Free Agent Signings With Impact
By Zach Law
There were a few “whoa” moments (to quote Keanu Reeves) in this year’s epic early free agency period. Players change teams all the time, but this year it seemed that the top teams made an extra push for that extra chess piece. We hit our "Elite Eight" in another piece, so here are eight more names worth your attention after their move.
When watching Sunday football, one of the most commonly consumed items is the chip. So I will compare each move to a style of chip, and I didn’t hem myself in by adding “potato” on purpose.
Quarterbacks: Sorry, but it was a game of backup QB musical chairs. None of the guys will have an impact unless there’s an injury.
Danny Woodhead, SD - There are many Patriot fans who don’t know what to do with their jersey collection now that Woodhead and Welker are no longer part of the Flying Elvis clan. Woodhead goes to San Diego, which is a perfect spot, considering that their current RB roster features Ryan Mathews, who is a bag of only broken chips, and guys who probably should be out of the league. Woodhead will still be just a third-down back and spot starter. He’s like a potato chip that includes pepper. You enjoy it and don’t pick up another bag for months.
Rashard Mendenhall, ARZ - Yes, he’s listed below Woodhead. Fantasy players who picked La’Rod Stephens-Howling last year in waivers desperation understand that you can’t blow off a team even if their offense is historically bad. Mendenhall could be “the guy” in Arizona. He never fully established himself in a similar role with the Steelers. Upside is limited, like that bag of generic BBQ chips that may be past its expiration date.
Anquan Boldin, SF - He was part of a trade, much like Harvin. Boldin was instrumental in the Ravens’ Super Bowl run, and then the Ravens pulled the “it’s just business” card and asked him to take a pay cut. Instead, he forced the Ravens hand and took his talents to San Francisco. Boldin will be in the boring old veteran category with a possibility of being WR3-worthy. He’s like a Funyun.
Tony Gonzalez, ATL - He didn’t change teams, but his return from promises of retirement make the Falcons Super Bowl contenders, at least on offense. Gonzalez is super health conscious so he’s like kale chips. Throw some kale in the oven, put salt and pepper on them, and pretend that they taste good.
Martellus Bennett, CHI - What’s this, the Bears picking up players who can block? Bennett is considered more of a Cook/Keller type who just runs patterns, but yes, he can do more than catch and make crazy random comments about dinosaurs. If you wait on TE in your redrafts, Bennett is a solid pick. Since he’s in Chicago and they are all about the meat, I’ll go with pork rinds for Bennett.
Dustin Keller, MIA - It’s an upgrade for Keller to go from being ignored by Mark Sanchez to being the third or fourth option for Ryan Tannehill. When your company brings in sandwiches for lunch and you get the last bag of chips, and it’s the exact kind of chip that you least like, that’s Keller.
Brandon Myers, NYG - But he can’t block! Sorry, I’m required by the FSWA to stick to the narrative. The Giants lose a tight end in free agency every year, pick up a second-tier free agent and continue on their merry way. When you get that warm basket of chips at the Mexican joint, you’re eating the basket, even if it’s bad for you and you wouldn’t eat it in any other setting. Myers is like basket number two.
James Casey, PHI - You think a pretzel is just a pretzel. It’s salty and pretzel-y. Some people haven’t dug into the many uses for a pretzel. Ever try a pretzel-chip sandwich? Be bold and go pretzel-chip-pretzel and chip-pretzel-chip. That’s what James Casey will be in the Chip Kelly offense. There’s more to him than the limited role he had with the Texans. He will be much more of a football impact than a fantasy one.
While you are channel-surfing on Sunday, trying to get excited by golf, college basketball, or the 100,000th showing of Shawshank Redemption on AMC, remember the glorious fall Sundays to come, and the many chips that will sacrifice themselves for the greater good.