The free agent signing period opened up today with a bang, actually about 100,000,000 of them.
$100,000,000 for 7 years for Albert Haynesworth. I ask only one question to the Washington Redskins. Why give that kind of money to a defensive tackle who, while being a hell of a run stopper and who can get after the QB a little bit too get that kind of cash when he has never played more than 14 games in a season and has had maturity issues (head stomping)?
Why has Daniel Snyder making the same mistakes he has made from years past? Signing big names to even bigger contracts works out exactly how often? I say it is somewhere around 25%-50% if you are lucky and the numbers drop down a lot lower than that when you look at the Redskins track record.
Let’s face it free agency is a great story and yes you can find some good players who can really help a team but how often do you really find that missing piece of the championship puzzle?
There are three types of free agents out there the way I see it: The Stars; The has-beens; and the back-ups. Who are the best and the worst of the bunch you ask? Let’s go to the tape….
Drew Brees:What can you say about the guy? He has a great arm, great decision making and is the best player on a team that is not known for greatness. The thing about Drew Brees is that I respect him, he is a good high character guy and I think he is the best free agent pick-up in the last 10 years. Hands down.
Reggie White: If there is any precedent for Haynesworth’s success it will have to be with White. Back in ’93 leaving the Philadelphia Eagles to go to the Packersand was the defensive stalwart he was signed to be and was a hug piece of 2 superbowl teams.
Kurt Warner: He is a nice guy who has one heck of a feel good story and oh by they happens to be one of the best QBs in the league. Sorry, it’s true folks. I may not agree with his personal stances with stem cell research and his “aww shucks” thing can get a big tiresome but the guy has been THE free agent signing by the Arizona Cardinals. The Giants got burned really badly by him but in the desert Warner took a hopeless franchise to the promised land and was one amazing catch away from winning it all.
Priest Holmes: Am I the only one who feels like he went to the Chiefs an eternity ago? 2001 was a while ago and when he was big he was HUGE! Great numbers and was the workhorse of the Chiefs offense and was run into the ground. I will say that Holmes was the Michael Turner before there was Michael Turner.
Michael Turner: The best free agent signing in 2008 was a complete success. Turner was the best back-up running back in the league to the best starting running back in the game LT and he became a feature back in this league and is now being discussed as a possible number 1 pick in fantasy drafts this year and nothing says you are big than that coveted spot.
Terrence Mathis: Mathis left the New York Jets as a good but not great player who never really made a big impact but came to Atlanta and went crazy and was one of the un-hearalded stars of the ’98 sperbowl squad.
Ed McCaffrey:I will go to my grave saying that McCaffrey is one of the best posession receivers I have ever seen play the game. He made the catch and with the help of Rod Smith powered the Broncos to two consecutive championships.
These guys were and are all great players but none was anything exceptional until they went to their new teams and one could argue that not one of these guys was THE reason they won a championship.
Neil O’Donnell: He took the Steelers to a Superbowl and went to the Jets and sucked.
Jeff Garcia: This guy was a clunker in Cleveland. He played 11 games as a Brown and made a ton of money doing it. He took his show on the road to Philly and then to Tampa Bay where he proved that he was a good player just not in Cleveland.
Warren Sapp: Not a complete waste of money, but the Raiders thought they were getting the best DT in the league and what they got was a good one who was aging and who had trouble staying motivated on a team that wasn’t close to being as good as the one he left in Tampa Bay.
If you look at the Redskins you have Jesse Armstead, Dana Stubblefield, Deion Sanders and Jeff George. All but George were defensive players and all found a way to suck worse than the last guy.
The historical relevance of the Redskins past free agent blunders could be huge as we look back on the $100,000,000 dollar payout or this could go down as money well spent for the best DT since Warren Sapp.