David’s Way too Early NFC Free Agency Grades!

Updated: Mar 16, 2019


Photo by Randy Vazquez, Bay Area News Group

By: David Connors @connors_david


We are a few days into the craziest free agency season I can remember. It’s time to hand out mid-semester grades for all these teams! I am going to ignore the insane amounts of Monopoly money these teams are throwing around for the most part because of it only traditional to overpay for day 1 Free Agency signings. I am simply basing my grades on the team's acquisitions and how they impact their rosters.


NFC West


Arizona Cardinals


Additions:

  • Terrell Suggs, Edge

  • Jordan Hicks, LB

  • JR Sweezy, G

  • Brett Hundley, QB

  • Marcus Gilbert, OT

  • Brooks Reed, Edge

  • Max Garcia, G

  • Kevin White, WR

  • Charles Clay, TE

Dropped:

  • Tre Boston, S

  • Deone Bucannon, LB

  • Antonio Bethea, S

  • Oday Aboushi, G

Grade: A


The biggest thing the Cardinals needed to do was upgrade the offensive line. Marcus Gilbert, JR Sweezy, and Max Garcia are a step in the right direction. I love the addition of Suggs here. He will be a great mentor to younger players and he showed he still had something left in the tank. I think Kevin White landed in the perfect spot. This round 1 WR will get a 2nd chance learning from one of the best WR to play the game.


Los Angeles Rams


Additions:

  • Eric Weddle, S

Dropped:

  • LaMarcus Joyner, S

  • Mark Barron, LB

  • John Sullivan

  • Kayvon Webster, CB

  • CJ Anderson, RB

  • Sam Shields, CB

  • Ndamukung Suh, DT

  • Dominique Easley, Edge


Grade: C+


Eric Weddle is a great addition but this team has lost their 2nd DT, slot corner, and some depth pieces. With few draft picks in the 2019 draft the Rams will need to get creative in restocking those positions. Either way, Rams are still a playoff team in 2019.


San Francisco 49ers


Additions:

  • Dee Ford, Edge

  • Kwon Alexander, LB

  • Tevin Coleman, RB

Dropped:

  • Pierre Garçon, WR


Grade: B


Did they spend a lot? Yeah! They get the B grade because they addressed their team's glaring hole by trading for Dee Ford. This should not stop them from grabbing Nick Bosa in the draft. I like Kwon Alexander in this defense next to Fred Warner as well. They overpaid but he fits the system. I do not have an opinion about Tevin Coleman. Is he better than the other RBs on their roster? Maybe, but does”move the needle” for them. No. If the 49er don’t make any more moves, I would drop this grade. This is a deep safety class and the 49er will probably get a good one on discount. Former Bears slot corner Bryce Callahan makes a lot of sense here.


Seattle Seahawks


Additions:

  • Jason Myers, K

  • Kickers are people too

  • Mike Iupati, G

Dropped:

  • Earl Thomas, S

  • Brett Hundley, QB

  • JR Sweezy, G

  • Shamar Stephen, DT

  • Mike Davis, RB

  • Justin Coleman, CB


Grade: Incomplete

The Seahawks have not made any moves in Free Agency yet beside signing Jason Myers and flip guards with the Cardinals. I expect they will eventually add safety. I believe the Seahawks will have an overall quiet preseason, however, they have not made enough moves yet for me to give them a grade.


NFC North


Chicago Bears


Additions:

  • Buster Skrine, CB

  • Cordarrelle Patterson, WR

  • Mike Davis, RB

  • Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, S

  • Ted Larsen, G

Dropped:

  • Bryce Callahan, CB

  • Josh Bellamy, WR

  • Cody Parkey, K

  • Dion Sims, TE

  • Sam Acho, LB

  • Eric Cush, G

  • Benny Cunningham, RB

  • Kevin White, WR


Grade: B+


The Bears spent a lot of money last off-season and the team is good. They do not need a lot of things. With that being said I like their signing. Callahan was a great slot corner, but McManis will fill that role well going forward. Cordarrelle Patterson will be a good return specialist with upside so Cohen can be utilized more in the offense and I love Mike Davis in Nagy’s system. Bears are low-key making solid moves.

Detroit Lions


Additions:

  • Trey Flowers, Edge

  • Danny Amendola, WR

  • Justin Coleman, CB

  • Jesse James, TE

  • Oday Aboushi, G

  • Andrew Adams, S

Dropped:

  • Ezekiel Ansah, Edge

  • TJ Lang, G

  • Glover Quin, S

  • Bruce Ellington, WR

  • Luke Wilson, TE

  • Nevin Lawson, CB

  • TJ Jones, WR

  • LeGarrette Blount, RB


Grade: A-


Trey Flowers is a huge upgrade to Detroit’s D-Line. Amendola is a solid slot receiver. Coleman will be a good no.2 CB behind Slay. Jesse James is a reliable 2-way TE who is probably more of a good second TE, but still an upgrade on this team. I give them the minus grade because Aboushi is a significant downgrade to Lang. Overall I like the moves the Lions have made so far.


Green Bay Packers


Additions:

  • Preston Smith, Edge

  • Za’Darius Smith, Edge

  • Adrian Amos, S

Dropped:

  • Nick Perry, Edge

  • Clay Matthews, Edge

  • Billy Turner, G

  • Randall Cobb, WR

  • Muhammad Wilkerson, DT

  • Davon House, CB

  • Lance Kendricks, TE

  • Byron Bell, OT

  • Bashaud Breeland, CB


Grade: A


Za’Darius and Preston Smith are upgrades compared to Nick Perry and Clay Matthews on their Edge, but the reason I am giving the Packers an A because I love the Amos signing. He is a perfect fit with their young secondary and they stole him from a Conference rival.


Minnesota Vikings


Additions:

  • Shamar Stephen, DT

Dropped:

  • Sheldon Richardson, DT

  • Latavius Murray, RB

  • Mike Remmers, RT

  • Andrew Sendejo, S

Grade: C


I almost gave them an incomplete too, but I do not think they are going to make any big splashes. They did not lose anything significant. The Stephen signing is fine. All around...meh.


NFC South


Atlanta Falcons


Additions:

  • James Carpenter, G

  • Jamon Brown, G

Dropped:

  • Tevin Coleman, RB

  • Robert Alford, CB

  • Brooks Reed, DE

  • Andy Levitre, G

  • Ryan Schaeder, RT

  • Matt Bryant, K

  • Bruce Irvin, Edge

  • Terrell McCain, DT

Grade: C


They added some interior Offensive Lineman, but they could use another edge rusher as well. They kept Grady Jarrett on the roster and that was the priority. The Falcons will look to the draft to fill their biggest needs.


Carolina Panthers


Additions:

  • Matt Paradis, C

Dropped:

  • Thomas Davis, LB

  • Matt Kalil, OT

  • Devin Funchess, WR

  • Daryl Williams, OT

  • Ryan Kalil, C

  • Marshall Newhouse, OT

  • Wes Horton, Edge

  • Fozzy Whittaker, RB

  • Cameron Artis-Payne, RB

Grade: B


The Panthers have only brought in one player so far, but it's a fantastic signing. Ryan Kalil retiring left a massive hole in the center of their offensive line. Paradis is a top 10 center when healthy. Although there are few more needs the Panthers need to address, Center was the biggest.


New Orleans Saints


Additions:

  • Latavius Murray, RB

  • Teddy Bridgewater, QB

  • Malcolm Brown, DT

Dropped

  • Mark Ingram, RB

  • Kurt Coleman, FS

  • Alex Okafor, Edge

  • Manti Te’o, LB

  • Benjamin Watson, TE

  • Michael Hoomanawanui, TE

  • Dez Bryant, WR

  • Jermon Bushrod


Grade: D


The Saints brought in Murray to replace the hole left behind by Ingram. This team has only one pick in the first 4 rounds of the draft. The Saints are still a playoff team, but they will need another piece or two to get over the hump and to the biggest game of the season.


Tampa Bay Buccaneer


Additions:

  • Breshad Perriman, WR

  • Deone Bucannon, LB

  • Kevin Minter, LB

  • Cairo Santos, K

  • Bradley Pinion, P

Dropped:

  • Kwon Alexander, LB

  • Adam Humphries, WR

  • Adarius Taylor, LB

  • Brent Grimes, CB

  • Chris Conte, S

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB


Grade: C-

I think this roster is seeing downgrades across the board. Perriman in place of Humphries. They replace Alexander and Taylor with Minter and Bucannon. Santos can be described as ”replaceable.” Luckily they brought in Bruce Arians and have the 5th pick in the draft.


NFC East


Dallas Cowboys


Additions:

  • Christian Covington, DT

Dropped:

  • Cole Beasley, WR

  • Damien Wilson, LB

  • Terrance Williams, WR

  • Randal Gregory, Edge

  • David Irving, DT

  • Detone Jones, DT

  • Geoff Swaim, TE

  • Rod Smith, RB

Grade: Incomplete


Gone are the days of the 90’s Cowboys where Jerry Jones threw money around like he hosting the Oprah Show. The Cowboys typically wait out the crazy free agency frenzy to make their deals. With that said, they have lost some key pieces with Cole Beasley, Randal Gregory, and David Irving not returning. Some moves will need to be made with no first-round draft pick.


New York Giants


Additions:

  • Golden Tate, WR

  • Kevin Zeitler, G

  • Jabrill Peppers, S

  • Antoine Bethea, S

  • Markus Golden, DE

Dropped:

  • Odell Beckham Jr, WR

  • Olivier Vernon, Edge

  • Landon Collins, S

  • Jamon Brown, G

Grade: C+


This grade might surprise some people, but I really like the additions. Zeitler is a top 5 Guard. They replaced Collins with Bethea and Peppers. I question Tate’s fit with Sterling Sheperd and Evan Engram. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, I cannot in good faith give the Giants a grade better than a C when they trade away arguably one of the best players in the NFL.


Philadelphia Eagles


Additions:

  • Malik Jackson, DT

  • LT Fort, LB

Dropped

  • Jordan Hicks, LB

  • Golden Tate, WR

  • Nick Foles, QB

  • Ronald Darby, CB

  • Jay Ajayi, RB

  • Haloti Ngata, DT

  • Timmy Jernigan, DT

  • Corey Graham, S

  • Chance Warmack, G


Grade: C


I think Malik Jackson is a perfect fit for the Eagles defense, but they are losing arguably their best corner in Ronald Darby. I think retaining Brandon Graham was a big win for the Eagles, but as far as addressing the free agent market goes the Eagles have been...fine.


Washington Redskins


Additions:

  • Case Keenum, QB

  • Landon Collins, S

Dropped:

  • Jamison Crowder, WR

  • Preston Smith, Edge

  • Ty Nsekhe, OT

  • Ha ha Clinton-Dix, S

  • Maurice Harris, WR

  • Parnell McPhee

  • Stacy McGee, DT


Grade: B


Times have been tough in our nation’s capital. They lost two key players in Alex Smith and DJ Swearinger midseason. Their offensive line seems to only have a 2-3 game shelf life and their star rookie RB is recovering from an ACL tear with complications. With all that said, getting Case Keenum for almost nothing is huge plus he should be a good fit in Gruden’s offense. They probably overpaid for Collins but he's a great fit plus it always makes me smile when a team signs a player from a conference rival.