With the free agent season well under way, every analyst out there will give you his run down on the winners and the losers. But I think it’s just as important to point out those teams that really just know what they’re doing.There are several teams that come to mind. The Colts, Patriots, Steelers, Giants and, with Parcells running the show, the Dolphins. These are the teams that really know the value of players. They know who to let go and who to bring in. This off-season is the true meaning of ‘Show Me The Money.’ Alan Fanaca, Calvin Pace, Gibril Wilson, Bernard Berrian, Tommy Kelly, and Javon Walker all were over-paid. Knowing the true value of players is essential to long-term success. Apparently the Raiders haven’t received that memo.
The Steelers, Patriots, and Giants were all great examples of knowing the limit on their own players. Look at the Patriots, for example, and all of the guys they let get away: Branch, Milloy, Law, McGinest and Asante Samuel. The Patriots have been able to find cheaper and younger players to step in right away and contribute. And look at the Giants. They knew Gibril Wilson was going to get big money. But instead of overpaying for a middle-of-the-pack guy, they brought in a much cheaper and cost-effective veteran in Sammy Knight (I love this move and by the way, he led the Jaguars in tackles). While the Steelers will miss Fanaca on their offensive line, they were right to let him go. The Rooneys have a way of doing business, and it has proven pretty successful if you ask me. Fanaca, while still a dominant lineman, is only getting older, and the Steelers knew it was time to move on. They will reload with the second wave of free agency and through the draft–something they have done with much success in the past.
As for the Dolphins, we have seen them get incredibly younger and more athletic. They cut Zach Thomas, Marty Booker, Trent Green, L.J Shelton, and Keith Traylor, and brought in Ernest Wilford, Justin Smiley, Josh McNown, Randy Starks, and Reggie Torbor. These were all moves that immediately made the Dolphins a lot more completive, and also provide the foundation for a brighter future.
I finally would like to challenge anyone out there who can find one player on the Steelers, Giants, Colts, and Patriots who is overpaid. Good Luck.