Update [2008-2-29 12:14:14 by River City Rage]:: Adam Schefter of NFL Network reports that the Minnesota Vikings have worked out an agreement with free-agent safety Madieu Williams.
The deal for Madieu is six years, $34 million.
So we'll be looking elsewhere for help in the defensive secondary...
What do we know:
It's almost 4:00 am EST and the start of Free Agency is already taking shape. We are starting to get a better picture of how the market will play out and what happens during the day on Friday should clarify things further.
Here's what we know:
- Former Oakland Wide Receiver Jerry Porter will visit with the Jaguars on Friday. It's also reported that an agreement may already be in place for Porter. Tampering, shampering. Jerry would be as close to a number one receiver as we've had since Jimmy Smith retired. Jacksonville would also be sitting on quite a large amount of recievers, with Porter, Williams, Jones, Broussard, Walker, Williamson, Northcutt, and perhaps Charles Sharon under contract. This requires a much more in-depth look at receivers, but I'd assume it means that Broussard goes to the practice squad, and that Williamson or Jones fail to make the team. I'd be pretty excited about having Porter, Williams, Williamson, Walker and Northcutt as our WR's though.
- Cleo Lemon is coming to Jacksonville for a visit as well. This, as I've said, means the end of Quinn Gray as a Jaguar. I was under the impression that the Jaguars really liked Josh McCown, but as long as whomever we sign stays on the sideline and minds the clipboard, I'm ok with it. Adding a veteran to our quarterbacks takes the Jaguars from a very thin posistion to a very thick one quickly. Though I think I'm coming around to drafting one this year, just to put the jar on the shelf.
- Gibril Wilson might not be our guy in the defensive backfield (scroll down). The Raiders are (allegedly) throwing between 6 and 6.5 million per year at Wilson, which makes him pretty damn expensive for a "too small" Strong Safety.
Replacing Wilson on the Jaguars "to-do" list is Bengals Safety Madieu Williams. While he's not "the guy", he's functional enough to play both safety positions and won't cost as much as Wilson. I know, it's hard to think someone from the Bengals 2007 defense can be worth anything, but he's a hard hitter and he can make plays. I wouldn't be unhappy with him in our secondary.
- Defensive End Justin Smith is visiting the Vikings on Friday (The Vikings are also getting Bears WR ernard Berrian). Justin might also be visiting the 49ers.
Who to keep watching:
- Defensive End Travis LaBoy: He'll be cheaper than Odom and Smith, and he's young enough to develop into a solid end. Remember, we need a pass rush at left end, LaBoy could bring that to the table for the right price. Besides, the Titans are going to lose three defensive linemen, I salivate at what Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew do to that defense next season, no matter what they pay Albert "contract year" Haynesworth.
- Maurice Williams: Call it a hunch, but I think we'll keep on keeping on with Maurice. I've got nothing to back that up.
- Chris Clemons, Linebacker: Again, just a hunch, but for some depth at linebacker. He won't be a quick expensive signing, but a depth pickup in a little bit.
We're not trading Mike Peterson or anyone to the Jets for Johnathan Vilma, he's going to the Saints.
Ernest Wilford is still a free agent. I'd bet he goes to Buffalo though.
As of 4:15 AM on the Start of Free Agency, this is everything I know. I have no doubt that we'll know more by the time I wake up in the morning. I'd like to see things clear up a little bit, especially on the receiver front. It's be great to know that Stallworth and Moss were off the market, just to keep their names out of the rumor mill for another year. Randy Moss, by the way, supposedly has a contract in place with the Patriots.
Anyhow, If you read this first thing in the morning, and I've missed something between 4 and 10 am, please post it in the diaries section or as a comment. We can keep track of this stuff a lot better if we work together!