Wednesday, 13 March 2013

NFL Free Agency: Day 1

The NFL has been working on making each event on the calendar a huge event to be built up to and then unleashed on an unsuspecting public and then followed frenetically as it unfolds. Fueled by the Blackberries and iPhones of NFL news mavens, who earn their crust on days like this, the opening of Free Agency has taken on a likeness to Sky Sports Transfer deadline day without the presence of Jim White (what can only be considered a bonus).

Here are your big story lines from last nights actions
(rankings are from Pro Football Talks hot 100 followed by details of contracts where available)

Miami and Cleveland make big moves early
Cleveland are a team with a completely new management structure in place and need to make huge strides to improve their team quickly, Miami are at the other end of the scale with a need to improve dramatically to save the job of the current GM, Jeff Ireland.

In Cleveland new General Manager Mike Lombardi (yes, him off NFL Network) moved to restock their defence and eat up some of their spare cap space with the additions of former Raiders Defensive Tackle Desmond Bryant (ranked #33 5 years $34m) and Superbowl winning outside linebacker Paul Kruger (ranked #7, 5 years $40m with $20m guarenteed). They're also due to host former Cardinals linebacker Greg Toler.

Miami made improvements on both sides of the ball with the addition of Mike Wallace (ranked #1, 5 years £60m(!)) to give their offence a deep threat that has been missing since they traded Brandon Marshall to Chicago. On the defensive side of the ball they picked up Ravens middle Linebacker Danell Ellerbe (ranked #39, 5 years £35m) and then promptly released Carlos Dansby to restore some cap space.

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