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NFL Free Agent Team Grades


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This page is for overall team NFL free agent grades in the 2014 offseason. I'll be updating this page until all of the teams are complete. You can view the individual NFL Free Agent Grades via this link.

Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

Arizona Cardinals: B+ Grade
The Cardinals lost one key member of their defense in Karlos Dansby, who took a ton of money to play with Cleveland. Dansby was great for Arizona this past season, but the team couldn't possibly match the preposterous price for a player his age (4 years, $24M; $14M guaranteed). To make up for this, however, the Cardinals signed Jared Veldheer, ensuring that they'll have a quality blind-side pass protector for the first time in what seems like ages. This was crucial, as Carson Palmer is as immobile as they get.

Arizona didn't do much outside of signing Veldheer - Ted Ginn will help on returns, though Arizona overpaid a bit - but filling one of its top needs for a fair price was enough go earn a solid B grade.

UPDATE: I bumped up Arizona's grade a bit for the Antonio Cromartie signing. I love the deal they got for him. Check out the link below for more analysis.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Antonio Cromartie, CB, Jets - A
Jared Veldheer, OT, Raiders - B+
Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Steelers - B+
Ted Ginn, WR/KR, Panthers - C+

Atlanta Falcons: B- Grade
Thomas Dimitroff is often aggressive in free agency, and this spring wasn't any different. The Falcons paid lots of money to three new players, all of whom will help bolster the trenches in some fashion. The big name was Paul Soliai, who will be a great force inside. Jon Asamoah, meanwhile, will help upgrade an offensive line that was in shambles last year.

What's important is that the Falcons are bringing back most of the members of their defense. In fact, the one big-name defender who's gone is Asante Samuel, and he was banged up this past season. Tony Gonzalez has departed as well, but Atlanta couldn't do anything about that. His replacement will have to be drafted.

All in all, this was a decent offseason for Atlanta, though I think Dimitroff overpaid for some players; namely Tyson Jackson.

UPDATE: I'll have an update here for the Devin Hester signing once financials are known.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Corey Peters, DT, Falcons (re-sign) - A-
Jonathan Babineaux, DT, Falcons (re-sign) - B+
Joe Hawley, C, Falcons (re-sign) - B
Paul Soliai, NT, Dolphins - B-
Devin Hester, KR, Bears - B-
Jon Asamoah, G, Chiefs - C+
Tyson Jackson, DE/DT, Chiefs - C-

Baltimore Ravens: B+ Grade
The Ravens had three goals in free agency, and all of them concerned re-signing their own players. The team absolutely had to retain Eugene Monroe, Dennis Pitta and Daryl Smith, in that order. It came as no surprise that Ozzie Newsome managed to keep all three, all of whom stayed on for very reasonable deals.

The only reason Baltimore isn't getting an "A" for its free-agency ventures is the Steve Smith signing. I gave it a "Millen," as you can see below (click the link for the write-up). Newsome is only human, so even he can make mistakes. Smith looked completely done in Carolina this past season, and at 35, he's not suddenly going to regain his speed. The contract Newsome gave Smith was mind-boggling, but that one blunder won't be enough to bump Baltimore down from its high grade.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Eugene Monroe, OT, Ravens (re-sign) - A
Jeremy Zuttah, C, Buccaneers - A
Daryl Smith, ILB, Ravens (re-sign) - B+
Dennis Pitta, TE, Ravens (re-sign) - B
Jacoby Jones, KR, Ravens (re-sign) - C+
Steve Smith, WR, Panthers - Millen




Buffalo Bills: C Grade
The Bills didn't have a terrible offseason, but their front office did a few dubious things. It started when they allowed Jairus Byrd to walk and instead paid a ton of money to Aaron Williams, the team's other starting safety. Giving Williams $14.6 million guaranteed was strange, given that he's had just one successful season as a starter. It was rumored that Byrd didn't want to return, but Buffalo didn't have to unnecessarily give a one-hit wonder a boatload of money.

The next move was worse. Buffalo handed guard Chris Williams a $13.5 million deal with $5.5 million in guarantees. That's not a ton of cash, but Williams is a reserve-caliber player who has no business as a starter. The Bills are unquestionably paying him a ridiculous amount of money for his talent level. Having Keith Rivers to come in and be a starting linebacker for two years and $5 million isn't as egregious, but it's still a poor move.

Buffalo did some good things, like signing Brandon Spikes to a 1-year "prove it" deal, but the team made too many mistakes in free agency to warrant any sort of high mark.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Brandon Spikes, ILB, Patriots - B+
Corey Graham, CB, Bills - B-
Scott Chandler, TE, Bills (re-sign) - B-
Anthony Dixon, RB, 49ers - C
Keith Rivers, OLB, Giants - C
Mike Williams, WR, Buccaneers (trade) - C-
Aaron Williams, S, Bills (extension) - C-
Chris Williams, G, Rams - Millen

Carolina Panthers: D Grade
This was a disastrous offseason for the Panthers. They watched several offensive linemen retire, including Jordan Gross; lost a number of key free agents, thanks to a severe lack of cap space; and whiffed on all of the top free agent wide receivers.

The latter is a huge concern. With Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn gone, Carolina's top wideouts currently on the depth chart are Marvin McNutt, Tavarres King, Kealoha Pilares and that Nate kid from the Play 60 commercials. They missed on all of the affordable wideouts like Hakeem Nicks and James Jones, and now they'll be forced into choosing multiple receivers early in the 2014 NFL Draft (I have them going with receivers in Rounds 1 and 3 in my 2014 NFL Mock Draft.) With Cam Newton coming off surgery, he won't have much time this offseason to work with his new weapons.

Meanwhile, the one major player the Panthers signed was Roman Harper, who isn't very good. They didn't overpay for him, but he won't have much of an impact.

UPDATE: The Panthers signed Jerricho Cotchery for too much. That doesn't help their grade.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Roman Harper, S, Saints - B-
Graham Gano, K, Panthers (re-sign) - C
Jerricho Cotchery, WR, Steelers - C-

Chicago Bears: B Grade
The Bears had some work to do with their defense - a unit that was already in shambles this past season and was in danger of losing some big names like Julius Peppers and Henry Melton. Both Peppers and Melton are no longer with the team, but Chicago did a good job of adding some solid defenders.

Lamarr Houston and Willie Young aren't as well known to casual fans as Julius Peppers is (especially the latter), but both outplayed the current Packer this past season. They'll definitely help bolster the pass rush - and at reasonable prices, too - though there's still a major void in the middle of the defensive front that must be addressed in the 2014 NFL Draft.

The secondary, meanwhile, got a bit of help with Charles Tillman re-signing and Ryan Mundy coming in from the Giants, but it's still the weakest group on the roster. This area absolutely has to be strengthened in the draft as well.

Update: The Bears signed Jared Allen. They overpaid for him, but there's no doubt that he makes their team better as they chase a Super Bowl in 2014.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Roberto Garza, C, Bears (re-sign) - A
Willie Young, DE, Lions - A-
Ryan Mundy, S, Giants - B
Jared Allen, DE, Vikings - B-
Lamarr Houston, DE, Raiders - B-
Israel Idonije, DE, Lions - B-
Charles Tillman, CB, Bears (re-sign) - C




Cincinnati Bengals: F Grade
The Bengals, as usual, did nothing in free agency. I'm against splurging in March because it often backfires - just ask the 2013 Dolphins or the Philadelphia Eagles "Dream Team," - but there are quality bargains available that owner Mike Brown tends to ignore every single spring. Even worse, Cincinnati allowed some players to get away. Both Anthony Collins and Andrew Hawkins are both gone. The latter departure was ridiculous, as the Bengals could have completely avoided losing him to the Browns had they spent just a bit more and slapped him with a second-round tender instead of the low-level variety.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Andrew Hawkins, WR, to Browns (lost tender) - D

Cleveland Browns: C+ Grade
The Browns had a pretty mixed free agency. They managed to land a steal in Ben Tate. The former Texan is injury-prone, but talented, and Cleveland signed him to a good deal. The team also managed to keep stud center Alex Mack around via the transition tag when it was initially expected that it would lose him.

Unfortunately, Cleveland downgraded the safety position, going from T.J. Ward to Donte Whitner. Inside linebacker was upgraded, but the Browns gave Karlos Dansby too much money considering that the former Cardinal proved that he won't always give 100 percent if he's financially content. Receiver Andrew Hawkins was also overpaid.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Ben Tate, RB, Texans - A
Donte Whitner, S, 49ers - B-
Andrew Hawkins, WR, Bengals - C
Karlos Dansby, ILB, Cardinals - C-

Dallas Cowboys: C+ Grade
Thanks to a barrage of terrible moves, Jerry Jones found his team way over the cap entering the offseason. He had to release long-time Cowboy DeMarcus Ware, and he also was forced to watch Jason Hatcher and Anthony Spencer leave the team. Dallas, as a result, has a depleted roster.

Considering the financial implications, however, the Cowboys didn't do a poor job with what they were capable of accomplishing. The Henry Melton signing was a nice one, as Dallas basically obtained him for a 1-year "prove it" deal. There's also some potential with Jeremy Mincey, who was effective in limited action with the Broncos late last season after being released from the Jaguars because he didn't fit Gus Bradley's scheme.

The Cowboys will be one of the worst teams in the NFC in 2014, but things could have been much worse with more mismanagement this offseason.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Henry Melton, DT, Bears - A-
Jeremy Mincey, DE, Broncos - B
Terrell McClain, DT, Texans - D




Denver Broncos: A Grade
Considering the Broncos are "all in" and willing to sacrifice the future for a chance to win now with Peyton Manning, they had an excellent offseason. They signed three difference-makers on defense for very reasonable prices. DeMarcus Ware has the potential to lead the league in sacks if he can stay healthy. T.J. Ward is a huge upgrade at safety. And Aqib Talib was perhaps the most meaningful signing because Denver stole him away from New England.

The Broncos didn't have to do much on offense outside of finding a replacement for Eric Decker. They did just that with Emmanuel Sanders. They overpaid for Sanders a bit, but there won't be much of a drop-off considering Decker was the product of Manning.

With its moves this offseason, Denver solidified itself as the favorite in the AFC. Mission accomplished for John Elway.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
DeMarcus Ware, DE, Cowboys - A+
T.J. Ward, S, Browns - A+
Aqib Talib, CB, Patriots - B
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Steelers - B

Detroit Lions: C- Grade
The Lions made two major moves this offseason, and I discussed why they overpaid for both players in the individual NFL Free Agent Grades page. The Seahawks didn't think very much of Golden Tate, as indicated by the low offer they gave him that apparently insulted him. The Brandon Pettigrew re-signing was a bit better, but Detroit is still bringing back an underachiever who constantly screws up.

The Joique Bell contract saves Detroit a bit, but this has been a poor offseason for its front office thus far.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Joique Bell, RB, Lions (re-sign) - B+
Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Lions (re-sign) - C+
Golden Tate, WR, Seahawks - D

Green Bay Packers: C+ Grade
The Packers seldom sign anyone in free agency, preferring instead to grow their own talent. They made one key move, which was to bring in former Bear Julius Peppers to help with the pass rush. Peppers struggled in 2013, but given that he has a chip on his shoulder after being cut and is effectively on a 1-year "prove it" deal, he could give 100 percent and rebound this upcoming season.

What I didn't like was the Packers not re-signing Evan Dietrich-Smith. Aaron Rodgers really wanted him back, and yet all Dietrich-Smith got was $7.25 million guaranteed on a 4-year deal from Tampa. Green Bay could have afforded that. There was no need for Ted Thompson to be so stingy with Rodgers' center.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
James Starks, RB, Packers (re-sign) - B+
Julius Peppers, DE, Bears - B-




Houston Texans: Incomplete Grade
I don't know how I can give the Texans a grade. They had no money, so they couldn't sign anyone outside of Ryan Fitzpatrick to be the team's new backup quarterback. They also lost a bunch of players like Ben Tate, Antonio Smith and Owen Daniels, so they'll need to draft well to compensate.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Titans - TBA
Kendrick Lewis, S, Chiefs - TBA

Indianapolis Colts: B+ Grade
The Colts overpaid for pedestrian players last spring, so they appeared to pick up where they left off when they overpaid for D'Qwell Jackson before free agency even began. However, Ryan Grigson turned things around with a quartet of solid moves.

Indianapolis added two big names in Arthur Jones, who will bolster a weak defensive line, and Hakeem Nicks, who will be trying his hardest for a change because he's on a 1-year deal. Andrew Luck suddenly has a potent trio of targets in Nicks, Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton. If the two tight ends can grow up, Indianapolis will have a very dangerous offense.

I also liked that the Colts were able to retain Vontae Davis and Ahmad Bradshaw for very reasonable deals. The former is especially key, as he was one of the top corners in the NFL last year.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Arthur Jones, DE/DT, Ravens - A-
Hakeem Nicks, WR, Giants - A-
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Colts (re-sign) - A-
Vontae Davis, CB, Colts (re-sign) - B+
D'Qwell Jackson, ILB, Browns - C
Pat McAfee, P, Colts (re-sign) - C-

Jacksonville Jaguars: C+ Grade
You'd think that a team with two "Millens" and a "D" in terms of individual signings would receive a poor grade overall, but that's not the case because Jacksonville also made some quality moves.

Gus Bradley was able to use his influence to bring over two of his former players from Seattle, Red Bryant and Chris Clemons, both of whom will provide a big boost to the stop unit. Cheaply re-signing Jason Babin was a solid move for depth purposes, while obtaining something (sixth-round pick) for Blaine Gabbert was a borderline miracle.

Unfortunately, it's difficult to ignore the blemishes. General manager David Caldwell gave way too much money to a duo of scrubs (Ziggy Hood, Toby Gerhart), and he grossly overestimated the talent level of Zane Beadles, who will be yet another of Peyton Manning's linemen to leave his team and struggle elsewhere.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Sixth-round pick for Blaine Gabbert - A+
Red Bryant, DE/DT, Seahawks - A
Jason Babin, DE, Jaguars (re-sign) - B+
Chris Clemons, DE, Seahawks - B-
Dekoda Watson, OLB, Buccaneers - B-
Chad Henne, QB, Jaguars (re-sign) - C+
Zane Beadles, G, Broncos - D
Ziggy Hood, DT, Steelers - Millen
Toby Gerhart, RB, Vikings - Millen



Kansas City Chiefs: C Grade
The Chiefs didn't have much cap space entering the offseason, so their top four free agents (Branden Albert, Geoff Schwartz, Dexter McCluster, Tyson Jackson) all signed elsewhere. Unlike Houston, however, I can give th Chiefs a grade because they used some of their money on a free agent of note. They signed Vance Walker, who may not fit Kansas City's scheme. The Chiefs, who had a fluky start to last season, will find it difficult to reach the playoffs again in 2014 after losing some key personnel.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Husain Abdullah, S, Chiefs (re-sign) - A
Vance Walker, DE/DT, Raiders - C

Miami Dolphins: B- Grade
A year ago, most talking heads praised the Dolphins for having the best offseason. They spent the most money on the biggest names, after all, so of course they improved their team tremendously.

Jeff Ireland is long gone, but some of the foolish spending continues. I have no idea what new general manager Dennis Hickey was thinking by giving $5.5 million guaranteed to Cortland Finnegan, who was one of the worst cornerbacks in the NFL last year. Hickey also grossly overpaid for the injury-prone Branden Albert, who received elite left tackle money despite not being close to elite.

Fortunately for the Dolphins, they made some quality transactions as well. They were able to re-sign Randy Starks at a great price. Keeping Brent Grimes was huge as well, while the Louis Delmas addition has promise.

Update: The Dolphins made a great move by signing Knowshon Moreno, which will increase their grade.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Randy Starks, DT, Dolphins (re-sign) - A
Knowshon Moreno, RB, Broncos - A
Louis Delmas, S, Lions - B+
Brent Grimes, CB, Dolphins - B+
Branden Albert, OT, Chiefs - C-
Shelley Smith, G, Rams - C-
Earl Mitchell, DT, Texans - D
Cortland Finnegan, CB, Rams - Millen

Minnesota Vikings: B+ Grade
The Vikings did a great job in free agency, for the most part. They absolutely had to find a cornerback to start across from Xavier Rhodes, and they managed to obtain one in Captain Munnerlyn at a great bargain price. They also were tasked with replacing Kevin Williams and Jared Allen. Linval Joseph will be an upgrade over the former, while Corey Wootton will provide depth at the latter's position. Both were secured for very reasonable deals.

The only reason I can't give the Vikings an "A" is because of the Everson Griffen contract. Giving $20 million guaranteed to a player with one career start was seen as ridiculous at the time, and given the sort of contracts handed out to defensive ends this month, it's now beyond absurd. I'm actually ashamed of myself that I didn't grade it as a "Millen" when the move was initially made. Perhaps I can posthumously dub it the "Millen Equinox" because I'm writing this on the first day of spring.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Captain Munnerlyn, CB, Titans - A
Linval Joseph, DT, Giants - B+
Corey Wootton, DE, Bears - B+
Charlie Johnson, OT, Vikings (re-sign) - B
Everson Griffen, DE, Vikings (re-sign) - D
Jasper Brinkley, ILB, Cardinals - TBA

New England Patriots: A Grade
It initially seemed like the Patriots were going to be the big losers of free agency when the Broncos stole Aqib Talib and Julian Edelman was rumored to sign elsewhere. New England silenced all concerns, however, by signing Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, all while retaining Edelman in the process.

The Seahawks, 49ers and Broncos were the three best teams in the NFL by far prior to the Revis signing. With all of these moves, the Patriots became the league's fourth super power. How are teams going to throw on New England with Revis and Browner locking down opposing wideouts? Imagine what Bill Belichick is going to be able to do schematically without having to worry about opposing receivers getting open.

The offense is still a concern with Edelman being the only reliable presence at wideout - adding Hakeem Nicks would have been nice - but perhaps Aaron Dobson will be able to develop. Having Rob Gronkowski stay healthy would also solve a lot of problems.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Darrelle Revis, CB, Buccaneers - A+
Brandon Browner, CB, Seahawks - A+
Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots (re-sign) - B
Brandon LaFell, WR, Panthers - B-

New Orleans Saints: B Grade
The Saints went on a cutting spree to open the offseason. They dumped Will Smith, Jabari Greer, Lance Moore and Roman Harper, and then they traded a declining Darren Sproles for a fifth-round pick. All of this was done to retain Jimmy Graham, who was franchised. The Saints were also able to sign Pro Bowler Jairus Byrd and retain Zach Strief, but New Orleans overpaid for both players.

In summary, the Saints had a pretty mediocre offseason. They bolstered their secondary and were able to keep their top weapon, but they lost depth and hurt themselves financially down the road with some bad contracts.

Update: I've upgraded New Orleans' mark for the Champ Bailey signing, which was a quality move.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Champ Bailey, CB, Broncos - A-
Jairus Byrd, S, Bills - C+
Fifth-round pick for Darren Sproles - C+
Zach Strief, OT, Saints (re-sign) - C-

New York Giants: B- Grade
The consensus is that the Giants are one of the winners in free agency. They've been heavily praised on Twitter and in various news-aggregator publications, but as is usually the case, the popular opinion is wrong.

New York handed out several poor contracts this offseason. The front office grossly overpaid for Jon Beason, who struggled mightily in coverage this past season. It wasted $3 million on J.D. Walton, who hasn't played a full game since September 2012. The worst deal of all was Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. That signing was an embarrassment. With tons of money in his bank account again, the lethargic corner will once again live up to his "Doesn't Really Care" nickname.

Having said that, the Giants made some quality transactions. I love the Walter Thurmond acquisition, as the team brought him in for a great price. There were also some other solid signings, including Rashad Jennings and the versatile Geoff Schwartz. Retaining Stevie Brown and Trumaine McBride without spending very much was nice as well.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Walter Thurmond, CB, Seahawks - A
Stevie Brown, S, Giants (re-sign) - A
Henry Hynoski, FB, Giants (re-sign) - A
John Jerry, G, Dolphins - A
Mario Manningham, WR, 49ers - A-
Rashad Jennings, RB, Raiders - B
Geoff Schwartz, G/OT, Chiefs - B
Trumaine McBride, CB, Giants (re-sign) - B
Jon Beason, ILB, Giants (re-sign) - C
Jameel McClain, LB, Ravens - C
J.D. Walton, C, Broncos - C-
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie - D
John Jerry, G, Dolphins - TBA

New York Jets: C- Grade
You can't exactly call this a successful offseason for the Jets. Rex Ryan wanted to bring back Darrelle Revis, but arch rival New England stole him away. Ryan then wanted Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Antonio Cromartie, yet New York whiffed on both and now has nothing at corner. Meanwhile, the front office added a No. 1 receiver for Geno Smith. Except Eric Decker is not a No. 1 option. He was a product of Peyton Manning, so he won't be nearly as effective in his new home.

Free agency wasn't a total disaster though. The Jets brought back Willie colon cheaply and inked Breno Giacomini to a reasonable deal. Of course, Giacomini is a downgrade from Austin Howard, who was yet another player to get away from Ryan.

UPDATE: The signing of Philadelphia's former quarterback drops this to a C-. He will fire yet another coach (Rex Ryan will be added to the extensive list of coaches he has canned) and will destroy the confidence of Geno Smith. Not that Smith had much hope in the first place, but the Jets wasted $5 million on this signing.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Willie Colon, G, Jets (re-sign) - A-
Breno Giacomini, OT, Seahawks - B
Calvin Pace, DE/OLB, Jets (re-sign) - B
Jeff Cumberland, TE, Jets (re-sign) - B
Eric Decker, WR, Broncos - C
QBDK, QB, Eagles - D

Oakland Raiders: B Grade
The Raiders remind me of the 2002 Texans. Coming into the league, Houston used the expansion draft to pluck 30-year-old overpriced veterans off other rosters. General manager Charley Casserly wanted to be competitive right away around No. 1 overall pick David Carr, and the team was - it upset Dallas in the opener - but this decision was ultimately a poor one because the Texans were soon in financially difficulty. Of course, Carr busting didn't help.

Oakland used this offseason to obtain many of the same type of veterans. The difference, however, is that general manager Reggie McKenzie signed most of his free agents relatively cheaply. He had a ton of cap room to work with, and almost all of the players he obtained won't mess around with the fiscal situation in the future.

With that in mind, I think this offseason has to be considered a relatively successful one for the Raiders. They needed to become competitive because they will be using an early selection on a quarterback. Perhaps it'll be another Carr...

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Tarell Brown, CB, 49ers - A+
Justin Tuck, DE, Giants - A
Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders (re-sign) - A
Kevin Boothe, G/C, Giants - A-
Antonio Smith, DE/DT, Texans - B+
Donald Penn, OT, Buccaneers - B+
LaMarr Woodley, DE/OLB, Steelers - B
James Jones, WR, Packers - B
Matt Schaub, QB, Texans - B-
Austin Howard, OT, Jets - C-

Philadelphia Eagles: B+ Grade
If the Eagles' goal in free agency was to distance themselves from the other inept teams in the NFC East, then mission accomplished.

Philadelphia made three key moves during this period. The first was trading for Darren Sproles, whom Chip Kelly will be able to use very creatively. Sproles is a declining player, but he's still potent enough to strengthen Philadelphia's offense. The second was signing Nolan Carroll cheaply, as the former Dolphin could end up starting at corner. The third was re-signing both free agent wide receivers, meaning Nick Foles' progression won't be stunted.

One mistake Philadelphia made was overpaying Malcolm Jenkins, who was a disappointing and inconsistent player for the Saints. However, he still provides an upgrade at the position.

The Eagles could trade DeSean Jackson, and if so, this grade could change. Check back for updates or follow @walterfootball for updates.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Jeremy Maclin, WR, Eagles (re-sign) - A-
Nolan Carroll, CB, Dolphins - A-
Darren Sproles, RB, Saints - B+
Nate Allen, S, Eagles (re-sign) - B
Riley Cooper, WR, Eagles (re-sign) - C+
Malcolm Jenkins, S, Saints - C-

Pittsburgh Steelers: C- Grade
The Steelers didn't do much on the surface, which is pretty much their M.O. Like the Packers, they regularly refuse to splurge in free agency. That's why it was surprising that they spent so much money on Michael Mitchell, a 1-year wonder who probably was a product of Carolina's ferocious front seven.

Pittsburgh also extended some veterans, including Troy Polamalu, to help its present cap situation. What it really did was make things much worse in the future. The Steelers should be parting with their long-time players and rebuilding because they're not good enough to win the Super Bowl now. As a consequence, they're going to be in major Dallas Cowboys-type trouble in a couple of seasons.

Update: Lance Moore bumps this grade up a bit, but the financial issues still loom large.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Lance Moore, WR, Saints - B+
Michael Mitchell, S, Panthers - C-

San Diego Chargers: B- Grade
The Chargers didn't do anything exciting this offseason. They re-signed some of their key players and added depth at inside linebacker and quarterback with reasonably priced additions. They also didn't lose anyone overly important, so that's a plus.

San Diego's one error was using resources a player unnecessarily. Donald Brown was signed to be an insurance policy for the oft-injured Ryan Mathews, but the Chargers probably should have went with a cheaper option.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Kavell Conner, ILB, Colts - B
Kellen Clemens, QB, Rams - B
Chad Rinehart, G, Chargers (re-sign) - B
Donald Butler, ILB, Chargers (re-sign) - C+
Darrell Stuckey, S, Chargers (re-sign) - C+
Donald Brown, RB, Colts - C

More to come...

San Francisco 49ers: B Grade
The 49ers made some low-impact moves this offseason that have upside. For instance, they traded a conditional late-rounder for Jonathan Martin. They also signed Chris Cook for less than $1 million. Both players were second-round selections in recent drafts, so there's a shot they could both succeed in San Francisco with better coaching. Cook might even be able to start if he plays up to his natural ability.

The two major transactions were retaining Anquan Boldin and signing Antoine Bethea. Keeping Boldin at a reasonable price was great for Colin Kaepernick's growth. Bethea was overpaid for, but not egregiously. He's a step down from Donte Whitner, so the 49ers may draft some competition.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Chris Cook, CB, Vikings - A
Jonathan Martin, OT, Dolpins - A
Anquan Boldin, WR, 49ers (re-sign) - B+
Antoine Bethea, S, Colts - B-
Blaine Gabbert, QB, Jaguars - F

More to come...

Seattle Seahawks: B Grade
Seattle is rumored to be a destination for Jared Allen, but as of right now, the Seahawks haven't signed a single free agent. They've spent the offseason re-signing their own players, and they've done a good job with those deals. The Michael Bennett contract was especially fantastic, as Seattle retained him for less than the unknown Everson Griffen received from Minnesota.

Unfortunately, the Seahawks lost several players to other teams. Red Bryant and Chris Clemons were let go to make room for Bennett. Golden Tate went to Detroit after the Lions offered him way more money than Seattle did. Right tackle Breno Giacomini signed with the Seahawks. Two corners (Walter Thurmond, Brandon Browner) also vanished, so these are positions the front office will have to address in the 2014 NFL Draft.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Michael Bennett, DE, Seahawks (re-sign) - A
Tarvaris Jackson, QB, Seahawks (re-sign) - B+
Tony McDaniel, DT, Seahawks (re-sign) - B
Steven Hauschka, K, Seahawks (re-sign) - C+

More to come...

St. Louis Rams: C+ Grade
Literally, the only things the Rams have done this offseason was re-sign Rodger Saffold and Jo-Lonn Dunbar. They haven't added any free agents, and they haven't retained anyone else. Since Saffold was the only major move - and it only happened because of the Raiders' incompetence - I'll make the overall team grade the same one that I gave out for that contract.

If the Rams do anything else, check back for an updated grade. Follow @walterfootball for updates.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Shaun Hill, QB, Lions - A-
Rodger Saffold, G/OT, Rams (re-sign) - C

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: C Grade
The Buccaneers signed a bunch of players in free agency. They didn't do anything great, but they made a bunch of decent moves. This includes bringing in Alterraun Verner, who happens to be a better fit for Lovie Smith's defense than Darrelle Revis. Signing Evan-Dietrich Smith was also key, as he can solidify the interior of the offensive line, which was a big problem area for Tampa last year. Josh McCown, meanwhile, gives Tampa a capable starting quarterback for the first time in several years. McCown won't have Marc Trestman coaching him up, but Jeff Tedford can get a lot out of the veteran.

Tampa did a couple of things I didn't like. The team overpaid for both Anthony Collins and Michael Johnson. The former doesn't have much starting experience and won't be much of an upgrade over Donald Penn. The latter has a history of underachieving, so I would be afraid that the Buccaneers won't get Johnson's full effort.

The Revis situation was handled poorly as well. Tampa gave up the No. 13 pick in last year's draft (Sheldon Richardson), but got nothing in return. That was absolutely terrible.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Evan Dietrich-Smith, C/G, Packers - B+
Josh McCown, QB, Bears - B+
Alterraun Verner, CB, Titans - B
Brandon Myers, TE, Giants - B
Mike Jenkins, CB, Raiders - B
Clinton McDonald, DT, Seahawks - B-
Michael Johnson, DE, Bengals - C
Anthony Collins, OT, Bengals - D
Traded Jeremy Zuttah to Ravens - D

Tennessee Titans: C Grade
Tennessee added five players through free agency, but there was something wrong with three of the signings. Wesley Woodyard did not play well in the 3-4 when the Broncos employed that scheme under Josh McDaniels. Michael Oher was paid way too much, as he never developed in Baltimore. Charlie Whitehurst was the worst addition of all; he's a downgrade from Ryan Fitzpatrick, who will be making less money in Houston than Clipboard Jesus will be with the Titans.

So, despite spending a chunk of money on several players, I don't feel as though the Titans improved their team at all. That's why they're not getting a good grade.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Dexter McCluster, WR/KR, Chiefs - B-
Wesley Woodyard, LB, Broncos - C+
Al Woods, NT, Steelers - C+
Michael Oher, OT, Ravens - C
Charlie Whitehurst, QB, Chargers - C-

Washington Redskins: D Grade
Daniel Snyder is no longer making all of the personnel decisions in Washington, but he might as well be because the Redskins are having a brutal free agency period. They've made a number of poor signings, overpaying for scrubs like Shawn Lauvao and Tracy Porter. They also spent too much on Jason Hatcher, a very Snyder-like signing, given that the former Cowboy turns 32 in July. Washington fans have to be very familiar with its team paying for past production.

This offseason wasn't a total waste. The Redskins helped their inside linebacker situation by re-signing Perry Riley for a reasonable price and obtaining some depth with Darryl Sharpton. And then Washington... well... that's about the only good thing the team did.

NFL Free Agent Grades:
Perry Riley, ILB, Redsins (re-sign) - B+
Darryl Sharpton, ILB, Texans - B
DeAngelo Hall, CB, Redskins (re-sign) - B-
Jason Hatcher, DE/DT, Cowboys - C+
Andre Roberts, WR, Cardinals - C+
DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles (trade) - C
Shawn Lauvao, G, Browns - D
Tracy Porter, CB, Raiders - D
Chris Baker, NT, Redskins (re-sign) - D

More to come...



Comment...






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