When the free agent signing period started last Friday, one of the big questions involved player movement in the uncapped year.
Well, according to the NFL's labor site, something interesting has happened. More unrestricted free agents with six or more seasons of experience have signed contracts through the first week of free agency this year than last year. But fewer have moved teams.
That tells me that the best offers they're generally getting are from their own teams, and that in most cases there hasn't been the anticipated bidding wars that might have been expected.
The site's table has 52 UFA's signing through the first week of action this year, as opposed to 39 six-year vets last year. The table doesn't account for any four or five-year veterans, since this uncapped year rendered restricted the younger players that previously would have qualified as unrestricted. A separate note, though, indicated that if four and five-year restricteds who have signed their tenders were added, the number would jump to 87.
This year, 21 UFAs switched clubs, as opposed to 22 last year. Thirty-one have signed with their original clubs, as opposed to 17 last year.
The position this year drawing most of the early interest is wide receiver, where eight have signed. That number should rise, too, now that Hank Baskett has gone back to Philadelphia and Terrell Owens is still hunting around for a major deal.
Last year, it was linebacker with six signings.
The Giants, by the way, figure into the equation only by losing two UFAs, Fred Robbins to St. Louis and David Carr to San Francisco. Both signings, Antrel Rolle and Jim Sorgi, were cut by Arizona and Indianapolis, respectively, and therefore are not technically UFAs.
CORRECTION: Misread the chart. Actually, the number of unrestricteds in the first week of 2009 jumps from 39 to 87 when the four and five-year veterans are added, not the tendered unrestricteds from this year as previously mentioned. Management regrets the error, and will now enroll in a course that emphasizes the interpretation of numerical tables.