Free Agency in the NFL began on March 11th and I want to say the money has not stopped being thrown around yet. Some very huge pickups were made that might’ve shifted the power balance of the league in some teams favor. The rich got richer in a lot of cases in the AFC when you think that the most prized acquisitions landed in either Denver or New England. The Broncos and Patriots seem to be competing in all facets of the game, trying to one-up each other which free agency acquisition. It’s like Belichick & Brady are in a chess match with John Fox, Peyton, & Elway for the AFC.
Once the Dallas Cowboys cut ties with Pro Bowl LB Demarcus Ware, he was almost immediately signed to the Denver Broncos for 3 years/$30 million. The Broncos followed up this move by signing former Patriot defensive back Aqib Talib to a whopping six year/$57 million contract. This move shook up the NFL world a little since it was so spontaneous, but before we could breath the Patriots landed shutdown corner Darelle Revis and signed him on a 1 year/$12 million contract after he was released by Tampa Bay. In Belichick-ian fashion he also picked up a more troubled player in Brandon Browner, the former Seattle Seahawks player who has been in and out of suspension the last couple of years. He was reinstated by the commissioner, but is to be suspended a total of 4 weeks and a total of 8 weeks without pay. But when you put the drama aside for a second, Browner is a big physical cornerback who patrolled the airways with Sherman making one of the best cornerback duos in the NFL. Now the Patriots are attempting to recreate that in Foxborough, also going back to their defensive roots reminding us of the defensive backfields of old with the like of Ty Law, Rodney Harrison, and a young Asante Samuel. The Patriots and Broncos seem to be set on another collision course, but this time they’re amping it up.
There were other notable moves being made in the AFC, such as Decker to the NY Jets, Hakeem Nicks to the Colts, Cortland Finnegan to the Dolphins, Steve Smith to the Ravens, etc. The NFC heavyweights stayed relatively quiet thus far in free agency, most likely going with the old “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” adage. The Giants improved their secondary with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and added the Broncos play-making return man Trindon Holiday. The Eagles made some signings on defensive end in Malcolm Jenkins and made a trade for Darren Sproles.