Adam Schefter is reporting that Daryl Smith will visit with the Rams today. Jeff Fisher knows Smith well from his time with the Titans, so it isn’t all that surprising that he would bring him in. This is the first reported interest in Smith that I’ve seen, which means he may sign with them if he gets a contract he likes.
From a football perspective, this could be a very nice move for Smith. The Rams have two very good DEs (Chris Long and Robert Quinn) that can sack the QB and they have some pieces at linebacker. Smith should come cheaper than expected after the injury, so this could be a very nice addition for a team who’s trying to make some noise in a very tough division. Do you think this would be the right move for Daryl Smith?
Now that we are deep into the NFL offseason, let’s go back and take a look at the Tech players who performed the best on the field last season. I believe the most informative and exciting way to do this is to make a Top 10 list, counting down from 10 to 1. I’ll post one player a day for the next ten weekdays, so make sure to keep up and share your opinions by commenting below. The next player we are going to talk about and the number six player on this list is Daryl Smith, an OLB for the Jaguars.
Daryl Smith was a second round pick by the Jaguars in the 2004 draft and has played in Jacksonville for his entire career. He has been a force since entering the league, becoming one of the best 4-3 OLBs in the NFL. He had a stellar 2011 season, but was injured for much of the 2012 season. After missing the first 14 games of the season with a groin injury, he was activated off of IR and played for the Jags. He did not play up to his usual standards, but he was effective while on the field.
I debated where to put Smith on this list, since he didn’t play much last season. Ultimately I decided his overall talent was enough to keep him in the middle of the list behind the players who really had breakout seasons. Smith is an UFA this offseason and he should receive a lot of attention. He is one of the best LBs on the market(along with Philip Wheeler) and should get a pretty nice multiyear contract. I don’t think he will be back in Jacksonville unless he comes at a very reasonable price for them since they are in rebuilding mode. With that most likely out of the picture, he should try and sign with a playoff team since he has been on some bad teams throughout his years in the league. It will be interesting to see where he lands, but either way he will be higher up on this list next year if he can stay healthy. Below are the rankings so far.
Leading up to the beginning of the NFL Free Agency period I will be going through some of the former Georgia Tech players who will be looking for new teams and big contracts. There are some notable players on the list of FAs this year and quite a few should get multiple year deals. Let’s take a look at one of Tech’s best linebackers in the NFL, Philip Wheeler.
Philip Wheeler was drafted in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. He played for four seasons in Indianapolis until he signed a one year deal with Oakland last offseason. His tackle numbers have increased each year as he has gotten more playing time. His one year deal with the Raiders will end up paying off, however, as he had a very strong year for them. For the 2012 season, Wheeler had 109 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 FFs, and 6 pass deflections. Those numbers put him towards the top of the 2013 Free Agent class and he will be looking for a big pay day.
Wheeler is still relatively young(only 28) so I expect him to sign a three or four year deal with a team. I also don’t see him worrying about the team’s past performance, meaning he will go to the highest bidder. It will be interesting to see who will get a better contract between him and Daryl Smith, since both are top tier linebackers in this year’s FA group. Free Agency starts tomorrow at 4 P.M., so news on his status may come quick. Teams have been allowed to talk to players’ agents, which means he should already have visits line up. If he gets an offer he likes, he may be signed by a team within the next few days. Hopefully he can find the best deal for himself and I’ll let you know where that is when it happens.
Today the Jaguars released Dawan Landry in order to save more cap space. This was definitely a cost outweighing performance cut for a team who is in full rebuilding mode. Landry played pretty well last year for the Jags, but they do not want to pay him the money he is guaranteed on the contract he signed two years ago. The Jags have a new GM and he has come in and immediately started to eliminate overplayed players. This also means Daryl Smith probably won’t be back with the Jags, as he is a top tier 4-3 OLB. I’ll keep everyone updated when I here more information about free agency. Remember, it starts on Tuesday at 4 P.M.
Leading up to the beginning of the NFL Free Agency period I will be going through some of the former Georgia Tech players who will be looking for new teams and big contracts. There are some notable players on the list of FAs this year and quite a few should get multiple year deals. Let’s take a look at arguably the best Tech player set to hit FA this offseason, Daryl Smith.
Daryl Smith, drafted by the Jaguars in 2004, has spent all eight of his NFL seasons in Jacksonville. He has made a name for himself with his impressive play and has consistently been recognized as one of the best 4-3 OLBs in the NFL. Unfortunately for Daryl, he sustained a groin injury in the preseason last year and missed 14 games. Prior to last season he was expecting a large contract, but he probably won’t get that type of money after his contract year injury.
By all accounts, Smith would like to stay in Jacksonville now that he has two kids and has a house there. However, the Jags have gone through a complete front office overhaul and may not see him as a long term solution for a rebuild. If he comes at a cheaper price, I expect him to resign with the Jaguars. If he is intent on getting as much money as he can, then he will most likely sign with a playoff contender who is one or two defensive players away from winning it all.
I can see multiple teams giving him a contract loaded with incentives, since he is a very good player. If he can prove that last year was a fluke, then he shouldn’t have an issue playing through the end of his next contract. He certainly has a lot to prove this year so keep an eye out for his name when the FA period begins at 4 P.M. on March 12th.
The NFL Free Agency period begins at 4 P.M. on March 12th and there are quite a few former Georgia Tech players looking for a job. As we get closer to the beginning of FA, I’ll write a few posts about certain Tech players and where they should end up. For now, Michael Johnson is the only player who knows where he’ll be next year. He was franchise tagged by the Bengals, ensuring he will be with them for at least one more year. Here’s the rest of the free agents this year.
UFA (Unrestricted Free Agent)- Player is allowed to sign with whatever team he would like at the start of the FA period.
RFA (Restricted Free Agent)- The player’s old team places a qualifying offer on them and the player is allowed to talk to other teams. If the player signs a deal with another team, his original team is allowed to match the offer. If they choose not to match it, they will receive draft pick compensation in the round the RFA was designated in. This is somewhat confusing and it makes it pretty hard for RFA to sign with a different team because most teams don’t want to give up draft picks for players.
Exclusive Rights Free Agent- These FAs have two years of NFL experience but are not currently on a roster. If their former club offers them a three years veteran’s minimum contract, then they must take it or else not play in the NFL.
Tashard Choice- UFA
Jonathan Dwyer- RFA
Anthony Allen- Exclusive Rights
Will Heller- UFA
Andrew Gardner- RFA
Michael Johnson- Franchise Tagged
Vance Walker- UFA
Keith Brooking- UFA
Daryl Smith- UFA
Philip Wheeler- UFA
Gary Guyton- UFA
Free Agent info was acquired from footballfutures.com