Impactful signings and re-singings across the NFL have highlighted this years’ NFL offseason.
The Baltimore Ravens started the offseason by re-signing Super Bowl champion quarterback Joe Flacco to a mega contract worth $120 million, making him the highest paid player in NFL history.
The Ravens lost many crucial components of their Super Bowl defense.
Ray Lewis started the exodus when he announced his retirement, and Ed Reed, Paul Kruger, Cary Williams, Dannell Ellerby and Bernard Pollard all followed, signing contracts with different teams.
Although the Ravens lost some veteran experience, they were able to sign highly talented defensive end Elvis Dumervil.
The Miami Dolphins lost their 2008 first overall draft pick, Jake Long, to the St. Louis Rams via free agency, but were able to sign highly-coveted wide receiver Mike Wallace. Wallace has world-class speed and will be the deep threat quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been lacking.
The Dolphins did not stop with the Wallace signing — they added Dannell Ellerbe, Brent Grimes, Dustin Keller and Philip Wheeler.
The Browns, under their new owner Jimmy Haslem, look to use most of their available cap space to allow them to contend for the AFC North title.
They made a splash early with the $41 million signing contract of former Ravens linebacker Paul Kruger, and added defensive tackle Desmond Bryant.
The Seattle Seahawks ended last season with a disappointing finish against the Atlanta Falcons, but with a bright young star in Russell Wilson, the Seahawks look to continuously contend in the playoffs.
Percy Harvin made headlines at the beginning of the offseason due to his public distress in Minnesota, and the Seahawks jumped on the chance to sign this big time playmaker.
The Seahawks continued to add to their defensive pass rush by adding speed rusher Cliff Avril. With these new additions, the Seahawks look to make that jump from playoff contender to Super Bowl contender.
Arguably one of the biggest storylines from this offseason was the New England Patriots failing to resign wide receiver Wes Welker. Welker had over 100 receptions and 1000 yards in five out of six seasons, and has been the go-to receiver for Tom Brady. The Patriots were unable to give Welker the money he asked for, and because of that he turned to the NFL free agency.
This opened the door for the Broncos, who took advantage and added Welker — taking him away from their competition.
Other teams like the San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Bucs and Atlanta Falcons also added some key players to their teams in hopes of making an impact.
The 49ers signed Pro Bowl kicker Phil Dawson, as well as the once-highly coveted cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. Asomugha will look to restore his name as a top shut-down corner.
The Vikings made a huge addition in former Green Bay Packer Greg Jennings. The Vikings are hopeful he can provide the outside threat they been lacking since the departure of Randy Moss.
The Falcons, who were just one play away from going to the Super Bowl last year, were able to add a playmaker at the running back position in Steven Jackson.
This offseason has not disappointed with big-time signings and players moving across the league, and it shows no sign of slowing down.