clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Grading the NFL free agent moves so far

New, comments

It's been a busy 24 hours in the NFL, and free agency doesn't even start until 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Let's assess the early moves.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

MAXWELL TRADE MAY BE D.O.A.: Eagles-Dolphins trade may be called off due to Byron Maxwell injury. Bad news for the Eagles. It looked like they were out from under the weight of Maxwell's terrible contract, but that might not be the case after all. If anything, the Dolphins are the ones getting the break here in spite of themselves. The Dolphins are still "gathering information" about Maxwell, but the trade is considered "dead" at this point.

THE DOLPHINS ARE DOING IT AGAIN: The Dolphins are spending their way to mediocrity ... again. The Miami Dolphins have a plan: spend big on free agents, and dig out from under those contracts so they can spend even more on free agents. Guess how that's working out for them.

FAREWELL, MEGATRON: Calvin Johnson bid a sad farewell to the Lions and the NFL. The Detroit Lions' superstar receiver has called it quits after nine season in the NFL.

EARLY EXITS: Johnson continues the trend of NFL stars retiring early. Marshawn Lynch and Jerod Mayo also called it quits before their 30th birthdays this offseason.

OVERPAYING CORNERSNFL teams overpaid cornerbacks last year. Here’s why they’ll probably do it again. Very few players, especially corners, are scheme transcendent.

HASSELBECK TO ESPN: Matt Hasselbeck replacing Mike Ditka at ESPN. Former Colts backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is heading to ESPN to replace Mike Ditka on the network's Sunday NFL Countdown show.

Bad moves

Mario Williams agrees to two-years with Dolphins. He'll get $8 million per year. This seems like more of a want than a need, and it could come at the expense of keeping their own defensive linemen.

Chris Ivory to sign with Jaguars. This one's a little more curious given the money and the fact that the Jags drafted T.J. Yeldon in the second round last year. But it does give them a more effective one-two punch on the ground.

Baltimore Ravens add veteran TE Ben Watson. He's 35, and the Ravens are probably paying for the production he had last year with Drew Brees in New Orleans. Hopefully, they're not paying too much.

Good moves

Kelechi Osemele signs 'massive' contract with Raiders. This is the best move in free agency so far. Osemele joins Gabe Jackson and Rodney Hudson to give the Raiders what might be the best interior threesome in the league. That's not only a big help for the running game, think of the pocket Derek Carr will have to work in.

Raiders snatch Bruce Irvin from Seahawks. I'm anxious to see the financial details here, but adding another pass rusher is never a bad thing.

Jason Pierre-Paul staying with the Giants on one-year deal. This is a good move for both sides. Big Blue still needs another pass rusher or two, though.

SIGN UP FOR OUR NFL NEWSLETTER

Get all kinds of NFL stories, rumors, game coverage, and inane comments from the NFL media in your inbox every day.

San Diego Chargers re-sign OT Joe Barksdale. It's a four-year deal worth $22.2 million, a smart move for the Chargers. Teams just can't afford to let decent linemen get away.

Travis Benjamin expected to sign with the Chargers. Terms of the deal haven't been reported, but it's a great move to give Philip Rivers a speedy deep threat in the offense.

Colts are "likely landing spot" for Courtney Upshaw. Upshaw never turned into the pass rusher the Ravens envisioned, but he's a very good run defender, something the Colts desperately need. Chalk up the rare free agent win for Ryan Grigson!

Colts re-sign kicker Adam Vinatieri. He's a damn legend, OK. Just pay the man.

Richie Incognito re-signs with Buffalo Bills on three-year, $15.75M deal. The Bills offensive line isn't good enough to let quality starters get away, so this is a good move at a reasonable rate.

Eagles, Leodis McKelvin sign two-year contract. It's a two-year, $6.2 million deal. Good depth and a guy who can start if needed at a reasonable price. McKelvin's already taking shots at Chip Kelly. Welcome to Philly, Mr. McKelvin.

Ian Williams agrees to five-year deal with 49ers. The nose tackle was due to become an unrestricted free agent. Must be nice for the Niners to have an offseason where not everyone's running for the exits.

Panthers will re-sign Charles Johnson to a one-year deal. These are usually the best kind of free agent moves. He had a down season, but was a real factor in the playoffs with three sacks.

Texans, Chris Clark agree to a new deal. Tonight's not all bad news when it comes to the Texans' offensive line, as the team was able to retain the services of a crucial reserve.

Titans agree to terms with Ben Jones. It is being reported that the Titans have agreed to a four-year deal with former Texans center/guard Ben Jones. That fills a huge need for them.

Colt McCoy will return as Washington's backup QB. It's hard to overstate the importance of a decent backup. McCoy would have had suitors on the market, too.

Need more information

Janoris Jenkins reportedly signing with the Giants. Jenkins can give the Giants defense some big plays, but they're going to need some safety help in order to lean on him.

Malik Jackson agrees to a $90 million deal with the Jaguars. Jackson's getting $42 million guaranteed. He joins a defensive line that desperately needs to get lots of pressure on opposing quarterbacks this year, because if the Jaguars falter again, wholesale changes are in store. At least Jackson is pretty excited about it!

Doug Martin "nearing a deal" with Buccaneers. Looks like the Bucs will retain their running back ... for around $7 million per year.

* * *

NFL Draft: How the top franchises get it done with their picks