After more than a week of free-agency action, it's time to take stock of what teams have accomplished thus far. We'll assign highly scientific and inarguable grades for each NFL team's free-agent haul thus far, noting their additions and subtractions. The NFC East is below.
The NFL might be a more exciting league when Jerry Jones splurges on splash signings, but that's not how championships are won. Last year's Greg Hardy addition backfired, forcing the Cowboys move on. In his place is former Eagles defensive end Cedric Thornton, a run-stuffing specialist. Beyond that signing, Dallas brought back middle linebacker Rolando McClain, and a handful of role players headlined by third-down back Lance Dunbar and blocking tight end James Hanna. The key to their fortunes is the healthy returns of Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, not acquiring big-name free agents. Grade: C
The Giants' moves reek of desperation from a general manager on the hot seat, but it's hard to deny that the roster is in better shape now than it was two weeks ago. Jason Pierre-Paul, Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison and Janoris Jenkins are above-average starters at worst and stars at best. But is Vernon a massive upgrade on Robert Ayers, as their new salaries suggest? Is Jenkins any better than Prince Amukamara, the cornerback he's replacing in the Big Apple?
Time will tell if Jerry Reese's transition from a draft-and-develop strategy to grocery shopping in March is enough to save his job. Grade: B-
Eagles executive vice president Howie Roseman couldn't have played this any better, starting with his pre-free agency plan to lock up prime players Lane Johnson, Zach Ertz, Vinny Curry and Malcolm Jenkins to below-market deals. Having solidified his nucleus, Roseman jettisoned ex-coach Chip Kelly's mistakes, moving up in the first and fourth rounds of the draft by finding takers for DeMarco Murray, Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso.
Franchise quarterback is the most precious commodity in the NFL. With no avenue to secure one on the open market, Roseman re-signed Sam Bradford for upside, adding high-end backup Chase Daniel as premium insurance. It's a creative approach to a quarterback problem faced by a handful of teams every offseason. Not done yet, Roseman picked up the underrated duo of Rodney McLeod and Leodis McKelvin for the secondary while adding Jim Schwartz-favorite Nigel Bradham at linebacker. How could Roseman have played the market any better? Grade: A+
The Redskins' highest-profile acquisition? Former Broncos special teamer David Bruton, who made a couple of game-changing plays at safety in Denver last season. It's not just a nice signing for Washington, but also a signal that general manager Scot McCloughan won't repeat the mistakes of the previous regimes which tended to chase marquee names in March. That style won't earn high free agency grades on websites like NFL.com, but it will help to build a strong roster through the draft. Grade: C+