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2018 NFL Ducks Free Agency Recap

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NFL: Carolina Panthers at Detroit Lions
Haloti Ngata. Celebrating that he isn’t a Lion anymore
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

As the 2018 NFL Draft rapidly approaches, it’s time to look at where former Ducks ended up in free agency and who’s still left on the market. Please note that all financials will be via spotrac.com

LeGarrette Blount

Position: Running Back

Old team: Philadelphia Eagles

New team: Detroit Lions

Terms: 1 year $2 million, $1 million signing bonus

- Blount won a ring this past year with the reigning Super Bowl champion Eagles while rushing for 766 yards on 133 attempts in a running back by committee. He made a severe miscalculation of the market in 2017 while rushing for 1,161 yards on 299 with a whopping 18 touchdowns the year prior with the Patriots. He will compete for the top job in Detroit with the always mystifying Ameer Abdullah of Nebraska fame.

Ed Dickson

Position: Tight End

Old team: Carolina Panthers

New team: Seattle Seahawks

Terms: 3 years $10.7 million, $2.6 million signing bonus, $3.6 million guaranteed

- The former Baltimore Raven turned Carolina Panther will revisit the Pacific Northwest as a member of the Seattle Seahawks. He was the unheralded understudy to stalwart all pro TE Greg Olsen for a number of years. He signed with a seemingly combustible and in transition Seahawks team to get a chance at the being the top dog on the depth chart. Seattle has virtually no contenders to that throne. Interesting note: he goes from one mobile QB (Cam Newton) to one of the best improvisational QBs (Russell Wilson) in the league. It will be interesting to see how he fares as the lead tight end.

Haloti Ngata

Position: Defensive Tackle

Old Team: Detroit Lions

New team: Philadelphia Eagles

Terms: 1 year $3,000,000, $2,600,000 guaranteed, $250,000 signing bonus

- One former Duck leaves the City of Brotherly Love, another enters. Ngata joins a fearsome front seven that added Michael Bennett, retained star linebacker Nigel Bradham at a discount, and still has Timmy Jernigan along with Chris Long. Not to mention a dude named Fletcher Cox. He’s one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL. Philly might have the best defense in the entire league. Ngata isn’t the dominant interior force that he once was but still adds some value to the team with veteran presence and ability to play nose and defensive tackle. He was injured for much of the 2017 season, which dampened his value a lot. Here’s to hoping that a rotation of stud defensive linemen keeps him fresh.

Johnathan Stewart

Position: Running Back

Old team: Carolina Panthers

New team: New York Giants

Terms: 2 years $6.8 million, $3,450,000 guaranteed

- Of all the Ducks that signed as free agents, Stewart’s playing time could be the most volatile right now. The Giants hold the second overall pick in the draft and could very well use it on Penn State RB Saquon Barkley or look at another position or trade down entirely. The Giants hold the key to the entire first round as the Browns are widely expected to take a QB with the first overall pick. The long time Panther has been fairly consistent but injuries have taken a toll on his career. He hasn’t played a full season since 2011. It will be interesting to see if he’s more relevant for goal line situations in New York after escaping Cam Newton’s constant QB sneak play while in that area of the field.

De’Anthony Thomas

Position: Wide Receiver

Old team: Kansas City Chiefs

New team: Kansas City Chiefs

Terms: 1 year, $880,000, $90,000 signing bonus fully guaranteed

- Thomas could finally have a bigger role in the Chiefs offense thanks to the departure of Albert Wilson. He will be vying for playing time behind newly signed Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill. While the production has been modest, the flashes of the Oregon version of DAT are still there. Unfortunately, he suffered a broken leg in week 17 of last year. Can he find more of the Oregon DAT instead of the current Chiefs DAT? He reportedly turned down a bigger offer from another team. DAT must really like the KC BBQ scene and going to Royals games.

Notable Free Agents

Dion Jordan - The Seahawks placed a first round tender on him so the market is expectedly ice cold since teams have to give them a first round to sign him. He had somewhat of a career renaissance in Seattle after not living up to his top 10 billing in Miami.

T.J. Ward - Ward last played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2017. He was arrested in early January for drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. He also suffered a knee injury late in the season so that has hampered his market along with the arrest. If cleared of his legal obligations, he may be a late training camp addition for someone.