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Brendan Darr's Blog
Grading the Impact of Five Top NFL Free Agent Signings Stuck
Posted on August 14, 2012 at 10:57 AM.

Considering I gave undoubtedly the number one free agent signing an entire article, I figured I would follow up with a few more big names in new places.

Just as a note, no Offensive Lineman will be involved. It's nothing against Carl Nicks or Eric Winston, both are fantastic players in their own right. It's just hard to quantify how much better a team is with an impact lineman, compared to a quarterback. Tampa Bay and Kansas City each improved their lines significantly with those signings.

These five players were some of the biggest names on the free agent market, but how will the fair in their new home?

5. WR Brandon Lloyd, New England Patriots

I'm sure Tom Brady needed another weapon on the offensive side of the ball. Lloyd has a chance to steal the spotlight from the outstanding Tight Ends, which won't come easy. To be clear, I'm not saying Lloyd is going to repeat Randy Moss' campaign from 2007 (98 catches, 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns), but something at, or approaching, Moss' 2009 campaign (83 catches, 1,264 yards and 13 touchdowns) sounds about right.

Grade: A

4. QB Matt Flynn, Seattle Seahawks

Flynn parlayed a couple spot-starts into a 3-year, $26-million deal from the Seahawks. Granted, one of those starts was a 480-yard, six-touchdown performance in the season finale against the Lions last year. A performance that had Flynn potentially being franchised by the Packers, and then being part of a lucrative deal for a high draft pick or two. We heard reports out of camp that Flynn may not even win the starting job (he since has), but is seeing stiff competition from rookie Russell Wilson.

Grade: C

3. WR Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jackson is an interesting case of is his talent worth the money he was given. In a sport like football that has a hard salary cap, I think it is tough to justify giving Jackson $11 million a year over five years. Especially when you consider he's never had more than 68 catches, 1,167 yards or 9 touchdowns in a pass-first offense. Jackson is very good, and fills a huge need for Tampa Bay, but I just think the money is too much.

Grade: B

2. CB Brandon Carr, Dallas Cowboys

I guess when you are in a division that has receivers like the Eagles and Giants, you can have the luxury to drop $50.1 million on a Cornerback AND draft one in the first round. I'll get to Claiborne later in the week, but I love what Brandon Carr brings to the Cowboys, especially with Terence Newman being released. Carr will join Mike Jenkins in helping shut down the potent aerial attacks in the NFC East.

Grade: A

1. DE/OLB Mario Williams, Buffalo Bills

As much as I love the Carr signing in Dallas, I think Williams' signing in Buffalo is that much better. His signing instantly upgraded Buffalo's defensive line to one of the best in the league. I'm also intrigued how Williams being there helps the development of former first-round pick Marcell Dareus.

Grade: A

Two other signings I thought deserved an 'A':
WR Pierre Garcon in Washington and RB Peyton Hillis in Kansas City.

Who was the biggest free agent signing in your mind? Sound off!
# 1 TDenverFan @ Aug 14
Does Peyton not count for some reason?
# 2 TDenverFan @ Aug 14
Sorry for the double post, can't edit on my phone.

I meant Peyton Manning, not Petton Hillis.
# 3 xDJ 77x @ Aug 14
Ben Grubbs - Saints
Laron Landry - Jets if healthy
# 4 Brendan Darr @ Aug 14
@TDenverFan ... that first sentence alluded to this:
# 5 TDenverFan @ Aug 14
Ah. My bad.
# 6 PioneerRaptor @ Aug 14
DeMeco Ryans - Eagles. The Eagles have an atrocious LB Corps, if he can help them improve in anyway against the run, it will really help the defense.
I think the chiefs will have a great season with the one two punch of peyton hillis and jamal charles. That is really what they need to add that adversity to their offense because it really proved to do so in their first preseason game. Also their defense looks superb. Then again they did play the cardinals
# 8 Brendan Darr @ Aug 14
I think you were looking for 'Diversity' instead of adversity. Wait, well, I could be wrong, but I believe diversity is an old, old wooden ship that was used during the Civil War era.
Haha ya you're right my mistake
# 10 real deal @ Aug 16
payton manning
# 11 Brendan Darr @ Aug 16
Again, @Real Deal, I'll refer to the PEYTON post from last week... that first sentence alluded to this:
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