this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; By Pete Prisco SportsLine.com Senior Writer Tell Pete your opinion! With the free-agency period set to open next week, we remind all teams of the cardinal rule of signing players to big-money deals: Never give a mega contract to a ...
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|02-27-2004, 02:37 PM||#1|
The Dark Overlord
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: dirty south
The top 48: Think young when you think free agents
By Pete Prisco
SportsLine.com Senior Writer
Tell Pete your opinion!
With the free-agency period set to open next week, we remind all teams of the cardinal rule of signing players to big-money deals:
Never give a mega contract to a player over the age of 27.
Players on the slope up are usually the way to go. Paying players on the down slope is a sure ticket to cap hell.
So in putting together a SportsLine.com list of the 48* best available free agents, we took that into account. No player over the age of 27 is allowed in our top 10. That's the rules, so Warren Sapp and Troy Vincent can't be in the top 10, even though they are productive players still and will likely top many free-agent lists.
Instead, our top 10 is made up of young players on the rise, some who have already achieved star status (Jevon Kearse) and some who have not, but may soon do so. It has Seattle receiver Darrell Jackson in the fifth spot.
Take that into account as you scan this list. It is filled with players aged 26 and 27, and has lower ratings on some of the older players.
This list also does not include any player who has been franchised (Peyton Manning would top it if he didn't have the tag) or any restricted free agent. It does include transition player John Tait, a tackle from Kansas City who just missed the top 10.
He's 29, two years too old.
There will be no fudging if you want to avoid cap troubles, and that's advice all teams need to adhere to in free agency.
(*Note: The original list contained 50 free agents, but paperwork errors from Terrell Owens' and Dennis Northcutt's agents will keep them off the market.)
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