It's been under two weeks since NFL free agency officially opened, but that's a big enough sample size for us to separate the clear winners from the luckless losers. Here are the 5 teams and players who have the most to smile about so far this spring.
The 2014 NFC champions attacked their #1 need this offseason — finding a true go-to receiver — with the biggest shock move of the entire free agency season in acquiring former New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham. Along with securing the best TE/WR/whatever hybrid in the game, Seattle also kept their house in order by retaining RB Marshawn Lynch. Lastly, adding Cary Williams and Will Blackmon to help cope with the loss of cornerback Byron Maxwell rounds out what has been an impressive rope-a-dope run through free agency for the Seahawks.
4. Sam Bradford
The oft-injured quarterback is now faced with the freshest of fresh starts after his trade from the Rams to the Eagles, upgrading his offensive weaponry while also getting a chance to play in an offensive system much more friendly to his skill set. If Bradford can come back healthy and put back-to-back season-ending ACL tears behind him, the 2015 Comeback Player of the Year award may already have a winner.
The Colts’ offseason promises to be divisive, as they got older and more expensive at some key skill positions (RB Frank Gore, WR Andre Johnson). However, both could very well be big-time short-term coups, strengthening the frame of the team’s Super Bowl window for a huge run in 2015. Add in some sneakily great D-line signings in Trent Cole and Kendall Langford, along with a veteran O-line presence in Todd Herremans (amongst other solid signings), and there’s plenty to smile ear-to-ear about in Indy.
2. Matt Cassel
Here's Matt Cassel's best shot to return to his glory of his 2008 and 2010 seasons. Cassel goes from holding a clipboard behind Teddy Bridgewater in Minnesota to inheriting an offense in Buffalo that adds Percy Harvin, LeSean McCoy, and Charles Clay to a mix that already includes YouTube highlight darling Sammy Watkins. That's the pure definition of a career upgrade.
New head coach Todd Bowles will start year one with the team with one of the most impressively overhauled secondaries in recent memory — bringing lockdown #1 cornerback Darrelle Revis back into the fray while adding CBs Antonio Cromartie and Buster Skrine on lucrative deals. Add in essentially replacing Percy Harvin with Brandon Marshall (win!) prior to free agency, and the Jets may be a quarterback away (Marcus Mariota, anyone?) from turning the ship completely around.
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