It’s been six days since free agency began, and the dawn of a new NFL year has seen player movement like never before – including a head-spinning amount of trades with high-profile players.
The heat wave of activity has dwindled, but that doesn’t mean teams can’t get a little bang for their buck. Here are three observations.
There will be a second wave of free agency
Browns general manager Ray Farmer said back in February the club will use precision when adding free agents, and the good news is that there are plenty available. Receivers Dwayne Bowe, Stevie Johnson, Cecil Shorts and Greg Jennings are still available and all will go for significantly less of a price than Torrey Smith, Randall Cobb and Jeremy Maclin. It’s also worth noting tight end Charles Clay has not signed anywhere yet, either.
The Browns could look at cornerbacks, too, to help fill the void Buster Skrine leaves opposite Joe Haden. Playmaking veterans like Tramon William or Charles Tillman both could thrive marking a team’s second-best wide receiver.
The AFC North hasn’t splurged
The biggest move for the Ravens has been extending running back Justin Forsett and the same can be said for the Steelers in locking up quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for another five seasons. The Bengals have been the most active in the division, signing defensive end Michael Johnson and linebacker A.J. Hawk – while also re-signing offensive linemen Eric Winston and Clint Bolling.
Baltimore, in particular, could look vastly different in 2015. Six starters have left via free agency or a trade – most notably Smith and defensive lineman Haloti Ngata.
All of the free agency moves will heavily impact the NFL draft
The Titans were unable to add a quality starting quarterback in free agency and now might consider taking Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. The Raiders weren’t able to land a big-name wide receiver, increasing the odds they might select Alabama’s Amari Cooper or West Virginia’s Kevin White. The Rams cut Jake Long and will have to think long and hard about adding another offensive lineman.
Two of the Browns’ biggest offseason transactions have been adding receiver Brian Hartlineand extending defensive lineman John Hughes’ contract – but both positions are still considered a priority in the draft. More and more recent mock drafts have Washington nose tackle Danny Shelton slipping to Cleveland at pick No. 12, which would be a welcome surprise.
What we wrote over the weekend
How Urban Meyer helped Joe Haden, Paul Kruger blossom into NFL star defenders. Read More.
Browns extend the contract of DL John Hughes. Read More.