Free agency has just begun, and teams are nowhere near done. Many of the big names like Greg Jennings, Wes Welker, Cliff Avril, Aqib Talib, etc. etc. are still available. That being said to this point there have been some winners and losers. A little early to grade offseason moves, especially without even a single game to judge their merits on, so the declared winners and losers are all written in pencil. No.2 pencil’s to be exact. Check back a week later for an upgraded winners column, but for now here’s who I see coming out on top.
Kansas City Chiefs
He may not have come in free agency, but getting Alex Smith was a great start. They followed that up by signing Bowe long term and placing the franchise tag on Branden Albert. After keeping some of their best players in town, they went out and made some great depth moves. They signed Dunta Robinson last friday, and when free agency started they snagged Chase Daniels, Anthony Fasano and Mike DeVito. Nothing too flashy, but great depth moves.
The Bears made arguably their best move before free agency started by placing the franchise tag on Henry Melton. After doing what they could to keep their amazing defense in tact, they quickly moved on to their more pressing needs on offense. Getting a good tight end in Martellus Bennett and a Pro Bowl tackle in Jermon Bushrod. The signing of Bennett must have Cutler grinning from ear to ear right now. Not only does he now have a tight end capable of catching, but Bennett is also a great blocker. Next up, signing Brian Urlacher.
Their top priority to this point has been protecting their budding star quarterback Andrew Luck. They signed one of the better tackles on the market in Gosder Cherilus and added former Patriots guard Donald Thomas. On the defensive side of the ball they signed one of the more underrated cornerbacks in the game in Greg Toler. Something tells me they’re just getting started too.
The Dolphins kicked off free agency by throwing money at players like a drunken sailor. They signed arguably the best player on the market - no matter what position - with the addition of Mike Wallace, and replaced Karlos Dansby with former Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe. They continued their defensive makeover by adding Philip Wheeler. The Fins also re-signed Chris Clemons. Just imagine if they were able to sign Jared Cook too, as they had hoped to. All of a sudden Ryan Tannehill’s not so short on passing options.
They aren’t the sexiest picks in free agency, but they’re the kind of underappreciated guys that go a long way in winning. The Eagles signed NT Isaac Sopoaga, FB/TE James Casey, CB Bradley Fletcher, LB Jason Phillips and S Patrick Chung. Chung is the best pick up of the group, as this team needs a serious makeover at safety. Their best move though came not with an addition, but a subtraction. The Eagles finally released Nnamdi Asomugha after he refused to take a pay cut. This move will save the Eagles roughly $11M against the cap, and could prompt further spending.
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