May 10, 2013 in NFL Personnel
By Staff Writer Matt Pearce:
The lull between the NFL draft and the start of training camp has started so there will be fewer moves in the upcoming weeks.
Miami Dolphins sign OT Tyson Clabo
Surprise! The Dolphins have made the most notable signing of the week in free agency.
After spending the most money in free agency already, the Dolphins continue to add to their offseason haul by signing right tackle Tyson Clabo.
Last season, Clabo played in all eighteen of the Falcons games (two in the playoffs). He started at right tackle for them and was cut in early April for salary cap reasons. Pro Football Focus graded Clabo as the 5th best right tackle in the NFL last season.
Like almost ever veteran on the free agent market this year, Clabo received a one year deal, his worth $3.5 million with $1.5 million guaranteed.
For the Dolphins this signing makes sense but doesn't completely fill the need that the had at tackle. Clabo will be the day one starter at right tackle and should stay there all year. They drafted G/OT Dallas Thomas in the 3rd round of the draft but this signing will allow Thomas to develop a little or move inside to guard.
In last year's draft, the Dolphins drafted Jonathan Martin in the 2nd round to play right tackle and potentially become the left tackle of the future if Jake Long left in free agency this year (which he did). Martin will now go to left tackle with this signing. He struggled for most of the season last year as a rookie while playing right tackle so this move could be a problem.
Lastly, this signing officially puts the end to the Dolphins potentially trading for Kansas City Chiefs OT Branden Albert.
Overall, this is a solid signing value wise as Clabo is a good right tackle. However, the Dolphins needed a left tackle more than a right tackle, hence the interest in Albert.
DB Ronde Barber Retires
Free agent defensive back Ronde Barber has announced his retirement from the NFL after sixteen seasons.
Coming into the league out of Virginia with his twin brother, Tiki, Ronde was drafted in the 3rd round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. By the 1999 season, Barber had one of the Buccaneers starting cornerbacks and he never looked back.
During the 2002 season, Barber was part of one of the best defenses in history of the league. The Buccaneers defense ranked first in total defense that season and carried the team all the way to Super Bowl XXXVII. There they faced a team that was the exact opposite of them, the Oakland Raiders, led by their offense. In the Super Bowl, Barber had 5 tackles. More importantly though, was a play he made in the NFC Championship Game two weeks prior. Barber intercepted a pass late in the 4th quarter and returned it 92 yards for a touchdown. This play sealed the Buccaneers 27-10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles and sent them to the Super Bowl.
Statistically speaking, Barber's best season was the one prior to winning the Super Bowl, 2001. In this season, Barber recorded an astounding 10 interceptions. To put this in perspective, only five players have done this in the following eleven seasons, including none since the 2007 season. No one has had more than 10 interceptions in a season since then either. Along with 10 interceptions, Barber had a career high 24 pass deflections.
Due to his age, Barber transitioned to free safety last season. He made this move because his one-on-one cover skills were declining and he wasn't as fast as before. He had 92 tackles, 4 interceptions, and 13 pass deflections.
For his career, Barber played in 241 games. The only time he missed games was his rookie season where he only played in one game. That means that Barber played fifteen straight seasons without missing a game. This just adds to the legacy that Barber will leave behind in Tampa Bay after being probably their most known player for many years.
Barber's career stat line reads, 1,234 tackles, 28 sacks, 16 forced fumbles, 12 fumble recoveries, 47 interceptions, 205 pass deflections, and 14 touchdowns.
Minnesota Vikings cut P Chris Kluwe
In the least surprising move of the week, the Vikings released their punter from last year, Chris Kluwe.
During the draft a few weeks ago, the Vikings drafted P Jeff Locke with the 155th overall pick (5th round). This was the writing on the wall for Kluwe as no team is going to use a 5th round pick on a punter and then keep the incumbent.
Kluwe, a eight year veteran, had arguably his best season of his career last season. He had only 2.8% of his punts go for touchbacks and had a career high net average on his punts (39.7 yards) but still ranked 17th in the NFL. Despite this though, only 18 of his 72 punts (25%) were downed inside the 20-yard line which is a career low and ranked 31st in the NFL. This percentage was Kluwe's lowest since his rookie season (23.9%). In 2011, Kluwe's percentage started to decline, going from 38.6% to 28.6%.
One of the main reasons that this move has been getting publicity is that Kluwe has been a very outspoken player. Among the things that Kluwe has campaigned for are gay rights and getting punters into the Hall-of-Fame. While this isn't the reason Kluwe was cut, the Vikings may have been getting tired of some of his headline attracting antics.
The main reasons that Kluwe was released was his decline in productivity, his salary ($1.4 million), and his age (31). While his age of 31 doesn't look bad, especially for a punter, Vikings GM Rick Spielman has gotten rid of many players over the age of 30, leaving only three players over 30 years old on the Vikings roster. Being outspoken isn't the reason that Kluwe is no longer a Viking, but it didn't help his chances of staying on the roster with all three of those other factors going against him.
The Baltimore Ravens cut DT Swanson Miller.
The Baltimore Ravens trade a conditional 2014 draft pick to the Indianapolis Colts for C A.Q. Shipley.
The Cleveland Browns sign OT Rashad Butler.
The Dallas Cowboys sign QB Aaron Corp.
The Dallas Cowboys release QB Aaron Corp.
The Dallas Cowboys waive/injured DT Brian Price.
Safety Gerald Sensabaugh has announced his retirement as a Dallas Cowboy.
The Jacksonville Jaguars cut LB Greg Jones.
The Jacksonville Jaguars cut CB Antwaun Molden.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sign CB Marcus Trufant.
The Minnesota Vikings sign OT Brandon Keith.
The New England Patriots sign WR Lavelle Hawkins.
The New York Jets cut WR Emmanuel Arceneaux.
The New York Jets waive WR Thomas Mayo.
The Pittsburgh Steelers sign OT Guy Whimper.
The San Francisco 49ers sign G Adam Snyder.
The Seattle Seahawks release TE Darren Fells.
The Tennessee Titans release RB Jamie Harper.
The Tennessee Titans sign RB Jalen Parmele.
The Washington Redskins sign C Kevin Matthews.