Last week’s barrage of moves were just the start of NFL free-agency.
There will more likely be more deals done and much bigger names changing uniforms for next year.
Two of the deals that can make a big impact are the ones that involved tight-end Kellen Winslow and back Fred Taylor.
Winslow was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from the Cleveland Browns for draft picks. Taylor meanwhile was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars before being signed by the New England Patriots.
Winslow had 43 receptions, 428 receiving yards and three touchdowns for the Browns while Taylor had 143 carries, 556 yards rushing and one touchdown for the Jaguars.
For starters their former clubs had good reason. The Browns are cleaning house and seemingly staring at another rebuilding year while the Jaguars are looking to start afresh with new faces to inspire the team on all fronts.
Nevertheless both were great moves for the receiving teams. Tampa now has a legitimate receiving threat to compliment wide receiver Antonio Bryant and get added toughness on offense.
New England meanwhile has a powerful back that, though oft-injured, can bust out big plays at a moment’s notice. Coupled with Laurence Maroney, the Patriots can now give teams fits on the ground.
Granted, the teams have a ways to go to solidify their weaknesses. Tampa still needs more pieces on offense like an extra running back and more receivers while trying to get younger on defense.
New England also has age against them on defense and with Brady out, added insurance at quarterback would be welcome.
But the moves are in the right direction and should reap immediate benefits next year. Both clubs just missed out on the playoffs last year and an extra win or two courtesy of big plays from either player would work wonders.
In the end deals at this point only have value in dollars and sensibility. It won’t be until play resumes can anyone know their real impact on the field.