Several teams could be poised to spend big in free agency

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With free agency only two weeks away, there will be (as there always are) a handful of teams poised to spend a ton of money on new players.  While the approach may have more to do with winning offseason press conferences than winning regular-season games, it’s a quick way for teams to excite the fan base, to generate offseason attention, and to create real hope for the coming season.

This year, with almost all of the NFL’s teams expected to be on the right side of the salary cap, several franchises have become candidates for significant spending.  The franchises to watch are the Falcons, Buccaneers, Raiders, Jaguars, and Bills.

In Atlanta, the focal point surely will be the defense and the offensive line.  A pass rusher is needed, badly.  Maybe two.

In Tampa Bay, pass rushers also are needed, especially with Michael Johnson being a bust of a free-agent addition and Da’Quan Bowers and Adrian Clayborn on the way out.  The offensive line could use a boost (a common dynamic for most bad teams), and coach Lovie Smith likely covets defensive backs who can run his Tampa Two defense.

For the Raiders, last year’s free-agency period included overspending on descending players.  This year, if they’re going to overspend the Raiders should target ascending players, like receiver Randall Cobb.

The Jaguars have been building through the draft, but oner Shad Khan seems to be ready to augment the roster with significant veteran contributors at multiple positions.  Some competent pass-catchers would be nice.

Finally, the Bills didn’t have a losing record in 2014, but they seem to be ready to pursue aggressively a playoff berth.  While finding a quarterback without a first-round pick continues to be the biggest challenge, the Bills can upgrade enough of the positions around the signal-caller to take the next step from 9-7 to the postseason, a place they haven’t been since 1999.

As usual, big money will flow in the first several days of the process.  Then, things will slow down — and other teams will jump in and pick over any remaining bargains.

84 responses to “Several teams could be poised to spend big in free agency

  1. The Raiders can court Randall Cobb all they want, they wont get him. He’ll take what the Packers pay him. Why would you leave a place where you have an MVP quarterback throwing to you. Money isn’t everything, you can only spend so much in life!

  2. It’s a tossup between the Raiders and Buccaneers on who did a worse job in Free Agency last year. They both spent tons of money on just garbage. Matt Schaub was the most overpaid player in the NFL last season.

  3. Re: Jaguars – “Some competent pass-catchers would be nice.”

    That seems like a slight on the record setting rookie trio of Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee, and Allen Hurns. They are more than “competent,” but Bortles could use some veteran help.

  4. The teams that are in the news in March (cough… Chicago… Minnesota… Washington…Oakland… Cleveland… NYJ…Buffalo..etc..) These are the teams that are NOT in the news in January.

    Coincidence? I THINK NOT!

    I’ll take my team’s quiet draft-and-develop-then-resign-your-own way of doing things. Thank you very much.

  5. Any player in the league would take a 60% pay cut to lace up for the greatest modern franchise in the history of the NFL, the Seattle Seahawks.

    #TheDynastyBegins #ThreeInARow

  6. packmangamble – Greg Jennings sure didn’t care about Rodgers. I think you may not understand the value people put on money. Also, Wisconsin isn’t a great place for a young rich man to live.

  7. Crazy free agent spending sprees are fun for fans, but never seem to work out in any sport other than baseball, and even then not consistently.

  8. Broncos haven’t won a Super Bowl since they cheated the cap. #ElwayAsterisk. Truth hurts.

  9. I’ve watched pretty much every down that Glennon has played. He will be surprisingly good on any team that has even adequate pass protection. Both he and McCown have done nothing but run for their lives. Glennon’s stats are damn good considering the Schiano/Freeman/ McCown/Tedford handicaps he has had to deal with. I’d be happy if we traded the top pick and went entirely o-line with our 1st 3 picks but I know that’s not going to happen.

  10. packmangamble says:
    Feb 24, 2015 9:29 PM

    The Raiders can court Randall Cobb all they want, they wont get him. He’ll take what the Packers pay him. Why would you leave a place where you have an MVP quarterback throwing to you. Money isn’t everything, you can only spend so much in life!
    We’ll see how far his allegiance goes towards the team and it’s “fake paper owner” fans, when some team breaks the bank for him and he has the opportunity to get out of Green Bay.

  11. Bearmeat81 beat me to the punch.

    When is the last time you saw the Falcons, Buccaneers, Raiders, Jaguars, and Bills in the playoffs?

    You don’t see the Pats, Seahawks, Colts, Packers, Ravens or Steelers with tons of cap room, dishing out big contracts like it’s monopoly money. In the words of Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti at today’s presser;

    “There are a lot of teams out there that don’t spend to the cap, and we do,” Bisciotti said. “I’m always envious of those teams right about this time of the year, and then they’re envious of me when we’re in the playoffs. So we’re going to keep doing what we do, the way we do it…”

  12. Aww, no Redskins and that moron owner Dan Snyder?..I enjoy watching his annual spending spree on junk free agents to lead the team to a 4-12 record.

  13. Titans have $44million to spend and after going 2-14 I think its a safe bet that they will make a purchase or two. Besides the veterans that will follow Dick Lebeau from your beloved steelers.

  14. If you look at last years free agent class its no where as deep as this years. Oakland did make a few mistakes but theres way to much talent out there this year not to get some good starters.

    We might not end up with Suh or any elite guys but we’ll definitely make some improvements and get a few quality starters/role players.

  15. And one of these teams will be the offseason champion, but it will matter little come September. Remember, Tom Brady is still in the NFL. Ladies and gentlemen, your Super bowl XLIX Champions, The New England Patriots. That’s all I’ve got.

  16. Packer fans who think Cobb is not willing to leave for $$$ are not living in the real world of the NFL. This is a business.

    Best to get ready for life after Cobb…. Packer fans.

  17. Teams that typically go hog wild in free agency are typically the bottom feeders the next year. Ask Philly how the “dream team” worked out, or perhaps Atlanta’s now-fired GM Dimitroff.

  18. Ravens will re-tool with hungry cast offs after losing at least 3 big money free-agents to other grasping teams. Those big money guys tend to watch the Ravens play in the playoffs each year and then by year 3 no one remembers who they were.

    Black and Purple is the truth

  19. How adorable!

    All 31 inferior teams making moves, shakin and bakin, doing things to make us believe they actually think they can compete with the World Champion, 4 time Super Bowl Champion and NFL’s greatest Dynasty New England Patriots. Awwww. Isn’t that sweet. 🙂

    It’s like a group of little Chihuahuas fighting among themselves to see who gets to walk up close to the Rottweiler!

  20. bk813 says:
    Feb 24, 2015 10:45 PM
    Packer fans who think Cobb is not willing to leave for $$$ are not living in the real world of the NFL. This is a business.

    Best to get ready for life after Cobb…. Packer fans.

    I would say that free agency is like eBay. People pay WAY too much for something because the competitive urges to “win” the auction overwhelms their common sense. I’ve seen auctions on used items on that site go for slightly less than what one could buy the new item for.

    It’s the same with free agency. Ted will resign Cobb if the price adequately reflects his value. If someone crazy like the Raiders or Vikings swoops in and offers crazy money, Thompson is smart enough to walk away.

    So yes, Cobb could leave, but it’s not likely going to be at a price the educated fan of the team that gets him should be happy about.

  21. All I care now is to win the March super bowl, if that means overpay Suh, Hardy and Iupati so be It.
    I want to be a happy camper and what better than to add a couple of stars and some key starters to my team.

  22. Dumping a boatload of money on free agents only works if you’re doing it to supplement your team and push it to the next level, not if you’re in the basement and think free agency will put you in the playoffs.

    That means the only one of these teams that could potentially see the immediate results they want without hitting a major home run or three in the draft is Buffalo, maybe Atlanta. The other 3 still have way too much work to do.

  23. How do you not mention the Jets? They have the 4th most cap room, and have numerous times mentioned how active they will be in free agency

  24. @kd75

    You do understand that all teams must meet the cap floor, BUT are not required to spend all the way to the cap? So if you are wondering why some of these teams have so much money it’s because they roll over what they don’t spend. All by the rules and there isn’t jack the NFLPA can do about it. If the NFLPA wants to gripe about something then maybe they should fight for fully guaranteed contracts like they have in baseball, hockey, and basketball. Don’t worry about the guys who play a lot but are on the bottom end of the pay scale. They get big bonus checks to offset all of their hard work. The NFL has its checks and balances. It’s much easier to sit back and dream about what FA you would like your GM to sign because you know team has 50 mill to spend.

  25. Look out for the Eagles as well. Their already about 24 million under the cap with potentially more cuts/restructures (Trent Cole, Cary Williams, Riley Cooper, Todd Herremans etc.)

  26. If Bills are spending money, it will be on Revis or a QB. I don’t see Revis coming and there are no great QBs, the only other needs are Guard and TE. I would love to give Iupati a nice 5 year deal but outside of him I can’t see there being any big contracts the Bills are paying. Plus we need to save some money for Dareus next year.

  27. So the Raiders overspent on basically one yr deals for stopgap players that have no future effect on the cap. Seems to me like Reggie did what he could. The Raiders have to continue to prove they have turned things around and that they are a modern updated franchise in order to attract any decent free agents. Until then my boys will continue to get the scraps and leftovers

  28. Send a premier running back to Denver and now you’re talking!

    …like Terrell coming to help John, give Payton a hand!
    Lol. “Terrell” came to help “John” by conspiring to cheat the salary cap by illegally deferring money and thus win a SB or two, a far worse offense than any other as it completely undermines the integrity of the game.

  29. Okay, just to correct one thing. The Jaguars already have competent pass catchers. Our three rookie receivers set an all time NFL record last year for any trio of rookie receivers. What we need is offensive linemen, linebackers, and a free safety.

  30. Several teams could be poised to spend big in free agency……….

    ………and get almost nothing for it.

  31. Based on past performance, I don’t have a lot of confidence in McKenzie’s ability to make competent player acquisition choices. So I’ll just have to hope for the best.

  32. “Any player in the league would take a 60% pay cut to lace up for the greatest modern franchise in the history of the NFL, the Seattle Seahawks.”

    And so begins the evolution of Seahawks fans into the perpetual self-lauding nature of Patriots*/Steelers/49ers fans.

  33. Randall Cobb will recieve a very nice,fair offer from Green Bay,its not by accident they draft and develop their players and when they prove they are worth the money they pay them.when players go to other teams(Jennings,Jones,etc.) there is a very good reason the Packers let them go,they were easily replacable because their replacement were just as good or better.ask Jennings and Jones if they catch more passes in Minn and Oakland and are they having more fun while losing on a regular basis.

  34. I honestly believe the Bills are a halfway decent offensive line and a HB under the age to 40 away from a deep playoff push. Even without upgrading QB. The defense is that good.

  35. I hope that the Browns stay smart in FA. If they do anything, trying to get Glennon out of TB wouldn’t be a bad idea, rather than overspending on a FA QB.

    And in the draft they need to stay put and get some D-line, O-line and receiver help. It never hurts to add LBs or DBs, either.


    Be smart and build for the future. Maybe start teaching Manziel how to cover kicks.

  36. Dear Big Spending Free Agency Teams,

    It will NOT get you there…

    Washington Redskins
    Buffalo Bills
    Miami Dolphins
    Philadelphia Eagles
    Denver Broncos
    Oakland Raiders

  37. Please point out a team that really improved due to “spending big” in free agency? Didn’t work for Elway.

    What can work is signing your own key guys and then filling in one or two key roister spots with a needed talent. Worked for Belichick.

  38. And while all of the other GM’s overspend, Ozzie will sit tight and sign the next Elvis Dumervil or Steve Smith. And we’ll keep our compensatory picks and continue to draft the likes of Sam Koch, Pernell McPhee, Rick Wagner and Chykie Brown. Last year’s comp picks: Crockett Gilmore, Brent Urban (IR from training camp injury, but was really turning heads before his injury and McPhee’s likely replacement this year), Lorenzo Taliaferro, and John Urschel (who dominated when Yanda had to be moved to RT after Wagner’s injury). That’s how you build a team.

  39. The Patriots will be the biggest spenders this off season……On rings!!!!

    Thats right haters….insert knife and twist..ha ha

  40. I believe Randall Cobb may end up in Oakland if he chooses to follow the ‘show me the money’ mantra. I cant help but question why, though. He certainly wont go hungry in Green Bay- they’ll pay him greatly, but being a well-managed organization they wont over pay him like the Raiders. But if I’m Randall I’d much rather play for a storied franchise who’s always in the playoffs, always a superbowl contender, with one of the best QB’s in the game now, and all time. As opposed to a franchise who hasn’t had a winning record in 13 years, whose owner’s management skills are almost as big a joke as his haircut, and whose LA hooplah is only the most recent of a decade plus of silly, nonsensical distractions. Oh yeah, and, their talent is minimal.

    Hmm, tough choice.

  41. As the NFL offseason continues to progress, I think I’m okay with letting Cobb walk. I mean, we do have Daniels to sign next year and Lacy to sign the year after that. You gotta look at the big picture.

  42. I love these people that spout off about how their teams build through the draft. Yes thats the primary way every single nfl team feels. Why do you think picks are at such a premium?

    The problem is that teams get suckered into these players. The mike wallace’s, nnamdi asomugha or albert haynesworth… every team knows you have to be good at drafting.

    You just have to spend your money on the right players and don’t get caught in a bidding war. Teams find ways to keep core players, so they rarely ever hit FA. these middle of the pack mid to late 20 year olds that teams let walk should be carefully scrutinized before shelling out bad contracts.

    The ravens signed guys like willis mcgahee and daryl smith in the past few years. don’t tell me boscotti bulds through the draft alone. he just signed the right ones.

  43. I believe the Raiders purposefully signed those geezers last year….besides Schaub…. to get a better draft pick. Not like they were gonna win the super bowl.

    And GO RAIDERS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. So the Bills have been knocked for trading last year’s first round pick, which they now don’t have to use on a QB. Who, pray tell, would have been there at 19 that we’re missing out on?

  45. Nice to see again all the Patriot trolls out in full force today. Why don’t you explain to all of us the culture of cheating that has been going on in New England since 2001? I also love that fact that I see new Patriot posters on here that were never here before. Must be new fans since 2015. **** Embrace it, your legacy forever.

  46. “I guess the Jets with 40-50 mill in space don’t count! Don’t forget…. that joker Izdik is gone. No more cap space hoarding.”

    Does Woody still own the team?

  47. Packer fans today: “Cobb will take less money to stay with our great franchise! Our players want to stay.”

    Packer fans after Cobb signs with somebody else: “He is selfish and his skills are declining. Ted Thompson is a genius and we never really wanted Cobb to stay. He sucks and will never get to the Superbowl! Ummm…and the Vikings suck.”

  48. I’m really not sure why Packer fans rip on every player of theirs that signs with another team. Jennings? The guy has actually had a couple good years with the Vikings, especially when you consider he played with numerous QB’s and a rookie QB. Is he overpaid? Probably slightly. Along with 75% of NFL players.

    Baffling why some fans think their players are the exception to the rule of “show me the money”. None of these players are loyal. And why should they be? They have a short amount of time, and usually 1 contract, to make the big bucks.

  49. I love all the idiot, band-wagon, NE fans acting like Tom Brady is good and they have legitimately won something. Worst fans in sports, 17 consecutive blackouts.

  50. In my opinion Raiders priorities will be to go after Mike Iupati, and Rodney Hudson, Then they will probably dish out the big money contract for one of the big marquee player somebody like Suh , Hardy, McPhee, Thomas, Cobb etc…..I hope it is Suh.

    .but I think for Carr’s sake it all starts with the o-line, especially if we let Wiz walk.

  51. So the Bills have been knocked for trading last year’s first round pick, which they now don’t have to use on a QB. Who, pray tell, would have been there at 19 that we’re missing out on?

    I bet having that 1st round pick AND Odell Beckham Jr would look pretty good right now.

  52. PFT is obviously mistaken. According to the Seahawks fans, Seattle will be the biggest mover in free agency. They have like 25 million in real money and a bazillion dollars in imaginary money to sign all the free agents they want. Of course, the excuse will be that all these big name players just aren’t good enough to play for Seattle. LOL

    Man, I can’t wait until Seattle ends up back at the bottom again, where they belong. Wild be much sooner than Seattle fans think. I predicted San Francisco’s tumble into mediocrity last year about this time, and I am now predicting the same for Seattle.

  53. Nope, I’m still pretty happy to have the sure-thing in Watkins versus taking a chance on Beckham last year. Watkins had no QB throwing to him. Beckham would have ended the year with 700 yards and 5 TDs had he been on the Bills.

  54. In a related story, Rick Smith has taken his shoes and socks off, so he can start his Texans Salary Cap calculations.

  55. Cafetero1075, that was the best, most intelligent post I read on here. And as far as all of these free agents go, they would all be absolute fools if they didn’t sign with the team that offered them the best contract and guaranteed money. It doesn’t matter where you play, it matters who’s paying you the most to play because in an instant your career could be over. So who cares if they sign with a crappy team ? As long as their pockets aren’t hurting……

  56. jumpgo692003 says:Feb 25, 2015 1:22 PM

    So the Bills have been knocked for trading last year’s first round pick, which they now don’t have to use on a QB. Who, pray tell, would have been there at 19 that we’re missing out on?

    I bet having that 1st round pick AND Odell Beckham Jr would look pretty good right now.
    No, not really. Even all the experts said Watkins was better than Beckham and I believe he is. Beckham’s number were way overinflated because Cruz was hurt and the Giants really didn’t have any other WR to throw to, plus the Giants were always playing from behind and Manning was throwing all the time. I would still take Watkins. Beckham will never put up those numbers next year with Cruz back.

  57. Spending big money in free agency is a fool’s errand.

    It also sends a message to the league that says I CAN’T DRAFT!

  58. This is the business of the NFL and any fan who thinks that loyalty or even a desire to win plays a huge role in the decisions that players and their agents make is a little naive.

    I hope the Packers keep Cobb. But we all know, that in the end, if someone offers way more than his reasonable market value, then he will leave. Its likely that the Packers will make him a serious offer. He wont eclipse Jordy though, and I dont think thats a statement about his comparative value as much as how the Packers conduct their business.

  59. @billswillnevermove

    I could not agree with you more. Watkins is a beast and while the Bills gave up a lot for him, you are better off. The fact is Jarvis Landry outperformed ODell Beckham at LSU and with (Eli), Cruz and Randle underperforming with NYG last year, Beckham falls back to earth. See, sometimes Dolphins and Bills Fans can get along.

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