NFL teams have been making moves the last three weeks and here is an early look at how they are doing so far:
Teams getting an A so far:
Chicago Bears - The Chicago Bears finally have gotten smart, as they signed OT Jermon Bushrod and OG Matt Slauson to protect Jay Cutler in 2013. They also signed TE Martellus Bennett has he is a huge upgrade over the goof balls the Bears had playing tight end in 2012. The Bears have also upgraded at two linebacker spots by signing MLB D.J. Williams and OLB James Anderson.
Miami Dolphins - The Dolphins have been really aggressive in free agency and they have helped themselves on both sides of the football so far. WRs Mike Wallace, Brandon Gibson and TE Dustin Keller give second year QB Ryan Tannehill some potent weapons to throw the ball to in 2013. They also have signed offensive guard Lance Louis to protect Tannehill. Defensively the Dolphins have added LB Dannell Ellerbe, LB Philip Wheeler, CB Brent Grimes and DT Vaughn Martin.
Denver Broncos - The Denver Broncos have already helped themselves a lot of both sides of the football. OG Louis Vasquez and WR Wes Welker are going to give the offense a boost in 2013 and beyond. DT Terrance Knighton and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are going to be high impact starters on D for the Broncos in 2013. LB Stewart Bradley will likely be a solid backup in 2013.
Kansas City Chiefs - The Chiefs have been one of the most aggressive teams on both the trade front and in free agency. QBs Alex Smith and Chase Daniel will be a huge upgrade over the clowns the Chiefs played at QB in 2012. TE Anthony Fasano and WR Donnie Avery will give the Chiefs two more solid pass catchers for this year. G/T Geoff Schwartz will help out protecting the new QBs. CB Dunta Robinson, CB Sean Smith and DE Mike DeVito are going to make big time impacts on D for the Chiefs in 2013.
Teams getting a B+ so far:
Seattle Seahawks - The Seahawks dealt for WR Percy Harvin and they have signed DEs Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett to rush the passer in 2013. All three of these guys are high impact players.
Arizona Cardinals - QBs Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton will be on hand for 2013 and they will be a huge improvement over the jokers the Cardinals played at QB last year. RB Rashard Mendenhall could also be a huge upgrade for the Cardinals in 2013. OLB Lorenzo Alexander, safety Yeremiah Bell, CB Jerraud Powers, LB Jasper Brinkley, DE Matt Shaughnessy, CB Antoine Cason and DE Frostee Rucker will help improve the Cardinals’ D in 2013.
Indianapolis Colts - The Colts have added OG Donald Thomas and OT Gosder Cherilus to protect QB Andrew Luck in 2013. They also brought in veteran QB Matt Hasselbeck to mentor Luck and WR Darrius Heyward-Bey to get deep in 2013. OLB Erik Walden, CB Greg Toler, safety LaRon Landry, DT Ricky Jean Francois and DT Aubrayo Franklin could all play big roles for the D in 2013.
Teams getting a B so far:
Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles have been focusing on improving the defense and special teams so far. Safety Pat Chung, NT Isaac Sopoaga, CB Bradley Fletcher, FS Kenny Phillips, CB Cary Williams, OLB Connor Barwin and punter Donnie Jones could all make big impacts for the Eagles in 2013. FB/TE James Casey and WR Arrelious Benn will give Michael Vick a couple more guys to throw to in 2013.
Detroit Lions - The Lions have only made a few moves, but they have been good ones. They have signed RB Reggie Bush, DT/DE Jason Jones and strong safety Glover Quin so far.
Atlanta Falcons - The Falcons have replaced RB Michael Turner and DE John Abraham with RB Steven Jackson and DE Osi Umenyiora. Both of those signings were good ones.
San Francisco 49ers - The 49ers have dealt for backup QB Colt McCoy and WR Anquan Boldin to help the offense in 2013. They have also added kicker Phil Dawson and he will be a huge upgrade over David Akers, as he is almost automatic from inside 50 yards. NT Glenn Dorsey, LB Daniel Skuta, safety Craig Dahl and CB Nnamdi Asomugha have been added to help out the D for 2013.
St. Louis Rams - The Rams have only signed two players so far and they will give the offense a big time boost. TE Jared Cook and OT Jake Long were the top free agents that their positions available in free agency. Somewhere, QB Sam Bradford is smiling.
Cleveland Browns - The Browns are being very smart with their money so far in free agency. They spent a lot of money on DE Desmond Bryant and OLB Paul Kruger, but they are worth it as they will help the Browns’ pass rush big time in 2013. OLB Quentin Groves, CB Chris Owens and CB/S Kevin Barnes could help the Browns in backup roles in 2013. QB Jason Campbell will challenge second year man Brandon Weeden for the starting job in training camp. TEs Gary Barnidge and Kellen Davis will battle Jordan Cameron for the starting job in 2013.
Tennessee Titans - The Titans have spent well on both sides of the football so far in free agency. OG Andy Levitre, C/G Rob Turner and C/G Chris Spencer could really help the Titans improve as run blockers in 2013. RB Shonn Greene will push Chris Johnson for carries in training camp. TE Delanie Walker and WR Kevin Walter will give Jake Locker another pair of decent receivers. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will slide into Matt Hasselbeck’s old role as Locker’s mentor and backup. FS George Wilson and SS Bernard Pollard will likely both start for the Titans in 2013. LB Moise Fokou, DT Sammie Lee Hill and DE Ropati Pitoitua will likely help the Titans off the bench in 2013.
Oakland Raiders - The Raiders made the big trade for QB Matt Flynn earlier this week and he will be their starting QB in 2013 and beyond. Most of the moves the Raiders have made have been to bolster the D for 2013. DE Jason Hunter, DT Pat Sims, OLB Kaluka Maiava, OLB Nick Roach, MLB Kevin Burnett, DT Vance Walker and CB Tracy Porter should all have big roles on D for the Raiders in 2013.
Teams getting a B- so far:
Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings big move was stealing WR Greg Jennings away from the rival Green Bay Packers. They also signed up Matt Cassel to back up Christian Ponder for 2013 and he is a huge upgrade over Joe Webb.
New Orleans Saints - The Saints have added CB Keenan Lewis, OLB Victor Butler and DE Kenyon Coleman to help give the defense a boost in 2013. They also signed QB Luke McCown to back up Drew Brees and TE Ben Watson to back up Jimmy Graham in 2013.
Teams getting a C+ so far:
New York Giants - The Giants have cast a wide net trying to help themselves in all three phases of the game in 2013. Kicker Josh Brown will take over for Lawrence Tynes. WR Louis Murphy and TE Brandon Myers are going to give Eli Manning a couple of more solid options in the passing game in 2013. DT Cullen Jenkins, CB Aaron Ross, safety Ryan Mundy and LB Dan Connor could give the Giants some help on D in 2013.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - The Bucs have only signed one big ticket item and that was free safety Dashon Goldson. He will be a huge upgrade over Ronde Barber. LB Jonathan Casillas, DT Derek Landri and DE George Selvie will help the Bucs depth wise on D in 2013. WR Kevin Ogletree, WR Steve Smith, RB Brian Leonard and TE Tom Crabtree will give Josh Freeman more options in the passing game for 2013. Kicker Nate Kaeding and punter Chas Henry will try to give the Bucs’ special teams a boost in 2013.
Houston Texans - The Texans have signed one player for each phase of the game so far. Fullback Greg Jones, free safety Ed Reed and punter Shane Lechler could all be impact players for the Texans in 2013.
Jacksonville Jaguars - The Jaguars are staying away from the high ticket free agents, preferring to spread the wealth among a lot of decent players. RB Justin Forsett will be a solid backup RB for the Jaguars in 2013. LB Geno Hayes, CB/S Alan Ball and DTs Sen’Derrick Marks and Roy Miller could give the defense a boost in 2013.
Teams getting a C so far:
New England Patriots - The Patriots hope that WR Danny Amendola will be able to replace Wes Welker (he signed with the Broncos). WRs Donald Jones and Michael Jenkins will also have good shots of winning roster spots in training camp….but they are not starting material. RB/KR/PR Leon Washington will give the return game a solid boost in 2013. Safety Adrian Wilson could help the back end of the Patriots’ D in 2013, if he has anything left in the gas tank.
Teams Getting a C- so far:
Carolina Panthers: The Panthers have been signing a lot of backup type players in free agency. LB Chase Blackburn, safety Michael Mitchell, CB D.J. Moore, CB Drayton Florence and DT Colin Cole could give the D a little boost. The Panthers have also signed WR/KR/PR Ted Ginn, who they hope will help them on special teams in 2013.
San Diego Chargers: The Chargers are signing a lot of backup type players so far in free agency. OT King Dunlap, OG Chad Rhinehart and G/C Rich Ohrnberger could help the O-Line in 2013. RB Danny Woodhead and TE John Phillips could help the offense a little bit in 2013. CBs Johnny Patrick and Derek Cox could help the secondary some for the Chargers in 2013.
Teams getting a D so far:
New York Jets: The Jets have done a little bit to try to improve the offense in 2013. QB David Garrard will challenge Mark Sanchez for the starting job in training camp. RB Mike Goodson will get a chance to replace Shonn Greene as the starting RB in 2013. T/G Willie Colon is a good bet to win a starting job somewhere on the Jets’ O-Line in 2013. DT Antonio Garay and OLB Antwan Barnes could help the Jets’ D depth wise in 2013.
Buffalo Bills: The Bills signed QB Kevin Kolb, who isn’t much better than Ryan Fitzpatrick, who they cut. OLB Manny Lawson and DT Alan Branch are not going to make much of an impact for the D in 2013.
Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens have lost a lot of big time veteran players on both sides of the football. They have recently signed DE Elvis Dumervil, DE Marcus Spears, DT Chris Canty and safety Michael Huff to cushion the blow a little bit defensively.
Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals have used their ample salary cap space to re-sign most of their own free agents. They have only signed QB Josh Johnson from outside the organization.
Washington Redskins: The Redskins have signed a lot of backup type players. OT Tony Pashos, OT Jeremy Trueblood, DT Ron Brace, CB E.J. Biggers and OLB Darryl Tapp are the free agents that they have brought in so far.
Teams getting an F so far:
Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers have lost a lot of big time players as they are right up against the salary cap. QB Bruce Gradkowski, TE Matt Spaeth and CB William Gay have been the only additions in free agency so far.
Dallas Cowboys: LB Justin Durant, safety Will Allen and DT Nick Hayden are the only three free agents that the Cowboys have brought in so far.
Green Bay Packers: The Packers have yet to sign a free agent so far from outside their organization.