Wait, how can this be? Did Ted Thompson actually sign a free agent? Impossible. He never finds anyone to fill a need. Unless we were looking for an offensive linemen. Maybe one who is versatile, athletic, and can play all three linemen positions. We were? I wonder if that is Duke Preston?
Never heard of him? So what. It doesn't matter.
And that is the point.
General Managers in the NFL have a tendency to overpay big name free agents in the first week. A prominent example is the recent Albert Haynesworth signing by the Redskins, 100 million over seven years. Is he a good player? Of course. Can he ever live up to that. No. Simply put, he will have to perform better than he did with the Titans to deserve that. He could have an injury that limits his play or not play up to his contract, preferring to enjoy his newfound paycheck. There are no guarantees, even with recognizable names (who can sometimes be a product of the system).
Management just tend to be enchanted by players. During the first wave and the scramble to sign the free agents everyone wants (including fans). many organizations don't consider the consequence (mainly, overpaying name talents). This year proves that it can also damage relationship. It was Josh McDaniels devotion to Matt Cassel and desire to have him on the team that resulted in the current rift with Jay Cutler. Was there a better way to handle this? Maybe. But not all is understood. The problem is McDaniels got too swept up by the opening week of free agency (in fact, looking at the players signed by the Broncos, the entire team did) and he didn't consider the consequences. Now he has to worry about damage control.
Is this always the case? Of course not. But Ted Thompson doesn't get overly affected by the scramble of the first week. He is patient, to the irritation of a lot of fans. But I don't think that is a bad thing.
Believe it or not, there are good athletes that are ignored in favor of the big names. Just because a player is just not as famous doesn't mean they can't fill a need. Sometimes, the players that still haven't made are a better choice, since they still have the drive to prove themselves. They haven't "made it", like Haynesworth, so they keep playing in an effort to grow. Not having a big name can mean a better team player.
So, now that the rest of the NFL threw away their money on the hyped players, Ted Thompson can calmly pick out impact players that were ignored. And if he finds players who make a difference, even if their jerseys aren't readily available, suddenly, he is a genius.
Hopefully that is the case for Duke Preston!