After a hectic start that saw a good number of free agents trading in their cleats and heading for another hometown, things have started to slow down. Not that there’s not plenty of action going on behind the scenes in the NFL, but the pace has subsided and there are only a few noteworthy deals now.
Philadelphia Eagles – Perhaps most noteworthy is the trade by the New Orleans Saints of Darren Sproles to the Philadelphia Eagles. Yeah, yeah, it’s not a free agent signing. I get it. But Sproles escaped being cut by New Orleans only by a whisker. So it’s close enough. He WOULD have been a free agent, OK? Anyway, this is a pretty good move for the Saints and the Eagles. New Orleans frees up more cap space to pay Jimmy Graham and newly signed safety Jarius Byrd, and the Eagles get a nifty and shifty pass catching running back/returner. Sproles may have lost a step or two but he’s still a shifty guy. He fits well in an offense that’s based on deception and his contract isn’t overburdening. Both sides got something out of this deal.
Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals have signed former Panthers receiver Ted Ginn to a three-year contract. Ginn hasn’t been great but he is a consistent threat and he does provide some value in the return game. His stats have improved when he’s been given a chance so Arizona could be a good fit for him.
Oakland Raiders – After losing one free agent in a failed physical the Raiders changed direction and went with defense, signing former Giant Justin Tuck to a deal. Tuck may have been reluctant to leave the Big Apple but the money in Oakland was too much to pass up.
Carolina Panthers – The Panthers cut Steve Smith. We saw this coming and so did most NFL teams. While Carolina pursued a trade, Smith is an aging veteran who didn’t draw much attention. He will however, end up somewhere on a team that needs a veteran presence and a strong personality.