Despite the fact they were waxed by the Seattle Seahawks on football's biggest stage last season, the Denver Broncos were clearly among the most talented teams on paper before the 2014 NFL league year began. Adding three impact defensive free agents, in cornerback Aqib Talib, pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware and safety T.J. Ward (not to mention the signing of wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders), bolsters an already stacked roster, making the Broncos a suitable choice as a team that got better during the free-agency period.
That idea was reinforced when I reached out to several NFL personnel folks to get their takes on the smartest moves of free agency, though some of the other teams they identified were more of a surprise.
Below is a list of five teams that are on the rise coming out of free agency, with comments from anonymous coaches and scouts on each.
Scout's take: "They paid big for them, but from a pure talent standpoint, you can argue they added the best available inside 'backer, strong safety and running back."