This article is part of our NFL Free Agency series.
Low and slow has been the name of the game through the first week of free agency, with a reduced salary cap leading to an influx of one- and two-year contracts that are dirt-cheap compared to deals from the past couple offseasons. For the most part, players who signed right away came out best, while most of the agreements announced since the end of the legal tampering period (Wednesday) have looked far more favorable for the teams.
Two years and $22 million for Nelson Agholor didn't seem too bad last Monday, back when we were still comparing to free-agent deals from 2019 and 2020. By Thursday, it appeared the Patriots had misjudged the market, coughing up $16 million guaranteed for Agholor and $5.25 million for Kendrick Bourne in the same week John Brown and Emmanuel Sanders signed for less than $6 million apiece.
That's not to say the Pats should've signed 30-somethings like Brown and Sanders, but if nothing else, a little more patience might've landed them the same players for a bit less money. To be fair, I also understand the strategy of aggressively loading up on young free agents in an offseason where the few teams with a lot of cap room have extra leverage.
Now, here are some of RW's top resources to keep you up to date on the offseason:
And here are our previous free-agency recaps:
Top Signings From the Weekend
Initial reports put the guaranteed portion of the contract at $40 million, but it turns out only $28 million is fully guaranteed (eyeroll), per OverTheCap.com. In practice, the Giants can get out of this contract after two seasons and $36 million, though I think it's equally likely (perhaps more so) that Golladay will be seeking a raise or extension at that point.
Golladay has never been a target hog, but he did have back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons (2018-19) on lousy Detroit teams that averaged 21.3 and 20.3 ppg. Of course, It's not his talent that's in question so much as Daniel Jones'.
In terms of target competition, there are certainly competent mouths to feed in New York, yet none approaches Golladay's skill as a pass catcher. This isn't a situation where he's especially likely to discover a new target ceiling beyond the 120 range, but we can hardly call it a nightmare when Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard are the other starting receivers.
The breakout argument for Slayton/Shepard takes a big hit with this signing, while Golladay should suffer a smaller value loss, and Jones should get a little boost. I can't say I'm excited to draft any of them right now, but it's easy enough to make an argument for upside given the youth and raw athleticism of the Giants' skill-position core (we haven't even mentioned Saquon Barkley yet).
WR DeSean Jackson — One year, no details yet
The oft-injured 34-year-old figures to step in for Josh Reynolds, who signed a one-year contract with the Titans on Monday. You might say this lowers the breakout odds for Van Jefferson, but there was always a threat of competition, and Jackson's impressive track record doesn't matter if he's too injured to take the field.
Reynolds managed just 51/618/2 last season, but that was with Jared Goff at quarterback and both Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett taking on targets at tight end. The post-Everett, post-Goff version of the Rams could send more targets to the No. 3 receiver, be it Jackson or Jefferson.
WR Josh Reynolds — One year, no details yet
Reynolds is surely disappointed with the market he met this spring, but he at least managed to land with a team where a starting job is well within his reach. With Corey Davis, Jonnu Smith and Adam Humphries all departing this offseason, the Titans are left with Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown, Anthony Firkser and now Reynolds as the skill-position weapons on offense.
It's too early in the offseason to make any solid declarations about a mediocre player like Reynolds, but there is a path to No. 2 status in an efficient passing game, albeit within an offense that prefers to run the ball. I prefer Firkser over Reynolds, figuring the former is more of an unknown and the latter a known mediocrity.