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Published: July 16, 2014 at 02:35 p.m.
Updated: July 17, 2014 at 07:20 p.m.

New arrivals. Difference makers?

There are a lot of new faces across the NFL set to make a big impact for their new team in 2014. Whether through the draft, free agency or via trade, here is one new face ready to help take his new team to the next level.

32 Photos Total

  • Jared Allen, Chicago Bears 32

    Scott Boehm/Associated Press

    Jared Allen, Chicago Bears

    Allen moves south from Minnesota to join his former division rival. The Bears defense was a mess last season, and Allen's high motor will help the team improve its pass rush and in run defense. Allen will be motivated playing opposite a championship-caliber offense.

  • Julius Peppers, Green Bay Packers 31

    Mike Roemer/Associated Press

    Julius Peppers, Green Bay Packers

    Speaking of NFC North division rivals crossing borders, Peppers has moved north to the Frozen Tundra to offer defensive coordinator Dom Capers a versatile tool to deploy all over the field. Peppers will pair with Clay Matthews to give the Packers a one-two punch they've been lacking since Cullen Jenkins left after the Super Bowl in 2010.

  • Anthony Barr, Minnesota Vikings 30

    Bruce Kluckhohn/USA Today Sports

    Anthony Barr, Minnesota Vikings

    The Vikings have a new defensive-minded coach in Mike Zimmer, and he found his new defensive weapon in Barr during the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Barr might take a bit of time to adjust to the NFL, but his freakish athleticism will allow him to win plenty of battles as a rookie.

  • Golden Tate, Detroit Lions 29

    Associated Press

    Golden Tate, Detroit Lions

    The search for Calvin Johnson's sidekick has taken the Lions way too long. Tate seems primed to fill that role, as he brings sure hands to a team that led the league in drops a season ago and the ability to stretch the field both horizontally and vertically.

  • Jairus Byrd, New Orleans Saints 28

    Derick E. Hingle/USA Today Sports

    Jairus Byrd, New Orleans Saints

    Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan now has in Byrd the type of playmaker that allows him to get more risky and creative in dialing up pressures, as Byrd has the ability and range to cover more of the field than most safeties. Look for the Saints to be bringing some heat on defense in 2014.

  • Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers 27

    Nell Redmond/Associated Press

    Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers

    Currently, there are no wide receivers on the Panthers roster who have an NFL reception as a Panther. Cam Newton has long been in need of a game-breaking wide receiver, and the Panthers hope they've found that in Benjamin. His size and speed will immediately help him make music on the field with Newton.

  • Lovie Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 26

    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Lovie Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    The only coach to appear on this list, but Smith was the best move Tampa Bay made this offseason. He is a coach to whom players respond has quickly gone about changing the culture down in Tampa. A quick turnaround for the Bucs wouldn't be a surprise to many in the media, myself included.

  • Jon Asamoah, Atlanta Falcons 25

    Dale Zanine/USA Today Sports

    Jon Asamoah, Atlanta Falcons

    How do you go from seconds away from the Super Bowl to a 4-12 record? You get beat in the trenches on both sides of the ball, that's how. Jon Asamoah comes in from Kansas City to help change that mentality for the Falcons after helping pave the way for Jamaal Charles' career year.

  • Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles 24

    Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports

    Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles

    Darren Sproles plus Chip Kelly equals must-watch television. That is all.

  • DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins 23

    Evan Vucci/Associated Press

    DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins

    A fully healthy Robert Griffin III with a pass-happy coach throwing to a motivated DeSean Jackson? I like the sound of that.

  • Henry Melton, Dallas Cowboys 22

    James D. Smith/Associated Press

    Henry Melton, Dallas Cowboys

    Dallas didn't make a ton of moves this offseason, but one smart move they did make was signing Melton to a one-year "prove-it" contract. Melton was a rising star in Chicago before a torn ACL in 2013 took him off the national radar. He can't fix the Dallas defense by himself but expect him to deliver plenty of disruption from his defensive tackle position.

  • Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, New York Giants 21

    Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

    Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, New York Giants

    The addition of DRC in NYC gives the Giants a formidable secondary for the first time in a long time. He and Prince Amukamara will be a good counter to the dangerous pass attacks in the NFC East.

  • Kevin Williams, Seattle Seahawks 20

    Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

    Kevin Williams, Seattle Seahawks

    Like previous Super Bowl champions, the Seahawks lost more players than they gained last offseason. However, they brought in the aging but effective Williams to join their defensive line platoon and help their quest for a title defense.

  • Antoine Bethea, San Francisco 49ers 19

    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    Antoine Bethea, San Francisco 49ers

    Bethea had been a playmaker for the Indianapolis Colts, and will now look to anchor the backend of the talented 49ers defense under the tutelage of savvy defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.

  • Kenny Britt, St. Louis Rams 18

    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Kenny Britt, St. Louis Rams

    Part of Sam Bradford's struggles in the NFL have been that he's lacked a dynamic receiving corps to get the ball too. Now, with Tavon Austin, Jared Cook and a potentially rejuvenated Kenny Britt, Bradford will be out of excuses. Britt has shown flashes in the past, and if the offseason hyperbole has some truth to it, he could be in for a big comeback campaign.

  • Jared Veldheer, Arizona Cardinals 17

    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Jared Veldheer, Arizona Cardinals

    The Cardinals won 10 games last season but just missed out on the playoffs. Their pass protection was abysmal at times, and when their quarterback is as mobile as a statue, that's not a good thing. Signing Veldheer immediately relieves a massive amount of pressure and puts them in position to improve their offense by a fair margin.

  • Johnny Manziel, Cleveland Browns 16

    Mark Duncan/Associated Press

    Johnny Manziel, Cleveland Browns

    Yes, he isn't the official starter yet. But at some point, this kid is going to play, and when he does, he'll make plenty of plays. He also represents something fans in Cleveland have forgotten about: hope.

  • Ryan Shazier, Pittsburgh Steelers 15

    Keith Srakocic/Assocaited Press

    Ryan Shazier, Pittsburgh Steelers

    The once fierce Steelers defense was exposed as a rather average, slow unit last season. One way to rectify that is by drafting the fastest linebacker in college football, which is what they did with Ryan Shazier. He'll make his presence known early in Pittsburgh.

  • Steve Smith, Baltimore Ravens 14

    Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

    Steve Smith, Baltimore Ravens

    At this point, I'd imagine the chip on Smith's shoulder is larger than his smallish 5-foot-9 frame. But I won't be the one to tell him that. He should still have plenty left in the tank to provide Joe Flacco with another good target in the passing attack.

  • Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals 13

    Al Behrman/Associated Press

    Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals

    Giovani Bernard was electrifying for the Bengals last season. So they went ahead and drafted a thunder to Bernard's lightning in Jeremy Hill. These two young runners will keep defenses honest and open up passing lanes for Andy Dalton.

  • DeMarcus Ware, Denver Broncos 12

    Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

    DeMarcus Ware, Denver Broncos

    After years of being one of the league's best defensive players on a team that constantly underperformed, Ware is now chasing a title on the coattails of Peyton Manning. But will they find success together, or continue the underperforming narrative? We'll have to wait and see.

  • Brandon Flowers, San Diego Chargers 11

    Associated Press

    Brandon Flowers, San Diego Chargers

    Flowers went from being a rising star at the cornerback position to a joke for the Chiefs last season. That was largely because he played the majority of his snaps from the slot, where he isn't as comfortable or as effective. If the Chargers keep him on the outside, we could see a return to his Pro Bowl form.

  • Dee Ford, Kansas City Chiefs 10

    Colin E Braley/Associated Press

    Dee Ford, Kansas City Chiefs

    Talk to anyone around the Chiefs facility, and it sounds as if Dee Ford is the second coming of Derrick Thomas. This much hype and a first-round pedigree sound like the makings of an impact rookie season. If not ... look out, Ford.

  • Maurice Jones-Drew, Oakland Raiders 9

    Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

    Maurice Jones-Drew, Oakland Raiders

    The Raiders lost Rashad Jennings in free agency, and with either Matt Schaub or Derek Carr under center, Oakland will be looking to run the ball. A lot. Pocket Hercules was still effective when healthy last season and should be a great addition for the Raiders.

  • Darrelle Revis, New England Patriots 8

    Charles Krupa/Associated Press

    Darrelle Revis, New England Patriots

    Bill Belichick plus Darrelle Revis equals must watch television. That is all.

  • Chris Johnson, New York Jets 7

    Mel Evans/Associated Press

    Chris Johnson, New York Jets

    CJ2K heads to the Big Apple, looking to prove he still is the same dynamo at running back he appeared to be during his first few years in the NFL. And he better, too, because the New York media are not as kind or forgiving as those in Tennessee.

  • Branden Albert, Miami Dolphins 6

    Robert Mayer/USA Today Sports

    Branden Albert, Miami Dolphins

    Ryan Tannehill was the most sacked quarterback in the NFL last season. Branden Albert will fix help that.

  • Brandon Spikes, Buffalo Bills 5

    Bill Wippert/Associated Press

    Brandon Spikes, Buffalo Bills

    With Kiko Alonso lost for the season to injury, a lot will be placed on Brandon Spikes' shoulders to help lead a linebacking corps that will now feature two new regular starters (himself included). He was a great starter in New England and should be able to hit the ground running in Buffalo.

  • Jadeveon Clowney, Houston Texans 4

    Aaron M. Sprecher/NFL

    Jadeveon Clowney, Houston Texans

    Clowney is an athletic freak, who will be teaming with a creative coordinator in Romeo Crennel and the NFL's most disruptive defensive playmaker in J.J. Watt. There really isn't a better situation Clowney could have landed in to make an immediate impact.

  • Toby Gerhart, Jacksonville Jaguars 3

    John Raoux/Associated Press

    Toby Gerhart, Jacksonville Jaguars

    After spending four seasons waiting in the wings behind Adrian Peterson, Gerhart finally has his chance to shine. And shine he will.

  • Dexter McCluster, Tennessee Titans 2

    Mark Zaleski/Associated Press

    Dexter McCluster, Tennessee Titans

    The Titans were also relatively quiet during the offseason and draft, but I like the addition of offensive Swiss Army Knife McCluster to help give Ken Whisenhunt options in the passing attack, and Jake Locker a dynamic check down receiver when under duress.

  • Hakeem Nicks, Indianapolis Colts 1

    Brian Spurlock/USA Today Sports

    Hakeem Nicks, Indianapolis Colts

    Andrew Luck is an awesome quarterback. Reggie Wayne is an awesome but aging wide receiver. Nicks all but disappeared from the NFL last season and is looking for a career reclamation project in Indy. Can you see where this is heading? OK, let me spell it out for you: Nicks rebounds thanks to the magnificence of Luck and assumes Wayne's mantle once he hangs up the cleats.

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