SEATTLE WA - DECEMBER 05: Linebacker Lofa Tatupu #51 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates with Jay Richardson #99 and Craig Terrill #93 after returning an interception for a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers at Qwest Field on December 5 2010 in Seattle Washington. The Seahawks defeated the Panthers 31-14. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
We talk about how the NFL is an "Any Given Sunday" league. It means that anything can and will happen. Surprises happen every week. I hope to point some of those out each week and maybe even add a poll or two in there to see what you think was surprising. First up, Free Agent Surprises
3 months jammed into 2 weeks. I will admit the Free Agency period this year was exciting, even if the Colts didn't do much. I really think the NFL could draw on that and condense some of the off-season into shorter windows, but I digress. While I am surprised with the contracts that some people got, I would like to look at who, so far, didn't get contracts.
As I look there are a few names left on the market that surprise me.
I'll start with LB:
Lofa Tatupu - Released by Seattle for contract size was what I had heard. This guy has a nose for the ball and isn't as old as some of the other FAs. Just surprised I haven't even heard an interest yet.
Stephen Cooper - UFA from SD. Now I know he's not a huge name, but he always killed the Colts. With all the teams using some form of 3-4 now, it's surprising he hasn't found a home.
More after the jump...Dhani Jones - I know he's up there in years (12) but I can't help liking the guy if for no other reason than he rocks a bow tie. I think he'll make an impact where ever he lands.
Pat Williams - Big and old and not a great fit for every system, but man could he be a force.
Ellis Hobbs - Hobbs is definitely the odd man out in Philly. Three may survive, but four will be too many. He still has some situational value and experience that could help some team with young corners.
Chinedum Ndukwe - Mostly because I love his name, but he would provide depth for any team for certain. It almost feels like he's holding out to try to get a starting job. Don't know that it'll be there for him, but he will be high on the injury call list.
Trai Essex - I know I mentioned him in an earlier article, but a Guard with his size and age should be playing somewhere. He is not as agile as the Colts guards, but this guy can plow the road. Plus he's from Fort Wayne. Gotta love local boys!
Tony Richardson - Ground and Pound is still a viable offense in the NFL. I FB is a must for that system. Surprising that someone with the ability and experience of Richardson doesn't have a home.
Jim Sorgi - As we all know this guy is the best clipboard holder in NFL history.
Hank Baskett - Every NFL team needs a guy who will let go of recovered fumbles in the Super Bowl. My fantasy football team name for this year was almost To Hell In A Hank Baskett.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh - Last two free agents aside, I am real surprised a guy like "Championship" is still out there to be had. I started writing this article before the news broke that the Colts were meeting with Housh. He is a solid receiver that got into a BAD spot in Seattle and then got lost behind Boldin, Mason and Rice in a Run first offense with the Baltimore. Not quite sure how he fits into the Colts rotation, but I love him as a football player and know that depth is key in the NFL.
If the Colts were to go after any of these guys, my vote would go for Trai Essex. I fell like we need some veteran depth along the O-Line. Second pick would be Chinedum Ndukwe. I love Bullit and Bethea and I think Lefeged will make the squad an could be a UDFA steal, but we need depth. I would also like to see Lofa Tatupu come in for a one year deal. My guess is that all these guys are looking more long term and higher dollar than the Colts can/will pay. Still, a guy can dream can't he? I think all these guys would be good value if signed for the right price.
Who are your surprises in the free agent frenzy? Was there a contract that made you say WHAT??!?!? How about somebody you thought would be signed that is not yet? Leave a comment.