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Old 08-04-2006, 03:37 AM   #1
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Post 10 most important NFL off-season moves

=================================================
http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/5...T=HCP&GT1=8485
=================================================

In the NFL, two things happen every year: The league-mandated salary cap grows larger, and the subsequent shopping lists for teams in need of talent seem to become ever more competitive.

2005 marked the Year of the Cornerback, as the stock in players like Ty Law and Ken Lucas split and went straight through the roof. In the wake of the league's extended Collective Bargaining Agreement, the cap went over $100 million for the first time in 2006, and will rise to nearly $110 million in 2007. What this means to the haves and have-nots in the future is yet to be decided ? but many teams filled their personnel bags this season with millions left in their respective checkbooks as they adjusted to the new financial realities.

This off-season did not feature one dominant position in the free agent market ? rather, teams responded to specific needs in a more general sense. In one case, two franchises traded poison pills ... and in another, the most potentially dynamic and damaging player in the game today switched from one NFC East address to another. Through the eyes of Football Outsiders, we look at the ten most important off-season free agent acquisitions of 2006.

1. QB Daunte Culpepper from Minnesota to Miami

What do Jay Fiedler, A.J. Feeley and Gus Frerotte have in common, besides last names that begin with "F"? They've been the Miami Dolphins' primary "solutions" at quarterback since Dan Marino retired after the 1999 season, and primary reasons this former offensive juggernaut of a team has ranked in the top ten in points scored only once in the new millennium. In March of 2006, the 'Fins rolled the dice and sent a second-round pick to Minnesota for the services of Daunte Culpepper after Drew Brees proved too expensive. Culpepper's 2005 was a catastrophe ? he was named in the Vikings' "boat party" allegations, threw twice as many interceptions as touchdowns, lost his offensive coordinator, starting center, and some guy named Randy Moss, and tore three ligaments in his right knee. But his 2004 season and those before had him in increasingly rarefied air, and he's due for a good comeback if he can return healthy and adapt to Miami's offense.

2. RB Edgerrin James from Indianapolis to Arizona

When is it the system, and when is it the player? In 2006, Edgerrin James will find out. One of the most productive running backs in the league over the last few years, his multi-million dollar move from Indianapolis to Arizona takes him from behind one of the NFL's best offensive lines to one of the worst, especially in the area of run-blocking. In 2005, the Cards ranked dead last in rushing yards per game (71.1), touchdowns (2) and yards per attempt (3.2), as well as many of Football Outsiders' proprietary numbers. James is good enough not to fall off the face of the earth, but he'll be needed as much for his blitz pickup and receiving abilities as anything else. One wonders if more of an investment in the overall machine, and less in a marquee back, might have been the better way to go.

3. WR Terrell Owens from Philadelphia to Dallas

Well, THIS ought to be interesting. Owens' crash-and-burn in Philly, and Dallas owner Jerry Jones' desire for dominance, led to the Cowboys taking the ultimate flyer on the ultimate risk/reward player. When his head's on straight, Owens is still nearly unstoppable, but he does need a system around him that works, and he prefers to be the alpha dog (there's an understatement). It's quite possible that he'll find neither of these scenarios in Big D. The Cowboy offensive line is full of questions, and WR Terry Glenn and TE Jason Witten each caught over 60 passes in 2005. For everyone to get the touches they want, Bill Parcells will have to return to his 1996 New England days, when Drew Bledsoe heaved the ball 623 times. The problem? Parcells now has the 2006 Drew Bledsoe, and the potential for explosive drama all around him.

4. LG Steve Hutchinson from Seattle to Minnesota

The last time the Minnesota Vikings ran the ball more times than they passed it was 1992. 2006 could spell the end of so many years of air hysteria. In 2005, Hutchinson was a key element in Seattle's line, the best in the NFL. The Vikings constructed a "poison pill" offer sheet and snatched the best guard in the game away from the Seahawks. With the loss of Daunte Culpepper, and WR Nate Burleson's subsequent exit to the Seahawks in an offer sheet revenge case, Brad Johnson will stand under center as a Viking for the second time in his 15-year career. Johnson is more the "game-manager" type. Minnesota's line was a disaster in 2005, but with Hutchinson's addition, the return of center Matt Birk and the evolution of left tackle Bryant McKinnie, free agent addition Chester Taylor and his backfield cohorts could have a field day if new head coach Brad Childress keeps calling Student Body Left all season.

5. QB Drew Brees from San Diego to New Orleans

In San Diego, Brees showed increasing ability and savvy over the last two seasons, becoming a complete quarterback. But the 2004 draft pick of Philip Rivers, and Brees' torn labrum in a season-ending loss to the Broncos, made the inevitable possible. A franchise player during the 2005 season, Brees was allowed to test the market and signed a six-year deal to be the head man in what New Orleans hopes will be a revival of their football team. Brees' recovery is ahead of schedule, and he will have the services of rookie Reggie Bush, a great back with great hands, along with receivers Donte' Stallworth and Joe Horn. If Brees can stay healthy, he's a great QB to build around.

6. CB Ty Law from the New York Jets to Kansas City

Although the Chiefs were in the middle of the pack with 16 interceptions in 2005, they ranked 30th in overall pass defense. Kansas City's solution to this feast-or-famine dilemma was to wait for half the league to court and cool on Ty Law, whose contract proved too expensive for the Jets in the long term, only to strike with the right deal in the end. The co-leader in picks last season with 10, Law will run in Kansas City's Cover 2 and hope to prove to everyone that any concern over his 2004 foot injury is pure folly. His ability to cut down on big plays allowed would prove a boon to a Chiefs team that may see its windows of opportunity dwindling.

7. LB LaVar Arrington from Washington to the New York Giants

Down the stretch in 2005, the Giants lost all three of their starting linebackers to injury, and faced the Carolina Panthers in the postseason with a skeleton crew. One 23-0 demolition later, team president Ernie Accorsi knew he wanted another talented and physical presence to reinforce the second line of defense. Arrington comes from Washington's highly-disciplined scheme, and there was tension between player and team based on Arrington's "freelancing". Presumably, Giants defensive coordinator Tim Lewis will be directed to find a way for that to work for all involved. New York's front seven should give Arrington ample opportunity to shine.

8. CB Charles Woodson from Oakland, and S Marquand Manuel from Seattle, to Green Bay

In 2005, Green Bay ranked first in the NFL in pass defense, based on yards allowed. But they ranked 22nd in Football Outsiders' Adjusted Pass Defense Ratings, in which individual plays are charted and results are based on adjustments to an average schedule of opponents. Those stats also tell us that Green Bay's secondary ranked 9th against #1 receivers, and near the bottom of the league against all others. This indicates that depth is an issue, which might make Manuel's signing nearly as important as Woodson's. Woodson is the marquee name here, but Manuel was a big presence in the Seahawks' secondary after Ken Hamlin was severely injured in an off-field October altercation. Packers General Manager Ted Thompson helped scout Manuel when as a member of Seattle's front office.

9. K Adam Vinatieri from New England to Indianapolis

To be sure, former Indy kicker Mike Vanderjagt's 46-yard powerslice at the end of the Colts' 21- 18 loss to the Steelers in the AFC Divisional round marked yet another postseason of agony for the horseshoe faithful. Little doubt that Vinatieri, who was won two Super Bowls with clutch last-second field goals, would have made that one as well. What would have happened in overtime, against a Pittsburgh defense that appeared to be calling the plays for Peyton Manning, is another matter. One thing that Vanderjagt did not do was kick off ? the Colts had to have a specialist on hand for such duties. So, while being the most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history (87.5 percent) was impressive in Vanderjagt's case, the Colts decided to sign the most fearsome big-game kicker ever (if the word "fearsome" can ever be used to describe a kicker ...)

10. LB Julian Peterson from San Francisco to Seattle

If there was one noticeable weakness in the Seattle defense in 2005, it was the Seahawks' inability to answer for larger, more productive tight ends like Jeremy Shockey and Jason Witten. Julian Peterson can do many things, but his main task will be to shut down the Murderers' Row of TEs Seattle will face this year ? Shockey again, San Diego's Antonio Gates, Kansas City's Tony Gonzales and San Francisco draftee Vernon Davis (twice). With the strength to put his hand down and rush from the line and the agility to back into a safety position should the team need it, Peterson is one of the more freakish athletes in the league. He will add his skills to those of young Seahawks linebackers Lofa Tatupu and Leroy Hill as Seattle endeavors to use a stronger defense to break the Super Bowl "loser's curse."
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Old 08-04-2006, 03:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: 10 most important NFL off-season moves

OK, I just read this. I'm interested in what your thoughts on how any, if not all, of these moves would effect our this season. Serious and honest posts only, please. And do not make it into trash talking thread, also. Thanks.
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Old 08-04-2006, 01:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: 10 most important NFL off-season moves

Well I would imagine that the Ty Law, Daunte Culpepper, and Drew Brees trades would hold the most direct implications for the Steelers next year as they play for teams that are on your schedule.

However, most of them will have some type of effect - Adam V in Indianapolis could effect their chances of theoritically beating the Steelers in the playoffs or indeed beating the Patriots and helping Pittsburgh get a better playoff seeding.

None of those trades are in your division which would obviously have had the most effect.

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Old 08-04-2006, 01:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: 10 most important NFL off-season moves

Signing Keisel. Those listed will mean only adjustments to the Steelers.
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Old 08-04-2006, 02:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: 10 most important NFL off-season moves

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelersMongol
=================================================


1. QB Daunte Culpepper from Minnesota to Miami

What do Jay Fiedler, A.J. Feeley and Gus Frerotte have in common, besides last names that begin with "F"? They've been the Miami Dolphins' primary "solutions" at quarterback since Dan Marino retired after the 1999 season, and primary reasons this former offensive juggernaut of a team has ranked in the top ten in points scored only once in the new millennium. In March of 2006, the 'Fins rolled the dice and sent a second-round pick to Minnesota for the services of Daunte Culpepper after Drew Brees proved too expensive. Culpepper's 2005 was a catastrophe ? he was named in the Vikings' "boat party" allegations, threw twice as many interceptions as touchdowns, lost his offensive coordinator, starting center, and some guy named Randy Moss, and tore three ligaments in his right knee. But his 2004 season and those before had him in increasingly rarefied air, and he's due for a good comeback if he can return healthy and adapt to Miami's offense.

Bust! I don't see him having a good year at all. We get him early which will be even easier. Harrington may be the starter by the end of the year.
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Old 08-04-2006, 03:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: 10 most important NFL off-season moves

I still think Edge in Arizona is huge.....

Culpepper and Brees are only big if they can come back from injury....

interesting..the two DB's going to Green bay..along with AJ Hawk...should bolster their defense...they might be better if favre can lose his senility....
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Old 08-04-2006, 04:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: 10 most important NFL off-season moves

Quote:
Originally Posted by Livinginthe past
Well I would imagine that the Ty Law, Daunte Culpepper, and Drew Brees trades would hold the most direct implications for the Steelers next year as they play for teams that are on your schedule.

However, most of them will have some type of effect - Adam V in Indianapolis could effect their chances of theoritically beating the Steelers in the playoffs or indeed beating the Patriots and helping Pittsburgh get a better playoff seeding.

None of those trades are in your division which would obviously have had the most effect.

NM
Well said, LITP. Can't add much to your assessment.

Personally, I think Drew Brees is going to make a big impact in New Orleans. He has the offensive weapons to make something happen with this team, though the Saints are in a tough division with Carolina and Tampa Bay.

As for TO becoming a Cryboy, all I can say is that I'd love to be a fly on the wall in that locker room. Don't be surprised if Bledsoe knocks him on his derriere at some point with that temper of his.

Quote:
When his head's on straight, Owens is still nearly unstoppable
Hmmmm. Guess he forgot about the November, 2004 game where TO only had 7 catches for 53 yards and zero TDs against the Steelers' D. Mkay.

I think Edge is going to persevere in the land of the sun, though the author is correct about the difference in the OL's in Arizona and Indy. Edge just has a way of smelling those open holes and he is equally dangerous with that quick pass in the flat. I think he's going to have a very good season with the Cards.

I also believe that Vinatieri will do very well in Indy. I don't think there is a more reliable PK in the league and he can still put that ball between the uprights from 45-50 yards. As soon as the opposing DC's get a good look at how the Steelers shut down Peytoon in the playoffs last season, as well as with the loss of Edge, they might be relying a lot more on Vinatieri's foot this season.
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Old 08-04-2006, 06:05 PM   #8
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Default Re: 10 most important NFL off-season moves

[QUOTE=SteelersMongol]=================================================
http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/5...T=HCP&GT1=8485
=================================================

In the NFL, two things happen every year: The league-mandated salary cap grows larger, and the subsequent shopping lists for teams in need of talent seem to become ever more competitive.

2005 marked the Year of the Cornerback, as the stock in players like Ty Law and Ken Lucas split and went straight through the roof. In the wake of the league's extended Collective Bargaining Agreement, the cap went over $100 million for the first time in 2006, and will rise to nearly $110 million in 2007. What this means to the haves and have-nots in the future is yet to be decided
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