NFL free agency officially got underway on Wednesday after the early contact period began two days earlier. Teams were quite eagerly handing out huge deals on Monday, and things haven’t slowed down since.
Some of these deals, at least on paper, certainly look better than others at first glance. Here are ten free agent signings that represent the best deals of the offseason so far.
10) Packers sign S Adrian Amos
Green Bay tried to rebuild its defense last year with little success. That meant it was back to the drawing board this offseason, and they’re off to a much better start by adding Amos from their division rivals in Chicago. Amos isn’t an elite player, but he’s a versatile safety just entering his primary years who should be an upgrade on everyone Green Bay tried to make work last season. In addition, compared to the Landon Collins contract, he looks like a relative bargain. It’s a nice bit of business for the Packers.
NFL superstars tend to receive many rewards, ranging from massive contracts to All-Pro nods and trips to the Pro Bowl. But in order to succeed at the highest level, all 32 teams still need role players and unsung heroes to help them along their journey.
Sometimes those role players receive the recognition they deserve — most often within the fan bases or cities in which they play. But frequently, they are not recognized the way they should be.
Each team has some hidden gems on their roster — here’s a look at one for each team.
Arizona Cardinals – Markus Golden, linebacker
Markus Golden is more overlooked than unknown, but at his current rate of development, he won’t be forgotten much longer. Golden finished the 2016 season with 53 total pressures, 41 run stops and 12.5 sacks. The 41 run stops were good for fourth-most among edge defenders in the NFL. Golden is in line for a Pro Bowl or All-Pro nod in 2017 if he continues at this pace. If that happens, the secret will be out.
Atlanta Falcons – Grady Jarrett, defensive tackle
Grady Jarrett was considered underrated in college and that remained true over his first two seasons with the Falcons. Even despite a strong performance in the Super Bowl, Jarrett hasn’t exactly seen his name in lights. If Atlanta didn’t choke the game away, perhaps that would be different, but for now, Jarrett and his 78.3 Pro Football Focus rating will continue to fly under the radar.