Free-agency recap: Top signings, grades for all 32 teams

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Free agency started with a bang thanks to the open market on quarterbacks. Kirk Cousins, the big catch of the free-agency class, landed with the Minnesota Vikings. How did the rest of the league do? Here’s a look at all 32 teams.

Grade: A

Cousins is being viewed as a game-changing, potential franchise quarterback and the answer to solving the Vikings’ issues of sustainability and longevity at the position. Read more.

Grade: B+

In terms of financial investment, the headline signing of free agency for the Bills was defensive tackle Star Lotulelei. Read more.

The Rams signed Ndamukong Suh to a one-year, $14 million contract a couple of weeks after he was released by the Dolphins. He isn’t a perfect fit, considering he has never played in a 3-4 defense and will probably spend a lot of time at nose tackle. Read more.

The Steelers entered free agency with minimal cap space and still got two starters to fill defensive needs, each for less than $7 million per year. Read more.

The Bucs locked up their own in re-signing wide receiver Mike Evans and tight end Cameron Brate to long-term extensions. Read more.

Grade: B

The Bears addressed several needs on paper — wide receiver, cornerback, tight end, backup quarterback and outside linebacker — but free agency is risky. Chicago spent plenty of money, but that doesn’t always translate to success on the field. Read more.

The Bengals got one important thing done by trading for a left tackle before free agency, and re-signing Tyler Eifert was a top priority. Read more.

The Browns took advantage of the salary-cap money they had and added three significant players via trade and nine more in free agency. Among them are starting and backup quarterbacks, starting receiver, starting safety, starting right tackle and possibly two starting cornerbacks. Read more.

The Texans hope their biggest signee — safety Tyrann Mathieu — becomes the playmaker they need in their secondary. Read more.

Signing center Mike Pouncey to a two-year, $15 million deal after the Dolphins released him was a big get, but the Chargers’ most significant signing was kicker Caleb Sturgis. Read more.

The Patriots’ most significant additions really came via trade, with cornerback Jason McCourty and defensive tackle Danny Shelton, who could both fill key roles on defense. Read more.

Jordy Nelson has accomplished something that only four receivers have done, producing three seasons of at least 1,250 receiving yards and 13 TD catches. The other three — Jerry Rice (6 times), Randy Moss (5) and Terrell Owens (4) — are in the Hall of Fame. Read more.

The Eagles may have upgraded an already top-shelf defensive line with the additions of Haloti Ngata and Michael Bennett — though Bennett’s sudden legal situation has complicated matters. Read more.

Cornerback Richard Sherman fills what was clearly the Niners’ biggest need entering the offseason. Read more.

Tennessee raided the Patriots, adding cornerback Malcolm Butler and running back Dion Lewis. Read more.

Grade: B-

Quarterback Sam Bradford‘s injury history doesn’t suggest he can stay healthy for the entire season, making his signing a risk. Read more.

The Ravens were fortunate at wide receiver, getting Michael Crabtree after Ryan Grant failed his physical. Read more.

Dontari Poe is a solid pickup. Re-signing defensive end Julius Peppers, 38, also was big and somewhat overlooked. Read more.

The Cowboys have been able to add players who could be significant pieces, such as receiver Allen Hurns and offensive tackle Cameron Fleming. Read more.

After some initial work to see what it would take to sign Cousins, the Broncos zeroed in on Case Keenum early and officially wrapped up negotiations with him in the opening hours of free agency. Read more.

The Chiefs have one of the best collections of skill players in the league after signing Sammy Watkins. Read more.

Nate Solder is a massive upgrade at offensive tackle, which the Giants desperately needed. Read more.

The Jets made one splurge — cornerback Trumaine Johnson, who significantly improves the secondary. Read more.

The Seahawks gave themselves some protection at a position of great uncertainty when they kept safety Bradley McDougald on a three-year, $13.5 million deal. Read more.

Grade: C+

If linebacker Devon Kennard can provide the Lions with a good pass rush as an outside linebacker/defensive end, then he’ll be the biggest difference-maker in Detroit’s class. Read more.

GM Brian Gutekunst is banking on the careers of defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson and tight end Jimmy Graham being resurrected in Green Bay. Read more.

The Jaguars addressed one of their most pressing needs (interior offensive line play) with the best lineman on the free-agent market (Andrew Norwell), a move which will reinforce the commitment to the run game with Leonard Fournette. Read more.

The Redskins signed receiver Paul Richardson, who provides more speed on the outside, opposite Josh Doctson. Read more.

Grade: C


The Falcons entered free agency with the mindset of bargain shopping without much cap space. They might have been a tad more aggressive had quarterback Matt Ryan agreed to a contract extension and lowered his $20 million-plus cap figure in 2018. Read more.

Grade: C-

The Dolphins signed wide receivers Albert Wilson and Danny Amendola and running back Frank Gore, and got older. Read more.

Drew Brees makes the Saints a top Super Bowl contender at age 39, and they got him back on a team-friendly two-year, $50 million contract that included only $27 million guaranteed. Read more.

Grade: D

The Colts re-signed kicker Adam Vinatieri, but haven’t done much else. Read more.



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