Quiet First Day of Free Agency for AFC South

After the first 24 hours of free agency, the biggest signing in the AFC South was… Sean Considine? A year after they struck early and often by signing Jerry Porter, Drayton Florence, and Cleo Lemon, the Jacksonville Jaguars made more news with the player they didn't retain. The rest of the division took pretty much the same approach.

The biggest move of the opening hours of free agency involved the Tennessee Titans. Tennessee couldn't retain the services of Pro Bowl defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, as Dan Snyder and his Washington Redskins granted the mammoth tackle a seven-year, $100 million deal with a reported $41 million in guaranteed money. The Titans did manage to re-sign quarterback Kerry Collins, who led the team to their first ever AFC South title.

"I really enjoy playing there and I really enjoy playing for the Titans. My family loves Nashville and I hope it will work out," Kerry Collins said prior to signing his new deal with Tennessee.

The Jacksonville Jaguars watched the best player in their franchise history, Fred Taylor, sign a deal with the New England Patriots. Taylor was released by the Jaguars a little over a week ago, and he will begin the final chapter of his career chasing a ring in the northeast.

"After talking to Coach Belichick and looking at everything, looking at the type of players they have, it was pretty much a no brainer," Taylor said of his decision to sign with the Patriots. "Who wouldn't want to play in New England? They have been the most successful organization in the last decade or so. It feels like a good fit with Tom [Brady], Randy [Moss], Wes Welker, Kevin [Faulk], Laurence [Maroney] and all the other guys. It's going to be a good fit. And they have great defense that get you the ball back. When you weight all those options, for me it was a no brainer. We got the deal done quick. They said they would and that's why they are a first class organization that knows how to win. That's why it's easy to choose them."

With Jacksonville entering a rebuilding phase, it is likely that they will lean toward younger, role players, like Sean Considine, while staying away from some of the expensive veterans that could cause a rift in the locker room. Jacksonville may sign a stop-gap offensive tackle, as well as a safety, as they have an opening at the position.

As for Houston, they have plenty of holes on defense and plenty of salary cap space, but they took a spectators approach to signing any new players on the first day of the free agency flea market. The Texans did manage to officially complete their deal with Minnesota that was more than a year in the making to send backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels north for a fourth-round pick.

Rosenfels was a solid backup for Houston over the past few years, but longed for a shot at a starting job, something he will be able to compete for in Minnesota.

"He had the opportunity to go to Houston where it was a little bit more of a stable situation at the time," Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman said of Rosenfels situation. "But, again, quarterbacks, as you know, some continue to evolve, and continue to evolve as they get older as well. And when you watch game tape and watch him from year to year to year, is this guy leveled off or does he continue to improve and improve in his play? I think just watching what he did down in Houston those (three) years, you can see the jump in his game from where he was in Miami. And that's coming from a totally different system to a West Coast-type system."

Now the Texans will look for a new backup to starting quarterback Matt Schaub, and that could be Patrick Ramsey, who is rumored to be visiting Houston.

As for Indianapolis, to nobody's surprise they took free agency's opening day off, as they normally do. The Colts have been a team who has certainly been not afraid to let there own players walk, while locking up others who are more key contributors. This philosophy has helped Indianapolis win 12 games for an NFL record six consecutive seasons. The Colts did manage to lock up veteran center Jeff Saturday, who has been with the team since 1999.

It is likely that some of the AFC South teams, most likely Houston and Jacksonville will sign some more talent, but buyer beware. Less has more often than not proven to be more in the free agent game.


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