Sunday, April 14, 2013
UFA scorecard makes NFC West trend clear
By Mike Sando
Players reaching NFL free agency are, by definition, players teams are prepared to lose.
That has become clearer in the one month since 45 NFC West players became unrestricted free agents March 12. The Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks have so far re-signed only two of the 45. Another UFA, Chris Williams, reportedly will re-sign with the Rams, although no contract has been filed to this point.
At most, then, three of the 45 have been retained. The 49ers and Seahawks have yet to re-sign one of their own UFAs. Arizona re-signed safety Rashad Johnson just as free agency was beginning. The Rams' deal with defensive end William Hayes is the most significant UFA re-signing in the division so far. Hayes signed for $3.4 million per season.
Teams from the division had re-signed 13 UFAs at this point last year. Seventeen UFAs had signed elsewhere, matching the number that have signed elsewhere this offseason.
The chart shows UFAs from NFC West teams this offseason. Quite a few were backups and/or players teams hoped to replace. Dashon Goldson, Delanie Walker, Danny Amendola and Steven Jackson could be the toughest ones to replace right away, although their teams did not appear particularly determined to keep them.
NFC West teams kept several valued players from reaching free agency this offseason by re-signing them before contracts expired. Calais Campbell, Chris Clemons, James Laurinaitis and Chris Long come to mind as prominent examples.