Monday, March 03, 2008

Actual News During Free Agency

So, some actual real shit happened during free agency. I think it's interesting that the Steelers don't really have any big-time free agents (ya know, aside from Max Starks and all) left out there. We all pretty much knew that Alan Faneca was going to get a ton of money and cash in on his seven Pro Bowls. And I'm fine with that. He's 31 and he'll be 36 by the time the contract he just signed runs out. Ultimately, his best years are behind him and, considering that the Rooneys have yet to pay him $40 million for the first ten years of his career, I think it'd be dumb for them to pay him $40 million for the worst (and last) five.

(I also would like to point out that the Jets had themselves a pretty hectic and productive weekend. And, aside from the fact that the Patriots were able to finally sign Randy Moss, they kinda got sodomized. I'm not saying the Jets have done well enough to close the gap on New England and win the division, but they're getting closer. I also know that a bunch of Patriots fans are going to bring up the fact that they lost Ty Law and Tyrone Poole after the 2004 season and ended up not missing a beat. But, they ended up not missing a beat because they had Randall Gay and Asante Samuel waiting in the wings. Now that Gay and Samuel are gone -- Gay and Samuel sounds like a fetish porn starring a drag queen and an Amish guy -- they don't have anyone waiting in the wings. The cupboards are getting pretty damn bare in Foxboro. I don't think the Pats will be able to reload by 2009. That might be when they finally lose that division.)

I think Roethlisberger's contract is a good deal. He'll be 34 when it comes to an end, which is still pretty young for a quarterback. With the way the salary cap is going and the way salaries are escalating, we're going to get good value out of him, even in the high money years of this contract. Look at it this way: Tono Romo has five fewer playoff victories and one fewer Super Bowl ring and he got $30 million in guaranteed money. Mike Vick got $37 million. Peyton Manning got $34.5 million, but that was in 2004 when the salary cap was around $80 million and it's now at almost $120 million. We didn't get the hometown discount that the Patriots got when they signed Brady to an extension, but we got a good deal... as long as the man keeps producing (and I think he will).

We also signed Mewelde Moore. I think it's a good pick-up, because he's younger, faster, more durable, and a better receiver than either Najeh Davenport or Kevan Barlow. It seems like he's been in the league for a hundred years, but he's only 25 and there aren't a lot of miles on those tires, since he was never able to win the starting job outright in Minnesota.

He's a solid third down back, he's got soft hands, and he can return punts and kickoffs. As recently as 2005, he was making a bunch of teams feel like assholes for wasting top-5 picks on Cadillac Williams, Ronnie Brown, and Cedric Benson, because he was performing about as well as any of them and was a fourth round pick in 2005. Some knock him for getting hurt too easily, some say that he's not a tough inside runner, and some question why he couldn't beat out a bunch of no-names for the starting gig in 2005, as well as why the Vikings signed Chester Taylor and drafted Adrian Peterson with him on the roster.

Here's my take: No one ever quite forgave him for not living up to his Fantasy Football potential. Remember in 2005 when Michael Bennett and... whatever Bennett's back-up's name was... got hurt and Moore got picked up in every freakin' league on the planet? He piled up a bunch of yards but Jim Kleinsasser and Mo Williams got all the touchdowns. He was a good flex player, but you couldn't justify starting someone named "Mewelde" and you were never sure how many touches he'd get when everyone was healthy. But, the thing is that it just happened in 2005 and a little in 2006, so you blame the player, not the coaching staff. Everyone knows that Mike Shanahan hates Fantasy Football owners, so they all hate on him and have no issues with Selvin Young or Reuben Droughns. Moore was in the same situation for about a season and a half, but everyone hates on him, not Mike Tice. And, seriously, how can you not hate on Mike Tice?

I'm not saying anyone should draft Moore in their fantasy leagues this season, but I think he's going to settle the third down back slot for the next couple of years and give the Steelers some options in the fourth quarter and late in the season. You know, as opposed to getting Carey Davis heavily involved or signing Verron Haynes off the street.

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