters, the 49ers have had an offer on the table for quite some time. All Smith had to do was take the deal and nothing more would have been said. For another, it was Peyton Manning. Peyton. Freaking. Manning. Is Alex Smith not aware that he’s not as good as Peyton Manning? Finally, I have to wonder if Smith has forgotten how the 49ers kept giving him chance after chance after chance for five solid seasons after making him the #1 overall pick in 2005. Alex Smith could very well be out of the league right now if San Francisco had buried him like most other teams would have. Just stop whining, Alex, and learn how to throw a first down.
“Whatever team ends up getting Randy, they’re going to know they’re getting the old Randy Moss.”
Whoops! Sorry, that one wasn’t actually from Anchorman. This quote is from Randy Moss’ agent, Joel Segal, before LAST season. You know, the season that he sat out entirely because nobody in the NFL thought he was good enough to sign? But yes, Segal is totally right – the 49ers are definitely getting OLD Randy Moss.
“Panda Watch. The mood is tense; I have been on some serious, serious reports but nothing quite like this. I uh... Ching... King is inside right now. I tried to get an interview with him, but they said no, you can't do that he's a live bear, he will literally rip your face off.”
OK, last Peyton Manning one. I swear. But seriously, Peyton Watch=Panda Watch. Sort of. In a way. Right down to the ridiculous media scrutiny and speculation, which, by the way, was by far the worst part of the whole Peyton Manning saga. Would have been much more bearable if Brian Fantana had been involved, though.
WR’s cash in
“Boy that escalated quickly…I mean, that really got out of hand fast.”
“It jumped up a notch.”
“It did, didn’t it?”
If you were a wide receiver and you had two semi-functional hands (looking at you, Pierre Garcon), then you were getting paid this offseason. DeSean Jackson, Vincent Jackson, Robert Meachem, Marques Colston, Mario Manningham, Josh Morgan, Laurent Robinson, and others all cashed in thanks to a shockingly strong market for WR’s. And, as can be expected, most of them were grossly overpaid. The most jarring example is undoubtedly the aforementioned Garcon, who received $42.5mil from the Redskins. Since Garcon is young and obviously talented, I won’t say it’s the worst signing they’ve ever made. But since Garcon is a WR who is better measured with “drop rate” rather than “catch rate,” I’ll say it has potential to climb the list.
“I’m in a glass case of emotion!”
My favorite quote from Tebow’s introductory press conference was something along the lines of Mark Sanchez being mentally tough and “secure” in his game. Mark Sanchez? Secure? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If Mark Sanchez is already in a glass case of emotion (which he is), can you imagine how bad things will be once sixty-thousand crazed New Yorkers start chanting TE-BOW after Sanchez’s third INT? I won’t lie, I’m excited.
Mario Williams signs with Buffalo
“I immediately regret this decision.”
Buffalo? Really? Buffalo? I mean, I know they offered Williams a truck load of cash, but Buffalo? My family lived up around Buffalo for a year, and I can confirm that it does indeed suck.
If you’re Mario Williams, and you have half the league salivating at the thought of signing you to a giant free agent contract, why in the world would you pick Buffalo? For one, it’s Buffalo. We already covered that, so let’s just move on. For another, it’s the Bills, who haven’t been relevant in two decades. Having Super Mario on their defense will certainly improve them, but they realistically aren’t any closer to the playoffs than they were before. Ryan Fitzpatrick is still bad, and there are still about 7 other bad defensive players surrounding Williams. Maybe I’m just being too idealistic, but it seems like signing with a contender (New England, Houston, Green Bay) would have been worth leaving some money on the table. Well worth it, in fact.