The NFL’s “fiscal year” turned and with it the market went crazy: cuts and contract restructurings happened in great volume, as well as signings and renewals. In a season in which managers closed their hands – there were a few contracts above what the market expected and several well below what analysts expected – some teams managed to fill important gaps, without spending fortunes. This is all important, as in addition to qualifying the roster, it brings flexibility in the Draft: without an urgent need, the franchise does not need to select a less talented player in a high position, being able to focus on building depth or simply adding the most talent available. That’s the key, thinking about the future today so you don’t have to be in an uncomfortable situation tomorrow. Without further ado, let’s go to the 5 teams that shone in the first week of free agency.
If there’s one thing Dolphins general manager Chris Grier isn’t doing, it’s sleeping on the set. Knowing the strength of the AFC East and a possible arrival of Aaron Rodgers at the New York Jets, he managed to trade for Jalen Ramsey sending a measly third-round pick and tight end Hunter Long (who?). Mike White is a good backup quarterback, something the franchise needs given Tua Tagovailoa’s health issues. Braxton Berrios is a solid name to make up the rotation that has two top-shelf wide receivers in Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill. David Long is an underrated value for a linebacker position and brings talent to one of the areas in which the team suffered the most in 2022. To complete, the renovation of all running backs was done at low prices, continuing the work without spending money on it .
After almost reaching the playoffs in 2022, Detroit comes with everything for the third year under the command of Dan Campbell. In the market, the focus was on strengthening the secondary, one of the worst in the NFL last season. For the cornerback position, Cameron Sutton and Emmanuel Moseley showed up, both with good contracts that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. They are two names that arrive to play immediately and bring quality to the cast, without costing lots of money. As if that weren’t enough, general manager Brad Holmes also brought in Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, one of the most coveted free agents on the market. The safety and nickel corner hybrid had a great 2022 for the Philadelphia Eagles, reaching the Super Bowl and having 6 interceptions. The deal? A bargain: just $8 million for one season. If they make another good Draft like they did last year, Detroit can aspire to the NFC North title in 2023.