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Free agency is in many peoples eyes more important than the draft itself. Teams can get players who have already proven themselves as effective players in the NFL, eliminating the chance of a player being a "bust." These are some of the most notable moves thus far in 2014.
It can be argued that the "winner" of free agency should be awarded to the Denver Broncos after they significantly strengthened their defense with the signing safety T.J. Ward, defensive end DeMarcus Ware and cornerback Aqib Talib. After the Broncos Superbowl defeat this past season, it's no wonder they paid full attention to their defense. On the offensive side of the ball, Denver also signed Emmanuel Sanders after Eric Decker was not resigned by the organization. Decker ended up going to the New York Jets along with QB Michael Vick. Don't be surprised if the Broncos march their way back to the Superbowl next year.
Bill Belichick kept busy with a number of free agency signings, which should come to no surprise to anybody. Adding to New England's roster are wide receivers Julian Edleman and Brandon LaFell. Although they're not star receivers, Tom Brady should do just fine with them in his arsenal. After losing Aqib Talib to the Broncos the Patriots went out and obtained Brandon Browner and Darelle Revis for the cornerback position. Revis and Richard Sherman are widely considered the two best cornerbacks in the NFL. However, Revis is signed to only a 1-year deal so it is Superbowl or bust for the Patriots.
The Texans didn't add any high impact players but they did make an interesting move in trading away Matt Schaub to the Oakland Raiders. The Texans then signed QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, but he may just be there as a backup QB, seeing as the Texans have the first pick in the draft and Blake Bortles seems to good to pass up on at this point. As for as the Raiders go, perhaps they will not go after a QB like everybody expected, instead, roll the dice with Schaub and get more role players in this years draft.
Unfortunately for the Viking fans out there, we can all but kiss Jared Allen good-bye as the reigning Superbowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks, have offered him a job. Although he has not officially signed with Seattle yet, there is not much stopping him from doing so. However, hope is not lost. The Vikings signed two defensive tackles in Linval Joseph and Fred Evans and cornerback Captain Munnerlyn. The defensive was Minnesota's biggest problem last season so Vikings fans are happy to see something being done.
The most impactful move the Green Bay Packers made was easily signing defensive end Julius Peppers. The former Chicago Bear is a veteran of the league and should add a significant passing rushing to the team. Although the Packers lost James Jones, a formidable receiver, Rodgers still has plenty to work with and they also added tight end Andrew Quarless as well.
It's hard to say who made the best moves this year, if there was even a clear winner, but some teams clearly did better than most. The 2014-15 season is already shaping up to be a compelling one.