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Day 1 of Free Agency Notes

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New England Patriots v New York Jets Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Crazy money flying faster than the speed of light.

  • Still cannot comprehend how the Compensatory Draft Pick Rule helps foster the league’s desire for equal playing fields and parity—-which rewards good teams, especially Super Bowl winners like the Patriots—-with 3rd round draft picks. Already, in light of the Raiders paying massive money to massive LT Trent Brown and the Lions paying fat cat money to DE Trey Flowers, the Patriots have added 2 top 100 picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, most likely the #97 and #99 picks. And now that teams can use those picks in trades—-it makes the picks even more valuable.
  • In a way the Cardinals are in similar position to the Raiders (ironically with the 2 players involved in their first round trade last year). The Raiders didn’t feel entirely comfortable with 1st round pick Kolton Miller at LT so they anted up for Trent Brown and will move Miller to RT or slide him down to guard. Or they might wind up trading him. Getting the LT position right is a big step toward winning games. Even more so, getting the QB position right, where the excitement is that Kyler Murray opens up the K Raid in more dynamic ways than Josh Rosen.
  • Interesting that both Miller and Rosen are from UCLA.
  • Nick Saban said a very telling thing about Kyler Murray when he said, “you have to put a spy on him, but then he just runs right past the spy which makes that useless.” When teams have to take a man out of pass coverage to spy on a dual-threat QB, it creates such an advantage for the offense. And when one spy is not enough to stop the likes of Kyler Murray that means every man in coverage has to be ready to leave his man to go tackle the QB. Combine that with having to coordinate a controlled pass rush so that each rusher stays in his lane, is such a vast departure from being able to pin their ears back and rush with reckless abandon after a more stationary QB. The gist is, a QB like Kyler Murray puts enormous pressure on defenses and he changes entire game plans and defensive approaches.
  • It is amazing that Tyrann Mathieu got $14M a year with the Chiefs. His 2018 PFF grade was 75.1, which ranked him as the #21 safety. Yet, he cannot play FS—-he is too slow in space. But, as a SS, he is too small to cover big TEs, and too small to take the constant pounding inside the box. He is a hybrid slot CB, rover S, who is at his best when you can let him free lance and blitz. His signing means the Chiefs won’t likely be able to keep their iconic FS Eric Berry—-and quite frankly the Chiefs’ main problem is they cannot stop the run. Now that Honey Badger is licking his mounds of honey again, one has to wonder whether he will short change the Chiefs the way he did the Cardinals. He should have it harder in KC than he did with the Texans, because the talent he was surrounded with in Houston is superior and much more physical than the Chiefs’.
  • Yet another defensive icon, Terrell Suggs, is having to move on after 16 years with the Ravens. This should make Cardinals’ fans appreciate it all the more that we won’t have to endure the pain of watching WR Larry Fitzgerald play in another uniform.
  • As for adding Suggs on a one year deal (I’m guessing it would have to be for at least $7-8M), the Cardinals have completed their 2019 plan at 34 OLB, which is to have the other one year signee, Brooks Reed, play the majority of the run downs and then have Suggs rush the edge on passing downs. The Cardinals also have Vontarrius Dora and Cameron Malveaux as a similar tandem. And—-perhaps the best all-around edge OLB, other than Chandler Jones, is Haason Reddick. Therefore, the Cardinals will not likely be drafting Nick Bosa at #1. They may draft an OLB, but it won’t be until later in the draft.
  • Keim’s signings of one year veterans suggests that he still believes the Cardinals can be a playoff team this year. Kliff Kingsbury said to Adam Schefter that after studying the roster, he too thinks the Cardinals are a lot closer than people think. Keim got burned doing this last year. Hmmm.
  • C.J. Mosely at $17M a year with the Jets—-who are taking advantage of Sam Darnold’s contract——is a signal of how valuable 3 down LBers have become. The Jets are also turning UFA OLB Anthony Barr into an edge rusher.
  • The Lions’ signing of Justin Coleman at $9M a year—-is a signal of how valuable slot CBs have become.
  • Safeties are getting signed and paid this year, bucking last year’s trend.
  • Word is the Giants are interested in Deone Bucannon and that the Raiders are talking to the agent of Markus Golden.
  • I wonder if the Eagles will sign Mike Glennon and try to make him the next Nick Foles. The Eagles may have the most talented roster in the NFL. And they keep adding great players, as they did with signing DT Malik Jackson and acquiring WR DeSean Jackson . Easy as 1,2,3,A,B,C,