Teams expecting an immediate impact from free-agent signings might want to temper their expectations. None of the 2013 free agents to sign with new teams ranked in the top 10 in passing yards, rushing yards, receiving yards or interceptions. The highest-ranked passer was Ryan Fitzpatrick (26th), the highest-ranked rusher was Reggie Bush (13th), the highest-ranked receiver was Mike Wallace (28th), and the highest-ranked interceptors were Brent Grimes, Quintin Demps, Mike Mitchell, Jim Leonhard, Karlos Dansby and Keenan Lewis (all tied for 11th). The lone exception to this trend was pass rusher John Abraham, tied for 7th in the NFL with 11.5 sacks after signing with the Cardinals.
Miami's offensive line
The Dolphins might need to replace their entire offensive line except for center Mike Pouncey this offseason. LG Richie Incognito, RG John Jerry, LT Bryant McKinnie and RT Tyson Clabo are all free agents, and Jonathan Martin looks unlikely to return to the team. However, this may not be a bad thing. The Dolphins allowed an NFL-high 58 sacks and ranked 26th in rushing YPG last season.
The 2014 free-agent class features 13 players that made the Pro Bowl for the 2013 season. It includes three cornerbacks (Alterraun Verner, Aqib Talib, Brent Grimes), three offensive linemen (Branden Albert, Alex Mack, Jordan Gross -- though he has said he will retire) and two safeties (Jairus Byrd, T.J. Ward). Jimmy Graham, Greg Hardy, Jason Hatcher, Brian Orakpo and return specialist Dexter McCluster round out the free agent Pro Bowl players.
Free agents in Denver
After making the Super Bowl this season, Denver is in danger of losing several key contributors. The Broncos' season leaders in rushing (Knowshon Moreno), return yardage (Trindon Holliday), sacks (Shaun Phillips) and interceptions (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, tied with two others) are all unrestricted free agents, as well as their second-leading receiver (Eric Decker) and second-leading tackler (Wesley Woodyard).
Super Bowl starters
Fifteen of the 44 Super Bowl XLVIII starters were acquired through free agency. Five of Seattle's Super Bowl-starters joined the team through free agency (Doug Baldwin, Alvin Bailey, Zach Miller, Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett), while 10 of Denver's Super Bowl-starters joined the team as free agents (Manny Ramirez, Louis Vasquez, Wes Welker, Peyton Manning, Terrance Knighton, Shaun Phillips, Paris Lenon, Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie, Duke Ihenacho and Mike Adams).
The Miami Dolphins spent the most money in free agency in 2013, signing a crop of players that included Mike Wallace, Brent Grimes, Dustin Keller, Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler. After going 7-9 in 2012, the Dolphins improved their 2013 win total by only one game.
More Photo Essays:
- All-Under-25 Team
- 2015 NFL Draft prospects with famous football fathers
- Prospects matched to pros based on measurements
- NFL Scouting Combine: Prospects with plenty to prove
- Mind-blowing stats for 2015 NFL Scouting Combine
- 11 current NFL players who weren’t invited to the combine
- Who pulled the fire alarm?
- Ranking the Super Bowls
- Top 10 fantasy Super Bowl performances