Each free agent signing brings with it immediate reaction, and that’s understandable. But the proper context isn’t always immediately there for the player and what will turn out to be his eventual role (see Stanton, Drew.) And even at the time, a signee was always seen as a reserve, and that is by design from General Manager Steve Keim.
“We not only got some starters but some key role players, guys who can come in and play 15 to 20 snaps, help keep fresh legs, and in a 60-minute game, to me, it’s extremely important to have quality depth,” Keim said.
He particularly noted the defensive line, to help with guys like nose tackle Dan Williams or defensive tackle Darnell Dockett if they get gassed. Keim likes the idea of bringing in Matt Shaughnessy and Frostee Rucker without having much of a dropoff. Looking at the veteran free agents the team has signed there definitely seems to be a mix:
— RB Rashard Mendenhall, starter
— QB Drew Stanton, reserve
— S Yeremiah Bell, TBD
— CB Jerraud Powers, TBD
— LB Lorenzo Alexander, TBD
— LB Jasper Brinkley, starter
— CB Antoine Cason, TBD
— DE Matt Shaughnessy, reserve
— DE Frostee Rucker, reserve
— S Jonathan Amaya, reserve
— G Chilo Rachal, reserve
Obviously either Powers or Cason will be a backup/nickel guy, because Patrick Peterson will be in there. I’d guess Alexander will be a reserve but he’ll get snaps on defense. Bell could end up as a backup if a high-end safety is drafted, but he’s slated to start for now and Rachal’s spot could be impacted with the draft too depending on how the offensive line ends up shaking out.
Ultimately, not every name signed in free agency draws the “Wow” response, nor is it intended to. That famous board Keim built for free agency had more than star(ter) power in mind.
Tags: Antoine Cason, Chilo Rachal, Drew Stanton, free agency, Frostee Rucker, Jasper Brinkley, Jerraud Powers, Jonathon Amaya, Lorenzo Alexander, Matt Shaughnessy, Rashard Mendenhall, Steve Keim, Yeremiah Bell
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