Alright, the re-signing phase is out of the way, and now we are moving on to the mad scramble that is Free Agency. We've got plenty of needs on both sides of the ball, here's hoping we can make some big splashes without breaking the bank.
Free Agency in Madden is pretty straight forward. You offer contracts, advance a "week", see who accepts/rejects and repeat. In this CFM, we are advancing through 3 free agency periods and on to the draft in less than 36 hours so the pressue is on to make the most of your time and identify needs. When you have 12 other human owners, its a chess game. Who is going to wait until the last minute and try to out duel the others for that prime FA?
I went over the list of needs in the last post, but I'm looking to fill 15 roster spots between FA and the draft. Luckily, the CPU made a few draft pick trades bringing my total to 10 (3 5th rounders and 2 6th rounders). Donta Hightower (91overall) was the best available free agent, and at a position we need, but looking at the offers already out to him, we would have needed to pony up $14 million+ per season to get him, not gonna happen.
I started looking for deals. I reached out to former Buc Chris Conte, SS Barry Church, OLB Josh Bynes and a few other depth players. I also looked into troubled WR Josh Gordon, who was garnering interest from a few other teams. With Vincent Jackson retiring, we needed a WR2, and maybe Gordon could fit the bill for us.
I put my offers in and moved on for the night. I checked in one last time and upped my offer for Gordon slightly, it was enough to get a deal done as he, along with 6 others signed on the dotted line in Stage 1 (full list of signings below).
I still had 2 outstanding negotiations from Stage 1 to look into. OLB Christian Jones and WR Marquess Wilson. Jones had offers from 3 other teams, all of which were better than mine, and Wilson only had our offer, but it was pretty low-ball, so I'm not surprised he passed.
Jones really isn't needed anymore given who we signed in Stage 1, so I pulled the offer to him. We upped our offer to Wilson ever so slightly in hopes of getting him to sign, and that wraps up Stage 2. Not very exciting, but at this point most of the better guys already have big offers that we just can't afford. I will have to work my butt off in the draft and hope to score some good FA's post-draft
We signed Marquess Wilson. I really like this move. He's a big, strong, athletic guy we can stick at WR3 and hopefully he can provide Evans and Gordon with some support.
Overall, I felt I did OK given the lack of budget and lack of super-talented players available. We filled a few starting spots and added to our depth, which is about what I expected would happen.
Onto the draft!