Best, worst offseason moves
Broncos and Lions did well; Eagles and Falcons not so much
Remember March? In NFL land, that was a time when some teams spent big, not necessarily trying to "win" free agency, but helping to build a better roster that could compete. Then in April, NFL front offices switched into draft mode, fixing their attention on finding the stars of the future.
Now, in the present day, with three weeks left of the regular season, we're in a decent position to see which front offices made the right moves and which ones didn't. Here are the best and worst teams based on how their offseason moves have played out.
Big move: Take your pick. They spent big on Louis Vasquez, and he's our top-ranked right guard on the year. He's been nearly perfect in pass protection and a powerful force in the run game. Come playoff time, it might be the addition of slot weapon Wes Welker that pays off the most. Seven of his touchdowns and 688 of his receiving yards have come from the slot, both league-leading figures.
Under-the-radar pickup: I lamented the move at the time, and he's been far from consistent, but, from his first game in a Broncos jersey Shaun Phillips has filled the void left by Von Miller initially and has proved a valuable role player thereafter. His tally of 37 quarterback disruptions is satisfactory, and he has set the edge impressively.
Elsewhere: In addition to the aforementioned pickups, the team landed Terrance Knighton, who has delivered on a more consistent basis than in his time in Jacksonville, getting some much needed push up the middle with 27 quarterback disruptions on the year. In the secondary, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has been a success -- even if the unit itself has had some issues -- with the former Cardinals and Eagles defensive back earning the fifth-highest coverage grade of all cornerbacks.