Reality TV has never seen an episode like we are about to witness as the NFL begins it's annual rite of passage known as free agency. Teams will literally froth at the mouth as big names and big contracts are thrown around at a pace that will make it hard for the average fan to watch.
And who are the winners, and who are the losers, as day I comes to an end? I have an idea on that note.
As for losers, certainly the perfect regular season team tops the list of losers, having watched Assante Samuel become an Eagle, and the offensive punch of Randy Moss and Daunte Stallworth on the outside looking in. Moss, who was reported only days ago as being close to a deal is not anywhere near ready to sign on the dotted line. Reports indicate that the two sides are far apart, and Moss may be looking for new pastures. The marriage of Tom Brady to Randy Moss for a record number of touchdowns last year is in a trial separation, and it looks like divorce court is the final destination. If that happens, the Patriots will have Welker as their number one target for Brady, and while Welker had a break out year, he was never double teamed due to the Moss factor, and that can only mean a less productive 2008.
Another team that seems to be a loser in all of this is the Oakland Raiders. Now, don't get me wrong. The Raiders have made a few good moves, but being the percieved disfunctional clan that they are, they had to pony up a lot of money to players that would have signed for much less elsewhere. Davis, who has never been shy about paying the talent on the field must have cringed just a bit at the thought of paying a journeyman defensive lineman like a pro bowler. But, the over spending may have a positive affect as the Raiders begin to provide a new crop of veterans to help guide one of the youngest teams in the league back to respectibility. This becomes a time will tell issue, and one that the fan hopeful will watch with interest.
Among the winners was certainly the Miami Dolphins. No, they did not get any big names. Matter of fact, there biggest pick up was Josh McCown. But, the Dolphins got rid of some dead weight, and added role players to a team that will rebuild under the watchful eye of new GM Bill Parcells. I know he is not the GM, but let's call it what it is, Parcells is buying the groceries at long last, and he was hungry on day one. The Dolphins were not as bad a team as last year's record, and while they are not a good team, some new faces at the beginning of camp will help bolster a team that just got a bit younger at some key positions.
The Eagles seemed to announce that all reports of their demise was a bit premature. They cornered the market with Assante Samuel, who got a very nice payday, and shed the paycheck of oft injured Javon Kearse. Kearse will get another job, but he will make less and that is just fine with the Eagles who endured years of underperformance from the "Freak" who was less freakish and more tweaked in recent years.
Now that the opinions about winner and loser teams has been bandied about...let me tell you who the real winners and losers were. You really didnt think I know enough to really debate winning franchises and losing franchises after one day of free agency did you?
The real winners were the guys that made it to new locations during the feeding frenzy of day number one. This is the day players get over paid, they get beefy contracts, and they get wined and dined. They get guarenteed money and they get out of places that were not willing to keep them, either because they would have to over pay, or they know something the rest of the league does not know about this "star" performer.
The real losers? All of the players who are probably better than the players who just got signed who now get to look at the deal they made and begin to resent their current team, just a bit. Many of these real losers are now planning their own path to free agency in the next year or two, because, after all, is Tommy Kelly really better than say any of the defensive linemen who actually played all season last year?
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