Top Ten Busiest NFL Teams of 2014 Free Agency
Find Out How Many Free Agents Your Team Has Signed
2014 NFL Off-Season
NFL free agency and the draft are closely intertwined. With draft anticipation reaching a fever pitch, you understand why we’ve been looking at so many free agency numbers this week. There is a method to my madness here, folks. To close out the week, I thought we’d take a look at which teams actually signed the most free agents to date this off-season. This information can help you (try to) decipher which positions your team might be looking to fill come May 8.
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1. Tom Coughlin and Co. had a tough, tough season in 2013. They’ve clearly been doing everything in their power to rectify the situation. The New York Football Giants have inked 18 free agents for a grand total of $105,175,00.
2. The Chicago Bears have been famed for their stalwart defense since, well, forever (1985 didn’t hurt this reputation any). Therefore, it was more than a little bit concerning to see the D completely crumble in 2013. Though Da Bears did let a few key players, including beloved DE Julius Peppers, go in the off-season, they’ve added 16 free agents, to the tune of $90,145,238, to bolster the squad.
3. Oakland, Oakland, Oakland. The club’s last play-off appearance was 12 years ago and their long-suffering fans’ loyalty deserves to be rewarded at this point. On paper, the club’s inking of 15 free agents with contracts totaling $100,859,000 seems smart. However, when you consider that several of these guys have gotten as much fan support as Austin Howard received, there’s room for concern.
4. With this month’s securing of WR DeSean Jackson, the Washington Redskins reached a total of 14 free agent signings totaling $113,930,000. The ‘Skins struggled last year, especially with locker room and coaching drama, so hopefully new head coach Jay Gruden and these new players can pull things together in DC.
5. Under Lovie Smith’s new regime, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have also signed 14 free agents, with contracts summing up to a league-high $147,290,00. Smith’s excitement about taking over on the sidelines for the Bucs is almost tangible and certainly contagious. I’m looking forward to seeing if Smith and Co. can be the best team in the Sunshine State in 2014.
6. Coming in with 12 free agents officially signed, the Pittsburgh Steelers are obviously attempting to rebuild after their second 8-8 season in a row. This is tough for a team that’s used to the 12-4 range, so hopefully their $43,780,000 were well spent.
7. The Tennessee Titans, under new coach Ken Whisenhunt, have signed contracts with 11 free agents, totaling $62,270,000. Though the Titans were second in the AFC South last year, they finished ahead of the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans (who have the No. 3 and No. 1 overall draft picks, respectively), which isn’t saying a whole lot. Whisenhunt seems more than ready to try to turn Music City’s team around.
8. The Super Bowl XLVII champion Baltimore Ravens had a disappointing season, finishing right at
.500 and missed the play-offs. This isn’t what any team wants, especially coming off of a Super Bowl win. The Ravens spent $77,695,000 on 10 free agents, including high-profile (and synonymous with the Carolina Panthers) WR Steve Smith in an effort to help QB Joe Flacco actually find a target sometime between September and January.
9. Speaking of the Carolina Panthers, they were the first of 4 teams (hence our asterisked 11 and 12 entries this time around) to sign 9 free agents during the 2014 offseason. After getting rid of the majority of their receiving corps (as evidenced by the fact that Steve Smith is a Raven), the Panthers front office dedicated quite a bit of the $18,054,000 rebuilding it.
10. The Minnesota Vikings, under new head coach and defensive ace Mike Zimmer, have signed 9 free agents on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. They spent a total of $52,625,000. Hopefully this investment will help their floundering squad bob back to the surface in 2014.
*11. If you watched a single episode of NFL Live or NFL Insiders in 2013, you know what was going on in Miami, including how grammatically correct Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin’s text messages are. As a result, the Dolphins decided to bring in some fresh blood. Head coach Joe Philbin and new GM Dennis Hickey, along with the rest of the ‘Phins brass, have brought in 9 free agents for a total of $93,570,00.
*12. The Arizona Cardinals, who would have been a 2013 play-off team if the proposed 7 team system had been in existence, are the last team to sign 9 free agents this off-season. If these selections work out for Arians and his crew, don’t be surprised to see the Cards making a post-season appearance in January.