The first wave of NFL free agency is in the books. What teams improved in the early part of this offseason?
NFL free agency was wild. Star players we never expected to switch uniforms did. Barring a few teams in salary cap hell, it was a riveting first week of free agency across the NFL. Naturally, there are teams who did well in free agency and those who certainly did not. While we could crush those teams who did terribly, let’s hone in on the teams who improved the most in free agency this year.
On this week’s episode of Stacking the Box, FanSided‘s Matt Verderame and Mark Carman look at a handful of teams who came out of the first week of free agency well. Verderame loves what a pair of AFC East teams did, while Carman respects the moves two NFC West teams pulled off (23:15).
Verderame believes the moves the Buffalo Bills made this past week have them as the new favorite to win the AFC East. Trading for Stefon Diggs from the Minnesota Vikings, as well as signing Mario Addison away from the Carolina Panthers to offset losing Shaq Lawson to the Miami Dolphins could help the Bills make the playoffs for the third time in four years.
Verderame also likes what Lawson’s new team did, applauding the Dolphins’ smart usage of ample cap space under head coach Brian Flores. Lawson, as well as cornerback Byron Jones and running back Jordan Howard are among the marquee additions Miami signed last week. If the Dolphins draft a quarterback like Tua Tagovailoa in the top-five, they could get to around .500.
Carman is amazed at how the Arizona Cardinals were able to come up with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in their blockbuster trade with the Houston Texans. This move could have Arizona fighting for a playoff spot as early as next season. Carman also loves the value the San Francisco 49ers got from the Indianapolis Colts by trading away defensive lineman DeForest Buckner.
Overall, these four teams did great in free agency. You can say any of these four clubs are among the winners of this free agency period. However, there are other teams to consider such as the Atlanta Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Atlanta signed Dante Fowler and Todd Gurley, while Tampa Bay landed Tom Brady away from the New England Patriots. A lot of teams won.
Here are a few other topics discussed on this week’s episode of Stacking the Box:
- Tom Brady leaves New England Patriots (0:45)
- COVID-19 talk (21:35)
- What are the Dallas Cowboys doing? (32:20)
- Kirk Cousins screwed by the Minnesota Vikings? (38:25)
All this and more!