NFL Free Agency | Day One and Two Winners and Losers
The NFL free agency period has started, and we’re almost two days through. Day one was exciting as players seemed to sign within minutes of the opening period, and not just small names.
Names like Mike Wallace and Paul Kruger are just a couple of big signings from day one of the 2013 NFL free agency period. Here are the winners and losers from Tuesday and Wednesday’s action.
Don’t forget about our 2013 NFL Free Agency Tracker!
So far, the crown goes to the Denver Broncos after stealing Wes Welker away from the New England Patriots.
Welker will receive a two year, 12 million dollar deal. The Broncos also re-signed DT Kevin Vickerson, and added Terrance Knighton into the mix.
OG Louis Vasquez also signed a four year, 23.5 million dollar deal earlier, to help bolster the already tough Broncos offensive line.
It’s clear that the new brass in Cleveland is ready to produce a winning franchise. Unlike in past seasons, the Browns are actually spending cap money on key free agents.
The signing of outside linebacker Paul Kruger, from Baltimore, started the process. Kruger inked a five year, 40 million dollar deal and is a best bet to start at ROLB in training camp.
The Browns also added former Raiders defensive tackle Desmond Bryant to the mix. The numbers were set for five years, 34 million with 15 million guaranteed. Bryant is the best bet to start at left defensive end in the Browns 34 defense.
Don’t forget about the addition of outside linebacker Quentin Groves. Groves signs on for a very affordable two year, 2.8 million dollar deal. Groves likely will rotate with Jabaal Sheard on the left side of the defense.
The Bears aren’t huge winners, but they are making strides and bettering themselves. They managed to re-sign Henry Melton to a one year deal, but most importantly signed LT Jermon Bushrod for five years.
Bushrod isn’t elite, but it’s just like our own Kevin Roberts stated, “Bushrod doesn’t completely solve Chicago’s offensive line woes, but he’s a great step in the right direction.”, in our NFL Free Agency Tracker.
They also added physical red zone threat Martellus Bennett who came on to be one of the better tight ends in 2012. Bennett is just 26 and has a lot of upside, especially with his size mis-match in the NFC North.
The Dolphins likely won’t compete for the AFC East title soon, but they surely are making an easy case to favor them for second. The addition of Mike Wallace on a five year, 65 million dollar deal was huge for second year quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Wallace with Brian Hartline give the Dolphins two of the higher paid receivers in the league, but still a dangerous combination.
Don’t forget about letting Karlos Dansby go and making room for Dannell Ellerbe. Ellerbe backed up Ray Lewis in Baltimore and has a promising future. He could be the next stud 34 ILB.
The Phins also picked up Philip Wheeler to a five year, 26 million dollar deal, while re-signing Matt Moore and Chris Clemons.
What an impact the Lions have made in the free agency market. The biggest signing to date is Reggie Bush for four years.
If adding the elusive Bush in the backfield wasn’t good enough, add in the fact that their defensive line got even stronger with the addition of Jason Jones.
Of course the secondary in Detroit has haunted them for years. Adding veteran CB/S Glover Quin will help with depth.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are making the right moves so far in two days. They were able to re-sign Dwayne Bowe to a five year, 56 million dollar deal.
They also placed the tag on Branden Albert to protect new quarterback Alex Smith. Speaking of quarterback’s, the Chiefs struck a three year deal with Drew Brees backup Chase Daniel.
If you thought that was all, they managed to nab veteran CB Dunta Robinson, WR Donnie Avery, and former Jets DE Mike DeVito.
The Eagles are making the most of the smaller names in free agency. They inked NT Isaac Sopoaga to a three year deal, while grabbing depth at linebacker with Jason Phillips.
Adding depth in the secondary was crucial with the signing of the inconsistent, yet promising nickelback, Bradley Fletcher. Pat Chung looks to start coming into training camp, coming over from the New England Patriots.
Finally, former Houston Texans athlete James Casey was signed to backup, and maybe soon replace Brent Celek. Casey can play tight end, half back, fullback, it doesn’t matter. He’s a talent that Chip Kelly could really utilize in a big way in 2013.
Baltimore did manage to sign DT Chris Canty to add depth and versatility to their defensive line, but losing Danell Ellerbe and Paul Kruger was a huge mistake.
Ray Lewis is already retiring and two more starters leave and you’re left with one remaining starter of four.
This won’t be easy to replace, but if anybody can do it, it’s Ozzie Newsome and the Baltimore Brass.
New York Jets
Their highlight acquisition? David Garrard. *sigh*
I suppose they did restructure the contracts of Antonio Cromartie and Santonio Holmes. Color me unimpressed.
They’ve lost Quentin Groves and they released Beanie Wells.
What’s the solution? How about signing another big, injury prone running back in Rashard Mendenhall?
Ryan Williams owners in dynasty leagues better hold on tight. He’s going to have no choice but to go off.
What a rough couple of days for Raiders fans as they watched the team get gutted.
They were unable to retain Phillip Wheeler and Desmond Bryant, while also cutting WR Darrius Heyward-Bey and S Michael Huff.
Jacksonville did end up bringing over Geno Hayes from the Buccaneers. But that Hayes signing won’t single-handely turn them into a winning program.
Especially after the team felt the need to release Dawan Landry, Aaron Ross and Laurent Robinson. Granted, none of them are stars, but getting rid of serviceable players is tough to do when you’re already at bare bones.
To make things worse, it’s almost a lock that they lose DT Terrance Knighton, and it’s unknown whether they will retain Derek Cox and Daryl Smith.