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Saintswrath 03-19-2014 10:59 AM

Free agency grades are in from USA TODAY sports
 
1 Attachment(s)
A

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The new regime of general manager Jason Licht and coach Lovie Smith has been bold but financially responsible in adding underrated talents in LT Anthony Collins, DE Michael Johnson and CB Alterraun Verner while shedding established players they didn't want (CB Darrelle Revis, LT Donald Penn, G Davin Joseph). If new QB Josh McCown comes close to his 2013 production as a backup, the Bucs could be dangerous.

Next: Expect Licht and Smith to continue chasing players made for the Cover 2 defense, especially up front. A receiver could be atop the draft board while quarterback could also be under consideration again.


B+
New Orleans Saints: They swooped in to snare FS Jairus Byrd (for a whopping $54 million over six years) when they didn't appear to have the flexibility to make such a move. Re-signing RT Zach Strief was a solid choice. Franchise tight end Jimmy Graham's situation, however, remains in limbo and will probably preclude more significant moves.

Next: With Brian De La Puente unsigned, there's an opening at center that could linger. Getting a deal done for Graham would enable GM Mickey Loomis to address his depth.

NO WORRIES: Brees confident Graham will be on the field in Week 1


B-

Atlanta Falcons: The names may not be familiar (G Jon asamoah, DE tyson Jackson and DT Paul Soliai) but GM Thomas Dimitroff has been busy adding and re-signing bodies for his offensive and defensive lines. That looks like a sound strategy for a team that fell off a cliff in 2013, and the defense in particular looks more diverse.

Next: Atlanta still needs difference makers, pass rushers specifically, but is set up to get one early in the draft.


C-

Carolina Panthers: GM Dave Gettleman managed to franchise DE Greg Hardy, regarded by some as the best player in the league with an expiring contract. Tagging Hardy, however, meant the receiving corps and secondary would be decimated, to say nothing of the void created by the retirement of LT Jordan Gross.

SIDELINED: Cam Newton faces four-month recovery after ankle surgery

Next: Gettleman will be hard-pressed to find veteran solutions to his issues given Carolina's tight cap and will have to hope for the best in May.

See full grade-list by clicking below.
Ravens, Eagles, Bucs earn early A's in free agency

exile 03-19-2014 11:21 AM

Re: Free agency grades are in from USA TODAY sports
 
Graham's situation isn't "in limbo". Worst case he plays for $7.5m. That's not limbo nature. He could just sit out a year but :rolleyes:.

st thomas 03-19-2014 12:05 PM

Re: Free agency grades are in from USA TODAY sports
 
i'm going on a branch and saying we will be in the final 4 in 14. after dat if we don't win it all we will know what we need to get us there. the plan is going just as mick and sean see's it. graham will be ready for his monster year to get his monster check from? somebody in 15.

Danno 03-19-2014 12:11 PM

Re: Free agency grades are in from USA TODAY sports
 
Sounds about right. Tampa is killing it, but they had a long way to go to start with. Atlanta needed more help than we did. We just had a few holes to plug.

I think if you rank them on overall talent going into 2014,
Saints
Falcons
Bucs (and they're closing in on the Falcons fast)
Panthers

blackangold 03-19-2014 12:28 PM

Re: Free agency grades are in from USA TODAY sports
 
"GM Dave Gettleman managed to franchise DE Greg Hardy"

How do you get a C for franchising a player... they make it seem like an accomplishment.

CAR should get an F. They went from a division winner and Superbowl contender to (most likely) the worst team in the division.

TheOak 03-19-2014 01:14 PM

Re: Free agency grades are in from USA TODAY sports
 
Can't possibly grade free agency until the end of the season.

Until then it's all guessing to have something to put on paper.

How many times have the Eagles and Cowboys "killed it" in FA, only to go 8-8?

Didn't the Falcons hit a home run with Steve Jackson?

Too many dream teams created in FA that go on to be just a pipe dream.

blackangold 03-19-2014 03:13 PM

Re: Free agency grades are in from USA TODAY sports
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TheOak (Post 584370)
Can't possibly grade free agency until the end of the season.

Until then it's all guessing to have something to put on paper.

How many times have the Eagles and Cowboys "killed it" in FA, only to go 8-8?

Didn't the Falcons hit a home run with Steve Jackson?

Too many dream teams created in FA that go on to be just a pipe dream.

So true...

I understand that completely but what fun would the off-season be without that kind of speculation? :)

lee909 03-20-2014 08:05 AM

Re: Free agency grades are in from USA TODAY sports
 
On paper Tampa have done really well. But then on paper Houston are not the worst team in the league

dizzle88 03-20-2014 11:02 AM

Re: Free agency grades are in from USA TODAY sports
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TheOak (Post 584370)
Can't possibly grade free agency until the end of the season.

Until then it's all guessing to have something to put on paper.

How many times have the Eagles and Cowboys "killed it" in FA, only to go 8-8?

Didn't the Falcons hit a home run with Steve Jackson?

Too many dream teams created in FA that go on to be just a pipe dream.

Same deal with carl nicks, he was their best free agent signing in years and he's played like 6 games in 3 seasons after not once being injured with us

saintsfan403 03-20-2014 02:37 PM

Re: Free agency grades are in from USA TODAY sports
 
I feel like Tampa should lose points for cutting a player they traded a 1st rounder for


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