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Recapping The Beginning Of 2017 NFL Free Agency

Recapping The Beginning Of 2017 NFL Free Agency

Alshon Jeffrey will be a red-zone threat on his new team, the Eagles. (via Bruce Kluckhohn, USA TODAY Sports)
The 2017 NFL free agency season has been very interesting, to say the least. With blockbuster signings and good draft picks, any team has the potential to make a playoff push. There have been a lot of active teams in free agency and others that are waiting for the draft. Here, we will recap the most lucrative, interesting, and eye-opening signings of the 2017 free agency period. (Players that were put under the franchise tag are not included)
  1. Ex-Bears WR Alshon Jeffrey signs with the Philadelphia Eagles on a contract valued at 1 year/$14 million.
This signing should not be a surprise to anyone around the league. Last year, the Eagles boasted one of the best defenses in the league. This year, they plan to rebuild their receiver corps around rookie quarterback Carson Wentz. During the 2017 season, Eagles' fans were frustrated by the amount of drops their receivers coughed up. Alshon Jeffrey  will provide a huge, reliable target for Wentz. 
  1. Ex-Bills CB Stephon Gilmore signs with the New England Patriots on a contract valued at 5 years/$65 million ($40 million guaranteed).
The rich keep on growing richer. Gilmore is a proven young cornerback in the NFL. Pairing Malcolm Butler with another talented corner back will give quarterbacks nightmares of this Patriots' defense. This is not typical of the Patriots; they usually wait until draft day to seek hidden talent. However, this is not the only move the Patriots have made so far. 
  1. Ex-Cardinals DE Calais Campbell signs with the Jacksonville Jaguars on a contract valued at 4 years/$60 million.
Calais Campbell is a well-known force to be reckoned with on any defensive line. The 6’8, 300 pound 30-year-old just got paid. Aside from his outstanding stats, he offers leadership and another strong presence on the defensive line. Will Jacksonville’s offseason acquisitions better their record this year or follow the trend of years past? The Jaguars will, again, begin their quest for a winning record in the fall. 
  1. Ex-Texans CB AJ Bouye signs with the Jacksonville Jaguars on a contract valued at 5 years/$67.5 million.
AJ Bouye had an amazing season with the Texans in 2016-17. He was an integral piece of their playoff run. The Texans sported the top overall defense and salvaged a 9-7 record with one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL. Bouye is an intelligent playmaker. Not only does he bring his unique skill-set to an already good Jacksonville secondary, but he also provides experience on a young secondary.
  1. Ex-Chiefs DT Dontari Poe signs with the Atlanta Falcons on a contract valued at 1 year/$8 million.
Dontari Poe is a big man at 6’3 and 346 pounds. Match his measurements with a 4.98 40 yard dash, and he’s a freak of nature. Poe is a run-stopping machine. After long negotiations with the Chiefs, Poe decided to skip town and accept a contract offered by the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons represented the NFC in the Super Bowl this year. Poe will really help the Falcons sustain their previous dominance in the NFC. 
  1. Ex-Bengals OG Kevin Zeitler signs with the Cleveland Browns on a contract valued at 5years/$60 million.
The Cleveland Browns have had an interesting offseason. They’re stocking up on draft picks, are frequently involved in trade talks, and are acquiring big name talents. Last year, the Bengals had the seventh best offensive line in the league. The Browns are desperate to find a good quarterback and subsequently protect him. Adding Zeitler definitely has the Browns trending upward. 
  1. Ex-Jets WR Brandon Marshall signs with the Giants on a contract valued at 2 years/$11 million.
The New York Giants added Brandon Marshall to their already explosive passing game. Lining up alongside Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard, defensive backs are going to have a tough time matching up against the new-look Giants. Marshall adds a new dynamic to the Giants, as he is a big-bodied receiver who still has reliable hands even though it is late in his career. Marshall is a valuable red-zone target, as he had 9 red-zone touchdowns in 2015.  The Giants made the playoffs last season, and they are preparing for a championship run this year. 
  1. Ex-Packers RB Eddie Lacy signs with the Seahawks on a contract valued at 1 year/$4.25 million.
Eddie Lacy's production has fallen down in recent years due to problems with his weight, but in this deal the Seahawks added in almost $400,000 in incentives for him to keep a certain weight. If Lacy is able to stay in shape, he can be a very valuable asset for the Seahawks. Lacy is a very physical runner, which fits perfectly with the Seahawks' system that was used with their previous rushers, Marshawn Lynch and Thomas Rawls. The Seahawks had a very inconsistent rushing game last season, but if Lacy can get it going the Seahawks have a very good chance at bringing home a Lombardi Trophy. 
  1. NT Brandon Williams re-signs with the Ravens on a contract valued at 5 years/$54 million.
The Ravens secured a big part of their defense by locking down Brandon Williams. Last season, he had 34 tackles and assisted on 17 more. This 340-pound beast is great at stuffing up the run game. He is one of the best players on the Ravens defense, and he is a great leader. The Ravens are very excited about Williams and the talent that he brings to the team. They will build off him in the future and create a young and dominant defense.
  1. Ex-Browns WR Terrelle Pryor signs with the Redskins on a contract valued at 1 year/$6 million.
Pryor has recently transitioned from QB to WR, and he is using this contract as an opportunity to prove himself. He is essentially betting on himself, as there are bonuses in the contract for reaching a certain number of receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns. Pryor has good size and athleticism, listed at 6'4", 223 pounds and holding a 4.38 second 40-yard dash from his combine in 2011. He was very valuable to the Browns last year, racking up 77 receptions for just over 1,000 yards.  He only had 4 touchdowns, but the Redskins are hoping to coach him well and develop him into a talented receiver.  Honorable Mentions:
  • Ex-Redskins WR Desean Jackson signs with Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3yr/$33.5 million
  • Patriots re-sign ILB Dont’a Hightower 4yr/$43.5 million
  • Ex-Patriots CB Logan Ryan signs with Tennessee Titans 3yr/$30 million 
Sources: NFL.com  Photo Source: USA Today

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