Thursday, July 20, 2017

The City of One Year Deals

The past off-season for three of the four major sports franchises in Philadelphia (Phillies, Eagles and 76ers) has seen their biggest transactions made through one year deals. The Phillies had signed Michael Saunders, outfielder, to a $9 million, one year deal and Joaquin Benoit, relief pitcher, to a $7.5 million, one year deal. The Eagles had signed Alshon Jeffery, wide receiver, to a $14 million, one year deal and LeGarrette Blount, running back, to a $2.8 million, one year deal. And the 76ers signed J.J. Redick, shooting guard, to a $23 million, one year deal and Amir Johnson, power forward, to a $11 million, one year deal.

Unfortunately for the Phillies, their signings have already proven to be complete mistakes. Joaquin Benoit, who was thought to become the teams closer and hopefully future trade bait, has been extremely disappointing. His age has finally caught up with him as he has been unable to control his pitches and has little to no trade value as the team will surely still look to move him at the non-waiver trade deadline. If Benoit has been disappointing, there may not be a word to describe their feelings toward the Michael Saunders signing. Almost a month ago, on June 25th, the Phillies had decided to release Saunders as he was doing nothing of value for the team and was only blocking younger outfielders from receiving playing time that the Phillies could not justify leaving him on the roster.

As the Phillies have been disappointed with their signings, the Eagles and 76ers have yet to see their signings in action as they are still a few months away from starting their seasons. As all four of the players signed to one year deals are looked at to play more prominent roles on their teams than the Phillies had hoped from Saunders or Benoit, which one brings the greatest value to their respective team for this year and which, if any, would be expected to stick around past this season?

Amir Johnson
(Photo Courtesy: ESPN.com)
The signing which will undoubtedly be the most underrated of the four, Amir Johnson brings veteran leadership, toughness and ability to fill in big minutes for a team on the rise. Playing in 80 games, starting 77, and averaging 20.1 minutes a game for a 53-29 Boston Celtics team who finished 1st in the Eastern Conference last year, Johnson's value to a team looking to progress to a championship level speaks for itself. Even after 12 seasons in the league, Amir provides enormous value and will be able to fill in for any time oft-injured Joel Embiid needs to rest throughout the season. The only thing that would stop him from not returning to the 76ers after this season would be his desire to either play more consistent minutes or play for a ring in his final seasons.

LeGarrette Blount
(Photo Courtesy: ESPN.com)
After retooling an offense to help out second year quarterback, Carson Wentz, the Eagles found themselves without a feature back after this past NFL draft until they signed LeGarrette Blount. A power back with years of experience in the golden standard organization that is the New England Patriots, Blount provides a weapon in the backfield that the Eagles have not had in quite some time. What he may lack in flash, he makes up for in punching teams in the mouth and getting that extra yard when it's needed. With a diminishing shelf life in the running back position, Blount may be ending his career on a year to year basis on one year deals, which if he proves to be as effective as Wentz and the Eagles offense need him to be, could see him right back here on another one year deal next season.

J.J. Redick
(Photo Courtesy: ESPN.com)
From the moment the past NBA season came to a close, the 76ers had targeted the top shooter in free agency, J.J. Redick. The young corps, direction and untapped potential that the 76ers were in along with the departure of arguably the Los Angeles Clippers best player in Chris Paul made J.J. Redick to Philadelphia a real possibility and aided to the eventual signing. The 76ers, with a potential superstar duo in Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, were in desperate need for someone who can stretch the floor with their shooting and free up the lane for both of them which Redick absolutely provides. Upon signing with the team, J.J. seemed to hint at this not being a one year stay for him and looked to leave the ball in the 76ers court as to how long he ends up with the team.

Alshon Jeffery
(Photo Courtesy: ESPN.com)
Quite possibly the biggest surprise on this list due to his star potential and the thought that he would receive a huge contract, Alshon Jeffery signed a one year deal with the Eagles to bet on himself. Carson Wentz, as a rookie, showed flashes last year of being a star quarterback and that was without any real talent at the wide receiver position. The addition of Alshon was a much needed shot in the offense's arm that gives Wentz a weapon to grow into the player the Eagles believe he can become and Alshon gets a quarterback that can get him the ball when he finds himself open. The Eagles pass heavy offense is obviously attractive to Alshon but the better year that he has in this offense, the harder it is to believe that he doesn't find huge contract offers elsewhere next year.

Who do you think brings the most value to their team? Do you think any of these players will re-sign after this season? Comment on the article and give us your feedback. Let's discuss.

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