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Sports Grading the early deals of NFL free agency

14:13  14 march  2018
14:13  14 march  2018 Source:   thescore.com

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NFL Free Agency 2018: Grading the Biggest Moves. Quickly. Which moves will be the immediately It’s funny watching an organization change course in the NFL . One of the first things a new regime does is A good point brought up by Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk early Tuesday morning

Barnwell's NFL free - agency and trade grades : Patriots deal Brandin Cooks to Rams. When the Patriots traded for Brandin Cooks last offseason, the one confusing thing about the deal was how they would handle Cooks' impending free agency after the 2018 season.

The NFL's "legal tampering" period opened with a flurry on Monday, resulting in many top free agents reportedly deciding their future home ahead of the new league year Wednesday. With many moves virtually in the books, theScore's Jack Browne, Mitch Sanderson, and Mike Alessandrini grade the biggest signings upon first look.

Kirk Cousins, Vikings

Contract:3 years, $86 million fully guaranteed

Cousins certainly deserves a round of applause from the rest of the NFLPA (or at least, the quarterbacks) for securing a fully-guaranteed contract. But from the Vikings' point of view, this is a pretty major risk. Cousins put up good numbers with the Redskins in an offense that loved to throw it deep, but the Vikings are a defense-first team who now risk being unable to keep their elite defenders. Cousins will earn $10 million more than Case Keenum per season going forward, and the chances he's worth $10 million more are slim. - Sanderson

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Free agency roundup: Rams release Kayvon Webster. The Los Angeles Rams cut cornerback Kayvon Webster on Friday, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. Webster started 11 games last season before rupturing his Achilles tendon.

Free agency is in full swing, so let’s take a quick read on who’s passing and failing the offseason They agreed to a deal with Albert Wilson earlier on Tuesday. Maybe he’ll move outside We’re not going to grade off every little free move that happens this month, but these are the kind of deals that

Grade:B-

Drew Brees, Saints

Contract:2 years, $50 million with $27 million guaranteed

Brees put Saints fans through a bit of a scare, but it all worked out in the end. The future Hall of Famer reportedly took a hometown discount to remain in New Orleans, declining a two-year deal worth $60 million guaranteed from an unnamed team. With a $25-million annual average, Brees' salary ranks fifth in the league and allows the Saints some space to upgrade in hopes of giving their star quarterback another ring. - Sanderson

Grade:A

Case Keenum, Broncos

Contract:2 years, $36 million (guaranteed money yet to be reported)

Paying Case Keenum $18 million per season would have seemed ludicrous just 12 short months ago (in fact, the Vikings had him on a $2-million deal for 2017). But he proved himself a capable starter while in Minnesota - something the Broncos have lacked for some time - and his contract puts him just 20th in yearly salary among quarterbacks. Keenum will have strong receiving targets in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, as well as a top-tier defense, just as he did in Minnesota. The only potential problem for Denver is if Keenum returns to his journeyman status before whatever rookie quarterback they likely draft is ready to take over. - Browne

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The Early Winners of NFL Free Agency . NFL Free Agency 2018: Grading the Biggest Moves. Pace was aggressive in signing Robinson to a three-year deal worth million in hopes that he returns to pre-ACL tear form when he had nearly 2,300 receiving yards in 2015 and ’16 combined.

NFL free agency in 2018 officially opened for business at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, but it some ways, it felt finished by then. With a crazy 48-hour legal tampering period leading up to the "frenzy," many of the league 's best free agents already had agreed to deals with new teams. Free agency is only one part

Grade: B-

Sam Bradford, Cardinals

Contract:1 year, $20 million with $15 million guaranteed

Teams continue to pay Sam Bradford. The 2010 first-overall pick is a fine quarterback when healthy; he's just never healthy. The signal-caller played in just two games in 2017, battling a chronic knee injury. Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer recently called Bradford's knee "degenerative," so Arizona offering $15 million guaranteed is puzzling at best. He looked excellent at times during his tenure in Minnesota, but this feels like a panicked signing. The length and salary keep this just above "F" territory. - Alessandrini

Grade:D

Jimmy Graham, Packers

Contract:3 years (money yet to be reported)

Didn't the Packers just try this? Martellus Bennett signed a three-year deal last offseason with high expectations, as he was seemingly the best tight end Aaron Rodgers had ever gotten the chance to play with. While we don't know how much they paid for him yet, Graham looks to fit a similar mold to Bennett. The 31-year-old has been a shell of himself since his 2015 patellar tendon injury and has never been able to provide much in terms of blocking. Graham needs to fill a big role, especially in the red zone, after Jordy Nelson was released. - Sanderson

Report: At least two teams willing to offer Cousins fully guaranteed deal

  Report: At least two teams willing to offer Cousins fully guaranteed deal Kirk Cousins could very well become the highest paid player in NFL history when he signs with a new team in the coming days, and there’s a chance he could achieve that by demanding a fully guaranteed contract. There has been some talk that Cousins may want to sign only a three-year deal with all of the money being guaranteed. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that at least two teams — and possibly three — are willing to give him a contract like that. As the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes heats up, sources say at least 2 teams are prepared to offer the free agent QB a 3-year, fully guaranteed contract if that’s what it takes. At least one other team will do a similar deal nearly fully guaranteed. Would make him the highest paid QB. — Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 12, 2018 By signing a deal like that, Cousins would have more control over his future. Jimmy Garoppolo recently signed a five-year, $137.5 million extension with the 49ers, and Matthew Stafford got a five-year, $135 million contract from the Detroit Lions last offseason. Both players will earn about $87 million over the first three years of their respective deals, so Cousins is likely aiming for a three-year contract in the $90 million range. Cousins is trying to balance winning with being paid top dollar, so the three-year, fully guaranteed contract would make the most sense for a team like the Jets.

The first rule of NFL free agency ? Try to avoid it if you can. Which is why many teams that haven't been active shoppers so far in March are being smart. Bill Barnwell is here to bring clarity to the chaos by grading each notable free - agent deal and trade.

NFL free agency grades : Which deals will turn out well for both sides, and which could sour quickly? Breaking down the biggest signings so far. NFL free agency grades : Analyzing the biggest moves of the new league year. Quickly. DeSean Jackson to the Buccaneers?

Grade:C+

Allen Robinson, Bears

Contract:3 years, $42 million with $25 million guaranteed

After fielding a dreadful receiving corps in 2017, the Bears signed one of the top pass-catchers available in 2018. We can't fault them for this, as there's no doubting Allen Robinson's talent. The annual average value and guaranteed amounts (both ranking in the top eight among wide receivers) are somewhat concerning, however. Robinson's breakout season is now three years in the rear-view mirror and he's coming off a torn ACL. The wideout could fit nicely into new head coach Matt Nagy's offense, but this signing carries considerable risk as well. - Alessandrini

Grade:B-

Sammy Watkins, Chiefs

Contract:3 years, $48 million with $30 million guaranteed

The Chiefs apparently intend to throw exclusively downfield next season. Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill are now likely the fastest receiving tandem in the league, but while Patrick Mahomes might have the arm to make it work, he's still a rookie and pushing the ball deep will be a challenge. Then, there's the money and the health concerns. Watkins is talented but has consistently struggled to stay healthy. Even if he can perform at a good level, it's close to impossible he will be able to live up to being paid more than every receiver not named Antonio Brown or DeAndre Hopkins - Browne

Report: Cousins plans to sign fully guaranteed 3-year deal with Vikings

  Report: Cousins plans to sign fully guaranteed 3-year deal with Vikings The Minnesota Vikings pounced early to land free agency's biggest prize. Kirk Cousins plans to sign a three-year, fully guaranteed contract with the team Thursday, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. The deal is worth $86 million "or so," according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Cousins is set to have dinner with Vikings coaches and personnel Wednesday night once the 2018 league year has officially begun, sources told Rapaport, and will make his first visit to the team's facility Thursday.The move comes shortly after it was reported that Case Keenum intends to sign with the Denver Broncos at the official beginning of free agency.

2018 NFL free - agency coverage: All the latest signings and trades. Breeland told ESPN.com he cut the heel of his left foot on March 4 while in the Dominican Republic, where a golf cart hit him in the back of his leg and reopened a wound first suffered in the fourth grade .

Free agency doesn’t start until 4 p.m. ET on March 9, but you can be forgiven for any confusion you had watching the free agency scoops drop from morning until night the day before that. Most of the deals struck prior to the official start of the league year are of the “agreed in principle” variety, i.e

Grade: D

Andrew Norwell, Jaguars

Contract:5 years, $66.5 million with $30 million guaranteed

It was assumed, prior to free agency, that Norwell was a lock to join his former Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman, now with the Giants, but the Jaguars swooped in and used their limited cap space to secure one of the top prizes of free agency. Norwell is an elite pass-protector and above average run-blocker, and instantly upgrades a subpar Jaguars offensive line. His reported contract - worth $66.5 million over five years - is steep, but Jacksonville had very few holes in its roster and could afford to fill one with a player coming off his first All-Pro nod. - Browne

Grade: A

Malcolm Butler, Titans

a man wearing a helmet© Brett Carlsen / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Contract:5 years, $61 million with $30 million guaranteed

A Super Bowl benching is hard to swallow, but Butler finally getting his long-desired payday - around $61 million over five years - from the Titans should make it a little easier to live with. Tennessee will be hoping it's getting something the defense has needed for years: a No. 1 cornerback. While Butler has played like one at times, he's also struggled with game-to-game consistency. He might not be the type of player who can excel when not surrounded by good talent and coaching, and the Titans certainly paid him as if he is one. - Browne

Report: Sam Bradford intends to sign with Cardinals

  Report: Sam Bradford intends to sign with Cardinals The Arizona Cardinals are expected to sign quarterback Sam Bradford when free agency opens on Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET, according to a report.Sam Bradford intends to sign with Arizona, source tells ESPN.

We grade every big deal of free agency —with the caveat that contract terms and guaranteed money amounts aren’t always what they seem. Rand Getlin of NFL .com had the surprising news of the day: Osweiler called the Broncos’ contract bluff and signed with the Texans.

Free agency is by now well underway, and PFF will be bringing back the deal grader , where we put a grade on every signing that’s made during the Kelvin Beachum is one of the toughest evaluations of any free agent . He has one good season in the NFL (2014), but that season was excellent, and he

Grade: C+

Trumaine Johnson, Jets

Contract:Roughly $15 million per season (full terms yet to be reported)

Johnson has found a hole in the system. The good-not-great cornerback got the franchise tag two years in a row from the Rams, resulting in him earning over $30 million despite no Pro Bowl or All-Pro nods. Now, he's going to be tied as the highest-paid corner in the league, essentially because he was the best option on the board after Butler signed and the Jets had a ton of cap space to burn. Great move for Johnson, wild over-payment by the Jets. - Sanderson

Grade:C

Muhammad Wilkerson, Packers

Contract:1 year, $5 million, plus $3 million in incentives

One of the better signings of the day, Wilkerson provides an instant upgrade along Green Bay's defensive line, forming a dynamic trio with Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels. A one-year contract for $5 million is a perfect deal for the veteran defensive lineman. Wilkerson will be motivated to shake the negative image he was tagged with toward the end of his Jets tenure, and he reunites with former defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, who worked in New York from 2009-2012. Wilkerson dominated during that span. - Alessandrini

Grade:A

Anthony Hitchens, Chiefs

Contract:5 years, $45 million (guaranteed money yet to be reported)

This is a total headscratcher. Hitchens is a solid starting inside linebacker, but he does not deserve to have the fifth-highest annual average salary ($9 million) at the position. He's never been to a Pro Bowl or recorded 100 tackles in a season. He doesn't generate turnovers and his new team doesn't have the money to overpay someone just because he's pretty young. Valuing Hitchens this much just doesn't make any sense. - Sanderson

Grade:D

Trey Burton, Bears

Contract:4 years, $32 million (guaranteed money yet to be reported)

One of the more interesting signings Tuesday, Trey Burton adds another pass-catching option to Matt Nagy's offense with 2017 second-rounder Adam Shaheen. Most famously known for throwing a touchdown pass to Nick Foles in the Super Bowl, Burton was Philadelphia's backup tight end the last four seasons. He's made the most of his opportunities, though, flashing as an impact pass-catcher and matchup nightmare. The annual average value is quite high for a player with limited starting experience, but if Burton plays up to his potential, he'll be worth the money - Alessandrini

Grade:B

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