Wow, where do we even begin? With over 40 deals announced -- 20 in a 30-minute period! -- it’s safe to say yesterday was a busy day for the players, teams and fans of the NFL.
Defense and protecting the QB were the names of the game on day one. So who's doing the best so far?
Can you say "all in?" That describes the Broncos moves to make sure they not only make it to next year’s Super Bowl, but they come home as champions. They signed two of the top available players in Pro Bowl CB Aqib Talib and S T.J. Ward. It’s been widely reported that they are the favorites to add Pro Bowl DE DeMarcus Ware.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Don’t look now, but the Buccaneers have put together a defense that might just rate up there with the Seahawks and 49ers. They added Pro Bowl DEs Michael Johnsonand Clinton McDonald to a line that already has Pro Bowl DT Gerald McCoy. They then snatch up CB Alterraun Verner to go along with last year’s free agent signing, SDashon Goldson, and young studs S Mark Barron and CB Jonathan Banks.
For a team wanting to get tougher on both lines, the re-signing of DT Jonathan Babineaux, the addition of G Jon Asamoah and DTs Tyson Jackson and Paul Soliai would suggest they did just that.
Eugene Monroe (Ravens), Branden Albert (Dolphins), Jared Veldheer (Cardinals) and Rodger Saffold (Raiders) we all quickly signed to big money long-term deals within the first hours of the signing period. Not too long after the intial flurry, Austin Howard (Raiders) was another offensive tackle heading to a new team.
Considered by many as the crown jewel of this year’s free agency class, Pro Bowl S Jairus Byrd signed a 5-year contract with the Saints. He joined other coveted safeties T.J. Ward (Broncos), Louis Delmas (Dolphins), Mike Mitchell (Steelers), Ryan Mundy (Bears), and Stevie Johnson (Giants) who were added to rosters around the league.