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    • michael89156

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      Top Five NFL Free Agency Gambles by Erik Lambert 11 minutes ago collins_zpseeeced89.jpgA sweet and sour truth of NFL Free Agency is that teams will take gambles on certain players to win.  Who are some of the biggest gambles of 2014? Kenny Britt – St. Louis Rams Head coach Jeff Fisher knew that his St. Louis Rams offense still needed more punch at wide receiver heading into 2014.  At the same time, he didn’t have the money to go splurging in NFL free agency, so he settled for a high-risk/high-reward bargain in Kenny Britt.  The 6’3? athlete out of Rutger was drafted by Fisher in Tennessee and possesses so much raw talent.  However, constant clashing with coaches and off-the-field problems have hampered his progress.  Can the Rams trust him to help? Julius Peppers – Green Bay Packers Just based on the name alone, signing Julius Peppers sounds like a brilliant ploy for the Green Bay Packers.  However, there is considerable risk involved.  He’s 34-years old and coming off one of his worst seasons as a pro.  There is no telling how much more even a freakish body like his can take at that age, especially since the Packers will be counting on him to kick up the pass rush opposite Clay Matthews. Anthony Collins – Tampa Bay Buccaneers Considering how he played for Cincinnati in 2013, it made perfect sense for tackle Anthony Collins to seek out a starting job in NFL free agency and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave him that chance.  Still, it doesn’t erase the fact that Anthony has never started a complete season at left tackle, which is what the Bucs will be asking of him in 2014.  He’s in an unfamiliar offense on top of that in a division that will pit him against Greg Hardy and Cameron Jordan.  That is a lot to overcome. LaMarr Woodley – Oakland Raiders Justin Tuck was an understandable signing by the Oakland Raiders in free agency.  He’s coming off a double digit sack season and has two Super Bowl rings, making him a valuable commodity.  The more interesting purchase for the Silver and Black was LaMarr Woodley.  Not only has he failed to post double digit sacks since 2010, but he’s also missed 14 games in that span because of injuries.  If that weren’t enough, the team is asking him to shift to defensive end after spending his entire career at outside linebacker.  Quite a leap of faith by a team. Brandon Browner – New England Patriots One of the more curious cases in recent NFL history is corner Brandon Browner.  A Pro Bowl player when he’s on the field, the massive 6’4? cornerback has instead spent most of his time nearly ruining his career off it.  Twice already he’s been suspended by the league for drug-related issues.  That means getting caught one more time could mean a suspension for a full season.  Such is the risk the New England Patriots have taken on him, hoping to put his talents across from All-Pro Darrelle Revis.  The reward is obvious, but with Browner one always must hold their breath.link

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    • Anonymous

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      He’s started 25 games so that’s more than a season’s starting experience. Really, Collins play is not going to be an issue.

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    • Anonymous

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      Johnson.

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    • Anonymous

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      You can make a similar  similar case for Collins, EDS and McDonald.  Johnson has been a starter.

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    • Anonymous

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      Mj. Huge risk/reward imo.

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    • Anonymous

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      Agreed, Michael Johnson seems like a bigger gamble to me. After last years dip in production he worries me the most.

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    • Anonymous

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      Agreed, Michael Johnson seems like a bigger gamble to me. After last years dip in production he worries me the most.

      I'm not sure, but he either lead the league or was close to the top of the league in pressures and PFF had him rated as the #3 4-3 defensive end in the game last season despite the drop in sacks. I think Johnson will be fine. I don't honestly see any of the free agents that we signed as gambles frankly. All have high character and work ethic. Maybe not all of them will be stars, but I expect all, if healthy, will be solid to good players.

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    • Anonymous

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      I don’t know that he’s going to be a double digit sack guy, which is what I’d really like. Regardless, the duo of MJ and AClay is a big upgrade over AClay and DTN/Bowers.

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    • Anonymous

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      I don't know that he's going to be a double digit sack guy, which is what I'd really like. Regardless, the duo of MJ and AClay is a big upgrade over AClay and DTN/Bowers.

      I think I can agree with that. I'll guarantee that if Johnson plays 14-16 games with the Bucs, he'll double his 3.5 sacks from last season at minimum and pressure the quarteback more than DTN/Bowers. He's definitely an upgrade. Back in the day when we had Sapp, Culpepper, Rice and Spires we were usually getting 40+ sacks from the front four alone, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see us get to that same number this year with the additions of Johnson and McDonald and Lovie/Frazier's 'tackle the ball carrier on the way to the quarterback' defense. With McCoy and McDonald penetrating up the middle, I just see a lot of opportunity for the edge rushers to get sacks. Both rushers should thrive in this situation.

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    • Anonymous

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      Ummmmmm and then there was this guy named McCown……

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    • Anonymous

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      Ummmmmm and then there was this guy named McCown......

      Signing a mediocre game manager to come in and be a mediocre game manager is much of a gamble.

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    • Anonymous

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      Ummmmmm and then there was this guy named McCown......

      Signing a mediocre game manager to come in and be a mediocre game manager is much of a gamble.

      Except they didnt sign him to be a "mediocre" game manager. I would agree that McCown is more risky in the sense that our offensive success this season is predicated much more on him than on Anthony Collins or any other player for that matter.

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    • Anonymous

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      All of the offensive pieces we have added are of great size with good to great hands.  QB is not a gamble with this team.  Johnson should thrive under Lovie but I do see him as the biggest gamble in FA. 

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    • Anonymous

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      All of the offensive pieces we have added are of great size with good to great hands.  QB is not a gamble with this team.  Johnson should thrive under Lovie but I do see him as the biggest gamble in FA.

      I hear you. Be that as it may, its difficult if not impossible to minimize th QB position in any offense to the point that he's not the most important player. The era of vanilla offenses thriving in the NFL is past, nowadays you need them to be good decision-makers or you won't win consistently, simple as that.

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    • Anonymous

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      All of the offensive pieces we have added are of great size with good to great hands.  QB is not a gamble with this team.  Johnson should thrive under Lovie but I do see him as the biggest gamble in FA.

      I hear you. Be that as it may, its difficult if not impossible to minimize th QB position in any offense to the point that he's not the most important player. The era of vanilla offenses thriving in the NFL is past, nowadays you need them to be good decision-makers or you won't win consistently, simple as that.

      Decision making is why I think Glennon wins this job.  That said, watch highlights of the players we've added in addition to Vjax and you get the feeling that if healthy we are going to be a tough out.  Can we get a competent slot to stretch the field?  We have some great candidates to play that roll but slot WR could be the x factor in our offense.  The QB position is very important.

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    • Anonymous

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      The problem with our QB situation is that we have a fairly low ceiling.

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    • Anonymous

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      MJ had a dip in sacks but not in pressures.

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    • Anonymous

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      The problem with our QB situation is that we have a fairly low ceiling.

      We do with the current starter... but not overall.  I don't think Glennon's ceiling is all that low.  I don't think he'll ever be an elite guy.. but could he be in the 10-15 range?  Yeah, I think he could be.

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    • Anonymous

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      I don't know that he's going to be a double digit sack guy, which is what I'd really like. Regardless, the duo of MJ and AClay is a big upgrade over AClay and DTN/Bowers.

      I think I can agree with that. I'll guarantee that if Johnson plays 14-16 games with the Bucs, he'll double his 3.5 sacks from last season at minimum and pressure the quarteback more than DTN/Bowers. He's definitely an upgrade. Back in the day when we had Sapp, Culpepper, Rice and Spires we were usually getting 40+ sacks from the front four alone, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see us get to that same number this year with the additions of Johnson and McDonald and Lovie/Frazier's 'tackle the ball carrier on the way to the quarterback' defense. With McCoy and McDonald penetrating up the middle, I just see a lot of opportunity for the edge rushers to get sacks. Both rushers should thrive in this situation.

      He'll get 10+ sacks just like he did playing next to Geno Atkins. He drew many double teams last year.  Most important is how he and GMC synch up. If McCoy is going straight in, you simply have to put two guys on him. If Johnson is as quick off the ball as reported, it's going to be fun to watch.

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    • Anonymous

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      The combo of McCoy and Johnson will be fun to watch, I really hope Johnson gets at least 10 sacks… I just can’t help but be hesitant haha.

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