- Matt Williamson, ESPN.com
Last week, ESPN Insider Mike Sando, with the help of myself and some other ESPN analysts, compiled free-agency grades for every NFL team. The grades factored in important context such as the length and value of every contract, the quality of the players signed or let go and whether each team's free-agency moves made sense within its broader organizational strategy.
But if you stripped away all of that context and looked purely at the level of impact the 2014 free-agent signings will have for their new teams, what players would rise to the top of the list?
Below is my ranking of the top 10 impact free-agent signings for 2014. These aren't necessarily the most talented players to switch teams, or the ones who were acquired at the best rate, but they are in the best position to succeed based on their ability and opportunity within their teams' schemes.
The top tier
Aqib Talib is a very talented cornerback capable of lining up against an opponent's top receiver all day in man-to-man coverage without much help. But he isn't Revis. In fact, over the course of his career, Talib has been up and down in this regard. Before his hip injury last season, Talib was great, but after the injury, his play predictably fell off. Meanwhile, Revis just kept getting better during his only season in Tampa Bay as his knee got stronger -- despite the fact that the Bucs didn't always use him in man coverage.
Matt Williamson ranks his top 10 impact free-agent signings for 2014.