NFL

NFL free agency: Grading every deal

Robert Klemko: Giants are free agency losers after spending spree

The MMQB staff writer Robert Klemko explains why the New York Giants' expensive free agent acquisitions may hurt them in the long run.

The NFL’s free agency frenzy in underway, and the dominos are falling around the league as teams restock their rosters for 2016. Below, we grade every big deal with an emphasis on scheme fit—and the caveat that contract terms and guaranteed money amounts aren’t always what they seem. (Note: All contract terms are reported figures.)

• SI 50, the 2016 draft’s top prospects: Nos. 50–48 | 47–45 | 44–42 | 41–39

Broncos sign OT Russell Okung

Details: Up to five-year, $53 million deal. The Broncos, looking for more stability at their left tackle position, signed the former sixth pick in the 2010 draft to a one-year deal with four option years. Ryan Clady, Denver’s franchise left tackle, missed most or all of the 2013 and ’15 seasons. However, Okung has never played a full 16-game season himself. He’s a good player when healthy, but he’s no longer an elite left tackle. At least Denver got him on the cheap. Grade: C​

Packers re-sign James Starks

Details: Two-year, $6 million deal. After talking with a few other teams, Starks will once again team with Eddie Lacy in the Packers’ backfield. Starks is a solid, slashing runner who fits in Green Bay, but I’d like to see the Packers think outside the box once in a while by getting a smaller, quicker back for coach Mike McCarthy to toy with. And changing personnel can sometimes reinvigorate the locker room. It’s hard to really see Lacy feeling pushed by Starks’s return. Grade: C-

Vikings sign OT Andre Smith

Details: One-year, $3.5 million deal. It had seemed like the Vikings were looking to move on from one or both of 2015 starting tackles Matt Kalil and Phil Loadholt, who have not performed up to their respective salaries. Smith on a one-year deal with something to prove seems like a smart move. Smith’s effort and durability can sometimes be an issue, but Minnesota has to hope that he would do whatever he could to make sure those potential problems wouldn’t flare up in a contract year. Grade: B-

Cardinals sign OG Evan Mathis

Details: One-year, $6 million deal. After being one of the best guards in the league, Mathis spent a year with the Broncos and helped solidify a Super Bowl-winning line. Cardinals are hoping for the same result, and there’s no reason to think he won’t help Arizona’s line, which is now solid outside of center. Great addition. Grade: A

Jets sign DT Steve McLendon

Details: Three-year, $10.5 million deal. McLendon is a good, solid nose tackle, and he came cheap, but he’s not near the same class as the man he’ll replace, new Giant Damon Harrison. Then again, with Sheldon Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson and Leonard Williams surrounding McClendon on the Jets’ line, maybe good and solid will be just fine. Grade: B​

Raiders re-sign OT Donald Penn

Details: Two-year, $14 million deal. Penn, who will turn 33 next month, is on the backside of his career, but he’s still a capable left tackle. More importantly, his return to Oakland allows previous free-agent addition Kelechi Osemele to stay at guard (if making him an overpriced one) rather than playing left tackle, where he’s still unproven. This move gives the Raiders their best five offensive linemen. As far as price, if you averaged the salaries of Penn and Osemele, I’m guessing it would yield one good left tackle and one good guard, which makes it a smart value move. Grade: B+

Patriots sign DE Chris Long

Details: One-year deal. Just hours after shipping DE Chandler Jones to the Cardinals for a second-round pick and G Jonathan Cooper, the Patriots predictably locked up a veteran to provide depth at Jones’ former spot. Long, who will turn 31 on March 28, had 24.5 sacks from 2011-12 but 12.5 the past three seasons as he dealt with various injuries. The Patriots have two starters and some young and promising players, so Long will have to earn his keep as a situational player. If he’s anything else, he’ll have to make difficult transition standing up at times in the Patriots’ scheme. Grade: C+

Jaguars sign OT Kelvin Beachum

Beachum had elevated himself from seventh-round pick (2012) to one of the better left tackles in the league before needing ACL surgery last season. The Jaguars already have spent a lot of resources for starting tackles Luke Joeckel (left) and Jeremey Parnell (right), so the question is where does Beachum fit? If he proves healthy, perhaps one will be expendable. But depth is never a bad thing. Grade: C+

Redskins re-sign DE Junior Galette

Details: One-year, $4 million deal. Never got off the ground with the Redskins last year as a torn Achilles ended his first season after arriving from Saints. If he’s healthy, Galette is a good and active pass rusher. Redskins probably know his injury situation better than anyone. Preston Smith showed he needed more time last year, so the length of Galette’s stay will be up to him. Grade: C

Bears sign TE Zach Miller

Details: Two-year, $6 million deal. The writing was on the wall for this move when Chicago put Martellus Bennett on the trading block. Miller may be 31 but he had a career year in the Bears’ offense and proved to be a reliable target for Jay Cutler. Seems like the terms are very team-friendly. Grade: A-

Ravens sign S Eric Weddle

Details: Four-year, $26-million deal. In what is a major coup, former Chargers safety Eric Weddle will sign with the Ravens, as first reported by Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Baltimore has been terrible at free safety since Ed Reed left, and Weddle, if healthy, is among the best in the game. Weddle and Will Hill should instantly become one of the league’s top safety duos. This is also at decent money for the Ravens because they don’t have cap space, so it’s fiscally smart too. Grade: A+

Bears sign DE Akiem Hicks

Details: Two-year, $10 million deal. Hicks had a career resurgence with the Patriots last season after he was acquired in a trade from New Orleans. On the surface, this is a good fit with the Bears, who are desperate for strength in the defense line. But like Jerrell Freeman, it may end up a bad fit. Hicks is 6-5 and 324 pounds, perfect for a 3-4 end that is usually asked to play two gaps and free up the linebackers to make tackles. The problem is that Hicks actually has the skills and mentality of an attacking three-technique, so he’s better in a one-gap system. Grade: D+ 

Bears sign LB Jerrell Freeman

Details: Three-year, $12 million deal. Freeman has improved against the run to become more than a run-and-hit linebacker and he’s a good, instinctive player, but he’s not an ideal physical fit (6 foot, 240 pounds) for inside linebacker in Vic Fangio’s 3-4. Chicago’s defensive line will need to do a great job for Freeman to excel. That hasn’t been its track record. Grade: B-

Chargers sign CB Casey Hayward

Details: Three-year, 15.3 million deal. While he’s not a physical player in the run game, Hayward showed for the second-straight season that he has ball skills and inside-outside versatility. Immediately upgrades the Chargers’ third corner and has room to grow. Grade: A

Cardinals re-sign TE Jermaine Gresham

Detail: One-year deal. It was probably good for both sides that the average Gresham stayed where he is. He had just 18 catches for 223 yards and a touchdown last year, but coach Bruce Arians and QB Carson Palmer love to rely on the receivers, so that’s not an indictment on Gresham. He did good work in the run game. If Arizona gets an athletic tight end in the draft, this makes more sense. Grade: C+

Buccaneers sign DE Robert Ayers

Details: Three-year, $21 million deal. The Bucs are desperate for any pass rush at defensive end—and I mean desperate. The money is smart, and Ayers fills a big need and makes the team better. It’s an added bonus that Ayers, the last good pass rusher in free agency, can kick inside in subpackages. Love it. Grade: A

Jaguars sign CB Prince Amukamara

Details: One-year deal. The oft-injured Giant is going to Jacksonville, which could use an injection of veteran leadership in its promising group incumbents at the position. Of course, it will all depend on how many games Amukamara plays. Worst case, a one-year deal doesn’t hurt the Jaguars much. Grade: C

Patriots sign WR Chris Hogan

Details: Three-year, $12 million deal. The Bills declined to match the pricey offer sheet that Hogan signed with the Patriots. Hogan, who played just one season of college football at Monmouth, has improved every season he’s been in the league. I was surprised he didn’t generate more interest after his stint with the Dolphins in 2011. He’s shifty for a decent-sized receiver (6' 1", 220 pounds) and is similar to a smaller Jordy Nelson with his body control and hands, but the reported financial terms are a bit rich for a player with 77 catches the past two seasons. He’ll be in the group asked to replace Brandon LaFell as New England’s boundary receiver. Grade: B

Buccaneers sign CB Brent Grimes

Details: Two-year deal. After being released by the Dolphins, the veteran cornerback found a home on the other side of the state. Grimes, entering his 10th season, is still an upper-echelon cover corner who has good ball skills and is not afraid to mix it up physically. He’ll turn 33 in July, so the worry is that he’ll drop off quickly. But the Bucs are such a mess in the secondary, he’s very much a needed addition. Grade: B+

Seahawks re-sign WR Jermaine Kearse 

Details: Three-year, $13.5 million deal. Seattle kept one of Russell Wilson’s most clutch targets on a three-year deal, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. This is a big move for Seattle, which dramatically improved its passing game last year. And with running back Marshawn Lynch retired, the Seahawks might need more punch in the air. Grade: A

Packers re-sign LB Nick Perry

Details: One-year, $5 million deal. Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that the outside linebacker was re-signed by the Packers. The team didn’t exercise its fifth-year option on the former first-round pick, and that decision netted Green Bay $2.5 million. Perry has improved slowly (when healthy), and plays the run well. He had a very good postseason, so it’s surprising he didn’t get a little more interest. Grade: B+

Cowboys sign DE Cedric Thornton

Details: Four-year, $18 million deal. The former Eagles 3–4 end is heading to the division-rival Cowboys and switching to the 4–3, according to Ian Rapoport. I would expect Thornton to play defensive tackle in Rod Marinelli’s scheme, and he’s a good fit at either of the spot. Thornton’s an active player who will be better off in a more aggressive scheme. Grade: B+

Lions re-sign Tahir Whitehead

Details: Two-year, $8 million deal. Whitehead, who started eight games for the Lions last season, showed that he’s capable of a larger role when his insertion into the lineup coincided with when the Lions started winning, and Detroit was smart to stick with the continuity. A natural fit for the 4–3, he’s a good run-and-hit defender. Grade: B

Falcons sign WR Mohamed Sanu

Details: Five-year, $32 million deal. Sanu can line up inside or outside, run the ball and throw the ball, but he’s a master of nothing and his hands are inconsistent. At least he would be a No. 2 to Julio Jones and not relied on to be another team’s top target. This deal is contingent on the money, and if the reports are right, this is a massive overpay. Grade: D-

Jets re-sign RB Bilal Powell

Powell was underrated even by his own team before Todd Bowles arrived. But after seeing the attention he got as a free agent, maybe that will change. Powell is a tough and fast running back who needs to get up to the 200-touch level from here on out, and he’ll perfectly complement Matt Forte. Grade: B+

Bengals re-sign LB Vincent Rey

Details: Three-year, $11.5 million deal. With Emmanuel Lamur signing with the Vikings, this move was expected. Rey has filled a variety of roles and will be counted on when Vontaze Burfict serves a three-game suspension this season. Grade: B

Eagles sign S Rodney McLeod

Details: Five-year, $37 million deal. I must be way off on McLeod (didn’t have him in my ranking of the top 100 free agents) because I don’t see him in the realm of being a top five safety and he just got paid like one—but I seem to be in the minority here. He’s a smart and tough player, but he’s small and doesn’t have the top-end speed to be an elite player. It seems he benefited from playing with a great pass rush and next to a better player (T.J. McDonald). This situation looks like an overpay to me. but I’ve been wrong before. Grade: D+

Oakland Raiders sign CB Sean Smith to four-year deal

Signing their third free agent in under 24 hours, the Oakland Raiders picked up cornerback Sean Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs for a four-year, $40 million deal.

Raiders sign CB Sean Smith

Details: Four-year, $40 million deal. Smith, the former Chiefs and Dolphins cornerback, is still a very good player. He’s huge for the position he plays (6' 3") and instantly upgrades the Raiders’ cornerback depth chart, where they had D.J. Hayden and Redskins castoff David Amerson. However, committing big money and years to a 29-year-old cornerback is dangerous territory. Maybe GM Reggie McKenzie thinks Smith’s body type is built to last longer. Grade: B+​

Falcons re-sign DE Adrian Clayborn

Details: Two-year, $9 million deal. Former first-round pick of the Buccaneers has shown he doesn’t bring much in the pass rush, but he’s become a good run defender. A depth, rotation guy. Grade: D 

Titans sign WR Rishard Matthews

Details: Three-year deal. ESPN.com’s Paul Kuharsky reported that Tennessee has locked up the former Dolphins receiver. The Titans needed a lot of help on offense, and they’ve gotten it with Matthews, center Ben Jones and running back DeMarco Murray. Matthews isn’t going to cause nightmares for defensive coordinators, but he’s a good outside receiver and is certainly an upgrade on what the Titans have. Grade: A

Seahawks re-sign CB Jeremy Lane

Details: Four-year deal. Lane showed his value with how the secondary played after he was injured in the Super Bowl against the Patriots, until he returned late last season. A good, hard-nosed player, and I’m guessing Seattle got a good deal, which was reported by Ian Rapoport, considering the injuries. Grade: A

Chiefs re-sign DE Jaye Howard

Details: Two-year, $12 million deal. Like the Derrick Johnson move, another re-signing that is a vote for continuity with the Chiefs’ defense. Howard is on the upswing and keeps the line of Allen Bailey, Dontari Poe and Howard intact. Smart move and good value. Grade: B+

Falcons sign DE Derrick Shelby

Details: Four-year, $18 million deal. Shelby, a former undrafted free agent with the Dolphins, has developed into a solid lineman and still has room to grow at age 27, but he’s not the kind of difference-maker the Falcons need up front. He’s a good player to have, and he can play outside and then kick inside in sub packages—maybe that’s enough for Atlanta. Grade: C 

Chiefs re-sign LB Derrick Johnson

Details: Three-year, $21 million deal. Johnson may be 33, but he’s still playing at a high level and is a key cog in the middle of the vaunted Chiefs defense. This move, reported by the Kansas City Star, makes a lot of sense for continuity and gives the Chiefs the best chance to keep improving. Grade: B+

Jaguars sign S Tashaun Gipson

Details: Five-year, $35.5 million deal. Jacksonville had a huge need at free safety (sorry, Sergio Brown) and Gipson will fill that. He struggled last season but this is a different scheme and he has the ability to go sideline to sideline, as coach Gus Bradley will ask. A little expensive but not ridiculous. Grade: B+

Saints sign TE Coby Fleener

Details: Five-year, $36 million deal. Another need filled. The Saints had to go with Benjamin Watson after the Jimmy Graham trade, and Watson was fine, but New Orleans was never going to match Baltimore’s deal for Watson. Saints now get a much younger player with decent hands. Pressure will be on Fleener on to deliver. Grade: B

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Bengals re-sign CB Adam Jones

Details: Three-year deal​. With Darqueze Dennard ready to step into a starting role, it was smart of the Bengals to bring back Jones to fill the nickelback slot. Plus, he’s still one of the game’s best punt returners. Grade: A-

Chiefs sign OT Mitchell Schwartz

Another Browns loss is another team’s gain. Kansas City got better on its offensive line when it agreed to terms with one of the best right tackles in the game. In fact, he instantly becomes the Chiefs’ best lineman, by a good margin. Schwartz will help the Chiefs compete with the Broncos: He shut down Von Miller in their matchup last season. Grade: A+

Buccaneers sign OG J.R. Sweezy

Details: Five-year, $32.5 million deal. Tampa Bay needed a veteran guard after Logan Mankins retired, and it got one in the former Seahawk. He’s not comparable to Mankins, but Sweezy is a converted defensive tackle so his best football could still be in front of him if he develops better down-to-down consistency. Grade: C+

Bears sign OT Bobby Massie

The former Cardinals right tackle is a solid performer for the position and the bonus for Chicago is it allows Kyle Long to move back to guard, his more natural position and where he is among the better players in the league. Grade: B+

Giants sign DE Olivier Vernon

Details: Five-year, $85.5 million deal. The Giants lured Vernon away from Miami with an absolutely massive contract—his guaranteed money exceeds that of J.J. Watt and is the third-most of all defensive players. But when combined with Damon Harrison, whom they signed from the Jets today, and Jason Pierre-Paul up front, the Giants all of a sudden have an intimidating line up front. And for a team who gave up the most yards of any NFL team in 2015, that’s exactly what they want. Grade: B+

Chargers sign DT Brandon Mebane

Details: Three-year deal​. Slumped a bit last season but Mebane had been a key cog in the Seahawks’ line, and the Chargers can use all the help they can get up front. They’ll be better with him, as long as the price tag wasn’t outrageous. Grade: B

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Vikings sign LB Emmanuel Lamur

The former Bengals linebacker reunites with Mike Zimmer, his former defensive coordinator. The athletic Lamur, who also stars on special teams, will fit in right at the spot formerly manned by Chad Greenway (unrestricted). Grade: B

Dolphins sign S Isa Abdul-Quddus

Details: Three-year, $12.75 million deal. Quddus showed in spurts last year that he can be more than just a special teams hero. He’ll certainly get a chance to play right away and replace another former Lion, Louis Delmas. Grade: C+

Bears sign LB Danny Trevathan

Details: Four-year deal. Chicago needs help all over its defense and getting an inside linebacker whom John Fox knows well is a good place to start. He’ll also excel in Vic Fangio’s scheme. It doesn’t even matter what the Bears paid Trevathan, because he’ll be worth it. Grade: A+

Rams re-sign LB Mark Barron

Details: Five-year, $45 million deal. Barron flourished when the Rams moved him from safety to linebacker, but was he really good enough to earn $9 million per season (Lavonte David tops linebackers at $10 million/year)? That’s a lot of dough, and I’m not sure Barron will earn it. Grade: C+

Texans sign G Jeff Allen

Details: Four-year, $28 million deal. After losing Brandon Brooks to the Eagles, Houston scooped up Jeff Allen of the Chiefs to replace him. Allen gets a year and a million less per season than Brooks, but even then, it’s tough to justify paying Allen this much, since he’s had injury problems the last two seasons. The upside? He can play guard or tackle, and the Texans needed help at both. Grade: B-

Rams re-sign DE William Hayes

Details: Three-year, $21 million deal. The Rams managed to get good value on Hayes, an underrated player who has started to come into his own. In this situation, continuity should prove beneficial for the player and the team. Grade: A

Cardinals sign S Tyvon Branch

Details: Two-year, $10 million deal with $5 million guaranteed. This is a great move by GM Steve Keim (as usual) to get a solid player who revived his career with Kansas City. He’ll be perfect complement to Tyrann Mathieu at safety for the Cardinals, and it looks like they got good value on the deal. Grade: A

Lions re-sign DT Haloti Ngata

Details: Two-year, $12-million deal. Ngata isn’t the player he once was with the Ravens—especially as a pass rusher,. But he’s still a darn good veteran in the middle of a line if he can stay healthy. Two years for him, at decent money I’m assuming, is a smart move by the Lions. Grade: B+

Texans sign RB Lamar Miller

Details: Four-year, $26 million deal with $14 million guaranteed. I don’t see any issues with the Texans paying that kind of money for a running back who has fewer than 800 touches in four years and who will be just 25 years old in April. He’s a perfect fit for what they do. Grade: A+

Eagles sign G Brandon Brooks

Details: Five-year, $40 million deal. Brooks had an average season last year but he’s capable of doing a lot more. The Eagles are banking on that, paying him a reported $40 million over five years. The contract is a little rich for a guard but I can understand why Philadelphia did it. Grade: B+

Texans sign QB Brock Osweiler

Details: Four-year, $72 million deal. Rand Getlin of NFL.com had the surprising news of the day: Osweiler called the Broncos’ contract bluff and signed with the Texans. This is a huge coup for Houston, who desperately needed a quarterback after starting seven different guys under center since the 2013 season. Osweiler went 5–2 as a starter and showed in flashes that he can be the guy for a franchise. The big question will be whether or not Osweiler can handle Bill O’Brien’s complicated scheme. Grade: A

Report: Jets to sign Matt Forte

Matt Forte has found his first non-Chicago NFL home, agreeing to sign with the New York Jets, according to an ESPN report. 

Jets sign RB Matt Forte

The Jets let Chris Ivory walk (he signed with the Jaguars) and replaced him with Matt Forte, which is an interesting strategy. Forte, who can do everything, is a better back right now over the plodding Ivory, but the 30-year-old has a lot of mileage on his tires. If the Jets got Forte for less than what Ivory got from the Jaguars, this could be a big win for New York. Grade: B+

Bucs re-sign RB Doug Martin

Details: Five-year, $35.75 million deal with $15 million guaranteed. Doug Martin is a good running back who blends power and quickness, but he’s been inconsistent. Also, it’s always dangerous paying $7 million a year at that position. Grade: C

Doug Martin re-signs with Buccaneers

Doug Martin will remain a Buccaneer after agreeing to a five-year deal on Wednesday.

Steelers sign TE Ladarius Green

Ben Roethlisberger loves to use his tight ends, and with Heath Miller retiring, Green will fill an obvious hole here. There’s no question that the almost 26-year-old is a great athlete (6' 6", 240 pounds), but he’s never caught more than 37 passes in a season. Plus, there has to be a reason why San Diego didn’t buy in on Green. Grade: C+

Eagles sign QB Chase Daniel

Details: Three-year deal. Daniels, who was an understudy in New Orleans and Kansas City, makes a lot of sense for the Eagles. Not only does he give Philadelphia a legit backup for the oft-injured Sam Bradford, but Daniel already knows the Eagles’ system from his time with coach Doug Pederson in Kansas City. Grade: B​

Falcons sign C Alex Mack

Details: Five-year deal. Getting Mack to anchor the Falcons’ line is a home run. The money is market value, and Mack is the perfect guy to make Matt Ryan comfortable in the pocket. Plus, Mack knows Kyle Shanahan’s system from his days in Cleveland. Grade: A+

Giants sign NT Damon Harrison

Details: Five-years, $46.5 million with $24 million guaranteed. New York is paying the Jet big money, but Harrison is worth it. The 27-year-old is an outstanding middle-of-the-line player who is more athletic than most realize. The Giants should get bang for their buck. Grade: A+

Chargers re-sign TE Antonio Gates

Details: Two-year, $12 million deal. Gates may be slowing down at age 35, but he’s still very productive and gives Philip Rivers a security blanket. It’s not surprising he sprung for a chance to close out his career with the Chargers. Grade: B+

Titans sign C Ben Jones  

Details: Four-year, $17.5 million deal. A solid center with Tennessee, Jones was known more for his smarts and leadership than his blocking ability, but at center that’s not a bad place to start. Jones is a good player for Mariota to work with, and is an upgrade on Brian Schwenke, at least in the short term. Grade: B

Bengals re-sign S George Iloka

Details: Five-year, $30 million deal with $18 million over the first three years. With several Bengals on the market and going to different places, Cincinnati managed to retain one of their key players—S Reggie Nelson is also on the market—so this was a good move. Now Iloka, who will turn 26 later this month, will not skip a beat with Shawn Williams. Grade: A

Panthers re-sign RB Mike Tolbert

Details: Two-year deal worth nearly $4 million. There’s no reason for the stout halfback/fullback combo to go anywhere. In Tolbert, the Panthers have stability and a veteran who can fill in getting the bulk of the carries should the need arise. Grade: B

Vikings sign G Alex Boone

Details: Four-year, $26.8 million deal. At 6' 8" and 300 pounds, Boone is a massive player that mostly played guard during his six years with the 49ers. The Vikings should gain a lot with Boone’s versatility because they could part with either of their two incumbent tackles, Matt Kalil and Phil Loadholt. Grade: B+

Steelers re-sign OL Ramon Foster

Details: Three-year deal. The move to bring back the 30-year-old left guard gives Pittsburgh a chance to keep intact all five members of the O-line that finished last season. That unit, maligned in the past, has developed nicely for the Steelers, so continuity is a good sign. Grade: A

Steelers sign TE Ladarius Green

Ben Roethlisberger loves to use his tight ends, and with Heath Miller retiring, Green will fill an obvious hole here. There’s no question that the almost 26-year-old is a great athlete (6' 6", 240 pounds), but he’s never caught more than 37 passes in a season. Plus, there has to be a reason why San Diego didn’t buy in on Green. Grade: C+

Giants sign CB Janoris Jenkins

Details: Five-year, $62.5 million deal. Jenkins, one of the biggest character risks in the 2012 draft, is going to the Big Apple. Look, the guy is talented and the Giants have a huge need at cornerback, but he’s extremely inconsistent; sometimes his play looks like he just doesn’t care. The first time that happens in New York (as opposed to St. Louis), watch out. And at $12 million per season? This is going to be interesting. Grade: C

49ers re-sign NT Ian Williams

Details: Five-year deal worth between $5 and $6 million a year. This deal is a no-brainer. Williams emerged as one of the best, young nose tackles in the league, and Chip Kelly loves to run a two-gap 3–4 defense. Grade: A

Chargers sign WR Travis Benjamin

Despite dealing with a quarterback circus in Cleveland, Travis Benjamin managed to catch a career-high 68 passes for 966 yards and five touchdowns in 2015. He’s only 26 and the Chargers needed someone to pair with Keenan Allen, especially with Malcom Floyd retiring. Still, there’s some unknown here. Can Benjamin excel in a new system? Can he do more than be a small, outside speed receiver? Grade: B

Ravens sign TE Benjamin Watson

Details: Two-year, $8 million deal. The 35-year-old is coming off a career year and is the ultimate pro. Watson is durable and can both catch and block. More importantly for the Ravens, he’s the perfect person to tutor young tight ends Maxx Williams and Crockett Gilmore. As long as the Ravens didn’t overcommit on money and years, this is a smart signing. Grade: B+

Cowboys re-sign LB Rolando McClain

Details: One-year, $5 million. Yes, he’s a bit unstable off the field (he was suspended four games last season plus his Oakland adventures), but on the field he’s an instinctive and smart football player. Cowboys protect themselves with a one-year commitment at $5 million. Grade: A

Lions sign WR Marvin Jones

Details: Five-year, $40 million deal. After missing the entire 2014 season due to injury, he rebounded to post a career-high 65 catches in ’15. With Calvin Johnson retired, the Lions had a huge need, and at $8 million per season, it’s not an outrageous deal. Grade: A-

Panthers re-sign DE Charles Johnson

Details: One-year, $3 million deal​. A short commitment for a veteran leader who helped Carolina get to a Super Bowl. What’s not to like? Grade: A

Panthers get legitimate steal with Charles Johnson deal

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Dolphins sign DE Mario Williams

Details: Two-year, $16 million deal. After posting double-digit sacks his first two seasons in Buffalo, Williams had five last year and openly complained about Rex Ryan’s defensive scheme. He is 31, so you wonder if he’s just on a downward career trajectory, but going short on years and money somewhat protects the Dolphins. Williams should be better as an end in Miami, and he should be a better fit than Olivier Vernon, who was tagged as the transition player and could be signed/traded by someone else. Grade: B+

Jaguars sign RB Chris Ivory

Details: According to NFL Network and ESPN.com, the deal is reportedly believed to be well above $6 million per season. Ivory, who will be 28 on March 22, is coming off a career year in just about every category. Ivory, who is a bruising back, is a perfect complement to T.J. Yeldon, and it’s a smart move to get him for that reason. However, $6 million for a good but not great back? That’s a little troubling. Grade: B

Raiders sign LB Bruce Irvin

Details: Four-year, $37 million deal with $12.5 million in the first year. Irvin, who recorded 22 sacks in four seasons with the Seahawks, is headed to Oakland, according to NFL Network. It will be interesting to see where he fits with the Raiders, who have an opening at end after Justin Tuck’s retirement. Irvin is 6' 3" and 260 pounds, but he plays smaller than that. Is he an end or linebacker? Grade: C+.

Colts re-sign TE Dwayne Allen

Details: Four-year, $29.4 million deal. ​The reported terms will give a lot of people pause, considering Allen caught just 16 passes last season and a total of 41 in the past two. However, the Colts are banking on the immense promise he showed as a rookie, when he not only caught 45 passes but showed very well as a blocker. He hasn’t been the same since he had surgery on both hips in 2013, but the Colts obviously think he’s not far off. Grade: B-

Bills re-sign OG Richie Incognito

Details: Three-year, $15.75 million deal. Probably a smart move for both teams. Incognito still has the lingering stain of the Dolphins scandal (and a bad reputation overall) on him, so he was probably always going to get better money from the Bills. They get their best lineman back with more work to do. Grade: A- 

Giants re-sign DE Jason Pierre-Paul

Details: One-year deal worth up to $10.5 million. A win-win for both sides. Giants get one of the league’s top edge rushers (even after the accident that maimed his right hand), and Pierre-Paul gets a chance to have a great full season, then hit the free-agent market a year from now to get that last big contract. Grade: A-

Chiefs re-sign LB Tamba Hali

Details: Three-year deal. This is more likely a two-year contract or one with options, but it’s good to see a long-time veteran stay with a team. This also allows Kansas City to keep the Justin Houston-Dontari Poe-Hali triangle intact. The worry is that he continues to get beat up and can’t finish strong. Depends on the cash. Grade: B

Raiders sign OG Kelechi Osemele

Details: Five-year deal worth up to $60 million. Osemele, the top offensive lineman available, was going to get a lot of money, but $12 million? The Raiders can’t be paying him that to play guard, or else GM Reggie McKenzie has gone insane. Mostly a guard, Osemele filled in at left tackle for the Ravens last season and did well. But a full-time role at LT is a dangerous projection for a player with back surgery in his history. Grade B+

Chargers re-sign LT Joe Barksdale

Details: Four-year deal worth $22.2 million ($10.5 million guaranteed). The Chargers were mostly a disaster out the offensive line last year—outside of Barksdale. A bunch of right tackles (Browns’ Mitchell Schwartz at the top of the list) could have started a game of musical chairs, but it’s usually good to stay where you are. Solid player, solid value. Grade: B​

Jaguars sign DE Malik Jackson

Details: Six-year, $90 million deal with $42 million guaranteed. A player coming into his prime, and a team desperate for more pass rush. What’s not to love? Concern is what kind of player is Jackson going to be now that he's gotten paid and now that he's away from Broncos line coach Bill Kollar, who took Jackson to another level? Also, Jackson was a DT in Denver. Jaguars likely move him to end. Jaguars now can put Jackson at end, Sen’Derrick Marks and Roy Miller inside, and Dante Fowler on the other side. Pretty good line. Grade: A-

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