Free agency moves by all 32 teams reveal holes, sets the table for the NFL Draft
Some teams have been aggressive in free agency, while others clearly plan to address needs in the draft
Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace said it best recently when he commented on the perils of free agency in the NFL.
“Free agency is dangerous,” Pace said. “You’re stepping through land mines. And you’ve got to be careful you don’t step on the wrong one. There is a delicate balance between being aggressive and being decisive but responsible. I think you can always recover from the player you didn’t sign. You can’t recover from the player whom you signed at the wrong price. We’ve got to be conscious of that.”
Being mindful of the money being spent is also related to the draft. It’s prudent to be responsible in the opening stages of free agency when a position of need is strong with entering rookies. Consider one of the top commodities for any team: cornerbacks.
Numerous teams have needs there, including the Bears, and the two best veterans available went quickly for mammoth deals: Buffalo’s Stephon Gilmore heads to New England on a five-year, $65 million contract with $40 million guaranteed, while Houston’s A.J. Bouye is now in Jacksonville for $67.5 million over five years with $26 million guaranteed. On a shorter deal, Logan Ryan of the Patriots signed with Tennessee for three years, $30 million and $16 million guaranteed.
However, some teams stayed away or dropped out early because of the strength of this year’s draft class where three cornerbacks: Marshon Lattimore (4), Marlon Humphrey (19) and Fabian Moreau (27) are in the top 32 of NFLDraftScout.com’s current top 1,000. More significant, however, is that another eight corners have second-round rankings. Overall, there are 14 in the top 75.
As Pace added, “You try to balance (draft availability) out a little bit. Obviously we say we’re taking best player available, but when you know that there’s a position in the draft that’s extremely deep, I think you can think, ‘Hey, there might be a chance to address that there,’ especially if something gets way out of whack, price-wise in free agency.”
That happened early, but it didn’t stop the Bears from riding the second wave. They will still likely be shopping in the draft, but cornerbacks coming to Chicago are Kansas City’s Marcus Cooper (three years, $16 million, $8 million guaranteed) and Jacksonville’s Prince Amukamara (one year, $7 million, all guaranteed). That’s $15 million in combined guarantees for two players.
Concluded Pace, “It’s easy, guys, in these moments to say, ‘Let’s do this extreme thing here.’ I think a lot of times when you’re paying a player that amount of money, it’s almost impossible for that player to reach those expectations. I think if you look at most good teams around the league, they’re usually built through the draft.
“I think the best thing about free agency is if we can address some of our needs, it opens up the draft for ‘best player available.’ And then when we do that, it’s just increasing our odds.”
Retained: RB Andre Ellington, TE Jermaine Gresham, LB Chandler Jones, WR Jeremy Ross, C A.Q. Shipley.
Added: S Antoine Bethea (49ers), LB Karlos Dansby (Bengals), K Phil Dawson (49ers), LB Jarvis Jones (Steelers).
Lost: DL Calais Campbell (Jaguars), K Chandler Catanzaro (Jets), CB Marcus Cooper (Bears), TE Darren Fells (Lions), S Tony Jefferson (Ravens), LB Alex Okafor (Saints), S D.J. Swearinger (Redskins), G Earl Watford (Jaguars).
Retained: S Kemal Ishmael, LB LaRoy Reynolds, QB Matt Schaub, TE Levine Toilolo, DT Courtney Upshaw.
Added: DE Jack Crawford (Cowboys), DT Dontari Poe (Chiefs), WR Andre Roberts (Lions).
Lost: T Tom Compton (Bears), DL Tyson Jackson (released), FB Patrick DiMarco (Bills), WR Aldrick Robinson (49ers), WR Eric Weems (Titans), LB Paul Worrilow (Lions).
Retained: DB/LB Anthony Levine, QB Ryan Mallett, NT Brandon Williams.
Added: CB Brandon Carr (Cowboys), S Tony Jefferson (Cardinals), RB Danny Woodhead (Chargers).
Lost: G Vlad Ducasse (Bills), LB Elvis Dumervil (released), DE Lawrence Guy (Patriots), FB Kyle Juszczyk (49ers), S Kendrick Lewis (released), LB Zachary Orr (retired), WR Steve Smith Sr. (retired), T Rick Wagner (Lions), S Lardarius Webb (released), CB Shareece Wright (released), C/G Jeremy Zuttah (traded 49ers).
Retained: LB Lorenzo Aklexander, LB Ramon Humber, T Jordan Mills.
Added: WR Philly Brown (Panthers), WR Jeremy Butler (Chargers), DE Ryan Davis (Cowboys), FB Patrick DiMarco (Falcons), G Vlad Ducasse (Ravens), K Steven Hauschka (Seahawks), S Micah Hyde (Packers), S Jordan Poyer (Browns), FB Mike Tolbert (Panthers).
Lost: K Dan Carpenter (released), WR Marcus Easley (released), CB Stephon Gilmore (Patriots), WR Marquise Goodwin (49ers), S Corey Graham (released), WR Percy Harvin (retired), WR Justin Hunter (Steelers), QB EJ Manuel (Raiders), LB Lerentee McCray (Jaguars), CB Nickell Robey-Coleman (released), LS Garrison Sanborn (released), S Phillip Thomas (released), S Aaron Williams (released), WR Robert Woods (Rams).
Retained: DE Mario Addison, T/G Chris Scott, DE Wes Horton, DE Charles Johnson, S Colin Jones, DT Kyle Love, RB Fozzy Whittaker.
Added: S Mike Adams (Colts), WR Charles Johnson (Vikings), T Matt Kalil (Vikings), CB Captain Munnerlyn (Vikings), LB Julius Peppers (Packers), WR Russell Shepard (Buccaneers).
Lost: WR Philly Brown (Bills), DE Kony Ealy (traded Patriots), WR Ted Ginn Jr. (Saints), LB A.J. Klein (Saints), T Mike Remmers (Vikings), DL Paul Soliai (released), FB Mike Tolbert (released/Bills).
Retained: CB Johnthan Banks, K Connor Barth, C/G Eric Kush.
Added: CB Prince Amukamara (Jaguars), T Tom Compton (Falcons), CB Marcus Cooper (Cardinals), S Quintin Demps (Texans), QB Mike Glennon (Buccaneers), TE Dion Sims (Dolphins), WR Markus Wheaton (Steelers), WR Kendall Wright (Titans).
Lost: QB Matt Barkley (49ers), QB Jay Cutler (released), QB Brian Hoyer (49ers), WR Alshon Jeffery (Eagles), G/C Ted Larsen (Dolphins), TE Logan Paulsen (49ers), DE Cornelius Washington (Lions).
Retained: CB Dre Kirkpatrick, WR Brandon LaFell, T Eric Winston.
Added: T Andre Smith (Vikings).
Lost: RB Rex Burkhead (Patriots), LB Karlos Dansby (Cardinals), DE Margus Hunt (Colts), DT Domata Peko (Broncos), T Andrew Whitworth (Rams), WR James Wright (released), G Kevin Zeitler (Browns).
Retained: LB Jamie Collins, P Britton Colquitt.
Added: WR Kenny Britt (Rams), QB Brock Osweiler (trade Texans), C/G JC Tretter (Packers), WR James Wright (Bengals), G Kevin Zeitler (Bengals).
Lost: QB Robert Griffin III (released), WR Andrew Hawkins (released), QB Josh McCown (released), DT Stephen Paea (Cowboys), S Jordan Poyer (Bills), WR Terrelle Pryor Sr. (Redskins), DB Tramon Williams (released).
Retained: WR Brice Butler, G Jonathan Cooper, RB Darren McFadden, WR Terrance Williams.
Added: CB Nolan Carroll (Eagles), DE Damontre Moore (Seahawks), DT Stephen Paea (Browns).
Lost: CB Brandon Carr (Ravens), S Barry Church (Jaguars), CB Morris Claiborne (Jets), DE Jack Crawford (Falcons), DE Ryan Davis (Panthers), RB Lance Dunbar (Rams), G Ronald Leary (Broncos), DT Terrell McClain (Redskins), S J.J. Wilcox (Buccaneers).
Added: DE Kasim Edebali (Saints), DT Zach Kerr (Colts), G Ronald Leary (Cowboys), DT Domata Peko (Bengals), T Menelik Watson (Raiders).
Lost: T Russell Okung (Chargers), LB DeMarcus Ware (retired), CB Kayvon Webster (Rams), NT Sylvester Williams (Titans).
Retained: LS Don Muhlbach.
Added: TE Darren Fells (Cardinals), CB DJ Hayden (Raiders), G T.J. Lang (Packers), WR Keshawn Martin, DT Akeem Spence (Buccaneers), T Rick Wagner (Ravens), DE Cornelius Washington (Bears), LB Paul Worrilow (Falcons).
Lost: DT Stefan Charles (Jaguars), LB DeAndre Levy (released), T Riley Reiff (Vikings), WR Andre Roberts (Falcons), G Larry Warford (Saints).
Green Bay Packers
Retained: T/G Don Barclay, LB Nick Perry.
Added: TE Martellus Bennett (Patriots), CB Davon House (Jaguars), TE Lance Kendricks (Rams).
Lost: S Micah Hyde (Bills), LB Datone Jones (Vikings), G T.J. Lang (Lions), LB Julius Peppers (Panthers), CB Sam Shields (released), RB James Starks (released), C/G JC Tretter (Browns), TE Jared Cook (Packers).
Retained: TE Ryan Griffin, P Shane Lechler, K Nick Novak.
Lost: CB A.J. Bouye (Jaguars), S Quintin Demps (Bears), S Don Jones (49ers), QB Brock Osweiler (traded Browns), LB John Simon (Colts).
Retained: TE Jack Doyle, RB Robert Turbin.
Added: DE Margus Hunt (Bengals), P Jeff Locke (Vikings), LB Barkevious Mingo (Patriots), C/G Brian Schwenke (Titans), LB/DE Jabaal Sheard (Patriots), LB John Simon (Texans), DL Al Woods (Titans).
Lost: S Mike Adams (Panthers), TE Dwayne Allen (traded Patriots), LB Chris Carter (Redskins), LB D’Qwell Jackson (released), DT Zach Kerr (Broncos), OLB Robert Mathis (retired), LB Josh McNary (Jaguars), P Pat McAfee (retired), T/G Joe Reitz (retired), CB Patrick Robinson (released).
Retained: WR Arrelious Benn, QB Chad Henne, DT Abry Jones, G Patrick Omameh, Potential UFA, WR Bryan Walters.
Added: T Branden Albert (trade Dolphins), CB A.J. Bouye (Texans), DT Calais Campbell (Cardinals), DT Stefan Charles (Lions), S Barry Church (Cowboys), LB Audie Cole (Vikings), LB Lerentee McCray (Bills), LB Josh McNary (Colts), G Earl Watford (Cardinals).
Lost: CB Prince Amukamara (Bears), T Kelvin Beachum (Jets), S Johnathan Cyprien (Titans), CB Davon House (released), G/T Luke Joeckel (Seahawks), DT Sen’Derrick Marks (released), DT Roy Miller (released), DE Jared Odrick (released), TE Julius Thomas (traded Dolphins).
Kansas City Chiefs
Retained: S Eric Berry, G/T Mike Person.
Added: DT Bennie Logan (Eagles), RB C.J. Spiller.
Lost: RB Jamaal Charles (released), QB Nick Foles (Eagles), DT Dontari Poe (Falcons).
Los Angeles Chargers
Retained: SS Jahleel Addae, QB Kellen Clemens, NT Damion Square, LS Mike Windt.
Added: T Russell Okung (Broncos).
Lost: WR Jeremy Butler (Bills), T King Dunlap (released), CB Brandon Flowers (released), G/T D.J. Fluker (released), WR Stevie Johnson (released), RB Danny Woodhead (Ravens).
Los Angeles Rams
Retained: CB Trumaine Johnson, K Greg Zuerlein.
Added: DE/LB Connor Barwin (Eagles), RB Lance Dunbar (Cowboys), CB Kayvon Webster (Broncos), T Andrew Whitworth (Bengals), WR Robert Woods (Bills).
Lost: C Tim Barnes (released), WR Kenny Britt (Browns), DE William Hayes (traded Dolphins), TE Lance Kendricks (released), DE Eugene Sims (released).
Retained: DE Andre Branch, G/T Jermon Bushrod, LS John Denney, WR Kenny Stills.
Added: S Nate Allen (Raiders), TE Anthony Fasano (Titans), DE William Hayes (trade Rams), G/C Ted Larsen (Bears), TE Julius Thomas (trade Jaguars), LB Lawrence Timmons (Steelers).
Lost: S Isa Abdul-Quddus (released), T Branden Albert (traded Jaguars), TE Cameron Jordan (retired), CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (released), DT Earl Mitchell (released/49ers), TE Dion Sims (Bears), DE Mario Williams (released).
Retained: CB Terence Newman.
Added: DE Datone Jones (Packers), RB Latavius Murray (Raiders), T Riley Reiff (Lions), T Mike Remmers (Panthers).
Lost: LB Audie Cole (Jaguars), TE Rhett Ellison (Giants), G Brandon Fusco (released), LB Chad Greenway (retired), G Mike Harris (released), WR Charles Johnson (Panthers), T Matt Kalil (Panthers), P Jeff Locke (Colts), CB Captain Munnerlyn (Panthers), WR/KR Cordarrelle Patterson (Raiders), T Andre Smith (Bengals).
New England Patriots
Retained: DT Alan Branch, FB James Develin, S Duron Harmon, LB Dont’a Hightower.
Added: TE Dwayne Allen (trade Colts), RB Rex Burkhead (Bengals), WR Brandin Cooks (trade Saints), DE Kony Ealy (trade Panthers), CB Stephon Gilmore (Bills), DE Lawrence Guy (Ravens).
Lost: TE Martellus Bennett (Packers), LB Barkevious Mingo (Colts), CB Logan Ryan (Titans), DE/LB Jabaal Sheard (Colts), T Sebastian Vollmer (released).
New Orleans Saints
Retained: RB Travaris Cadet, DT Nick Fairley.
Added: WR Ted Ginn Jr. (Panthers), LB A.J. Klein (Panthers), LB Alex Okafor (Cardinals), G Larry Warford (Lions).
Lost: S Jairus Byrd (released), WR Brandin Cooks (trade Patriots), DE Kasim Edebali (Broncos).
New York Giants
Retained: G John Jerry, LS Zak DeOssie.
Added: TE Rhett Ellison (Vikings), G/T D.J. Fluker (Chargers), WR Brandon Marshall (Jets).
Lost: WR Victor Cruz (released), K Robbie Gould (49ers), RB Rashad Jennings (released), FB Will Johnson (released), T Marshall Newhouse (Raiders).
New York Jets
Retained: LT Ben Ijalana, OLB Corey Lemonier, LB Josh Martin, LS Tanner Purdum.
Added: T Kelvin Beachum (Jaguars), K Chandler Catanzaro (Cardinals), CB Morris Claiborne (Cowboys), DT Mike Pennel.
Lost: K Nick Folk (released), T Breno Giacomini (released), C Nick Mangold (released), WR Brandon Marshall (released/Giants), CB Darrelle Revis (released), RB Khiry Robinson (released).
Added: QB EJ Manuel (Bills), T Marshall Newhouse (Giants), WR/KR Cordarrelle Patterson (Vikings), TE Jared Cook (Packers).
Lost: S Nate Allen (Miami), LB Daren Bates (Titans), CB DJ Hayden (Lions), DT Stacy McGee (Redskins), RB Latavius Murray (Vikings), LB Malcolm Smith (49ers), S Brynden Trawick (Titans), T Menelik Watson (Broncos.
Retained: LB Najee Goode, C/G Stefen Wisniewski.
Added: QB Nick Foles (Chiefs), WR Alshon Jeffery (Bears), WR Torrey Smith (49ers), G Chance Warmack (Titans).
Lost: DE/LB Connor Barwin (released, signed with Rams), CB Nolan Carroll (Cowboys), QB Chase Daniel (released), DT Bennie Logan (Chiefs), G Evan Mathis (retired), CB Leodis McKelvin (released).
Retained: RB Le’Veon Bell, LB James Harrison, TE David Johnson, LB Steven Johnson, QB Landry Jones, LS Greg Warren.
Added: WR Justin Hunter (Bills).
Lost: CB Justin Gilbert (released), T Ryan Harris (retired), LB Jarvis Jones (Cardinals), LB Lawrence Timmons (Dolphins), WR Markus Wheaton (Bears).
San Francisco 49ers
Retained: DT Chris Jones, WR Jeremy Kerley.
Added: QB Matt Barkley (Bears), LB Brock Coyle (Seahawks), WR Pierre Garcon (Redskins), WR Marquise Goodwin (Bills), K Robbie Gould (Giants), QB Brian Hoyer (Bears), S Don Jones (Texans), FB Kyle Juszczyk (Ravens), DT Earl Mitchell (Dolphins), TE Logan Paulsen (Bears), WR Aldrick Robinson (Falcons), LB Malcolm Smith (Raiders), C/G Jeremy Zuttah (trade Ravens).
Lost: S Antoine Bethea (released), K Phil Dawson (Cardinals), C Marcus Martin (released/Browns), WR Torrey Smith (released/Eagles).
Retained: CB Neiko Thorpe.
Added: CB Perrish Cox, G/T Luke Joeckel (Jaguars), K Blair Walsh.
Lost: LB Brock Coyle (49ers), K Steven Hauschka (Bills), DE Damontre Moore (Cowboys).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Retained: S Chris Conte, DE William Gholston, C Joe Hawley, CB Josh Robinson, RB Jacquizz Rodgers, DT Sealver Siliga.
Added: DE Chris Baker (Redskins), WR DeSean Jackson (Redskins), LS Garrison Sanborn (Bills), S J.J. Wilcox (Cowboys).
Lost: T Goser Cherilus (retired), QB Mike Glennon (Bears), WR Russell Shepard (Panthers), DT Akeem Spence (Lions), CB Alterraun Verner (released).
Retained: QB Matt Cassel, DE Karl Klug, LB Nate Palmer.
Added: LB Daren Bates (Raiders), S Johnathan Cyprien (Jaguars), CB Logan Ryan (Patriots), S Brynden Trawick (Raiders), WR Eric Weems (Falcons), NT Sylvester Williams (Broncos).
Lost: TE Anthony Fasano (Dolphins), C/G Brian Schwenke (Colts), G Chance Warmack (Eagles), DT Al Woods (released), WR Kendall Wright (Bears).
Retained: QB Kirk Cousins, TE Vernon Davis, LS Nick Sundberg, DEgy Hood.
Added: LB Chris Carter (Colts), DT Terrell McClain (Cowboys), DT Stacy McGee (Raiders), WR Terrelle Pryor Sr. (Browns), S D.J. Swearinger (Cardinals).
Lost: DE Chris Baker (Buccaneers), WR Pierre Garcon (49ers), WR DeSean Jackson (Buccaneers), DE Ricky Jean Francois (released), C Kory Lichtensteiger (retired).
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