Posted by: Staff | 03.11.2009

On It With Offit: Free Agent Fanatics


In the NFL, the free agent signing period began Friday, February 27 at 12:01 midnight. This means that any player who had a contract that wasn’t extending into the 2009 season is “released” from their current team.When players are “released” after their contracts expire, they become what is called a free agent which means they are free to talk to any team about possible job offers.

Two years go in the free agency period, the Patriots’ made their presence felt with one of the most epic free agent signing periods on the history of the NFL. Their large shopping spree included LB Adalius Thomas, RB Sammie Morris, RB LaMont Jordan, WR Wes Welker, and WR Randy Moss. This year the Patriots have helped solidify many key positions, but have done no where near as much as the free agency signing period of 2007. Here are the players they have signed so far.



Name: Fred Taylor
Position: Running Back
Former Team: Jacksonville Jaguars
Career Stats: 11,271 yards and 70 TDs all in 11 years with the Jaguars
Contract Details: 2 years, 5 million dollars
How he got here: Fred Taylor was the main runner until the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted running back Maurice Jones-Drew 2006 in the first round. Since then, MJD has slowly taken over the starting job kicking poor ol’ Freddy out of Jacksonville and into New England
How he can help: Instead of having one man in the backfield, Bill Belichick likes to have multiple different running back to choose from. Last year the Patriots’ were sixth in the NFL in rushing yards. When it comes to Patriot running backs, the more the merrier!

chris-bakerName: Chris Baker
Position: Tight End
Former Team: New York Jets
Career Stats: 145 catches for 1505 yards and 12 TDs all in seven seasons with the Jets
Contract Details: 5 years 14.4 million dollars
How he got here: Baker was an effective TE since his arrival into the NFL in 2002. Although he was never an all-star, he got the job done for his team. Like Fred Taylor, Bakers team drafted a TE, Dustin Keller in 2008, who eventually took his spot. The Jets chose not to re-sign Baker and let him become a free-agent, where he was eventually picked up by the Patriots.
How he can help: I don’t see Baker being an essential play-maker for the Patriots’. I think he can definitely get some playing time and give Patriots starting tight end Benjamin Watson a rest when needed.

shawn-springsName: Shawn Springs
Position: Cornerback
Former Team: Washington Redskins
Career Stats: 372 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 66 passes defended, 32 interceptions and two defensive touchdowns in 7 years with the Seattle Seahawks’ followed by 5 years with the Washington Redskins.
Contract Details: unknown
How he got here: Unlike the previous two free agent acquisitions, Springs was very important to the Redskins while he was there. However, Washington signed free Agents defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth to a seven year 100 million dollar contract(the largest annual contract in the history of the NFL) and re-signed starting CB DeAngelo Hall six year deal worth 54 million. After spending enough money to send 4,400 students to Beaver country day school, the Redskins needed to cut some of their non-essential players which included Springs. Springs was signed by New England three days after his release.
How he can help: Ever since Ty Law left New England in 2005, the Patriots’ have always been thin at the cornerback position. They have always struggle to find personal that can handle elite receivers one-on-one. At 34, I believe Springs still has enough left in the tank to give this team a real boost in the secondary.

greg-lewisName: Greg Lewis
Position: Wide Receiver
Former Team: Philadelphia Eagles
Career Stats: 127 receptions for 1,699 yards and seven TD’s in six years with the Eagles
Contract Details: unknown
How he got here: Lewis was a very sub-par receiver with the Eagles. He displayed below average skills which resulted in mediocre numbers. For this reason, the Eagles did not re-sign him when he became a free agent. Obviously, Bill Belichick sees something in Lewis that can help his team win.
How he can help: With Wes Welker and Randy Moss already in the mix, Lewis will join an already strong WR corps. However, the Patriots are known for taking unheard of players and making them into stars. I personally believe that Lewis was never given the ability to shine simply because they never thre whim the ball in Philly. It will be interesting to see how Lewis will do if Tom Brady can throw some balls in his directions.



  1. AWeSOME

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