Free agency is slowly coming to a close, and many of the top-tier free agents have already sought work in numerous NFL cities.
After talking to many Denver Bronco fans, I have had a hard time finding a fan who approves of the free-agent strategies of organization. Many fans are irate at the fact that that the Broncos have placed all their eggs in the Manning basket and missed out on top free agents such as Vincent Jackson, Mario Williams and Carl Nicks.
It's easy to understand where these Bronco fans are coming from, but the cold, hard truth is that free agency simply isn't the answer.
Only two big-name free agents have been signed to the 12 playoff teams from last year. Both of those free agents were brought in at an extremely reasonable price. The Saints signed Ben Grubbs to a five-year, $36 million contract and the Patriots signed Brandon Lloyd to a three-year, $12 million contract. Both of these signings were very reasonable for each team and were used to fill a need.
Other than those two signings, though, no other playoff team made a real push for free agents. Believe it or not, there is a reason for that. Free agency is a tricky situation and an event that should be handled with extreme caution.
Most free agents have reached the ceilings in their career and are unlikely to get any better.
The whole idea of free agency is that teams pay players money for what they have done in the past, not what they are likely to do in the future. Vincent Jackson is a perfect example of this. V-Jax is an extremely talented player, but has had the pleasure of catching passes from Phillip Rivers and only seeing single coverage at times thanks to Antonio Gates.
Jackson will not only have a tough time adjusting to Tampa Bay's system, but now he is catching passes from a young quarterback and is likely to be doubled more than he is used to. I have a hard time believing that he will be worth $11 million for Tampa Bay for each of the next five years.
The Broncos have some holes in their roster that they need to address, but quite frankly there was not a big-name free agent that really made any sense for them this year at all.
Mario Williams is not worth the richest defensive contract in the history of the NFL when you have two similar pass-rushers playing for less. No No. 2 cornerback is worth $10 million a year, which is what Cortland Finnegan or Brandon Carr would have been to the Broncos.
In today's salary-capped NFL, value players trump the best players in the league. If you ask me, I would rather have Chris Kuper and Zane Beadles at their current contracts than shell out $47.5 million to Carl Nicks. It's time for fans to realize that having many value players is more important than having a couple of big-name players.
I couldn't be happier about our free-agency period because Denver refused to overpay a big-name free agent. Five or six years down the road, it will be a great move for them.
Teams are built through the draft and retaining their own players, not by bringing in big-name free agents.
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