NFL Free Agency 2015 Highlights
Last time we gave you a teaser as to what the National Football League Free Agency market was all about. Largely it is the time of year when all teams can pick up
some bargains to plug gaps in their rosters, other times it becomes a bidding war to gain that heavyweight marquee player. There are far too many trades and moves to
mention them all, but here are some of the names that find themselves in new cities this coming Summer.
By Gary Jordan. April 29, 2015
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Buffalo made an early splash in the market acquiring Running Back LeSean McCoy, and then backed it up with a solid trade for Quarterback Matt Cassel. Add into the mix the signing of the much travelled Wide Receiver Percy Harvin and Tight End Charles Clay, they could be lighting up the scoreboard.
The Dolphins have been one of the more active teams so far this off season, they acquired one of the most sought after names from the free agent list in Defensive Tackle Ndamukong Suh. They backed this up with several big name signings on offense including Receiver Greg Jennings, two QBs Josh Freeman and Matt Moore to add a little competition at that position.
New England Patriots
How do you make the best better? Well Tom Brady has some new targets to work with in Receivers Kevin Dorsey and Brian Tyms. Jabaal Sheard and Alan Branch have been brought in to add some depth to the defensive line, and they put the franchise tag on Placekicker Stephen Gostkowski.
New York Jets
If there ever was a team that needed a shot in the arm this was it. Ryan Fitzpatrick will battle it out for the starting QB job, he will be hoping to fire passes to new Receiver Brandon Marshall, and hand the ball off to Stevan Ridley. Two shutdown Cornerbacks are now Jets, Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis.
Keeping players was key to the Broncos and when they applied their franchise tag to star Receiver Demaryius Thomas they were doing sound business. Gino Gradkowski will now be the man in the middle of the line snapping the ball to Peyton Manning. Vance Walker and Antonio Smith will help beef up the defensive line.
Kansas City Chiefs
Always a Dark Horse that never bolts the stable fully, but the signing of Jeremy Maclin was one of intent; the Receiver will be a good fit. Guard Ben Grubbs has come in from New Orleans and Defensive Back Tyvon Branch gives help in that area.
A slow start to free agency from the team always known for making a splash, but recent signings of Running Back Trent Richardson and QB Christian Ponder raised eyebrows. Bringing in eight players on defense is a good sign, but the biggest name to come in was that of Receiver Michael Crabtree.
San Diego Chargers
Jacoby Jones and Stevie Johnson are new at the Receiver position; the former should enjoy a new lease of life on the West Coast. The Chargers have also shored up the Cornerback position with Patrick Robinson.
It's been fairly quiet for the Ravens; the biggest move was for QB Matt Schaub, a more than decent back up to Flacco. Most of the time has been spent making sure they keep vital pieces and the re-signing of lead runner Justin Forsett was key, as was the keeping of Defensive End Chris Canty.
The Bengals have a decent roster already and one that should do better than first round exits. The signing of Linebacker AJ Hawk and Defensive End Michael Johnson will be great for their sometimes soft D. Denarius Moore at Receiver will be useful and a new backup QB in Josh Johnson will push Andy Dalton.
Cleveland has added more QB's to their mix, and Josh McCown could well be the starter come September. He could be passing to new Receivers Brian Hartline and Dwayne Bowe; both will see a lot of playing time.
The team that has been the quietest so far this spring, but at the same time addressing a big need when they got DeAngelo Williams to agree terms. The Running Back will be featured heavily early on in the year after the suspension of Le'Veon Bell.
Brian Hoyer is the new man at QB. Joining him on offense is Cecil Shorts III, the impact Receiver will look to do just that. On the defensive side JJ Watt has a new teammate that is most welcome in the form of veteran Tackle Vince Wilfork.
Tipped by many to be the Dynasty team they have picked up some very interesting pieces to their jigsaw. Frank Gore will hope to regain his lost form, and Andre Johnson will be on the end of many Andrew Luck passes. Trent Cole is a good addition on the defensive line, and Nate Irving will have an influence at Linebacker.
Defensive Tackle Jared Odrick was the first signing for the Jaguars, maybe a statement of intent as they need to stop leaking points. On offense they have got help on the line through Jeremy Parnell, he will get to block for new Running Back Bernard Pierce.
The Titans have made several key signings on offense. Receivers Hakeem Nicks and Harry Douglas are joined at Tight End by Anthony Fasano. On defense Linebacker Brian Orakpo was their first move in the market.
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The two biggest names coming into the Cowboys so far have been Running Back Darren McFadden and Defensive End Greg Hardy. Both will hope to have a big part to play for America's Team. They also wrapped up Receiver Dez Bryant under the franchise tag.
New York Giants
Big Blue was in need of some fresh blood in their rebuild, and they got Running Back Shane Vereen early as well as Receivers Dwayne Harris and Kevin Ogletree. Linebacker George Selvie has come in to breathe some life into a lacklustre D.
This team has been all over the news with their moves. Sam Bradford is the new QB, for now at least as Tim Tebow is also back in the NFL. They have lots of new weapons on offense including Running Backs DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews. Chip Kelly will no doubt roll the dice again during the Draft.
Another team in urgent need of repair, especially across their defense it seems, as eight new players have been signed to plug gaps. Safety Dashon Goldson, Cornerback Chris Culliver and Defensive Tackle Terrance Knighton are all strong acquisitions.
Offensive Guard Mike Iupati was the first to move to the desert, Corey Peters soon followed to help on the defensive line. Relatively quiet so far they are amongst the front runners to get the signature of premier Running Back Adrian Peterson, very much a case of watch this space.
San Francisco 49ers
Lots of off season turmoil by the Bay, and they will want to get to camp quickly to gel in the new crop. Receiver Torrey Smith was quick to join, followed by talented Defensive Tackle Darnell Dockett. Running Back Reggie Bush and wide out Jerome Simpson will add some veteran flavour.
Opening day of free agency saw a huge move as the Seahawks swooped in for Tight End Jimmy Graham. The defense was bolstered with Will Blackmon and Mister Alexander, both could be fringe players on the Legion of Boom.
St. Louis Rams
Could this be the year the Rams bleat harder? Two new QB's on the scene as Nick Foles and Case Keenum arrive. Another big, literally, signing came when Defensive Tackle Nick Fairley put pen to paper.
After a disappointing 2014 the Bears had to make some solid moves. Receiver Eddie Royal will add insurance in the offense, as will the suitably named Tight End Bear Pascoe. Safety Antrel Rolle heads up eight new members of a hopefully rejuvenated D that also sees Cornerback Jacquizz Rodgers and lineman Pernell McPhee head to the Windy City.
Defensive Tackle Haloti Ngata was an opening day signing which was a move made of necessity with the impending departure of Ndamukong Suh. This has been the only major move in a somewhat quiet Spring, they have also brought in Tyrunn Walker at Defensive Tackle.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers have flown very silently under the radar and have yet to actually sign anyone new. Instead they have concentrated on keeping the team together and made sure the likes of Receiver Randall Cobb and Defensive End BJ Raji stay at Lambeau.
Big play receiver Mike Wallace will add some spice to the offense and QB Shaun Hill will prove to be a good backup. Casey Matthews at Linebacker and Terence Newman will add veteran help at Cornerback on the defensive side.
Atlanta has concentrated on defense bringing in Adrian Clayborn on the line, and Justin Durant at the Linebacker position. Leonard Hankerson will be a useful addition at Receiver, and veteran Placekicker Matt Bryant is a safe move.
After an in-the-end-decent last season the Panthers have just got a little better on offense with the addition of multi-purpose Receiver Ted Ginn, and Michael Oher and Jonathan Martin are welcome needs across the line. Charles Tillman is a strong Cornerback signing.
New Orleans Saints
Centre Max Unger was acquired when they lost Jimmy Graham to Seattle, and CJ Spiller is a gamble at Running Back. Cornerback Brandon Browner, and Defensive End Anthony Spencer have also been brought in, otherwise it's been a soft approach to the Draft.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Linebacker Bruce Carter was a much needed signing on a very leaky defense. Henry Melton will help along that line, as will Sterling Moore at Defensive Back, and Free Safety Chris Conte.