Inside Blitz: NFL Free Agency So Far Has Hurt the Patriots, Broncos and Ravens … – The Big Lead
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Nobody wins a Super Bowl title in free agency, let’s get that out of the way first. Recent history is littered with teams that spend lavishly in March and April, get the fans all fired up, and then flop when the games actually begin.
A snippet from last year: the 2014 free agency “winners” included Tampa Bay, Denver, Baltimore, Oakland, Green Bay. Crossing off the Ravens and Packers for obvious reasons … the other three won nothing. Two of the 2014 free agency “losers” – everyone had San Francisco – from that list made the playoffs.
Historically, the Raiders and Redskins win the offseason Super Bowl, then are drafting in the Top 10 again.
However … it’s undeniable that on the first day of free agency Tuesday, the three best teams in the AFC suffered significant losses.
The Super Bowl champion Patriots lost their star cornerback, Darelle Revis, and there is no immediate replacement. If they lose CB Brandon Browner too, then you can certainly identify the secondary as a massive issue. Vince Wilfork, a defensive leader at tackle, will be difficult to replace as well. The offense returns almost fully intact, minus RB Shane Vereen, but they operated by committee, so it’s not a huge loss. They still have Bill Belichick and avocado Ice Cream-eating QB Tom Brady (37 in August). They should win the AFC East again, but everyone else in the division improved.
The Broncos lost their starting left guard (Franklin, signed with the Chargers), their tight end Julius Thomas (12 TDs), and likely will end up losing two defensive starters – safety Rahim Moore and DT Terrance Knighton. They replaced Thomas with Owen Daniels of Baltimore (see below) but that’s a downgrade. Replacing four starters, plus the fact your QB turns 39 in May and fell apart down the stretch last season, and you’ve got cause for concern. Nobody thinks the Broncos go from 12-4 to .500, but that embarrassing home defeat against the Colts in the playoffs couldn’t have possibly left a good taste in anyone’s mouth.
The Ravens lost their No. 2 receiver (Torrey Smith), leading tight end receiver (Owen Daniels), their star nose tackle (Haloti Ngata) and promising outside rusher Pernell McPhee (7.5 sacks in 2014). Their No 1 receiver, Steve Smith, turns 36 in May. The Ravens aren’t plummeting to the depths of the AFC North – the division features the sliding Bengals, question mark-laden Steelers and bumbling Browns – … – Click Here To Visit Article Source