Early NFL Transaction Winners and Losers for Madden 12: v2.0

Posted July 29th, 2011 at 9:45 am

As more free agent signings, cuts, and trades are made the teams sitting in the ‘Winners’ and ‘Losers’ categories for Madden NFL 12 will be shifted around. After another day full of developments there are some teams that have status unchanged while others have emerged either due to their additions, losses, or lack of activity.

Early Winners
Final Madden 11 ratings in parentheses

•Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles were able to trade their backup QB Kevin Kolb (79) for a starting CB and second round pick. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (87) isn’t coming off a spectacular season but he’s only 25 and brings big play ability without having to spend on someone like Nnamdi Asomugha or Johnathan Joseph. They were also able to sign surprise Pro Bowler Jason Babin (89) who emerged as an explosive pass rusher last season for the Titans. Bringing in Vince Young as the backup is good security for if/when Michael Vick gets injured considering he can run the offense in a similar fashion. *Breaking* The Eagles reportedly have gotten Nnamdi Asomugha. So yeah…they’re by far the best team in Madden 12 now.

•Carolina Panthers
The Panthers have decided to spend lots of money and that extends even to a kicker. More importantly they are keeping their best players around. They have resigned Charles Johnson (88), DeAngelo Williams (89), James Anderson (83), Thomas Davis (87), and Jon Beason (98). They overspent on an aging kicker but Olindo Mare (86) is still one of the best in the league. The Panthers also picked up a big receiving target by trading for Bears TE Greg Olsen (86) and only having to give up a third round pick.

•Seattle Seahawks
Losing Matt Hasselbeck stings as a fan but he has been no better than mediocre in Madden for the past few years. Tarvaris Jackson (72), or Charlie Whitehurst (71), may fare better due to their mobility and arm strength despite the drop in overall rating from Hasselbeck. It is the offensive line though which will see the biggest upgrade over last year after drafting two immediate starters and signing Robert Gallery (86). That will benefit a downhill runner like Marshawn Lynch. Picking up Sidney Rice (87) is an important addition as now the team has two top-tier receivers with big frames (Rice is 6’4″, Mike Williams 6’5″) and that will be difficult for smaller corners to deal with. Closing in on resigning Brandon Mebane (86) is important for the d-line.

•New England Patriots
Though they have been distractions for various reasons for their respective teams the Patriots get two players who on the field can still *potentially* produce for some late round picks. Chad Ochocinco (86) adds to a group of possession receivers and tight ends that will make it increasingly difficult for defenses to cover the whole field. Albert Haynesworth (87) will have a NO for ‘high motor’ in Madden but can still collapse the pocket and help to stuff the run.

•Houston Texans
With the switch to the 3-4 and new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips the Texans started building through the draft but primarily the front seven. Now they have worked on their horrible secondary by bringing in Johnathan Joseph (88) and Danieal Manning (70). Joseph doesn’t get the attention Asomugha does but considering his age and #1 corner talent may have been the better guy for the Texans to sign anyway.

•Washington Redskins
Along with the Panthers they have been the most active team thus far. They have three transactions alone at wide receiver having resigned Santana Moss (86), picked up Donte Stallworth (68), and traded for Jabar Gaffney (76). The bigger move is picking up Barry Cofield (86) for the defensive line considering Albert Haynesworth was shipped out. The Redskins also grabbed Josh Wilson (78) who was one of my favorite players as a Seahawk. They do lose Donovan McNabb which means John Beck (62) is the likely starter and that is a big downgrade at least in Madden terms.

Early Losers
Final Madden 11 ratings in parentheses

•Cincinnati Bengals
They’ve jettisoned Chad Ochocinco (86) and won’t be bringing back Terrell Owens (86). They’ve lost top CB Johnathan Joseph (88) to the Texans. Cedric Benson (84) remains a free agent. They’ll also be rolling with rookie QB Andy Dalton (71) while refusing to trade away Carson Palmer (85). They’ve also now released Antwan Odom. The Bengals could very well end up as the worst team in Madden 12 and potentially the NFL this season.

•San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers have been quiet thus far other than resigning Ray McDonald (73). They are cutting Nate Clements (84) who has been disappointing since signing a huge contract but the loss hurts the secondary unless a capable replacement is brought in. They also spent another $5 million to bring back Alex Smith. Frank Gore plans to hold out which complicates things and Michael Crabtree has been placed on the PUP list.

•Minnesota Vikings
Getting Donovan McNabb (82) to bridge the gap until Christian Ponder takes over makes sense. He is far from being the McNabb of a few years ago but within Madden will probably remain somewhat overrated and certainly higher than the rookie. The team also nabbed receiver Devin Aromashadu (71) from a division rival. They’ve lost a dynamic offensive weapon though with Sidney Rice leaving for Seattle and will need to bring in someone like Braylon Edwards (84), Malcolm Floyd (83), or James Jones (78) but no matter won’t make up for that loss.

•Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens had to address free agents on their offensive line and they did immediately by resigning Marshal Yanda (84). Cuts though to some valuable performers over the years will hurt them in the short term. They had to let go of Derrick Mason (87), Willis McGahee (79), and Todd Heap (84). Jared Gaither also has signed with the Raiders.

•Dallas Cowboys
With the salary cap in place the Cowboys had to make some cuts even just to resign a few of their players. They had to spend $8 million a year on tackle Doug Free (84). That meant letting go of Marion Barber (76), Roy Williams (81), and Leonard Davis (88). Underachievers but they had value in Madden. The team doesn’t have the cap space to make the big signings fans would want but are now rumored to be pushing for Nnamdi Asomugha and up against another team that doesn’t have a ton of cap space so we’ll see how that plays out today.

•Chicago Bears
Traded away their most reliable receiving threat in Greg Olsen (86) for a third round draft pick next year and lost Devin Aromashadu (71) to the Vikings. Danieal Manning (70) also left for Houston. Their solution? Rumored to be talking with the underachieving Roy Williams (81) which at least would give Jay Cutler a big target on the outside. It’s understandable why Bears fans are upset with how things are going so far.

•Teams Sitting Still
There are a number of teams that have laid low early. The Bucs have a ton of money they have to spend but have yet to do so as one glaring example. There is still opportunity for many teams to make impact moves but some may not be in position to do so or are waiting for the pieces to fall and try to fill holes based on value. Of course Nnamdi Asomugha (98) will take any team (Jets/Cowboys) into the ‘winners’ category. It seems Kyle Orton (83) may not be dealt now but would represent an upgrade for the Dolphins.