A-plus analysis

Holly grades the major free agent signings

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As you're reading this I'm sure your mom is getting signed. So as of noon on Wednesday, March 13 this is my grading. Enjoy!

Texans (F)
So many mistakes, where do I begin? Let's start with Ronald Darby. Its doubtful that Philly will resign him. This is the PERECT fit for one of the Texans biggest needs. Darby is young and experienced. He's got speed and a good eye. Did Houston reach out? Of course not. But what Houston DID do is let Mathieu AND Kareem Jackson slip away only to turn around and sign Roby and Gipson. I'm okay with the 1 year trial test on Roby, Gipson... Meh. The Texans time is NOW. They're letting their talent waste. Watt doesn't have that many years left and what's happening with Clowney? They franchised tagged him and have two choices now… 1) Pay him a mother load next year which we all know won't happen or 2) Tag him again and watch him not show up. Houston has the cap space… I'm just waiting for the fans to get what they deserve. Impress me, Houston. PLEASE.

NYG (F-)
If there is ever a team that can out do the Texans on mistakes, here they are. If anyone knows what the New York Giants are doing, feel free to tweet at me and let me know. First, you get rid of your number one defensive player. Then you trade away your number one wide receiver, who just happens to be one of the best receivers in the entire NFL for two picks and a trash safety? But you keep Eli. I understand in the rebuilding concept but this franchise is actually rebuilding BACKWARDS. If anything, you lock in your stars and look for an Eli replacement. *sigh*

BUFFALO WT..(F)
The Bills are the 21 year old me.. blowing through a check on stuff I didn't even have anything to show for in the end.
Frank Gore - old
Beasley - overpaid
Morse - Eh.
Kevin Johnson - Concussions are contagious? Because the head office caught one.
This may, in fact, be some of the worst FA moves I've seen in a while.

EAGLES (B)
TRUTH: Howie Roseman is a magician. Not really, but the man is pretty damn good at shuffling the cap money around. Let's address the mistake.. Philadelphia gave away their best pass rusher for free. Now, let the dust settle. Malik Jackson, DT from Jacksonville blessed the line with a 3yr/$30mil. Picture this… Jackson next to Fletch, Graham & Long. Now THAT'S a sexy front four. It gets even sexier hours later. DeSean Jackson comes home. The Eagles have now addressed two of their bigger concerns going into 2019. Wentz will have Jeffery, Ertz, Goedert, likely Agholor to stay in the slot and D Jac to stretch the field. Onto the draft.

BROWNS (B)
Two words, Sheldon Richardson. Three initials, OBJ. This is huge. But you know what they say about dream teams, beware. Can Cleveland pull this off, or does it just look good on paper? Is this for real or is this for fun?

NINERS (C)
Now I know what you're thinking, why does this team get a C? Everything looks so good right now, right? Minus the hefty price tags. But I see right through this. Here come the 49ers to make us all think that they will be great and this will be "the season." No thanks, I'm out this year. Continue to over spend and make no noise.

JAGUARS ( B )
The Jags have done nothing to allow me to give them a fair grade. BUT. Technically they SHOULD receive an automatic A for replacing that garbage can.. I mean.. Blake Bortles. "Holly, what do you think of Foles to Jacksonville?!" Foles deserves that money. Is he the new face of that franchise? Probably not. There are a select FEW QBs who actually have the ability to turn just about any team into something decent. Foles is not an Aaron Rodgers or a Tom Brady. And, as much as you may want to believe... I am not one to foresee the future. However, if Nick Foles can't cure the cancer in that locker room, I'm not sure what the answer is.

RAIDERS (C)
Adding big name AB isn't my focus. They upgraded with Trent Brown but way over paid. I'm also not a huge fan of Joyner. Give me more because I'm still not "WOW'd.

PACKERS (B)
Let's keep this one short and sweet. LOVE the Amos signing. ZaDarius Smith, I like it. Go Pack.

REDSKINS (LOL)

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This week the NASCAR cup series heads to the world center of racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for the inaugural fourth of July version of the Brickyard 400. This is unprecedented for NASCAR considering over the course of 50 years they are usually in Daytona around this time. While this move was met with a lot of criticism from fans, there is a positive to come from this move though, as the sport will hold their first doubleheader with Indycar. This has been talked about for many years and now it has finally come to fruition. Another new facet of this weekend will be the Xfinity Series running on the road course configuration. This could very well lead to the cup series transitioning from the oval to the road course next season should everything go well when the Xfinity series does it. It will definitely be an interesting weekend.

Last week, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin dominated the first-ever doubleheader at Pocono. The two drivers finished first and second in both races with Harvick taking race one and Hamlin winning race two. Both of these races came down to pit-road strategy as Harvick was able to eke out a victory by taking two tires and fuel while his teammate Aric Almirola took four. The next day Denny Hamlin pretty much had the whole field covered as he went on to claim his fourth victory of the season. Overall, the idea of two races in a weekend went over well but for the racing itself, it was hard to watch. One of the main issues I had was how the drivers didn't have to shift this week. In my opinion, that was what made this track so unique. It was an oval that had road course characteristics and it usually produced some pretty good finishes. Hopefully this will be addressed when the new car makes its debut in 2022.

One of the big stories going into this week is the announcement a couple of weeks ago that NASCAR will be moving their all-star event to Bristol Motor Speedway. Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a whirlwind of news from the Bubba Wallace story at Talladega, to the doubleheader races last week. A lot of this has put this announcement on the back burner but this is a huge story. The race will be held on Wednesday, July 15th as NASCAR continues with midweek races. This is the first time since 1986 that the race will not be run at NASCAR's home track in Charlotte back when it took place at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The format will be pretty much the same as all the winners from 2019 and 2020 will all have an automatic birth into the race while the rest of the field will run in the open event the day before. The main event will feature four stages including a 15 lap closer around one of NASCAR's most popular race tracks. I think this move was long overdue and I hope that they continue with it in the future. Don't get me wrong, there isn't anything wrong with the race at Charlotte but I think a change of pace would be welcomed. I look forward to seeing how this turns out.

As we move on to Indy this weekend, the driver I have winning is Kurt Busch. This weekend will be the 2004 Cup Series champion's 700th career start, and he's won just about every race that there is to be won except this one here at the Brickyard. This week, that is going to change. It hasn't been the most consistent season for the Vegas native, but he still sits tenth in points and right in the thick of the playoff battle. This track isn't his best as he currently has a 19.42 average finish, including a dismal 30th place finish last year. But this week, I think he gets back on track with a victory as he starts second. The veteran has flown under the radar this year, but he has definitely shown spurts where we think he is going to break-out. He also has runs where it seems like him and his team are mid-pack, but there aren't many drivers out there that have the experience he has. And a talented driver like him always finds a way to bounce back. Look for Kurt Busch to take the #1 Monster Energy Camaro to victory lane.

All stats and information used in this article are brought to you by the good folks at driveraverages.com and Racing-Reference.com, the best websites for all NASCAR stats.

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