The League

Peter Schaffer
NFL Agent

Peter Schaffer

Agent and professor of sports law

Finding Free Agent Gems


Most people are familiar with the headlines of free agency involving mega-contracts signed by super star players. However the teams that succeed in free agency are the ones that find solid players at fair prices. These signings, done after the third week of free agency and lost in the back pages of the sports section, give the successful teams the core players to help them consistently win games and championships.

The 2008 NFL free agency signing period was no different than usual with some teams winning big in free agency such as Atlanta (Michael Turner), San Francisco (Justin Smith), the Jets (Woody, Faneca, and Pace), and some teams losing big time. There are also a number of teams that found the proverbial diamond in the rough and they include the following players:

Jeremiah Bell-MD -Safety - $850,000 per year.

Antonio Bryant - Buccaneers $650,000 per year.

Derrick Ward - Running Back Giants - $1.3 million per year.

Marquand Manuel - Safety/DB $1.5 million per year.

Clark Haggans - Linebacker - Cardinals - $1.4 per year.

Mewelde Moore - Running Back Steelers - $1.65 per year.

Tyler Brayton - Defensive Line - Panthers - $2.025 per year.

The teams that took the big swings at free agents and missed include The Raiders and their signings of Javon Walker, D'Angelo Hall and Madieu Williams $5.1 million; Jerry Porter and the Jaguars at $5.067 million per year; the Browns and Dante Stallworth at $5 million per year. The Broncos and their signings of Boss Bailey at $3.5 million per year and Keary Colbert at $2.8 million per year. And the Dolphins and their signing of Ernest Wilford at $3.25 million per year.

Each year there will be winners and losers in NFL free agency. The ones that win will be playing football games in January and the ones that lose will be golfing.

By Peter Schaffer  |  November 7, 2008; 12:40 PM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

"...find solid players at fair prices."

That's great advice. Sort of along the lines of 'only buy stocks that go up in value.'

How about: "set a free agent budget for yourself to use before and during the season. Stick to it. Only exceed it for a player if 1) the need is dire or 2) the player is by acclimation worth an exceptional gamble."

A conservative strategy, but still with its risks.

Posted by: samson151 | November 8, 2008 7:47 AM

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