And here comes the second wave of UFAs


After watching Julius Peppers sign for more than DeMarcus Ware, Karlos Dansby get a little sweeter deal than Bart Scott, Dunta Robinson outdo Asante Samuel, and Vince Wilfork become the highest paid 3-4 nose tackle in league history, one thing is clear:
The money is there.

Elite talent got elite bucks. So maybe it’s now that we see the real effect that an uncertain future has on free agency. I addressed it in my Sunday Notes, and here’s what Jason Chayut, the agent who got Dunta Robinson those big bucks, said after the first day-and-a-half of free agency.

“I wasn’t surprised by the top-tier guys at their positions getting paid; those guys are always going to get paid. The second-tier guys were the ones who will suffer. In the past, when those guys weren’t the best at their position, just the best available, they’d get overcompensated. That didn’t happen.’’

Chayut added that it’s strange market, but the one thing that’s clear is “the issue of overcompensation vs. getting value. Players didn’t get overpaid. And because of that, I have a strong suspicion that teams were waiting to do things until [this] week.”

I can say — to anyone suspecting collusion — there’s a different approach from one team to the next. The Bears, obviously, have kicked into win-now mode, and since they’re operating without first- or second-round picks, they had to spend to execute. The Cowboys, meanwhile, had a plan set in place all along to sit back and let the market settle. The Panthers are pulling back all together.

Now, I believe signings like Aaron Kampman’s in Jacksonville, Kyle Vanden Bosch’s and Nate Burleson’s in Detroit, and Tony Pashos’s in Cleveland will help to spark the secondary market this week, with a very small primary market for UFAs (basically Julius Peppers, Karlos Dansby and Dunta Robinson) now clear, and teams and agents having a better handle on market value.

From the Patriots’ perspective, it’s already apparent with Leigh Bodden heading to Houston tonight (that post was updated at 5:51 p.m., so you know), Jarvis Green is getting set to work the market, and Bills WR Josh Reed visiting Foxborough tomorrow. Traditionally, the Patriots have feasted — whether the signings were the right ones or the wrong ones — on the secondary free agent market. And so it stands to reason they’ll be ready for the temperature to turn up on those players right about now.


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