For many fans, free agency is the official start of a new season and the first day of free agency is when many players get big time money. This is also a day that can make or break a team. A good signing can give a contending team that one piece that puts them over the top while a bad signing could damage the salary cap and possibly cost a GM its job. Here are my winner and losers for the first day of free agency so far.
Miami Dolphins: It’s not often that a safety coming off a season with 129 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 2 interceptions gets cut, but the Dolphins found one in Gibril Wilson. Wilson addresses a huge need and is in the prime of his career. This move should keep the Dolphins competitive in the AFC East even if Tom Brady comes back fully healthy.
New England Patriots: Not often is the signing of a 33 year old running back applauded, but this one is different. Fred Taylor can still play. Taylor was forced out of town due to the emergence of the younger Maurice Jones-Drew who has 34 rushing touchdowns in his three year career with the Jaguars. Taylor may not be able to take a 20-25 carry workload but is fully capable of the 12-15 he will be getting per game in New England. Don’t be surprised if Taylor comes in and has the same kind of impact that Corey Dillon did a few years ago.
Washington Redskins: The Redskins made a huge splash in free agency by signing Albert Haynesworth and DeAngelo Hall to contracts worth a combined $155 million. Those two deals include $64 million in guaranteed money. While the Redskins landed arguably the best free agent in the class, these are both moves they will later regret. Haynesworth when he wants to be is an unstoppable force in the middle but has only played really well the last two seasons. Coincidentally those were contract years. Now that he has already cashed in, what motivation does he have to play hard? The signing of Hall was also a mistake. He is one of the most physically gifted corners in the league, but he thinks he is a lot better then he really is and is a cancer in the locker-room. . He also takes too many risks and too often gets beat for the long touchdown. With corners being so rare in the NFL right now, if you are a number one corner you wouldn’t be on three teams in the last two years. The Redskins earlier this decade were always willing to pay the big bucks in free agency and not get many results, unfortunately there is a very real possibility it could happen again.