Examining how rest of AFC elite has done when it comes to free agency
|03.22.13 at 8:53 pm ET|
We all know how the Patriots have done when it comes to free agency, losing wide receiver Wes Welker, running back Danny Woodhead, safety Pat Chung and offensive lineman Donald Thomas, but adding wide receiver Danny Amendola, safety Adrian Wilson and offensive lineman Will Svitek (and re-signing cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marquice Cole and linebacker/special teamer Niko Koutouvides). But how have the rest of the AFC playoff teams fared through the first 10 days of free agency? Here’s a quick thumbnail sketch of the moves each one of last year’s conference playoff entrants has made to this point in the offseason to get you up-to-speed on some of the new faces in new places.
Broncos: It certainly appears that Denver has made tremendous strides over the first 10 days of free agency, and now that it looks like the Broncos will be able to get pass rusher Elvis Dumervil back at a reduced rate after that fax snafu, Denver has to be again considered a major player in the AFC picture. The Broncos not only swiped wide receiver Wes Welker from the Patriots, they got starters like guard Louis Vasquez and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. If Dumervil does indeed return, it has to be considered a very good two weeks for John Elway and his Broncos, who should again roll through the AFC West,
Bengals: Cincinnati has been relatively quiet over the first 10 days of free agency, with their only notable addition coming with the signing of quarterback Josh Johnson, who is expected to serve as the backup to starter Andy Dalton. It’s worth noting that the Bengals have done a nice job of retaining their own players by signing defensive linemen Wallace Wilberry, Robert Geathers and Michael Johnson, as well as cornerback Adam Jones.
Ravens: As good a two-week stretch as it was for Denver, it was 180 degrees in the other direction for Baltimore. The Ravens lost safeties Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard, cornerback Cary Williams, wide receiver Anquan Boldin, defensive end Paul Kruger and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe. Combined with the retirement of linebacker Ray Lewis, it’s been a tough haul for the Ravens. Baltimore is in good hands with Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh — they should still be in the mix in the AFC North in 2013 — but it won’t be easy for the defending Super Bowl champs.
Texans: Houston was a young team that needed to mature this offseason, and they did just that with the addition of veteran safety Ed Reed, a good move for a team that needed some seasoning. Other than that, it’s been a relatively uneventful stretch for Houston, as the Texans lost safety Glover Quin, defensive end Connor Barwin and wide receiver Kevin Walter.
Colts: There were plenty of exclamation points coming from the Twitter account of Indy owner Jim Irsay, but overall, the Colts operated mostly under the radar with some relatively quiet signings. Among the players signed by Indy were defensive end Ricky-Jean Francois (formerly of the Niners), offensive lineman Donald Thomas (signed away from the Patriots) and safety LaRon Landry (a former Jet). Landry, as we always must remind you, has a ridiculous set of arms.