Free agency officially begins at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Who are the best players available? Well, you'll have to take a look at Around The NFL's Top 99 Free Agents.
But of course, we won't actually know how favorable an addition will be until we see him hit the field with his new team in the coming season. On that note, now that last year's free-agent signees have a season under their belt, who ended up living up to -- or exceeding -- expectations? Here are the pickups who ...
So, simple question: What was the best free agency signing of last year?
[Alex Smith](http://www.nfl.com/player/alexsmith/2506340/profile) was credited with playing at a high level while not turning the ball over. The biggest reason Smith was able to do that in 2015? The reliable pair of hands and fine route running provided by No. 19. Bringing in Maclin changed the complexion of the offense and brought the [Chiefs](/teams/kansascitychiefs/profile?team=KC) back into contention.
But if I have to choose one, I'll go with Coleman, who had seven interceptions in 2015 --
the third-highest total in the entire NFL. Coleman made a lot of big plays and did far more than what was expected of him. On the other side of the ball in Carolina, Oher started every game at left tackle and was a big reason why league MVP
Cam Newton was so successful.
Signing a free-agent running back doesn't always pay off, but in the case of DeAngelo Williams, the Steelers got a bargain. Pittsburgh needed a replacement for LeGarrette Blount and they got a veteran back who produced 11 total touchdowns and 5.3 yards per touch. Factor in his average salary of $2 million per year and he earned $8,333 per touch last season -- a steal when compared with Murray's $37,755 per touch. When Le'Veon Bell missed time in 2015, Williams stepped in and yielded his best statistical season since 2009.
Plus, he gets
bonus points for this.
Iupati is a player who is going to be a mainstay in Arizona. The attitude from the head coach matched the attitude of the player, and that disposition permeated the team in 2015. That team was nasty this past season and it started up front, on both sides of the ball. Iupati was a great addition.
Ryan Fitzpatrick was not a free-agent signing, he came to Gotham as a result of moves made in free agency (and Houston signing
Brian Hoyer). Fitzpatrick helped lead the
Jets to 10 wins, setting career highs in touchdown passes (31) and passing yards (3,905).
Taylor still needs to work on some things -- including staying healthy for a full season -- but he has the potential to be a leader for that franchise for a long time to come.
We saw in the Super Bowl -- and the entire playoffs, for that matter -- how games can be won in the trenches. Protecting the quarterback is a huge thing in this league, and Arizona's protection significantly improved with Iupati on the line.