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NFL Free Agency: Early Winners and Losers

We’re only five days into free agency, but already there has been tons of action.

The lack of a new CBA has had no effect on the opening wave of free agency.

Players were quickly scooped up by teams right after midnight of this past Friday.

There has been many surprises thus far, but the one that sticks out the most is the frugal approach taken by the Washington Redskins.

In an uncapped year many expected the Redskins to throw big money at the top free agents, but rather they have kept a low profile and have not signed any new free agents and actually cut a handful of overpriced veterans.

Perhaps the new regime in Washington may work out after all.

Anyway, here is a look at the top winners and losers of free agency thus far:

Winners

Detroit Lions

It’s not often you hear Lions and winners together, but I have to give the Lions some props for what they’ve done so far.  Sure they overpaid for Kyle Vanden Bosch and Nate Burelson, but that’s the only way they were going to come to Detroit.  When you have been as bad as the Lions have been you need to overspend once in a while.

They also added defensive tackle Corey Williams via trade from Cleveland and corner Chris Houston via trade from Atlanta, both at low prices.  With Vanden Bosch and Williams, the Lions suddenly have a good defensive line and if they add Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy it will be even better.

Burelson may not be an elite reciever, but he is a good number two target.  He’s certainly better than Bryant Johnson and Dennis Northcutt.  His presence will also benefit Calvin Johnson as he won’t be getting double and triple teamed nearly as much.

Chicago Bears

While I’m not in love with all the moves the Bears made it’s hard to say the Bears aren’t a much better football team than they were last week at this time.

With no draft picks in the first two rounds the Bears had to make a splash in free agency.  Also add in the fact that this is a make or break year from the coaching staff and front office and it’s hard to fault the Bears.

Joe Flacco

I would have loved to see the face of Flacco after he heard the news the Ravens acquired Anquan Boldin.  He probably had a grin on his face like he was a kid opening presents on Christmas morning.

Flacco finally has a legitimate number one target and won’t be forced to check down to Ray Rice every time he passes now.  Boldin is better than any of the free agent receivers and fits the Ravens mentality.  If the Ravens can resign Derrick Mason they will be one of the teams to beat in the AFC next year.

Losers

Arizona Cardinals

After two straight division titles and a trip to the Super Bowl things were looking up for once for the Arizona Cardinals.  Unfortunately, the honeymoon period may be over.

The Cardinals lost Karlos Dansby and Antrel Rolle to free agency and traded away Anquan Boldin.  This is all in addition to perhaos their greatest loss, losing Kurt Warner to retirement.

They did make up for losing Rolle by trading for Kerry Rhodes, but the damage still remains.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles were expected to be a major player in free agency.  Instead, they sat on the sidelines and watched Peppers, Vanden Bosch, Kampman, Rolle, and Rhodes pass them by.

They also surprisingly released Will Witherspoon, who they traded for in the middle of last season and played well for them down the stretch.

I’m normally not in favor of teams overspending in free agency, but the Eagles are a different case.  They are one or two players away from being a championship caliber team and have a limited window of opportunity left.  If they would have landed Peppers, they would have been one of the teams to beat in the NFC.

Old Runningbacks

It’s a tough life for runningbacks in the NFL today.  You have a good run with a team and then once you hit 30, it seems nobody wants you anymore.

LaDainian Tomlinson, Brian Westrbook and Thomas Jones all remain unemplyed after the initial wave of free agency.

Of the three, Jones has received the most interest and will probably land a job shortly.  For Westbrook and L.T., they will have to wait.

That wait could extend all the way into training camp.  And to think they both made the Pro Bowl only two short years ago.

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2 Responses

  1. Hey Chirs, long time reader first time blogger, wanted to hear your thoughts on LT to the jets. Whats going on here? I happened to be a huge Fun of TJones, he was deffinatly a nice man, is LT really a good fit? whats his 5 year plan? Dnt die? hes old….hes got… he just tooo old….

    • huge fan***of Tjones

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