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The NFL free agency period has finally slowed down enough to start taking stock of just how all of the cards have been played so far. It’s been a wild ride so far and there is a lot of ground still yet to cover. Here is a list of my favorite and least favorite NFL free agent moves so far.
1) Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots
This signing was the biggest in terms of fantasy upside of them all. Tom Brady absolutely needs Edelman and had he signed elsewhere it would have been tragic for the Patriots offense. It doesn’t matter what other WR’s they bring in because Edelman is Tom Brady’s main guy now and is a lock to catch 100+ balls in 2014.
2) Buccaneers Offensive Line
New General Manager Jason Licht and head coach Lovie Smith sure overhauled the Bucs quickly this offseason. The best thing they did though was upgrade the offensive line tremendously. They brought in former Packers center Evan Dietrich-Smith, ex-Bengals LT Anthony Collins and retained RT Jamon Meredith. These are big moves for new QB Josh McCown and the running game behind Doug Martin.
3) Golden Tate, WR, Lions
The more I think about this move the more I like it. Tate was in a terrible passing offense in Seattle and will move to one of the most proficient in the league in Detroit. He will see a ton of one-on-one coverage also with Calvin Johnson lining up opposite him. Tate could have a real big season with the Lions in 2014.
4) Rashad Jennings, RB, Giants
Jennings is a very productive runner who gains a lot of yards after contact which is exactly what the Giants need. Although his upside will be limited due to the Giants terrible offensive line, Jennings will still be a workhorse in their offense this year.
5) Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Broncos
This is an obvious chalk pick but it’s hard not to like it. Sanders is quite frankly a better all around WR than Eric Decker is and to get him at half the price is almost criminal. It really shows Sanders desire to win also in choosing to come to Denver when more money was on the table elsewhere.
1) Roger Saffold, OT,
The Raiders lost Jared Veldheer to the Cardinals and thought they had their LT position filled with the addition of Saffold. But when Saffold failed his physical and resigned back with the Rams it left the Raiders reeling and once again looking like fools. This will be one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL in 2014.
2) Andrew Hawkins, WR, Browns
The Browns went after Hawkins somewhat expecting the Bengals to match their offer sheet which did not happen. I am sure the Browns fancy Hawkins as their high volume slot receiver but the truth is he’s probably most effective as a special teams gunner. Paying him $13.6 million for that is a crime against nature.
3) Darren Sproles, RB, Eagles
I love this move for all of the wrong reasons. Sproles just isn’t an effective running back on his own. He is a gimmick player who needs a high octane offense with plenty of weapons which have designed plays to get him in wide open spaces. The Saints were able to accommodate that but the Eagles aren’t. I am sure Chip Kelly has all kinds of plans for Sproles but the fact is that once he is touched, Sproles goes down like a sack of crap.
4) Brandon Myers, TE, Buccaneers
Huh? Why sign Brandon Myers when you already have an emerging Tim Wright on the roster and had 15 TE’s who graded out better than Myers available to you in free agency? The Bucs were active in free agency but not all of their moves were sunshine and rose petals.
5) Brandon LaFell, WR, Patriots
The Patriots have a ton of similar WR’s already so it was extremely surprising to see them sign LaFell to an $11 million deal. It is obvious that they plan on cutting Danny Amendola this offseason but that still doesn’t leave a primary spot for LaFell.