NFL Free Agent Signing Grades



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I'll list the good and bad moves made during the trade deadline and in free agency on this page.

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Sept. 11 Updates

Colts re-sign G Quenton Nelson (4 years, $80 million; $60 million guaranteed): B+ Grade
Quenton Nelson has become the highest-paid guard in the wake of this $80 million contract. Deals like these can't be graded in the "A" range because they are not bargains of any sort, but Nelson is a great enough player to deserve all of this money.

Not only is Nelson an elite guard; he's young, too. He's only 26, and he has missed just four games in his 4-year career. He'll certainly continue to perform on an elite level throughout the duration of this contract.

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Sept. 10 Updates

Raiders re-sign TE Darren Waller (3 years, $51 million): A Grade
I just recently graded the Dawson Knox signing as a "D" because I hate when teams pay big bucks to non-elite tight ends. Knox received $53.6 million over four years, which was way too much money for him. Knox is a solid player, but he's certainly not elite.

Darren Waller, meanwhile, should be graded much higher even though he's getting about the same money for one fewer year. Waller is an elite tight end, and it could be argued that he should have been paid like a wide receiver. The one possible downside is that Waller turns 30 in a few days, but he should still perform on a high level throughout the duration of this contract.

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Sept. 9 Updates

Bills re-sign TE Dawson Knox (4 years, $53.6 million; $31 million guaranteed): D Grade
I've been asked repeatedly for a Dawson Knox signing grade, but I had trouble locating the contract numbers. I now have them, and I was shocked to see that Knox obtainined $53.6 million overall and $31 million in guarantees.

Anyone who has been reading this Web site for a while knows how much I despise huge contracts give to non-elite tight ends. Knox is a good player, but he's definitely not elite. In fact, I'm old enough to remember that the Bills believed they had a big need at tight end ahead of the 2021 campaign. Knox scored nine touchdowns that year, but as any avid fantasy player knows, touchdown regression is a common phenomenon.

I think this is a bad overpay by the Bills, who will need all the cap space they can get in the wake of Josh Allen's mega deal. The one positive here is that Knox is still young (25), but I think Buffalo will eventually regret this contract.

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Titans re-sign S Amani Hooker (3 years, $33 million): B+ Grade
Amani Hooker has done well for himself after being chosen in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He was a fine player for his first two seasons, but emerged as a stellar defensive back in 2021. He played all over the defensive backfield, becoming a very valuable presence in Tennessee's defense.

I'm usually not big on giving huge deals to safeties, but this seems like a reasonable price for Hooker. He doesn't have a long track record of great success, but he's only 24, so he could continue to improve. If so, this contract will be a bargain.

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Saints re-sign C Erik McCoy (5 years, $63.75 million; $40 million guaranteed): B- Grade
The Saints have spent a couple of recent premium picks on offensive linemen because Drew Brees hated interior pressure more than an edge rush. Erik McCoy emerged as a solid blocker for Brees as a second-round pick from the 2019 NFL Draft, playing all but five games in his 3-year career thus far. New Orleans rewarded him with a huge contract.

I'd say this is too much money for McCoy, who is not an elite center. That said, I don't hate this signing, so I'm willing to give it a B- grade. McCoy is a solid player, and I'm a big fan of keeping an offensive line intact.

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Sept. 8 Updates

Rams re-sign OT Rob Havenstein (3 years, $34.5 million): A Grade
The Rams spent a second-round pick on Rob Havenstein back in 2015, and it turned out to be a great investment. Havenstein has recently turned into one of the better right tackles in the NFL, so it makes sense that Los Angeles wanted to extend him for another three years.

This seems to be a great price for Havenstein. He's now 30, so he's beginning the downside of his career, but he should be able to perform on a high level for the duration of this deal.

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Sept. 5 Updates

Cowboys sign OT Jason Peters: A+ Grade
The Cowboys already had a poor situation with their offensive line prior to the Tyron Smith injury. They lost two blockers during the offseason, so their offense wasn't going to be as productive as it was last year. Smith's injury obviously made things much worse, so Dallas had to take action.

Signing Jason Peters is a terrific move. He's now 40, so he could rapidly regress, but he'll be a quality addition if he performs like he did last year. The other downside with Peters is that he's injury-prone, having played only one full season since 2016. However, he'll likely be a great Band-Aid for the Cowboys until Smith returns in December.

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Sept. 2 Updates

Cardinals re-sign S Jalen Thompson (3 years, $40 million; $24.6 million guaranteed): B Grade
Jalen Thompson was a fifth-round supplemental pick, yet he has emerged as a quality safety for Arizona. Thompson is at his best in coverage, and at just 24 years old, he has a bright future ahead of him.

With that in mind, this signing deserves a decent grade. I think it's a bit of an overpay for what Thompson has produced as a whole, but it seems fair when factoring in his potential.

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Sept. 1 Updates

Broncos re-sign QB Russell Wilson (5 years, $245 million; $165 million guaranteed): B Grade
I'm going to sound like a broken record if you've read my other quarterback grades. Huge contracts like this are very difficult to grade. The insane amount of money will make it difficult for the team to surround the signal-caller with appropriate talent, but allowing that quarterback to leave will hurt the team long term.

I've consistently graded higher-end quarterbacks in the B+/B range. There's risk to giving Russell Wilson a 5-year deal with $165 million guaranteed because he turns 34 around Thanksgiving, but Denver was hopeless before him. Wilson gives the Broncos a legitimate chance to win the Super Bowl every year, so I won't go below a "B" grade despite the obvious potential downside.

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Aug. 17 Updates

Chargers sign S Derwin James (4 years, $76.4 million; $42 million guaranteed): C- Grade
Derwin James is a fantastic player, but I can't be a big supporter of this contract. James' $76.4 million ensures that he will be the highest-paid safety in NFL history, which is problematic for two reasons.

First, safety is not nearly as important of a position as wide receiver, edge rusher, tackle, cornerback, and of course, quarterback. I'm opposed to spending big money on safeties, even great ones like James, because that means less money can be spent on the more important positions. Second, and more importantly, James is not nearly durable enough to warrant this sort of a deal. He has played just one full season in his career, and he has missed 27 games in the past three seasons. I'd feel better about this signing if James remained mostly healthy in 2022, but his injury history cannot be ignored when grading this contract.

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Aug. 11 Updates

Jets sign OT Duane Brown (2 years, $22 million): A- Grade
Mekhi Becton has been a huge disappointment. The former first-round pick weighed 400 pounds at one time, and now he's been ruled out for the 2022 season because of a knee injury. It seems like Becton will never live up to expectations, but that's a concern for the long haul. For the short term, the Jets needed to find a viable replacement for Becton to protect Zach Wilson in his second year.

Duane Brown is almost certain to be a viable replacement for Becton. There's a chance this signing could fail because Brown turns 37 later this month, but he performed well last season for the Seahawks. Thus, there's a good possibility that Wilson will be very happy with this addition.

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Aug. 8 Updates

Ravens re-sign K Justin Tucker (4 years, $24 million): A- Grade
I am almost always opposed to large kicker contracts like this. As I've stated repeatedly, kickers come and go. They do well, then receive a big contract, then struggle, and then get released, then sign elsewhere, then kick well again, and so on.

There are some exceptions, however, and Justin Tucker is the greatest of all of them. Tucker has been incredibly consistent and accurate throughout the years. He hasn't been worse than 89.5 percent since 2015, and he's 30-of-36 from 50-plus since that year, including a 66-yard record-breaker he drilled versus the Lions at the buzzer in 2021. Tucker is getting just $4 million more than Chris Boswell on the same duration, making this contract seem like a bargain.

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Aug. 3 Updates

Steelers re-sign WR Diontae Johnson (2 years, $36.71 million; $27 million guaranteed): A+ Grade
Diontae Johnson needs a better agent. We've seen countless receivers obtain contracts worth more than $20 million per season. This includes Deebo Samuel, D.K. Metcalf, Stefon Diggs, Terry McLaurin, and even Christian Kirk. I don't think Johnson is as good as the first three names on that list, but he's much better than Kirk and comparable to McLaurin. Johnson should have received way more money than this.

This contract is a slam-dunk A+ for the Steelers. It's an unbelievable bargain, and better yet, comes with very little risk because it's a short-term deal.

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Cowboys sign OLB Anthony Barr: A Grade
I forgot that Anthony Barr was still on the open market. Barr is now 30 and suffered through injuries last year, but he can still play well in some regards when healthy. He's a liability in coverage, but he can play the run well and rush the passer effectively.

Barr is a nice addition for the Cowboys. A pass rusher was needed in the wake of Randy Gregory's departure, while a run defender will be required in the two matchups against the Eagles. The details of this contract aren't known, but as long as it's a reasonable 1-year deal, I love this signing.

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Patriots re-sign DT Davon Godchaux (2 years, $20.8 million): D Grade
I think this signing occurred when I was on my way home from Las Vegas, so I missed it. I'd like to thank e-mailer Bill H. for pointing out that I omitted this signing. I also didn't grade the Patriots re-signing punter Jake Bailey, but grading punter signings is boring because I say the same thing every time.

As for this transaction, I can't say I'm not a fan. It won't kill the Patriots in the long term because it's only for two seasons, but it's a definite overpay. Godchaux is a quality run defender, but offers very little as far as a pass rush is concerned. Players like him are a dime a dozen, so I don't know why New England paid him so much.

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Cardinals re-sign OT D.J. Humphries (3 years, $66.8 million): B+ Grade
I wouldn't have believed that D.J. Humphries would sign a contract like this a couple of years ago. Humphries was known as an injury-prone player who disappointed Arizona early in his career, but things have changed since then. Humphries has gotten over his injuries and become a quality left tackle for the team.

With that in mind, it's hard to hate this deal. Humphries is vital to Kyler Murray's success, so Arizona did well to retain him. The money is right, and Humphries is still just 28, so he shouldn't regress throughout the duration of this contract.

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Aug. 1 Updates

Steelers re-sign K Chris Boswell (4 years, $20 million; $12.5 million guaranteed): C Grade
Chris Boswell has been a great kicker for the Steelers. He has connected on at least 90 percent of his field goals in the past three years. He was also 8-of-9 from 50-plus last season. Kicking at Heinz Field is difficult, yet Boswell has mastered that art somehow.

That said, I'm not crazy about this contract. That's because kickers, for the most part, come and go. They tend to get hot, then get overpaid, then struggle, then get cut, then get signed elsewhere, then get hot, and the cycle continues. Only a handful of kickers have been consistent over the years (Adam Vinatieri, Justin Tucker). Boswell has been amazing for the past three seasons, as well as two years before that, but he could regress. There was no point in paying him now. What if he struggles in 2022? The Steelers will look silly for giving him a new contract in that scenario. They would've given him the same deal a year from now, so why rush it?

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49ers re-sign WR Deebo Samuel (3 years, $71.55 million; $58.1 million guaranteed): B+ Grade
Things seemed bleak for the 49ers in regard to keeping Deebo Samuel this offseason. Samuel was discussed in many trade rumors, but in the end, he ended up re-signing with the team that drafted him in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Samuel will be making a tiny bit less than D.K. Metcalf, who received his new contract a few days earlier. This makes sense, as Samuel is two years older than Metcalf. However, I'm inclined to give this contract a slightly higher grade because unlike the Seahawks, the 49ers won't be wasting their top receiver's prime years, given that they already have a quarterback in place.

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July 28 Updates

Seahawks re-sign WR D.K. Metcalf (3 years, $72 million; $58.2 million guaranteed): B Grade
It's still hard to believe that this contract is comparable to Christian Kirk's $84 million over four years. There's one fewer year on this deal, which makes it more appealing for the Seahawks in case Metcalf declines due to suffering injuries or being fat and happy as a result of this contract.

Metcalf, in a vacuum, is worth this money. He's one of the most talented receivers in the NFL, and yet he's only 24, so he should perform on a high level throughout the duration of this deal. It bothers me that the Seahawks are going to waste the best years of Metcalf's career by having scrub quarterbacks throwing the ball to him, but the team's next viable starter will be thrilled to have him as his top target.

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Jets sign LB Kwon Alexander (1 year): A- Grade
The Jets have made some nice upgrades across their roster this offseason, but linebacker remained a huge concern for them. It's still a weak area in the wake of this signing, but it's a spot that will at least have some stability for a change.

Kwon Alexander is a nice addition to the Jets' defense. He tends to miss too many tackles, but he can cover well. He's still just 28, and he has experience in Robert Saleh's system, as the two were together in San Francisco. He won't be a huge difference-maker, but he can be a decent starter for a team that has been starved for linebacker help for quite some time.

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Chiefs sign DE Carlos Dunlap (1 year, $8 million): A- Grade
When discussing the Chiefs' chances this year, I've frequently referenced that a big factor would be George Karlaftis' ability to step in right away as a replacement for the departed Melvin Ingram. That is no longer much of an issue, as Kansas City bought itself an insurance policy in that regard by signing Carlos Dunlap.

Dunlap turned 33 this offseason, but he can still play well; he recorded 8.5 sacks with the Seahawks last year. He's a nice bridge for the Chiefs as they transition from Ingram to Karlaftis long term, and even if Karlaftis exceeds expectations right away, Dunlap will be another pass-rushing threat. This is key, given how much quarterbacking talent is currently in the AFC.

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July 26 Updates

Buccaneers sign WR Julio Jones (1 year): B+ Grade
While I like this signing, it also is bad news for the Buccaneers because they probably wouldn't have made this acquisition had Chris Godwin been on schedule coming off his knee injury. Godwin likely won't be ready for the start of the season, which will push Julio Jones into action.

Jones, to be clear, is no longer the dominant receiver he once was in Atlanta. In fact, he looked like a shell of his former self in Tennessee last year. However, Jones was playing with Ryan Tannehill. He should do better with Tom Brady, especially as a red-zone target to replace Rob Gronkowski. Thus, I like this as a low-risk signing.

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Bears sign OT Riley Reiff (1 year, $12 million): B Grade
The Bears may have the worst offensive line in the NFL, so they needed to do something to improve their blocking. While signing Riley Reiff won't catapault their front up the rankings, the acquisition at least gives them a potential steady presence at one of the tackle spots.

Reiff is probably an upgrade for the Bears, though that's not certain. He'll turn 34 during the season, and his pass-protection ability regressed last year. It doesn't seem like he's worth $12 million at this stage of his career, but the Bears are desperate, so I don't hate this signing.

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July 22 Updates

Buccaneers sign TE Kyle Rudolph (1 year): B+ Grade
This signing is a "F" grade to fantasy owners who already spent a draft choice on Cameron Brate. It should be graded well otherwise, as the Buccaneers made a fine decision to sign the former Viking and Giant tight end.

Kyle Rudolph, now 33, is nearing the end of his career. He's a shell of his former self as a receiving tight end, but he can still block very well. He can also still serve as a competent and reliable target in the end zone. The Buccaneers needed someone to handle these roles in the wake of Rob Gronkowski's retirement, and Rudolph is a solid, short-term solution at a cheap price.

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July 21 Updates

Cardinals re-sign QB Kyler Murray (5 years, $230.5 million; $160 million guaranteed): C- Grade
I often grade these sort of contracts in the B+/B range. Mammoth deals for quarterbacks often have a habit of hurting the team re-signing that signal-caller because so much cap space is dedicated to just one player on the roster. However, these teams often have no choice because the position is so important. Allowing the quarterback to leave would be devastating.

This is a different case. I'm grading this much lower than the other quarterback deals because Kyler Murray has not demonstrated the ability to stay healthy. Murray has not made it through an entire season thus far, which is a huge issue when so much money is being dedicated to him. Murray is a small and mobile quarterback, so his durability problems are not surprising. It's likely that Murray will continue to frequently get banged up, so despite his incredible talent, I have no choice but to issue a poor grade for this contract.

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June 28 Updates

Redskins re-sign WR Terry McLaurin (3 years, $71 million): B+ Grade
Terry McLaurin has been the subject of trade rumors this offseason. Those can finally be put to rest, as the Redskins were able to retain him with a 3-year, $71 million contract.

I can't grade this signing in the "A" range because it's not a bargain of any sort. However, McLaurin is definitely worthy of receiving close to $24 million per season. He's a terrific talent who has produced with pedestrian quarterbacks. He could emerge as one of the league leaders in receiving yards if he's ever paired with a great quarterback. Unfortunately for McLaurin, it's doubtful that Carson Wentz is the answer.

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June 26 Updates

Steelers sign DT Larry Ogunjobi (1 year, $8 million): A- Grade
I've been awaiting contract details for Larry Ogunjobi and Jaquiski Tartt. Thanks to a couple of readers (Stephen K. and Conrad S.), I was able to obtain some knowledge about Ogunjobi's deal, which is a 1-year agreement worth up to $8 million.

This is a far cry from the 3-year, $40.5 million contract Ogunjobi signed with the Bears prior to failing his physical. I graded this as a Millen before the acquisition was nullified because of how outrageous the numbers were. Ogujobi is a quality pass rusher, but he was nowhere worth that amount of money. A 1-year deal for $8 million is far more reasonable, however. Ogunjobi will serve as a decent replacement for the retired Stephon Tuitt, at least until DeMarvin Leal is able to take over as a starter on the defensive line.

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June 17 Updates

Steelers re-sign S Minkah Fitzpatrick (4 years, $73.6 million; $36 million guaranteed): C+ Grade
Any thought that the Steelers were going to get a bargain with Minkah Fitzpatrick following his down 2021 season went out the window in the wake of this signing. Fitzpatrick, who was incredible for Pittsburgh in 2019 and 2020, wasn't as good this past season, yet the Steelers still decided to make him the highest-paid safety in league history.

Fitzpatrick is a terrific play-maker and could meet the high expectations of this contract. He's only 25, after all, so he has plenty of years of prime play ahead of him. The issue here is that Fitzpatrick has a history of slacking off, which he did in his final season in Miami. It's not out of the question that Fitzpatrick will be fat and happy after signing this huge deal. Also, I'm not a huge fan of paying big money to safeties, which is the second reason I graded this as a C+.

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June 10 Updates

Raiders re-sign WR Hunter Renfrow (2 years, $32 million; $21 million guaranteed): A- Grade
No one expected much out of Hunter Renfrow when he was chosen in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, but he has become one of the best slot receivers in the league. Renfrow stepped up last year in the wake of Darren Waller's injury and Henry Ruggs' departure, catching 108 passes for 1,038 yards. Derek Carr always seemed to target him on third downs.

Renfrow is just 26, so there's no reason for any regression. This is a short-term deal, so the risk isn't substantial, and the money seems fair. This is a great re-signing by the Raiders, who have solidified their receiving corps for the next couple of seasons.

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June 8 Updates

Rams re-sign WR Cooper Kupp (3 years, $80 million): A- Grade
I normally don't give "A" range grades to contracts like these because they're not bargains. It could be argued that this deal could be considered one, however. In the wake of this extension, Kupp is now the sixth-highest-paid receiver in the NFL, but after catching 145 passes for 1,947 yards in 2021, Kupp could make the claim that he's the best player at his position.

Regardless, the Rams needed to extend Kupp. Barring injury, it's unlikely that Kupp will disappoint the Rams. There's some very small worry about age - Kupp will turn 30 prior to the second season of this deal - but his style of play should allow him to perform on a high level into his mid-30s.

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June 6 Updates

Ravens sign CB Kyle Fuller (1 year, $2.5 million): A Grade
Baltimore fans don't need to be told that their secondary needed better depth. The cornerback group, in particular, were ravaged by injury last year. The front office used a pair of fourth-round picks on cornerbacks, but that clearly wasn't enough, which would explain this signing.

This is a terrific move. Fuller was a stellar cornerback for the Bears over the years, but had his worst season for the Broncos in 2021. He's 30, so there's a chance this regression is permanent, but he could easily bounce back and perform on a high level. If he continues to struggle, the Ravens won't lose much with this no-risk signing. It's more likely that Fuller plays better because he'll be playing for one more big contract.

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May 31 Updates

Buccaneers sign DT Akiem Hicks (1 year, $10 million): A Grade
Akiem Hicks was one of the better free agents still available on the open market. He's 32, so teams weren't in a rush to sign him, but he can still perform on a high level, both as a run stuffer and someone who can get to the quarterback.

I love this signing for the Buccaneers. It doesn't carry much risk - this deal is "up to" $10 million, so there are incentives involved - and there's great upside because Hicks can be a very good starter on the defensive line while Logan Hall is developing.

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May 27 Updates

Browns re-sign TE David Njoku (4 years, $56.8 million; $28 million guaranteed): MILLEN Grade
What a great signing. David Njoku has been highly productive tight end during his tenure with the Browns. Paying top dollar to tight ends has a long track record of working, so I cannot find anything wrong with this extension.

No, I'm not being serious. This signing is a joke. Njoku's reception totals in the past three years are: 5, 19 and 36. Paying big money to non-elite tight ends always ends up backfiring. Njoku is 26 (as of July) and has high upside, but he's never lived up to it. Njoku doesn't even deserve a quarter of the money in this contract. A 4-year, $14.2 million deal with $7 million guaranteed would be an overpay!

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May 22 Updates

Browns re-sign DE Jadeveon Clowney (1 year, $11 million): A- Grade
Jadeveon Clowney was a colossal disappointment in 2020. He registered absolutely no sacks with the Titans. However, he was able to rebound with Cleveland, trying his hardest on his 1-year "prove it" contract. He logged nine sacks and was a key cog in stopping the run.

I was worried that some dumb team would give Clowney a big contract, allowing him to revert to his lethargic state once again. Instead, the Browns retained him to another 1-year pact. This is ideal for Clowney, as it'll keep him motivated, all while allowing the Browns to generate pressure on all the talented quarterbacks in the conference.

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May 18 Updates

Eagles sign CB James Bradberry (1 year, $10 million): A+ Grade
I thought the Eagles pulled ahead of the Cowboys as a result of what occurred in the 2022 NFL Draft (including the A.J. Brown trade), as I indicated in my NFL Power Rankings. I think that is definitely the case now, thanks to this signing.

James Bradberry is usually one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. He's coming off a bit of a down year, but he's just 29 (as of August). There's no reason for him to have an age-related regression, so he should be back to his dominant self in 2022. If so, it's going to be extremely difficult for teams to throw on the Eagles with Bradberry and Darius Slay covering both sides of the field.

Bradberry is the type of player who should be paid very highly. He will be, but only for this year. The Eagles are not risking very much with this short-term deal, and Bradberry will be motivated to perform at the highest level so he can receive a huge contract next spring. I love this signing.

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Ravens sign RB Mike Davis (1 year, $1.27 million): B Grade
It's not looking good for Baltimore's backfield. John Harbaugh recently said that he believes J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards could both begin the season on the PUP list. This is troubling, as both backs are coming off ACL tears.

Actions speak louder than words, however, so it was telling that Baltimore attempted to sign Melvin Gordon. The team failed to do so - Gordon returned to Denver - but it obtained Mike Davis as a consolation prize. Davis is good at catching passes out of the backfield, but he's a pedestrian runner. He won't be nearly as good of a substitute for Dobbins and/or Edwards as Gordon would have been. That said, Davis is cheap, and Baltimore could have done worse.

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Chargers sign DE/OLB Kyle Van Noy (1 year, $2.25 million): B+ Grade
Kyle Van Noy performed well last season, so it was odd that Bill Belichick let him go. Van Noy has either played for Belichick or Brian Flores every year since 2016, so we'll get to see what he looks like in a different system for once.

Despite this change, I like this signing. Van Noy could be a fine chess piece for Brandon Staley's defense. Van Noy isn't great at one thing, but he's a jack of all trades. The one downside is age (31), but there's no risk attached to this transaction.

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Chargers sign CB Bryce Callahan (1 year, $1.27 million): A- Grade
It's a shame Bryce Callahan hasn't been able to stay healthy. He used to be a stellar slo cornerback for the Bears, but he has never played a full season. In the past three years, since joining the Broncos, Callaham missed 28 of 49 possible games. Callahan was on the field for 11 contests last year, but the injuries looked like they finally caught up with him, as he performed miserably while in action.

Perhaps Callahan wasn't 100 percent last year, so there's a chance he could rebound with a strong 2022 campaign. Of course, he's always a risk to miss numerous games, but at just $1.27 million there isn't any sort of downside in regard to this signing. It's all upside, so I like the move.

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Dolphins sign DE Melvin Ingram (1 year, $5 million): B+ Grade
I wanted to write that Melvin Ingram's days of recording double-digit sacks are long gone, but he notched 10 or more sacks just twice in his career, and he never exceeded 10.5. He used to be a stellar presence on the edge despite the high sack numbers, but that's not the case anymore. Now 33, he accumulated just two sacks in 2021.

That said, Ingram played better than the stats indicate. He helped the Chiefs' defense down the stretch, both as an edge rusher and a run stuffer. He'll give the Dolphins a solid rotational player at a fair price, so I like this signing.

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May 16 Updates

Packers re-sign CB Jaire Alexander (4 years, $84 million): B+ Grade
Any speculation that the Packers would get a bargain on Jaire Alexander's contract because the elite cornerback played just four games last year was thrown out the window today. That's because the Packers just made Alexander the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL in the wake of this $84 million deal.

Despite this, the Packers cannot be graded poorly for extending their top cornerback. Alexander was out with a shoulder injury in 2021, so it's not like he's coming off a troublesome malady like a torn ACL. He'll be 100 percent for 2022, and he's still only 25, so he's likely going to be playing on an All-Pro level for the duration of this contract. Alexander, who has edged out Jalen Ramsey and his $20 million-per-season salary, is arguably the best cornerback in the NFL, so if anyone deserves a contract like this, it's him. That said, this is not a bargain, so I won't go above a B+.

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May 15 Updates

Texans sign DE Jerry Hughes (2 years, $10 million): C Grade
Someone needs to explain to me how this signing makes any sense. Granted, it's really a 1-year deal worth $5 million, but I don't understand it regardless. I don't like the fit for either party.

For the Texans, why would they lean on an old veteran when they should be giving snaps to younger players who could contribute in the future? If Hughes helps them win a game, it could be a disaster because they have to tank for either C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young (see my 2023 NFL Mock Draft for more.) As for Hughes, he doesn't have much time remaining in the NFL, so why wouldn't he sign on to be a role player for a contending team? He's going to be miserable in Houston, and that could mean that he won't be trying his hardest next year.

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May 13 Updates

Saints sign WR Jarvis Landry (1 year, $6 million): A Grade
When Jarvis Landry was entering free agency, I thought he would be overpaid. He's been an overrated receiver for quite some time. He's a quality player out of the slot, but it seems as though casual fans value him more than what he's worth. Landry also turns 30 in November, so there could be regression soon.

That said, I love this signing for the Saints. Landry is super cheap at $6 million and carries almost no risk. He fills a big need because even with Michael Thomas returning from injury, and Chris Olave joining the team via the 2022 NFL Draft, New Orleans still needed one more wideout to strengthen its aerial attack. Landry will do that at a very cheap price.

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May 12 Updates

Dolphins sign RB Sony Michel (1 year, $1.75 million): A Grade
I was reminded by Justin, a member of my ad team, that I did not grade this signing. Moves made at this stage of the offseason are frustrating because they seldom come with financial details until later. Sony Michel signed with the Dolphins on Monday, but the amount he'd be receiving wasn't known until now.

Michel didn't pan out in New England, but he thrived with the Rams last year. Once Darrell Henderson got hurt in Week 12, Michel took over and posted two triple-digit rushing performances. He was so good that he kept his job once Henderson returned, but Cam Akers took over in the playoffs. Still, Michel showed that he can be effective when given an opportunity, and he could have success in Miami. The Dolphins have a crowded backfield, but Raheem Mostert and Chase Edmonds aren't very durable. It's possible that Michel could handle the majority of the workload late in the year, and that makes this $1.75 million price tag seem like a great bargain.

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May 6 Updates

Falcons re-sign DT Grady Jarrett (3 years, $67 million; $34 million guaranteed): B- Grade
This is a tough grade. Grady Jarrett is one of the better defensive tackles in the NFL, so he deserves a big contract. The money here is appropriate, and it's even worth noting that there's an out after two years.

The problem is that the Falcons are a dreadful team with tons of holes on their roster. By the time they're good enough to reach the playoffs, Jarrett will be done his contract as a 31- or a 32-year-old. Thus, I feel like Atlanta would have been better off letting Jarrett go and completely beginning their rebuilding process.

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May 4 Updates

Lions sign S DeShon Elliott (1 year, $1.1 million): A Grade
Aaron M. from Twitter alerted me of this missed signing as well. The Lions added DeShon Elliott in mid-April, but contract details weren't known until later. It turns out that Elliott will be getting $1.1 million in 2022.

I'm a big fan of this signing, too. Elliott is a talented, young safety, so there's no risk involved here. The problem with Elliott is his durability. Because of four separate injuries, he has played in only 28 of 65 possible games in his career. It's unlikely that he'll suddenly become healthy, but there's a chance he revives his career in Detroit and fills a big need in the secondary.

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Broncos re-sign RB Melvin Gordon (1 year, $2.5 million): A+ Grade
E-mailer John L. pointed out that I forgot to grade the Melvin Gordon signing. It occurred just prior to the draft, and there were no financial details attached to it, so I forgot about the signing. We now know that Gordon was retained for just $2.5 million.

This signing is an "F" for Javonte Williams dynasty owners, but the Broncos must be graded very highly for it. Gordon had a strong 2021 campaign, rushing for 918 yards and eight touchdowns in a time share with Williams. I'm surprised Gordon didn't get more money from another team, but it's not like running backs are in high demand these days.

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May 2 Updates

Saints sign S Tyrann Mathieu (3 years, $33 million; $18 million guaranteed): D Grade
When I saw that Tyrann Mathieu signed with the Saints earlier today, I thought, "That's a good signing. They probably gave him $5 million for 2022." That's right - I thought Mathieu signed for one year and $5 million!

As you can imagine, my eyes popped out of my head when I saw the details of this signing. I triple checked, in fact, because I couldn't believe it. Why did the Saints give Mathieu so much money? Mathieu was a liability at times for the Chiefs last year. His coverage ability, while not bad, has declined in recent years. Mathieu also whiffs on lots of tackles. He still makes big plays because he's so instinctive, so he'll create some turnovers for the Saints, but he'll hurt them at times as well. That doesn't sound like someone who should get $11 million per year.

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Bills sign OT/G David Quessenberry (1 year, $1.75 million): A+ Grade
David Quessenberry was signed by the Bills on April 21, but contract details weren't released at the time. I just checked, and we have them. Quessenberry signed a 1-year deal worth less than $2 million.

I can't believe the Bills signed Quessenberry so cheaply. The former Titan is just a mediocre pass protector, but he's a terrific run blocker. He played right tackle for Tennessee, but could slide into guard because the Bills have a need there that they didn't address in the 2022 NFL Draft. Quessenberry is a cheap solution, and I have no doubt that he'll outplay his price tag.

By the way, if you didn't read Jacob Camenker's feature on David Quessenberry, check it out.

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Redskins sign G Trai Turner (1 year, $3 million): A Grade
The Redskins signed Andrew Norwell this offseason, but needed another guard for depth purposes. They spent a seventh-round pick on Chris Paul, but given that he's no sure thing, they ended up signing Trai Turner to a 1-year deal worth $3 million.

I like this signing for the Redskins, as it's not much of a gamble. There's no risk in a 1-year, $3 million contract, and if pressed into the lineup, Trai Turner should perform well. Turner played for Ron Rivera in Carolina, and he was one of the best blockers on the Steelers last year, though that's not saying much.

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April 26 Updates

Jaguars re-sign OT Cam Robinson (3 years, $54 million): C Grade
If there was any doubt that the Jaguars were going with an edge rusher at No. 1 overall, that's completely gone. They already franchised Cam Robinson, and now they've given him a $54 million deal over three years.

I don't hate this contract, but I'm not a huge fan of it. Robinson is as mediocre as it gets for a left tackle. He's a fine pass protector, but struggles to run block. In an ideal world, he'd be getting $8-12 million per season; not $18 million. However, he's still young (26), and he seems to be improving, so Jacksonville may not end up regretting this deal.

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April 25 Updates

Steelers re-sign S Terrell Edmunds (1 year, $2.5 million): B+ Grade
The Steelers noted that they didn't have two starting-caliber safeties a couple of weeks ago. This was because Terrell Edmunds was a free agent. That's no longer the case, though it's unlikely that the Steelers are satisified with the position.

Edmunds was a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but he hasn't lived up to his billing. He hasn't been a horrible player, or anything, but he's been underwhelming, especially when it comes to missed tackles and run support. I expect Pittsburgh to attempt to upgrade him this weekend. Still, bringing him back as insurance on a cheap deal is a quality move because the Steelers may not get the safety they want in the 2022 NFL Draft.

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April 18 Updates

Browns re-sign CB Denzel Ward (5 years, $100.5 million): B Grade
Denzel Ward has just become the highest-paid cornerback in NFL history. His $100 million contract contains $71.25 million guaranteed over the next half-decade.

Ward is one of the better cornerbacks in the league, and he's only 25, so if someone at the position deserved this deal, it's Ward. He's not quite the best corner in the NFL just yet, but it's possible that he could have that distinction in a year or two. The Browns are paying Ward based on his potential as well as his past production.

I can't give the Browns above a "B" grade, however. This is a ton of money to give to a non-quarterback, and this sort of a contract could hurt the Browns over the long term. If Ward were to get hurt, Cleveland would be stuck with this bad deal for some time. The same could be said of huge contracts to quarterbacks, but they're not as prone to injury.

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April 15 Updates

Colts sign CB Stephon Gilmore (2 years, $23 million): B+ Grade
The Colts, like many other teams in the AFC, are going all in to win now. They traded for Matt Ryan and Yannick Ngakoue, and now they've acquired another dynamic player who will provide a huge upgrade to the roster.

Stephon Gilmore is no longer the top cornerback in the NFL now that he's 32 (as of September), but he's still an excellent player. The Colts had two huge holes at cornerback with Xavier Rhodes unsigned and Rock Ya-Sin traded, and Gilmore will theoretically plug one of those spots very well. This is imperative, given how many talented quarterbacks there are in the AFC now.

I really like this signing. It has great upside, though the risk must be noted. Gilmore is in his 30s now, so his production could fall off a cliff. Still, the Colts are doing whatever it takes to win now, so I'm going to grade this signing favorably.

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April 14 Updates

Packers sign WR Sammy Watkins (1 year, $4 million): B+ Grade
Sammy Watkins is a big name, but his production hasn't come close to expectations. Watkins has registered more than 40 catches just once since 2015. He also hasn't recorded more than 673 receiving yards in that span.

It's understandable that a team would want to take a shot on Watkins' potential - he was the fourth-overall pick once upon a time, after all - but Watkins is likely to disappoint once more. He struggled to produce consistently with Patrick Mahomes, so why would he suddenly thrive with Aaron Rodgers? Then again, this is a no-risk contract worth only $4 million. There's no way this signing could backfire for Green Bay, but it probably doesn't have the upside some think it does.

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April 13 Updates

Texans sign CB Steven Nelson (2 years, $10 million): B- Grade
Earlier in the week, Lovie Smith told the media that cornerback play was lackluster last year. That'll still be the case in 2022, as of this writing, but this signing will make it less blatant.

Steven Nelson isn't a great, or even a very good cornerback by any means, but he's a serviceable starter. That's better than what the Texans had in 2021, so Nelson is definitely an upgrade. I don't think I would have paid $5 million per season for him, but this price isn't too egregious.

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Raiders re-sign QB Derek Carr (3 years, $121.5 million): D Grade
The Raiders just gave $40 million per year to the worst quarterback in the division. That's money well spent!

Obviously, there's some nuance to that statement, given the great quarterback talent in the AFC West. Still, Carr is not nearly on the level of Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson and Justin Herbert. He's a mediocre starting quarterback, as evidenced by his 14th ranking in EPA per play last year. It's also unknown how Carr will transition into Josh McDaniels' offense. He'll have Davante Adams at his disposal in 2022, but the Raiders are still overpaying for average production at the position.

I must note that there's a chance that this contract will look much more favorable to the Raiders once the true terms are released. If/when that occurs, I'll re-grade this deal. As of now, however, I'm giving the Raiders a "D" grade, and even that seems a bit generous.

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April 9 Updates

Ravens re-sign DT Calais Campbell (2 years, $12.5 million): A+ Grade
It seems like every AFC team not named the Texans has improved this offseason, but the Ravens are still very relevant. Lamar Jackson and the secondary will be healthier in 2022, so they'll be able to compete for a playoff spot, especially now that Calais Campbell has re-signed.

Despite his age, Campbell is still one of the top defensive linemen in the NFL. He turns 36 in September, so regression could come soon, but even if he plays at 80 percent of his capacity, he'll still be a solid starter. Re-signing Campbell to a short-term deal worth about $6 million per year is a steal. It's almost certain that Campbell will outplay his price tag, but even if he doesn't, Baltimore isn't taking much of a risk.

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April 8 Updates

Bears sign CB Tavon Young (1 year, $1.4 million): A Grade
I'm a big fan of 1-year "prove it" deals, and there's no doubt that Tavon Young would have to play under one. This wasn't as apparent several years ago when he was performing well as Baltimore's slot cornerback, but a number of injuries have derailed his career. Young played just two games in 2019 and 2020 combined, and he didn't look the same last year because he was coming off a torn ACL.

Despite his recent poor and injured seasons, Young is still young enough to turn his career around. He's 28, so he might have some solid years remaining in the tank. The Bears need a slot cornerback, so it's possible Young could fill spot that cheaply. If he struggles, the Bears won't stand to lose anything.

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April 6 Updates

Bills re-sign WR Stefon Diggs (4 years, $104 million): B+ Grade
This seems like a ton of money to give to a non-quarterback. Then, however, you can remember how much money other receivers obtained this offseason. The list includes:

Raiders re-sign WR Davante Adams (5 years, $141.25 million)
Dolphins sign WR Tyreek Hill (4 years, $120 million)
Jaguars sign WR Christian Kirk (4 years, $84 million)

Diggs will be earning $26 million per year, which is less than Hill ($30 million) and Adams ($28 million). It's more than Kirk's $21 million, but let's face it: Kirk doesn't belong anywhere near this list!

I like this signing a lot more than the Adams and Hill deals. Not only is Diggs getting less money; he's the only one of the three receivers who won't be transitioning to a new system and quarterback. We really don't have an idea of how Adams and Hill will adjust to their new teams, but we're well aware that Diggs will continue to thrive with Josh Allen.

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April 2 Updates

Dolphins extend CB Xavien Howard (5 years, $90 million): C+ Grade
There have been some trade discussions regarding the Miami cornerbacks. We now know that Xavien Howard won't be moved anytime soon, given that he just signed a $90 million contract, making him the highest-paid cornerback from an annual perspective.

I understand this extension, so I don't hate it. However, I'm not the biggest fan. Howard is a great cornerback, but I don't view him as the top cornerback in the NFL. I'm not sure he's in the top five either. So, to make him the highest-paid corner is an overpay. Keeping him, however, is essential for a team with a quarterback on a rookie deal that is trying to do whatever it can to make a Super Bowl run over the next two or three years.

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March 31 Updates

Rams sign LB Bobby Wagner (5 years, $50 million): B+ Grade
The Rams have possessed one of the best defenses in the NFL in recent years, but they've always lacked great linebacker play. They wanted to finally solve that issue this offseason, and they managed to do so by stealing a key player from an arch rival, signing Bobby Wagner.

I love this signing, assuming the 5-year, $50 million contract details are nonsense. Wagner has taken a step backward now that he's in his 30s, but he's still one of the better linebackers in the NFL. He doesn't deserve a $50 million contract at his age, but this deal is more likely a 1- or a 2-year pact with no guaranteed money for very long. Assuming this is the case, this contract should be in the A-/B+ range. If, however, this contract is really for an obscene amount, I'll adjust my grade.

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Chiefs sign WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (3 years, $30 million): B Grade
The Chiefs seem to love receivers with hyphens in their names. They made a nice signing with JuJu Smith-Schuster, but this acquisition of Marquez Valdes-Scantling must be graded on the other end of the spectrum.

Valdes-Scantling has never generated more than 690 receiving yards in a single season. It would be one thing if this were the case and Valdes-Scantling had been paired with a mediocre or worse quarterback, but he has played with Aaron Rodgers throughout his career. We know how he operates with an elite quarterback throwing passes to him. He's been an inconsistent deep threat, and it's likely that will continue to be the case.

I almost graded this as a Millen, but it can't be ignored that Valdes-Scantling has upside. He has improved a bit in recent years, and he's still only 27, so he can hypothetically live up to this deal. However, I think it's a massive overpay. I would've given him half as much as he obtained from the Chiefs.

Update: I'd like to thank Facebook friend Blake H. for sending me updated details on this signing. It turns out that this contract is basically a 1-year, $9 million "prove it" deal. That's obviously much better than what we originally thought this contract was. It makes much more sense because there's far less risk. There's still some downside with the Chiefs not being able to roll over the $9 million into the 2023 offseason, but I think the upside is more prevalent now.

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March 29 Updates

Jaguars sign DE Arden Key (2 years, $7 million): B+ Grade
When I saw that the Jaguars signed someone, I instinctively began thinking about what creative Millen grade I should give them. You can't exactly blame me, given how many poor signings they've been guilty of this spring.

This is a rare, solid move for Jacksonville. Arden Key is a decent situational edge rusher who logged 6.5 sacks for the 49ers last year. He can function as a capable backup behind Aidan Hutchinson/Travon Walker and Josh Allen at a cheap price.

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March 29 Updates

Raiders sign LB Jayon Brown (1 year, $1.25 million): A+ Grade
I can't believe the Raiders landed Jayon Brown for just $1.25 million. That's insane. Brown is a talented, 27-year-old linebacker who will be a quality starter for the Raiders.

Granted, Brown is coming off a down year, but he was dealing with a lingering injury. This allowed the Raiders to steal Brown, so they deserve an amazing grade for this signing.

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Eagles sign DE Derek Barnett (3 years, $15.2 million; $8 million guaranteed): C- Grade
My eyes popped out of my head when I saw the terms of this contract. I couldn't believe the Eagles would sign Derek Barnett to a $15 million deal. However, looking at the details of this contract, it's really a 1-year, $8 million pact.

The real details make things better, but it's still too much. Barnett is a lackluster penalty machine who has never recorded more than 6.5 sacks in a season. He's young (26 in June), so he still has some upside, but Barnett hasn't provided any evidence that he can be a starting-caliber edge rusher in the NFL.

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Cowboys sign DE Dante Fowler (1 year, $3 million): A- Grade
I discussed how James Washington was signed because of Amari Cooper's departure. Randy Gregory was another important player to leave Dallas. The Cowboys had to sign an edge rusher to replace Gregory, so they settled on Dante Fowler.

Fowler had a career year in 2019 with 11.5 sacks as a member of the Rams. However, he notched a total of 7.5 sacks in the following two seasons in Atlanta. Fowler played for Dallas' defensive coordinator, Dan Quinn, when he was with the Falcons. That sounds nice until you consider that Fowler recorded only three sacks when he was paired with Quinn. Still, there's upside to this deal because Dallas is buying Fowler at the absolute low.

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Cowboys sign WR James Washington (1 year, $1.187 million): A Grade
The Cowboys lost a number of key players this offseason, including Amari Cooper. They needed to add another receiver, especially with Michael Gallup coming off a torn ACL. Gallup may not be ready by the season opener, meaning Washington could see a large role in the beginning of the year.

I love this signing. I expected Washington to get at least $4 million for one year, so Dallas is getting him very cheaply. Washington is an inconsistent deep threat, but his usage in Pittsburgh was limited in recent years because of Ben Roethlisberger's diminished arm strength. He'll be utilized more in Dallas, particularly when Gallup is sidelined.

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Panthers sign DT Matt Ioannidis (1 year, $9.5 million): B Grade
Matt Ioannidis has been a solid, well-rounded defensive lineman in his young career thus far, but the Redskins had to release him to save more than $6 million. The Panthers, needing to beef up the trenches to help their run defense, signed Ioannidis to a 1-year deal.

This is an expensive signing for one season, so there's some risk because the Panthers won't be able to roll over this salary into 2023. However, there's ultimately not much downside compared to what Ioannidis can provide a solid presence next to Derrick Brown. I like this move, but would've given Ioannidis a bit less.

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Saints sign QB Andy Dalton (1 year, $6 million): C- Grade
This is a great signing. Andy Dalton can be a great backup quarterback for a Super Bowl-caliber team. He'll be able to step in and win some games for the Saints in the event of an injury to the starter.

Oh, wait, I forgot that the Saints are no longer capable of winning a Super Bowl. They're mediocre at best right now, so this signing makes little sense. Rather than paying for an old, journeyman quarterback, the Saints should be auditioning a younger signal-caller. There's more upside and downside to doing that, which is nice for a team that should be tanking for a franchise quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft.

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March 26 Updates

Chiefs sign RB Ronald Jones (1 year, $5 million): B- Grade
Clyde Edwards-Helaire has mostly been a disappointment thus far in his career, with both Darrel Williams and Jerick McKinnon looking like the better option at times in 2021. Williams and McKinnon are free agents, so Kansas City needed to find a replacement.

Jones, however, may not be as good as Williams or McKinnon. He doesn't bring much to the table as a receiver, so I'm not even sure if he would be an upgrade over Derrick Gore. Jones is a fine runner, but not anything special, so this signing deserves a middling grade.

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Eagles sign LB Kyzir White (1 year, $5 million): A Grade
It's been a long time since the Eagles have maintained a quality linebacking corps. Kyzir White won't completely fix Philadelphia's problems, but signing him is certainly a step in the right direction.

White is a solid, three-down linebacker who has no weaknesses. He just turned 26, so his best days could be ahead of him. Getting him on a no-risk deal for just $5 million seems like a great bargain, so the Eagles deserve to be graded highly for this signing.

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March 24 Updates

Broncos sign OT Billy Turner (1 year, $5 million): A+ Grade
The Broncos aren't going to make the same mistake the Seahawks were guilty of over the years. They want to make sure they have quality blocking for Russell Wilson. After signing Tom Compton, they've agreed to terms with another blocker, Billy Turner.

Turner isn't a great offensive lineman by any means, but he's a solid blocker. He can play both right tackle and guard. He has experience under coach Nathaniel Hackett, so it should be a smooth transition for Turner.

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Falcons sign DE/OLB Lorenzo Carter (1 year, $3 million): A Grade
The Falcons have maintained a poor pass rush for what has seemed like eons. Lorenzo Carter won't solve the team's woes, but signing him is certainly a step in the right direction.

Carter didn't post great numbers last year, as he recorded just five sacks with the Giants. However, Carter wasn't quite himself because he was coming off a torn Achilles. He should be better going forward, and he's only 26. He has good athletic ability and some nice potential at his age, so I love this signing for the Falcons, especially given that it comes with no risk.

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Bills sign RB Duke Johnson (1 year, $1.12 million): A- Grade
Duke Johnson's career has been a frustrating one. It seems like no team has used him correctly for an extensive period of time. Even last year, when Johnson ripped off a pair of 100-yard rushing games for Miami late in the year, he was barely catching passes. He was only targeted five times in the final four weeks of the season!

The Bills have been looking for a receiving back, so they may have finally found their guy to fill that role. Johnson looked great with the Dolphins to close out the 2021 campaign, so I'm a bit surprised a team was able to sign him so cheaply. Perhaps he'll just disappoint again, but even if he does, the Bills are not taking any sort of risk with this deal, so I have to grade it highly.

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Falcons sign RB Damien Williams (1 year, $1.62 million): B Grade
It's hard to believe that Damien Williams was one of the heroes of Kansas City's Super Bowl victory slightly more than two years ago. Williams' star has fallen since, as he was an afterthought in free agency this year. In fact, it took nearly a week for his contract details to be revealed.

Williams, who turns 30 next month, is a shell of his former self. He quit on the Chiefs in 2020 and then lost backup duties in Chicago to Khalil Herbert. He can still be an effective receiver out of the backfield, but that's about it. This signing isn't exciting, as it's just a depth move. Williams will back up whomever the Falcons select on the second day of the 2022 NFL Draft.

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49ers sign DE Kerry Hyder (1 year, $1.5 million): A Grade
The 49ers had to improve their pass rush with Dee Ford being a shell of his former self the past two years. They've decided to bring back an old friend, with Kerry Hyder returning from a 1-year hiatus in Seattle.

Hyder recorded 8.5 sacks with the 49ers in 2020, but struggled last year with the Seahawks for some reason, notching just 1.5 sacks. It's possible that Hyder will be better in San Francisco's system. Then again, he's 30, so he could be in decline. Either way, the 49ers are taking no risk with this extremely cheap signing.

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March 23 Updates

Patriots sign CB Malcolm Butler (2 years, $9 million): B+ Grade
The band is back together again! Well, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are still gone, so not really, but Malcolm Butler has at least returned to New England. Butler, the hero of Super Bowl XLIX, left New England following the 2017 campaign. He played for the Titans for three years and then took a season off before re-signing with the Patriots.

Butler won't be the same player who thrived in 2014-17 because he's now 32. He also abandoned the Cardinals last year by refusing to play for them. There's always a chance he'll quit on the Patriots as well, and he could be a shell of his former self, but the Patriots are getting what seems to be a great deal.

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Dolphins sign WR Tyreek Hill (4 years, $120 million; $72 million guaranteed): C Grade
I analyzed the Tyreek Hill trade for the Dolphins and Chiefs in the NFL Trade Grades page. This will be discussing Hill's contract.

Hill has become the richest receiver in NFL history on an annual basis, as he'll be making $30 million per year on this deal. This eclipses the $28.2 million that Davante Adams received from the Raiders. This is a ton of money for a non-quarterback, so it can't be graded highly. I think C+ is the highest I would go, given that I gave the Raiders a B- for Adams' slightly cheaper contract.

I settled on a "C" grade because the Dolphins had to give Hill this type of a deal to be able to obtain a player of his caliber to play with Tua Tagovailoa. However, it could seriously backfire. Hill, as mentioned in the trade grades page, won't be as productive as he was in Kansas City, and he could get especially frustrated when the team is losing. There's some serious downside to this deal, but the Dolphins had to do everything in their power to make sure that Tagovailoa doesn't bust.

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March 22 Updates

Dolphins sign OT Terron Armstead (5 years, $75 million): C+ Grade
This signing could go one of two ways. The glass half-full crowd will say that Terron Armstead, one of the best left tackles in the NFL when healthy, will finally give Tua Tagovailoa the protection he has needed. This will allow him to develop into the quarterback the Dolphins expected when they selected him at No. 5 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The glass half-empty people will point to Armstead's extensive injury history. Armstead has a horrible track record of staying healthy, so this signing could blow up in the Dolphins' face. Armstead is 31, so his durability could just get worse. This contract is a huge risk, and it can't be graded highly as a consequence. However, it's something Miami almost had to do, given that Tagovailoa has been a disappointment thus far.

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Broncos sign CB K'Waun Williams (2 years, $7 million): A+ Grade
I'm shocked the Broncos were able to sign K'Waun Williams so cheaply. I know he's 31, but he was still an excellent slot cornerback last year. Unless he regresses, he'll be a big upgrade for Denver. The team needed to replace Bryce Callahan, who was frequently injured.

This is an easy A+ grade for Denver. Williams should have gotten more money from a team needing help in the slot. Williams will help the Broncos' secondary immensely.

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Cowboys re-sign P Bryan Anger (3 years, $9 million): C Grade
Bryan Anger is the best punter in the NFL as far as net punting average is concerned. He topped the rankings last year, so he was bound to receive a big contract for a punter. This would qualify, as Anger is now paid as a top-five punter in the NFL.

As you can probably guess, I'm not a fan of this signing. I don't hate it, but I don't think dedicating substantial money to a punter is a good way to manage the cap.

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Browns sign QB Jacoby Brissett (1 year, $4.65 million): A- Grade
The Browns traded Case Keenum to the Bills, so they needed to obtain a capable backup for Deshaun Watson. They didn't wait too long to find his replacement, signing Jacoby Brissett to a 1-year deal.

The going rate for average backup quarterbacks is about $4 million per year. I'd say Brissett is definitely better than average, so this seems like a good deal for Cleveland. The Browns needed to find a reliable No. 2 signal-caller because Watson could be suspended. Given the talent on the Browns' roster, they can win a fair number of games if Brissett is forced to start.

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Vikings sign DE Za'Darius Smith (3 years, $42 million): B- Grade
It was initially reported that the Ravens signed Za'Darius Smith to a 4-year, $35 million contract. Smith backed out of the deal because he realized he could earn more than $8.75 million per year. As it turns out, Smith received $14 million per season.

I gave the Ravens a B+ grade for signing Smith. Here's why: "Smith has been extremely productive when 100 percent, notching 26 total sacks for Green Bay in 2019 and 2020. However, he missed most of 2021 with a back injury. Back problems can linger, so there's definitely some major risk attached to this signing. However, there's plenty of upside as well. If Smith can revert to pre-2021 form, the Ravens will have the pass rush to combat all the talented quarterbacks in the conference."

There's obviously much more risk with Smith at $42 million. There's still a ton of upside because Smith and Danielle Hunter could be one of the league's top edge-rushing duos, but Smith could also continue to miss plenty of games with his back problems.

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Bears sign DT Justin Jones (2 years, $12 million): B Grade
The Bears lucked out. They signed Larry Ogunjobi to a massive deal worth $40.5 million, but that was overturned because of a failed physical. This was a huge overpay, so Chicago is fortunate that Ogunjobi wasn't healthy enough to join the team.

The Bears "settled" on another defensive tackle on a much cheaper deal. The funny thing is that Justin Jones is better than Ogunjobi. Jones is coming off a bit of a down year because of injuries, but he's a solid player who is entering the prime of his career as a 25-year-old. I failed Chicago for the Ogunjobi signing, but this grade is obviously much better.

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Panthers sign C Bradley Bozeman (1 year, $2.8 million): A+ Grade
The Panthers entered the offseason needing to address every position on the offensive line except right tackle. They've added two blockers thus far: Austin Corbett and Bradley Bozeman. I had previous graded only the Corbett signing because Bozeman's contract details weren't known. They have finally been released, and I can't believe the terms.

I don't understand how Bozeman didn't get much more than just $2.8 million for one year on the open market. He's coming off a terrific year as both a pass protector and a run blocker for the Ravens. He's only 27. I can't fathom why teams didn't pay way more for him, as he was my 46th-overall free agent in the Top 125 NFL Free Agents of 2022. He deserved a huge deal, so the Panthers will be given an A+ for this outstanding signing.

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Buccaneers re-sign RB Leonard Fournette (3 years, $21 million): C- Grade
When the Seahawks re-signed Rashaad Penny to a cheap deal, I commented that the running back market is very slow because demand for the position is very low. The Buccaneers apparently didn't get the message because they just gave Leonard Fournette a substantial 3-year contract.

Fournette is coming off a great year in which he caught 69 passes and scored 10 touchdowns. However, giving any non-elite running back this amount of money is an overpay. There's just no need to do it. Running backs grow on trees these days, and it's not like Fournette is even a special player at the position like Derrick Henry or Alvin Kamara.

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March 21 Updates

Falcons sign QB Marcus Mariota (2 years, $18.75 million): A Grade
It didn't take the Falcons very long to find their short-term replacement for Matt Ryan. They signed Marcus Mariota to a deal worth close to $19 million over two years.

This is a bit more than I would've paid for Mariota, but this signing has some upside. Mariota may have learned a lot under Raiders coordinator Greg Olson, so there's a chance he could be better than what we saw in Tennessee. Mariota is still just 28, so it's not crazy to speculate that he could have a solid second half of his career. He's a nice hedge for the Falcons, who may not be able to land the quarterback they want at No. 8 (if such a player even exists).

Update: This contract is really just a 1-year, $6.75 million deal with a $12 million option. I'm re-grading this to an "A" because there's almost no downside to it.

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Lions sign CB Mike Hughes (1 year, $3.5 million): A Grade
Mike Hughes, chosen 30th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, didn't get off to a good start in his career. That changed last year when Hughes improved his play in Kansas City. Hughes is still just 25, so perhaps he's just a late bloomer.

With that in mind, I love this signing for the Lions. There's almost zero downside to it, and there's plenty of upside because Hughes will be a steal if he thrives like he did with the Chiefs.

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Bills sign WR Jamison Crowder (1 year, $4 million): A+ Grade
The Bills lost Cole Beasley this offseason, but I believed they had a viable replacement in Isaiah McKenzie. Perhaps Buffalo believed this as well, but simply couldn't pass up on the opportunity to obtain Jamison Crowder at an incredibly cheap price.

Crowder is a solid slot receiver, at least when he's healthy. He has missed 16 games in the past four years, so he's not very reliable. However, there's no risk to this signing. Crowder can easily outperform this contract, serving as a quality target in the slot for Josh Allen.

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Cowboys re-sign S Jayron Kearse (2 years, $10 million): A Grade
I thought Jayron Kearse would get a larger contract than this. Kearse was an excellent performer in Dallas' secondary last year. Kearse doesn't have an extensive track record of playing this way, but based on how he exceled, he deserved a larger contract.

The Cowboys certainly won't complain! They deserve a high grade for retaining Kearse at this incredible bargain.

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Saints re-sign QB Jameis Winston (2 years, $28 million): C Grade
I've compared the 2022 Saints to the final season of That 70s Show. Drew Brees and Sean Payton (Kelso and Foreman) are no longer around, so the team/show won't be nearly as good. Sure, they've brought back Jameis Winston (Donna?) but who really cares? The Saints are going to be a mediocre team with this current build. There's an outside chance they'll make the playoffs, but even if they do, they won't advance very far. They'd be better off blowing up the entire operation.

Winston did a solid job of taking care of the football last year, which was surprising. However, Winston is not the long-term answer for New Orleans. All the Saints are doing is trying their best to stay relevant and mediocre, but signings like this will be damaging in the long run.

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Bengals sign OT La'el Collins (3 years, $30 million): A Grade
Something tells me that if Joe Burrow possessed his current offensive line in the Super Bowl, he would have defeated the Rams rather than spend an important play flat on his back. Despite signing Alex Cappa and Ted Karras, the Bengals added a third offensive lineman, inking La'el Collins to a 3-year pact.

This is an amazing deal. Collins is one of the top right tackles in the NFL. He'll provide a massive upgrade over what the Bengals had last year at the position, especially once Riley Reiff got hurt. Reiff was an oft-injured free agent, so Collins' presence is also a boost in that regard. I thought Collins would get a larger contract than this, so I have to grade this very highly.

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Chargers sign TE Gerald Everett (2 years, $12 million; $8 million guaranteed): B- Grade
The Chargers suffered a substantial loss when Hunter Henry defected for New England last offseason. They found a short-term solution in Jared Cook, but needed someone for the longer haul. That someone could be Gerald Everett, who registered 478 yards and four touchdowns with the Seahawks last year.

Everett is a rather mediocre tight end, so I'm not a huge fan of this contract. I don't think he's worth $8 million guaranteed over two years, but I wouldn't say this is an egregious overpay either. This signing could pan out, as Everett will likely be catching passes for an entire year from the rapidly improving Justin Herbert.

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Seahawks re-sign RB Rashaad Penny (1 year, $5.75 million): A Grade
It's no surprise that the running back market has been very slow. There's a great supply of running backs, so demand is low. Thus, Rashaad Penny had to sign a cheap, 1-year deal.

Of course, anyone who watched Penny prior to the second half of the 2021 campaign might say this is an overpay. However, Penny was terrific down the stretch, crediting Adrian Peterson's mentoring for his sudden boost. If this wasn't a fluke, the Seahawks will be getting a great bargain with Penny at this price.

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March 19 Updates

Falcons re-sign RB Cordarrelle Patterson (2 years, $10.5 million): A- Grade
Cordarrelle Patterson's career journey has been remarkable. He began as a first-round wide receiver, but flopped in that role. He transitioned into being just a dynamic return specialist, which kept him on 53-man rosters. The Bears eventually began using him sparingly at running back in the event of injury to other players at the position. The Falcons then fed carries to him often last year, and Patterson rewarded them by being their most productive back.

With Calvin Ridley gone, Patterson will continue to be counted on for offensive production. He should continue to thrive, though the only risk with him is his age (just turned 31). This isn't a huge contract, however, so this is definitely a positive signing for Atlanta.

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Bengals sign TE Hayden Hurst (1 year, $3.5 million): A Grade
The Bengals lost C.J. Uzomah this offseason, but they had every reason to allow him to walk. Uzomah played well last year, but received a contract worth $8 million per season. There's no reason to pay that much money to a non-elite tight end.

Instead, Cincinnati is getting a much better bargain with Hayden Hurst. The former Falcon would've posted much better stats last year if it weren't for Kyle Pitts. Thus, the Bengals are getting a great deal for Hurst, who isn't that much worse than Uzomah.

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Seahawks sign C/OT Austin Blythe (1 year, $4 million): B+ Grade
It's not just guards who have their contract details delayed. Austin Blythe is mostly a center, so it's only natural that he would have to wait on a grade as well.

I don't love this signing like the other two interior offensive line additions, but this is still a positive move. Blythe is a quality blocker who barely played last year because he was beaten out by Creed Humphrey, but he would've been a solid starter had Humphrey not been ready to play. Blythe can play center and tackle, so the Seahawks should be able to make good use of his versatility.

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Giants sign G Jon Feliciano (1 year, $3.25 million): A+ Grade
Here's another signing that occurred at the beginning of free agency. For some reason, guard contract details aren't in high demand because we just finally discovered what Jon Feliciano will make with the Giants.

This is another terrific "prove it" deal. Feliciano isn't reliable because he has missed 15 total games in the past two years, but he has played well when healthy. There's no risk to this signing, as the Giants have a chance to bolster their blocking, which has been poor for years. If Feliciano continues to deal with injuries, the Giants won't be penalized at all.

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Bills sign G Rodger Saffold (1 year, $6.25 million): A Grade
This signing occurred at the beginning of free agency, but the terms of this deal weren't known until today. It turns out that the Bills gave Rodger Saffold $6.25 million to play in 2022.

I love this signing. I'm almost always in favor of 1-year "prove it" deals, and Saffold could really help Buffalo's interior blocking unless he regresses. A decline is certainly possible for Saffold because he turns 34 in June, but there's almost no risk attached to this signing.

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Steelers re-sign CB Ahkello Witherspoon (2 years, $8 million): A- Grade
Ahkello Witherspoon is much like the two-faced girl from Seinfeld, who looked either pretty or ugly, depending on the lighting. Witherspoon can play extremely well at times, but he can also be torched mercilessly. His level of play varies from year to year.

Witherspoon is coming off a "pretty" season, so it makes sense that the Steelers wanted to retain him. He could revert to ugly coverage, but the Steelers aren't taking too much of a risk with these terms. If he continues to play like he did in the second half of the season, this contract will be a steal.

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Packers re-sign CB Rasul Douglas (3 years, $21 million): B+ Grade
Rasul Douglas was a journeyman quarterback until this past season. The Packers signed him off the Cardinals' practice squad, and he was amazing for them. He performed on a Pro Bowl level somehow.

It remains to be seen if this was a fluke. If it was, this is a massive overpay for Douglas. However, if he continues to perform like he did in 2021, then Green Bay got a great bargain because someone who thrived like he did deserves north of $10 million per season. It'll be interesting to see which Douglas we get in 2022 and beyond.

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Rams re-sign QB Matthew Stafford (4 years, $160 million; $135 million guaranteed): B+ Grade
There are two ways to look at this contract. The glass half-full approach is that this contract with lower Matthew Stafford's cap number for this year, allowing the Rams to add talent to their roster. The glass half-empty stance is that this will cause some serious cap issues for the Rams down the road.

Given the Rams' goals, the negatives concerning this deal should be acceptable. Their goal is to win as many Super Bowls as possible in this small window while Stafford is still a great quarterback in the NFL. Stafford turned 34 last month, so by the time the Rams will be in cap purgatory, both Stafford and Aaron Donald (31 in May) will be way too old anyway.

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Eagles re-sign DT Fletcher Cox (1 year, $14 million): A+ Grade
It was initially shocking that the Eagles cut Fletcher Cox a couple of days ago, but it was then reported that it was done with the intention of re-signing him to a deal that didn't involve paying him a fully guaranteed $18 million. As speculated, Philadelphia was able to retain Cox at a cheaper price.

Anyone who has been reading this long enough knows that I love 1-year "prove it" deals. The Eagles will be getting Cox at his absolute best because he'll be playing for what is likely his final large contract next spring. Cox is one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL, so retaining him on a low-risk agreement is worthy of an A+.

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Panthers re-sign CB Donte Jackson (3 years, $35.1 million): D Grade
I don't understand what the Panthers are doing. They traded draft choices for two cornerbacks, including Stephon Gilmore, who is currently a free agent. Rather than re-signing Gilmore, they're likely allowing him to walk because they've retained Donte Jackson, who isn't nearly as good as Gilmore.

What's crazier is that the Panthers aren't getting Jackson on a cheap deal. If they were able to re-sign him for a great bargain, I'd understand this move, but paying Jackson close to $12 million per season is certainly not a bargain. It's actually an overpay, as Jackson is just a mediocre No. 2 cornerback in the NFL.

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March 18 Updates

Bears sign DE Al-Quadin Muhammad (2 year, $10 million): B+ Grade
The Bears traded Khalil Mack this offseason, so they were definitely in the market for an edge rusher. Al-Quadin Muhammad obviously won't be as productive as Mack, but he'll be a fine option moving forward.

Muhammad is coming off the best season of his career, notching six sacks. He did this under Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, who is now the head coach of the Bears. It's nice that Muhammad can easily fit into Chicago's system.

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Eagles re-sign S Anthony Harris (1 year, $2.5 million): B+ Grade
Anthony Harris was a Pro Bowl-caliber safety in 2018 and 2019. It's unclear what has happened to him since, but Harris has been a mediocre player over the past couple of years. The Eagles hoped he would rebound off a disappointing 2020 campaign, but that didn't quite happen.

Still, getting Harris back for just $2.5 million is a nice bargain. He'll turn 31 during the 2022 season, so he could be in a permanent downtrend, but the Eagles could do much worse. Besides, both Harris and Rodney McLeod were impending free agents, so it's nice that Philadelphia won't allow both to walk.

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Panthers sign P Johnny Hekker (3 years, $7.6 million): B+ Grade
Lachlan Edwards was one of the worst punters in the NFL last year, so the Panthers needed to find an upgrade in that department. They did so by signing Johnny Hekker, who was released by the Rams a few days ago.

Hekker will be a big upgrade over Edwards at a reasonable price. He'll also give the Panthers some flexibility in the middle of the field because he's the master of the fake punt. Matt Rhule called himself the Jay-Z of NFL head coaches, so he'll undoubtedly come up with some creative plays for Hekker.

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Chiefs sign WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (1 year, $10.75 million): B+ Grade
I can't quite say what happened to JuJu Smith-Schuster. He was terrific in his rookie campaign, but has gotten worse each year. His yards-per-catch average, which was 15.8 in 2017, has been 8.6 in each of the past two seasons. He caught 15 passes in just five games in 2021. An aging Ben Roethlisberger and a horrible offensive line could be blamed, except Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool thrived in that span.

Still, Smith-Schuster has some amazing natural ability, and he's still only 25. The Chiefs needed a deep threat, and he can provide them with one on a contract that doesn't carry too much risk because it's for only one season. There's some potential downside with not being able to roll over the money into 2023, but I think Smith-Schuster's upside is worth the gamble.

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Browns re-sign QB Deshaun Watson (5 years, $230 million; $230 million guaranteed): D Grade
I posted the Deshaun Watson trade grades on the trade grades page, so check that out if you haven't seen it yet. This grade will only be for Watson's fully guaranteed contract.

Yes, this contract is FULLY guaranteed. Every single cent of this $230 million will go to Watson, which is absolutely insane. The only contract we've seen like this was the fully guaranteed deal the Vikings gave to Kirk Cousins, yet that was "just" for $84 million over three years. The fancy Windows calculator says that Cousins was fully guaranteed $28 million per year, while Watson will get $46 million fully guaranteed each season.

I cannot grade this highly at all. Obviously, there's a huge difference between Watson and Cousins, but fully dedicating $46 million per year over the next five seasons to just one player is way too much for anyone. There will be some horrible cap ramifications in the future, and what if Watson either suffers a major injury or gets into more legal trouble? That would set the Browns' franchise back so much that they might as well hire Hue Jackson again and go winless for numerous years.

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Titans sign TE Austin Hooper (1 year, $6 million): C+ Grade
If this seems like a cheap deal, it's only because price memory says otherwise. Austin Hooper, after all, signed a $42 million contract with the Browns a couple of years ago. Cleveland, for some reason, thought Hooper was worth a ton of money because he posted great fantasy stats with Matt Ryan in garbage time. Hooper predictably flopped with the Browns, catching just 38 passes last year.

Some will expect Hooper to rebound, but that would entail the Titans throwing a ton in garbage time like the Falcons did in 2019. I don't expect Hooper to thrive in Tennessee, though this is a cheap deal that doesn't carry much risk.

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Seahawks sign DT Quinton Jefferson (2 years, $9.5 million): A Grade
Quinton Jefferson spent four years in Seattle before bouncing around to Buffalo and Las Vegas. He'll be returning home, filling a big need in the process.

The Seahawks had no pass rush this past season, so they needed to find talent on both the interior and the edge of the defensive line. They acquired Shelby Harris for Russell Wilson, but still needed one more body. Jefferson will fill that role well; he recorded 4.5 sacks for the Raiders in 2021. This is a cheap deal for him, so I love this move.

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Panthers extend WR D.J. Moore (3 years, $61.9 million; $41.6 million guaranteed): B+ Grade
If this seems like too much money per year, consider that the Jaguars just signed Christian Kirk for a greater annual average. Kirk will be getting $21 million per season, while this contract will earn D.J. Moore $20.6 million each year. Moore's deal is also for a slightly shorter term.

Moore will earn a bit less than Kirk even though he's a much better receiver. Moore has been extremely consistent, registering between 1,157 and 1,193 yards in each of the past three years. He's also just 25 as of April, so this deal looks very good for Carolina.

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Broncos sign OT Tom Compton (1 year, $2.25 million): A+ Grade
The Broncos traded for Russell Wilson, so they needed to do everything in their power to protect him. Thus, adding any offensive lineman for a reasonable price is a good idea.

I love this signing in particular. Tom Compton did a great job filling in for an injured Mike McGlinchey in San Francisco last year. At the very worst, he can be an excellent backup swing tackle. Compton could also end up starting, and if so, Denver should be graded very highly for obtaining a starting offensive lineman for just $2.25 million.

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March 17 Updates

Ravens sign NT Michael Pierce (3 years, $16 million): B+ Grade
The Ravens are likely to lose Calais Campbell this offseason, so they needed to add some talent to their defensive line. They did so by bringing back an old friend, with Michael Pierce joining the team the second time after spending four years in Baltimore to begin his career.

Pierce didn't play very much for the Vikings, abandoning his new team in 2020 and then missing half of the 2021 campaign with a triceps injury. Pierce still performed when healthy, however, and he's not 30 quite yet. This seems like a fair contract for him.

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Raiders re-sign WR Davante Adams (5 years, $141.25 million): B- Grade
I already posted Davante Adams Trade Grades on the NFL trade grades page. This grade is for the contract, which is for $141.25 million over five years. Adams is now the highest-paid receiver in the NFL.

Adams is arguably the best receiver in the NFL, so he deserves this distinction. However, this is still a ton of money to pay for a non-quarterback. Adams is going to occupy a huge chunk of the Raiders' salary cap in the next couple of years. This will really hurt the Raiders in the long term, but I can't grade this poorly because it'll give the Raiders a chance to compete for a playoff spot this year, which is what their goal happens to be.

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Bears sign WR Byron Pringle (1 year, $4 million): B+ Grade
The Bears officially lost Allen Robinson today, so they needed to do something to bolster their receiving corps. This may not end up moving the needle, but it's a low-risk signing that has some upside.

Byron Pringle made some strides last year, catching 42 passes. This was from Patrick Mahomes, however, so he may not be as productive with Justin Fields throwing to him. Still, Pringle is a fourth-year receiver with some upside, and he'll have an opportunity to contribute in Chicago, given how little talent there is at receiver.

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Rams sign WR Allen Robinson (3 years, $46.5 million; $30 million guaranteed): B- Grade
This is a shocking signing because I didn't expect the cap-strapped Rams to be in on Allen Robinson. With Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Odell Beckham Jr. on the roster, it didn't appear as though the Rams had room for Robinson. This certainly means that Beckham won't be back in 2022.

I'm torn on this acquisition. On one hand, Robinson will be playing with the best quarterback he's ever been paired with in his career. It's been a sad state of affairs for Robinson, who has received passes from Blake Bortles, Mitchell Trubisky, Nick Foles, Andy Dalton and an inexperienced Justin Fields. He should theoretically thrive with Matthew Stafford.

On the other hand, Robinson is coming off the worst year of his career. He was dreadful in 2021, catching just 38 passes for 410 yards in 12 games. There's a chance Robinson had a lingering injury no one knew about, but there's also a possibility that he could be done. Robinson turns 29 in August, so it could be premature regression. Robinson also may have lost his passion for the game. If either is true, this is a colossal overpay.

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Patriots sign RB Ty Montgomery (2 years, $4 million): C+ Grade
This is a largely irrelevant signing, but Ty Montgomery is a known player, so I thought I'd touch on this a bit. Frankly, I'd be a bit surprised if Montgomery makes the Patriots' final 53-man roster unless there are injuries to other running backs. This seems like an insurance policy for James White because Brandon Bolden is gone. Still, I expect New England to obtain a running back late in the draft to compete with Montgomery for the final running back roster spot.

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Texans sign LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin (2 years, $7.5 million): C Grade
This was what I was talking about regarding the Texans' trade of Blake Cashman. They could easily sign other linebackers for minimal contracts. It didn't cost the Texans any draft capital to obtain Jalen Reeves-Maybin, and yet Reeves-Maybin is a better player than Cashman.

That said, Reeves-Maybin is not a very good player either. He's a jack of all trades, master of none. He'll be an OK body in the middle of the defense against weaker opponents, but he'll also be a liability versus tougher foes.

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Falcons sign CB Casey Hayward (2 years, $11 million): C Grade
This would be a great signing if the Falcons could compete for a playoff spot. Casey Hayward is coming off an excellent 2021 campaign, but he is now 33 and could regress soon. This contract is cheap enough to mitigate that risk, however, so any team with Super Bowl aspirations would have done well to sign him.

The Falcons, however, have no such hope. Unless they trade for Deshaun Watson, they're due for 5-8 wins, as they'll continue to linger in NFL purgatory. The best course of action would be to bottom out by tanking for one of the quarterbacks in the 2023 NFL Draft. Signing Hayward counters that strategy.

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March 16 Updates

Buccaneers re-sign WR Chris Godwin (3 years, $60 million): C Grade
I would like this contract a lot more if Chris Godwin were healthy. Godwin tore his ACL toward the end of the 2021 season, so there's a chance he may not be able to play at a high level in 2022. If so, the Buccaneers are effectively paying $60 million over two years.

Call me crazy, but that's a bit too much money. Godwin is a great receiver, but I can't grade this highly because of the knee injury. Receivers tend to struggle coming off torn ACLs, so it seems like a mistake for the Buccaneers to give this sort of contract to Godwin at this time.

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Raiders sign DE Chandler Jones (3 years, $52.5 million): C Grade
What is the Raiders' plan, exactly? Despite making the playoffs last year, they're the worst team in the AFC West in the wake of the upgrades the Broncos and Chargers have made. They're not a bad team by any means, but they're overwhelming favorites to finish last in the division. They just can't compete with the other three teams.

I think the Raiders should rebuild by tanking in 2022 in an attempt to land one of the top quarterbacks in the 2023 NFL Draft. Instead, they're going to be in purgatory, and the Chandler Jones signing helps ensure that. Jones is a terrific edge rusher and will be an upgrade over Yannick Ngakoue, but he won't be nearly enough to put the Raiders over the top of any other team in the division. Instead, the Raiders will pay him big bucks, which will make it increasingly difficult to eventually begin the rebuilding process.

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Buccaneers sign WR Russell Gage (3 years, $30 million): C- Grade
Russell Gage had a solid 2021 campaign, but I never once thought that he deserved a contract worth $10 million per year. He was a nifty slot receiver for Matt Ryan, and yet he never even hit 800 receiving yards.

I get that the Buccaneers wanted to give Tom Brady a weapon in the wake of Antonio Brown's departure and Chris Godwin's injury, but this is an overpay. It seems especially unwarranted, given that the 2022 NFL Draft receiving class is packed with talent. The Buccaneers didn't need to give Gage so much money because they had so many other options.

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Dolphins sign RB Raheem Mostert (1 year, $3.125 million): A+ Grade
This is the perfect contract for Raheem Mostert. The former 49er has severe issues staying healthy. He played in just one game last year after missing eight contests in 2020. He's an injury waiting to happen, so giving him a substantial deal would've been a big mistake.

Mostert will be getting just slightly more than $3 million for 2022 and nothing beyond that. There's no risk to this signing, so I love it. If Mostert can finally stay healthy, he'll give the Dolphins a big upgrade at running back. If not, Miami won't be penalized very much for this.

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Bills sign DT DaQuan Jones (2 years, $14 million): B- Grade
The Bills made a huge splash in free agency by signing Von Miller today. They also obtained some players on Monday, but those contract details weren't posted at the time. We now have the financials for the DaQuan Jones signing.

Jones will be making $7 million per year in Buffalo. I think this is slightly too much for a defensive lineman with just four sacks in the past four seasons, but Jones is a solid player when it comes to stopping the run. This was a huge problem for Buffalo last year, so finding someone like Jones will help the team versus ground-heavy teams in 2022.

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Jets sign TE Tyler Conklin (3 years, $21 million): D Grade
I ordinarily think Joe Douglas does a good job as the Jets' general manager, but he has spent way too much money on tight ends. I wasn't a fan of the $24 million contract given to C.J. Uzomah, and this deal is even worse.

Tyler Conklin did a fine job of filling in for Irv Smith Jr. last year, but he does not deserve $7 million per season. Paying big bucks to non-elite tight ends has an extremely high failure rate, so there's a good chance the Jets will regret this signing.

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Bills sign TE O.J. Howard (1 year, $3.5 million): A Grade
It feels weird to give the O.J. Howard signing a higher grade than the Von Miller acquisition, but there is zero risk to this move. If Howard doesn't pan out for Buffalo, the team can just cut him or let him go after 2022 with no repercussions. He'll only be making $3.5 million this year, after all.

Howard could flop like he has the past two years, but he could also bounce back to his pre-2020 self. Howard tore his Achilles that year and wasn't the same in 2021. Now another year removed from the injury, Howard has a good chance of thriving with the Bills, who wanted another tight end to pair with Dawson Knox.

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Bills sign DE/OLB Von Miller (6 years, $120 million): B+ Grade
Wow! There was speculation that Ambassador Von Miller would go back to Denver and then to Los Angeles once the Broncos signed Randy Gregory. This union came out of nowhere, as Buffalo was never widely considered as a destination for Miller.

And yet, here we are. The Bills sported the No. 1 pressure rate last year, and now they'll be even stronger with Miller rushing from the edge. Miller turns 33 soon, but he was a terrific pass rusher last year. He notched four sacks in the playoffs after collecting five in eight games after joining the Rams. If he continues this sort of production, the Bills will be the overwhelming favorite to win the Super Bowl.

There's one downside to this contract, and that would be the colossal risk attached to it. As mentioned earlier, Miller is about to be 33, and giving him this sort of money could easily backfire. However, the Bills are all in for the Super Bowl over the next couple of years, and Miller's presence gives them a great chance to win it all.

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Steelers sign LB Myles Jack (2 years, $16 million): B+ Grade
A couple of years ago, the thought that Myles Jack would have to settle for a short-term contract worth less than $20 million would've seemed absurd. Jack was once considered one of the top, young linebackers in the NFL. He's still young (26), but Jack's play has fallen off a cliff in the past two years. He was horrendous for Jacksonville in both 2020 and 2021.

Jack, however, is still young and talented, so he could revive his career, especially with a superior franchise. He could potentially fill a big need in the middle of Pittsburgh's defense at a fair price.

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Dolphins sign FB Alec Ingold (2 years, $7.5 million): C+ Grade
It's not known whom Alec Ingold will be blocking for primarily in 2022. The Dolphins are expected to pursue a running back in the first few rounds of the draft, and that runner will be happy to have a solid fullback blocking for him.

I'd like this signing much more if Ingold weren't coming off a torn ACL. That's the risk with this move, as half of Ingold's contract could be wasted.

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Seahawks sign DE/OLB Uchenna Nwosu (2 years, $20 million): B+ Grade
The Seahawks entered the offseason in desperate need of edge-rushing help. That's still a requirement, even in the wake of this signing, but the Seahawks are at least off to a good start.

Uchenna Nwosu has 9.5 total sacks in the past two years. That's not a high figure, but he's a highly athletic player with tons of upside. I like this move for the Seahawks, as Nwosu could turn out to be a great player for them.

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Redskins sign RB J.D. McKissic (2 years, $7 million): B+ Grade
The Bills reportedly signed J.D. McKissic yesterday, but the running back had a change of heart. He has decided to remain with his current team instead for the same deal.

I loved Buffalo signing McKissic, but I'm not as high on this for Washington because Carson Wentz will fire deep shots into triple coverage rather than dumping the ball down to McKissic. Still, it's a good move because this contract carries no risk.

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Raiders sign DT Bilal Nichols (2 years, $11 million): B+ Grade
Bilal Nichols is a well-rounded, athletic defensive tackle with plenty of upside. He didn't quite reach his potential in Chicago, but he's still young. Just 25, Nichols could develop with his new team, and if he does, this contract will definitely seem like a bargain. If Nichols continues to perform like he did in 2021, this will be a fair deal, so I like this move overall for the Raiders.

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Seahawks sign CB Artie Burns (1 year, $2 million): A Grade
Steeler fans would likely scoff at an "A" grade for Artie Burns because he was a first-round bust for them. This is true; Burns was a huge disappointment in Pittsburgh. However, there's a chance he might be a late bloomer. Burns played well with the Bears down the stretch last year. There's a chance that could continue, and if that's the case, the Seahawks are getting a great bargain on a replacement for D.J. Reed. If Burns reverts back to Steeler form, the Seahawks won't be penalized because of this small contract.

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Jaguars sign CB Darious Williams (3 years, $30 million; $18 million guaranteed): B Grade
The Jaguars have been spending their cap space like the kids in Blank Check, making so many terrible financial decisions over the past couple of days. The good news is that this is not one of them. This isn't a great signing, or anything, but it's a solid move.

Darious Williams is a quality cornerback. He's coming off a bit of a down year, but still played somewhat well. There's a chance he could rebound and perform at a high level like he did in his 2020 campaign. But even if that doesn't happen, Williams figures to be a fine No. 2 cornerback for Jacksonville.

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Browns re-sign LB Anthony Walker (1 year, $5 million): A Grade
This is a sweet deal for an every-down linebacker. Anthony Walker missed some tackles last year and was out for five games because of a hamstring injury, but played well in coverage. Walker is a solid linebacker who could have potentially gotten more on the open market, so I love this deal for Cleveland.

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Browns sign WR Jakeem Grant (3 years, $13.8 million): B Grade
Jakeem Grant is listed as a receiver, but he's just a gadget player on offense. His primary role will be return specialist once again, and he'll fill that role very well. Grant is one of the most dynamic returners in the NFL, so I'd say he's worth this price tag.

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March 15 Updates

Saints sign S Marcus Maye (3 years, $28.5 million): C Grade
The Saints had to replace Marcus Williams, who signed with the Ravens earlier today. Marcus Maye isn't as good as Williams, especially given that he's coming off a torn Achilles, but he'll be a fine substitute.

So, why the underwhelming grade? I don't think the Saints are in any position to compete for a Super Bowl unless they acquire Deshaun Watson. If they miss on Watson, they'll need to completely rebuild, which would entail obtaining one of the top quarterbacks in the 2023 NFL Draft. Getting Maye, amid some severe salary cap woes, will prevent New Orleans from hitting rock bottom.

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Bears sign G/C Lucas Patrick (2 years, $8 million): B Grade
Lucas Patrick is a serviceable offensive lineman whose calling card is his versatility. He can play both center and guard, so he'll be of good use to the Bears at a good price. That said, Chicago has major offensive line woes, and Patrick was one of the weaker links for the Packers last year. It would not be a good sign for the Bears if he's forced into starting every week.

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Ravens sign OT Morgan Moses (3 years, $15 million): A- Grade
Everyone knows about Baltimore's cornerback problems last season, but they also dealt with plenty of injuries on the offensive line. Blocking was a problem throughout the year, and things were only going to get worse in the wake of Alejandro Villanueva's retirement. Baltimore had to find a replacement for him, which it did with this signing.

Morgan Moses is a solid blocker, but has an extensive injury history. He remained healthy last year, so perhaps that's the beginning of a trend. Moses just turned 31, but if he can stay healthy, he should be a solid bookend for Ronnie Stanley at a reasonable price.

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Panthers sign RB D'Onta Foreman (1 year, $2 million): A Grade
The Panthers can't count on Christian McCaffrey remaining healthy. They tried to provide some insurance for him by using a fourth-round pick on Chuba Hubbard, but the rookie struggled before being benched in favor of Ameer Abdullah. Carolina has decided to look elsewhere for a back to replace McCaffrey.

I really like this signing. Foreman thrived last year for the Titans, rushing for 566 yards in place of an injured Derrick Henry. He'll serve as a capable reserve in Carolina, and given McCaffrey's injury history, no one should be surprised if he starts some games. Foreman is extremely cheap, so this signing deserves a high grade.

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Giants sign QB Tyrod Taylor (2 years, $17 million): B Grade
As mentioned earlier, average quarterbacks earn about $4 million per year. Tyrod Taylor is a premium No. 2 signal-caller, so he deserves more money. He could also potentially step in as the starter if/when Daniel Jones struggles. This signing makes sense to me for that reason, though it doesn't quite have much upside.

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Vikings sign LB Jordan Hicks (2 years, $10 million): C Grade
Jordan Hicks signed a 4-year, $34 million contract back in 2019. He was an excellent linebacker with the Eagles, so no one blamed the Cardinals for signing him to a big deal. Hicks turned out to be terrible with Arizona, prompting the team to cut him prematurely.

Hicks had to sign a cheap deal this offseason, but I assumed it would be a 1-year "prove it" contract. This is similar to that, though it's a bit more than I would've paid for him. Hicks could always rebound on a new roster, but he turns 30 this offseason, so time is running out for him.

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Texans re-sign CB/S Desmond King (2 years, $7 million): A+ Grade
The Texans don't often make great moves, but they should be commended when they make a strong transaction in free agency. This would definitely qualify as such.

Desmond King isn't a great player by any means, but he's a solid player who is extremely versatile. King can essentially play anywhere in the secondary, so he's a valuable player to have on the roster.

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Steelers sign CB Levi Wallace (2 years, $8 million): A Grade
The Steelers had obvious issues with their roster entering free agency, as they had to upgrade their offensive line and run defense. However, the secondary was a new problem as well, given Joe Haden's impending free agency. The Steelers may have found their replacement for Haden in Wallace.

Wallace is someone I believed the Bills just didn't like for some reason, given their hesitancy to give him a long-term deal. The NFL apparently feels the same way about him because he had to settle for an $8 million contract with Pittsburgh. I like Wallace and still believe he's underrated, so I think the Steelers are getting a great deal.

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Jets sign S Jordan Whitehead (2 years, $14.5 million): A+ Grade
The Jets' secondary has been a major liability for quite some time, but the front office has made some terrific transactions to help remedy this area. After signing D.J. Reed to a great deal, they inked Jordan Whitehead to an even better contract.

Whitehead is another 25-year-old defensive back who will greatly bolster the Jets' secondary. He's a versatile player who can play well at safety and slot cornerback. He thrived with the Buccaneers, and he should only get better at his young age.

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` Jets sign CB D.J. Reed (3 years, $33 million): A- Grade
I can't remember the last time the Jets had great cornerback play. Was it when Darrelle Revis was on the roster? It's about time that this area improves, and the Jets took a big step in that regard by signing D.J. Reed.

Reed isn't a big name, but he's a 25-year-old cornerback who has made great strides each year in his young career. He should continue to improve as he enters his prime. Even if he remains at a steady level, he'll be a huge upgrade for the Jets. I love this move, with one of the reasons being that I thought Reed would get a bit more than the $33 million he received from his new team.

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Broncos re-sign LB Josey Jewell (2 years, $11 million): A+ Grade
Josey Jewell was improving every season, so it was a shame to see him get knocked out early last year with a torn pectoral. This is not a long-term injury, however, so Jewell will be 100 percent in 2022.

With that in mind, this is a fantastic re-signing. Jewell, as a 27-year-old, figures to continue to thrive in the middle of Denver's defense. I expected him to receive a larger contract, especially in the wake of De'Vondre Campbell's $50 million deal, so this amazing bargain should be graded accordingly.

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Falcons re-sign K Younghoe Koo (5 years, $24.25 million): KIELBASAHOE MILLEN Grade
There aren't many NFL franchises who rush to lock up their kickers before they need to do so. Unfortunately for Atlanta fans, the Falcons are one such team.

Younghoe Koo is one of the top kickers in the NFL at the moment. He has been incredible in the past two seasons. However, kickers, for the most part, come and go. They tend to get hot, then get paid, then struggle, then get cut, then get signed elsewhere, then get hot, and the cycle continues. Only a handful of kickers have been consistent over the years (Adam Vinatieri, Justin Tucker). Perhaps Koo will enter into that pantheon, but that's unclear at the moment.

What really bothers me about this signing, beyond the high price, is that Atlanta didn't need to give Koo a big contract at the moment. Koo was just a restricted free agent, so it made no sense to rush a big contract to him. Then again, much of what the Falcons have done in recent years hasn't made much sense.

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Patriots re-sign RB James White (2 years, $5 million): A+ Grade
One reason to believe Mac Jones will be better in his second year, beyond the gained experience, is that he barely had the services of James White in his rookie campaign. White was on the field for just three games before he was lost for the season with a hip injury.

Assuming White can recover from this malady, he should continue to be one of the better pass-catching running backs in the NFL. He figures to be a valuable threat for Jones on third downs at a very cheap price.

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Ravens sign S Marcus Williams (5 years, $70 million; $37 million guaranteed): B Grade
The Ravens had severe issues stopping the pass last year. They had some major cornerback injuries, but things wouldn't automatically resolve for 2022 because a pair of Baltimore's safeties would be hitting the open market. Rather than re-sign them, the Ravens decided to obtain a huge upgrade at the position.

Williams is arguably the top safety in the NFL, and he's only 25. He was my No. 4 overall free agent, so I can't say I'm surprised to see these terms on this contract. I'm usually against paying big bucks to safeties, but Williams is an elite player at the position, so I don't mind it. I like this deal, but can't put this signing in the "A" range because this contract is obviously not a bargain.

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Lions sign WR D.J. Chark (1 year, $10 million): A Grade
I don't understand this signing, though not from the Lions' perspective. Detroit enjoyed seeing Amon-Ra St. Brown have a terrific rookie campaign, but had nothing else at receiver. The team needed two new receivers entering free agency, so obtaining Chark is a great move for them, especially at this price. Chark is extremely talented, so getting him for just $10 million for one season is exceptional.

What I don't quite get is why Chark signed with the Lions. He needed to sign a 1-year "prove it" contract because of an injury that caused him to miss all but three games in 2021, but he could have gone to a team with a better passing attack to revive his career for 2023 free agency. He signed so quickly that he didn't even let a market develop for him. The Lions won't complain, but Chark needs better representation.

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Steelers sign G James Daniels (3 years, $26.5 million): A+ Grade
Chicago's offensive line has been dreadful the past couple of seasons, but don't blame James Daniels. A steady presence on the Bears' front, Daniels played well as both a run blocker and pass protector. He was due to receive a huge contract this spring.

I wouldn't exactly call this deal huge. This seems like a great bargain for Daniels, who will be a colossal upgrade for the Steelers' dreadful interior offensive line. The cherry on top is that Daniels is somehow only 24, so he should continue to improve.

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Lions re-sign DE Charles Harris (2 years, $14 million): B+ Grade
Charles Harris was a huge first-round bust for the Dolphins, but he proved to be a late bloomer with the Lions. He recorded 7.5 sacks in 2021, and he should continue to improve because he's still relatively young. I like the Lions rewarding him and bringing him back for a reasonable price. This isn't a slam-dunk signing, or anything, but Harris should continue to be a solid contributor in Detroit's defense.

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Texans re-sign DT Maliek Collins (2 years, $17 million; $8.5 million guaranteed): B+ Grade
Maliek Collins has been a solid rotational player for the Texans, Raiders and Cowboys throughout his career. He's been on Houston's roster for only one year, but played well. I like the Texans' decision to bring him back at a fair price on a short-term deal. This doesn't carry much risk, and there's a good chance Collins will live up to the terms.

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Broncos sign DE Randy Gregory (5 years, $70 million; $28 million guaranteed): C+ Grade
Randy Gregory was a dominant force last year when he was on the field. He recorded six sacks, but was just a rotational player. Had he been in a full-time role, he likely would have notched double-digit sacks. At 29, Gregory could easily handle more snaps in 2022.

When it comes to Gregory the player, this contract is almost worth it. I'd worry a bit about the deal because he'll spend most of it in his 30s, but I wouldn't totally criticize this contract. However, when it comes to Gregory the person, this is a colossal risk. Gregory has an extensive history of getting into trouble, so this huge deal could easily backfire on Denver. Thus, I can't grade this signing very well, but it makes sense that the Broncos would pull the trigger on this sort of a contract because they're going all in right now.

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Dolphins sign G Connor Williams (2 years, $14 million; $7.5 million guaranteed): A Grade
Connor Williams entered the NFL without ample strength for a guard and struggled as a result. However, he has made big strides in that regard since his rookie campaign, improving each year. He was terrific this past season, so I thought he would earn a huge contract this spring.

That, apparently, was not the case, as Miami signed Williams to a very cheap deal. This is a great acquisition for the Dolphins, who needed two interior blockers entering free agency.

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49ers sign CB Charvarius Ward (3 years, $42 million; $26.7 million guaranteed): B+ Grade
The 49ers had major cornerback problems last year, stemming from Jason Verrett's injury. They needed to add at least one cornerback this offseason, and they've agreed to terms with Charvarius Ward.

Ward, who isn't even 26 yet, has been an excellent cornerback for the Chiefs in the past couple of seasons. He'll be a nice upgrade for the 49ers across from Emmanuel Moseley. This is a fair price for Ward, so because this isn't a bargain, I'm going to give the 49ers a B+.

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March 14 Updates

Jaguars sign G Brandon Scherff (3 years, $49.5 million; $30 million guaranteed): B- Grade
This is a tough grade. The Jaguars have certainly made some terrible decisions today, but this is not one of them. They also came away with a mega bargain in Evan Engram, but this contract is not nearly as spectacular as that one either.

Brandon Scherff's deal falls somewhere in between, and only because he's such an unknown. On one hand, Scherff is a very talented blocker, and if he remains healthy, he'll provide a huge upgrade for Trevor Lawrence's blocking, which was horrible last year. On the other hand, Scherff is injured often, so committing this much money to someone so unreliable could seriously backfire.

In the end, I can't grade this too poorly. I think it's worth the risk because if Scherff can be available for at least 80 percent of his games, he'll give Lawrence a much better chance of succeeding. However, it's still impossible to ignore the major downside.

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Patriots re-sign K Nick Folk (2 years, $5 million): A- Grade
Some teams overpay for kickers and punters. I wouldn't expect the Patriots to do so, and they did not, as we've seen from this contract. They gave Nick Folk a very reasonable $5 million for the next two years.

Folk has been a great kicker for the Patriots lately. He has drilled at least 92 percent of his field goals over the past two seasons, going 7-of-11 from 50-plus in the process. The only danger with this signing is Folk's age (38 in November), but we've seen some kickers perform well into their 40s.

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Panthers sign G Austin Corbett (3 years, $29.25 million): A Grade
I mentioned earlier that the Giants entered this offseason needing to upgrade every offensive line position except left tackle. The same is true for the Panthers, except for the lone exception being right tackle. Three new interior blockers were needed, but Carolina is off to a great start with this Austin Corbett signing.

Corbett struggled in Cleveland when he was chosen atop the second round in the 2018 NFL Draft, but after being traded for a fifth-round choice to the Rams, he really elevated his game and became a terrific blocker. Unless he regresses for some reason - he's only 26 - Corbett will provide a big boost in the interior of the Panthers' offensive line.

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Steelers sign C Mason Cole (3 years, $15.75 million): C+ Grade
The Steelers had well-documented issues with their offensive line last year. They needed to make some major upgrades to the unit this spring. They began by re-signing right tackle Chuks Okorafor, and now they've added a new center to the group.

That center, however, isn't that good. Mason Cole has been a pedestrian blocker for the Vikings. He's fine in run blocking, but he has been a liability in pass protection. He can't be worse than what the Steelers had at center last year, but this move doesn't quite move the needle very much as far as Pittsburgh's pass-protection issues are concerned.

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Dolphins sign QB Teddy Bridgewater (1 year, $6.5 million): A Grade
As noted earlier, mediocre backup quarterbacks are worth about $4 million per year. Teddy Bridgewater is certainly not a mediocre No. 2 signal-caller. In fact, he'll be the best backup in the NFL this year, so the Dolphins are getting him at a nice bargain.

Besides, there's a very good chance Bridgewater will end up starting some games for the Dolphins this year. Tua Tagovailoa is always a big injury risk, and it's not like he's set the NFL on fire. Bridgewater has proven he can take a strong roster to the playoffs, though Miami's dreadful offensive line will probably prevent that from happening.

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Browns sign DT Taven Bryan (1 year, $5 million): B Grade
Taven Bryan had great potential coming out of Florida in 2018, but he has been a bust ever since he was chosen 29th overall that year. He failed to record more than two sacks in any of his four seasons thus far.

Having said that, it's too early to give up on Bryan. He could end up being a late bloomer, and it'll help that he'll benefit from Myles Garrett drawing so much attention elsewhere on the defensive line. There's also a chance Bryan will continue to be terrible, but there's no risk attached to this signing.

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Seahawks re-sign DT Al Woods (2 years, $9 million): B+ Grade
There has been tons of money handed out to interior defensive linemen today. Al Woods didn't get that same sort of money, but he wasn't exactly expected to as a 35-year-old.

Despite Woods' age, the 330-pounder still plays well as a run-stuffer. The Seahawks were excellent versus the rush last year, and Woods was literally a big reason why that was the case. Keeping Woods at a low price is a nice move, though there's a very real chance that he'll regress rapidly this season because of his age.

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Chiefs sign S Justin Reid (3 years, $31.5 million): B+ Grade
The Chiefs are projected to lose Tyrann Mathieu this offseason, so they had to address safety. They did so in a big way, signing Justin Reid to a huge contract. While Mathieu is a more popular name than Reid, this is actually an upgrade for Kansas City.

Reid isn't quite the play-maker Mathieu is, but he's better in coverage and run support. He's also younger; he turned 25 last month. I'm usually against paying tons of money to safeties, but if you're comparing this to the Seattle Quandre Diggs re-signing, the Chiefs didn't already have a highly paid safety on the roster, and Reid is four years younger than Diggs.

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Broncos sign DT D.J. Jones (3 years, $30 million): B Grade
There has been big money handed out to defensive tackles today. Some were massive overpays, but this is definitely closer to a fair deal. Perhaps it's still a bit more than what I would have paid, but I still like this move by the Broncos. They had to replace Shelby Harris, and while Jones isn't as good as Harris, he's at least a few years younger.

Jones is a stout run defender who can get to the quarterback. This is crucial for the Broncos, who struggled versus the run at the end of the 2021 season.

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Steelers sign QB Mitchell Trubisky (2 years, $14.2 million): A- Grade
I imagine Bears fans are laughing at this signing, but I think it's a good one. There's no doubting that Trubisky has talent because he was widely considered a top-10 prospect entering the 2017 NFL Draft. He was chosen second overall, but he flopped in Chicago. Perhaps he's destined to be a major bust, but that's not guaranteed yet. Trubisky was coached very poorly by Matt Nagy, who refused to utilize the young quarterback's legs. The Steelers want a mobile quarterback, so I have to believe that Trubisky will get a fair chance in Pittsburgh.

It must be noted that this won't preclude the Steelers from selecting a quarterback at No. 20 overall. They won't reach for a signal-caller if the one(s) they like are off the board, but they'll still consider their quarterbacking options with their first-round pick. Trubisky would act as a bridge quarterback in that circumstance. If he has to start in 2022, he'll be an upgrade over Mason Rudolph at a fair price.

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Texans sign G A.J. Cann (2 years, $10.5 million): C- Grade
The Texans have seen A.J. Cann enough times, which makes it odd that they would sign him to a deal worth $5 million per year. Cann has been a liability for the Jaguars for quite a while, and now he'll struggle for Houston. Of course, this is nothing new for the Texans, who are used to dealing with offensive line woes.

I don't think this deserves a Millen grade because the contract isn't going to really damage the Texans for the long haul, but it's still a bad move.

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Vikings sign DT Harrison Phillips (3 years, $19.5 million): B+ Grade
Harrison Phillips missed most of 2019 with a torn ACL, but he bounced back well this past season. Phillips defended the run well, so the Vikings will want him to continue to perform as well for them.

This is a solid signing. Phillips recently turned 26, and he's another year removed from his injury, so there's a decent chance he'll play even better in 2022. This is definitely a fair price for him.

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Chargers sign DT Sebastian Joseph-Day (3 years, $24 million): A- Grade
The Chargers have been killing it this offseason so far. They obtained an elite edge rusher and a No. 1 cornerback, and now they strengthen their pass rush even more with an interior disruptor.

Sebastian Joseph-Day was a productive lineman early in 2021 before tearing his pectoral. Just 27, Joseph-Day will bounce back, playing for his former defensive coordinator, Brandon Staley.

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Jaguars sign WR Zay Jones (3 years, $24 million): KIELBASA GAME MILLEN Grade
Quick tip for those of you who need some cash: Go to the Jaguars' headquarters and tell them you're a football player. They will likely hand you millions of dollars right on the spot, no questions asked. I'm convinced this is how some of these signings happened today.

What is this signing? Seriously, $24 million for Zay Jones? Why? What has Jones done in his career to warrant this sort of deal? He registered 546 yards in 2021 and 652 yards in 2018. Otherwise, he has never exceeded 316 yards in a single season. He was my 33rd-ranked free agent receiver. Yikes!

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Panthers sign S Xavier Woods (3 years, $15.75 million): A Grade
The Panthers have spent many resources trying to upgrade their secondary recently. They still needed help in that area, however, as an upgrade had to be obtained next to Jeremy Chinn.

Woods is a solid safety who is well worth this price tag. He performed on a high level for the Vikings last year, so he should continue to do so in Carolina. He's only 26, so Woods has a bright future ahead of him.

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Giants sign G Mark Glowinski (3 years, $20 million): A Grade
The Giants, as far as I'm concerned, entered the offseason needing to add four quality offensive linemen. Well, this is now one, so the Giants have three to go.

Signing Mark Glowinski was a great way to begin rebuilding the blocking unit. Glowinski had been a rock-solid guard for several years in Indianapolis, and he should continue to play that way in New York. Glowinski turns 30 this May, but interior offensive linemen tend to play well into their mid-30s. I thought Glowinski would get a larger contract, so I love this deal for the Giants.

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Jets sign TE C.J. Uzomah (3 years, $24 million): C- Grade
This is the second major signing the Jets made today. I liked the Laken Tomlinson acquisition, but this won't score nearly as high of a grade.

C.J. Uzomah is getting too much money on this deal. He has never topped 500 receiving yards in a single season, and he has an injury track record that includes a torn ACL in 2020. Uzomah had some big games catching passes from Joe Burrow, but has otherwise done nothing in his career. Also, it's not like he's a young and up-and-coming player. He's 29, so it's only a matter of time before his athletic ability diminishes.

I don't hate this signing as much as the Will Dissly contract, but this still is not a good move. The Jets are definitely overpaying, but at least they're giving their struggling young quarterback an upgrade of sorts.

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Cowboys extend DE DeMarcus Lawrence (3 years, $30 million): A Grade
DeMarcus Lawrence wasn't a free agent, but the Cowboys gave him a new contract anyway in an attempt to clear more salary cap room. Lawrence's cap hit was $27 million, so Dallas had to lower it, which the team did with this new contract.

I get that this is an extension, but it seems so odd that Lawrence is getting as much money as players like Chuks Okorafor and B.J. Hill, and only slightly more than Will Dissly. This seems like a great bargain, which was made possible by Lawrence's injury-ravaged 2021 campaign. Lawrence missed 10 games last year, but should be able to rebound.

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Steelers re-sign OT Chukwuma Okorafor (3 years, $29.3 million): C Grade
Everyone knows about the major problems the Steelers have on their offensive line. Chukwuma Okorafor, the starting right tackle, wasn't one of the worst blockers in the group, but I wouldn't call him a solid player either. He's a bit of a liability, but he has some potential as a soon-to-be 25-year-old.

I'm not a big fan of this contract. I like the idea of keeping Okorafor around to see if he can improve, but he hasn't played well enough to warrant a deal worth about $10 million per season.

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Jaguars sign TE Evan Engram (1 year, $9 million): A+ Grade
Given how much the Jaguars have been overpaying today, and how much tight ends have been receiving, when I saw that Jacksonville signed Evan Engram, I figured the deal would be like six years for $120 million. I began formulating what my next Millen grade would be called when I glanced at the financials of this contract.

How does this make any sense? This is a great signing, as it carries no risk and provides tons of upside. Engram is a very athletic tight end, but has not lived up to his first-round expectations just yet. Perhaps he will with a talented quarterback like Trevor Lawrence. If not, Jacksonville won't be penalized for this signing.

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Buccaneers re-sign CB Carlton Davis (3 years, $45 million; $30 million guaranteed): B+ Grade
Things looked bleak for the Buccaneers 24 hours ago. In the time since, Tom Brady announced his retirement, Ryan Jensen was re-signed, and now Carlton Davis was retained as well.

Keeping Davis was key for the defense. He's an excellent cornerback who still has plenty of upside because he's only 25. This is definitely a reasonable deal for Davis, as the $15 million per year is a bit shy of J.C. Jackson's $16.5 million figure. Jackson is definitely better than Davis, but this contract is for a shorter term, so there's much less downside. I'd say both signing should be graded similarly.

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Chargers sign CB J.C. Jackson (5 years, $82.5 million; $40 million guaranteed): B+ Grade
The Chargers are really going all in this season. They traded for Khalil Mack, and now they've signed the best defensive player on the open market, inking cornerback J.C. Jackson to a huge deal.

Jackson fills an obvious need. Given how many great quarterbacks in the NFL, including Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson in the division, the Chargers needed to obtain another talented cornerback to pair with Asante Samuel Jr. Jackson was a shutdown cornerback for the Patriots last year, and he's only 26. He'll be valuable in helping the Chargers combat Mahomes, Wilson, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson and potentially Deshaun Watson.

I won't put this in the "A" range because it's not a bargain, though I suppose it could be designated as such when compared to the Christian Kirk signing. I'd say the only risk with this is that there's a history of players not doing as well after leaving New England because they don't get the same high level of coaching elsewhere, but Jackson seems like he would be an exception to the rule.

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Dolphins sign WR Cedrick Wilson (3 years, $22.8 million; $12.8 million guaranteed): B Grade
Receiver isn't a need for the Dolphins, given the current state of their roster, but that was bound to change soon. There have been reports that Miami was looking to deal DeVante Parker, so the team was going to need a new third receiver to go along with Jaylen Waddle and Will Fuller.

Wilson doesn't have much of a history of production - he hasn't topped 602 receiving yards in his career - but the upside is there. He has performed well when Dallas has been missing receiver due to injury, so he deserved a chance to prove that he can handle a full-time role. I think this contract is a fair deal.

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Cardinals re-sign DE/OLB Dennis Gardeck (3 years, $12 million): B- Grade
Dennis Gardeck is a special-teams ace and a contributor on defense. There's not really much to say about this signing beyond that, as well as the fact that this seems to be a bit too much for a player of that caliber. However, this contract won't hurt the Cardinals very much, so I'm fine with it.

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Cardinals re-sign QB Colt McCoy (2 years, $7.5 million): B+ Grade
The usual going rate for average backup quarterbacks in the NFL is $3-4 million per season. McCoy is certainly that, at least. In fact, he proved to be one of the better reserve signal-callers last year when he won multiple games when Kyler Murray was injured.

This is a good contract for McCoy. The Cardinals weren't going to get a better deal for someone behind Murray, so it should be graded accordingly.

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Rams re-sign C Brian Allen (3 years, $24 million): A+ Grade
How in the world did Brian Allen get the same contract as Will Dissly? One is a mediocre blocking tight end, while the other is a young, terrific center. It's no wonder the Rams have been way more successful than the Seahawks in recent years.

This is an A+ signing. Allen is just 26, and he has emerged as one of the better centers in the league. He'll continue to get better on this very cheap contract.

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Colts re-sign TE Mo Alie-Cox (3 years, $18 million): D Grade
Mo Alie-Cox has been famous for two things. One, for having a name in which people always forget where to put the hyphen. Is it Mo-Alie Cox, or Mo Alie-Cox? It's the latter, but I'll forget soon enough. Two, for having a big game once per year that leads to way too many people rostering him in DFS for weeks after that.

Now, there's a third. Alie-Cox has gotten too big of a contract for what he produces. He caught just 24 passes in 2021, and he has never registered more than 394 yards in a single season. He's a good blocker, but once again, blocking tight ends shouldn't be paid very much. This is a major overpay, but at least it's not as bad as the Will Dissly contract.

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Seahawks re-sign TE Will Dissly (3 years, $24 million): KIELBASA-19 MILLEN Grade
Someone on Twitter asked why I was being so nice in my grades outside of the Jaguars signings. It's because I'm waiting for nonsense like this.

Why? Why did the Seahawks do this? The question really must be asked because I have no idea. Will Dissly plays 20-25 snaps each week and barely does anything as a receiver. He blocks well, but blocking tight ends grow on trees. Seriously, there's a tree outside my house, and I see five blocking tight ends growing on it. Paying one $8 million per year is absurd. A contract half as much would still be an overpay!

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Packers re-sign LB De'Vondre Campbell (5 years, $50 million): C+ Grade
If you ask a Cardinals or Falcons fan, they'll tell you that De'Vondre Campbell is a mediocre player. That's how he performed in Arizona and Atlanta, after all. Things changed in Green Bay, however, as Campbell emerged as one of the top linebackers in the NFL last season.

Campbell is being paid justly for how he performed in 2021, but the question is whether he can continue to play on that level. There's a decent chance he'll regress, especially given that he'll turn 30 in the second year of this contract. Campbell could also continue to thrive, but there's definitely some risk to this transaction.

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Bills extend C Mitch Morse (2 years, $19.5 million; $12 million guaranteed): A Grade
While we wait on the financial details of the Rodger Saffold deal, we can grade the Bills' extension of Mitch Morse, which happened way too early Monday morning. Morse will receive $12 million in guarantees on this 2-year extension.

The primary catalyst behind this move was to help facilitate the Saffold signing, as it freed up some cap room. Morse deserved this contract anyhow because he has been a rock-solid center for Buffalo. This contract doesn't carry much risk, so it's worth an "A" grade.

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Packers extend DE/OLB Preston Smith (4 years, $52.5 million): A Grade
It's amazing that both Preston Smith and Christian Kirk signed 4-year deals today, and yet Kirk will be making $32 million more than Smith. Not all contracts should be compared to the Jaguars' moves, but it's still truly remarkable.

At any rate, the Packers have extended Smith to lower his cap hit for this year. They needed to do this, of course, because of their poor cap situation. Nevertheless, Smith deserves this sort of money, as he has recorded nine and 12 sacks in two of the past three seasons. Smith was terrific in 2021, stepping up for the injured Za'Darius Smith.

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Jaguars sign WR Christian Kirk (4 years, $84 million): C Grade
The Jaguars have made Christian Kirk the third-highest-paid receiver in the NFL. Yikes.

I'd like to make this a Kielbastian Kielbasirk grade, but this isn't as bad as some of Jacksonville's other signings. Christian Kirk at least has some major upside. He's coming off his best year as a pro and has serious game-breaking potential. Trevor Lawrence will certainly make good use of Kirk's downfield ability. I just wish the Jaguars would've given Kirk a more appropriate contract.

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Bengals re-sign DT B.J. Hill (3 years, $30 million; $15 million guaranteed): B Grade
The Bengals have to be laughing at the Bears. Chicago signed Larry Ogunjobi to a 3-year, $40.5 million deal with $26 million guaranteed. Cincinnati retained a superior player at the same position for $10 million less overall and $11 million less guaranteed.

Not only is Hill better than Ogunjobi; he's a couple of years younger as well. I think this is a slight overpay, but compared to Ogunjobi's contract, it's a huge bargain.

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Eagles sign DE/OLB Haason Reddick (3 years, $45 million; $30 million guaranteed): A- Grade
Haason Reddick is identified as a linebacker, but before Eagles fans get too excited, Reddick isn't a natural linebacker. I say this because the front office has long been criticized of not addressing the position. I don't think this counts because Reddick is more of a pass rusher than anything else.

That said, this is still an excellent signing. Philadelphia's pass rush suffered when Brandon Graham got hurt last year. Graham is getting up there in age, so a young edge rusher was needed. Reddick is dynamic in that regard, having notched 23.5 sacks in the past two years, including 11 in 2021. You could argue that Reddick deserved more money than this, given how great he's been at getting to the quarterback.

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Jets re-sign WR Braxton Berrios (2 years, $12 million; $7 million guaranteed): A+ Grade
"That's it!?" That was my reaction to when I saw the terms of this deal. The Jets are getting a steal with this re-signing.

Braxton Berrios took over the slot duties in the second half of the 2021 season and performed on a very high level. He showed great chemistry with Zach Wilson, and he's also a dynamic return specialist. He deserved way more money than this.

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Titans re-sign C Ben Jones (2 years, $14 million): A+ Grade
I can't believe Ben Jones didn't get more money than this. Jones has been one of the better centers in the NFL in recent years, so he should've been able to obtain a mega deal. Instead, he has taken a hometown discount.

The Titans can't complain about this. Retaining Jones is a great move. The only downside is Jones' age (33), but centers can play well into their mid-30s, and there's not too much risk with this deal.

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Seahawks re-sign CB Sidney Jones (1 year, $3.6 million): A+ Grade
I'm used to the Seahawks making sketchy decisions of late, but that streak has snapped. This signing is worth an A+.

Eagles fans know Sidney Jones as a draft bust. He struggled early in his career, but has since made great strides. He was excellent for Seattle last year, and he's only 26. He carries risk because of his extensive injury history, but that's mitigated by this small-money deal.

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Jets sign G Laken Tomlinson (3 years, $40 million; $27 million guaranteed): B+ Grade
The Jets had solid production out of Alija Vera-Tucker last season, but they still needed another guard to help Zach Wilson develop. Their answer to that is signing Laken Tomlinson to a big deal.

It feels good to post a positive grade for once. I like this move quite a bit, as the Jets are making sure Wilson has the best chance to play up to his potential by bolstering his blocking. Tomlinson is a stout guard with no weaknesses, so he should be able to help Wilson.

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Jaguars sign DT Foley Fatukasi (3 years, $30 million; $20 million guaranteed): KIELBASEY KILEBASAKASI MILLEN Grade
I have a theory, and it's that the Jaguars took someone's free agency rankings and read them from bottom to top. This is why they believe pedestrian players are worthy of signing deals that pay them at least $10 million per year.

This signing isn't as bad as the Foley Oluokun deal, but it's still awful. Foley Fatukasi is a rotational player who doesn't do anything particularly well. He's just a big body in the interior; the sort teams can obtain for the veteran minimum. Perhaps Fatukasi deserves a bit more than that. Something like three years, $7 million would have made sense.

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Jaguars sign LB Foyesade Oluokun (3 years, $45 million; $28 million guaranteed): KIELBASASADE KIELBASAKUN MILLEN Grade
WTF is this signing? I saw it and shouted, "Why!?" It doesn't make any sense. I get that the Jaguars have the most cap space in the NFL, but that doesn't mean that they have to pay sub-par players tons of money.

Foyesade Oluokun doesn't do anything particularly well. He's OK in coverage, but he misses tons of tackles and is a liability in run support. I don't know what he did to warrant this contract. Perhaps he complimented the owner's mustache. That must be it.

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Bengals sign G Ted Karras (3 years, $18 million): B Grade
The Bengals are serious about upgrading their blocking. An hour after signing Alex Cappa, they inked Ted Karras to a 3-year pact to really solidify the interior of their offensive line.

Karras is less of a sure thing than Cappa because there's a long track record of players leaving New England and struggling elsewhere. Still, Karras should be an upgrade, and this deal isn't massive, so there's not much of a risk.

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Lions re-sign S Tracy Walker (3 years, $25 million; $17 million guaranteed): B- Grade
Tracy Walker was the Lions' best defensive back in 2021. Of course, that's not saying very much because Detroit had a miserable defense last year.

Having said that, re-signing Walker was important. This seems like a fair price for him, and it's nice that the Lions won't have to worry about regression due to age because he's 27.

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Seahawks re-sign S Quandre Diggs (3 years, $40 million): C Grade
The Seahawks really value safeties highly, eh? After trading two first-round picks for Jamal Adams, they gave a huge contract to Quandre Diggs.

I don't like this strategy. Granted, Diggs, unlike Adams, is a great safety, but the position is very deep. Also, safety isn't nearly as important as some other positions, so I don't understand why the Seahawks are putting such a premium on them. I can't grade this highly for those reasons, though Diggs is a very talented player.

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Bears sign DT Larry Ogunjobi (3 years, $40.5 million; $26.35 million guaranteed): MILLEN Grade
Edit: This signing was retracted because Larry Ogunjobi failed a physical.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have our first Millen grade of the offseason! Millens are "F" grades, except they are worse, somehow.

I don't understand this signing. Larry Ogunjobi is not a great player. He recorded seven sacks in 2021, but that was fluky; he notched 2.5 sacks in the prior season. Ogunjobi also tends to get trampled while trying to defend the run. If you were to ask me, "How much money will Ogunjobi get on a 3-year deal?" I would have answered with anywhere between $12 million and $15 million. I don't understand how the Bears determined that Ogunjobi is worth $40.5 million.

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Cardinals re-sign RB James Conner (3 years, $21 million; $13.5 million guaranteed): D Grade
Raise your hand if you believe James Conner is a top-10 running back in the NFL. No? No one? Well, the Cardinals disagree because they gave Conner a contract that puts him in the top 10 as far as running back annual salaries are concerned.

Conner is obviously not that good. He was a fantasy stud last year because he scored 18 touchdowns, but he averaged just 3.7 yards per carry. He showed nice receiving ability out of the backfield with 37 receptions, but Conner's production is easily replaceable. Arizona overpaid to retain him.

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Falcons extend OT Jake Matthews (3 years, $52.5 million): D Grade
I don't like what the Falcons are doing, especially in the wake of Tom Brady's reversed retirement. Prior to Brady's retirement, you could make the argument that the Falcons had a chance to win the dreadful NFC South, but that's no longer the case.

The Falcons, as signified by this move and their reluctance to trade Matt Ryan, are just clinging to the past and are unwilling to do what it takes to help themselves in the long term. Instead of re-signing old players like Jake Matthews, they should be blowing up their roster and tanking for the quarterbacks in the 2023 NFL Draft, but they're going to remain in the 5-7 win range for a long time.

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Dolphins sign RB Chase Edmonds (2 years, $12.6 million; $6.1 million guaranteed): A Grade
I love this signing for the Dolphins. Miami had a huge hole at running back it needed to fill, and it found a capable player at the position for a cheap price on a short-term deal.

Edmonds also fits in well with Miami. Tua Tagovailoa has arm-strength limitations and throws tons of passes near the line of scrimmage. Edmonds will be a nice receiving threat for Tagovailoa out of the backfield.

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Dolphins re-sign DE Emmanuel Ogbah (4 years, $65 million): C Grade
If you ask Browns fans, Emmanuel Ogbah is a bust. He did nothing in Cleveland after being selected atop the second round in the 2016 NFL Draft. However, Ogbah has since evolved into a capable player. He has recorded nine sacks in each of the past two seasons after failing to record more than 5.5 with the Browns.

That said, I think this an overpay for a defensive lineman who has never notched double-digit sacks, and it's not like Ogbah is very young, or anything. He'll turn 29 during the 2022 season, so I think Miami could've gotten a better deal.

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Bengals sign G Alex Cappa (4 years, $40 million): B+ Grade
I don't need to tell you that this fills a huge need. Joe Burrow was on his back during the most crucial play of the Super Bowl because his offensive line couldn't hold up against the Rams' front. The Bengals had to fix the blocking no matter what this offseason, and they appear to be off to a good start.

Alex Cappa was selected in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft, but has developed extremely well. He was a stout guard with no weaknesses last year. He'll provide the Bengals with a big upgrade in the interior at a fair price, though the Bengals shouldn't be done upgrading the offensive line.

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Rams re-sign OT Joseph Noteboom (3 years, $47.5 million; $25 million guaranteed): C+ Grade
This is a huge contract for a player who was barely on the field in 2021. Joseph Noteboom started just two games, yet he received a contract worth $25 million in guarantees.

That said, the Rams have big plans for Noteboom. The 26-year-old started for an injured Andrew Whitworth at left tackle in the playoffs and performed well. Los Angeles envisions him as Whitworth's successor, so this contract makes more sense from that perspective. However, I feel like the Rams could've gotten a better deal with Noteboom, given that he was seldom utilized this past season.

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March 13 Updates

Buccaneers re-sign C Ryan Jensen (3 years, $39 million): B Grade
The big news regarding the Buccaneers is Tom Brady's decision to reverse his retirement. He's returning to the team, but his offensive line won't be the same because of Ali Marpet's retirement. Tampa Bay couldn't afford to lose Ryan Jensen as well, so this is a key re-signing.

That said, this isn't a perfect transaction because the Buccaneers have paid too much. Jensen is not one of the best centers in the NFL, yet he's getting elite center money. Still, Tampa Bay didn't have much of a choice in this regard, so I won't grade this too harshly.

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Bills re-sign WR/KR Isaiah McKenzie (2 years, $8 million): A Grade
Isaiah McKenzie hasn't gotten on the field very much offensively because of all the weapons Buffalo has on the roster. However, when there's been an injury, primarily to Cole Beasley, McKenzie has thrived. We saw that potential when McKenzie caught 11 passes for 125 yards in Week 16 at New England. McKenzie registered 74 yards of offense in the opening round of the playoffs three weeks later.

McKenzie is only 26, so I'm excited to see what he can do when he gets more of an opportunity with the offense. He'll also continue to contribute as a return specialist, so this contract is an excellent one because it's so cheap and there's both a high floor and a high ceiling.

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Cardinals re-sign TE Zach Ertz (3 years, $31.65 million; $17.5 million guaranteed): D Grade
I'm old enough to remember people speculating that Zach Ertz was done when he looked like he was running at half-speed and dropping everything in sight. Ertz had a surprise resurgence in 2021, especially after being traded to Arizona. He and Kyler Murray clicked immediately, with Ertz catching five or more passes in six of his 13 games with the Cardinals.

There are two issues with this contract, however. First, Ertz will turn 32 during the 2022 season, so he'll continue to regress in the near future. Two, big contracts to non-elite tight ends seldom end up working. Arizona doesn't have the luxury to spend big bucks due to cap constraints, so you have to question this re-signing.

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Patriots re-sign S Devin McCourty (1 year, $9 million): A+ Grade
Someone with many years of experience playing for the Patriots mulled retirement for a while, but decided today that he would be returning to the NFL for another year. I'm talking about Devin McCourty, of course. McCourty inked a 1-year deal worth $9 million to remain in New England in 2022.

How can this not be a no-brainer A+? McCourty has been one of the top safeties in the NFL. The only concern with him is his age (35), but safety is a position older athletes can continue to inhabit. Also, this is just a 1-year pact, so if McCourty regresses, New England won't be penalized very much.

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Cowboys re-sign WR Michael Gallup (5 years, $62.5 million): D Grade
The Cowboys traded away Amari Cooper because they couldn't pay him $20 million per season, yet they re-signed a lesser receiver to another big contract. Gallup won't be getting $20 million per year, but the figure is close if one important factor is considered.

The important factor is Gallup's ACL tear, which he suffered at the end of the regular season. While there's a chance Gallup could be ready for the 2022 season opener, it's likely that he won't be 100 percent until 2023. Thus, the Cowboys are effectively getting four years of Gallup for $62.5 million, which brings the annual rate to $15.63 million. That's close to Cooper's figure, and yet Gallup hasn't come close to proving that he's worth it. Sure, the upside is there, but that's a bit mitigated by the ACL tear. I assumed Dallas would get a bargain for Gallup when factoring in the injury, but apparently not.

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Vikings re-sign QB Kirk Cousins (1 year, $35 million): F Grade
Didn't the Vikings hire a new general manager this offseason? This actually happened, right? I imagine Viking fans are asking themselves this question, perhaps pinching themselves in the process to see if they're awake.

Why is the new Minnesota front office making the same mistake as the previous one? The Vikings have once again given Cousins a fully guaranteed contract. Sure, they're saving $14 million in cap space this season, but they're just digging themselves into a deeper hole, and for what? They can't advance deep into the playoffs with Cousins because he's not great enough to offset all the roster moves Minnesota had to make in order to compensate for his albatross of a contract. The Vikings would be better off moving on from him and beginning anew, yet they're just prolonging the inevitable.

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March 11 Updates

Eagles re-sign C Jason Kelce (1 year, $14 million): A+ Grade
Jason Kelce is a threat to retire every offseason. He'll be signing 1-year contracts from now until the day he decides to hang up his cleats. That day will not be this spring, as Kelce has decided to return to the Eagles for one more season.

This is obviously terrific news for Philadelphia. Kelce is 34, but he's still one of the top centers in the NFL. His retirement would've really hurt Jalen Hurts' development, so it'll help the young quarterback that he'll once again have the perennial Pro Bowl center in front of him in 2022.

This signing definitely deserves an A+ grade. Retaining Kelce is crucial, and there's no downside to this contract because it'll expire next spring.

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Raiders re-sign DE Maxx Crosby (4 years, $95 million; $53 million guaranteed): B+ Grade
Mike Mayock was guilty of so many first-round busts, but he had a great track record in the middle rounds. One of his hits was Maxx Crosby, who became one of the top edge rushers in the NFL last year. It's only natural that he received a huge contract like this.

I'm definitely in favor of the Raiders re-signing Crosby to a big-money deal. He's only 24, so he'll likely continue to improve. This isn't a bargain, so this won't be an "A" grade, but it's a great move nonetheless.

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March 8 Updates

Titans re-sign DE/OLB Harold Landry (5 years, $87.5 million; $52.5 million guaranteed): B+ Grade
The Titans signed Bud Dupree last offseason, but it was Harold Landry who made the biggest impact as an edge rusher. Landry, a second-round pick from the 2018 NFL Draft, is coming off his best year as a pro. He recorded 12 sacks, so given that he won't even be 26 until the summer, he was due for a huge contract.

This is a reasonable deal for Landry. He's becoming one of the better edge rushers in the NFL, and he's only entering his prime. He should be an even greater producer for the Titans in the next five years than he was last season. This signing should be graded highly as a result. I preserve "A" grades for great bargains, so this will be marked as a B+.

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Chargers re-sign WR Mike Williams (3 years, $60 million): B Grade
It's not a surprise that Mike Williams had his best year as a pro in 2021. When the Chargers upgraded their offensive line, Justin Herbert would have more time to find Williams downfield for huge gains. Williams responded with a 1,146-yard campaign that featured nine touchdowns.

Williams is a dynamic play-maker, and the Chargers did well to re-sign him. It seems like the Chargers are buying at the top, but that's OK because Williams is 27 and should be able to play at a high level for the next 4-6 years. I have one concern, and that would be Williams' injury track record. Otherwise, this is a good deal for all parties.

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Packers re-sign QB Aaron Rodgers (4 years, $200 million; $153 million guaranteed): B+ Grade
So much for Jordan Love! Aaron Rodgers will be returning to Green Bay for four more years, and in doing so, he'll be the highest-paid player in NFL history in the wake of this contract that gives him $153 million over just four seasons.

The Packers needed to retain Rodgers to remain relevant; Love has looked terrible in limited action, so Green Bay would have been much worse with him at the helm. Rodgers will allow the Packers to easily contend for a Super Bowl appearance, given how bad the NFC has become. With Tom Brady retired, and the Rams and Cowboys enduring unfavorable cap situations, Green Bay will be the favorite to win the NFC.

The one issue with this deal is the long-term cap ramifications. Rodgers' cap number will be lower in 2022, but by 2024, it'll be gargantuan. The Packers will likely implode in a few years as a result of this contract, but that's the price of giving themselves a chance to win another Super Bowl. Hopefully, for Rodgers' sake, Green Bay spends a high draft pick on a receiver in that time frame.

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Feb. 25 Updates

Panthers re-sign TE Ian Thomas (3 years, $16.5 million; $8 million guaranteed): D Grade
Matt Rhule styles himself as the Jay-Z of NFL head coaches, but this is a Silkk the Shocker-type move. There's no way Ian Thomas deserved anything close to this sum of money.

Thomas hasn't logged more than 20 catches in any season since his rookie campaign. He's a good blocker, but blocking tight ends grow on trees. The Panthers could find a much cheaper option who could give them the same production.

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Feb. 17 Updates

Panthers re-sign DE/OLB Frankie Luvu (2 years, $9 million): B Grade
Frankie Luvu is far from an every-down player for the Panthers. He was on the field for about a quarter of the defensive snaps last year, and he also thrived on special teams. However, he performed well when given the chance, recording 1.5 sacks in just 71 pass-rushing snaps.

This is a fair contract for Luvu. He has never tallied more than three sacks in a single season, but he's just 25 and has potential.

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