NFL free agency 2015: the free agent pick ups

Let’s look at where some of the biggest free agents have landed. As with the trades I’ll try & keep this updated, but there might be a bit of a gap later when I, you know… sleep. I should add I’ll only add players when it is a done deal. So no Suh until its confirmed.

Julius Thomas – Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jags have a massive amount of cap space & this $24m guaranteed contract is a pretty good start. Thomas should be the big target 2nd year QB Blake Bortles needs, if he’s going to take the next step. Jeremy Parnell heading to the Jags seems like a no brainer too, immediately improving a poor offensive line.

Mike Iupati – Arizona Cardinals: Not really a huge need for the Cards, but a definite improvement on what they already had. Arizona had massive issues running the ball last year, this year if they’re to make the move to being a potential Superbowl contender, they need to improve. Iupati should help whoever is running the ball for this team next year. On the flip side the Niners have had a rough week losing key players to free agency & retirement.

Frank Gore – Indianapolis Colts: As we stated above, it’s been a rough week for the Niners. Gore however also caused a few issues for the Eagles, when he had all but signed a contract taking him to the city of brotherly love. At the last minute though, the Inconvenient Truth changed his mind & found his way to Indianapolis. Gore joins a team that have clearly planted their flag in the “win now” and provides a one dimensional offence with a few options, despite being a running back older than 30. The Colts also added Eagles Veteran outside line-backer Trent Cole.

Byron Maxwell- Philadelphia Eagles: Pretty much every story has passed through Philadelphia today… Anyway Maxwell leaves the Legion of Boom to join a Defence that seems to be adding a lot of talent. Now Maxwell has the chance to prove he can play as a straight up no. 1 corner and you know what, I think he can. There was a noticeable difference when Maxwell wasn’t in the team last year with Tharold Simon being a massive step down. Maxwell will provide some talent to a secondary that has to go up against DeSean Jackson, Odell Beckham Jr and Dez Bryant twice a year.

Cary Williams- Seattle Seahawks: Williams will obviously replace Maxwell in the same way that Maxwell will replace him. Williams is something of a fiery character and has been involved in a number of altercations in practice. Luckily he’s joining a team that doesn’t have a great deal of characters… Anyway Williams is no spring chicken and coming off a poor season with the Eagles last year. That being said if any team can get the most from him, it will be the Seahawks. Will Blackmon also joins the Seahawks adding some much needed depth at corner, predominantly in the slot.

Da’Norris Searcy- Tennessee Titans: Jason McCourty wanted his brother Devin. Instead he’ll have to make do with another AFC East safety. Searcy was a player I liked a lot and thought he’d join the Colts. However a move to the Titans might go some way to improve a secondary that has historically been pretty good, but looked lack lustre last year. Searcy should make this secondary slightly more relevant. Hopefully.

Malcolm Smith- Oakland Raiders: Probably the 4th best line backer on the Seahawks, but becomes the 2nd best on the Raiders. The Superbowl MVP makes adds some much needed support to a defence that was held together by the talented Khalil Mack. Oh and the connection with the defensive coordinator, Ken Norton Jr, who is the ex-Seahawks line-backer coach wont hurt.

Torrey Smith- San Francisco 49ers: Okay it’s been a rough day for the Niners, so how do you improve the offence, which has a QB that struggles throwing the ball at the correct pace? Add a wide receiver that has issues dropping the ball. Okay that’s a little unfair. At best the Niners have added a legitimate deep threat. At worst they’ve added a wideout that joins a group of wideouts that have struggled with Kaepernick.

Orlando Franklin – San Diego Chargers: Excellent fit, as the Chargers steal a talented guard away from their division rivals. Franklin should improve the Chargers run game, so long as they can find a running back.

Buster Skrine- New York Jets: Todd Bowles built his team in Arizona around corners, often playing with 5/6/7 big defensive backs on the field. He’s taken control of a team that is starved for secondary talent. Skrine was forced into the starting line-up for the Browns last year when Justin Gilbert failed to live up to his 1st round talent. Skrine as a result has earned a decent contract with a Head Coach that will see he gets into the line-up often. Good move for both parties.

Brian Hartline- Cleveland Browns: Has there ever been a more Cleveland Browns move than this? Hartline has been solid for the Dolphins whilst being a little ordinary. He should improve one of the worst position groups in the league but still, this isn’t a legitimate Josh Gordon replacement.

So that’s it for the time being. I’ll update this again tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Don’t forget to listen to the podcast, where we’ll go through all the free agent moves.