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Which teams have signed the most/fewest players?

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It's no surprise that the Indianapolis Colts have signed the most players in free agency this offseason. It is a surprise that the New England Patriots have matched them in volume.

Most players signed
Team
No. of players
18
18
17
16
16
15
14
14
14
14

The table shows the teams that have signed the most players since Feb. 27. This includes a team re-signing their own players. We chose Feb. 27 as a starting point because that would eliminate any low-level "futures" contracts signed just after the season. Feb. 27 was also the day when the Redskins added Ricky Jean Francois in the first significant pickup of the offseason. A few thoughts on the list:

» The Colts entered the offseason knowing they weren't good enough. Indianapolis reached the Final Four, yet knew they were far away from a title because of gaping holes on their roster. General manager Ryan Grigson has relied heavily on free agency since arriving after a huge roster overhaul following the Bill Polian era. Grigson's uneven drafts the last two years after a boffo 2012 crop haven't helped.

No playoff team is more reliant on talent acquired through free agency than Indianapolis. That won't change in 2015.

» Patriots fans have complained that they didn't shell out big money for Darrelle Revis. But New England did hand out the second-highest figure of guaranteed money to any player in free agency for Devin McCourty. They picked up a nice mid-level option in Jabaal Sheard, but most of their signings here are low-risk, medium-reward variety: Alan Branch, Brandon Gibson, Bradley Fletcher, Scott Chandler and Robert McClain are prime examples. And they still have more work to do in the secondary.

» This list does not include trade acquisitions, so Miami's move to pick up Kenny Stills, for instance, is not included in their total.

» Atlanta has quietly been one of the most active teams over the last month, going for bulk signings on defense. O'Brien Schofield, Adrian Clayborn, Justin Durant and Brooks Reed are some of the names they have brought in to bolster one of the worst groups in the league. Consider it a win if the Falcons "hit" on half of these pickups.

» The Panthers are another team shopping in the bargain aisle, hoping that reclamation projections Michael Oher and Jonathan Martin add up to a usable starter.

Fewest signings


Fewest players signed
Team
No. of players
6
7
8
8
9
9
10
11
11
11
11
11
11

» The Rams are at the top of the list, but we like some of their low-cost moves. Nick Fairley and Akeem Ayers both have high ceilings for players who did not cost a lot to bring in.

» The Saints have been mislabeled as "rebuilding." They dramatically changed the direction of their team, but they are certainly spending money. (Just not on Jimmy Graham.) Brandon Browner and C.J. Spiller were two big free-agent pickups. Dannell Ellerbe and Max Unger came via trade, so they don't count here. The Saints now seem to change direction every 12 months or so, which is not a sign of franchise stability.

» It is no surprise to see Green Bay and Pittsburgh toward the top of this list. At one point this offseason, Julius Peppers was the only Packer on the roster that had ever played with another team. Pittsburgh is the rare NFL team with legitimate salary-cap troubles that prevent them from being too aggressive in the offseason. DeAngelo Williams is their biggest move thus far.

The Steelers and Packers both shy away from signing other teams' players, which requires a high "hit" rate from their general managers on draft day. Steelers GM Kevin Colbert has been far less consistent in recent years than early in his Pittsburgh run.

» The Eagles' offseason, in many ways, has been defined by its departures. They haven't brought in a huge number of players in bulk, but the signings have mostly been potential impact players like DeMarco Murray, Byron Maxwell, Ryan Mathews and the re-signing of Brandon Graham. There have been few low-level moves, which the Eagles will likely make after the draft.

» A change in the NFL offseason calendar could impact how free agents are signed. In previous years, unrestricted free agents signed by other teams counted toward the league's compensatory pick formula until June 1. That day has been moved to May 12, meaning a lot of veteran signings could happen right after May 12.

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