The first week of free agency has been a chaotic one, reshaping the landscape of several divisions. While most of the big names landed their contracts on the first or second day, there's been plenty of movement to go around for all 32 teams.
The New York Giants have spent the most money, shelling out more than $200 million on Olivier Vernon, Janoris Jenkins and Damon Harrison all within the first 24 hours of the new league year. Improvements were definitely needed, given that the Giants had the worst defense in the league last year. Another reason for this spending spree may be the possibility that general manager Jerry Reese is fearing for his job after three consecutive losing campaigns.
Much like the Giants, the Jacksonville Jaguars are a desperate team, too. They entered free agency with roughly $80 million in salary cap space and have put most of it to use. Though they missed out on signing the few players at the top of the market -- Vernon and Jenkins, in particular -- they were able to ink Malik Jackson, Chris Ivory and Tashaun Gipson to lofty multi-year contracts.
There's not always a correlation between spending in the NFL and winning. Only four players who changed teams last season were selected to the Pro Bowl, for example (Tyrod Taylor and Richie Incognito were later added as replacements). With that fact in mind, it's silly to assign a hard letter grade to each team after just one week of free agency. But that's not the focus here.
Though free agency isn't the be-all and end-all, it can still indicate which direction teams are heading in. Here's where all 32 teams stand now that the majority of wheeling and dealing is behind us:
Trending up: New England Patriots
Bill Belichick has been quiet on the signings but busy on the trades. He made the biggest surprise of the offseason, trading away Chandler Jones for guard Jonathan Cooper, and then later signing Chris Long to fill the void. New England also acquired tight end Martellus Bennett from the Bears, giving Tom Brady another red zone weapon to pair with Rob Gronkowski. The Patriots still need a running back and No. 2 wideout, but they could wait until the draft to address both positions.
Fun fact: New England is without a first-round pick this year, but has acquired four former first-rounders -- Cooper, Long, running back Donald Brown and linebacker Shea McClellin -- this week.
The Bills entered the offseason in salary cap hell and some important offensive linemen hitting free agency. They managed to solve both problems by releasing Mario Williams and a handful of other players, giving them the space to franchise tag Cordy Glenn and re-sign Richie Incognito. Keeping both guys -- particularly Glenn, who was set to get a massive payday on the market -- is a big win for Buffalo.
It's been a weird up-and-down offseason in South Beach so far. The Dolphins upgraded the defense by acquiring Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso from the Philadelphia Eagles, but they also released Brent Grimes and it's not a given that Maxwell is an upgrade over him. Meanwhile, they placed the transition tag on Vernon, only to later rescind it and watch him leave for New York. Is a 31-year-old Mario Williams going to replicate Vernon's production? The Dolphins also struck out on C.J. Anderson when the Broncos matched his offer sheet.
Even at age 30, Matt Forte is an upgrade over Ivory and a better fit in Chan Gailey's spread offense. The Jets also franchised Muhammad Wilkerson (although trade rumors continue to swirl) and got rid of Antonio Cromartie's bad contract. However, the quarterback position would be a huge concern if the Jets are unable to re-sign Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Trending up: Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens are going for the reload option, bolstering the secondary with Eric Weddle and signing Mike Wallace, giving Joe Flacco a deep threat he hasn't had since Torrey Smith. They have nowhere to go but up after last year's injury apocalypse. Flacco, Justin Forsett, Steve Smith, Terrell Suggs and a host of others are all expected to be healthy again, which should push the Ravens back into the AFC North mix.
The Steelers replaced a retiring Heath Miller with Ladarius Green, giving Ben Roethlisberger another potent weapon. They also re-signed Ryan Harris, taking a bit of the sting off losing Kelvin Beachum to Jacksonville. Unfortunately, Martavis Bryant's year-long suspension throws a wrench into the offense.
The Bengals had nearly their entire secondary set for free agency. They managed to keep George Iloka and Adam Jones, ensuring some continuity in that unit, but could lose Reggie Nelson in the process. Cincinnati also lost Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu, making wide receiver a position that may have to be addressed in the draft.
Trending down: Cleveland Browns
How does a 3-13 team somehow get worse? By letting its few important players leave. Alex Mack, Travis Benjamin, Mitchell Schwartz and Tashaun Gipson are all on different teams now, with the Browns doing nothing to replace them so far. Their most notable move was to release troubled quarterback Johnny Manziel. Unless the Browns' new-look front office pulls off a miracle at the draft, their first offseason is looking like a major miss.
Trending up: Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans
The Jaguars sent a loud message this offseason: the rebuild is over. They had tons of cash to spend, and spent it they did. Jackson, Ivory, Prince Amukamara, Kelvin Beachum and Gipson all made their way to Jacksonville, and nearly all of them are big upgrades at their respective positions. If there's one negative, it's that the Jaguars have failed to add a top-shelf pass rusher, whiffing on both Vernon and Robert Ayers.
The Texans made the most aggressive move at quarterback, signing Brock Osweiler to a $72 million contract. It's a staggering amount for such an unproven player, but a necessary gamble for Houston. They have a playoff-caliber roster nearly everywhere except at quarterback, and the team can't afford to trot out half-measures and dumpster-diving retreads anymore. Real investment was needed at the game's most important position, and the Texans believe they have their guy in Osweiler. We shall see whether he lives up to the contract.
They also replaced a broken-down Arian Foster with Lamar Miller, which should bring a spark back to the running game.
In the middle: Tennessee Titans
The Titans made one of the offseason's more surprising moves, trading for running back DeMarco Murray. Other than that, not much to report. Tennessee signed center Ben Jones and receiver Rishard Matthews but have otherwise been quiet in free agency, cutting Michael Griffin and letting Coty Sensabaugh walk.
Trending down: Indianapolis Colts
The Colts had enough holes to worry about on defense, but losing linebacker Jerrell Freeman to the Bears was an unforeseen setback. Their biggest move was retaining tight end Dwayne Allen, while letting Coby Fleener walk. Colts fans could be debating for a while over which tight end they should've kept. Either way, there haven't been many upgrades to a roster that was badly exposed when Andrew Luck went down with injuries. With the Jaguars and Texans making big moves, the Colts are in danger of falling behind in their division.
The Raiders went 7-9 and their fans couldn't be happier. They probably would've thrown a parade if Oakland finished 8-8. Anyway, the Raiders entered the offseason with another vault of money, and they weren't afraid to throw it around, landing quality starters like Kelechi Osemele, Sean Smith and Bruce Irvin, and re-signing OT Donald Penn. Oakland still has needs on defense (namely the secondary) but for the first time since the Jon Gruden era, it feels like the franchise is heading in the right direction.
After a 4-12 season, the Chargers needed to shake things up, and they mostly accomplished that to this point. Gone was Donald Butler and his bloated contract, while Eric Weddle left under bad terms with the organization. In was Casey Hayward and Brandon Mebane to shore up the defense, while Travis Benjamin arrived to give Philip Rivers a much-needed weapon. They also re-signed Antonio Gates, who is still going strong at age 35.
In the middle: Kansas City Chiefs
After their first playoff win in over 20 years, the Chiefs mostly stayed the course. They made an effort to keep their own, re-signing Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson and Jaye Howard while franchising Comeback Player of the Year Eric Berry. They did lose a couple of offensive linemen (Jeff Allen, Donald Stephenson) but brought in Mitchell Schwartz to compensate.
Trending down: Denver Broncos
After lifting the Lombardi Trophy in early February, the Broncos saw nearly all of their important free agents leave. Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan will be missed on the defense, while the Broncos suddenly don't have a quarterback after Peyton Manning retired and Brock Osweiler chased the money in Houston. They came close to losing C.J. Anderson, as well, but eventually matched his offer sheet from the Dolphins. If there's one positive, it's that they franchised Von Miller and a long-term extension should be on the way. John Elway has proven to be a brilliant GM, but reloading the defending champions' roster could be his toughest challenge yet.
Trending up: New York Giants
Reese's job is on the line and he knows it. The Giants went all-in on improving their defense this offseason, throwing stacks of money at Vernon, Harrison and Jenkins while re-signing Jason Pierre-Paul to a one-year deal. The offensive line is still an unknown after Geoff Schwartz and Will Beatty got cut, while they still need a reliable No. 2 receiver next to Odell Beckham Jr. For now, though, the Giants are doing all the right things.
In the middle: Washington, Philadelphia Eagles
After winning the division, Washington wisely stayed the course, keeping Kirk Cousins on the franchise tag. They haven't done much else to improve the roster, but if Cousins is the real deal then Washington should be in good shape regardless.
Philadelphia went out of its way to purge the Chip Kelly era, shipping Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso to the Dolphins and trading DeMarco Murray to the Titans. They did keep one big Kelly acquisition by re-signing Sam Bradford, but brought in competition in Chase Daniel, who's getting way more money than a typical backup quarterback usually gets.
Trending down: Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys have done ... well, not much of note, really. They still haven't cut Brandon Carr despite all indications that he's on his way out, and running back is a big question mark beyond Darren McFadden. Dallas is clearly banking on a healthy Tony Romo and Dez Bryant to lead it back to playoff contention, but their injuries only exposed what a thin roster this is. More work needs to be done.
Trending up: Chicago Bears
The Bears were surprisingly respectable in a year when many predicted them to contend for a top draft pick. They continued that momentum into the offseason, keeping Alshon Jeffery on the franchise tag. They also got a much-needed talent injection on defense, signing Danny Trevathan, Jerrell Freeman and Akiem Hicks. If Jay Cutler can continue his late-career resurgence, all signs point towards the Bears' rebuild going ahead of schedule.
Packers GM Ted Thompson is famously averse to free agency, and this year is no different. Outside of retaining Mason Crosby and Nick Perry, the Packers have done nothing of note on the market, and even let Casey Hayward walk to the Chargers. Continuity reigns supreme in Green Bay, and the Packers will patiently wait until the draft to address their needs.
The Vikings delivered on their preseason hype and won the division, but there's still work to be done. They cut Mike Wallace after a failed one-year experiment, meaning that Teddy Bridgewater still needs weapons at wideout. They did shore up the offensive line by adding guard Alex Boone, and signed safety Michael Griffin, but for the most part Minnesota is staying pat.
Calvin Johnson's "will he, won't he" retirement saga left the Lions enough time to make a contingency plan, and they accomplished just that by signing Marvin Jones. Otherwise, it's been a quiet offseason in Detroit, other than re-signing Haloti Ngata. The Lions may be betting on their offensive resurgence under Jim Bob Cooter to carry over into 2016.
Trending up: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs' biggest move was keeping the player they couldn't afford to let get away, re-signing running back Doug Martin. They also made moves to upgrade their defense with Robert Ayers and Brent Grimes. The contract for guard J.R. Sweezy (five years, $32.5 million) is a bit generous for a player who's struggled for consistency, but Tampa is otherwise making the right moves.
It's hard to improve much on a team that went 15-1 and made the Super Bowl, so the Panthers opted to keep their own. They franchised Josh Norman, brought back Charles Johnson on a cheaper deal and signed Paul Soliai away from the Falcons. The wide receiver corps is still iffy (and was badly overmatched in the Super Bowl), but getting Kelvin Benjamin back healthy will be a big boost.
The Falcons are still smarting from their second-half collapse (and some bad PR after coaches asked inappropriate questions at the Combine), but the on-field moves have been decent so far. They got a big win in signing Alex Mack and Mohamed Sanu (who may be overpaid), while bringing back Sean Weatherspoon and signing Derrick Shelby from the Dolphins. The Falcons are a hard team to figure out right now -- what started as a brilliant rookie campaign for head coach Dan Quinn ended with more questions than answers. His second offseason remains an incomplete grade.
Trending down: New Orleans Saints
The Saints have had a stagnant, directionless roster for some time now, and this offseason didn't do much to inspire confidence. They let Ben Watson go in free agency, then signed Coby Fleener (five years, $36 million), who may or may not be an upgrade over Watson's career year. James Laurinaitis should help stabilize the linebacking corps, but he recorded a career low 60 tackles last season.
Other than those two additions, it's mainly been about clearing away bad contracts (Brandon Browner) and cutting veterans (Marques Colston), without much in the way of roster upgrades. The Saints will need to nail this year's draft if they hope to avoid falling further behind in the division.
Trending up: Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals signed Tyvon Branch to bolster the secondary and kept some role players like Jermaine Gresham, Red Bryant and safety Chris Clemons. However, their biggest move came by trade, when they acquired Chandler Jones from the Patriots for guard Jonathan Cooper. Suddenly, the Cardinals have the pass rushing threat they've badly needed for a couple years now. If they nail the draft, the Cardinals may finally have all the pieces to make a run towards the Super Bowl.
The Seahawks have had a ho-hum offseason so far, which is to be expected for a perennial contender that has all of its franchise cornerstones locked up. They retained some key pieces in Jeremy Lane and Jermaine Kearse, while losing Bruce Irvin and Brandon Mebane. Russell Okung may be on the way out, as well, and the offensive line remains a big question mark.
The Rams made aggressive moves to clear up cap space, releasing James Laurinaitis, Jared Cook and Chris Long. However, they were unable to keep Janoris Jenkins, who bolted for New York. On the upside, they kept Trumaine Johnson on the franchise tag, re-signed Mark Barron and brought in Coty Sensebaugh to replace Jenkins. The Rams still have needs at wideout and Case Keenum doesn't look like a franchise quarterback, but for now they seem content to run the offense through Todd Gurley.
Trending down: San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers have been strangely quiet ever since the splashy hire of Chip Kelly. They didn't lose any key players, but also haven't done much to upgrade a talent-depleted roster, and Colin Kaepernick remains in limbo as of this writing. Trent Baalke may have some tricks up his sleeve for the draft, but the lack of urgency is more than a bit concerning for a team that's fallen behind in the NFC West arms race.