Photo By Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Sports

After one of the most wildest days of free agency in years, teams have started to settle down with their new pickups and prepare for what’s ahead.

There were some monumental signings this season and some teams look completely different from last year.

Below are the winners and losers of the 2018 NFL free agency thus far:

AFC

 North

 Winner: Browns

Losers: Ravens, Steelers, Bengals

It was evident this off-season that the Cleveland Browns were tired of losing. They picked up big names like former Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, former standout 49ers running back Carlos Hyde, former Dolphins wideout Jarvis Landry and traded for Damarious Randall from the Packers.

Agree or disagree, like Taylor as a quarterback or not, the Browns are making significant attempts to get better. If they end up drafting running back Saquon Barkley at No. 1, the Browns could have a double-headed monster with Hyde and Barkley, and then they could even draft Josh Allen or Sam Darnold at No. 4 to backup Taylor.

On the other end, the Ravens, Steelers and Bengals did not succeed in this free agency period. The Steelers, however, are exempt from this since they had to wrestle with Le’Veon Bell to reach a deal. The Bengals wasted yet another free agency to get better, signing only offensive lineman Cordy Glenn and punter Kevin Huber.

But the worst of them all is by far the Ravens. After getting some nice protection on the line by signing guard James Hurst, the Ravens tried to improve one of the worst offenses in the AFC with mediocre wideouts signings of Ryan Grant and John Brown. More specifically, Grant is signed for four years making $29 million, which is vastly overpaid. They also lost Jeremy Maclin in the free agency process to add to their offensive turmoil.

East

Winners: Dolphins, Jets

Losers: Patriots, Bills

Through the off-season both the Bills and the Jets were tasked to fill the void of their quarterback situations, and only one came out successful. Buffalo dealt Taylor to the Browns, but their answer at replacing him was signing AJ McCarron. The Jets, however, got Teddy Bridgewater  to a simple, one-year, $5 million deal. If healthy, Bridgewater can do some damage in New York.

More impressive looks from the Jets include signing running back Isaiah Crowell, who could help any backfield with his power, linebacker Avery Williamson and former standout Rams corner Trumaine Johnson. Similarly, the Dolphins spiced up their team with some impressive signings, bringing on receiver Albert Wilson at half the cost they would have got Jarvis Landry for, wideout Danny Amendola from New England and traded for pass rusher Robert Quinn of the Rams.

New England had an abysmal free agency period, losing running back Dion Lewis, cornerback Malcolm Bulter and left tackle Nate Solder. Their answer was to sign Rex Burkhead to a three-year deal. 

South

 Winners: Jaguars, Titans, Texans

Losers: Colts

Despite losing wideout Allen Robinson to the Bears and corner Aaron Colvin, the Jaguars have beefed up their team and avoided any off-season messes to try to succeed their impressive 2017 season. They resigned Marquise Lee to a four-year deal, got wideout Donte Moncrief on board, brought on the likes of guard Andrew Norwell, corner D.J. Hayden and safety Cody Davis.

No blockbuster deals were made by the Texans, but they didn’t need to. They struck gold on the offensive line, signing Seantrel Henderson, Senio Kelemente and brought it home with former Chiefs guard Zack Fulton . Not to mention, the Texans also stole Colvin from the Jaguars to boost their defense.

And then come the Titans, who after releasing DeMarco Murray had a lot to live up to. They signed two Patriots in running back Lewis to a hefty deal at $20 million for four years and corner Butler for five-years, $61 million. They also grabbed a good guard in Josh Kline.

The Colts didn’t do much this off-season, possibly holding off and patiently waiting for more to come their way. Expect the Colts to try to work their front office during the NFL draft.

West

 Winners: Chiefs, Broncos

Losers: Chargers, Raiders

Imagine this: Patrick Mahomes getting to throw to Sammy Watkins, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, De’Anthony Thomas and Kareem Hunt. There’s not many teams out there with as much success that Kansas City had during the off-season, after signing Watkins and resigning Thomas

The Broncos decided to turn their reigns to Case Keenum who signed with the team on a two-year, $36 million deal. Keenum is a quarterback that could help the Broncos get back into playoff contention.

Both the Chargers and Raiders didn’t do much, but if Oakland can somehow manage to get former Packers wideout Jordy Nelson, then it could turn to be a success.

NFC

North

Winners: Bears, Packers,

Losers: Vikings, Lions

Minnesota lost an arm and a leg at depth in the process of signing Kirk Cousins to a whopping three-year deal worth $84 million.  Running back Jerrick McKinnon, quarterbacks Sam Bradford, Bridgewater and Keenum all left the team for other deals elsewhere.

The Lion’s problems center towards trying to sign former Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart, but losing him to the Giants. They ended up signing a plethora of defensive players including former Bears linebacker Christian Jones, linebacker Devon Kennard, corners Nevin Lawson and DeShawn Shead and saftey Tavon Wilson.

While losing Nelson, Green Bay added tight end Jimmy Grahm to an understandable three-year, $30 million contract, and defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson, who really wanted to play for the Cheeseheads. 

The Bears stole the NFC North free agency with receiver Allen Robinson, outside linebacker Sam Acho and kicker Cody Parkey. The Mitch Trubisky to Robinson connection will be one to definitely look out for.

East

Winners: Giants

Losers: Eagles, Cowboys, Redskins

Rejoining his old offensive coordinator Mike Shula in New York, running back Jonathan Stewart still has some left in him at 30 years old. The Giants made several other big moves this off-season, including tackle Nate Solder of the Patriots and getting Alec Ogletree from the Rams.

Although the Eagles did get Michael Bennett from the Seahawks, they lost Torrey Smith and Brent Celek, who will be missed in the offensive game.

Alex Smith got a speedy threat in Paul Richardson with the Redskins, but signing him at $40 million seems just too high for a receiver with a lot to prove. 

And, the ailing Cowboys couldn’t do anything this off-season, forcing to decide on what to do with Dez Bryant and his huge contract.

South

Winners: Panthers, Saints

Losers: Falcons, Buccaneers

Reaching a deal with franchise quarterback Drew Brees was just what the Saints needed in the free agency period. They also snagged former Eagles corner Patrick Robinson, who actually started his career in New Orleans, and got linebacker Demario Davis from the Jets to boost its pass-rushing game.

Carolina stole two good names from Philadelphia and Washington, as they signed receiver Smith and cornerback Bashaud Breeland, respectively.

The Buccaneers and Falcons had to settle on resigning former players and trying to balance their salary cap.

East

Winners: Cardinals, 49ers, Rams

Losers: Seahawks

Following the retirement of Carson Palmer, the Arizona Cardinals took a gamble by signing free agent Sam Bradford for a one-year, $20 million contract

In spurts, Bradford looked solid and seemed to be a precision passer in the pocket. But he spent the majority of his football career sidelined with injuries. If Bradford can put up one healthy season, the Cardinals could find their way into the playoffs.

Speaking of playoffs, the 49ers grabbed McKinnon from the Vikings to add speed to their run game. San Francisco could look to one running back late in the draft to add depth and replace the yards Carlos Hyde would have gotten. Nonetheless, not choosing to resign Hyde will probably end up being good for the 49ers. Richard Sherman’s singing will also prove to boat well for the 49ers too.

Adding Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters and Nickell Robey-Coleman made the Los Angeles Rams a top-5 NFL defense. Although they lost Watkins and Johnson to free agency, the Rams have a lot of potential and could repeat as divisional champs this year.

Losing Bennett, Sherman and Jeremy Lane, plus talks of Earl Thomas III and Kam Chancellor wanting out of Seattle means the end of the Legion of Boom. Only time will tell how this Seahawks team bounces back from losing so much talent this off-season.

Related Posts