A quick analysis on some of this offseason’s biggest free agent signings:
1. Mike Wallace, Miami Dolphins- (5 yr/65m) The Dolphins wasted little time in signing this speedy receiver. Wallace had 8 touchdowns last year, whereas all Miami receivers caught a total of three, yes THREE touchdowns, all of last season!!! With Miami resigning Brian Hartline, and having Davone Bess in the slot, Wallace is the perfect receiver to stretch the field and help Ryan Tannenhill improve as a quarterback. Wallace is the deep threat this team has been missing, but needs to improve on his catching and route running to be worth this huge contract.
2. Dannell Ellerbe, Miami Dolphins-(5yr/35m) Miami may have overspent a little bit, but Ellerbe is a great linebacker who will slide into the teams defensive scheme perfectly. The Dolphins were able to steal Ellerbe from the Ravens, who were grooming the 27 year old to be the successor to Ray Lewis. Ellerbe had a breakout year in 2012, with 89 total tackles and 4.5 sacks. Dannell will look to be the leader of the Miami defense, and says he plays like “his hair is on fire.”
3. Wes Welker, Denver Broncos- (2yr/12m) One of the most shocking moves of free agency so far involves Welker leaving the Patriots to sign with a big AFC rival, the Denver Broncos. Tom Brady was reportedly livid that Welker left, and leaving on the cheaper side too. Welker is a reception machine, catching 114 passes last year, and averaging 11.5 yards per catch. Peyton Manning will have a field day throwing to Welker out of the slot and will make the Bronco’s offense that much more deadly!
4. Danny Amendola, New England Patriots-(5yr/31m) The Pats wasted no time in replacing Welker, signing Amendola to be the teams new slot receiver. If I were a Patriots fan, I would be ecstatic. Amendola is 27, and is a big, strong receiver who can run good underneath routes. Amendola was a breakout star last year, catching 63 balls for 666 yards and 3 touchdowns, and his stats could have been much better had he not dealt with numerous injuries throughout the 2012 season. Tom Brady made Wes Welker into what he is today, and Brady will look to do the same with Amendola.
5. Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions- (4yr/16m) This is a good signing for Bush, as the Lions clearly needed a running game to help mix up the offense. Pretty much, teams that played the Lions went into the matchup knowing that Matthew Stafford will be throwing a lot, and most of the time it will be to Calvin Johnson. Now, Bush can stretch the field and defenses now have to account for his deadly speed and moves. It remains to be seen if Bush can be an every down, run between the tackle back, but throw a couple of screens his way and the Lions offense should be a lot less predictable.
6. Shonn Greene, Tennessee Titans- (3 yrs/10m) This is a fantastic move for the Titans. Greene was at his best when he split time with Thomas Jones while with the Jets. That is the role Greene will fill with the Titans, and should help Chris Johnson a lot. Defenses will have to worry not only about Johnson’s nasty speed, but Greene’s bruising running style as well. Greene is the perfect change of pace back, and the Titans should be focused on running the ball in 2013…a lot!
7. Paul Kruger, Cleveland Browns- (5 yr/40m) Kruger, like Ellerbe, is coming off of a breakout season with Baltimore. Many view the former Raven players as a bit overrated, as it took nearly 4 years for Kruger (who was a backup for most his career) to finally hit 9 sacks. Many attribute it to the Ravens scheme and teams having to take into account all of Baltimore’s other great defensive players, something the Browns don’t have. Kruger will look to be a leader on defense, and he is great at rushing the quarterback. However, Cleveland hasn’t been so nice to free agents and this remains to be seen how this goes for both parties.
8. Dashon Goldson, Tampa Bay Bucs- (5yr/41.25m) Goldson, a hard hitting safety, finally got his big contract from Tampa. The addition of Goldson should help improve a unit that ranked dead last in defending the pass last year. Goldson had 69 tackles, three interceptions and a forced fumble for the Niners in 2012, but Jim Harbaugh’s defensive system is amazing, and it remains to be seen how Goldson does outside of that system with the Buccaneers.