Sometimes it’s about money, sometimes it’s about winning championships, and sometimes it’s about returning to a city that is close to a player’s roots. Here are some free agency moves that make sense to me.
Santonio Holmes to Cleveland Browns. Holmes played for Ohio State and was a star. He played for Pittsburgh and had his best years in a tough AFC North division. Now he can have a chance to play for a Browns team with an established Josh Gordon and be a clear # 2 receiver, which he should have been all his career anyway. It makes sense for the Browns because they can never get a good #2 and Greg Little isn’t it. It makes sense for Holmes because he can let Gordon do the heavy lifting, and just be there for one or two big plays a game. Now they just need a QB.
Jared Allen and Julius Peppers joining forces, taking a little less money to be on a 4-3 defensively challenged front line. Off the top of my head the worst 4-3 defenses to me are Atlanta, Oakland, and Jacksonville. I think both guys would be well off ending up in Atlanta, because Jadaveon Clowney won’t be around by the time they pick 6th in the draft and they will be left without a pass rush, or strong run defense in the front four. These two guys could solve that and spare them the 6th pick in the draft for offensive line help or whatever else they may want.
Antonio Cromartie to the Oakland Raiders. Cro started with the Chargers, so he’s familiar with the AFC West. The Raiders have cap room, the money to spend, and they might not be able to secure Darelle Revis. They can secure Cromartie who’s 29 and try to stop the damage inflicted from the Broncos or the Chargers passing attack. Makes sense for both sides.
Lamarr Woodley to the Arizona Cardinals. The Cards just make good free agent signings of older players. It seems like since Kurt Warner Arizona is always getting the most of those 30+ guys. The Cards recently lost Karlos Dansby who himself was getting up there, and can get a replacement for the next 3 seasons from Woodley to fill the same roll. It also could fill the pipeline that is Pittsburgh to Arizona.
Hakeem Nicks to Carolina Panthers. Since the off season started this is a move that many have seen coming. I’m not sure why as there hasn’t been any clear evidence. Maybe we all see that the Panthers need a #1 wideout, and Nicks needs a change of scenery. Steve Smith is about to be released, and Nicks is a former player at UNC. The proverbial writing’s on the wall.
Eric Decker to the Kansas City Chiefs. I would like to say to the New York Jets, but considering Decker had a visit today with the Jets and no deal has been reported in the 20 minutes since I think he may be testing all his options. This year in free agency guys are getting deals minutes or hours after meeting with or talking to a team. Kansas City has a great #1 in Dwayne Bowe, and Decker was exceptional as a #2 WR to Damaryius Thomas.