Which non-playoff teams helped themselves the most?
As Elvis Dumervil and the fax machine
Five days into free agency, here's our quick-take ranking of the five 2012 non-playoff teams that have helped themselves the most so far this offseason, via signings, trades, re-signings, whatever means necessary:
But it's not just the Smith acquisition that we like. Kansas City re-signed No. 1 receiver Dwayne Bowe, franchised offensive tackle Branden Albert, secured the services of one of the best cornerbacks available in free agency in
Topping it off, the Chiefs wisely gave themselves another intriguing option at quarterback, handing former Saints backup Chase Daniel a three-year deal worth $10 million to be their fallback plan behind Smith. If you're keeping score, Kansas City upgraded at multiple positions on offense and added significantly to the secondary on a defense that has several Pro Bowl talents in Tamba Hali, Eric Berry and Justin Houston. With the No. 1 pick in the draft still to come, and offensive tackles Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher both on the radar screen, Andy Reid's opening statement in Kansas City should encompass considerably more than 2-14 in 2013.
Miami paid ex-Steelers receiver
Miami -- who went 7-9 last season -- had it going for a while, but ultimately couldn't compensate for an offense that ranked 27th in points scored. That shouldn't be the case this year, even with the loss of running back Reggie Bush to Detroit in free agency. The Dolphins offense looks significantly improved, and replacing veteran linebackers Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett with
Even better than Kruger's signing was the addition of ex-Oakland defensive tackle
Though the Browns could still use a veteran cornerback in free agency, they've still got some options in one of the deepest positions in this year's market. The additions of Kruger and Groves this week also mean Cleveland could go in a direction other than outside linebacker -- widely predicted before free agency began -- with its No. 6 pick in the first round of April's draft. If a cornerback like Alabama's Dee Milliner is still on the board, the Browns will have done deft work of making free agency set up and dovetail with their draft.
There was also the somewhat dubious decision by the Titans to award ex-Jets running back Shonn Greene a
Levitre is the kind of quality young player who doesn't often reach free agency and his arrival signals that the Titans will pound away on the ground plenty this season. In Walker, Tennessee landed a versatile and reliable tight end, replacing the talented but maddeningly inconsistent Jared Cook, who signed with St. Louis in free agency. Hill doesn't have much name recognition, but he was a valuable cog on Detroit's defensive line and is effective at pushing the pocket and creating interior pass pressure.
The Eagles secondary was horrendous last year, so new cornerbacks
One final small transaction by the Eagles has a decent chance to look good in the span of time: Friday's trade for ex-Bucs receiver Arrelious Benn. Philadelphia gave up very little to get him, and the 2010 second-round pick is still only 24. He was a non-factor in Tampa, but he's 6-foot-2 and gives the Eagles some much needed height at receiver. He was a low-risk pickup who could find new life in Chip Kelly's up-tempo offense.