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Free Agency

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by GWheels, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. ThxJackVainisi
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    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    Wilde and Homer had a good discussion of Thompson and free agency yesterday (by "good discussion" I mean Wilde talked and Homer mostly shut up). Wilde mentioned that he confirmed a story about the Packers previously offering Grant and draft picks to the Rams for S. Jackson (didn't mention when except Grant was the starter at the time) so their current interest is probably sincere. The bigger story IMO was Wilde's point that Thompson "plays" in free agency but is very disciplined in doing so. He sets a price for the acquisition of veteran players and once that price is set, he doesn't deviate from it. That's why they don't take part in bidding wars: Once the bidding exceeds the Packers' price, they drop out. An example is the Packers determining that Tony Gonzalez was worth a 3rd rounder a couple of seasons ago. The story is the Chiefs agreed and the Packers thought they had a deal until the last minute the price went up to a 2nd rounder.

    You can believe Gonzalez was worth that second rounder and many complain about Thompson not being more active in trades and free agency. And those hoping the Packers sign Jackson may be upset if Atlanta outbids the Packers which seems likely to me (but that's just a guess). As I've posted, I am hoping Thompson takes advantage of all the vets still available and gets some veteran help, particularly on defense. But no matter the outcome of this off season, I think the discipline Thompson displays makes sense both regarding UFAs and in the draft. It would be a significant mistake If he allowed emotion to enter into his decision-making. If that were the case he'd be willing to overpay to make that "splash" one poster in particular keeps insisting for. But because of the glut of UFAs on the market IMO it's more likely than usual at least a couple will be in the Packers' price range, but don't expect a splash.
  2. cupacker
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    cupacker Cheesehead

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    I'd rather not give up 1st round pick for a WR, especially one with injury issues. And I'd rather not pay a lot of money for one guy in the 2nd half of his career, when I could draft a guy that's just as good.
  3. SpartaChris
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    SpartaChris Cheesehead

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    No, he didn't. Both Woodson AND Brees were had at a relatively cheap price because they were what was left after the initial signing frenzy was over. They were value signings that wound up paying huge dividends for their respective organizations.
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  4. HardRightEdge
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    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    That's revisionist history.

    What Breer probably meant was he could not think of a team in the last 10 years that signed a big name FA and then won the Super Bowl THAT YEAR.

    To that I say, Rome was not built in a day.
  5. HyponGrey
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    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    No, it's not. We were the only team actively pursuing Woodson, and we didn't sign him til late. Brees was undersized and coming off shoulder surgery. It was a gamble signing with few suitors.
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  6. HardRightEdge
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    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    How many people bid for Peyton Manning last season? 5 years from now you'll be telling me he wasn't a big free agent signing because he was old and had the injury issues.

    What qualifies as a big FA signing is the $$$$$$$. Woodson got top $ from the Packers; don't you remember the shock and awe when that deal was announced?

    Brees was a Pro Bowl QB 2 years prior and NO gave him 2 years / $22 mil / $10 mil guaranteed. That was not chicken feed at the time, while recognizing certain risks. It was a big deal at the time.

    At this point, perhaps it would be best to identify who in this FA class DOES qualify under the Breer criteria. If you toss out Woodson and Brees, then you should toss out Goldson and Wallace...leaving zip. And if there are no "big ones" then it's certain none will win a SB.
  7. Southpaw
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    Southpaw Endorphin Junkie

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    The key word in that tweet is "big name" free agents. Nobody is asking for the most expensive in demand FA, but we have a lot of issues that need addressing and so far, there doesn't seem much interest is doing anything to change that.
  8. HardRightEdge
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    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    If big money is not involved, the whole discussion is irrelevant. Who gives a sh*t where or if Randy Moss or Tim Tebow happen to land.

    This highlights a big problem with Twitter...you can say stuff that sounds like it makes sense, but since you can't explain yourself nobody really knows. As the reader, you can make it sound like whatever you want it to sound like...as opposed to what makes sense.
  9. longtimefan
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    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    He said at the TOP of free agency..I take that to mean the 1st day or two of free agency...

  10. HyponGrey
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    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    Yet. We like to wait a week or so before we sign anybody. Besides, we generally use FA to supplement the draft. Remember how active we were last year? How many of those guys are still here? Draft is our primary and we have a lot of faith in our staff (perhaps too much) to develop our picks. The only signing I expect is maybe a FA DL on a cheap, short-term contract. I don't see a disinterest in FA as a detriment though.

    You've been talking to those silly Eagles fans too much ;)
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  11. HyponGrey
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    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    Tebow has won more playoff games than Peyton. Manning was a big name FA because, as you pointed out, everybody and their mother was trying to sign him.

    I didn't pay much attention to the offseason back in highschool. Never had enough time, and I was a pretty shallow fan back then.

    Was Benson a big FA? Would Canty have been? Is Walden? The money is only half of the equation. The other, more important half is the FA himself and the brand attached to his name/his (expected) production.

    This makes no sense. Please elaborate upon your position.
  12. HardRightEdge
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    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Now it's just getting silly.
  13. ThxJackVainisi
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    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    IMO this illustrates the confusion of criticism of Thompson's use of free agency. The most ridiculous - again just my opinion - is actually true: He doesn't jump in during the first two or three days of UFA and outbid other teams for a player and pay them huge money. Every year, probably including the year Woodson was signed we've heard and read this criticism. '_____ team signed _____ player, WHAT ARE WE DOING!!??' And we've certainly read the same thing over the past few days. I got a kick out of Greg Jennings' one word tweet yesterday (as reported, I didn't read it), "patience". Some posters here should heed that advice. Thompson has never jumped into the fray during the first few days and signed a player to a big contract - why Packers fans spend energy whining about something that hasn't happened and is unlikely to happen as long as Ted is GM is beyond me.

    If the criticism is Thompson never signs a big name UFA for big money, that's just wrong but just barely so. Woodson was both a big name and received big money but the market for his services came down to two teams, the Packers and the Bucs and he wasn't signed during the first few weeks of UFA. IOW, if one of the big spending GMs had wanted Woodson and were willing to grossly overpay him, the Packers wouldn't have acquired him.

    Here's a recap of Thompson's free agent signings, ignoring the retention of Packers even if they became UFAs and ignoring UDFAs even if they became very good - like Shields - because those kinds of signings are not exciting enough for many Packers fans:
    2005 G Adrian Klemm and G Matt O'Dwyer. O'Dwyer was signed for the minimum and Klemm was bad. These signings were due to the release of Wahle who was due a huge bonus and the loss of Rivera, who Jerry Jones overpaid by a substantial amount. Thompson couldn't restructure Wahle and fix the cap quickly and rebuild the team and he would have been crazy to match the deal Rivera got. So he signed two vets but neither worked out.

    2006 CB Charles Woodson, DT Ryan Pickett, S Marquand Manuel, WR Marc Boerigter, and LB Ben Taylor. IMO Woodson qualifies as the only huge money signing in Thompson's tenure and probably ranks only after Reggie's signing as a huge success. Pickett was another success, just not a huge money signing. Manuel started for a season.

    2007 CB Frank Walker. He played one season.

    2008 LB Brandon Chillar. He played for three seasons and was a decent signing IMO, but not a big money one.

    2009 OG Duke Preston and S Anthony Smith. Neither survived TC. The Packers reacquired Smith in 2010 but he got injured.

    2010 S Charlie Peprah and LB Erik Walden. Slim pick'ns in UFA but the Packers won it all anyway.

    2011 None.

    2012 RB Cedric Benson, OC Jeff Saturday, DL Anthony Hargrove, DL Phillip Merling, and DT Daniel Muir. Saturday and Benson were starters until the former wore out and the latter got injured. None of the DL stuck although I still wonder if Muir wasn't better than some of the keepers. But this was the first UFA period Thompson signed two vets who immediately started since 2006.
    (BTW, a couple of the above may not have technically been UFAs but they weren't current Packers at their signings and they weren't UDFAs.)

    In spite of not being a big player in UFA since 2006, Thompson heads a front office that many, if not most NFL observers would rank in the top 5. That's why I think the criticism that he won't outrageously overpay a UFA in the first 48 hours of UFA unfounded.
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  14. HardRightEdge
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    There are rumors TT has been actively pursuing a high priced FA wide receiver during the first 48 hours.
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  15. The_Virus
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    The_Virus Cheesehead

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    Source?
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  16. HyponGrey
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    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    I love TJ Lang's recent Tweet: "You're probably going to be waiting for a while"
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  17. Packer Fan in SD
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    FA's in the first few days a usually overpriced and do not give great production for the value. I laugh every year as I read about how we should have paid for this guy or that guy, yet after watching for many years the teams that overpay not win much. The teams that are in the playoffs year after year are.... The teams that go after lower priced free agents and use the draft. Sign undrafted FA's. Pay their own players, not someone else's overpriced players. Throw in the learning curve from one system to another and the cap hits. It is easy to name teams that go crazy in free agency, very hard to name the ones that have been successful at it. Thank god so many of us on here are armchair GM's and not the actual GM of a football team. A lot of Jerry Jones on here.
  18. HardRightEdge
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    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    I was making a point.

    In case you missed it (my point or the report), from rotoworld:

    "Sources tell the Green Bay Press-Gazette that the Packers are "strongly in the running" for free agent WR Greg Jennings. Jennings has seen his market collapse. According to a Tuesday report, the Pack previously offered him a deal averaging $10M per season. Now he's expected to come in somewhere in the $7M per year range. The Vikings are also in the mix, but if the all money is equal, we'd expect him to return to Green Bay. Staying home with Aaron Rodgers would be a no-brainer."

    Source: Green Bay Press-Gazette
    Mar 13 - 10:27 PM
  19. HyponGrey
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    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    He has no intention on returning. He'll sign with the Vikes for 10.5-11.5. MID
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  20. HardRightEdge
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    OK. I'll spell it out. TT's reluctance to sign FAs has nothing to with Rodgers or Matthews or 30 year old players. He's willing to spend big money on a 30 year old 4th. wide receiver.

    That's his priority...not TB, not DE, not S, not LB, not OT.
  21. FrankRizzo
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    FrankRizzo Cheesehead

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    I'm with HyponGrey on this one, and so far I am 2-2 in predictions this off-season.
    I chose Kansas City a month+ ago as the team who would get Alex Smith and I chose Atlanta 2 weeks ago as the team that would get Steven Jackson. Sadly, I was gullibled into buying into the rumors this week that Jackson wanted to join Rodgers on the Packers.
    Whether or not that was true we'll never know.... but I suspect Teddy just prefered to pay Hawk 2x the money Jackson would have commanded.
  22. HardRightEdge
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    Huh? This was about Breer saying that landing a top free agent hasn't helped anybody win a SB in the last 10 years. I think you were "in the room", right?

    If by "top" you don't mean big $$$, the discussion is irrelevant. If you pay a "name brand" player a cheap contract because of age, infirmity or degraded skills, his failure is irrelevant to the FA argument. SF paying Moss a couple bucks last season for a couple bucks worth of performance says nothing one way or the other about the merits of FA s;pending. There was no risk...and not much reward as in common is such cases.

    I guess I just repeated myself. Like 3 times. I don't know how it could be clearer.

    By the way, you'll never know who was interested in a player, how many are interested, and how serious the interest might be. As far as Manning goes, reports were that DEN and SF were the only serious suitors in the end. But boy, DEN took a big risk with that pile of $$$, the risk is ongoing, and we'll see how it ends. But if all it did was get them out from under Tebow mania, that has it's own rewards.
  23. longtimefan
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    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I believe he meant Jennings lol
  24. longtimefan
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    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Why? I think top= the highest priced

    And when are the highest priced FA signed?
  25. FrankRizzo
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    Walt has some great stuff day after day.
    Here are a FEW of his Free Agent Signing Grades. He's hilarious at times..... link provided below.
    He was not a fan of the work Matt Millen did as GM.

    [​IMG]
    Seahawks sign DE Michael Bennett (1 year, $5 million): A+ Grade
    Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril were the third- and fourth-ranked free agent defensive ends. The Seahawks got them both - for a combined $20 million over three seasons. General manager John Schneider is a genius.

    I often criticize players for leaving winning teams and chasing money to go to crappy organizations. Michael Bennett did the exact opposite. Stuck in Tampa Bay for years, Bennett will appreciate Seattle's winning environment. He'll be a big pass-rushing upgrade over Red Bryant at the left end position. With Bennett, Avril and Bruce Irvin swarming opposing backfields, opposing quarterbacks will be fearful of playing Seattle in 2013.

    [​IMG] Falcons sign RB Steven Jackson (3 years, $12M; $4M guaranteed): A Grade
    Think about this for a second: Steven Jackson is getting $4 million guaranteed to start for the Falcons. Shonn Greene received $4.5 million to be a backup for the Titans. How is that possible? There's a reason the same group of teams reach the playoffs every year, and it's the same reason the same organizations draft in the top 10 every April.

    This is a great acquisition for the Falcons. Their most glaring offensive need was the running back position, and Jackson is a massive upgrade over the combination of Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers. The concerns about Jackson are his age (30 in July) and workload (2,395 career carries), but even if he regresses, he'll still be much better than Turner was last season. Plus, it's not like the Falcons are devoting a ton of money to him. If Jackson sucks, they can just dump him without much of a repercussion.

    [​IMG] Seahawks sign DE Cliff Avril (2 years, $15 million): A Grade
    Cliff Avril turned down a 3-year, $30 million deal from the Lions last spring, so he apparently was willing to take less money to go to a winner. That's obviously a good sign. Avril is a fierce pass-rusher; he has 29 sacks and nine forced fumbles in the past three seasons, so this is obviously a great deal for Seattle.

    Avril has a big weakness, which is why he was the fourth-ranked player in my NFL Free Agent Defensive End Rankings. He's a liability in run support. However, that's offset by how great of a fit he is in the Seahawks' defense. Avril is perfect for the Leo role, as Seattle needed help there in the wake of Chris Clemons' torn ACL.

    [​IMG] Titans sign RB Shonn Greene (3 years, $10M; $4.5M guaranteed): D Grade
    The Titans needed a backup for Chris Johnson, which would explain why they signed Shonn Greene. Unfortunately, they overpaid. Just think about it this way: Reggie Bush is starting at $4 million per season, while Greene is getting $3.3 million per year to be a reserve. How in the world does that make any sense?

    Greene probably deserves about half as much as Bush. He's a typical Big Ten plodder. He just runs forward and can't elude any defenders. He's also surprisingly poor in short yardage considering his size. I don't know why the Titans wouldn't just grab a reserve for Johnson in the 2013 NFL Draft.

    [​IMG] Lions sign RB Reggie Bush (4 years, $16 million): A- Grade
    When I read that the Lions signed Reggie Bush to a 4-year deal, I assumed that they gave him tons of money. I stand corrected. This contract is very reasonable; Bush was the second-ranked free agent running back behind Steven Jackson, so getting him for just $4 million per season is a good deal.

    Bush fills a big need for Detroit. The team had to find a pass-catching running back who could threaten defenses by going the distance on any play. The Lions originally had that with Jahvid Best, but his career has been derailed by concussions.

    [​IMG] Dolphins sign WR Mike Wallace (5 years, $65M; $30M guaranteed): C- Grade
    Mike Wallace will provide the Dolphins with a speed element to their offense, which seems nice for now. What he'll also provide is inconsistency, plenty of drops and negative locker room attitude. Wallace is one of the most overrated players in the NFL, so it's no surprise that Stephen Ross (a.k.a. Daniel Snyder 2.0) overspent for him. Someone was going to do it, and Ross was the predictable sucker.

    [​IMG] Browns sign DE/OLB Paul Kruger (5 years, $41 million): C+ Grade
    Paul Kruger was Baltimore's most dynamic pass-rusher during the team's Super Bowl run, so it's no surprise that he received this type of a contract.

    With the Browns moving to a 3-4, they needed help at rush linebacker, and Kruger figures to be a big upgrade over what they had across from Jabaal Sheard. Stealing a talented player from a divisional rival is also nice. Having said that, I have some reservations about paying $41 million to a guy with only seven career starts. What if Kruger was just a flash in the pan last year?

    [​IMG] Colts sign OT Gosder Cherilus (5 years, $34M; $10M guaranteed): MILLEN Grade
    Gosder Cherilus was solid last year, but he hasn't always played well. He's struggled for the most part ever since being chosen in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft by Matt Millen. Cherilus has just been a borderline starter overall, so it's only fitting that this gets a Millen grade.

    What the hell are the Colts thinking? Don't they actually want to make sure Andrew Luck is protected? There were so many quality right tackles available like Andre Smith and Sebastian Vollmer, so why bring in Cherilus for a ton of money? It's almost like they took advice from Millen himself.

    [​IMG] Bears sign OT Jermon Bushrod (5 years, $36M; $17.7M guaranteed): Z- Grade
    I can't take this signing seriously, so I'm not grading it seriously either. The fact that the Bears think they're actually upgrading J'Marcus Webb at left tackle by obtaining Jermon Bushrod is an absolute joke. In fact, I really don't think the front office has watched a second of Bushrod's tape.

    Bushrod allowed tons of pressures every week. The reason his sack total was so low was because Drew Brees released the ball so quickly. Bushrod's sack numbers will increase exponentially as he's trying to block for Jay Cutler. That means Cutler will likely miss multiple games due to injury yet again. The Bears would be better off with Webb manning the blind-side position again. I find it so ridiculous that an NFL front office would pay so much money to a pedestrian player.


    [​IMG] Vikings re-sign WR Jerome Simpson (1 year, $2.1 million): MILLEN WHITE-SMOKED PAPAL KIELBASA Grade
    What the hell are the Vikings doing? Why do they think that Jerome Simpson deserves anything more than the veteran minimum? Simpson is one of the most inefficient receivers in the NFL, as he drops lots of passes and runs poor routes. He also has a back issue that caused him to miss four games in 2012. He stinks, and this contract is a joke.


    [​IMG] Colts sign OLB Erik Walden (4 years, $17.5M; $8.6M guaranteed): MILLEN ON DEER ANTLER KIELBASA SPRAY Grade
    This was the worst signing of the first day of free agency, which is saying a lot because a number of dumb moves were made.

    What the hell are the Colts thinking? Erik Walden is borderline rosterable. He was so bad in Green Bay that I had numerous Packer fans e-mail me about how thrilled they were to finally be getting rid of him. Walden does absolutely nothing positive on the football field. He shouldn't have been signed for $1.75 million, let alone $17.5 million.

    I have no doubt that Matt Millen kidnapped Colts' general manager Ryan Grigson, locked him in a closet, drenched both of them with deer antler kielbasa spray and then made this signing on his own. Not that there's anything wrong with any of that.

    [​IMG] Giants sign DT Cullen Jenkins (3 years, $8M; $3M guaranteed): A Grade
    Jerry Reese is one of the league's best general managers, and this is yet another great deal he put together. Cullen Jenkins is a fine starter, so getting him for just $3 million guaranteed is a steal. Defensive tackle was a need, so New York can now look elsewhere come draft time.


    [​IMG] Chiefs re-sign WR Dwayne Bowe (5 years, $56M; $24M guaranteed): C+ Grade
    Dwayne Bowe was one of a group of overrated 2013 NFL Free Agent Wide Receivers. Bowe has been notorious for having work-ethic issues and getting into spats with head coaches. Bowe was in shape this past season, but seldom concentrated. He was responsible for a handful of Matt Cassel's interceptions and always seemed to fumble at the worst time possible. Bowe is very talented, but completely inefficient.

    That's why the Chiefs are getting yet another low grade. Keeping Bowe around for a 1-year deal under the franchise tag is one thing, but this long contract is just inviting lethargy to sink in. It won't be surprising at all if Bowe is massively underproducing because he's out of shape in Year 2 of this contract.

    http://walterfootball.com/freeagents2013recap.php
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