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Stealthy Giants, other free-agent thoughts

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Rocky Bernard

After two wild days of free agency in the NFL let's take a deep breath and assess at least some of what has gone on.

In many cases, the script has been familiar. Or, at least predictable.

Let's start with our New York Giants. As we should have anticipated, the Giants have made a couple of excellent under-the-rader signings. Linebacker Michael Boley and defensive tackle Rocky Bernard add playmakers to the Giants defense in areas where they were thin in 2008. Both are relatively young (Boley 26, Bernard will soon be 30), both can step in and help immediately and neither of them was incredibly expensive.

It is obvious that the Giants felt they needed an infusion of talent on defense. Jerry Reese moved quickly to acquire it. By the way, Ralph Vacchiano now expects the Giants to pass on Dallas defensive lineman Chris Canty. Tom Rock of Newsday, on the other hand, says the Giants will still see what Canty's asking price is.

The Giants could still use help at safety, wide receiver and maybe even a backup offensive lineman. I have a feeling Reese knows these things.

Much of the other action in the first two days of free agency has also been predictable.

  • The Washington Redskins threw gobs of money at Albert Haynesworth and DeAngelo Hall. They have tried, and failed, at this before. In an article detailing the best and worst signings of the free agent era, USA Today listed these Redskins failures.

Dead-skins: Among the blunders made by the Redskins — Dana Stubblefield (1998), Jeff George (2000), Deion Sanders (2000), Jeremiah Trotter (2002) and Adam Archuleta (2006). And this list is hardly comprehensive.

  • The New England Patriots followed a familiar pattern of signing veterans who could still contribute for a year or two by grabbing former Jacksonville running back Fred Taylor. Trading Matt Cassel to Kansas City for a draft pick is also a familiar tactic for the Pats, who love to load up on draft choices.
  • Speaking of Kansas City, new General Manager Scott Pioli is following a predictable pattern. He brought in a coach in Todd Haley who he worked with in New England, and now he has brought in a quarterback from the Patriots that both he and Haley have confidence in.
  • The New York Jets are also following the "raid the team the new coach used to work for" philosophy. The have signed linebacker Bart Scott away from Baltimore, and are now Ravens' safety Jim Leonhard.
  • Things have not gone well for the Philadelphia Eagles the past couple of days. They have lost Brian Dawkins, Correll Buckhalter and Sean Considine to free agency, and traded cornerback Lito Sheppard to the Jets. At this rate, we will hardly recognize the Eagles next season.