Free Agency And Trade Roundup:

Steve O Speak

Seahawks trade Seneca Wallace to the Browns for a conditional 2011 draft pick:

This is a great deal for the Browns, assuming that the conditional pick is in the late to mid rounds of the 2011 draft. Wallace knows Holmgren and the West Coast Offense pretty well from their days together in Seattle. While he’s not an elite quarterback, he should do well to hold down the job until a long term solution can be found. Wallace is extremely athletic, which will help make up for his lack of natural quarterback skills. Holmgren did a great job of acquiring Wallace for a conditional pick next year, now the trade will be based on merit, instead of surrendering an asset this season. The Browns have done an impressive job of stockpiling draft picks this year, and by not touching them, Cleveland can be one of the movers and shakers on draft day. The extra selections will also allow Holmgren to clean house and bring in his players. The addition of Wallace knocks down the need for a quarterback a little on the Browns off season plan, likely Cleveland will now be targeting one with one of their 3rd round picks as opposed to grabbing one in the first two rounds. Wallace also means that Derek Anderson is packing his bags, and will be released any day now. And Brady Quinn might not be too far behind him, though he is more likely to be traded.

Eagles trade Reggie Brown to the Buccaneers for a 2011 6th round pick:

This is a solid move for Tampa Bay. Though Brown had never lived up to his 2nd round draft status, he has had some productive seasons with the Eagles. With recent additions though, Brown has fallen down the depth chart, so a new start is exactly what he he needs. Tampa didn’t surrender much at all to get Brown, who has a very reasonable long term contract. The Buccaneers had perhaps the worst receiving corps in the league last year, and are losing their top target (Antonio Bryant) in free agency. Brown isn’t the solution by himself, but he does bring some talent to the position.

Steelers re-sign Ryan Clark:

The Steelers did a great job of laying in the weeds on this one. Clark seemed all but gone, as he was taking visits and scheduling other ones, but the Steelers were always still in the hunt. Pittsburgh will be revamping their corner backs, so losing their safety would have created a big hole in the secondary. It was also a good move for Clark to back to Pittsburgh, where he’s experienced his greatest success. The Steelers aggressive defense utilizes Clark’s strengths well, and helps cover up his deficiencies in pass coverage. This should be a good signing for both sides.

Steelers sign (re-sign) Antwan Randle El:

This is a big of a surprise move for both Pittsburgh and Randle El. Now that’s not to say Randle El isn’t valuable, in fact I think he was one of the better unrestricted free agent receivers available (a much better option than Nate Burleson), but I just don’t see where Randle El fits in Pittsburgh. Surprisingly last season Pittsburgh was a throwing team, and while options were limited, it didn’t seem to affect the passing attack too much. Tight end Heath Miller really stepped up his game last season and became a great target in the middle of the field. Also 3rd round pick Mike Wallace came out of no where to be Pittsburgh’s primary deep threat. At the same time Santonio Holmes put together another wonderful season and led the Steelers with over 1,200 yards. While some might say Hines Ward is getting up there in age and has lost a step, it wasn’t too apparent last year when he caught 95 balls and had over 1,100 yards. He might not stretch the field as he once did, but he is still a fantastic possession receiver.

While its good to add depth, the signing of Randle El comes one day after Pittsburgh signed free agent Arnaz Battle from San Francisco. Its hard to see where the catches Randle El and Battle get in this offense will come from. Only 62 of the 351 completed passes last year went to other targets then the Steelers big four, and almost all of those went to running backs. With Mike Wallace likely seeing more balls thrown his way and Ward, Holmes and Miller all still playing at a premium level, its hard to see Randle El getting more than 20-25 catches this season. He likely could have found a much better situation on the open market, but I do understand how returning to Pittsburgh makes a lot of sense to Randle El. The biggest winner in this deal are the Steeler fans, because the return of Randle El and the signing of Battle means that Limas Sweed has played his last game in Black and Gold.

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