The NFL brought fans a plethora of excitement during free agency. In the football big name players will be suiting up,, in different uniforms next season including; Julius Peppers, Lamarr Woodley, Darrelle Revis, and Demarcus Ware. With names like those the NFL has reached much success this off season. NFL free agency is just kicking off here are few of the big name free agents that have already been signed.
Julius Peppers Signs With Green Bay Packers
In his four seasons with the Chicago Bears, defensive end Julius Peppers recorded 38 sacks and was selected to three pro bowls. Saying that Peppers is either "over the hill", or "past his prime", is a little to much, recently he has very productive years under his belt.
Now that his career in Chicago is finished he will now be pass rushing for the NFC North division rival Green Bay Packers. ESPN reporter Josina Anderson was the first to report the three-year deal to Green Bay. According to Anderson, the deal is for three years, $30M max, $7.5M guaranteed & $8.5M for his first year.
For a franchise like the Packers', it seems they almost intentionally avoid making any moves during the free agency period this deal was quite unprecedented. In fact, they decide to take the conservative route and build the team from draft and for player development or progression. The last time the Packers brought in such a high-profile free agent like Peppers was Charles Woodson in 2006. The only difference is Peppers is indeed coming off of a disappointing 7.5 sack season in 2013 and seems to noticeably be on the decline.
Raiders Want To Compete In AFC West With New-Look Defense
The AFC West is quickly transforming from a terrible division into one of the most competitive in all of the NFL. After three out of the four teams in the division all made the playoffs they became one of the top divisions. The Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, and of course the Denver Broncos all made the post season in 2013. After being left out, the Raiders hope to also contend for a division title. Doing so as a franchise they signed two big name defensive players on the free agency market.
Hours after reaching a deal Justin Tuck to a two-year deal, the Raiders struck another two-year contract with former Steeler LaMarr Woodley, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Woodley’s deal carries a max value of $12 million — $1 million more than what Tuck could earn. With reports indicating that free agent quarterback Matt Schaub is a top target for the Raiders at quarterback they have some potential to complete in the AFC West and hopefully make the playoffs.
DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward, and Emmanuel Sanders, all sign with the Denver Broncos
The Broncos have done some quality work managing their cap room for the past three years. The recent spending binge that brought in safety T.J. Ward, Aqib Talib and DeMarcus Ware shows an impressive way of managing the salary cap. Although the $133 million that was given to each team didn't hurt either.
With a league-worst passing defense, the Broncos had an important task at hand and that plan was to bolster the defense. They have appeared to have done just that by bringing in the best pass rushing defensive lineman in free agency Demarcus Ware. Also, after losing corner back Champ Bailey and Dominique Rodgers to free agency they go out and grab arguably the best defensive back in free agency as well in Aqib Talib.
Another issue for Denver was their safety help. In the playoffs last year the Broncos defense actually got torched in the passing game by just about every team they faced. Even though they still managed to reach the Super Bowl, the defense lacked good coverage on the defensive side if the ball and seemingly leaving receivers open. With that being said, the Broncos signing safety T.J. Ward makes perfect sense. He almost immediately fills the need at the safety position.
Former Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker decided to leave them for a new deal with the New York Jets. There were reports surfacing all the way back in January that he would enter free agency so the Broncos were than prepared. To replace Decker, Denver decided to sign former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. With Peyton Manning throwing to him, Sanders will blossom in Denver quickly. It appears to many the Denver Broncos have already won free agency. It will be exciting to see where all of the remaining free agents end up next season.
Written By: Dedrick Hendrix
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