When Day one of the new league year ended it was quite surprising. There was a couple of teams that spent freely and trade. There were two primary winners on day one and some losers as well. With day one officially in the books lets us take a look at how it played out.
The Browns were the strongest of players on day one. Not only did they re-sign their own they went out and made a marked improvement on their team. The Browns freely spent their $100+ million on making sure that their QB will be protected. They signed center JC Tretter from Green Bay, they signed guard Kevin Zeitler away from the Cincinnati Bengals, re-signed their own guard Joel Bitonio, and signed WR Kenny Britt from the Los Angeles Rams.
Then the Browns completed the day with an uncommon style trade for the NFL. The traded a 2017 4th round pick to the Houston Texans for Brock Osweiler, his salary, a 2018 second round pick, and 2017 6th round. Rumor has it that they are going to try and package these picks for established QB.
After all these moves were said and done I would give the Cleveland Browns an A on day one of free agency.
The Jaguars were another team that made strong moves on day one. They acquired CB AJ Bouye from the Houston Texans, Calais Campbell DE from the Arizona Cardinals and S Barry Church from the Dallas Cowboys. Many thought the Jags would have to address the offensive line. Not a day one apparently.
Look for Jacksonville to address this later in free agency or in the draft come April. They know that in order for things to work they need to keep QB Blake Bortles upright. Tom Coughlin will put his mark here in due time.
Day grade – B
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are put here because they did very little in an attempt to secure a franchise QB. Signing both Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley on day one is not exactly strong in my book. I know there is still an opportunity to complete the rumored trade for Kirk Cousins. However, that looks less likely as the days go by.
The 49ers made 2 stronger moves with the signings of WR Pierre Garcon and LB Malcolm Smith, These two signings will make your team better. Garcon is a strong possession receiver with grit and determination. Smith, the MVP of Super Bowl XLVIII, will be an immediate leader on that defense.
The non-completion of the Cousins trade is why I mark them as day one losers. If they wanted it bad enough they could have gotten it done. Grade – C
The Bears are on the losing side for 2 reasons. One, they took a flyer on an inexperienced QB, ala the Houston Texans. Props to the Bears for not spending the amount of money Houston did. Mike Glennon may show promise as an NFL starter but so did Osweiler. We will see if the Bears have a better outcome with their flyer than the Texans did.
And 2 they did not try and replace their star wide receiver, Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery inked a 1 yr $14 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Bears are going to need to figure out a way to replace him. Kevin White was drafted 2 years ago to replace Brandon Marshall. Now he will be called upon to fill both shoes. Can he stay healthy? That is the big question.
A flyer on a QB and hole at WR gets you a day 1 grade of – C. You should have done more Chicago.
There were more teams that won and lost. The day was one of the busiest day ones that I could remember. How did your team fair? You can comment below.
Follow Sean on Twitter @NFLINSC