I like the idea of a playmaking cornerback behind a pass rush that will force quarterbacks off their rhythm. That's why Sean Smith could have a monster season with the Oakland Raiders, who already added pass-rusher Bruce Irvin to pair with budding superstar Khalil Mack. Smith has never run up big interception totals, but he's often around the ball. He has been credited with 53 pass breakups over the past four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins, and he'll have a chance for plenty more with the Raiders.
Worst eye-popping experience
The headline on the ESPN.com stack said it all: "Broncos, Jets, Browns express interest in Colin Kaepernick trade." Kaepernick was once the quarterback of a team that made the Super Bowl, and he ostensibly could be again. But it's flat-out depressing to know that three teams are potentially bad enough at quarterback to bid for a player who just last season got benched for Blaine Gabbert by the team that knows him best. The San Francisco 49ers don't appear eager to trade Kaepernick, but they have a chance to draft his replacement with the No. 7 overall pick. The Broncos, Jets and Browns? Well, then ...
Best example of the Patriots knowing best
You might not have heard of Chris Hogan. (He was the guy in the 2012 "Hard Knocks" series who was called "7-Eleven" because he was always open.) He caught 36 passes for the Buffalo Bills last season and had the NFL's fourth-highest drop percentage (8.5). But the AFC East rival New England Patriots know him well and hosted him on a visit Thursday. Make no mistake: Hogan is a great route technician who would benefit from quarterback Tom Brady's accurate arm. It's easy to imagine him doubling his production in the Patriots' offense. We'll see if the sides can come to terms.
Best reason to say 'Thank gawd for the Browns'
The Cleveland Browns' unorthodox start to free agency -- they want to see what happens if you let all your good players sign elsewhere -- has taken the heat off John Elway and the Denver Broncos. There should be no sugarcoating it: Elway has stumbled out of the blocks. He could still recover, but there seems to be a nearly unrealistic expectation that he's "got this" because he's John Elway. At the moment, he has no quarterback -- a predicament due in part to Elway's inability to get linebacker Von Miller signed to a long-term deal -- and he foolishly offered a low tender to running back C.J. Anderson. On Thursday, Anderson signed an offer sheet with the Dolphins that will be difficult for the Broncos to match. Tack on the free-agent departures of defensive tackle Malik Jackson and linebacker Danny Trevathan, and it's difficult to imagine the Broncos in the 2016 championship mix.
Most damaging career move
Free agent Russell Okung is 28, he plays left tackle, and he is an unrestricted free agent. It's hard to understand why he went unsigned the first two days of the market or why a far inferior player (Jermon Bushrod) got a deal before he did. Oh wait, no, it isn't. Okung decided to fire his agent and represent himself in the most crucial financial offseason of his life. Agents aren't perfect, and they make mistakes like anyone else. But in most cases, teams would prefer to deal with the agent than with the player himself. Okung is expected to visit with the New York Giants and Detroit Lions, but he has almost certainly cost himself some money this week.
A few quick hits:
The New York Jets will miss Chris Ivory's physical run style, ESPN Jets reporter Rich Cimini writes, but the team's new duo of Matt Forte and Bilal Powell will give offensive coordinator Chan Gailey more flexibility in play calling.