" Who got it right and wrong in 2009 free agency " ~ ~ ~
Who got it right and wrong in 2009 free agency
March 10, 2009 - By Clark Judge, CBSSports.com Senior Writer
We're into the second week of free agency, which means the big money has gone and so have the big names. Granted, there are still some guys out there you recognize -- will Roy Williams please step forward? -- but, by now, most clubs have moved on to the April draft.And so will we, but not before reviewing what happened the past 11 days. If you're ready, so am I:
Three teams that passed the test
~ ~ ~ 3. The New York Jets. Rex Ryan said he would instill the Baltimore Ravens' toughness on defense in his Jets, and he's off to a good start. First, the Jets signed linebacker Bart Scott -- albeit to an inflated contract. Nevertheless, they added experience and talent at a key position. Then they re-signed guard Brandon Moore, which is good for the offense, and traded for cornerback Lito Sheppard, which might be good for the defense. I hedge on Sheppard because he has a history of injuries and hasn't done anything in two years. If they acquired the Lito Sheppard of 2006, it's a great move; if they got the underachiever who was dumped as the Eagles' nickel back in 2008, they have a liability. Finally, they picked up safety Jim Leonhard, an invaluable try-hard guy who can help you in a zillion ways. Good for them, bad for the Ravens. Best of all, I like what the Jets didn't do: Add Terrell Owens. He would've been counterproductive to what Ryan is trying to accomplish, which is make these guys tough, resilient and pull in one direction.
~ ~ Best value for the money
~ Jim Leonhard. I love this guy and what he did for the Ravens, which was almost everything: Start. Sub. Special teams. Force fumbles. Make interceptions. Produce big plays. Return punts. In 50 years, teams will want to clone him 53 times to fill their rosters. Now the best news: The Jets got him on the cheap. They paid a $1 million signing bonus, with a three-year contract that averages just under $2 million. Nice.