Friday, March 29, 2013

NFL: Off Season Winners & Losers


Denver Broncos--

Setting the Broncos recent fiasco aside (see Elvis Dumervil), they stole Wes Welker from the rival Patriots. By doing so, they made themselves stronger and perhaps their biggest threat in the AFC weaker. Adding Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on a one year "show-me" contract was also a great get for the secondary. They have an opportunity to improve their pass rush if you add in the current pursuit of a defensive end/rusher (see Dwight Freeney and John Abraham). I believe either addition would offset some of the production lost from Elvis Dumervil. They still need to address several areas including safety, but they can focus on that in the upcoming draft which looks to be a promising draft for safeties.

Seattle Seahawks--

The Seahawks started things off by this off-season by trading for Percy Harvin and signing him to a contract extension. Great get! Harvin immediately gives them a legitimate receiver for Russell Wilson to grow with, while also providing them with a solid return ma. The addition improves both the offense and special teams in my mind. Add in the additions of speed rushers Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett on team friendly deals and the Seahawks defense, which was already a strong point for the team, grew even stronger. To put it simply, the Seahawks have killed free agency.

Indianapolis Colts--

People have questioned the spending spree of the Colts. The way I look at is that this team had street free agents and career backups starting at key positions last year due to the post-Peyton overhaul and over $30 million in dead cap space. With a year to clear the bad contracts off the books in 2012, the Colts set into the 2013 free agency period with one goal in mind... to improve every level of the team. I believe they have done that. Gosder Cherilus and Donald Thomas upgrade one of the worst offensive lines in the league. Ricky Jean-Francois and Aubrayo Franklin provide big bodied depth along a defensive front that has never seen such size. Greg Toler and LaRon Landry were signed to shore up a secondary that lacked a physical presence in 2012. The only signing that comes into question in terms of talent, is the acquisition of Erik Walden. Let me put this simply, it was a terrible move. But overall, adding 6-7 starters to an 11-5 team, the Colts have done enough to sneak into the free agency winners category.
Updated (4/3): Adding Darrius Heyward-Bey to their off-season haul was a big get after the loss of Donnie Avery. getting him on a 1 year deal for the price they did only solidified the Colts as belonging in the winners category.


New York Jets--

Is Mark Sanchez still there quarterback? Yes. I could stop there and it would be enough to call them off-season losers. I'm not going to stop there, but trust me I could. Topping off a disastrous 2012 season in which they actually over-performed at 6-10, the Jets lost 7 of their 22 starters and are currently exploring the idea of trading their best player (by a mile) in Darrell Revis. I wouldn't be surprised if this team finishes in last place in football and secures the number 1 pick in next years (2014) draft, which might not be the worst thing for New York fans. They will be in the market for a new franchise QB after all.

Baltimore Ravens--

The Ravens started the off-season by making Joe Flacco the highest paid NFL QB (for the time being-- until Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan are inked). That move was necessary for obvious reasons, but it strapped them financially. The financial situation caused them to trade Anquan Boldin shortly after. And they have followed that up by losing Ed Reed, Dannell Ellerbe, Paul Kruger and Cary Williams in free agency and future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis to retirement. The only positive that can be said about the Ravens this off-season was their move to acquire Elvis Dumervil (see Broncos fiasco mentioned above). However, that move won't be enough to stop the bleeding.

Miami Dolphins--

The Dolphins made some big name acquisitions. Mile Wallace, Brandon Gibson and Dustin Keller give Ryan Tannehill legitimate weapons to throw to outside of Brian Hartline. However, they overspent on Wallace, which could come back to haunt them if he plays anything like he did a season ago. Other additions of note were on the defensive side of the ball. Inking Dannell Ellerbe and Phillip Wheeler were good talent acquisitions, but I believe they grossly overpaid for both of their services. The big money should have been spent on the secondary which has lost Vonate Davis and Sean Smith in the past 2 seasons. Ignoring the secondary when the league is becoming more of a passing league, and having Tom Brady in your division is just not a smart move. Expect another mediocre season from the Dolphins in 2013. 


  1. Near misses for free agency winners were the Detroit Lions with the signings of Reggie Bush & Glover Quin, and the Tennessee Titans with the signings of Andy Levitre, Delanie Walker and George Wilson.

  2. Avoiding being named to the free agency losers category were the Cincinnati Bengals with tons of cap space and nothing to show for it, and Tim Tebow seeing as he is nearly completely forgotten about... You didn't think you would go an entire article without one mention of Tebow did you?