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NFL Free Agency: Winners and Losers


The National Football League may technically be in the offseason, but the action is still fast and furious. It was a busy first week of NFL Free Agency, which included some blockbuster trades.

Here are the winners and losers (so far):


Indianapolis Colts

Signed: RB Frank Gore, WR Andre Johnson, DE Trent Cole, DE Kendall Langford, SS Mike Adams, CB Darius Butler, OT Todd Herremens, QB Matt Hasselbeck, G Joe Reitz

Lost: C A.Q. Shipley, DE Corey Redding, DB Sergio Brown
Cut: DT Ricky Jean-Francois

The Colts signed former Texan Andre Johnson and snatched Frank Gore from the Eagles. Indy’s already impressive offense is looking to be even better in 2015. On the defensive side of the ball the Colts grabbed defensive lineman Kendall Langford and linebacker/pass rusher Trent Cole, two experienced players who can contribute to the Colts’ inconsistent defense. With the Colts having gotten so close with inferior talent around QB Andrew Luck last season, the new signings could push the team over the top.

New York Jets

Signed: CB Darrelle Revis, CB Antonio Cromartie, CB Buster Skrine, DB Marcus Gilchrist, OG James Carpenter

Re-signed OT Willie Colon, LB David Harris, and RB Bilal Powell
Traded for: WR Brandon Marshall

Cut: WR Percy Harvin

Under new general manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles, the Jets made some pretty big moves this free-agency. The Jets continued their secondary makeover with the signings of Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, and Buster Skrine. Revis and Cromartie are both returning to New York for their second stint with the Jets, with the two players having a combined six Pro-Bowl honors in a Jets uniform. Cromartie will be reunited with Coach Bowles after playing under him while he was at Arizona as defensive coordinator. With the Browns, Skrine was one of the NFL’s top three defenders in pass deflections the past two seasons.

Seattle Seahawks

Signed: CB Cary Williams, TE Jimmy Graham, CB Will Blackmon

Lost: C Max Unger, CB Byron Maxwell, G James Carpenter, LB Malcolm Smith

Jimmy Graham will be a great, explosive offensive weapon for the Seahawks. One of the best pass-catching tight ends in the NFL, Graham (6-foot-7, 265 pounds) often lines up as a wide receiver and gives the offense the big-body receiver it has lacked. His red zone skills are the most obvious asset, with Graham catching 50 passes in the red zone in the last two years. As a comparison, all of the Seattle tight ends caught only 50 red zone passes over the last four seasons. Graham also has been targeted nine times in his career on passes from the opponent’s 1-yard line. He caught eight of those for touchdowns.

Miami Dolphins

Signed: TE Jordan Cameron, CB T.J. Heath, DT Ndamukong Suh, CB Brice McCain

Re-signed: LB Kelvin Sheppard, S Michael Thomas, DT A.J. Francis, S Jordan Kovacs, T Jason Fox

Lost: DT Jared Odrick, WR Brandon Gibson, WR Brian Hartline

Cut: DT Randy Starks

The Dolphins were the winners of the number one targeted free agent battle. Ndamukong Suh is seen as an elite impact player on the defensive side because of his ability to stuff the middle and free up lanes for his teammates to make plays. The Detroit Lions were the best team in the league against the run in 2014, largely because of Suh’s ability to plug holes up the middle. Miami is hoping that Suh is ready to be that type of player for them next season.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Signed: DB Sergio Brown, CB Davon House, OT Jermey Parnell, OLB Dan Skuta, DT Jared Odrick, TE Julius Thomas

Re-signed DT Tyson Alualu

Cut: DT Red Bryant, CB Will Blackmon

The obvious jewel in the Jags’ free agency crown is ,of course, tight end Julius Thomas, one of the NFL’s more prolific touchdown catchers over the past two years in Denver. Thomas’ red zone prowess is something the Jags needed to add to their offensive equation, and he should provide a nice target for second-year quarterback Blake Bortles. Thomas will be part of an offense that will feature Allen Robinson, Marquise Lee, Allen Hurns, and Marcedes Lewis in 2015. They’re assembling weapons around their young franchise quarterback in Bortles, and hoping this takes some pressure off of him to do it all. Unfortunately, the team lost Will Blackmon and J. T. Thomas to free agency, but the new players should represent an upgrade.


San Francisco 49ers

Signed: RB Jarryd Hayne, DL Darnell Dockett, WR Jerome Simpson, WR Torrey Smith

Lost: RB Frank Gore, LB Mike Iupati, LB Dan Skuta, LB Patrick Willis, FS Bubba Ventrone, WR Stevie Johnson, CB Chris Culliver

Re-signed: QB Blaine Gabbert, TE Garrett Celek, LS Kyle Nelson, TE Derek Carrier

Losing Patrick Willis (to retirement), Justin Smith, Mike Iupati, Frank Gore, Chris Culliver, Michael Crabtree and head coach Jim Harbaugh is simply an awful offseason.

The addition of Torrey Smith is a nice one and Darnell Dockett will have the chance for a nice rebound year but that list of the dearly departed from the 49ers is far too long and far too talented to expect anything out of this team.

New England Patriots 

Signed: WR Kevin Dorsey, DE Jabaal Sheard, CB Chimdi Chekwa

Re-signed: WR Brian Tyms

Lost: CB Darrelle Revis, CB Brandon Browner, DT Vince Wilfork, RB Shane Vereen

The loss of Darrelle Revis is a gigantic one. Just look back at the Jets after they let Revis go if you need any evidence of that. Not to mention the team lost opposite starting cornerback Brandon Browner and defensive stalwart Vince Wilfork. Offensively, the loss of Shane Vereen definitely is not ideal. It will be interesting to see how all of the new pieces mesh and how head coach Bill Belichick compensates for their losses.

You be the judge: Philadelphia Eagles

Traded: QB Nick Foles for QB Sam Bradford and LeSean McCoy for Kiko Alonso

Signed: RB Demarco Murray, RB Ryan Matthews, CB Byron Maxwell, LB Brad Jones, CB Walter Thurmond

Re-signed: OLB Brandon Graham, QB Mark Sanchez

Lost: WR Jeremy Maclin, DB Nate Allen

Cut: DE Trent Cole, G Todd Herremans, CB Cary Williams

Is DeMarco Murray really that big of an upgrade over LeSean McCoy? Is Sam Bradford really an upgrade over Nick Foles or Mark Sanchez? Is Byron Maxwell worth $63 million?

Free Agents still available as of Friday morning:

DE Greg Hardy

WR Michael Crabtree

WR Percy Harvin

DT Nick Fairley

RB C.J. Spiller

RB Reggie Bush

TE Charles Clay

C Stefan Wisniewski

DE Michael Johnson

LB Rolando McClain

(Photo via)

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NFL Free Agency: Winners and Losers