The 2013 NFL free agency season kicked off with a bang on Tuesday as several top names were quickly snatched up by eager teams. Wide receiver Mike Wallace was the top early headline, signing a five-year, $65 million deal with the Miami Dolphins. While Wallace signed the largest deal, other top free agents quickly agreed to new contracts as well.
Mike Wallace, WR - Miami Dolphins
As mentioned, the Wallace signing is the biggest deal signed in the early free agency period. Wallace's $65 million deal includes $30 million guaranteed and makes him one of the top paid wide receivers in the NFL. Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins should have a more effective deep-passing game with the speedy Wallace.
Levitre may not be as big of a name as Wallace, but his deal is equally important. The top free-agent interior offensive lineman, Levitre signed a five-year, $39 million deal with the Titans, making him one of the highest paid guards in the league.
Dannell Ellerbe, ILB - Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins kept busy after signing Wallace, agreeing to terms with the former Ravens linebacker Ellerbe. The Ravens said they would make re-signing Ellerbe a top priority after agreeing to a deal with Joe Flacco, but now he is headed to Miami.
Paul Kruger, OLB - Cleveland Browns
The Browns snatched up one of the best pass rushers on the market, and got him away from their division rivals, and Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. Kruger will fit nicely as a pass rushing outside linebacker in the Browns new 3-4 scheme. His deal is worth $40 million over five years.
The Colts struggled to protect the quarterback last season and the addition of right tackle Gosder Cherilus should go a long way to help.
The Broncos helped ensure protection for Peyton Manning for years to come by signing Vasquez to a four-year, $23.5 million deal. Vasquez was considered the second-best offensive guard available in free agency after Levitre.
Looking to improve their passing offense under new head coach Marc Trestman and new offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer, the Bears made quick moves to ensure they got a tight end who is a receiving threat with a four-year deal.
Loadholt is staying in Minnesota after signing a multi-year deal. He is a great run blocker and solid pass blocker at the right tackle position.
Chris Clemons, S - Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins weren't just signing free agents off the street. GM Jeff Ireland followed through with the free safety that gave them 16 games of solid work with a one-year deal. Keeping Clemons shores up a secondary with questions at cornerback.
Eric Walden, OLB - Indianapolis Colts
Colts owner Jim Irsay was busy handing out contracts on Tuesday, too. Walden got the most surprising deal of any new free agent signed by the Colts with a four-year, $16 million contract. He's seen as a replacement for Dwight Freeney in the pass rush. He had nine sacks in three years with the Packers.
Donald Thomas, OG - Indianapolis Colts
Pass protection for Andrew Luck was one of the team's biggest problems on offense last year, and the Colts have tried to fix that within a couple hours of free agency this week. Thomas started in 11 games for the Patriots last year, playing both guard and center for the team.
Greg Toler, CB - Indianapolis Colts
Three years, $15 million is an awful lot of money for a corner that has played a total of 12 games in his last two seasons with the Cardinals. Indianapolis needed corners, and Toler is now in line to have a starting job there, depending on what happens in the draft.
Kansas City signed the top backup on the market, a player who many front offices believe has a chance to be a starter. The Chiefs have a starter in Alex Smith, but it is fair to wonder if Daniel could be seen as a potential starter further down the road.