The NFL free agency market this year has been one of the most prolific in history, with many big names being moved around the league by both powerhouses and rebuilding teams alike. Among the highlights of free agent signings so far are DeMarcus Ware, Eric Decker, Darrelle Revis, Golden Tate, Jairus Byrd, and Aqib Talib.
The Denver Broncos, coming off both the best offensive regular season in NFL history and one of the worst Super Bowl blowout losses in NFL history, have decided to spend some of their extra money on recharging their defense and making sure Peyton can get the ball back in his hands as quick as possible. The signing of the heavily coveted DE DeMarcus Ware and CB Aqib Talib brings a new element of pass rush and pass defense that the Broncos were lacking last season.
Eric Decker, who was released by the Broncos due to cap space, was coming off one of the best single seasons a number two wideout could ever hope for. The Jets, who have struggled to get a decent passing game going with inexperienced quarterbacks over the last half a decade, have nabbed him up in hopes that he can be their number one target.
To make up for the loss of Aqib Talib, the New England Patriots were lucky enough to entice the only other free agent cornerback that could be considered an upgrade; Darrelle Revis. Signed only to a one year deal, his contract allows him to still be franchised next year if the Patriots choose to do so.
Coming off a Super Bowl victory, the speedy Golden Tate has always played with a chip on his shoulder. Considered by many to not be worthy of a starting role at wide receiver, he has always answered the call when the Seahawks needed him, and now has a ring to prove it. The already pass efficient Detroit Lions have grabbed him up, and are likely to start him opposite of NFL superstar Calvin Johnson, which should open up opportunities for each. With these two on the field at the same time, defenses are going to have their hands full trying to cover them both at once.
And Jairus Byrd, one of the best safeties in the entire league, has gone to the New Orleans Saints. Byrd played for the Buffalo Bills, and his talent often got overlooked or just flew under the radar due to the poor records and limited coverage given to the team. Now with the Saints, their pass defense gets an upgrade that it has been starving for to compliment it’s seemingly unstoppable offense.
There are plenty more free agents still on the table, many not mentioned in this article, and many relatively unknown ones that will have a breakout career at their new homes. As the NFL draft approaches, look for this free agent class to continue to shake up the face of the league, including by who and when the incoming rookies get drafted.