NFL Free Agent Signing Grades – Latest Signing Grades for 2024 NFL Free Agency

Rhamondre Stevenson

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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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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: June 20 Updates



Patriots Patriots re-sign RB Rhamondre Stevenson (4 years, $36 million): C- Grade


There is no way this signing can be graded favorably. There have been far too many cheap running back signings this offseason for New England to earn a high grade. For instance, Aaron Jones signed a 1-year, $7 million contract with Minnesota, while the Redskins brought in Austin Ekeler for two years and $11.4 million.

Other teams have spent big bucks on running backs. Doing so with an elite player at the position like Saquon Barkley or Josh Jacobs is understandable, but Rhamondre Stevenson doesn’t belong in that pantheon. Stevenson is a solid runner with quality receiving skills, but there’s no way he’s worth $9 million per season. Furthermore, Stevenson was retained for four years, which is a long time for any running back. Todd Gurley was nearly Super Bowl MVP at 24, and he was out of the league by 27. A lot can happen with running backs, so signing them to long-term deals like this is not wise.

One thing that must be considered here is that the Patriots have plenty of cap space because they have a rookie quarterback under contract. The conclusion of this contract will coincide with that of Drake Maye’s rookie deal. However, New England is still squandering resources to help improve the supporting cast around Maye with this bloated contract.

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: June 13 Updates



Dolphins Dolphins sign DT Calais Campbell: A+ Grade


The Dolphins lost some very key personnel in the front seven this offseason. While adding Calais Campbell won’t completely make up for all the departures, it’s a transaction that will ease the pain by giving Miami a needed force in the interior of the defensive line.

Campbell will replace the Las Vegas-bound Christian Wilkins. He won’t quite match his production – Campbell had 6.5 sacks last year, while Wilkins had nine – but he’s a fine replacement for the short term. He’s also cheap, so there’s no downside.

By the way, this is another major blow for the Falcons. It was assumed that Campbell would re-sign with the team, but after losing out on Laiatu Latu in favor of Michael Penix, the Falcons also lost a key defensive lineman. Aside from the signing of Kirk Cousins, which could backfire if he’s not 100 percent, this has been a miserable offseason for Atlanta.

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Jaguars Jaguars re-sign QB Trevor Lawrence (5 years, $275 million; $200 million guaranteed): B+ Grade


I’ve seen people react to this by saying that Trevor Lawrence will be making too much money. Others are calling this a steal. The truth is somewhere in the middle.

This sum of money may seem like a lot for a quarterback with a losing record and just one playoff victory. However, Lawrence is extremely talented and has a ton of potential. He has yet to fully realize it because of Urban Meyer ruining his rookie year and a multitude of injuries derailing his third season. This could be the year that Lawrence breaks out and leads his team to the Super Bowl, which would make the financial terms of this contract seem much more reasonable.

I’m giving the Jaguars a B+ for this move. This signing is nowhere close to being a bargain, but it’s a necessary one, as Jacksonville would become one of the worst teams in the NFL if it allowed Lawrence to walk.

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: June 3 Updates



Vikings Vikings re-sign WR Justin Jefferson (4 years, $140 million): B+ Grade


If you were to compile a list of players who deserve more money than any non-quarterback in the NFL, Justin Jefferson’s name would be near the top. As it so happens, Jefferson will be the highest-paid non-quarterback in league history, as he’ll earn $140 million overall and $110 million in guarantees.

Jefferson is arguably the best receiver and perhaps even the top offensive play-maker in the NFL. He’s only 24, yet he’s already generated 392 catches, 5,899 yards and 30 touchdowns. What’s scary is that given his age, he could continue to improve. The Vikings will be getting Jefferson at the top of his game throughout the duration of this deal.

I can’t give this a grade in the “A” range because it’s not a bargain. Plus, there are downsides like injuries. However, it’s hard to argue against this move otherwise.

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: May 30 Updates



Dolphins Dolphins re-sign WR Jaylen Waddle (3 years, $84.75 million): B+ Grade


I’ve seen many people consider this an overpay, which has me confused. Jayden Waddle is an exceptional receiver who would be a No. 1 option on most teams. He’s not the top receiver on his own team because of Tyreek Hill, but Hill just turned 30 and has stated that he doesn’t plan on playing beyond the expiration of his contract. Also, we just saw Nico Collins be awarded $72 million over the same term. How is Waddle not worth $4 million more per season than Collins?

This contract is worth a solid B+ grade. It’s not a bargain, so the grade won’t be in the “A” range, but I like this move better than the Collins re-signing. Waddle is an extremely talented weapon who happens to be critical to Miami’s success.

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: May 29 Updates



Texans Texans re-sign WR Nico Collins (3 years, $72 million): B Grade


I understand the criticisms of this deal. Nico Collins is a 1-year wonder, so a $72 million contract is very risky. Also, it’s fair to speculate whether or not Collins ever would have been so productive if C.J. Stroud were a mediocre or worse quarterback. There have been many instances of great quarterbacking turning average wideouts into terrific producers, and this could be another example of that.

However, Stroud allows the Texans to do something like this. He’s playing on a rookie contract, so Houston has tons of money to spend over the next three years. Why not retain a receiver with whom Stroud has great chemistry? By the time Stroud is in line for a massive deal, the Texans can allow Collins to walk if he doesn’t live up to expectations, so there isn’t as much downside to this contract as one may think.

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: May 14 Updates



Lions Lions re-sign QB Jared Goff (4 years, $212 million; $170 million guaranteed): B Grade


I enjoyed reading the reactions to this signing. One group believes that this is a tremendous move, as retaining Jared Goff will allow the Lions to win a Super Bowl in the next few years. The other faction laughed at this contract, citing that it’s way too much money for a game manager.

I believe the truth is somewhere in between. Goff is obviously much more than a game manager, but it’s also fair to criticize the terms of the deal. This is a ton of money for a non-elite quarterback, so I can’t grade this in the “A” range. However, Goff has certainly made some strides since the Lions acquired him, and he’s an instrumental piece to Detroit’s Super Bowl aspirations, so a “B” grade seems correct.

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: May 10 Updates



Cardinals Cardinals sign WR Zay Jones (1 year, $4.25 million): A- Grade


The Jaguars deemed Zay Jones to be expendable when they drafted Brian Thomas Jr. in the first round of April’s draft. Jones had a strong 2022 season, but dealt with so many injuries last year, so it’s not a surprise he was cut.

Jones can still be a solid contributor if he can get over his injuries, so I like this signing. The Cardinals also used an opening-round selection on a receiver, but they don’t have any sort of depth behind their top three wideouts: Marvin Harrion Jr., Michael Wilson, and Greg Dortch. Jones figures to be Wilson’s direct backup, so he also provides some insurance for Wilson in case the second-year player can’t take the next step.

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: May 8 Updates



Titans Titans sign WR Tyler Boyd (1 year, $4.5 million): A Grade


Tyler Boyd must have been excited entering free agency because he would be able to prove that he can be a No. 2 receiver after serving as the third option in Cincinnati. Well, unfortunately for Boyd, he’ll continue to be the No. 3 receiver in Tennessee, ceding targets to Calvin Ridley and DeAndre Hopkins.

Despite Boyd’s lateral move, this is a great signing for the Titans. They didn’t have any proven depth behind Ridley and Hopkins, and now they do with Boyd. This is a cheap, low-risk contract, and Tennessee will have Boyd trying his hardest because he’ll be playing on a prove-it deal.

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: May 3 Updates



Dolphins Dolphins sign WR Odell Beckham Jr. (1 year, $8.25 million): A- Grade


Odell Beckham Jr. is obviously not the same player he once was with the Giants and Rams. A torn ACL he suffered in the Super Bowl ravaged his career, and the fact that he turns 32 soon isn’t helping. Still, there’s a good chance he’ll be able to help Miami this season.

While Beckham isn’t close to the dynamic No. 1 receiver we once knew, he still made some big plays for the Ravens last year. He wasn’t able to be a full-time player – he was on the field for 40-50 percent of the snaps – but he would make a big play or two every other week. With Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle drawing so much attention, there will be more opportunities for Beckham.

I like this signing. There isn’t that much risk with a 1-year deal, and it fills a need for receiving depth.

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Bills Bills sign WR Chase Claypool and LB Deion Jones (1 year): B- Grade


The Bills signed a couple of players to 1-year deals. I’ll group them together, as the moves both deserve B- grades.

Chase Claypool once had a ton of promise, and one could argue that he still does at just 26 (as of July). However, there are negatives to Claypool as well, given that he’s caused some problems in the locker room. There’s a chance he could disrupt Buffalo’s chemistry, so there is some risk to signing him. As for Deion Jones, he’s completely washed up. He had a great start to his career, but numerous injuries have sapped his talent.

In the end, neither signing will be very relevant to Buffalo’s success. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if both players failed to make the final 53-man roster.

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Chargers Chargers sign WR D.J. Chark (1 year, $5 million): B Grade


The Chargers had two very injury-prone receivers for several years. They’re both gone now, so the Chargers went and signed … a very injury-prone receiver. And this one isn’t nearly as good as the two departed players.

D.J. Chark began his career with a bang, but has fizzled since. He’s had major trouble staying healthy. He also wasn’t very productive last year, but in fairness, he was paired with the abysmal Bryce Young. Perhaps Chark can revive his career with the Chargers, but it’s more likely that he’ll spend time on the injury report.

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: April 29 Updates



Chiefs Chiefs re-sign TE Travis Kelce (2 years, $34.25 million): B Grade


Travis Kelce looked washed up during the regular season. He dropped tons of passes, so perhaps he was distracted with his new lifestyle. Whatever bothered him went away for the playoffs, as Kelce dominated like his former self.

If Kelce continues to perform like he did in the postseason, this will be seen as a great signing. However, there are reasons to be skeptical. Kelce could continue to be distracted, and he turns 35 soon, so he may regress. I don’t blame the Chiefs for giving Kelce this contract, but I can’t get to a B+.

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Cowboys Cowboys sign RB Ezekiel Elliott: B Grade


Many in the media criticized the Cowboys for not drafting a running back in the wake of Tony Pollard’s departure. Re-signing Ezekiel Elliott was always the fallback option, and that’s what Dallas did two days after the draft concluded.

Ian Rapoport called Elliott a “weapon” when he re-signed with the Cowboys. This weapon averaged only 3.5 yards per carry with the Patriots last year, though he did catch a high number of passes. Elliott can be a third-down back at this stage of his career, but he’s been washed up for a while. This is a deal that is likely for very little, so I can’t hate this signing, but it’s hard to feel optimistic about it either.

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Raiders Raiders sign WR Michael Gallup (1 year, $3 million): B+ Grade


The Raiders drafted Brock Bowers No. 13 overall, but they were still in need of one more weapon because they lost Hunter Renfrow. Receiving depth had to be acquired, and the Raiders did that by signing Michael Gallup.

This is a fine move. Gallup got off to a strong start in his career, but has faded recently as a result of injuries. Gallup, however, is 28, so there’s still a chance that he returns to how he played in his early days. If not, the Raiders won’t lose much with this 1-year, $3 million contract.

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Patriots Patriots re-sign DT Christian Barmore (4 years, $92 million): B Grade


Based on the talent alone, Christian Barmore is worth this expensive contract. Barmore hasn’t even turned 25, and yet he’s established himself as a dynamic pass-rushing presence in the interior of New England’s defensive line. Given how young he is, he could continue to improve his game.

This is not a bargain, however, so I can’t give the Patriots an “A” grade. I’m also hesitant to go with a B+ because Barmore spent some time nursing injuries in the past. He’s also a larger defensive linemen, and those sort of players have busted in the past after receiving contracts like this. That doesn’t mean Barmore will, but history is against him.

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Eagles Eagles sign OT Mekhi Becton (1 year, $5.5 million): A- Grade


Mekhi Becton was a colossal bust for the Jets, who chose him instead of other talented tackles in his class. Becton always had upside, but struggled to keep his weight under control.

Despite Becton performing poorly with the Jets, I like this signing. The Eagles didn’t address tackle in the 2024 NFL Draft, and yet they needed to with Lane Johnson now being 34. They could develop Becton, who is still young enough (25) to turn his career around. There’s a ton of upside with this move, and not too much downside with it being just a 1-year deal.

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: April 25 Updates



Eagles Eagles re-sign WR A.J. Brown (3 years, $96 million): B+ Grade


I’m going to say the same thing about A.J. Brown that I did with Amon-Ra St. Brown. This was a necessary move, but I can’t grade it in the “A” range because it’s not a bargain. Brown is a terrific receiver, but $96 million for just three years is a ton for anyone. Still, Brown is crucial to Philadelphia’s success, so this signing can’t be graded poorly either.

By the way, why didn’t the Eagles wait until after the draft to announce this? It’s like they wanted to sweep it under the rug for some reason. I’m lucky I caught it, or I would have missed this grade.

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: April 24 Updates



Lions Lions re-sign OT Penei Sewell (4 years, $112 million) and Amon-Ra St. Brown (4 years, $120 million): B+ Grade


The Lions handed nearly a quarter of a billion dollars today to two of their players, as Amon-Ra St. Brown and Penei Sewell were both re-signed to 4-year deals. Both contracts will earn a B+.

I’m grouping these signings together because they’re so similar. The moves can’t be graded in the “A” range because they’re not bargains, but the Lions were wise to retain two of the cornerstones of their franchise for the next four years.

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: April 18 Updates



Chargers Chargers sign RB J.K. Dobbins (1 year): A- Grade


The Chargers apparently loved Baltimore’s running back rotation. About a month after signing Gus Edwards, the Chargers also added J.K. Dobbins. If Justice Hill were available, I’m sure he’d be added as well.

Of course, it makes sense because both Dobbins and Edwards know offensive coordinator Greg Roman coached them in Baltimore. I like this signing because the Chargers are buying low. Dobbins has talent, but he has suffered so many injuries throughout his career, including a torn ACL and a torn Achilles. However, he’s still young enough (25) to rebound and have a solid career. If he continues to get hurt, the Chargers won’t be penalized at all.

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: April 15 Updates



Eagles Eagles re-sign WR DeVonta Smith (3 years, $75 million): A- Grade


This may seem like a lot of money for DeVonta Smith at first glance until you remember all the bizarre contracts given to receivers this offseason. Both Gabe Davis and Darnell Mooney obtained 3-year deals worth $39 million. By comparison, this looks like a steal.

While Smith isn’t as dominant of a receiver as A.J. Brown, he has proven that he can post WR1-type numbers when Brown is sidelined with an injury. Smith is also just 25, so there’s plenty of room for growth. Re-signing him was a no-brainer for Philadelphia.

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Colts Colts re-sign DT DeForest Bucker (2 years, $46 million): A Grade


DeForest Buckner has been a dominant force for the Colts ever since they traded for him ahead of the 2020 NFL season. He’s coming off back-to-back eight-sack seasons and hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. Buckner turned 30 this offseason, but he should still be able to perform at a very high level for the next two seasons.

With that in mind, this is an excellent contract for Buckner. A 2-year deal doesn’t provide much risk, and Buckner will be very useful for the Colts as they attempt to reach the playoffs with their second-year quarterback.

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: April 10 Updates



Jaguars Jaguars re-sign DE/OLB Josh Allen (5 years, $150 million): B Grade


It can’t be a surprise that Josh Allen received a mega contract like this. Allen is coming off a 17.5-sack campaign and was a rare bright spot on a defense that really struggled to stop the pass. Allen was franchised earlier in the offseason, but he and the team reached an agreement on a 5-year pact.

There’s nothing bad I can say about Allen, who is a terror for opposing quarterbacks. However, I can’t grade this signing in the “A” range because it’s certainly no bargain. I also would have preferred a 4-year deal because Allen will be 31 in the final year of this contract. That’s not a huge deal because he’ll either be extended again or cut/traded by then anyway, but the fifth year still adds risk.

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: April 7 Updates



Patriots Patriots re-sign S Kyle Dugger (4 years, $58 million): MILLEN Grade


I thought we were done with the Millen grades. Most key players have been re-signed, so I didn’t expect anything worse than a rare “D” grade. Fortunately, we’ve been blessed with one more Millen this offseason.

I can only assume that the Patriots have not been paying attention to anything that has been going on this offseason. The safety market has been completely diminished, as we’ve seen deals like:

Rams sign S Kamren Curl (2 years, $13 million)
Buccaneers sign S Jordan Whitehead (2 years, $10 million)
Colts re-sign S Julian Blackmon (1 year, $7.7 million)
Steelers sign S DeShon Elliott (2 years, $6 million)
Panthers sign S Jordan Fuller (1 year, $5.25 million)
Jordan Poyer signed with Dolphins (1 year, $2 million)

All of these safeties were rated as three-star free agents, with the exception of Jordan Whitehead, who was designated with 3.5 stars. These are Dugger’s peers, with Dugger being a three-star free agent as well. If all these players were signed to cheap deals, why wasn’t Dugger? It’s not even like Dugger is super young and has loads of potential; he’s 28, so he’ll be 30-plus for half this contract. Also, Dugger isn’t even coming off a great year, so why did New England give him all of this money?

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: April 6 Updates



Chiefs Chiefs re-sign DE Mike Danna (3 years, $24 million): A Grade


It was surprising to see Mike Danna last on the open market for so long. Danna is a young (26) and talented pass rusher with plenty of potential. He tends to get pushed around in run support, but in a pass-heavy league, Danna is more valuable than he would have been 20 years ago.

This is an excellent deal for the Chiefs. Danna should have earned more from a team desperate to improve their pass rush. Kansas City won’t complain, as it’ll retain a young player with lots of upside.

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: April 5 Updates



Panthers Panthers re-sign DT Derrick Brown (4 years, $96 million): B Grade


Derrick Brown is a tremendous player. He’s one of the best run-stuffing defensive tackles in the NFL, and he also produces more pressure on the quarterback than his sack numbers would indicate. Based on his past production, as well as his age (26) and potential, he’s worth every penny of this contract.

Despite this, I can’t go above a “B” grade. There’s a dubious history of large defensive linemen receiving big contracts like this and then busting because once they get fat and happy, it’s much tougher for them to get into shape. This doesn’t mean that Brown will be fat and happy, but history is not on his side.

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: April 4 Updates



Bills Bills sign OT La’el Collins (1 year, $6.25 million): B+ Grade


And now we know why the Bills traded Stefon Diggs. I’m joking, of course, but I still like this signing because it has some upside and no risk.

La’el Collins was once seen as one of the best right tackles in the NFL. That quickly changed in recent years. He struggled through injuries in Cincinnati, one of which was a torn ACL he suffered late in 2022. He missed all of 2023 as a result. Collins may never perform like he did with the Cowboys – he turns 31 this summer – but there’s a chance he can rebound a bit and serve as a quality fill-in for an injured player on Buffalo’s offensive line. If not, then the Bills aren’t exactly going to be punished for making this move.

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Eagles Eagles re-sign OT Jordan Mailata (3 years, $66 million): A Grade


It’s hard to believe that the Eagles once wasted a first-round pick on Andre Dillard when they had both Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata on the roster. Then again, Mailata was just a seventh-round pick with loads of potential back then. Mailata exceeded all expectations, becoming a Pro Bowl-caliber left tackle.

Mailata deserves every penny of this deal. In fact, I’d argue that he should have received more. The fact that Mailata didn’t obtain a contract worth something close to nine figures means that the Eagles were able to get a great bargain.

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: April 3 Updates



Colts Colts re-sign S Julian Blackmon (1 year, $7.7 million): A Grade


Poor Julian Blackmon. Well, not literally poor because $7.7 million is a substantial amount of money most people will ever see, but he would get much more than that in a friendlier market for safeties. Players at that position have gotten far less than what they’re used to this offseason because there’s too much supply compared to the lacking demand.

I’ve graded most of these cheap safety signings favorably, and this one is no different. Blackmon is coming off his best season, so it’s great that the Colts were able to re-sign him to such a low-risk contract.

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Chiefs Chiefs sign QB Carson Wentz (1 year): A Grade


The Chiefs will be hoping that this ends up being a meaningless signing, as that will ensure that Patrick Mahomes won’t miss any time due to injury. However, as the Eagles learned when they had Carson Wentz as their starting quarterback, it’s important to have a viable insurance policy.

Kansas City appears to be in good hands if Mahomes were to miss action. Wentz has had some down moments in previous years, but he has rededicated himself to football. He watched film with Jon Gruden and then spent time learning from Sean McVay. His education will continue under Andy Reid, who will be able to get the most out of Wentz, should the situation arise.

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: March 29 Updates



Jaguars Jaguars re-sign LB Foye Oluokun (3 years, $45 million): B+ Grade


It wasn’t too long ago that Foye Oluokun was seen as a mediocre player with the Falcons. He signed with the Jaguars ahead of the 2022 season, and his career took off. He was exceptional last year, making tremendous improvements in coverage.

This is a lot of money for an off-ball linebacker, but Oluokun has earned it with his great recent play. I won’t grade this signing in the “A” range because it’s not a bargain, but a B+ is in order for an excellent linebacker in his prime.

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: March 28 Updates



Broncos Broncos sign WR Josh Reynolds (2 years, $14 million): D Grade


I could maybe understand this signing if the 2024 NFL Draft wide receiver class didn’t project to be very good. I still wouldn’t be a fan of the move, but I could perhaps at least get it a little bit. Given the circumstances, however, this is a rather poor signing.

I don’t understand what the Broncos are thinking. Reynolds is just an inconsistent deep threat. Someone like him doesn’t deserve $7 million per year. Yes, the Broncos need receiver help, but there are so many talented wideouts that will be available in the 2024 NFL Draft. Why sign Reynolds now?

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: March 27 Updates



Panthers Panthers sign DE/OLB Jadeveon Clowney (2 years, $20 million): D Grade


Jadeveon Clowney has been incredibly inconsistent throughout his career. He’s had moments where he has looked brilliant, but there have been far too many games – and even seasons – where he has been a lackluster player.

Clowney is coming off a tremendous season in Baltimore, so I’m not surprised to see him earn a contract worth $10 million per season. However, that was in Baltimore, where Clowney played in a strong locker room for a great team. He’ll experience the opposite in Carolina, so I question if he’ll be motivated. This seems like a situation in which an aging player is cashing out, so I doubt Carolina will get what it’s paying for.

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: March 26 Updates



Rams Rams sign CB Tre’Davious White (1 year, $8.5 million): B+ Grade


The Rams lost Aaron Donald to retirement this offseason, so their secondary needs to be much better than it was before to offset the diminished pass rush that Donald would have otherwise provided. Signing Tre’Davious White seems to be a decent decision, though there are some risks.

Of course, a 1-year deal will never have too much downside, but it still contains $8.5 million that the Rams won’t be able to roll over into next offseason. Also, White has an extensive track record of injuries. He’s still a talented player, however, and he can be excellent when healthy, but there’s no guarantee that will happen. Still, it’s worth a shot for the Rams, who needed to do something to counter Donald’s retirement.

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Steelers Steelers sign KR Cordarrelle Patterson (2 years, $6 million): A/F Grade


There are two grades for this signing, yet they couldn’t be further apart. This is probably an “A” transaction, but it could be a failure. Confused? I’ll explain.

I like how the Steelers reacted to the kickoff rule changes. For those of you who have not heard, touchbacks have been all but outlawed by the NFL because teams will gain possession from the 35 in the event of one. Returns will be far more common, which makes someone like Cordarrelle Patterson far more important. Patterson is no longer a viable running back, but he’s still an electric kickoff returner.

However, we must consider Arthur Smith. The former Falcons head coach notoriously gave lesser players touches over Bijan Robinson, and that includes Patterson. If Smith decides that Patterson deserves the ball over Najee Harris and/or Jaylen Warren, then this will look like a Millen-type signing.

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Lions Lions sign G Kevin Zeitler (1 year, $6 million): A Grade


At long last, we finally have the Kevin Zeitler contract details. I’ve been asked by several Lions fans to grade this contract, but we haven’t had the terms until now. We knew it was a 1-year deal, but was it worth $5 or $15 million?

Zeitler’s contract is on the lower end, which means this signing will earn a high mark. Signing Zeitler was important in the wake of the Jonah Jackson departure, as Detroit will be able to maintain its dominant blocking for a great price. Zeitler’s 34, so there could be some regression, but any risk is mitigated by the terms of this contract.

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: March 23 Updates



Seahawks Seahawks sign LB Tyrel Dodson (1 year, $4.2 million): A+ Grade


I just graded Cleveland’s Devin Bush signing underneath this one. The man who will replace Bush is Tyrel Dodson, who signed a similar contract. Dodson was added for a 1-year “prove it” deal worth $4.2 million instead of $1.5 million.

I was fine with the Bush signing. Yet, I love this one. I don’t understand why Dodson signed for so little despite coming off such a great season. Granted, he doesn’t have much starting experience, but he was stellar down the stretch in 2023. Provided this wasn’t a fluke, the Seahawks will really benefit from Dodson’s high level of play.

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Browns Browns sign LB Devin Bush (1 year, $1.5 million): B Grade


It was almost five years ago when the Steelers traded up from No. 20 to 10 in the NFL Draft to select a prospect they believed to be the perfect replacement for Ryan Shazier. Devin Bush, however, was not that player. He last four seasons with the Steelers before being removed. He went on to the Seahawks to have a forgettable 2023 campaign.

Bush still has some upside because he’s a former first-round pick and is also still just 25 years old. Perhaps he’ll be a late bloomer. It’s more likely that he’ll continue to give mediocre-at-best snaps in the NFL. I don’t mind the Browns taking a chance, but it wouldn’t shock me if Bush didn’t make the 53-man roster.

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: March 22 Updates



Lions Lions sign CB Amik Robertson (2 years, $9.25 million): B+ Grade


I was asked via e-mail why I haven’t graded the Lions’ signings of Amik Robertson and Kevin Zeitler. We don’t have contract details for Zeitler, but Robertson’s deal of $9.25 million over two years can be graded.

The reason I didn’t grade Robertson right away was because I graded him as a 1.5-star free agent, but after reevaluating, I think I was a bit too low on him. Robertson is a young player (25) and is coming off his best year. He was inconsistent, but had some bright moments. I like this signing because there’s upside. Also, this is cheating, but the Cameron Sutton release makes this look better.

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NFL Free Agent Signing Grades: March 21 Updates



Browns Browns re-sign WR Jerry Jeudy (3 years, $58 million): D Grade


I understand the Browns trading for Jerry Jeudy. They surrendered only two third-day picks, with neither selection even being in the fourth round. It was a nice buy-low opportunity for Jeudy, who struggled in 2023.

This contract, however, is ridiculous. What has Jeudy done to warrant a deal worth nearly $20 million per season? He had a hot streak at the end of 2022, but has otherwise been a huge disappointment. He still has upside, so I don’t think this contract should be a Millen grade, but it’s pretty close.

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March 20 Updates

Rams Rams sign QB Jimmy Garoppolo (1 year, $4.5 million): B+ Grade
Meet Sean McVay’s latest reclamation project. Jimmy Garoppolo signed a huge deal with the Raiders, but was a predictable, colossal bust. After a lackluster effort against the Lions on a Monday night, Garoppolo was benched in favor of Aidan O’Connell for the rest of the year.

There’s a decent chance McVay will be able to get the most out of Garoppolo. He’s a brilliant coach who revived Baker Mayfield’s career and then had Carson Wentz performing well in his only start in 2023. McVay could work his magic with Garoppolo, who could see action in 2024 because of Matthew Stafford’s durability issues. Of course, this could fail if Garoppolo continues to put forth no effort, but this signing is not much of a gamble.

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March 19 Updates

Vikings Vikings sign CB Shaq Griffin (1 year, $6 million): A- Grade
Shaq Griffin has had an up-and-down career thus far. He’s had some brilliant moments, and even entire seasons, yet he’s endured some horrible stretches as well. He was so bad in Houston last year that he was released.

Perhaps the trend will continue, and Griffin’s down year will propel him to a rebound season. Griffin is still in his 20s (29 in July), so it’s not like he’s definitely on the downside of his career. I like the Vikings taking a chance on him on a low-risk deal to help improve their woeful secondary.

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Jets Jets sign WR Mike Williams (1 year, $15 million): B+ Grade
This signing is very similar to the Tyron Smith acquisition. Smith is a great talent who is a major risk who can’t stay healthy. However, the Jets, who have Super Bowl aspirations, were correct to sign him to a 1-year deal because they’re the sort of team that should be taking on that risk.

Williams is also a great talent who is a major injury risk. He has even greater medical red flags than Smith because he’s coming off a torn ACL. If I were the Jets, I’d put him in bubble wrap until Thanksgiving and then unleash him in the final month of the season. Williams is very likely to injure another part of his lower body if he returns early. However, the Jets are going all in, so taking a chance like this makes a lot of sense.

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Cardinals Cardinals sign C Evan Brown (1 year, $2.35 million): A- Grade
The Cardinals added Jonah Williams earlier in free agency to help with Kyler Murray’s protection. Arizona couldn’t possibly be done, however, as the team needs an elite blocking unit in front of Murray because he hasn’t played a full season yet in his career.

Evan Brown will help. Brown has proven himself to be a capable center. Ideally, he’d be a great backup, but he can be a starter who isn’t a liability. Arizona needed someone like this, even if it plans to draft a center at some point next month.

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March 18 Updates

49ers 49ers sign QB Josh Dobbs (1 year, $2.25 million): A Grade
We’ve seen backup quarterbacks signed for as much as $10 million this offseason. In fact, it was San Francisco’s former backup, Sam Darnold, who was inked to a 1-year, $10 million contract with the Vikings. Given how expensive some of the reserve quarterbacks have been, this is a steal by comparison.

Dobbs doesn’t have tons of experience, but he had some bright moments last year. His best game was when he stepped in for the Vikings and beat the Falcons despite not knowing the playbook at all. Dobbs was also guilty of some bad decision-making at times, but he showed the capability of being a solid No. 2 quarterback. In fact, I don’t think he’s much worse than Darnold, yet there’s nearly an $8 million gap between the two players.

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Broncos Broncos sign LB Cody Barton (1 year, $4 million): A- Grade
The Broncos saw their defense regress substantially in recent years when Josey Jewell was out of the lineup. That phenomenon would now be permanent in the wake of Jewell signing with the Panthers, so Denver had to find a viable replacement.

Cody Barton isn’t as good as Jewell, but he showed some promise last year. Barton played well in coverage for the Redskins in 2023. He’s also 27, so there’s still some room for improvement. The upside isn’t immense, but Barton is a solid signing at a cheap price.

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Bills Bills re-sign CB Taron Johnson (3 years, $31 million): B+ Grade
Kenny Moore became the highest-paid slot cornerback earlier in the offseason, but that didn’t last very long. Taron Johnson now holds that distinction, edging out Moore by $1 million.

I graded the Moore signing as a B+, and I have similar thoughts about this move. Like Moore, Johnson is a terrific slot cornerback. He deserves this compensation. However, I won’t go above a B+ because this deal is not a bargain.

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Saints Saints sign DE Chase Young (1 year, $13 million): D Grade
There’s a lot not to like about this signing. The only positive is that it feels a need; New Orleans wanted an edge rusher in the 2023 NFL Draft, but the prospect it wanted, Myles Murphy, was plucked off the board one pick earlier. Adding Chase Young finally addresses that need.

However, there are so many negatives. First of all, the Saints continue to spin their wheels into mediocre oblivion. Acquiring Young will make them better, but not nearly good enough to win a playoff game. New Orleans should be tanking, if anything. Second, Young isn’t as good as he was billed to be coming out of college. He’s had some bright moments, but he’s been a disappointment overall. And third, this is way too much money for such an overrated player. Young probably deserved about half as much.

Speaking of money, the $13 million is fully guaranteed, so the Saints won’t be able to roll anything over into next offseason, further hindering their cap situation. A team on the verge of a Super Bowl could have made this move without nearly as much criticism, but a mediocre team like he Saints has no business doing something like this.

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Patriots Patriots sign WR K.J. Osborn (1 year, $4 million): B+ Grade
K.J. Osborn is a mediocre receiver who tends to make one too many mistakes. And yet, he could be one of the top receivers on New England’s roster next year. That’s the sad state of New England’s wideout group.

This is a decent signing. Not only does Osborn help a horrible receiving corps, but he has some upside. This contract is just a 1-year agreement worth $4 million, so it’s not like there’s any risk involved.

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Browns Browns sign QB Tyler Huntley (1 year): A Grade
Didn’t the Browns just sign Jameis Winston to be Deshaun Watson’s backup? While that did happen, I’m in favor of Cleveland signing Tyler Huntley for multiple reasons.

First of all, there’s no harm in making this move because it’s for the veteran minimum. Second, Watson is coming off shoulder surgery, while Winston isn’t exactly the most stable backup. Having someone else in the quarterback room as an insurance policy could be beneficial. Third, Huntley is still young (26) and has shown some upside. And fourth, Huntley is a former Raven, so he may have some insight into his old team to help Cleveland beat them.

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March 17 Updates

Chargers Chargers sign LB Denzel Perryman (1 year, $3 million): A Grade
Denzel Perryman began his career with the Chargers, and he might end it there. He signed with his original team on a 1-year, $3 million deal, which looks like an excellent signing.

Perryman isn’t a very good player when it comes to coverage, but as a linebacker in run support, he’s top notch. The Chargers needed someone like him in the wake of Eric Kendricks’ departure, and Perryman is a perfect (and cheap) replacement.

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March 16 Updates

Jets Seahawks sign LB Jerome Baker (1 year, $7 million): A+ Grade
The Seahawks lost a pair of starting linebackers this offseason, with Bobby Wagner and Jordyn Brooks departing. They had a huge hole at the position as a result, prompting them to make this move.

If Jerome Baker can remain healthy, he’ll be an upgrade over what Seattle had last year. Baker is excellent in coverage, and he’s 27, so he’s not old like Wagner. The Dolphins sorely missed Baker late last season when he got hurt, and now the Seahawks will stand to benefit from his presence on a low-risk deal.

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March 15 Updates

Jets Jets sign OT Tyron Smith (1 year, $20 million): B+ Grade
Assuming Aaron Rodgers is not off campaigning somewhere, he has to be pleased with this signing. The Jets had a miserable offensive line last year, so even if Rodgers had remained healthy, New York didn’t have a chance of doing much in the playoffs because of its severe blocking issues. Repairing the offensive front was the top priority this offseason.

Tyron Smith will be a huge upgrade, provided he remains healthy. Smith is 33, but can still perform on a high level. Unfortunately for Smith, he hasn’t been able to stay on the field consistently ever since the infamous bulging “disc” incident. He’s a major risk, but this is a 1-year contract, so despite it being worth $20 million, it won’t be the end of the world if Smith fails in New York. Also, it helps that the Jets are a Super Bowl contender; if this were an average team signing Smith under these terms, I’d hate the move.

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Panthers Panthers sign S Jordan Fuller (1 year, $5.25 million): A Grade
The cheap safety signings continue! This time, the Panthers are getting a player at the position at a dirt-cheap price, signing Jordan Fuller to a 1-year contract worth $5.25 million.

Fuller is a talented safety who thrives in run support. This is exactly what the Panthers need because they’ve struggled against the rush for many years. Fuller will help, but even if he doesn’t, Carolina isn’t risking anything by signing him.

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Packers Packers re-sign RB A.J. Dillon (1 year, $2.74 million): D Grade
If you told me after the playoff game against Dallas that the Packers would have cut Aaron Jones and kept A.J. Dillon this offseason, I would have had you committed. Yet, this is how things have unfolded in our crazy timeline.

I don’t understand Green Bay’s obsession with Dillon. He’s one of the least-efficient runners in the NFL. He had a chance to prove himself last year when Aaron Jones got hurt, yet was a huge disappointment. I don’t understand why the Packers would want him back and would want to let go of Jones, but they’ve proven themselves incapable of correctly evaluating running backs.

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Panthers Panthers sign DE D.J. Wonnum (2 years, $14.5 million): A Grade
You know that David Tepper wasn’t involved in a signing if the Panthers get an “A” grade for the contract. I’m sure Tepper has never even heard of Wonnum, which makes this deal even better.

Wonnum is a player with loads of potential. He’s only 26, and he has shown a ton of upside as a potent edge rusher. I’m surprised another team didn’t give him more money, but the Panthers won’t be complaining with their replacement for Brian Burns.

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Panthers Panthers sign DE K’Lavon Chaisson (1 year, $5 million): C Grade
K’Lavon Chaisson is a colossal draft bust. He was drafted 20th overall four years ago, yet has just five career sacks. He didn’t even play much last year, as he was on the field for about 15 snaps each week.

Chaisson’s career projection is looking bleak, but there’s still a bit of hope because he’s only 24. I don’t mind a team taking a chance on him, especially the Panthers, who traded Brian Burns this offseason. However, $5 million seems like way too much for Chaisson. Something worth about half as much would have made more sense.

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Rams Rams sign S Kamren Curl (2 years, $13 million): A Grade
A week ago, I would have called a 2-year deal worth $13 million for Kamren Curl a steal. However, we’ve seen some very cheap safety signings this offseason, so I can no longer think that way.

Still, I love this move for the Rams. Curl is a well-rounded and very young (25) safety who will provide a much-needed big upgrade in the secondary. This contract doesn’t present any sort of risk, so it should be graded very favorably.

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March 14 Updates

Chiefs Chiefs sign WR Marquise Brown (1 year, $11 million): A Grade
It’s really amazing that the Chiefs won the Super Bowl last year considering the atrocious play they had at receiver outside of Rashee Rice. That won’t be the case in 2024, as Kansas City made a big upgrade at the position by signing Marquise Brown.

I love this move. First of all, it’s for only one year, so there’s not much risk if Brown is a bust for his new team. Second, Brown is a dynamic downfield threat who has never played with a great passing quarterbacks. His signal-callers thus far have been run-first threats like Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray. Brown’s full potential could finally be realized with Mahomes throwing the ball to him.

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Lions Lions sign NT D.J. Reader (2 years, $27.25 million): A- Grade
When the Bengals signed Sheldon Rankins, that signaled that D.J. Reader probably wasn’t going to be back with the team. It didn’t take much longer, but Reader signed a contract with the Lions worth about $13 million per year.

Based on his recent play, Reader is worth every penny. He’s a monstrous run stuffer and can get to the quarterback. The Lions were already great versus the run, but Reader’s presence will allow them to focus more on the pass. Besides, with the Bears, Packers and Vikings all signing running backs this offseason, it makes sense that Detroit would counter with Reader. The one concern is that Reader is 30 years old, but he should be able to continue his high level of play for the next couple of seasons.

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Eagles Eagles sign LB Devin White (1 year, $7.5 million): A+ Grade
Linebacker has mostly been a weakness for the Eagles since Jeremiah Trotter’s first stint with the team more than 20 years ago. It’s been that long, as Philadelphia has endured miserable linebacking play for many years. There was a brief exception when the Eagles had Jordan Hicks and T.J. Edwards among some others, but they’ve been known for having a big liability at the position. There was even a kid from the Make a Wish Foundation who pleaded for the front office to draft a linebacker in the first round during a combine interview a few years ago.

With that in mind, I was not expecting this sort of signing. Devin White is a terrific athlete and a tremendous linebacker when it comes to coverage ability. White can struggle in run support, but the Eagles thrived versus the rush last year, so they’ll be able to survive versus the run with White, just as Tampa Bay did in recent years. White’s presence will allow the Eagles to defend the middle of the field well, which is something they haven’t done well in a long time.

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Bills Bills sign WR Curtis Samuel (3 years, $24 million): B+ Grade
Receivers are getting paid this offseason. We’ve seen Calvin Ridley, Gabe Davis and Darnell Mooney sign absurd deals this offseason. I probably would have reacted to this differently a few days ago, but I guess I’ve become numb to these big contracts.

Besides, this is a much better deal compared to what Davis and Mooney received. Samuel is a nifty player to have in an offense because he can be used in a variety of ways. I’m intrigued to see how they use him with Josh Allen. At the very least, he should be more consistent than Davis was for Buffalo, especially when considering that he’ll be reunited with Joe Brady, who coached him in Carolina.

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Jaguars Jaguars sign DE/DT Arik Armstead (3 years, $51 million): A- Grade
The Jaguars have been searching for a replacement for Calais Campbell ever since he left for Baltimore. This may not be the long-term solution they were hoping for, but Arik Armstead will be a viable option for the next two or three seasons.

Arik Armstead is an extremely talented and versatile defensive lineman. He figures to provide a huge boost on Jacksonville’s defensive line. The one concern with Armstead is that he’s now 30, so one could argue that Jacksonville is paying on past production. Still, the Jaguars are a legitimate Super Bowl contender with Trevor Lawrence, so I like them taking a chance like this while Lawrence is still in his rookie deal.

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Dolphins Dolphins sign CB Kendall Fuller (2 years, $16.5 million): A+ Grade
I don’t know how the Dolphins are doing it, but they keep obtaining extreme values for their secondary. Jordan Poyer was a steal, and yet the Kendall Fuller signing might be an even better bargain.

The Redskins struggled to cover last year, but not when it came to the receivers Kendall Fuller was covering. Fuller played on a very high level, so I thought he would receive a much better contract than this. The Dolphins won’t complain, as they were able to effectively replace Xavien Howard.

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Vikings Vikings sign DT Jerry Tillery (1 year, $3.75 million): B Grade
A 1-year, $3.75 million contract for a defensive tackle normally wouldn’t get a mention, but Jerry Tillery is a former first-round pick. He was a complete bust for the Chargers, but joined the Raiders and wasn’t as bad as he was in San Angeles. He still wasn’t great, but he looked like a functional player for the first time in his career. I’m still no fan of Crooked Tillery, but he’s still fairly young (27) and could provide some value for Minnesota.

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Steelers Steelers sign S DeShon Elliott (2 years, $6 million): A Grade
The Steelers are not a team that often splurges in free agency, but when they sign someone, it’s usually a good value acquisition. This counts as such.

Then again, given how little safeties have been paid this offseason, maybe it’s not such a crazy value. I do really like the signing though. DeShon Elliott is a quality safety who particularly thrives in run support. The Steelers have had issues stopping the run in recent years, so it would make sense for them to find a safety who can help them in that regard. Elliott has also played well against the pass prior to 2023, so perhaps he can rebound on his new team.

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Seahawks Seahawks sign OT George Fant (2 years, $14 million): C+ Grade
The Seahawks have major problems in the interior of their offensive line. They at least seemed set at tackle with Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas prior to 2023, but Lucas struggled with his health last year. It would make sense for Seattle to acquire a tackle to compete with Lucas.

However, it’s not quite clear if George Fant can even be better than an injured Lucas. Fant is coming off a decent season as a pass protector, but he’s been inconsistent throughout his career and is now 32. This seems like an overpay, but not an egregious one.

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Seahawks Seahawks sign S Rayshawn Jenkins (2 years, $12 million): B- Grade
The Seahawks cut both of their starting safeties recently, so they obviously had a huge hole at the position they needed to fill. Their first acquisition is Rayshawn Jenkins, who was signed to a deal worth $6 million per season.

Jenkins is coming off a very disappointing tenure with the Jaguars. He signed a $35 million contract, but was a bust. He was also released, so the Seahawks are at least seemingly buying low. However, Jenkins is now 30, so he could continue to regress. He could also bounce back in the short term, so I don’t think this deal is that bad.

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March 12 Updates

Bengals Bengals sign DT Sheldon Rankins (2 years, $26 million): B+ Grade
It’s a rare sight to see the Bengals spend heavily in free agency. They do make some rare exceptions, however, as Sheldon Rankins was added via a $26 million contract.

Rankins is a talented player who will be an upgrade in the interior of the defensive line. This would be a no-brainer signing if it weren’t for Rankins’ injury history. Unfortunately, Rankins has a very checkered history in that regard, so Cincinnati is taking on some risk. There’s major upside as well, however, and for a team on the cusp of reaching the Super Bowl, Cincinnati is wise to make this sort of gamble.

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Cowboys Cowboys sign LB Eric Kendricks (1 year): A- Grade
It was initially reported that Eric Kendricks would sign with the 49ers. Kendricks had a change of heart, opting to play for Dallas instead. Kendricks will reunite with his former head coach, Mike Zimmer, who is now the head coach of Dallas, as Kendricks will serve as an upgrade in a weak linebacking corps.

Kendricks is a great fit for Dallas. Kendricks used to be one of the better off-ball linebackers in the NFL. He has regressed since, but rebounded well last year with the Chargers. At 32, Kendricks could have one more solid season in the tank. Even if he busts, the Cowboys aren’t risking much with this signing.

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Cardinals Cardinals sign OT Jonah Williams (2 years, $30 million): A- Grade
It didn’t take the Cardinals long to find a new left tackle. They cut D.J. Humphries earlier today. A couple of hours later, they managed to replace Humphries with Jonah Williams.

Williams had some bright moments with the Bengals, with most of them coming at left tackle. Cincinnati forced Williams to move to right tackle, however, prompting Williams to voice his displeasure. Williams didn’t do as well on the right side, so if Arizona is smart, it’ll use Williams on the blind side and keep Paris Johnson at right tackle. If this happens, this contract will be validated.

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Colts Colts sign QB Joe Flacco (1 year, $8.7 million): A+ Grade
The Colts had a problem when they lost Gardner Minshew to the Raiders. Anthony Richardson would return to action next year, but Richardson is a very high-risk player when it comes to injuries because he takes so many hits. The Colts needed a premium backup in the event that Richardson goes down again.

Joe Flacco is a great fit for that role. He was superb in Cleveland last year, and he should do well with the Colts when called upon. If he busts, then the Colts haven’t risked anything with this 1-year deal.

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Redskins Redskins sign LB Bobby Wagner (1 year, $8.5 million): A- Grade
If this signing seems out of the blue because Bobby Wagner had spent his entire NFL career on the West Coast, remember that his former defensive coordinator, Dan Quinn, is now the head coach in Washington.

Wagner is an obvious scheme fit for that reason. He’s also a huge upgrade. Between Wagner and Frankie Luvu, the Redskins are likely to have excellent linebacker play for the first time in a long while. There’s a chance that Wagner could fall off a cliff because of his age (34), but even if he does, it’s not like Washington is risking much on a 1-year deal.

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Titans Titans sign QB Mason Rudolph (1 year, $3.6 million): B+ Grade
Steelers fans must be devastated right now. Mason Rudolph was a fan favorite last year when he supplanted Mitchell Trubisky and led the team into the playoffs. Rudolph outplayed Kenny Pickett, but there wasn’t any room for him in the wake of the Russell Wilson signing.

I like this move by the Titans. Will Levis is no sure thing, as he mostly regressed after his brilliant debut versus Atlanta. Levis has plenty of potential, but also has a low floor. If he fails, Rudolph can step in and be effective.

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Titans Titans sign WR Calvin Ridley (4 years, $92 million): C- Grade
No one should be surprised that the Titans gave Calvin Ridley a massive contract like this. They were devoid a talent at the position outside of the DeAndre Hopkins, who doesn’t have much time remaining in the NFL. Ridley theoretically gives the Titans a legitimate No. 1 receiver for years to come.

That, however, may not be the case. Charlie Campbell reported recently that the Jaguars didn’t want Ridley back on the team because he was such a nuisance in the locker room. If Ridley continues to act this way on a team that has a much worse quarterback than he’s used to playing with, he could force his way out sooner rather than later.

Given Ridley’s character issues, it’s hard to like this signing, especially given how much the Titans are investing into their new receiver. There’s definitely upside, so I won’t give the Titans a Millen grade or anything, but this grade definitely has to be on the lower end.

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Panthers Panthers sign CB Dane Jackson (2 years, $14 million): C- Grade
The Panthers traded Donte Jackson for Diontae Johnson yesterday, so they needed a cornerback. Perhaps they already have seller’s remorse in the wake of moving Jackson because they’ve replaced him with a cornerback who has a very similar name.

I’m just grasping at straws here because I don’t quite understand this contract. Jackson was benched last year despite the injuries at cornerback. He’s had some decent moments in the past, so I don’t totally hate this contract, but it feels like the Panthers could have gotten someone comparable for less money.

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Buccaneers Buccaneers sign S Jordan Whitehead (2 years, $10 million): A Grade
Jordan Whitehead began his career in Tampa Bay and played well before joining the Jets a couple of years ago. He’ll be going back home after two seasons with the Jets, signing a $10 million deal to return to the team that drafted him in the fourth round.

Whitehead will fit naturally with the Buccaneers again because he knows the system. He’s a very good safety who is coming off a bit of a down year, but he’s young enough (27) to rebound. Assuming he does so, this will be viewed as an excellent, cheap addition.

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Raiders Raiders sign TE Harrison Bryant (1 year, $3.25 million): B Grade
Harrison Bryant is an athletic tight end, but has never lived up to his potential. There’s a chance he may do so in a new location, however. It’s not surprising that the Raiders are taking a chance on him, given that Michael Mayer was a big disappointment last year, especially when compared to how Dalton Kincaid and Sam LaPorta performed. This is a very low-risk deal with a bit of upside, so it’s a fine move for the Raiders.

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Dolphins Dolphins sign S Jordan Poyer (1 year, $2 million): A+ Grade
This is an amazing value. Jordan Poyer has been an excellent safety for a long time. He’s 33, but he has shown no signs of regression. He’s a very capable player despite his age, and he can serve as a starter next to Jevon Holland. This was a need for the Dolphins, and they’re filling it with an incredibly cheap option. There’s no downside here, and I like the fact that the Dolphins are taking away a key player from one of their biggest rivals.

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Eagles Eagles sign C Matt Hennessy (1 year, $2 million): B+ Grade
We didn’t have the terms of the Matt Hennessy signing until now. It’s a 1-year, $2 million deal, which seems like a nice bargain. Hennessy was once Atlanta’s starting center, and he managed to play well in 2021. He lost his job to a better player in 2022, then missed the 2023 season with a knee injury. Hennessy seems like he would be a solid backup for the Eagles, especially when considering that he can play both center and guard. He’ll be needed depth in the wake of Jason Kelce’s retirement.

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Seahawks Seahawks sign C Nick Harris (1 year, $2.51 million): B+ Grade
The Seahawks are set at tackle, but have some serious issues in the interior of their offensive line. Three new starters are needed, including a center. That perhaps is not the case anymore in the wake of this signing.

Nick Harris was once considered a starting-caliber center, but suffered a devastating injury and missed the 2022 season. Now two years removed from that injury, Harris could contend for a starting job again. I assume the Seahawks may try to find a better option in the 2024 NFL Draft – check out my 2024 NFL Mock Draft here – but Harris is a fine, cheap insurance option in case that doesn’t happen.

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Bills Bills sign WR Mack Hollins (1 year, $3 million): B Grade
See, this is the sort of contract I thought Darnell Mooney would sign. I still can’t believe three years and $39 million. Anyway, the Bills needed a receiver in the wake of (and even before) Gabe Davis’ departure to Jacksonville. Without tons of money to spend, it would make sense that the Bills would sign a player like Mack Hollins. The former Falcon caught just 18 passes last year, but dealt with miserable quarterbacking and had better days in the past. He could end up being a decent possession receiver for Buffalo, though I would expect the team to find someone better via the draft.

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Redskins Redskins sign C Tyler Biadasz (3 years, $30 million): A Grade
I missed this one from earlier. I saw that the Redskins were closing in on signing Tyler Biadasz, but didn’t see that the signing was finalized. The terms are three years and $30 million for the former Cowboy.

This is another Redskins signing that I love. Biadasz has developed into one of the better centers in the NFL, so he’ll be a huge upgrade in what was a big hole for Washington. Better yet, the Redskins are poaching an important player from Dallas’ offensive line, so that’s a bonus that must be factored into the grade as well.

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Eagles Eagles sign CB/S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (3 years, $33 million): B+ Grade
It’s hard not to ignore the severe risk with this deal. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson is very injury-prone. It’s almost a guarantee that he’ll miss several games this upcoming season. Sure, he’s young enough (26) to perhaps turn that dubious track record around, but it’s unlikely to happen.

Still, this warrants a positive grade. The Eagles had major problems in their secondary last year, allowing Sam Howell to play like Joe Montana in two matchups. Gardner-Johnson, as Eagles fans very well know, is excellent in coverage and has the versatility to play everywhere in the defensive backfield.

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Saints Saints sign LB Willie Gay (1 year, $3 million): A- Grade
The Saints have major cap issues, so it’s not a surprise that they hadn’t signed anyone prior to this move. They broke their free agency silence by obtaining Willie Gay on a cheap, 1-year deal.

Gay is a quality linebacker who does well in run support. He’s not nearly as good in coverage, but the Saints could use a two-down linebacker. The price is fair for Gay, who’s only 26 and could improve as a result.

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Texans Texans sign DE Danielle Hunter (2 years, $49 million): A Grade
The Texans were heavily criticized for letting Jonathan Greenard go, but now we see why they did that. They signed Danielle Hunter away from the Vikings for a deal worth about $25 million per season.

Hunter is an elite edge rusher who will be a great threat as a bookend for Will Anderson. The two will create mayhem for Trevor Lawrence and Anthony Richardson. Hunter is 29, but this short-term contract mitigates any regression concerns. With that in mind, I love this signing because it has huge upside and lower risk than most big contracts.

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Colts Colts sign DT Raekwon Davis (2 years, $14 million): C- Grade
This is a perplexing signing. The Colts just retained Grover Stewart to continue to play next to DeForest Buckner, so it’s a surprise that they wanted to pay substantial money to another defensive tackle. They did so by bringing in Raekwon Davis, who is not worth substantial money. Davis is a solid run stuffer, but offers nothing as a pass rusher. I don’t understand why the Colts made this decision.

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Buccaneers Buccaneers re-sign LB Lavonte David (1 year, $10 million): A Grade
How can this signing possibly be graded as anything other than an “A?” Lavonte David has been a fan favorite of the Buccaneers for what seems like an eternity. David is now 34, but he continues to play as if he’s in his 20s. It would have been risky to sign him to a long-term deal, but this 1-year pact makes so much risk because it doesn’t open the Buccaneers up to any risk. Even if David shows regression out of the blue, this contract won’t hurt Tampa Bay very much.

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Panthers Panthers sign LB Josey Jewell (3 years, $22.75 million): A- Grade
I just criticized the Panthers for giving a $22 million contract to a front-seven player. Here’s another $22 million deal to a front-seven player, but this signing is much better than the other.

Josey Jewell is a talented linebacker. He’s a stout run defender who also covers very well. He’s 29, but he should be able to play at a high level for at least a couple more years. You could argue that Jewell deserved a bit more, so I’m grading this signing favorably.

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Panthers Panthers sign DT A’Shawn Robinson (3 years, $22.5 million): D Grade
The Panthers have had major problems stopping the run in recent years. They could have signed someone like Leki Fotu, as the Jets did (grade below). However, they decided to overspend for A’Shawn Robinson for some reason.

Robinson is a fairly pedestrian player who used to at least play the run well. This changed last year, when Robinson struggled with the Giants. He could bounce back, but he’ll be turning 30 in the second year of this deal. There’s a chance his regression is permanent, which would make this signing disastrous. Either way, it’s an overpay.

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Jets Jets sign NT Leki Fotu (1 year, $2.5 million): A Grade
The Jets had a terrific pass defense last year, but they had major problems stopping the run. They needed to bring someone in to fix that problem, which would explain this signing.

Leki Fotu is a 330-pound monster who can handle the run well. He’s not elite versus the rush, but he’s pretty solid at stuffing running backs. He’s well worth the price of just $2.5 million for 2024.

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49ers 49ers sign DT Jordan Elliott (2 years, $10 million): D Grade
I’m shocked Jordan Elliott received this sort of deal. I don’t know what the 49ers could possibly see in him to warrant such a contract. Elliott was steamrolled versus the run and applied very little pressure on the quarterback last year. Granted, he’s just 26, so perhaps there’s some potential, but there’s no doubt that he’s not worth $10 million over two seasons.

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Packers Eagles sign WR DeVante Parker (1 year, $4.69 million): B Grade
This seems like a waste of $4.69 million. The Eagles would have been better off giving the money to a charity. I hear the Human Fund is in need of donations.

I would compare this signing to that of Julio Jones last year. Jones caught some passes for the Eagles, but was mostly a non-factor. Parker is also washed up. However, I can’t really grade this signing poorly because there’s very little risk involved with this 1-year deal.

Update: The Eagles are paying just $1 million of this contract, so it won’t be graded so poorly.

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Packers Packers sign CB Keisean Nixon (3 years, $18 million): A- Grade
The Packers are getting some great value with this re-signing. Keisean Nixon will be earning only $6 million per year despite being a two-time Pro Bowler at the age of 27. Nixon has earned those honors with his terrific return ability. However, the value comes via Nixon’s play as a slot cornerback, which is rather decent. Nixon saw extensive action on defense for the first time last year, and was a plesant surprise. Given that, Nixon is likely to outperform this contract.

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Colts Colts re-sign CB Kenny Moore (3 years, $30 million): B+ Grade
The Colts need to add to their secondary, but they would’ve needed more reinforcements had they allowed Kenny Moore to walk. Instead, they re-signed Moore to a deal worth $10 million per season.

This is about the right price for Moore, who is an excellent slot cornerback. The only slight concern with Moore is that he will turn 30 in the near future, but he should continue to perform on a high level throughout the duration of this contract.

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Jets Jets sign QB Tyrod Taylor (2 years, $18 million): B Grade
The Jets needed two quarterbacks entering this offseason: a veteran backup who can hold down the fort in the event of another Aaron Rodgers injury, and a developmental player for the future. New York satisified the former need with this signing.

This is a bit more than I would have paid for Tyrod Taylor, but I get it. Taylor is a premium backup who can play well and have the Jets hovering around .500 if Rodgers were to get hurt. The concern with Taylor is that he’s injury-prone himself, so he’s not a great solution for a full season, but he can be a good option if he were asked to play four or five games.

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Bears Bears sign TE Gerald Everett (2 years, $12 million): C- Grade
It’s Day 2 of free agency, and tight ends continue to get overpaid. Granted, this is not an egregious contract, but Gerald Everett does not deserve this sort of money.

Everett gave the Chargers mediocre production for two years and is now 30. He’s bound to regress, so I wonder if the Bears factored into consideration when they signed him. Chicago also has Cole Kmet on the roster, so I’m not sure why it needs a backup tight end making $6 million per season.

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Bills Bills re-sign DE A.J. Epenesa (2 years, $12 million): A Grade
A.J. Epenesa is another player who needs a new agent. When I saw that Epenesa was re-signed to a 2-year deal, I assumed it was for $20 million or so. He’ll be getting slightly more than half as much to stay in Buffalo.

I would have figured that some team would have offered Epenesa a substantial contract. Epenesa, after all, is a young (25) and talented edge rusher with loads of potential. The numbers haven’t quite shown it because he plays about half the snaps each week, but in a larger role, Epensa could post a significant sack total. The Bills will be able to retain on a great deal, so this is worthy of an “A” grade.

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Giants Giants sign QB Drew Lock (1 year, $5 million): B Grade
It would be shocking if the Giants pull the same mistake they made in 2019 and reach for a quarterback at No. 6 overall, so it’s likely that they’ll be going into 2024 with Daniel Jones as their quarterback again. If that’s true, the Giants needed to find a replacement for the Jets-bound Tyrod Taylor. They managed to sign Drew Lock as their substitute.

Lock won’t be as good of a backup as Taylor, but he’s a fine option. He led the Seahawks to a victory over the Eagles last year, so if the Giants can miraculously stay competitive, Lock can hold down the fort for a couple of games in the event of a Jones injury.

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Ravens Steelers sign LB Patrick Queen (3 years, $41 million): A+ Grade
The Steelers have lacked great linebacker play for a long time. The last time they had terrific play at the position was prior to Ryan Shazier’s devastating injury. That has all changed in the wake of the Patrick Queen signing.

This is terrific move. Not only are the Steelers filling a huge hole with a fantastic defender who covers extremely well, they’re poaching a valuable commodity from their chief rival. And yet, they’re doing so at a fair price. This signing deserves an A+ grade.

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Ravens Ravens sign RB Derrick Henry (2 years, $20 million): B Grade
This signing should surprise no one. Derrick Henry was connected to the Ravens for weeks, so it’s not shocking that he signed with Baltimore.

It wasn’t too long ago that Henry was one of the most dominant running backs in the NFL. His stats have fallen off in recent years, but that can be attributed to much worse offensive line play in front of him. Then again, Henry is now 30, so the regression could be permanent. Still, I think Henry has some juice left in the tank, and I could see him being a good fit next to Lamar Jackson in Baltimore’s backfield. I like the move, but I can’t ignore the downside either.

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Browns Browns sign RB Nyheim Hines (1 year, $3.5 million): C Grade
I forgot Nyheim Hines was still in the league. Hines was out of football in 2023 because he tore his ACL in a jet ski accident. He’ll try to come back this year by serving as Cleveland’s third running back and playing on special teams.

This, sadly, seems like the Browns are throwing money away. It’s possible that Hines could help on special teams, but he’s coming off a torn ACL, so he won’t have the same explosion in 2024 that he had in prior years. There’s a good chance Hines will suffer another leg/foot injury trying to return too early. There’s no risk here, but I’m not seeing the upside either.

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Falcons Falcons sign WR Darnell Mooney (3 years, $39 million): MILLEN’S HAIRY KIELBASA Grade
While waiting for a dentist appointment, I saw this signing and asked on Twitter, “What’s worse than a Millen?” There were several responses, including one from a douche who was salty about me referring to the Redskins as their rightful name. The winner said “Biden’s hairy legs,” so why not combine that with Millen and his lust for kielbasas?

This signing is so atrocious, it might be the worst move of the entire decade. There is nothing to justify anything remotely close to the terms of this deal. Even if you were to slice the total sum into quarters, it would still be too much. Mooney is a pedestrian receiver who has had some bright moments, but also has done nothing in recent years. In the past two seasons, he has 40 catches for 493 yards and 31 catches for 414 yards. Why would any team give him $13 million per year? I wouldn’t even want to pay him $3 million per year!

It wouldn’t surprise me if Mooney had some big games in 2024 because Kirk Cousins will be able to deliver the ball to him downfield, but I would expect some major inconsistency, much like we saw out of Gabe Davis in Buffalo. Still, the fact remains that this is a colossal overpay because the Falcons could have gotten a comparable receiver for a third as much.

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Dolphins Dolphins sign DE/OLB Shaq Barrett (1 year, $9 million): A- Grade
It wasn’t too long ago that Shaq Barrett was one of the most dominant edge rushers in the NFL. He has fallen off since, recording just 4.5 sacks last year. He played better than that number indicates, but it’s obvious that at 31, Barrett is on the decline.

The Dolphins should be able to squeeze out one more decent season out of Barrett. If he doesn’t perform as well as anticipated, then Miami doesn’t lose all that much because there isn’t much risk associated with this 1-year deal. This is all upside for a Miami team that needed to strengthen its edge rush.

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Bengals Bengals sign TE Mike Gesicki (1 year, $3.25 million): C+ Grade
The Bengals have a bunch of mediocre tight ends on their roster, and they can now add another one to the mix in the wake of this signing. I can’t say I’m a fan of this move because Mike Gesicki failed miserably in New England and his final season in Miami. However, Gesicki is still a player with plus athleticism, so perhaps he can find a home in Cincinnati. There’s no downside to this contract, so it can’t really be graded poorly.

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Redskins Redskins sign QB Marcus Mariota (1 year, $6 million): C- Grade
It’s interesting that the top two quarterback picks of the 2015 NFL Draft signed with new teams in the same hour of free agency. While Jameis Winston is heading to Cleveland, Marcus Mariota will be stationed in Washington next year.

I don’t like this signing nearly as much as the Winston deal. While Winston is a premium backup at this stage of his career, Mariota is more of a third-stringer. He was out-performed by Tanner McKee last preseason by a wide margin. He failed in Atlanta the prior year. Mariota is a clear downgrade from Jacoby Brissett, and I’m not sure if he’s better than Sam Howell.

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Browns Browns sign QB Jameis Winston (1 year, $8.7 million): B+ Grade
This is much better than the Vikings’ signing of Sam Darnold. While Jameis Winston also hasn’t quite panned out as a top pick in the draft, he has at least been a half-decent starter when given the chance. He’s definitely been better than Darnold, so one has to wonder why he’s not making as much.

Signing Winston is a logical move for the Browns. Joe Flacco is gone, so Cleveland needed a viable backup for Deshaun Watson, who has missed extensive action over the years. Winston can hold down the fort in the short term if Watson were to miss anywhere between one and six games.

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Bills Bills re-sign DT DaQuan Jones (2 years, $16 million): A Grade
If the Bills didn’t know how valuable DaQuan Jones was to their success, they certainly learned that last year. Jones missed about half the season, and the dropoff in defensive performance was staggering. Given the decline without Jones, Buffalo was wise to re-sign him, especially to a very team-friendly deal.

The only downside with Jones is that he’s 32, so he could regress. However, there isn’t much risk to this deal, so it’s not much of a concern.

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Vikings Vikings sign RB Aaron Jones (1 year, $7 million): A+ Grade
It’s astonishing to me that some teams overpaid for running backs when there were great deals like this to be had. The Bears come to mind as a team that spent $24 million on D’Andre Swif, when they could have easily signed Aaron Jones for $7 million.

This is an amazing signing. Not only are the Vikings getting a colossal upgrade at running back with an electric player, but they are also poaching a valuable player from a divisional rival. The one worry is that Jones is injury-prone, but that’s mitigated by the low-risk nature of this contract.

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Vikings Vikings sign QB Sam Darnold (1 year, $10 million): C+ Grade
This is quite the downgrade from Kirk Cousins. And I’m not even sure if this is a better option than Nick Mullens or Josh Dobbs. Sam Darnold is a huge bust from the 2018 NFL Draft. He’s had a few bright moments in his career, but has been a failure overall.

The Darnold signing, however, indicates that the Vikings plan on targeting a quarterback early in the 2024 NFL Draft, perhaps as early as No. 11 overall. Darnold is not a viable solution for the entire year, but he can hold down the fort for a few weeks while the rookie signal-caller adjusts to the NFL. With that in mind, this is an overpay, but it’s for only one year, so it’s not a big deal.

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March 11 Updates

Titans Titans sign LB Kenneth Murray (2 years, $15.5 million): D Grade
I listed Kenneth Murray as a two-star player in my NFL Free Agent Rankings, but he has performed like a one-star player. He received two stars because he’s a former first-round pick. He’s been a colossal bust, but he may still have some potential as a 25-year-old.

However, because Murray has been so bad, I thought he’d have to settle on a 1-year deal worth $3 million, or something. I don’t know what he did to deserve this $15.5 million contract. I imagine the Titans didn’t watch much film of Murray, because if they did, they wouldn’t have offered him anything close to that amount.

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Jets Jets sign DT Javon Kinlaw (1 year): B Grade
Javon Kinlaw has been a huge bust. He’s coming off his best year as a pass rusher with 3.5 sacks, but much more was expected of him when he was chosen in the middle of the first round. Kinlaw is still 26, so he has time to become a late bloomer, and perhaps he’ll have that chance under Robert Saleh, who coached Kinlaw in 2020. Kinlaw could also not make the final 53-man roster, but there’s upside with this low-risk move.

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Redskins Redskins sign G Nick Allegretti (3 years, $16 million): A+ Grade
It’s definitely a new day in Washington. The Redskins used to be infamous for overspending on aging veterans. This, like the Austin Ekeler signing, is a very sharp move.

Nick Allegretti didn’t play very much last year, but he did a terrific job of filling in for an injured Joe Thuney during the Chiefs’ Super Bowl run. His high level of play indicated that he deserved a chance elsewhere. The Redskins recognized this, signing Allegretti to what could look like a ridiculous value deal in the future, all while filling a huge need.

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Panthers Panthers sign G Damien Lewis (4 years, $53 million): B Grade
The interior offensive line had been a huge weakness for the Panthers for years, but that’s definitely not the case anymore. Carolina has invested loads of cash into guard, signing Damien Lewis to a 4-year deal worth $53 million after spending $100 million on Robert Hunt.

Lewis is obviously not as good as Hunt, but he enjoyed some solid seasons in Seattle. He’s coming off a down year, but he’s only 27, so he can rebound and thrive in his new home. Signing him was a very good move to provide Bryce Young with some much-needed added protection. This is a bit more than I would have spent, but there’s no price a team can pay to fully protect its franchise quarterback.

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Patriots Patriots sign QB Jacoby Brissett (1 year, $8 million): A Grade
Jacoby Brissett finally returns home. He was drafted by the Patriots, but then made his way around the NFL. He’ll be back with New England in 2024 on a 1-year deal worth $8 million.

Brissett will enter the offseason as the starter, but that’ll quickly change once either Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels proves himself. This will leave Brissett as the backup, but he’ll be a valuable veteran who can tutor the rookie quarterback. And if the Patriots are much better than expected, Brissett can start in the event of an injury to Maye/Daniels and keep the ship afloat. This is a terrific signing that comes with almost no risk because the term is for only one season.

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Texans Texans sign LB Azeez Al-Shaair (3 years, $34 million): C Grade
The Texans have made some dubious moves this offseason. They allowed Jonathan Greenard to walk despite maintaining tons of cap space, and now they signed Azeez Al-Shaair to a monster deal despite allowing Blake Cashman to sign for a much cheaper contract elsewhere.

Al-Shaair is a good player, but I’m not even sure he’s even an upgrade over Cashman. Al-Shaair also doesn’t have extensive starting experience. He was a backup in San Francisco, then had a solid season in his one year as a starter in Tennessee. I’m not sure how any of this warrants a $34 million contract.

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Chargers Chargers sign S Alohi Gilman (2 years, $11 million): A+ Grade
Alohi Gilman needs a better agent. He was superb last year, so I thought he was going to get a much better deal than this. The Chargers won’t complain, as they managed to retain a key piece of their secondary at a very cheap price.

Granted, Gilman doesn’t have the most extensive track record of success. He was one of the most improved defensive players last year, transforming from an average backup to a terrific starter. Gilman, however, is 26, and the sky’s the limit for him, so credit the Chargers for getting such a great deal.

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49ers 49ers sign DE/OLB Leonard Floyd (2 years, $20 million): B+ Grade
Here’s more pass-rushing talent for the 49ers to replace departed players. In addition to signing Yetur Gross-Matos, San Francisco also inked Leonard Floyd to a 2-year contract.

I like this signing much more than the Gross-Matos move. Floyd is the opposite of Gross-Matos, as he doesn’t have much upside remaining because he’s 31, but he’s been much more productive. Floyd has registered at least nine sacks in each of the past four seasons, and he has more sacks in that span than Brian Burns. Granted, he’ll regress soon, but the 49ers should be able to get at least one good season out of him. That’s not bad on a 2-year deal.

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Titans Titans sign CB Chidobe Awuzie (3 years, $36 million): B Grade
Outside of the offensive line, a major area of weakness for the Titans in recent years has been at cornerback. They made sure to fix that by signing Chidobe Awuzie to a deal worth $12 million per season.

Awuzie has been an excellent cornerback for many seasons. He’s coming off a bit of a down year, but is expected to rebound because he’s not 30 yet. However, he will be 30 in the second year of this deal, making this signing a bit riskier than it needed to be at this price. I’m still fine with the move, but I can’t make it the standard B+ for very good signings that don’t carry a bargain.

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Chargers Chargers sign RB Gus Edwards (2 years, $6.5 million): A- Grade
It’s hardly a surprise that the Chargers signed Gus Edwards. The former Raven running back played under Greg Roman in Baltimore, and now he reunites with his former offensive coordinator in San Angeles.

The Chargers needed a running back in the wake of Austin Ekeler’s departure, and Edwards will serve as a short-term solution or platoon player for someone else. I still expect the Chargers to add to the position, but Edwards is a fine insurance policy if that other player happens to be a rookie who doesn’t perform up to expectations.

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Packers Packers sign RB Josh Jacobs (4 years, $48 million): B- Grade
If you didn’t read the Saquon Barkley write-up below, I said that I’m OK with teams spending big money – or first-round picks – on running backs if they happen to be Super Bowl contenders. I praised the Eagles for signing Barkley as a consequence, and I’ll say the same thing of the Packers, who were very close to defeating the 49ers in the divisional round of the playoffs last year. Josh Jacobs could help get them over the top.

However, the Packers already had a talented running back in Aaron Jones. Granted, he was older and more injury-prone than Jacobs, but I would say Jones is the better player at the moment. I don’t like the slight downgrade, but I understand the desire to get younger and healthier at the position.

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Cardinals Cardinals sign CB Sean Murphy-Bunting (3 years, $17.5 million): A Grade
This is a great signing by the Cardinals. Arizona is devoid of secondary talent among many other things, so it needed to find some better defensive backs. Sean Murphy-Bunting definitely qualifies as such.

Murphy-Bunting is a gifted slot cornerback who was sorely missed in Tampa Bay after signing with the Titans last season. Murphy-Bunting didn’t have his best season in Tennessee, but injuries to many other teammates could have been the reason for that. Murphy-Bunting is certainly an upgrade for the Cardinals, who are getting him at a relatively cheap price.

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Titans Titans sign C Lloyd Cushenberry (4 years, $50 million): B+ Grade
The Titans had one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL last year. Center wasn’t much of a problem, but Tennessee is still getting an upgrade here over what they had last year, as they signed Lloyd Cushenberry to a huge contract.

Cushenberry has made great strides since being a third-round pick. He was one of the better centers in the NFL last year, so that would explain the financials of this contract. Cushenberry is also just 26, so there’s still room for improvement. I’m giving this signing a B+ and not an “A” because it’s not a bargain. However, it’s an essential move for the Titans, who need to continue to keep adding talented blockers.

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Jets Jets sign G John Simpson (2 years, $18 million): C Grade
The Jets are desperate for offensive line help, so every little bit help. This is definitely a “little bit” of help, as John Simpson was pretty pedestrian as a starter last year. Still, I don’t mind this signing too much, given how desperate New York is for improved blocking. Besides, Simpson is still just 27 (as of April), so there’s some room for improvement.

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Bengals Bengals sign RB Zack Moss (2 years, $8 million): A- Grade
The Bengals just cut Joe Mixon, so they were able to find a viable replacement in Zack Moss to pair with Chase Brown. Given the size of this contract, it seems as though Brown has a good chance to be the starter.

Still, I like this move. Moss was terrific in relief of an injured Jonathan Taylor last year. Moss even took away some of Taylor’s workload when the star returned from injury. This was shocking because Moss looked so bad in Buffalo, but he, like Devin Singletary, thrived after being removed from the Bills. Despite Moss’ improvement, he was still signed cheaply, so this grade needs to be high.

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Browns Browns sign LB Jordan Hicks (2 years, $8 million): A Grade
Jordan Hicks was a talented linebacker for the Eagles, but went on to struggle in Arizona. It’s unclear what was wrong with the Cardinals because Hicks went to Minnesota last year and revived his career. Hicks, however, wasn’t going to receive a huge contract because he’s 32. Still, I thought he’d get a better deal than just $8 million over two seasons.

The Browns won’t complain about that. They needed some help at linebacker, so Hicks should be a nice, short-term solution at a cheap price. This signing should be graded very favorably despite the age downside.

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49ers 49ers sign DE Yetur Gross-Matos (2 years, $18 million): C- Grade
The 49ers lost Arik Armstead to a cap situation this offseason, while Chase Young could leave as well. Replacing such great talent will be difficult, especially when it comes to Armstead, but the 49ers are trying with this Yetur Gross-Matos signing.

Unfortunately for San Francisco, Gross-Matos is unlikely to contribute much. There’s a chance he could because he’s a recent second-round pick. However, he has yet to live up to his potential. Given that, it’s difficult to justify a contract worth $9 million per year.

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Seahawks Seahawks re-sign DT Leonard Williams (3 years, $64.5 million): B Grade
The Seahawks traded for Leonard Williams during the 2023 season, but they didn’t get much out of it. Williams played well, but he didn’t help the team reach the playoffs. Still, allowing Williams to escape without any sort of postseason berth would have made Seattle look foolish, so re-signing him makes sense.

This seems like fair value for Williams, who should continue to perform well for his new team. However, there’s a bit of a concern with Williams’ age. He’s now 30, so he could regress soon.

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Dolphins Dolphins sign C Aaron Brewer (3 years, $21 million): A Grade
I mentioned how the Dolphins needed to rebuild their linebacking corps. The same applies to their offensive line. Many of their blockers are free agents, and some of them were already very injury-prone, so finding a new unit to protect Tua Tagovailoa was extremely important, especially given Tagovailoa’s injury history.

Given the issues up front, I love this signing for the Dolphins. Aaron Brewer will fill a huge void at center. Brewer played very well for the Titans last year and is only 25, so he has loads of potential. I thought he’d get a bit more money than this, so Miami was able to obtain a great value.

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Seahawks Seahawks re-sign TE Noah Fant (2 years, $20 million): C- Grade
This is a shocking contract. Not because Noah Fant is being paid more than his talent level, but because Seattle didn’t utilize Fant all that much this past season. Fant played about half the snaps in 2023, which is why he caught only 32 passes. I assumed Seattle would part ways with Fant, but apparently not.

Given Fant’s limited usage, it’s hard to justify this contract. Fant has some skill, but he’s not worth $10 million per year.

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Patriots Patriots sign OT/G Michael Onwenu (3 years, $57 million): B Grade
The Patriots have endured offensive line issues for several years, but they can’t afford those anymore. They’ll be drafting Jayden Daniels or Drake Maye this April, so they’ll have to protect their rookie quarterback to avoid him becoming a bust. For this reason, re-signing Michael Onwenu was essential.

Onwenu is a talented and young (26) blocker. He’s also versatile, capable of playing tackle and guard. He’s a valuable piece of the offensive line. He’s not elite, so I think New England overpaid him a bit, but that’s perfectly fine, given the situation with the impending rookie quarterback.

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Jaguars Jaguars sign CB Ronald Darby (2 years, $10 million): B+ Grade
Ronald Darby has some serious injury issues. He’s a good player when on the field, but it’s rare that he’s healthy. It’s a shame, but the Jaguars will have to deal with his health problems for now.

Still, I like this signing. The Jaguars aren’t taking much of a risk by signing Darby to this sort of deal. It’s almost all upside. Besides, the Jaguars have some severe issues stopping the pass, so they’ll take all the help that they can get.

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Dolphins Dolphins sign LB Jordyn Brooks (3 years, $30 million): D- Grade
As discussed earlier today on this page, the Dolphins had to completely retool their linebacking corps. They signed Anthony Walker, who is a good player with an extensive injury history. Jordyn Brooks, conversely, has not been a good player at all.

Brooks is a former first-round pick, but he has not shown any signs of being a starting-caliber linebacker. He’s talented, but he’s been a bust thus far. Perhaps he’ll live up to his potential in a new location, but there’s no reason Miami should have given him $10 million per year. This signing was almost a Millen, but at least it has potential.

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Raiders Raiders sign QB Gardner Minshew (2 years, $25 million): B+ Grade
It was unclear what the Raiders would do at quarterback this offseason. Would they obtain a high-priced quarterback like Kirk Cousins or Justin Fields, or would they draft a quarterback in the first round? This indicates to me that the Raiders planned on the latter strategy all along.

Gardner Minshew is the perfect stopgap quarterback. He can manage games and lead a good team to the brink of the playoffs, which is what he did last year. Ideally, however, the Raiders would have a rookie signal-caller ready to play right away, but being out of the top three, that’s unlikely. Still, this is a good deal for Minshew, who can help the Raiders win nine or 10 games if the offensive line is improved.

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Redskins Redskins sign RB Austin Ekeler (2 years, $11.4 million): A+ Grade
Now this is a good running back contract. When I first saw that the Redskins had signed Austin Ekeler, I rolled my eyes and guessed that they gave him something north of $10 million per year. That is not the case, as Ekeler will be earning about half as much on a short-term contract.

If you owned Ekeler in fantasy or played him in DFS last year, you may remember him being terrible. Ekeler had a great Week 1 performance, but then suffered an injury. He was never the same after that for the entire season. I think it’s very likely that he’ll rebound, so he’ll be a great receiving weapon for whichever quarterback the Redskins select at No. 2 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft (check out my 2024 NFL Mock Draft here.)

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Giants Giants sign OT Jermaine Eluemunor (2 years, $14 million): B Grade
Jermaine Eluemunor was a career backup before joining the Raiders last year. He was a pleasant surprise in Las Vegas, serving as a decent starter. Granted, this was a small sample size, but Eluemunor deserves a chance to continue to prove himself.

Giants fans don’t need to be told how bad their team’s offensive line was last year. Eluemunor should definitely help. It’s unclear if he’s a long-term solution, as his 2023 production could have been a mirage, but any possible personnel upgrade can’t hurt. This seems like an appropriate amount to give to Eluemunor, so a “B” grade seems to be in order.

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Patriots Patriots sign RB Antonio Gibson (3 years, $11.75 million): B Grade
Are we sure Bill Belichick still isn’t running the Patriots? New England has overpaid for receivers and tight ends, and now they’ve signed a running back who offers nothing as a runner but plenty as a receiver.

Antonio Gibson is not a real running back. The Redskins tried to make him one, but failed miserably. Gibson, however, can be a dynamic receiver out of the backfield if used properly. There’s some upside to him, and he could be someone New England’s rookie quarterback leans on in his early years. I’m fine with this move.

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Jaguars Jaguars sign S Darnell Savage (3 years, $21 million): B Grade
Darnell Savage was considered a first-round bust for quite some time. Even prior to 2023, no one had much interest in his services. Savage, however, had his best year, just in time for free agency. The Jaguars decided to scoop him up for $7 million per season.

It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out. Savage could either continue to thrive or revert back to his pre-contract year level of play. There’s definitely some risk involved in a contract like this, but Savage could certainly outperform it. This is a gamble, but it could really pay off for Jacksonville.

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Bengals Bengals re-sign TE Drew Sample (3 years, $10.5 million): B Grade
As far as non-elite tight end contracts are concerned, this is a good one. Drew Sample will be making about half as much as Colby Parkinson, yet he’s a similar player. It makes you wonder why teams overpay non-elite tight ends at all.

Like Parkinson, Will Dissly and others, Drew Sample is a quality blocking tight end who doesn’t do much as a receiver. I’d say this is fair value for someone like Sample, so the Bengals deserve a “B” grade for the move.

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Lions Lions sign DE Marcus Davenport (1 year): B+ Grade
Marcus Davenport was a solid performer with the Saints, so when the Vikings signed him last year, they believed they were getting a pass-rushing upgrade. This, however, did not happen, as Davenport was a bust in Minnesota. However, Davenport still has upside, and perhaps the Lions can get him to perform like he did in New Orleans. There’s no risk involved, so why not? This is all upside, so I’m a fan of this signing.

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Dolphins Dolphins sign LB Anthony Walker (1 year): A Grade
Miami’s linebacking corps was in shambles late last year. The team suffered so many injuries and then went on to lose some of those players to free agency on the very first day. The Dolphins needed to replenish their talent at linebacker, and signing Anthony Walker is a nice first step.

Walker is a very talented linebacker, and the Browns have missed him when he’s been out of action the past couple of years. However, Walker tends to get hurt a lot. He’s not very reliable, though that downside is mitigated by the low-risk nature of this 1-year “prove it” contract, making this signing a terrific one.

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Browns Browns re-sign DT Maurice Hurst (1 year, $3.2 million): A Grade
This re-signing is similar to the one posted below. Maurice Hurst isn’t as impactful as Za’Darius Smith, but he also won’t be making nearly as much as Smith either. Still, Hurst was a solid player in Cleveland’s defensive line rotation. He played about 30 percent of the team’s snaps, but was very impactful when he was on the field.

This is a great re-signing. There’s absolutely no risk with this contract, and there’s nothing but upside.

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Browns Browns re-sign DE Za’Darius Smith (2 years, $23.5 million): B Grade
Za’Darius Smith was an effective pass rusher last year. The stats may not show it (5.5 sacks), but that’s not indicative of how well Smith performed. Also, Smith played about half the snaps because the Browns were so deep on the defensive line.

Retaining Smith was a good decision, as Cleveland had issues on the defensive line prior to 2023. Smith could continue to play well, though there’s some risk with him being 32. However, this contract is only for two years, so there isn’t that much downside.

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Cardinals Cardinals sign LB Mack Wilson (3 years, $12.75 million): C Grade
The Cardinals are spending a ton of money. Unfortunately for them, they’re really not getting much out of it. That includes this contract, as Mack Wilson is yet another overpay.

Wilson had some nice moments for the Patriots over the past couple of seasons, but as a part-time player. There’s a chance he could play well in a larger role. However, it’s also possible that he will regress without Bill Belichick coaching him up. Wilson was not considered a good player before joining Belichick’s defense, so he may also struggle after leaving the defense.

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Cardinals Cardinals sign DT Justin Jones (3 years, $30.1 million): C- Grade
I’m not quite sure why Justin Jones needs the $0.1 million attached to the standard 3-year, $30 million deal we’ve seen so many times over the years. Perhaps the Cardinals needed to outbid another suitor by $100,000.

Even without the $100,000, it’s still an overpay. Justin Jones is coming off his best year as a pass rusher, but still wasn’t very good. I thought he’d sign a deal worth $5 million or so, which makes this a bloated contract. Jones should still serve as an upgrade, but Arizona could have been smarter with its money.

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Redskins Redskins sign LB Frankie Luvu (3 years, $36 million): A- Grade
I can’t remember the last time the Redskins had great linebacker play. Was it during the days of London Fletcher. I honestly don’t know. The Redskins haven’t been able to cover the middle of the field for quite some time, but that looks like it’s going to change.

Frankie Luvu is an excellent, well-rounded linebacker. He can do everything, and the Panthers knew how valuable he was when their defensive play declined as a result of him being out of the lineup last year. Luvu deserved this sort of deal, and Washington finally has its linebacker upgrade.

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Chargers Chargers sign TE Will Dissly (3 years, $14 million): C Grade
Will Dissly has to be upset that he didn’t receive Colby Parkinson’s contract. His former teammate signed a $22.5 million deal over three years with the Rams, while Dissly will “only” be getting $14 million over the same span with the other Los Angeles team.

While this isn’t the Millen grade we saw with Parkinson, it’s still perplexing as to why the Chargers would spend nearly $5 million per season for a blocking tight end. Sure, Dissly is an excellent blocker, but he offers very little as a receiver. All of these tight ends are overpaid, though at least Dissly’s contract isn’t nearly as egregious as the others.

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Jaguars Jaguars sign WR Devin Duvernay (2 years, $12 million): C+ Grade
If you just look at the stats, this would earn a Millen grade. Devin Duvernay’s career-high numbers are 37 catches and 407 yards. He posted those figures in 2022 and then did nothing last year. Based on the stats, this grade would border on a Millen.

Duvernay’s value, however, comes on special teams. In fact, he was a Pro Bowl special-teamer twice in his career. The Jaguars are doing well to upgrade this area of their team, though I still think that this is an overpay.

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Colts Colts re-sign DT Grover Stewart (3 years, $39 million): A- Grade
If you want to know how impactful Grover Stewart is for the Colts, just look at how the team performed when he was injured last year. Indianapolis could not stop the run at all when Stewart was sidelined. He then returned, and the Colts were excellent versus ground attacks once again.

Stewart is more than just a monstrous run-stuffer. He can apply pressure on the quarterback as well, making him a valuable piece of Indianapolis’ front seven. The Colts did well to re-sign him. The only concern is that Stewart is now 30, but he should continue to perform on a high level for at least the next two years.

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Bengals Bengals sign S Geno Stone (2 years, $15 million): A Grade
The Bengals don’t often spend in free agency, so their fans have to be thrilled about this. They have to be especially excited that the front office targeted a huge hole at safety, vacated by Jessie Bates’ departure last offseason.

Geno Stone may not be a household name, but he’s an underrated player. He was excellent in coverage last year, though he missed his fair share of tackles. Still, he’s only 25, so he could continue to improve, making this a great bargain.

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Packers Packers sign S Xavier McKinney (4 years, $68 million): B- Grade
Everyone seems to be mad at the Packers for cutting Aaron Jones even in the wake of signing Josh Jacobs. However, Green Bay needed the money to replace Darnell Savage, which is what it’s doing by signing Xavier McKinney.

McKinney is a stellar safety. In fact, he’s one of the top players at his position in the entire league, so on the surface, this seems like an excellent signing. There is a downside, however, and that would be McKinney’s checkered injury history. I’m not confident McKinney can stay healthy, making this a very risky move, albeit one that could pay off extremely well.

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Giants Giants sign RB Devin Singletary (3 years, $16.5 million): C+ Grade
The Giants just lost Saquon Barkley to the Eagles, so they suddenly had a huge hole at running back. Filling that void with Devin Singletary a year ago would have been extremely unappealing, but things can change in such a short period of time.

Singletary began as the backup in Houston last year, but overtook Dameon Pierce. He was excellent down the stretch. It’s tough to say if this was a mirage, so it’ll be interesting to see how he produces with an inferior offensive line in 2024. I’m worried that Singletary will be a bust signing, but there’s a chance it could work. However, I’m definitely no fan of a bad team like the Giants spending $5 million per year on a running back when their offensive line is still in shambles.

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Texans Texans sign DE Denico Autry (2 years, $20 million): C+ Grade
The Texans just allowed Jonathan Greenard to leave despite having the cap space to sign him. This left a void across from Will Anderson, so Houston had to fill the void with another talented pass rusher.

Denico Autry can definitely be described as such. However, he can also be described as old. Autry is 34, so there’s a decent chance he’s in for some major regression. It’s difficult to grade this signing favorably for that reason, but it could end up working out in the short term.

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Texans Texans sign CB Jeff Okudah (1 year, $4.75 million): B Grade
It’s hard to believe that Jeff Okudah was once the third-overall pick in the NFL Draft. He’s been a colossal bust. He had some bright moments at the beginning of the 2023 season in Atlanta, but was eventually benched.

There’s not much risk to this signing, so it can’t be graded poorly. And there’s certainly some upside. There’s a chance that Okudah will become a late bloomer if DeMeco Ryans can get something out of him, which is possible.

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Falcons Falcons sign TE Charlie Woerner (3 years, $12 million): C- Grade
If Arthur Smith were still employed by the Falcons, he’d be salivating over this signing. Charlie Woerner would be his next fantasy superstar. “Who needs Kyle Pitts when you have Charlie Woerner!?” he’d say while combing his mustache.

This signing isn’t nearly as bad as the Colby Parkinson move, but it’s still pretty poor. Woerner didn’t play many snaps last year, and he’s not as good of a blocker as Parkinson, so he definitely doesn’t deserve $4 million per year.

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Cardinals Cardinals sign DT Bilal Nichols (3 years, $21 million): B- Grade
The Cardinals were one of the worst teams when it came to stopping the run last year. Actually, they were close to the bottom in many categories, but their run defense was atrocious, so they had to do something about it.

Signing Bilal Nichols is that something. Nichols offers nothing as a pass rusher, but he’s stout versus the run. I think this is a bit of an overpay for a one-dimensional player, but it’s a move that makes sense.

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Panthers Panthers sign G Robert Hunt (5 years, $100 million): B Grade
Bryce Young was terrible during his rookie year, but his offensive line was a disaster. Young didn’t exactly get a fair shake in his rookie year, but it looks like the Panthers will be providing one for him in his second season, at least based on this move.

This is more money than I thought Robert Hunt would receive, but I get it. Hunt is a very good blocker when it comes to both pass protection and the running game. He’s a massive upgrade in the interior. The Panthers still have lots of work to do, but this was a nice first step.

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Vikings Vikings sign LB Blake Cashman (3 years, $25.5 million): B+ Grade
Blake Cashman has certainly made a name for himself as a former fifth-round pick. Cashman was just a reserve for a while, but started for the Texans last year and played on a high level. He was particularly stout in run support, but also covered well.

This is another nice signing for the Vikings. They needed help at linebacker after losing Eric Kendricks last year, and Cashman will do a good job at filling that void at a reasonable price.

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Vikings Vikings sign DE/OLB Andrew Van Ginkel (2 years, $20 million): A+ Grade
The Vikings have done a great job of beefing up their defensive line. I just said that they lost tons of talent in the write-up below, and that was mostly true of their once-great front. Now, they’ve rebuilt it by signing Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel.

I love this signing. Van Ginkel does everything. He can rush the passer well. He can be a force versus the run. He can cover. He’s a Jack of all trades, master of a lot, and he was signed to a very reasonable, lower-risk contract.

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Falcons Falcons sign QB Kirk Cousins (4 years, $180 million): B Grade
The Falcons made so many great moves last offseason, and yet none of it mattered because they had no quarterback. Desmond Ridder was dreadful, while Taylor Heinicke was somehow even worse in relief. It was clear that Atlanta had no chance of making a deep playoff run without a quarterback upgrade, but now it certainly has one.

Cousins is the sort of quarterback who can win a Super Bowl if he has great talent around him on both sides of the ball. The concern in Minnesota was that his contract commanded so much money for the long term that the team would have to shed so many great players. However, the Falcons are in a position to win now with him. There’s definitely some risk because Cousins is a 36-year-old coming off a torn Achilles, but it would be a surprise if he didn’t at least help the team win the division and advance to the second round of the playoffs.

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Giants Giants sign G Jon Runyan (3 years, $30 million): D Grade
I’ll sometimes have audible reactions to signings. If people were here in my office with me, they’d hear, “Good move,” or “That was dumb,” or “What the f**k are they thinking?” For this signing, I just shook my head.

I don’t hate this move because the Giants needed to upgrade their offensive line. Their blocking was so dreadful that Jon Runyan will help. Runyan, however, is just a passable starter. He’s a fine run blocker, but he struggles in pass protection. The Giants needed to give Daniel Jones better pass blocking, and this isn’t that, so you have to wonder why they’re spending so much money.

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Eagles Eagles sign RB Saquon Barkley (3 years, $37.8 million): B+ Grade
I often think running backs are overvalued. Many teams that pay big money to the position really shouldn’t. However, there are some exceptions, and this is one of them.

First of all, Saquon Barkley is not your typical running back. He’s an elite receiving threat out of the backfield, so he can still be a big contributor in the event that the team falls behind. Second, teams like the Eagles that are in Super Bowl contention can afford luxury signings like this. Barkley is so talented that he can put the Eagles over the top. I wouldn’t have liked Barkley signing with a lesser team, but this is a very logical move for the Eagles.

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Redskins Redskins sign DE Dorance Armstrong (3 years, $45 million): B+ Grade
If you look at Dorance Armstrong’s stats, they don’t exactly pop off the page. He has recorded 8.5 and 7.5 sacks in the past two seasons, which is good, but not great. However, consider that Armstrong was just a part-time player. With a larger role, Armstrong’s sack totals should rise.

Given the size of Armstrong’s contract and all the recent pass-rushing departures on the Redskins, there will be more snaps for the former Jayhawk in the future. In fact, this contract may look like a bargain down the road.

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Eagles Eagles sign OLB Bryce Huff (3 years, $51.1 million): B Grade
Congratulations are in order for Bryce Huff, who has become the highest-paid former UDFA of all time. Huff has certainly done a great job of developing, as he was able to record 10 sacks last year as a part-time player.

This is a bit more than I would have given Huff, but I still like the signing. Huff is only 26, so he could continue to improve. The Eagles told Hasson Reddick to seek a trade, so they were able to obtain a younger replacement.

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Rams Rams sign G Jonah Jackson (3 years, $51 million): B Grade
I just gave the Rams a Millen for signing Colby Parkinson (see below), but this contract is much better. I have great respect for the Rams’ front office, so I’m not surprised to see them rebound this way.

The Rams did a great job of rebuilding their offensive line after losing Andrew Whitworth and some other blockers. However, they still had a hole to fill at guard, and they’ve done so well with Jonah Jackson. The former Lion isn’t a great blocker by any means, but he’ll be a rock solid starter. This is a bit more money than I would have expected for Jackson, but protecting Matthew Stafford is so important that I think the terms are fine.

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Rams Rams sign TE Colby Parkinson (3 years, $22.5 million): MILLEN Grade
I never would have imagined that Colby Parkinson would earn a contract worth $22.5 million over three years. It’s absurd. If I heard that Parkinson obtained a 3-year deal, I would have guessed that it would have been for $9 million, and I still would have called that overpay.

I don’t know how many times I’ll need to say it until NFL teams learn their lesson, but giving big-money deals to non-elite tight ends never pans out. The Rams will regret this contract to Parkinson, who had just 25 catches last year. Parkinson is a good blocker, but blocking tight ends grow on trees. It’s very easy to find one, so they don’t deserve absurd money like this.

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Raiders Raiders sign DT Christian Wilkins (4 years, $110 million): B- Grade
I’m torn on this signing. On one hand, I’m eager to see the mayhem that Christian Wilkins and Maxx Crosby can cause together. Wilkins, who logged nine sacks last year, should be able to hound Patrick Mahomes from the interior. Many quarterbacks hate inside pressure more than anything, so Mahomes’ life has just gotten a bit more difficult. Also, this is not just a bad team overpaying a player. If the Raiders can find upgrades at quarterback and the offensive line, they can compete for a Super Bowl because of their elite defense and receiving weapons.

However, there’s a downside to this contract. Wilkins is a very good player, but he’s not elite, so this contract is an overpay. I also worry about giving nine-figure deals to defensive tackles because there’s an extensive history of highly paid players at the position busting.

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Vikings Vikings sign OT David Quessenberry (1 year): B+ Grade
The Vikings have a solid offensive line, but they needed better depth in the event of injuries. David Quessenberry will provide a fine insurance policy. He’s not a great pass protector, but he’s a force when it comes to run blocking. He also has plenty of starting experience, so he’ll be a valuable backup for Minnesota at a presumably cheap price.

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Jaguars Jaguars sign WR Gabe Davis (3 years, $39 million): MILLEN Grade
My reaction to when I saw this contract: “Why!?” Ladies and gentlemen, we have our second Millen of the 2024 NFL offseason.

This is absurd money for Gabe Davis. Sure, Davis has had some ridiculous performances in recent years, including a four-touchdown onslaught against the Chiefs in the divisional round of the playoffs a few seasons ago. However, he’s had so many more dud outputs. Davis can be invisible at times, and it’s not like he has played with a poor quarterback. Davis was inconsistent with Josh Allen, so why do the Jaguars think that he’ll suddenly perform on a higher level with Trevor Lawrence?

I can’t get over how bad this signing is. And I knew it was going to happen. On the After Dark Show, I even said that Davis was going to get a massive deal because teams are dumb and often overpay mediocre-at-best receivers. I knew if I saw something like this, I’d give the signing a Millen, so here we are.

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Broncos Broncos sign S Brandon Jones (3 years, $20 million): C Grade
The Broncos cut Justin Simmons last week, so they needed to fill a huge hole they suddenly had at safety. They’ll be hoping that Brandon Jones can help fix that void, but they’re most likely to be disappointed with the results, at least when considering the financial implications.

Jones is a well-rounded, Jack-of-all-trades safety. However, he’s not a particularly great player by any means, and so this contract is way too rich for him. Given how many quality safeties are available, the Broncos could have gotten a much better value had they been more patient. I don’t hate this signing, but it can’t possibly be graded above a “C.”

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Titans Titans sign RB Tony Pollard (3 years, $24 million): D- Grade
This was so close to another Millen. It really was. I strongly considered it, but I like this signing a bit better than the Bears’ addition of D’Andre Swift.

Simply put, Pollard is a better option than Swift because he has less of a track record when it comes to injuries. Sure, he broke his leg at the end of the 2022 season, but that’s about it. Pollard had a down 2023 as a result of that broken leg, so he’ll play better next season. However, this still seems like a foolish signing for the Titans because they’re nowhere near playoff contention. Signing a running back to a big-money deal is the last thing bad teams should do, particularly bad teams with poor offensive lines.

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Vikings Vikings sign DE Jonathan Greenard (4 years, $76 million): B Grade
Jonathan Greenard has made some great strides since being a third-round pick. He registered 12.5 sacks last year and was decent at stopping the run. He was bound to sign a big contract, and here it is.

I like this move for the Vikings, who have lost a ton of defensive line talent in recent years. Their pass rush was diminished, so they had to sign someone like Greenard. My one concern is that Greenard will get more attention because he won’t have anyone like Will Anderson commanding respect, but I still expect Greenard to play well in his new home.

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Bills Bills re-sign OT Dion Dawkins (3 years, $60.5 million): B+ Grade
Protecting Josh Allen is extremely important. Thus, any move that enables this cannot be graded poorly. Dion Dawkins is one of the better left tackles in the NFL, so re-signing him was crucial to Buffalo’s success.

The one downside here is that Dawkins turns 30 this offseason. There will be regression coming at some point, but it won’t necessarily occur during the duration of this deal. Trent Williams, for example, is 35, and yet he’s still an elite blind-side protector. Dawkins’ decline could happen in the next three years, but I doubt it.

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Colts Bears sign RB D’Andre Swift (3 years, $24 million): MILLEN Grade
I promised a Millen grade on Twitter, and here it is. Our first one of the offseason. Thanks, Bears!

Here are the reasons why the Bears are getting a Millen (a.k.a. an “F”) for signing D’Andre Swift:

1. Swift has obvious durability issues. The Lions got rid of him because they didn’t trust him to stay healthy. Swift did a good job of remaining on the field last year, but that’s unlikely to last.

2. The demand for running backs is low, so there’s no reason to give a player at the position $8 million per year when he’s not even that great. If this were Saquon Barkley, sure, but Swift is not worth $8 million per season. He’s good, but he’s not that good.

3. Is Swift even that much better than Khalil Herbert or Roschon Johnson? He’s superior to them, but there isn’t much of a gap, and certainly not one to justify $8 million per year.

I’m still bullish on the Bears’ chances of making a deep playoff push in 2024, but this signing doesn’t give me confidence that the rest of their offseason will go well.

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Colts Colts re-sign WR Michael Pittman Jr. (3 years, $70 million): B+ Grade
There’s been some speculation that the Colts will trade for a receiver. Jerry Jeudy’s name came up before the deal to Cleveland. A.J. Brown was another player who was discussed. However, the Colts still needed to re-sign Michael Pittman Jr., who was a receptions machine for them last year.

Pittman is a terrific, young receiver coming off a 109-catch season. He’s only 26, so there’s no reason to think there will be any regression. As with the Landon Dickerson signing right underneath this one, I can’t give the Colts an “A” grade because this isn’t a bargain, but it was an essential transaction.

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Eagles Eagles re-sign G/C Landon Dickerson (4 years, $84 million): B+ Grade
If you’re wondering if this is a huge contract for a guard, you would be correct. In fact, Landon Dickerson is now the highest-paid guard in NFL history.

Dickerson is a great candidate to have this distinction. He’s only been in the league for three years, yet he has qualified for the Pro Bowl twice. He’s a terrific pass protector and also has versatility to play center. At only 25, Dickerson will continue to improve.

I can’t give the Eagles a grade in the “A” range because this contract is impossible to be a bargain. However, Philadelphia made an excellent decision to extend such a valuable player.

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Lions Lions re-sign G/C Graham Glasgow (3 years, $20 million): B+ Grade
One of the reasons I’ve been so bullish on the Lions in recent years is the great play of their offensive line. They have one of the best blocking units in the NFL, and Graham Glasgow is definitely a big part of that.

Glasgow isn’t a terrific pass protector, but he’s a force in the running game and can play multiple positions. He’s worth every penny of this deal. The only downside is that he’s 32, but interior linemen have shown that they can play well into their mid-30s.

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Jaguars Jaguars sign C Mitch Morse (2 years, $10.5 million): A Grade
The Jaguars have endured some sketchy offseasons recently, but they’re off to a great start this spring. I love this signing and nearly considered it to be an A+.

Mitch Morse isn’t a great center by any means, but he’s a rock-solid player. This is an upgrade the Jaguars sorely needed to make for their poor offensive line, and they’re doing so relatively cheaply. Also, Morse played under Doug Pederson when the two were in Kansas City, so that’s a bonus.

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Colts Colts re-sign LB Zaire Franklin (3 years, $31.26 million): D Grade
The Colts lost Shaq Leonard recently, so they need help at linebacker. Following this massive contract given to linebacker Zaire Franklin, Indianapolis still needs help at the position.

I don’t understand what the Colts are doing regarding this contract. Franklin is a solid player in run support, but he tends to get lost in coverage. He’s also not young – he turns 28 this summer – so it’s not like there’s a ton of upside to this deal. This contract isn’t quite a Millen, but it’s close.

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Steelers Steelers sign QB Russell Wilson (1 year): B- Grade
It’s unknown how much Russell Wilson signed for, but the contract was deemed a “team friendly deal.” This is because the Broncos will be paying the difference of whatever Wilson stands to make in Pittsburgh, so Wilson wasn’t seeking any sort of substantial contract.

Given that this is a no-risk deal from a financial perspective, it’s hard to grade this signing negatively. However, it’s difficult to be optimistic as well. Wilson’s play has fallen off a cliff recently. Bad coaching was the culprit in 2022, but Wilson was awful this past season under Sean Payton. The stats may tell a different story, but Wilson compiled the bulk of his positive numbers when down multiple scores. He was the king of garbage time.

Wilson also has a bad reputation of being a negative personality in the locker room. There’s a history of teammates not liking him, so he could spoil things for the Steelers. There’s also some upside, but I don’t envision this ending well.

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Patriots Patriots re-sign WR Kendrick Bourne (3 years, $33 million): D Grade
The Patriots have made some dubious moves thus far this offseason, which has to have fans worried about the direction of the team in the post-Bill Belichick era. New England began by giving Hunter Henry $10 million per year even though he’ll turn 30 soon. Now, they gave $11 million per season to a receiver coming off a torn ACL.

I wouldn’t mind this deal under normal circumstances. Bourne is a solid, underrated receiver. However, he tore his ACL in the middle of the 2023 season, which means one of two things will happen: He’ll either fail to be ready for the start of the 2024 season, or he’ll rush back and injure another part of his lower body like his Achilles. Bourne should have signed a 1-year “prove it” deal this offseason. This contract is outrageous.

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Raiders Raiders re-sign C Andre James (3 years, $24 million): A Grade
Andre James has done a terrific job of improving his game each year. He was an undrafted free agent five seasons ago and played poorly in brief action to start his pro career. However, he has gotten so much better that he’s now considered to be a potential top-10 center in the NFL.

Given how well James has progressed, this contract seems like a steal. James is still young enough (27 in May) to keep improving. He’s an important member of an offensive line that is mostly devoid of talent, so retaining him was very important.

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March 10 Updates

Buccaneers Buccaneers re-sign QB Baker Mayfield (3 years, $100 million; $50 million guaranteed): D Grade
This is a horrible contract. I thought long and hard about giving it a Millen grade. However, I think the first Millen of the season should be for a “special” sort of signing, and I can at least understand what the Buccaneers are thinking.

Tampa Bay is re-signing Mayfield because it believes that he will keep the team as a relevant playoff contender. This is likely a mistake, as the Buccaneers were very fortunate to luck int some wins last year, yet still barely claiming the worst division in the NFL. There’s a good chance the Falcons will be much better than them next year, while variance will go the other way for Tampa. This bloated contract will prevent the Buccaneers from accomplishing what they really need to do, which is to tank for a franchise quarterback. Mayfield is just OK; he isn’t terrible, but he will definitely regress in the wake of Dave Canales’ departure.

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March 9 Updates

Chiefs Chiefs re-sign DT Chris Jones (5 years, $160 million; $95 million guaranteed): C+ Grade
Wow. What an insane amount of money for a non-quarterback. When I first saw this signing, live on the WalterFootball After Dark Show…



…I assumed that Jones signed a deal worth $95 million overall. Instead, it was $95 million guaranteed!

Chris Jones is an amazing player. He’s a top-five defender in the NFL. The Chiefs are not the same without him. However, I still think this is an overpay because Jones turns 30 in July. Jones will be incredible in 2024 and perhaps 2025, but what about when he’s 32 in 2026? Will he still be a top-five player then? Maybe, but probably not.

Despite what I just said, I don’t hate this deal. Andy Reid won’t be around forever, and so I understand going all in like this while he’s still around. The Chiefs are trying to be the first team in NFL history to three-peat as Super Bowl champions, and Jones’ return will help them do that. Plus, the salary cap rose more than anticipated, so that should be factored into the grade as well.

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Eagles Eagles re-sign DE Brandon Graham (1 year, $4 million): A Grade
It’s tough to criticize this re-signing. Brandon Graham is 36, but he was still an effective player last year, both as a pass rusher and a run defender. He was a part-time player in 2023, but a major reason for that is because the Eagles have so much talent on the defensive line and can afford to keep everyone fresh.

Keeping Graham around for one more year is a great move. It also carries no risk because it’s just a 1-year deal. Graham, by the way, indicated that 2024 could be his final season in the NFL.

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March 8 Updates

Ravens Ravens re-sign DT Justin Madubuike (4 years, $98 million): B Grade
Justin Madubuike has done a terrific job of improving his game since entering the league as a third-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. He began as a backup, but continued to get better each year until he was a dominant force in 2023. Madubuike did an excellent job hounding quarterbacks in 2023, logging 13 sacks.

Given how great Madubuike has become, I completely understand why the Ravens gave him a contract worth nearly nine figures. My one concern here is that defensive tackles have a long history of busting after getting paid because it’s tougher for them to lose weight once they get fat and happy. However, Madubuike is only 26 and plays on a team that has a strong locker room, so perhaps he’ll avoid busting.

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Patriots Patriots re-sign TE Hunter Henry (3 years, $30 million): D Grade
Any Patriots fan hoping for better personnel moves in the wake of Bill Belichick’s dismissal can’t be feeling good right now. It’s only one signing thus far, but this move has to make everyone bearish for the near future.

Hunter Henry does not deserve $10 million per season. He’s a solid player who was a good end zone threat for Bailey Zappe last year, but he showed regression overall and will be 30 soon. In fact, he’ll be 30 or older for most of the duration of this contract. The Patriots should be rebuilding their roster; not signing aging players to big contracts like this.

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March 7 Updates

Chiefs Chiefs re-sign LB Drue Tranquill (3 years, $19 million; $13 million guaranteed): B Grade
The Chiefs had major problems at linebacker a few years ago, but they’ve made some moves to make sure that area isn’t a liability anymore. Obtaining Drue Tranquill was one such acquisition. Tranquill performed well last season, so it’s not a surprise to see the Chiefs re-sign him.

This seems like fair value. Tranquill isn’t a great player by any means, but he’s a solid, well-rounded linebacker. I imagined he’d get a contract similar to this one, so I’m willing to grade this as a “B.”

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Rams Rams re-sign G Kevin Dotson (3 years, $48 million; $32 million guaranteed): A- Grade
Pittsburgh fans have to be frustrated upon seeing this contract. The Steelers, who have maintained offensive line issues for years, let go of Kevin Dotson last offseason. Dotson joined the Rams and went on to have a terrific season. He was rewarded with a contract worth $16 million per year and $32 million in guarantees.

Dotson was a key part of the Rams’ success last year, so I’m very much in favor of this move. While the Rams have lots of fantasy talent, they also blocked very well last year, and Dotson was a key component. He was one of the better guards in the NFL, so re-signing him was crucial.

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Saints Bears re-sign CB Jaylon Johnson (4 years, $76 million; $54 million guaranteed): A- Grade
A handful of players were franchised earlier this week. Jaylon Johnson is the first to receive a long-term deal of the group. He obtained a massive contract giving him nearly $20 million per year and $54 million guaranteed.

I often don’t grade contracts like this in the “A” range because they aren’t bargains. However, this sum of money makes sense in this circumstance. Johnson is one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL, so he deserved a lucrative deal. Not only that; Johnson isn’t even 25 years old yet, which is remarkable. Johnson could keep improving as well, so this signing could look even more favorable in the near future.

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Saints Saints re-sign S Tyrann Mathieu (2 years, $13 million): B Grade
I find it interesting that while many teams in the NFL are getting rid of their 30-year-old safeties, the Saints are re-signing theirs. Tyrann Mathieu, who turns 32 in May, has been retained for two years and $13 million.

Mathieu is coming off a terrific season, so the money makes sense for him. However, Mathieu’s age means that serious regression is coming. It may not happen this year, but the likelihood of a decline is rather high. Also, it must once again be pointed out that the Saints are doing nothing but spinning their wheels with 8-9 and 9-8 records. It’d be better off if they let veterans like Mathieu go and begin anew.

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Jaguars Dolphins sign TE Jonnu Smith (2 years, $10 million): B- Grade
If you listen carefully, you may hear a mustachioed man in Pittsburgh crying right now. Yes, that’s Arthur Smith, and his beloved tight end is off the market. Jonnu Smith is not heading to Pittsburgh, but will be playing for the Dolphins instead.

Jonnu Smith is coming off a decent season, though his numbers were inflated by Arthur Smith’s dumb play-calling. Jonnu Smith is definitely an upgrade for the Dolphins, though really by default, as Miami had nothing at the position. I think this is a bit of an overpay, though not an egregious one.

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Jaguars Jaguars re-sign G Ezra Cleveland (3 years, $28.5 million): C Grade
The Jaguars were able to obtain Ezra Cleveland from the Vikings for a mere sixth-round pick during the season. This seemed like a sweet deal at the time. This, however, is not quite that.

Cleveland is a solid guard, though he didn’t perform up to his previous level in Jacksonville. Cleveland, for whatever reason, struggled in his new home. If that play is indicative of how Cleveland will perform in the future, then this is a massive overpay. However, Cleveland is still a young player (26 in May) and can bounce to back to help protect Trevor Lawrence.

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March 6 Updates

Bills Bills re-sign S Taylor Rapp (3 years, $14.5 million): B+ Grade
As discussed in the David Edwards signing grade analysis, the Bills are in a rough cap spot. Heading into the offseason, only the Saints had less cap space. Buffalo had to cut some players, including a couple of talented ones like Tre’Davious White and Jordan Poyer.

Luckily for the Bills, they had a viable replacement for Poyer in Taylor Rapp. Buffalo signed Rapp last offseason to a cheap deal and will now be making him the starter. Rapp has done well as a starter in the past for the Rams, so he should fit right in at a reasonable price. Rapp, who is much younger than Poyer, gives the Bills more bang for their buck at this point in the two safeties’ careers.

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Bills Bills re-sign G/OT David Edwards (2 years, $6 million): B Grade
I feel like I’ve given out so many “B” grades recently, but that’s what these signings have deserved. This is another “B” signing. David Edwards is a quality backup offensive lineman who can play both guard and tackle. Giving him $3 million per year seems like a fair price, and keeping him is essential with Ryan Bates gone. With the Bills stuck in cap purgatory, they need all the quality depth they can get, and Edwards certainly qualifies as such.

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Redskins Redskins sign TE Zach Ertz (1 year, $5 million): B Grade
Tight end is a huge need for the Redskins, but then again, so is pretty much everything. Logan Thomas was on the roster, but Washington released him, making the hole even larger. That was filled temporarily by the signing of Zach Ertz.

Ertz will turn 34 during the 2024 season, so it’s obvious to say that his best days are far behind him. However, he had some decent performances last year before getting hurt. He can still play somewhat decently, and he’ll be a fine stopgap for the Redskins, who are still expected to find a younger tight end soon. Ertz makes for a nice insurace policy in case that doesn’t happen, and it’s nice that he has experience in Kliff Kingsbury’s system.

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March 5 Updates

Texans Texans re-sign TE Dalton Schultz (3 years, $36 million): B Grade
Dalton Schultz signed a 1-year “prove it” deal last offseason, as many believed him to just be a product of Dak Prescott and the Cowboys system. Schultz proved his detractors wrong by catching 59 passes for 635 yards and five touchdowns in 2023.

I’m usually wary of big-money contracts given to tight ends, as those sort of deals seldom end up being good decisions. This could be different, however, as Schultz and C.J. Stroud have developed great chemistry. Stroud had one of the best rookie seasons for a rookie quarterback ever, and Schultz was a part of that. Removing Schultz would almost certainly have had a negative impact on Stroud, so I can understand why the Texans would give Schultz $12 million per year.

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March 4 Updates

Rams Buccaneers re-sign WR Mike Evans (2 years, $56 million): B Grade
Mike Evans said a couple of days ago that he wanted to go to a team with a great quarterback who could allow him to compete for another Super Bowl. I envisioned him signing with the Chiefs, Bills, or Ravens. Instead, Evans has decided that the Buccaneers have some sort of great quarterback because he decided to re-sign with the team.

This is a tough grade because on one hand, Evans is a beloved player and seems to be taking a hometown discount. I have little doubt that Evans, who is coming off a great season, could have gotten more from another team. However, Evans is also 31, and receivers at that age tend to regress rapidly. There’s a chance Evans will decline this or next year, so this could actually end up being an overpay even though it doesn’t seem like one right now. Also, the argument can be made that the Buccaneers should blow up their roster and begin anew because they seem to be emulating the Saints in their everlasting quest to be a .500 team. Tampa Bay should have traded Evans last season, but will now likely be condemned to 8-9/9-8 purgatory unless Evans’ play completely falls off a cliff.

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Feb. 26 Updates

Rams Rams re-sign WR Demarcus Robinson (1 year, $5 million): A+ Grade
I’m shocked by this contract. Receivers often get incredibly expensive deals on the open market, so I was expecting some team to offer $30 million over three years to Robinson. Though Robinson’s career stats don’t dictate that he should receive this sort of compensation, it’s what’s been happening in free agency as a whole.

Considering that, this signing is a steal. Robinson had some terrific performances for the Rams in the second half of the season, establishing himself as a viable third receiver for Matthew Stafford. With Tyler Higbee coming off a torn ACL, it’ll be important for the Rams to have three wideouts Stafford can lean on in 2024, making this re-signing more crucial than most may realize.

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Jan. 6 Updates

Ravens Ravens re-sign DT Michael Pierce (2 years, $7.5 million): A Grade
I can’t say I’m surprised that the Ravens made a great signing at a cheap price. Michael Pierce is a solid contributor to Baltimore’s defense. He plays about half the snaps each week, but he makes a big difference in the running game. He’s an excellent run stuffer, so having someone like him around at a discount is tremendous. The one downside with Pierce is that he’s 31, but if he regresses, the Ravens aren’t risking much.

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Browns Browns re-sign S Grant Delpit (3 years, $36 million): B- Grade
Grant Delpit was seen as a second-round bust recently. He missed his entire rookie campaign with an injury and didn’t play much in his second season. He had more playing time in 2022 and was just mediocre, but he really blossomed this season, thriving in coverage. The Browns have rewarded him with a $36 million contract.

I’m not wild about this signing, but I don’t hate it. Delpit has become a quality contributor to Cleveland’s excellent defense. However, he doesn’t have much of a history of great production, and there will always be some health concerns. This seems like a slight overpay, but it’s a deal that makes sense.

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Nov. 9 Updates

Rams Rams sign QB Carson Wentz: A Grade
Carson Wentz was once an MVP candidate on the best team in football. Those days are long gone, as he was out of the league for the first half of the 2023 season. Wentz was awful last year, which would explain why he was unsigned.

Wentz, however, has been working hard to reenter the NFL. He spent lots of time watching film with Jon Gruden this summer. Given that Gruden and Sean McVay are close, it’s not a surprise that the Rams signed Wentz.

Aside from the Gruden recommendation angle, this has to be viewed as a positive signing because Wentz will be much better than Brett Rypien, who gave the Rams no chance to win at Green Bay. Even if Wentz is still a shell of his former self, he’ll be a better No. 2 quarterback than the Rams previously possessed.

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Bears Bears re-sign DE Montez Sweat (4 years, $105 million): B Grade
Some considered it odd that the Bears were “buyers” at the trade deadline, but what they were really doing was getting a head start on free agency. They would have signed Montez Sweat in March, but decided to acquire him six months earlier. It’s unclear why they couldn’t have waited, but they guaranteed that he would play for them and not anyone else.

This signing compares to the Packer deal given to Rashan Gary, which was $107 million over four seasons. Sweat will be getting about the same, which is something that must be questioned. Sweat is very talented, but Gary plays on a higher level. Thus, the Gary signing should be graded a bit higher. I went B+ for Gary, so this signing will be worth a “B.”

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Oct. 30 Updates

Packers Packers re-sign DE/DT Rashan Gary (4 years, $107 million): B+ Grade
Green Bay was panned for drafting Rashan Gary in the first round, and the critics looked correct during Gary’s poor rookie campaign. Gary, however, has silenced those detractors, improving by leaps and bounds with each season since. He’s now Green Bay’s defensive player.

Based on his production and age (26 in December), Gary deserves this sort of a contract. I’m usually skittish on paying bigger players tons of money, but Gary has certainly earned it. Thus, I will grade this as high as I can for a contract that isn’t a bargain.

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Oct. 7 Updates

Colts Colts re-sign RB Jonathan Taylor (3 years, $42 million; $26.5 million guaranteed): D Grade
The drama is finally over. After months of speculating if Jonathan Taylor would play for the Colts again, or where he’d be traded, we finally have an answer. Taylor will remain with Indianapolis on a new 3-year deal worth $42 million.

Taylor is obviously a talented running back, but this contract is a major misuse of funds. It should be obvious to everyone in the league that running backs shouldn’t be paid very highly. The demand is low, and players at the position are extremely injury-prone. Nick Chubb, considered the safest of the top running backs this year, tore up his knee in Week 2. No player at the position is safe.

If Taylor weren’t such a gifted player, this contract would warrant an “F” grade. It’s still a horrendous deal for the Colts, who apparently still think running backs are valuable. Someone needs to tell Jim Irsay that it’s not 1999 anymore.

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Sept. 29 Updates

Rams Rams re-sign TE Tyler Higbee (3 years, $27 million): C Grade
Tyler Higbee is a solid weapon for Matthew Stafford, but I’m not fully on board with this contract. There are a couple of reasons to dislike it. First, paying big money to non-elite tight ends seldom works. There’s a long track record of it failing, so the Rams could easily regret this deal. Second, Higbee will turn 31 prior to the end of the season. He’s not an ascending player anymore, and he could easily decline before the end of these terms. Paying on past production is a bad idea.

However, I don’t fully hate this contract because it’s only for three years. A 4-year deal would have earned a “D” or worse, but Higbee won’t be signed for too long. Plus, he’d be a reliable target for the next Rams’ quarterback, should the front office opt to replace Matthew Stafford in the near future.

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Sept. 23 Updates

Saints Saints re-sign DE Carl Granderson (4 years, $52 million): A Grade
The Saints had a bottom-10 pressure rate last year, but that has changed this season. New Orleans is currently on the cusp of being in the top 10 in that regard, and the primary catalyst for this has been Carl Granderson.

Granderson, an undrafted free agent from 2019, has made leaps and bounds in his development. He’s only 26, yet he’s becoming a devastating edge rusher. Given his youth and upside, he is well worth this contract, which could seem like a bargain in a couple of years if Granderson continues to improve.

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Sept. 20 Updates

Browns Bears sign RB Kareem Hunt (1 year, $4 million): A Grade
This signing made too much sense not to happen. Jerome Ford looked electric filling in for Nick Chubb, but the Browns were stuck without a viable No. 2 running back in the wake of Chubb’s injury. This was Hunt’s role with the Browns, so he’ll simply reprise it.

Signing Hunt to this deal should earn the Browns an easy “A” grade. Hunt knows the system and was available for a very reasonable price. He’s not the same terrific back he once was, but he’s still a reliable receiver out of the backfield, which is exactly what the Browns need.

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Sept. 9 Updates

Saints Saints re-sign G Cesar Ruiz (4 years, $44 million; $30 million guaranteed): D Grade
The Saints have a history of improperly evaluating their own talent, occasionally handing out bloated contracts to players who don’t deserve them. The tradition appears to be alive and well in New Orleans in the wake of this deal.

I recall Charlie Campbell saying that his sources with a team in the NFC South was thrilled that the Saints spent a first-round pick on Cesar Ruiz. Flash forward three years later, and Ruiz has proven the source to be correct. Ruiz is a pedestrian blocker at best, serving as the weak link on New Orleans’ front. Why the Saints believe he is worth all this money is beyond me.

I was tempted to fail the Saints for this, but Ruiz is still very young (24), and he has talent, so he could improve. However, a contract worth half as much would still be considered an overpay.

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Sept. 7 Updates

Bengals Bengals re-sign QB Joe Burrow (5 years, $275 million; $219.01 million guaranteed): A Grade
It seems as though there’s a new highest-paid player in the NFL each month. That has lost all of its meaning, though Joe Burrow won’t be complaining too much after receiving his 5-year deal worth $275 million overall and $219.01 million guaranteed.

Burrow certainly can make the claim to be the highest-paid player in the league. In his two full years as a starter, Burrow has gone to the Super Bowl once and AFC Championship twice. The case can be made that he’s the best quarterback in the NFL not named Patrick Mahomes.

I know this is a ton of money, but this was a move the Bengals had to make. It’s the decision the Chargers made with Justin Herbert when he received $262 million over five years, and I graded that as an “A.” This is the same sort of deal, so it should be regarded similarly.

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Vikings Vikings re-sign S Josh Matellus (2 years, $13 million; $6 million guaranteed): B Grade
Josh Matellus was a sixth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. He saw significant snaps in only three games last year, though he played on a high level in such limited action. New defensive coordinator Brian Flores apparently saw enough from Matellus in training camp to recommend this re-signing.

It’s a bit weird that Matellus would get $6.5 million per season without playing very much, but given his youth and his high level play in limited action, I can understand why the front office would want to retain him. There’s a chance that this will look like a bargain a year from now.

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Dolphins Dolphins re-sign FB Alec Ingold (3 years, $17.2 million): C- Grade
I’ve been told by multiple readers that I forgot to grade the Alec Ingold signing, so I thought I’d get to that now. If you’re wondering why people would care about a fullback signing, Ingold is now the highest-paid player at his position, so it’s definitely significant.

It’s also an overpay. Ingold is a quality fullback, but he’s not the best player at his position in the league. He didn’t even play more than 14 snaps in any of Miami’s final three games of 2022, including the playoff loss to Buffalo, so how valuable could he possibly be? I don’t totally hate this move because Ingold is a good blocker, but I don’t see why he was paid so much.

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Sept. 6 Updates

49ers 49ers re-sign DE Nick Bosa (5 years, $170 million; $122.5 million guaranteed): B+ Grade
The 49ers, as one Hall of Fame running back once said, were stuck between a rock and a hard rock. They couldn’t exactly allow Nick Bosa to walk, especially after facing some humuliation in the wake of declaring a recent No. 3 overall pick to be a sunk cost. However, they also were faced with making Bosa the richest defensive player in NFL history. The 49ers predictably caved, matching Bosa’s demands.

There’s no way I can grade this in the “A” range because it’s nowhere close to a bargain. However, Bosa is one of a handful of players who deserves to be the highest-paid defender in league history. I’m always wary of paying huge bucks to a single non-quarterback, but it’s not like the 49ers had much of a choice.

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Sept. 3 Updates

Cowboys Cowboys re-sign OT Terence Steele (5 years, $86.8 million): C Grade
Terence Steele entered the NFL as an undrafted player a few years ago, so I’d say he’s done rather well for himself. He has done a great job of improving his play over his career, and the Cowboys obviously agree, based on this gargantuan contract.

As nice of a story this is, Steele’s contract is a blatant overpay. Steele is a forceful run blocker, but he’s mediocre at best in pass protection. He’s not one of the best right tackles in the NFL, so he shouldn’t be paid like one.

I don’t totally hate this signing, however. Steele is still young (26), so there’s a good chance he’ll continue to improve. If he becomes a quality pass protector, he could eventually be deemed as an upper-tier right tackle.

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