John Abraham - NY Jets - Hard to say if he'll actually wind up with the Jets, as he's been involved in lots of trade rumors. According to the Delaware County Times, the Eagles 9among other teams), might be interested in Abraham, who wants to get out of New York. So I like the decision to franchise Abraham if they can get something for him. Abraham is a franchise player.
Jeff Backus - Detroit Lions - Backus is solid and at age 28 he should still have a couple years left. Good deal for Detroit. Backus is a franchise player.
Nate Clements - Buffalo Bills - Clements is one of the top corners out there from what I can see, so I like this deal. Only had 2 INT but that's because people didn't throw at him. Clements is a franchise player.
Deshaun Foster - Carolina Panthers - I really like Foster, but his health is a concern. He only played 4 games in 2004, and only had a handful over 200 carries last year. In addition, they still have Nick Goings and Eric Shelton (their 2nd round pick last year) coming back from injury. Foster could be making over $5 million next year, which seems like a lot from him. Foster is a transition player.
Steve Hutchinson - Seattle Seahawks - Really like this. Hutchinson was the 3rd or 4th most important player to that offense, after Walter Jones, Matt Hasselbeck, and maybe Shaun Alexander. $6 million a hefty amount, but Hutchinson is real good. Hutchinson is a transition player.
Brian Williams - Minnesota Vikings - If he plays like he did last year, this is good. In 2004, Williams struggled a lot, which caused the Vikings to sign Fred Smoot. Last year after Smoot went down with an injury, Williams stepped in and played superbly, and was a key reason for the Vikings turnaround. If he does come back, having Williams or Smoot (whoever doesn't get the starting job) might be the best Nickelback in the NFL.
By the way, rules for franchise and transition players, again from ESPN:
Franchise players must be offered the average of the top five salaries at their position or 20 percent over their 2005 salary. Franchise players (unless they are exclusive) can negotiate with other teams, but any team signing a franchise player would have to compensate the players' former team with a pair of first-round draft choices if the offer is not matched. If a player is named an "exclusive franchise" player, they can't talk to any other teams.
Transition players must be offered the average of the top 10 salaries at their position for the club to maintain rights of first refusal. There is no draft-pick compensation if a transition player ends up signing with another team.