With the start of NFL Free Agency inching closer, teams flushed with money will have interesting decisions to make. Now, unless you’re Jon Gruden and you pay Jason Witten millions to act as a mentor and slow target, teams will spend wisely. Yet, we all know someone, somewhere will fork over millions and some lucky player will cash in. While I won’t criticize playing for signing lucrative deals, teams need that scrutiny.
Tell Me Why
In a move that befuddles me, the Green Bay Packers allowed Aaron Jones to test the waters. Now, I understand that paying running backs with long-term money occasionally fails. However, look deeper at Jones’ profile. First, he just turned 26, not quite in his prime. Next, he still possesses tread on the proverbial tire. During his four-year tenure in Green Bay, the back only amassed 651 total carries. On top of that, Jones’ production stands out. In three of his four seasons, the former Packer averaged 5.5 yards per carry. In the other year, that number fell to 4.6, but he scored sixteen rushing touchdowns. Teams like the Jets and Chargers could spend some of their cap surpluses, shoring up their running back room quickly.
From Meme to Dream
A year ago, the Philadelphia Eagles let Nelson Agholor walk away. Plagued by catastrophic drops, Agholor became the butt of league-wide jokes, even making it to a local broadcast. Betting on himself, Agholor accepted a prove-it deal with the Las Vegas Raiders. The gamble paid season-long dividends as the free agent improved his yards-per-catch by six yards. Re-inventing himself as a deep threat in a walk year should see plenty of suitors for Agholor. The Raiders want to retain the wideout. However, with sixty percent of their 2020 offensive line not currently on the roster, how much will they pay to keep Agholor in Vegas?
High Risk, Potentially High Reward
Sporting a near-fifteen yards per catch average, Will Fuller V enters free agency with the known ability to function as a gamebreaker. However, will teams actively invest trust and considerable funds in the former Texan? Fuller hasn’t played more than eleven games since 2016. Injuries robbed him of games. More importantly, a six-game PED suspension ended his 2020 season. In fact, Fuller must serve one more game of that ban in 2021. Fast, productive, but injury-prone and problematic. Who will step and overlook the past?
In the NFL, free agency allows players to cash in on their skills. Meanwhile, teams will inevitably make mistakes and choose sizzle over steak. Life in the NFL will never be boring.