Dave Hyde Grades AFC East Free Agent Moves
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/miam ... 2253.story
Dave Hyde wrote:
Patriots: A-minus. ($8.8 million under cap). Bill Belichick has been busier than usual as the window on Tom Brady starts to close. The Patriots passed on a long and rich deal to re-sign Aqib Talib for a short and rich deal for Darrelle Revis, the best lock-down cornerback in the game. Revis will pair with 6-4 cornerback Brandon Browner, formerly of Seattle. The Patriots also re-signed Julian Edelman, their top receiver last year, and took a chance on receiver Brandon LaFell. There's a strange Vince Wilfork contract to resolve - and the longer it goes it looks like it will resolve with Wilfork remaining a Patriot. They can't be serious about trading for DeSean Jackson and his $10 million contract, can they?
Dolphins: B ($19.1 million under cap). Left tackle Branden Albert fills a large hole on the line. Brent Grimes' return guarantees a shut-down corner is on the roster. GM Dennis Hickey got good value in restocking his defensive tackles with Earl Mitchell and Randy Starks. We'll have to wait and see on the rest. Is guard Shelley Smith a starting-caliber lineman? Can cornerback Cortland Finnegan be the player he was three seasons ago? Will safety Will Louis Delmas be healthy - and cut down on the big plays against him? I thought the Dolphins would have gone after another big-money offensive lineman to settle down that area. But Hickey could only fill so much early in free agency. We'll see how the rest of the line fills out in the couple of months and the draft.
Bills, C-minus ($15.6 million under cap). They've lost more than they received just because impact safety Jarius Byrd went to New Orleans. Linebacker Brandon Spikes is the biggest name, just because played a decent role for the Patriots. But an impact linebacker? He didn't show it in New England. The Bills also just look to be filling holes with signings like running back Anthony Dixon, cornerback Corey Graham and guard Chris Williams.
Jets, D ($27.9 million under cap). What are they doing? Not much. Complementary receiver Eric Decker was signed and a swap of right tackles was made (Austin Howard went to Oakland; Seattle's Bert Giacimoni signed with the Jets). But Jets General Manager John Idzik isn't spending much money or filling many positions through free agency. But the Jets still have needs at cornerback, receiver and quarterback. We know drafting is the primary way to win in free agency. But free agency is a good tool in complementing the draft. The Jets just aren't using it much.