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Signing First May Be Signing Best

Recent NFL free agency has shown that teams that strike first often pay the most outlandish prices. Teams are flush with cash and the desire to impress fans and to get the biggest names has led some owners and GMs to spend foolishly.

The Cowboys certainly led many to wonder if they were being impulsive when they signed former Browns CB Anthony Henry to a five year, $25 million deal with a $10 million bonus less than 24 hours after the free agency period began. While Henry is respected by personnel experts, he is hardly a household name.

The other CB signings in the last week suggest that Dallas, by moving quickly, may have secured a good value. Consider the major contracts handed out so far:

  • Anthony Henry, Cowboys, 5 yrs, $25 M, $10 M bonus
  • Ken Lucas, Panthers, 6 yrs, $36 M, $13 M bonus
  • Gary Baxter, Browns, 6 yrs, $30 M, $10.5 M bonus
  • Samari Rolle, Ravens, 6yrs, $30.5 M, $11.0 M bonus


  • Fred Smoot, Vikings, 6 yrs, $34 M, $10.8 M bonus
  • In this money-mad context, Henry's contract begins to look reasonable.