Well the Monopoly money flew today, and as expected some NFL free agents cashed in.
I’m going to be completely honest in saying I’m all for people getting paid what they deserve, but to see where some of the names landed never ceases to amaze me.
Notably Mike Wallace, formerly of the Pittsburgh Steelers, signing a five-year, $65 million dollar contract to play for the Miami Dolphins in 2013. I am not a fan of this move for his sake. He is an extremely talented receiver who has benefited greatly from the arm and mobility of Ben Roethlisberger. While I hope that his particular set of skills (the speed, deep threat ability) translates in Miami, I can never understand how most players don’t take a more studious approach to their selection.
I say this as someone who has never had $65 million dollars laid in front of his pupils, but I also say this as someone who knows the Dolphins weren’t the only option for him. Miami was 26th in the NFL in passing and by my sources haven’t fixed that offensive line enough to give their new weapon a legitimate down field shot. Or better said, his tools won’t be of much use if the other parts don’t work right.
Now this is no knock on Tannehill, and I commend the Dolphins for the effort, but I can’t say this was the best move for them right now.
Meanwhile, a team in the Pacific Northwest just became the favorites to win the division, and they don’t wear red and gold. The move by Seattle to bring in Percy Harvin for draft picks was one of the most game changing moves in recent memory. This not only gives the Seahawks a true number one receiver, but it also allows the offense to do more to cause headaches opposing defenses can’t even imagine. Anquan Boldin was a nice addition for the 49ers, but Harvin makes the Seahawks (an offense that scored 193 points in their last five games) something to tune in to weekly if you weren’t already.
The biggest addition that Harvin brings is he allows Sidney Rice and Golden Tate to slide into the roles they are supposed to be in as numbers two and three options. He also brings a statistic that the aforementioned Wallace couldn’t bring when he was rumored to possibly “replace” Harvin in Minnesota:
Yards after the catch. Lots of them.
He’s tougher and more versatile than Wallace, and in the “YAC” category he ranks second only to Calvin Johnson in Detroit since he’s come into the league. Say what you will about attitude and “diva” issues at wide receiver for him, you can’t say that when it’s time to play he doesn’t perform brilliantly on the football field. His injury history will be a concern, but with a better receiving corp around him, and a quarterback who knows what he’s doing, that should take some of the pressure and risk off of him.
No slight to the defending NFC champs, but they may want to call anyone willing to help out with that secondary. They’re gonna need it.