<
>
Insider

How Wes Welker shifts balance of power

3/15/2013

Adam Schefter answers reader questions in his mailbag once a week during the NFL season. Got a query of your own? Submit it here.


Q: Adam, are the Miami Dolphins the clear winner in free agency? I feel like they did well, but also lost Sean Smith and Jake Long.

-- Kelly (Florida)

A: If it means something that the Dolphins "won" the first week of free agency, Kelly, then so be it. It's wise not to make definitive judgments of free-agency winners. How many times have we seen teams like the Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles or Carolina Panthers win free agency only to go out and have a poor season. The Dolphins made some aggressive moves that should improve this team. It's fair and deserved to be excited about wide receiver Mike Wallace, and their new linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler. What will be more significant to Miami is the draft, when the Dolphins are scheduled to have an extra second- and third-rounder. Let's see how Miami does then as well.


Q: Does the Wes Welker signing change the balance of power in the AFC? Has that been the most influential free-agent signing so far?

-- Jason (Pennsylvania)

A: I believe so, Jason. You're taking Tom Brady's favorite wide receiver on one of the AFC's best teams and giving him to Peyton Manning on another of the AFC's best teams. New England takes a hit, Denver gets a boost and those are two of the best teams in the conference. So on paper, it's a shift in the balance of power. But then Denver has to take advantage of it. The Broncos went into this offseason with a ton of salary-cap flexibility and still are enjoying the fruits of it. New England was a bit more challenged, but the Patriots still are expected to be active in free agency, even after the Danny Amendola signing, just not with the pricey players at the outset of the market.


Q: Adam, who are a couple under-the-radar players who are still out there and could really help teams?

-- Devin (Texas)

A: There are a bunch of them, Devin. How about Bears defensive end Israel Idonije, Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington or Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw. Those are just three of many, many players available. Just take a look at the players released this week who suddenly are a part of this free-agent class: Antoine Winfield, James Harrison, Karlos Dansby, John Abraham, Willie Colon. There are plenty of good players and plenty of good deals to be had for teams.


Q: Do you have any more news on where Darrelle Revis could end up? Is Tampa Bay his most likely destination right now?

-- Rachel (Delaware)

A: If the Jets trade Revis, Tampa Bay would appear to be the most likely destination at this time, Rachel. It's hard to see many teams interested in Revis that could satisfy the Jets' asking price and Revis' contract demands. Tampa has explored the possibility, at least, but the Jets could decide to balk at trading Revis. And then he would be free to leave after next season if he wasn't re-signed. So it's a complicated situation. Many teams in the league have no interest in trading for him -- not because he's not a great player, but there's just too much involved in compensation.


Q: The Minnesota Vikings have been busy -- trading Percy Harvin, signing Matt Cassel and courting Greg Jennings. Do you think they'll go after a cornerback, or another wideout if they don't get Jennings?? Or are the Patriots likely to sign him? Who else is interested? Thanks!

-- Paul (Minnesota)

A: Absolutely, Paul. This team is going to be busy trying to upgrade its roster. For starters, it has two first-round picks, so help will be on the way there, no doubt. But once this free-agent market settles, there will be plenty of deals to be had. And the Vikings know where they need help, no matter what happens with Jennings.