5 best signings of NFL free agency

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 8, 2017: Defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 8, 2017: Defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson /
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The receiver market got out of control, some teams nabbed cornerbacks for a song, and the Vikings bagged the big fish. Who improved their team the most for the best price? 

The feeding frenzy always begins love before 4 p.m ET when the new league year begins. It starts at the combine when teams and agents “check in” but really start talking about players, numbers, and contracts.

Then, there’s the NFL-sanctioned legal tampering period that opened Monday and by that night and into Tuesday morning the reported signings flew fast and furious with big-name free agents landing left and right.

But winning the offseason rarely translates to winning in the fall and winter. Plus, landing the biggest name doesn’t necessarily mean getting the best value. In fact, it rarely does. So who got better for the least money. Or put another way, who is getting the most bang for their buck? The team who got the player at a key position of need for a good value?

Here’s our five favorite signings of free agency.

5. New York Giants sign OT Nate Solder

Forget about the fact this is the biggest contract in NFL history for an offensive lineman (shot that “value” bit to hell on the first try), which it is. No team had a more glaring hole at left tackle than the New York Giants. That doesn’t mean Ereck Flowers was the worst LT in football, but his deficiency, relative to the other players on the team, and the distance to which Flowers’ terrible play held the Giants back stands out the most.

Dave Gettleman had to make a move to get better there and he signed one of the best bookend tackles in the league who hasn’t yet made the Pro Bowl. That’s not (deliberately) damning with faint praise, but Solder’s talent has been scuttled by injury. When he’s healthy, he’s an excellent pass blocker and can step in to protect Eli Manning’s blindside in new head coach Pat Shurmur’s new offense.

With Odell Beckham Jr. Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram already in the fold and the Giants reportedly considering Saquon Barkley at No. 2 overall, Solder could be the glue that holds an explosive offense together.