By Chris Ross @DraftScout_NFL on April 2, 2014
The 2014 NFL Free Agency period is one that has been filled with great signings and surprising pickups. Some teams, like the Denver Broncos, added talent to an already talented roster, while others, like the Jacksonville Jaguars, were able to add talent to a roster that lacked it. With that said, ladies and gentlemen, here is a ranking of the ten NFL teams that have improved the most during free agency.
For the Cleveland Browns, the 2014 NFL offseason has been a success in more ways than one. From the hiring of a new head coach in Mike Pettine to the signing of several key free agents, the Browns are looking to finally take the next step. By signing Donte Whitner, Karlos Dansby and Ben Tate, the Browns added quite a bit of talent. And when you throw in the fact that Brandon Weeden is finally gone, the offseason gets even better in Cleveland.
Although the Philadelphia Eagles' best move of free agency wasn’t technically a free agent signing, there is no doubt that picking up Darren Sproles for the price of a fifth-round pick may have been the steal of the offseason. When you consider that the Eagles were also able to land a solid corner in Nolan Carroll even though they may have overpaid for Malcolm Jenkins, the Eagles still added enough talent to improve an already talented team.
The Oakland Raiders needed to emerge from the NFL free agency period with a lot more talent than they entered it with. Consider it mission accomplished, as the franchise was able to totally overhaul their defensive line with the signings of LaMarr Woodley, Justin Tuck and Antonio Smith, and the team was able to pick up a decent quarterback in Matt Schaub. Things are finally looking up in Oakland.
Going into free agency, the Miami Dolphins had one need that stood out above all the rest: Left tackle. With the signing of Brandon Albert, the Dolphins were finally able to give Ryan Tannehill an NFL-caliber blindside protector, and by signing Shelley Smith, the Dolphins were also able to solidify their interior line as well.
Much like the Dolphins, the Arizona Cardinals entered the free agency period with a massive need at left tackle. However, with the signing of former Oakland Raider Jared Veldheer, the left tackle position now is possibly the best on the entire offensive line. Not to mention, with the signing of Ted Ginn, the Cardinals provided Carson Palmer with a weapon to properly utilize his big arm.
Although they didn’t sign many free agents this offseason, it’s the guys the New England Patriots did sign that make this a successful offseason. Obviously the signing of Darrelle Revis was a masterstroke for Bill Belichick and Co., and with Revis and Brandon Browner, the Patriots are in the conversation for the league’s best secondary.
With the additions of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Walter Thurmond, the New York Giants definitely upgraded their secondary. By also picking up offensive guard Geoff Schwartz and running back Rashad Jennings, the Giants greatly improved their running game to enter 2014 with a much better overall team.
Yes, the Chicago Bears lost star defensive end Julius Peppers and defensive tackle Henry Melton, but the talent the team added this offseason more than makes up for those losses. By signing Jared Allen, Willie Young and Israel Idonije, the Bears may have the best defensive line in the entire league.
Going into free agency, the Jacksonville Jaguars were in possession of the league’s least talented roster. Following free agency, however, the Jaguars now enter 2014 with some hope for success. Toby Gerhart could become a fantastic feature back, and with the signings of Chris Clemons, Red Bryant and Zane Beadles, the Jaguars did very well for themselves.
This year in free agency, the rich got richer. The Denver Broncos certainly weren’t talent-deprived entering free agency, but with the signing of DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib and T.J. Ward, the Broncos managed to improve what is possibly the best roster in the league.
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