With the first few weeks of free agency finally in the books, now seems like a good time to go back and look at what happened over the past seven days.
For some teams, the beginning of free agency has been a rough, confusing ride. As a matter of fact, if you're a Giants fan, let me just say right now that I also have no idea what Dave Gettleman is doing. On the other hand, for fans in Cleveland, this has been the most exciting week since the last time the Browns played in the Super Bowl. Wait, the Browns have never played in a Super Bowl, so this might have actually qualified as the most exciting week in franchise history.
Basically, the first week of free agency can feel like a dream for some fans, but for others, it can feel like a horrible nightmare that you just can't wake up from. With that in mind, we're going to rank how every team in the NFL did over the past week.
Spoiler alert: The Giants are at the bottom of our rankings.
If you want to find out where every other team ranks, be sure to keep reading below.
32. New York Giants
Giants general manager Dave Gettleman claims he has a plan for this team, but I'll be honest, I'm not exactly sure what that plan is supposed to be. Not only did the Giants trade away their best offensive player in Odell Beckham, but they also dealt away one of their best pass rushers (Olivier Vernon) while also letting their best safety leave in free agency (Landon Collins). The only way Gettleman's plan is working is if his plan was to get rid of all his best players.
Key players added/re-signed: WR Golden Tate, S Antoine Bethea, S Jabrill Peppers (Trade), G Kevin Zeitler (trade)
31. Cincinnati Bengals
The Dave Gettleman award for the most head-scratching move of free agency doesn't actually go to Dave Gettleman, it goes to the Bengals for re-signing offensive lineman Bobby Hart to a three-year, $21 million deal. Two years ago, the Bengals let their star left tackle (Andrew Whitworth) walk in free agency because they didn't feel he was worth $12 million per year. Apparently, the team is now trying to make up for that mistake by throwing money at anyone and everyone on the roster who was set to be a free agent. Besides Hart, the Bengals also re-signed C.J. Uzomah, Preston Brown and Tyler Eifert. The Eifert contract could end up being a steal if the injury-prone tight end can stay healthy.
Key players added/re-signed: T Bobby Hart, TE Tyler Eifert, TE C.J. Uzomah, LB Preston Brown, CB B.W. Webb, G John Miller
30. Washington Redskins
Here's a quick breakdown of what the Redskins did in free agency: They're back at square one with their quarterback situation, they overpaid for Landon Collins, they gave a multi-year contract to a running back who will soon be 34 and they gave $4 million to Ereck Flowers, which by itself qualifies them to rank this low. They also have apparently not been filling in their head coach about their free agency plans.
Jay Gruden not consulted about FA moves, reportedly heard about Landon Collins signing through media https://t.co/5Gu6P2ZVe6 pic.twitter.com/KpiGSA6RAr— SportsRadio 740 (@SportsRadio_740) March 18, 2019
Of course, the big upside for the Redskins is that everyone has been distracted by the train wreck that the Giants have been to notice what's going on in Washington.
Key players added/re-signed: QB Case Keenum, RB Adrian Peterson, OT Ereck Flowers, S Landon Collins
29. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs had one of the worst defenses in the NFL last season and it doesn't seem like there's any way it's going to get much better with the team losing Dee Ford, Eric Berry, Justin Houston, and Steven Nelson since the beginning of the month. The Chiefs signed multiple defensive players to make up for their losses, but it's starting to feel like 2019 could turn out a lot like 2018 in Kansas City: Patrick Mahomes is going to have to put up 70 points per game for the Chiefs to compete.
Key players added/re-signed: S Tyrann Mathieu, EDGE Alex Okafor, LB Damien Wilson, CB Bashaud Breelan, RB Carlos Hyde, WR Sammie Coates, QB EJ Manuel, CB Dontae Johnson
28. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins claim they're not tanking, but then they literally signed a guy named Tank. The Dolphins defintely didn't go out and make any home run moves, but they did add Tank Carradine and Dwayne Allen. Also, the addition of Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback might make the Dolphins more exciting to watch this season than they were in 2018, but it likely won't lead to many more wins.
Key players added/re-signed: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, TE Dwayne Allen, EDGE Tank Carradine, CB Eric Rowe
27. Jacksonville Jaguars
The fact that the Jaguars have decided to move forward with Nick Foles as their quarterback might not matter and that's because their defense has been decimated. Over the past few weeks, the Jags have dumped multiple starters, including Malik Jackson and Tashaun Gipson. Although the Jags did get Foles, he didn't come cheap. In a bidding war that basically only involved them, the Jaguars ran his price up to $88 million over four years.
Key players added/re-signed: QB Nick Foles, WR Chris Conley, TE Geoff Swaim, G AJ Cann, OT Cedric Ogbuehi, LB Jake Ryan, LS Matt Overton, K Josh Lambo
26. Indianapolis Colts
With all their salary cap room, the Colts had a chance to make a splash in free agency, but instead, they barely stuck their toe into the shallow end of the free agent pool. Although they re-signed several key players like Pierre Desir and Adam Vinatieri, they also gave $10 million to Devin Funchess, which is a lot of money for a below average receiver. Of course, there's always the chance that Funchess could thrive in Indy and that's because Andrew Luck can actually throw the ball downfield, unlike Cam Newton, who couldn't throw it over 30 yards last season.
Key players added/re-signed: WR Devin Funchess, G Mark Glowinski, DL Margus Hunt, CB Pierre Desir, K Adam Vinatieri
25. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons spent a lot of money on their offensive line in free agency, but the problem for them is that it doesn't seem like their line actually got any better. Although there's a good chance we'll see both Jamon Brown and James Carpenter start for the Falcons in 2019, that might not be such a good thing for Matt Ryan.
Key players added/re-signed: G Jamon Brown, G James Carpenter, RB Kenjon Burner, DL Grady Jarrett, LB Bruce Carter, EDGE Steven Means
24. Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings first week of free agency basically boils down to this: They didn't want to overpay for Anthony Barr, but then they ended up overpaying for Anthony Barr, who got a five-year deal worth $67.5 million that included $33 million in guaranteed money. The Vikings also re-signed Dan Bailey even though he struggled through his first season in Minnesota. Bailey hit just 75 percent of his field goals, which ranked second-to-last in the NFL for any kicker that had 15 or more attempts.
Key players added/re-signed: LB Anthony Barr, DL Shamar Stephen, RB Ameer Abdullah, FB C.J. Ham, P Matt Wile, K Dan Bailey
23. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys offseason is basically going to hinge on whether or not they can get a long-term deal done with Demarcus Lawrence. If things get ugly between the two sides, we might have to move the Cowboys down to the Redskins and Giants portion of these rankings. Adding Jason Witten was nice for nostalgia's sake, but adding a guy who's going to be 37 and just took a year off of football isn't something that's necessarily going to make your team better. On the other hand, if he can stay healthy, Randall Cobb could end up being the Cowboys best free agent signing.
Key players added/re-signed: EDGE Demarcus Lawrence, DL Christian Covington, S Darian Thompson, TE Jason Witten, WR Tavon Austin, WR Randall Cobb, OL Cameron Fleming
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers didn't make any splashy moves, but they did make a few smart ones. For one, they signed Shaq Barrett to a one-year deal, which means they're not risking much for a player who could potentially have a huge season. The Bucs also benefitted from the Odell Beckham trade and that's because former Browns receiver Breshad Perriman decided he didn't want to play in Cleveland anymore after the trade went down. Instead of signing with the Browns, Perriman decided to sign with the Bucs.
Key players added/re-signed: OT Donovan Smith, OT Demar Dotson, WR Breshad Perriman, QB Ryan Griffin, EDGE Shaq Barrett, LB Deone Bucannon
21. Los Angeles Rams
Although the Rams weren't very busy in free agency, they did sign one player who will absolutely be starting on their defense next season in Eric Weddle. The Rams also brought in Blake Bortles, which will provide some much-needed insurance in the event that Jared Goff goes down with an injury next season.
Key players added/re-signed: EDGE Dante Fowler, S Eric Weddle, QB Blake Bortles, LB Clay Matthews
20. Denver Broncos
If John Elway has proven one thing during his time with the Broncos, it's that he seems to know what he's doing at every position except for quarterback. Although the Broncos probably overpaid for Ja'Waun James (four-year, $51 million with $32 million guaranteed), no one in Denver will care about that if he ends up being an effective tackle. Of course, the biggest move the Broncos made was adding Joe Flacco and it will be Flacco's performance alone that will gauge whether or not the 2019 offseason was a successful one for Denver.
Key players added/re-signed: QB Joe Flacco (Trade), T Ja'Wuan James, S Kareem Jackson, TE Jeff Heuerman, CB Bryce Callahan, DT Zach Kerr
19. Pittsburgh Steelers
If you're a big believer in addition by subtraction, then the Steelers loss of Antonio Brown might not hurt them too much this year. Although the Steelers will be losing Brown, they did manage to keep multiple key players this offseason like Maurkice Pouncey and Ramon Foster. In terms of outside free agents, the Steelers added two players -- Steven Nelson and Mark Barron -- who should both fit in well on Pittsburgh's defense.
Key players added/re-signed: C Maurkice Pouncey, LG Ramon Foster, WR Donte Moncrief, WR Eli Rogers, DL Daniel McCullers, DL Tyson Alualu, CB Steven Nelson, LB Anthony Chickillo, LB Mark Barron, P Jordan Berry
18. Baltimore Ravens
Although the Ravens free agency plan seemed a little odd at first -- They lost their leading tackler from 2018 (C.J. Mosley), their sack leader (Za'Darius Smith), the player who recorded the most tackles for a loss (Terrell Suggs) and the player who played the most defensive snaps (Eric Weddle) -- the Ravens patience paid off when they were able to sign Earl Thomas. The one issue with the Thomas deal is that there's definitely some risk involved: The Ravens are giving $32 million in guaranteed money to a guy who turns 30 in May and is coming off a season where he broke his leg. Speaking of 30 year olds, Mark Ingram will also be turning 30 this year and the Ravens got him at the bargain price of $15 million over three years. Since the Ravens don't really throw the ball, Ingram should thrive in Baltimore's offense.
Key players added/re-signed: S Earl Thomas, CB Tavon Young, CB Justin Bethel, TE Nick Boyle, RB Mark Ingram
17. Houston Texans
The Texans took a big risk this offseason by revamping their secondary. Basically they let two players walk in free agency (Tyrann Mathieu Kareem Jackson) and replaced them with two players who aren't quite as good (Tashaun Gipson, Bradley Roby). The one thing the Texans did do is save money, as Gipson's deal (three-year, $22.5 million) came at a much cheaper price than what Mathieu ended up signing for in Kansas City (three-year, $42 million). Now, the Texans just need to use all the money they saved to get Jadeveon Clowney under contract long term.
Key players added/re-signed: EDGE Jadeveon Clowney, S Tashaun Gipson, CB Bradley Roby, CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun, TE Daniel Fells, WR Deandre Carter, QB AJ McCarron
16. Los Angeles Chargers
Generally, signing two guys over the age of 34 isn't considered a smart move, but it might actually pay off for the Chargers, who added Thomas Davis (35) and re-signed Brandon Mebane (34). Both players will be getting $5.25 million in guaranteed money, which means the Chargers won't really be risking anything by putting the two veterans on their defense. The Chargers also added a capable backup quarterback (Tyrod Taylor) in the very off chance that Philip Rivers misses a game. Of course, we should probably note that Rivers has never missed a game since taking over as the Chargers starting quarterback in 2006.
Key players added/re-signed: QB Tyrod Taylor, LB Denzel Perryman, LB Thomas Davis, DL Brandon Mebane, S Adrian Phillips
15. New Orleans Saints
It's not every day you unexpectedly lose a starter to retirement, but that's exactly what happened to the Saints during free agency when center Max Unger decided to call it quits. The impressive thing about the Saints is that they were able to rebound quickly and steal Nick Easton away from the Vikings. The Saints also locked up their potential quarterback of the future by convincing Teddy Bridgewater to stay in New Orleans on a one-year deal.
Key players added/re-signed: QB Teddy Bridgewater, RB Latavius Murray, DT Malcolm Brown, K Will Lutz, C Nick Easton
14. Seattle Seahawks
When it comes to winning games in the NFL, the Seahawks have a pretty simple formula: Run the ball and play defense. That's how Pete Carroll's done it since he was hired in Seattle and if you look at the Seahawks' free agency signings, you'll notice that nothing has changed. The Seahawks re-signed multiple defensive playmakers while also adding an offensive lineman (Mike Iupati) who should be able to help in the run game.
Key players added/re-signed: EDGE Frank Clark, LB K.J. Wright, CB Akeem King, LB Mychal Kendricks, G Mike Iupati, G D.J. Fluker, K Jason Myers
13. Detroit Lions
If the key to free agency in the NFL is to fill as many needs as possible without overspending, well, then, the Lions definitely got free agency half right. The Lions had serious needs at defensive end, cornerback and tight end, and they managed to fill those holes by adding Trey Flowers, Justin Coleman and Danny Amendola. Of course, those three signings didn't come cheap with the Lions committing nearly $80 million in guaranteed money to those players.
Key players added/re-signed: EDGE Trey Flowers, CB Justin Coleman, S Andrew Adams, LB Steve Longa, EDGE Mitchell Loewen, TE Jesse James, WR Danny Amendola, WR Tommylee Lewis, G Oday Aboushi, RB Zach Zenner
12. San Francisco 49ers
Maybe the 49ers should move to Las Vegas instead of the Raiders, because, apparently, they love to gamble. The 49ers took a big risk with two of their signings by adding Kwon Alexander and Jason Verrett, two players who missed most of the 2018 season. The upside for San Francisco is that if those two don't pan out, there's minimal financial risk in their contracts and they can be cut after just one year. Besides those two, the 49ers also added Dee Ford, which is probably a good thing, because San Francisco's defense surrendered 27.2 points per game in 2018, which was the fifth-worst number in the NFL.
Key players added/re-signed: OLB Dee Ford (Trade), LB Elijah Lee, CB Greg Mabin, LB Kwon Alexander, S Jimmie Ward, LS Kyle Nelson, K Robbie Gould, G Mike Person, RB Tevin Coleman, WR Jordan Matthews, LB David Mayo, S Antone Exum, CB Jason Verrett
11. Oakland Raiders
We might not be fully appreciating what Jon Gruden is doing, but someone out there definitely is.
Raiders receive 'Best Transaction' award at analytics conference for trading Khalil Mack to Bears https://t.co/9rph3BRzzb— Sam Yarbrough (@neonyarbrough77) March 19, 2019
Just when you thought the Khalil Mack trade would be the wildest deal to happen under Gruden, the Raiders coach topped himself by pulling off a shocking trade for Antonio Brown this month. In the Brown trade, the Raiders gave up practically nothing to acquire him, which makes it one of the best moves of the offseason for any team. Gruden clearly is already trying to win next year's "Best transaction" award. As for their other moves, the Raiders also landed Lamarcus Joyner and Trent Brown in free agency, although they might have overpaid for the offensive lineman, who received a four-year $66 million contract that included $37.5 million in guaranteed money.
Key players added/re-signed: WR Antonio Brown (Trade), WR Tyrell Williams, OT Trent Brown, WR J.J. Nelson, S Lamarcus Joyner, DT Johnathan Hankins, LB Vontaze Burfict, KR/WR Dwayne Harris
10. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles biggest defensive loss this offseason was probably Michael Bennett, but they likely won't even notice he's gone after adding Malik Jackson from the Jaguars. With Jackson getting a three-year contract, that means he'll likely be teaming up with Brandon Graham thru the 2021 season. Graham re-signed with the Eagles this offseason after getting a new three-year deal. Oh, and let's not forget about DeSean Jackson's return to Philadelphia. Even though he's 32, Jackson somehow hasn't really lost any speed, which means he'll be the perfect home run threat for Carson Wentz.
Key players added/re-signed: WR DeSean Jackson (Trade), OT Jason Peters, EDGE Brandon Graham, DL Malik Jackson, CB Ronald Darby, LB L.J. Fort, S Andrew Sendejo
9. New York Jets
Overpaying for players is never a good strategy in free agency, but it might actually end up paying off for the Jets. Although C.J. Mosley didn't come cheap ($55 million guaranteed), he's a player that the Jets should be able to build their defense around for years to come. The Jets also landed Le'Veon Bell at a reasonable price, which is something that didn't seem remotely possible last year when Bell decided to sit out the season, instead of taking $14.5 million in guaranteed money to play under the franchise tag in Pittsburgh.
Key players added/re-signed: Keleschi Osemele (Trade), RB Le'Veon Bell, LB C.J. Mosley, WR Jamison Crowder, DL Henry Anderson, WR Josh Bellamy, CB Brian Poole, DL Steve McLendon, K Chandler Catanzaro
8. Chicago Bears
Someone should call the police on the Bears, because getting Ha Ha Clinton-Dix for just $3.5 million was an absolute steal. The Bears also added Cordarrelle Patterson, which was a huge move for a Bears special teams unit that ranked dead last in the NFL in kickoff returns last season with an average of just 19.1 yards per return. Patterson ranked third in the NFL in kickoff returns with an average of 28.3 yards.
Key players added/re-signed: RB Mike Davis, WR Cordarrelle Patterson, G Ted Larsen, OT Bobby Massie, S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, CB Buster Skrine
7. New England Patriots
The Patriots didn't make any sexy moves in free agency -- unless we count Belichick going shirtless in Barbados -- but like New England always does, they filled several key holes. With star pass-rusher Trey Flowers heading out the door, the Patriots quickly filled his gigantic void by trading for Michael Bennett. New England also added defensive lineman Mike Pennel, which might go down as one of the best under-the-radar signings of 2019. The team also managed to get Brandon Bolden back to New England, which seemed to really excite Tom Brady.
🙌🙌🙌 How jacked was Tom Brady to learn Brandon Bolden's coming back?— Patriots on NBCSB (@NBCSPatriots) March 15, 2019
(we, ahem, can't repeat it for you here . . . NSFW, etc.)https://t.co/8L2bQjrPk6 pic.twitter.com/5TJMf1MoOe
Key players added/re-signed: DE Michael Bennett (Trade), DL Mike Pennel, CB Jason McCourty, WR Maurice Harris, WR Phillip Dorsett, WR Bruce Ellington, RB Brandon Bolden, EDGE John Simon, S Terrence Brooks.
6. Buffalo Bills
Not trading for Antonio Brown might end up being the smartest move that the Bills made during this free agency period. Instead of giving $30 million in guaranteed money to Brown, the Bills were able to add two weapons at basically the same price in the form of Cole Beasley and John Brown. Based on all their signings, it's almost like Josh Allen was in charge of making every free agent decision for Buffalo. Not only did they add Beasley and Brown, but the Bills also loaded up on offensive linemen.
Key players added/re-signed: WR Cole Beasley, WR John Brown, WR Andre Roberts, RB Frank Gore, TE Tyler Kroft, C Mitch Morse, OT Ty Nsekhe, OT LaAdrian Waddle, CB Kevin Johnson
5. Green Bay Packers
In just his second year on the job, new Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst took a novel approach to free agency this year: He actually spent some money. Now, that might not sound like a novel approach, but it is in Green Bay, where there's a better chance of seeing someone wear a bathing suit outside in December than there is of seeing the Packers burn through money in free agency. Not only did Gutekunst go on a spending spree, but he added players on the defensive side of the ball, which means Aaron Rodgers won't be called upon to win every game for the Packers.
Key players added/re-signed: S Adrian Amos, EDGE Preston Smith, EDGE Za'Darius Smith, G Billy Turner, TE Marcedes Lewis
4. Carolina Panthers
The Panthers went into free agency with needs at several positions -- tackle, center, safety and pass-rush -- and they were one of the few teams able to fill their needs with quality players without breaking the bank. The Panthers re-signed Eric Reid after watching him start 13 games for them last season. Carolina also filled a big hole at center by signing Matt Paradis away from the Broncos. The Panthers also got Daryl Williams and Bruce Irvin on low-risk one-year deals.
Key players added/re-signed: EDGE Bruce Irvin, S Eric Reid, C Matt Paradis, OT Daryl Williams
3. Arizona Cardinals
Cardinals general manager Steve Keim clearly got tired of watching Arizona's quarterbacks get sacked last season, because one of the big things he did during free agency was beef up the Cards' offensive line. Not only did they land Marcus Gilbert in a trade with the Steelers, but they also signed guards J.R. Sweezy and Max Garcia at very reasonable rates. The three additions should improve a Cardinals line that surrendered 52 sacks in 2018, which was tied for the fifth highest number in the NFL. The Cardinals also made some big moves on defense by adding Jordan Hicks and Terrell Suggs.
Key players added/re-signed: OT Marcus Gilbert (Trade), WR Larry Fitzgerald, LB Tanner Vallejo, CB Robert Alford, ED Brooks Reed, TE Charles Clay, ED Terrell Suggs, LB Jordan Hicks, G J.R. Sweezy, G Max Garcia, QB Brett Hundley, WR Kevin White
2. Tennessee Titans
If the key to free agency in the NFL is to fill as many needs as possible without overspending, then Titans general manager Jon Robinson should get a trophy for what he accomplished. The Titans got a major upgrade on the offensive line by adding Rodger Saffold. Robinson, who spent 13 seasons in the Patriots organization, also pulled a fast one on New England by stealing Adam Humphries away from the Patriots. Even the Ryan Tannehill trade made a lot of sense and that's because the Titans were in need of a strong backup quarterback due to the fact that Marcus Mariota always seems to be dealing with some sort of minor injury.
Key players added/re-signed: QB Ryan Tannehill (trade), G Rodger Saffold, WR Adam Humphries, EDGE Cameron Wake, S Kenny Vaccaro, P Brett Kern
1. Cleveland Browns
Although we have the Browns at the top of our rankings, we should probably note that this isn't the first time the Browns have won the offseason. As a matter of fact, the Browns have done so well in free agency over the past few years that our own Will Brinson has jumped on the hype train in pretty much every season since 2013.
From March 2013.
Are the Browns going to be the AFC North offseason champions???— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) March 12, 2013
From March 2014.
Did not expect the most-talked about team in the NFL offseason to be the Cleveland Browns.— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) May 16, 2014
From March 2017.
Don’t tell anyone but I kind of love what the Browns are doing this offseason.— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) March 9, 2017
Unfortunately for the Browns and Brinson, those offseason moves over the past few years haven't really translated to any success on the field. However, this year actually feels different. Not only did the Browns make the biggest move of the offseason by trading for Odell Beckham, but they also made some underrated moves like trading for Olivier Vernon and adding Sheldon Richardson. Former Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt will likely also make a splash in Cleveland once he's eligible to play (Hunt has been suspended for the first eight games of the season).
Key players added/re-signed: EDGE Olivier Vernon (Trade), WR Odell Beckham (Trade), RB Kareem Hunt, T Greg Robinson, DL Sheldon Richardson, TE Demetrius Harris