Free agency shakes up NFL draft picture
Posted: Mon April 13, 1998 at 6:56 PM ET
From The War Room
With former Jet Murrell flying southwest to Arizona, the Cardinals can look to other needs besides tailback
PHOENIX (CNN/SI) -- Here's a look at some of the latest free-agent moves in the NFL, and how that might affect each team's draft.
Arizona -- Traded for Jet RB Adrian Murrell. His acquisition will allow the Cards to focus on OL and DS. Murrell gives them a big back with decent speed. The Cards had to give up a third-round pick and they may maneuver in Round 2 to try to get it back.
Atlanta -- Signed FA QB Mark Rypien to backup starter Chris Chandler. It makes the QB a little bit less of a need, but we're still not sure the QB of the future is on this roster right now.
Carolina -- The Sean Gilbert deal still has not been finalized. If the deal goes through and the Redskins can figure out compensation, NT becomes less of a need. If they can't come to terms, DE and NT become huge needs for the Panthers.
Dallas -- Signed RB Chris Warren because Cowboys are unhappy with backup RB Sherman Williams. Starter Emmitt Smith is starting to slow down.
Green Bay -- Signed former Buccaneer DE Eric Curry, whose NFL career has been a huge disappointment. Curry is no long- or short-term solution, and DE is still their No. 1 need this draft. At best, Curry will add depth. He can't be counted on to become a starter.
Minnesota -- Added DC Anthony Phillips, a first-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons. Phillips spent last season out of football, and weighed 240 pounds when the Vikes signed him last week. If he gets into shape and produces, it will be a big lift to a marginal secondary. They can't bank on him being the answer -- DC is still the #1 need for this team. Could still sign 2-3 DCs in the upcoming draft.
New York Jets -- Re-signed DC Otis Smith. It was feast or famine with Smith last season, as he made a lot of big plays, but gave up twice as many in return. Smith is not a frontline starter, and was picked on regularly last season. DC is still a huge need, as they need a top notch cover DC opposite of Aaron Glenn.
Pittsburgh -- Re signed FA OLB Jason Gildon, making a pass-rushing OLB less of a need. However, Greg Lloyd is coming off an ankle problem, and was showing his age last season before the injury. They may cut Lloyd an re-sign him for less money, which won't make him happy. Gildon had to sign for less than anticipated, and is not happy with team management either. Will still look for some depth for unhappy OLB corp.
St. Louis -- Traded for Packer QB Steve Bono. He gives them a veteran backup who, unlike Mark Rypien, can step in and be productive should starter Tony Banks struggle. Bono's addition makes QB less of a need, but Rams still could look for a young guy late in the draft to start developing should Banks not be the long-term answer.