Tag Archive: Free Agency


Demario Ballard is turning heads in camp. It's still very early, but my gut says he might stick on their 53 man roster.

Did you project Demario Ballard to be drafted? I didn’t, I never even got to watch film of him. But Ballard may turn out to be the gem of the UDFA class if he continues to impress at Lions training camp. Ballard has impressed coaches, fans and reporters alike at Lions camp. Partly because of his sheer size and athletic ability (Ballard stands at an impressive 6’6″, 220 pounds and ran a 4.50 40 yard dash according to CBS Sports and NFL Draft Scout’s profiles on him) and partly because he has been making impressive catches and using his size to turn potential into production in camp. Doing a little research on him revealed his impressive measurables, and that he went to Western Oregon and had 35 receptions, 620 yards and 5 touchdowns as a senior. Not exactly all-world production, but his athleticism projects to the NFL.

Here is a scouting report courtesy of Chad Reuter, one of the best sources for draft information on the internet and someone I have been reading since the first day I became interested in learning about the NFL Draft:

Positives: Tall deep threat with some thickness who is a handful for Division II corners. Effective on vertical routes with strides and surprising agility. Strong hands, goes up to high-point jump balls over smaller corners (in red zone, down sideline, over the middle). Good release off the line for his size. Tracks ball over his shoulder, finds passes when turned around. Used on short routes, shows some agility and toughness to gain a few extra yards after contact. Uses his length to create separation downfield just before the ball arrives. Has size, arm length to effectively block for the run and to open up lanes downfield.

Negatives: Strider who must rely on size to separate from NFL cornerbacks. Not practiced at beating the jam. Dances after the catch too much, takes time to accelerate and must prove he can make defenders miss at the next level. Gets taken down quickly after the catch. Consistency as a blocker is lacking, needs to ramp up intensity more often. Adequate adjusting to low throws, may struggle with fastballs from veteran passers. Gets caught from behind on longer runs.

Not surprisingly Ballard relies on his long strides to cover ground quickly, but isn’t a very good route runner and needs technique work as a route runner and as a blocker. But his athleticism, ball skills and overall ability check out, he just needs some quality coaching. If he has the right attitude and work ethic his route running and blocking could be easily rectified, and there would be little standing in his way of making a NFL roster and being a significant contributor.

Without being able to see him in person it’s hard to make this claim, but I have to say reading about him and looking over the information I found on him, it’s hard to say that he doesn’t have the potential to be the undrafted version of Marques Colston. There, I said it!

I can’t wait to see him in preseason action, and it will be interesting to see if he sticks on the Lions roster… I have a gut feeling that he will. I am going to pursue an interview with him, if I land it I will obviously post it!

Thanks for reading!

–Tom

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It’s beginning to look like McKinnie is out as Minnesota’s left tackle. I don’t just mean the starting line-up, he might be off the team altogether.

McKinnie was placed on the NFI list (Non-Football Injury) signaling that he may have arrived to camp out of shape. There have been rumblings for at least one or two years that the Vikings have wanted to either move or upgrade the LT spot, as McKinnie has had trouble off the field more than once since joining the Vikings. However, there was never an upgrade available (at least realistically), so a move was never made.

That changed yesterday when the Vikings were able to snag Charlie Johnson, the starting LT for the Colts last year, for a 3 year deal worth around $12 million from what I have seen. Johnson is versatile, and may be best as a LG, but showed he can play LT last year (even if he gave up 6 sacks protecting Peyton Manning, which doesn’t speak glowingly in terms of his ability to stick at that spot). He doesn’t have any character concerns that I’m aware of, which certainly makes him more attractive than McKinnie (especially if they don’t consider his six sacks allowed as an indictment on his ability).

Adam Schefter just tweeted that McKinnie has been cut, so he is officially a free agent and ready to be signed (if anyone wants him).

It’s been an interesting run for McKinnie in Minnesota, but his time has finally run out. I’ll update this as I hear more.

–Tom

More Free Agency

Leinart officially back with the Texans.

Olindo Mare signed a 4 year, $12 million contract with the Panthers ($4 million). Apparently the Panthers are serious about turning their 2 win roster from a year ago into a potential 3-4 win roster for years to come.

Robert Gallery (OG) has signed with the Seattle Seahawks. They should have a pretty good offensive line.

DeAngelo Williams got 5 years, $43 million ($21 million guaranateed) from Carolina. They definitely overpaid for him, and considering his injury concerns (plus having a starting caliber back in Jonathan Stewart already…) they could have easily let him leave. Under no circumstances would I have paid him near that much money. As I said on Twitter “In three years people will look back on this contract and say ‘Wow, Carolina made a huge mistake paying DeAngelo, an injury prone back, all that money.'” http://twitter.com/#!/TMeltonScouting

Per Adam Schefter it seems that Kolb to Arizona in exchange for DRC and a pick should happen by the end of the week. Will be interesting to see just how high that pick is, and what kind of a contract extension Kolb gets out of AZ. Probably something substantial, 4-5 years $40-50 million if I had to guess.

Eric Weddle got a record deal for a safety, 5 years, $40 million.

Santonio Holmes officially got 5 years, $50 million with $24 million guaranteed. Reportedly he took less money because he “loves being in NY” and may have wanted to help keep space open to pick up Aso. Will be very interesting to see if that works, but keeping Holmes was huge for NY.

The Jets have also been rumored to have interest in Randy Moss. Would be a great redemption story if he got a shot at playing in NY, especially if he stepped up and played well like I think he is capable of.

David Baas (OC) has signed with the Giants.

Matt Hasselbeck has signed with the Tennessee Titans (which I predicted, not to pat myself on the back).

Doug Free stays in Dallas (4 years, 32 million)

Paul Pozluzny to Jags (6 years)

Barry Cofield to Redskins (6 years)

Jacoby Jones stays with Texans (3 years, 10.5 million)

Donte Stallworth to Redskins (1 year deal)

Brad Smith possibly signing with Chicago

Ike Taylor resigns with Pittsburgh (4 year deal)

Raiders resign Jarvis Moss, Jon Condo (LS)

DeAngelo Williams is deciding between Carolina and Denver.

Takeo Spikes to Chargers (2 year deal)

Leinart has not yet signed with Seattle (according to his twitter), but it could still happen.

Eric Weddle is in high demand. Jaguarys, Broncos, Vikings, Cowboys and Texans all interested.

Broncos looking at McGahee for RB.

Dolphins have expressed interest in Marion Barber.

Mason Crosby resigns with Packers (5 year deal)

Wayne Hunter (OT) has signed a 4 year deal worth $13 million with the New York Jets.

Kevin Boothe signed a two year deal with the Giants.

Kevin Payne signed with the Panthers.

Chiefs resigned Casey Weigmann and Terrance Copper.

Nate Davis signed a two year deal with the Indianapolis Colts.

Nick Barnett, Leonard Davis, Roy Williams (WR), Devin Aromashodu, Derek Anderson, Bryant Johnson all released by their former teams.

Devin Aromashodu has signed with the Vikings.

The Falcons have resigned Stephen Nicholas to a 5 year deal (GREAT NEWS!)

The Titans are expected to release former #3 overall pick Vince Young on Thursday once teams are allowed to cut players. As I have mentioned before, he could be a fit in Buffalo.

I’m late on this, but Derrick Mason, Kelly Gregg, Todd Heap and Willis McGahee for anyone who missed it.

Again, late on this, but Quintin Mikell signed a 4 year, $28 million deal with the Rams. Nice signing on paper, might not be as productive on the Rams as he was on a talent-laden Eagles defense.

The Chargers have signed Bob Sanders according to a report I saw on Twitter. Will wait to see it confirmed.

Tyler Thigpen agreed to a three year deal with Buffalo.

Damoine Lewis signed a one year deal with the Texans.

Jeremy Clary signed a 4 year, $20 million deal ($8.5 million in 2011) with the Chargers.

Randy McMichael signed a one year deal with San Diego.

Tarvaris Jackson’s contract with the Seahawks is 2 years for $8 million.

Ron Edwards (DT) signs a 3 year, $8.25 million contract with Panthers.

Nathan Enderle has signed a rookie contract with the Bears. Look out for him moving up the depth chart in the next year or two.

Cofield got 6 years, $36 million and $12.5 guaranteed from the ‘Skins. Not sure how well he fits there, he was perfect for a penetrating scheme like the one the Giants or Falcons run.

Santonio Holmes resigned for 5 years with the Jets.

I’ll do my best to keep up with all the free agency moves. Here is what I’ve heard so far:

Tarvaris Jackson to Seattle- Not loving this move, because with Jackson and Whitehurst the Seahawks don’t have much at QB, especially since they are now letting Hasselbeck walk. Hasselbeck may have had some problems with injuries recently, but Tarvaris has had injury issues at times as well. Exchanging Hasselbeck for Tarvaris is a definite downgrade in my opinion, not a good move for Seattle in my opinion.

Charles Johnson re-signs with Carolina: Carolina gave Charles Johnson a big contract: 6 years, $72 million with $32 million guaranteed. Interesting that they felt they needed to lock Johnson up, but let Peppers walk. Peppers is obviously older and got more money, but the way he played for Chicago this year you have to wonder if the Panthers made a mistake letting him go (though Peppers may have decided to leave even if Carolina offered him that much money) and if giving Johnson a “perennial pro-bowl level deal” when he has had one year of impressive production as a starter. He looked good in a rotational role before that as well, but that’s a lot of money to give a guy who had his best season by far in a contract year. But they probably couldn’t afford to let him walk right after they lost Peppers the year before.

St. Louis Rams agree to 4 year deal with former Eagles Safety Quentin Mikell: Clearly the Eagles are comfortable letting Kurt Coleman step up into a consistent starting role if they let Mikell go so easily, but Mikell was one of the best safeties in the NFL last year, and he is a great pick-up for the Rams on paper. Mikell will be playing on a defense with significantly less talent, which is something you have to consider when predicting whether or not this is a great signing. It’s a definite upgrade for the Rams at that position, but it will be interesting to see how much money he got.

Santana Moss re-signs with Redskins- Not a game-changer by any means, but clearly the Redskins wanted him back and he wanted to be back, hopefully the quarterback throwing him the ball doesn’t change as frequently as it did last year. Sounds like it is a 3 year deal, $15 million with a $5 million signing bonus, $6 million guaranteed.

Seahawks may sign Leinart- Leinart could be reunited with Pete Carroll in Seattle. Will be interesting to see if he rounds out the depth chart. **Update** It sounds like Leinart has agreed to a deal with Seattle. This will easily be the most interesting/ridiculous quarterback competition of any of the 32 training camps…

Baltimore locks up Marshal Yanda- Yanda is a quality guard, haven’t heard the terms yet. Will update when I hear what the contract is worth. **Update** The deal is believed to be worth something in the 5 year to $32 million range.

Thanks for reading!

–Tom

UDFA Tracker

Here is my tracker for the UDFA frenzy going on right now. This is my preliminary list, I will update it when and however I can throughout the day as rumors become official, etc.

Martin Parker, DT, Richmond- New York Giants- Confirmed with him via text
Terrence Tolliver, WR, LSU- Houston Texas- Confirmed with him via text
DeAndre McDaniel, SS, Clemson- New Orleans Saints
Derrick Locke, RB, Kentucky- Minnesota Vikings
Graig Cooper, RB, Miami- Philadelphia Eagles
Kendric Burney, CB, North Carolina- Carolina Panthers
Deunta Williams, S, North Carolina- Tweeted that he needs to rehab before signing. Tough break for a great kid.
Mark Herzlich, OLB, Boston College- New York Giants
Jeron Johnson, SS, Boise State- Seattle Seahawks
Pat Devlin, QB, Delaware- Miami Dolphins
Noel Devine, RB, West Virginia- Philadelphia Eagles
Darren Evans, RB, Virginia Tech- Indianapolis Colts
Dane Sanzenbacher, WR, Ohio State- Chicago Bears confirmed! Big get for them, he could stick.
Perry Baker, WR, Fairmont State- Philadelphia Eagles!! *Confirmed with him via text*
Andre Smith, TE, Virginia Tech- Chicago Bears
John Graves, DT, Virgina Tech- Houston Texans
Stevan Friday, DE, Virginia Tech- Houston Texans
Pierre Allen, DE, Nebraska- Seattle Seahawks
Chris Matthews, WR, Kentucky- Cleveland Browns
Ian Williams, DT, Notre Dame- San Francisco 49ers
Ted Laurent, DT, Mississippi- Was with CFL team, haven’t heard anything yet.
Kenny Rowe, OLB, Oregon- San Francisco 49ers
Ugo Chinasa, DE, Oklahoma State- Hearing Carolina Panthers
Justin Trattou, DE, Florida- Haven’t heard anything
Mario Harvey, ILB, Marshall- Pittsburgh Steelers
Mario Butler, CB, Georgia Tech- Dallas Cowboys
Dom Decicco, SS, Pittsburgh- Chicago Bears
Jerrod Johnson, QB, Texas A&M- Philadelphia Eagles
Adam Weber, QB, Minnesota- Denver Broncos
Armon Binns, WR, Cincinnati- Jacksonville Jaguars
Allen Reisner, TE, Iowa- Minnesota Vikings
Zach Hurd, OG, Connecticut- Seattle Seahawks
Craig Marshall, DE, South Florida- New York Giants
Isaac Odim, RB, Minnesota-Duluth- San Diego Chargers confirmed
Ryan Bartholomew, C, Syracuse- Baltimore Ravens
Vai Taua, RB, Nevada- Buffalo Bills
Adam Froman, QB, Louisville- Atlanta Falcons
Ryan Winterswyk, DE, Boise State- Atlanta Falcons
Darren Johnson-Koulianos, WR, Iowa- Philadelphia Eagles I hear. Very intriguing.
Jimmy Young, WR, TCU- Chicago Bears
John Clay, RB, Wisconsin- Pittsburgh Steelers
Isaac Anderson, WR, Wisconsin- Interest from multiple teams, has not signed yet.
Daryll Gamble, LB, Georgia- San Diego Chargers
Dominique Johnson, WR, Cal Poly- Minnesota Vikings
Randall Hunt, OG, Illinois- St. Louis Rams- Martin Parker said he was the toughest OL at East-West Shrine Game
Armando Allen, RB, Notre Dame- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Eddie McGee, QB/WR, Illinois- Oakland Raiders- Looks like Al woke up from his nap.
Clay Nurse, DE, Illinois- New England Patriots
Adrian Cannon, WR, Maryland- San Diego Chargers
Joe Horn, WR, Ashland (OH)- Indianapolis Colts
Robert McGill, OT, Louisiana Tech- Atlanta Falcons
Anthony Leonard, LB, West Virginia- New England Patriots
Brandon Bair, DE, Oregon- Kansas City Chiefs- Great fit he screams 3-4 DE, great size.
David Gilreath, WR/KR, Wisconsin- Indianapolis- They love the undersized, slot guys. Has KR/special teams value.
Thomas Weber, K, Arizona State- Cincinnati Bengals
Josue Paul, WR, Central Connecticut- Kansas City
Julian Posey, CB, Ohio- New York Jets
Ray Dominguez, OG, Arkansas- Green Bay Packers
M.D. Jennings, S, Arkansas State- Green Bay Packers
Diondre Borel, QB, Utah State- Green Bay Packers
Theo Sherman, OL, James Madison- Green Bay Packers
Zac Etheridge, S, Auburn- Oakland Raiders!
Mario Fannin, RB, Auburn- Denver Broncos
Ryan Jones- Chicago Bears
Detron Lewis, WR, Texas Tech- Tampa Bay
Corey Brandon, OL, Oklahoma- Tampa Bay
Kiante Tripp, DT, Georgia- Atlanta Falcons
Jabari Fletcher, DE, Appalachian State- Cleveland Browns
Josh Jasper, K, LSU- Tampa Bay
Ollie Ogbu, DT, Penn State- Indianapolis Colts
James McCluskey, FB, Boston College- Oakland Raiders
Jock Sanders, WR, West Virginia- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Charlie Gantt, TE, Michigan State- Kansas City Chiefs- Confirmed
Maurice Rolle, DB- Houston Texans
Robert Hughes, RB/FB, Notre Dame- Chicago Bears
Blake Sorensen, LB, Wisconsin- Seattle Seahawks (via Wisconsin football players)

I’ll try to update this list more later, just trying to keep up!

–Tom