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Free Agency Follies

Free agency has opened in the NFL, but someone forgot to tell my New York teams.

The Giants have resigned Aaron Ross, a cornerback they drafted a few years back, then lost in last year's free agency. Otherwise they seem to be asleep. They just lost Kenny Phillips, their starting safety. Phillips has been hurt a lot, and last year his replacement Stevie Brown outplayed him, but when he was healthy he was staunch against the run. The G-Men have also have Osi on the free agent market, though so far no one has signed him, so maybe he will be back.

The Jets... don't get me started about the Jets. So far they have lost their starting RB, their best TE, a solid part of the defensive line rotation, both starting safeties. And rumors persist that they are about to trade Darrelle Revis, their best player. The Jets finished 6-10 last year, fired their GM, and brought in a new one. They kept Rex Ryan, which I think was good... Rex has only had one bad season in his four with Gang Green, and has proved himself to be a good coach... but this new GM seems to be setting him up to fail. The Jets were 6-10 last year, but instead of improving, it appears they are aiming for the number one overall draft choice in 2014. You can't win games without players. If the Jets crash and burn next year, Rex will get the blame, but Vince Lombardi could return from the dead and he still wouldn't win a game with the roster the new management is handing Ryan.

Pfui, I say.

Oh, and the Patriots... what a vile thing is Evil Little Bill. The way he treated Wes Welker is disgraceful. Man has absolutely no loyalty to anyone. Watch and see, when Tom Brady's talents start to fade -- and they will, it happens to all of them -- Evil Little Bill will ship him out as well.



Michael Mischnick
Mar. 15th, 2013 09:52 pm (UTC)
Bill B.
I hate Belecheck and the Patriots as much as you (well, probably nowhere near as much as you since I am a Vikings fan, and you are a Giants/Jets fan, so you have two reasons to hate them), but I don't think they really treated Welker that badly. And it's not like Welker landed in Cleveland or something. He still gets to have a future Hall of Famer throw to him, and he gets to be on a Super Bowl contender (and probably a better one, since Denver actually has a defense).
Mar. 15th, 2013 11:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Bill B.
Ha, this is just what I was thinking. As a Giants fan who hates the Patriots but has always admired Welker, he'll be far better off in Denver, I think.
Chris Freel
Mar. 15th, 2013 09:53 pm (UTC)
Aren't the Jets cash strapped?
I thought they were having cap problems and had to let players go because of that. There's always the draft and sometimes you gotta put those rookies in there!

But, it may be a bad year for the Jets. Hang in there though; I'm a Chiefs fan and look at last year...ugh!
Mar. 15th, 2013 10:11 pm (UTC)
LaRon Landry leaving.
I knew you would be upset about that. Although I live outside Philly, I've always been a Colts fan. So I look forward to seeing him don the horseshoe. Dude has arms like Gregor Clegane.

And I will always love Peyton, it's great to see him get Welker and hopefully Freeney rejoins Peyton instead of signing with New England.

Edited at 2013-03-15 10:17 pm (UTC)
Michael Conrad
Mar. 15th, 2013 10:12 pm (UTC)
@ the Chiefs fan, hang in there. Big Red may have faltered a bit in recent years but I believe that to be complacency. He's got a new team to mold and he knows how to turn them around. As an Iggles fan since birth I know he will get you into the playoff hunt.
As for Phillips, win win for the Birds. Even injured he is better than both our Safeties and is now not a Giant. Excited about Chip Kelly and this new regime. Great job picking up 8 key positions in 3 days, AND dropping dead, overpaid weight (jury is still out on Vick for me). Sorry Mr. Martin, the Birds WILL be contenders again this year!
Mar. 16th, 2013 12:23 am (UTC)
Re: football
23 out of 32. That's how many games Vick has started in the last two seasons. He's damaged goods who will lead the Eagles to 6 or 7 wins this year. Which would be a good start to a team completely changing its play on both sides of the ball.

NY and the Redskins will fight for the top spot, my pick goes to NY with RG3 coming back from two the ACL and MCL tears.

And I never understand why Eagle fans call them the birds. Seahawks, Falcons, Cardinals, and the Ravens. If any one team should have the distinction of being called the Birds it's Baltimore since they're the only team that has a SB.
Michael Conrad
Mar. 16th, 2013 05:38 pm (UTC)
Re: football
And if any team should have the distinction of being "Americas Team" it should be the team from the birthplace of America, not the hated Cowpies, so what's your point? If ya ain't from Philly, ya wouldn't understand, lol.
Mar. 16th, 2013 07:18 pm (UTC)
Re: football
Cowboys are called America's Team because they used to be on national television often. And it helped that they won SB's and were led by Staubach who served in Nam. The nickname has nothing to do with American history or geography, and today it serves no merit since you can watch each team anywhere in the country. It's just a retro nickname that people like to say, like George's NY Football Giants.

And I was born in S. Philly raised in Marlton. I can understand THE BIRDS being used locally but not nationally, such as this forum. One thing I will never understand is why people from Kensington call the Eagles the Iggles.

Edited at 2013-03-16 09:02 pm (UTC)
Michael Conrad
Mar. 18th, 2013 11:43 pm (UTC)
Re: football
Iggles are a term of endearment, dating back to the pre-Reid era when they couldn't get out of their own way, sort of like the Bungles/Bengals. Come to think of it, the Reid era ended much the same way so....whatever. I'm from Chester and Upper Darby but I've heard that term all over. As for the Dallas Brokebacks, yes I was aware of why they are called that, I just hate it. Good talking to ya there Nath Joisey. Go Birds!
Mar. 21st, 2013 01:54 am (UTC)
Re: football
C'mon coz Marlton is SOUTH Jersey. I'm 30 min from the Walt Whitman. We have Wawa's, 94 WIP, the Inquirer... across the Delaware River too.
Mark M
Mar. 15th, 2013 10:19 pm (UTC)
Detroit Lions
I'm a Lions fan, and I love to watch them struggle. This year, they've snagged a few free agents and kept a few from leaving. Spring is the best time of the year to be a Lions fan. The draft is our superbowl.

Unrelated: I'm reading Storm of Swords, and timing it perfect to finish on March 31st, around 9 or 10 pm.

Edited at 2013-03-15 10:32 pm (UTC)
Anthony DeMarco
Mar. 15th, 2013 10:25 pm (UTC)
George as a Redskins fan i can tell you that being active in free agency solves absolutely nothing, unless you really land a big time player.

This year's draft is loaded with help on D and on OL so both of your teams have a chance to get some young talent there. The Jets especially need some of that. Giants always draft well too, and should just focus on having a great O with a handful of pass rushers who can make a difference late in games, kinda like how the colts used to be. Besides with the Skins having RG3 not like having a good D means much, when he just dominates against anyone we play :)

Gotta give the Jets new GM a chance to do things his way. If you go look at the players who the jets usually draft under rex, they are always amongst the top performers in the bench press at the combine... like that translates to NFL success in any way.
Peter Crane
Mar. 15th, 2013 11:49 pm (UTC)
Big time
You mean a big-time player like Albert Haynesworth?
Anthony DeMarco
Mar. 16th, 2013 06:24 am (UTC)
Re: Big time
haha yeah right.... the only one who didnt see that one coming was dan snyder himself. then we got in trouble for paying his bonus in the uncapped year, haynesworth is like herpes. won't go away.
Mar. 15th, 2013 10:39 pm (UTC)
Belecheck knows the only reason he is good is cause of Brady. Look at his record without Brady, he was a nobody. Belecheck is enjoy his god like status, but it will end. He will probably retire the same time Brady does so he could go out looking good.

But hey, My Dolphins are tearing up the free agency market this year...
Peter Crane
Mar. 15th, 2013 10:48 pm (UTC)
It's the nature of the business. For fans, it's always been and always will be a game of heart. But for owners and GMs, they can't afford to get emotional. They get dollar signs in their eyes.

And the Jets took their run as far as they could, now they understand that it's time to cut and gut. Case in point: the Ravens. They are in the process of overhauling their roster, and that's the discipline it takes to build a winning franchise. Besides, good teams build through the draft.
Mar. 15th, 2013 11:10 pm (UTC)
As a Bills fan, I was so damn happy to see Welker leave New England. That guy slices and dices the Bills Defense every time they play each other. With him gone, the Patsies are certainly not as good as they once were.
Suf Gedoe
Mar. 19th, 2013 01:41 pm (UTC)
Argh jeah, no matter what George thinks the Bills are going to give the Jets a run for that first overall pick of 2014... Down 8 starters picked up 1 FA...
Jason Ocampo
Mar. 15th, 2013 11:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the Jets have nightmarish cap issues (Sanchez alone is tying up a ton money/cap space, which is a major reason the Jets simply can't boot him). Idzik, the new GM, came over from Seattle, where he was the cap expert. He inherited a really terrible roster and no cap space. He's getting rid of the bloated salaries, freeing up cap, and plans to rebuild the Jets via the draft. It's not going to be pretty this year, but it has to be done. (You could bring any other GM in the league and they'd pretty much have to do the same thing; the Jets are in a really bad situation thanks to prior regimes).

The good news, George, is that Idzik paid attention to how Pete Carroll rebuilt Seattle. Remember how they were a laughing stock just two years ago for being the first playoff team in history with a losing record (7-9)? Now Seattle is co-favorites with San Fran for the Super Bowl, according to the Vegas bookies.

You have to give Idzik time to remake the roster. But no one could save the Jets this year. Not with those cap issues.
Mar. 16th, 2013 01:20 am (UTC)
Re: Idzik
Idzik came into a situation with major cap issues... but I don't think the Jets had "a really terrible roster." Yes, their offense was wretched last year... but Rex's defense, even with its best player (Revis) sidelined all year, was still among the best in the league. Idzik should be building on that strength, but he's already let one D lineman and two safeties escape, and rumors persist that he is going to trade all Revis for a bag of kitty litter, a bicycle pump, and a signed copy of BROTHER POWER THE GEEK.
Mar. 16th, 2013 12:10 am (UTC)
Hey, it's not just Belichick that makes those decisions. The Welker deal was all about money, and Kraft not wanting to give it to him. They've been dicking him around for years, completely taking advantage of him money-wise, yet totally appreciating what he gets done on the field for him. Losing him is going to hurt them a ton, so I hope that $2Mil contract difference was worth it to them - especially after Brady took a cut so that they'd have more money, ideally to keep Welker. I know you hate the Pats - massively so, clearly - but let's not blame all of this on the coach. I think Mr. Kraft is far more to blame.

And this is all coming from a die-hard, and heartbroken, Patriots fan. Welker is my favorite guy to watch play, and now I'm going to have to watch the Broncos. Ugh.
Mar. 16th, 2013 07:18 am (UTC)
Amendola is on the ascend and Welker is on his way down. It's a smart, but not emotional, move.
Roger Christie
Mar. 17th, 2013 04:17 am (UTC)
Exactly. Anyone thing this was about the 2 million is nuts. They had a value they set on Welker, an aging player who's performance has begun to decline and they weren't going to move off it. And, as it turned out, their valuation of him wasn't too far off how the rest of the league seems to value him. Turns out his 2/12mil deal isn't fully guarenteed after all, only the first year. They waited up until free agency opened, and then they moved on to make sure they got the younger player they wanted.
Mar. 16th, 2013 03:34 am (UTC)
I expect Woody Johnson to put up a large piece of the Jets for sale any day now. Some fool with more dollars than sense will bite. It won't help the Jets, but at least the comedy will continue. I suppose the consolation prize is that they aren't the Raiders.

Rex should have been fired. What's the point of keeping a head coach who was responsible for much of the personnel choices especially now when it's clear that the best player on the team wants out?
Mar. 16th, 2013 04:06 am (UTC)
I'm with Mark M - the Lions are having a great Super Bowl right now.
Mar. 16th, 2013 07:03 am (UTC)
Many of us in Packer Nation are torn between lamenting a lack of external-looking activity in FA (only re-signings and/or re-structurings so far) and laughing at the teams who overpaid for some of our players (while Jennings to the Vikings is a bigger blow than most people think, Erik Walden to the Colts for a 4-year/$16M contract is an absolute joke; he's not worth half that in time or money).
Mar. 16th, 2013 07:16 am (UTC)
It's a fact about Evil Bill.. but wouldn't we all like him running our team? Really?
Mar. 16th, 2013 05:30 pm (UTC)
My family was talking about how he was actually in line to take over our Giants except Bill Parcells screwed him out of it when the time came. They were all saying how great it would've been if it happened, but at the end of the day, Tom Coughlin outcoached him in two Superbowls and that's good enough for me.
Mar. 16th, 2013 12:52 pm (UTC)
Evil Bill
Evil Bill gets rid of an aging, still productive receiver, and brings in Welker 2.0 (Amendola- who is much more accomplished at this point in his career than Welker was). No loyalty, maddening, cheating, backstabbing; yet a brilliant strategist- Are you sure you didn't base some of your characters on Evil Bill?
Mar. 16th, 2013 01:36 pm (UTC)
Yeah... those of us here in Patriot-land are REALLY not happy about the Welker situation. I hope you don't loose Revis. :(
Mar. 17th, 2013 06:54 am (UTC)
As a Patriots fan I'm very sad to see Wes Welker leave the team, I don't know any Pats fans who are happy about it.

Down with the Jets! :D
Linda Storey
Mar. 18th, 2013 03:46 pm (UTC)
Your contributions to literature and entertainment demand that you stop and take time to enjoy them! Enjoy the Premiere.
Mar. 18th, 2013 05:28 pm (UTC)
I take a few days off from the internet and I miss this awesome post.

I'm a Pats fan and the whole Welker thing hurt so bad. I have a feeling that Belichick and Tywin would be able to relate to each other fairly well. I think it comes down to the fact that the Patriots' mantra is "Team first" and if they give in to one player, even a star like Welker, then everyone else will try to get a bigger contract and then the whole organization falls apart; which is why the Pats have remained dominant for the last 12 years and most other franchises have been so up and down.
Erik North
Mar. 18th, 2013 11:48 pm (UTC)
Wes Welker leaving
Pats fan are livid about how they treated Welker. But from a football standpoint, I can kinda see it.

The Giants and Ravens have showed how to beat their spread scheme: Stuff the mid-field with defenders, cover their mediocre outside receivers man to man and dare them to air it out. They had three spectacular between the numbers talents in Welker and Aarob Gronknandez. But since Randy Moss departed, nothing comparable outside the numbers.

They sign Amendola (cross your fingers he stays healthy) and Donald Jones with more to come via FA and draft. It looks like they're trying to diversify the pass offense.
Greg Miller
Mar. 20th, 2013 02:28 pm (UTC)
The jets being good this season would be a miracle. Alas, miracles are as mystic as ghosts and goblins, and there is nothing up my sleeves but my arms. Go Giants.

Edited at 2013-03-20 02:29 pm (UTC)
Mar. 22nd, 2013 01:15 pm (UTC)
Revis Trade
I actually think the Revis trade has to happen now. There is no way you can justify paying a cornerback $15-20 million a year and I don't think Revis is going to resign with the Jets next year anyway.

I heard the Bucs are willing to give the Jets a First and Second round pick in 2014. They got to make this trade.

And, yeah, this is probably Rex's last year. I think the GM wants his own guy coaching the team.

Luckily, I'm primarily a Giants fan, so my angst is at a minimum this offseason.
Mar. 22nd, 2013 10:07 pm (UTC)
I not-so-silently hope that karma comes back on Belichick. I think he's a dirty coach and a sub-par human. It seems that loyalty means nothing to him unless your name is Tom Brady, but even then they allowed him to take a low paying contract to make room for Wes (allegedly) and then sent him away anyway?

Tim Williams
Mar. 25th, 2013 09:53 pm (UTC)
Hi George. I'm a fellow bottom feeder in the AFC East (Buffalo). Last year I began the NFL pre-season like any other: optimistic, forward-looking, and apparently in my own private, padded universe. I imagine we will both be sharpening our knives for the Pats this year; perhaps we will even have decent teams to pull for.

I look forward to your next football post.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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