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Saturday, March 05, 2005

Free Agents under the radar

by Faede
For PackerChatters

Continuing my feast on free agency. I wanted to take a look at guys who aren't getting ANY play, who I feel should be. Obviously I concentrate on positions we could use.

1) Roberto Garza - G - Atl (espn insider rank 70)
Yeah, I'm sort of addicted to this one. While DeMulling, Mayberry, Coleman and even Kedrick Vincent are running around having visits and getting pub. He's not. He's young. Hard working. He'd be a great addition. Not a bulk guy but good in space, more of a pulling guard. He's about to turn 26.

2) Bennie Anderson. - G - Balt (espn insider rank 70)
Talk about dropping off the face of the planet. I've heard rumors on DeMulling, plenty on Mayberry, some on Coleman.. even Kedrick Vincent visiting with the Cards, but how about Bennie Anderson? Bennie's young, MASSIVE (he'll never be the tremendous pulling guard) and only JUST turned 28. Yet I've not heard a peep out of teams loo

king for him.

3) Dexter Jackson - FS - TB (espn insider rank 67- I think this is low)
Dwight Smith, Kenoy Kennedy, Sammy Knight and now, Darren Sharper get all the pub. Bud Jackson is a good player! Most importantly, he'd fit perfectly in Bates' scheme. He's not going to be a in the box type guy and he won't cover one on one like glue. But with the ball in front of him, he's a stud. He's a ballhawk. He's young, he'll be 28 when the season starts and he's had 4, 3 and 6 int's before his injury season last year. I think he's fallen off the radar, which is silly. There is NO reason to believe, in my mind, that he cannot regain his form. He had a good season with Arizona, then had a back injury and got released. I have no idea why nobody is looking at him. He had 6 int's after Arizona signed him and was second on the team in tackles despite playing THROUGH injuries.

4) Derrick Burgess - DE - Phila. (espn insider rank 6
Oh you knew this was coming. The more I research him, the more I like. He's quick. He's prototypical of a Bates' guy. He just hasn't played and when he did, this year, he was out of position. He's a pure left end who basically only had experience rushing off the left side. A broken foot is now totally healed. He had 6 sacks only starting 4 games of his rookie season before his injury. Last year his sacks went down big time, but, he was rushing off the right edge, something he's not used to. Javon Kearse played on the left side. I think he might be a bit overpriced. But I think he'd definately be worth it. Andy Reid says he's a 10 sack guy. I trust that judgement. He fits our new scheme even better then the Eagles scheme. In my opinion, injuries are the only reason he's not making Reggie Hayward money. And with the draft having a stockpile of DE's teams might hedge on getting him, lowering his value some.

5) Shad Meier - TE - Tenn (no ranking)
This one is so under the radar I'm not even sure it's true. Shad is super young, started a few games for the Titans this season. Is a pretty solid player and even had 25 catches in 2004. I'm PRETTY sure he wasn't tendered as a RFA, though I can't even find info on it. All I know is he's a good guy, a young player and has some potential at the TE position. And nobody in the universe seems to be paying any attention.

6) Warrick Holdman - LB - Cleve (espn insider rank 72)
He's probably peaked at 29/30, but he's not a bad player at all. I wanted to put Donnie Spragon and Matt Stewart here, but, their names are starting to pop up. The guy I've not heard a peep from is Holdman. He's athletic enough to play in Bates' scheme and can match up with backs and TE's in coverage. I think he'd be a very under-rated and relatively cheap signing for the SSLB slot.

Guys I'd think about.

Anthony Simmons - LB - Seattle
A bad attitude and a lot of injuries keeps his value in the toilet. But, when he plays, he plays some damn good football. He could be an absolute stone cold steal if some "ifs" got hammered out.

Aeneas Williams - S - StL
Yeah, he's old. Yeah he's lost a few steps. But he's a guy that has forgotten more about the defensive backfield then most people will ever know. If NOTHING else, he'd be a good stop gap to help tutor some rookies. And one hell of a leader in a young defensive backfield.

Dominic Rhodes - RB - Ind
He hasn't been on anyone's wishlist, yet he played pretty good football before his injury. Not only could he be a steal, he's a solid Kick Returner as well. 2 years removed from the ACL. That's when RB's get fully healthy after that surgery. Could be a big time purchase if Davenport gets shuttled out.

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