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Monday, March 11, 2013
Free agency: AFC South teams wait it out

By Paul Kuharsky

It’s easy to say this is a weird limbo we’re in as AFC South franchises wait for the new negotiating period between agents and teams to wind down and NFL free agency to begin on Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.

The NFL screwed up these couple days with the warning memo it sent teams that scared them from doing much more than making a phone call to let an agent know about interest and trying to keep it a secret.

So beyond a few reports connecting teams to free agents to-be, the “best” tidbits we’ve gotten so far are X numbers of teams have asked about Free Agent Y.

We’ll wait for Tuesday now for the real juice.

It’s always important to note at this time how fan base happiness can skew. People want action more than anything. Win something now by outbidding the opposition for a guy at a position of need.

We’ll weigh a crazy money situation very carefully. Is a newcomer worth the big money he brings in?

But when the numbers are not outrageous, the reaction will be largely celebratory. It’s one of the beautiful things about the NFL’s calendar. Salary-cap cuts and free-agent departures can quickly be offset by additions. We have no real idea how new guys will fit in and help until the fall. But sports offseasons are generally about hope. Add a free agent or two, and hope skyrockets.

No matter how bad you are, no matter how bad things are, new guys equal hope. No matter how good you are, being quiet early in free agency doesn't generate hope.

Three of our four AFC South teams are bound to make early additions and make gains in the hope department. (Houston’s already tight against the cap and will be dealing, primarily, with its own people.)

Wise general managers know winning this week doesn’t typically equate to winning in the fall and winter.

It’s awfully hard for fan bases to maintain similar perspective. It’s time for news. You want good news about your team. We’re about to find out if you’ll get it.