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Has the power shifted in the NFL now that free agency is a week old? How will the free agent signings alter teams draft plans? Let us know your NFL Thoughts and be sure to check out the Ten Thoughts we dropped for you.
1) I understand the thought process of the proposed rule that will stop running backs from leading with the crown of their helmet, but the rule is essentially saying a running back can't dip his shoulder and has to remain upright. Matt Forte has been vocal of his displeasure with the proposal, calling it "absurd", and I agree. I'm all for legislating out some of the malicious hits, but football is a dangerous sport that is played by people willing to accept the risk involved.
3) I liked he moves made by the Minnesota Vikings; Percy Harvin wasn't happy and they got 3 draft picks for him, including a #1 this year. They re-signed right tackle Phil Loadholt, after the Bears drove up his price, but he is a quality right tackle. Matt Cassel, while not an elite QB, will provide them some insurance if Christian Ponder can't take another step as a player. Adding wide out Greg Jennings not only helps them, but hurts the Green Bay Packers.
5) Jake Long didn't quite get the $11 million per year he was initially seeking, but a 4 year deal worth potentially $36 million is still a hefty chunk of change from the St. Louis Rams. Now if he stays on his current career trajectory, his contract could prove to be a serious overpayment.
6) Wes Welker going to Denver was an outstanding coup for VP of Football Operations John Elway. The Broncos got 45 receptions from last years slot guy, Brandon Stokley, but Welker is five years younger, and will no doubt keep his production rolling with Peyton Manning as his QB. I'd be surprised by anything less than 80 catches.
7) The Dolphins may have overpaid for Mike Wallace, but he's exactly the type of player that offense needed. Factor in new TE Dustin Keller, and the other new free agents that signed in Miami, and the Dolphins could be playoff bound in 2013. There's still the issue of left tackle, but they do have some time to rectify that situation.
8) Corner backs aren't getting the type of money on the free agent market that they were expecting, and that could bode well for the Chicago Bears if they are looking for a veteran nickleback. I would love the Bears to be able to finagle a deal with former Vikes CB, Antoine Winfield.
9) Sticking with down markets, the defensive end position is a bit down this year too. The Seattle Seahawks pass rush just got a lot scarier as they picked up two quality DEs for relatively cheap. This down market at DE could be more good news for the Bears, because if free agent Israel Idonije can't find a suitor willing to pony up big money, it makes sense to stick with the Bears.
10) In the latest SBN Mock Draft, they have the Bears selecting Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina, and I love the pick. The Bears can slide him into the left guard spot as a rookie, let him play, learn, and grow as a player, and pick up what ever mojo he can from new left tackle Jermon Bushrod.