It’s officially the morning of day two in the NFL free agency period, and things seem to have settled down quite a bit overnight. Yours truly finally got in more than a hour of sleep and now it’s time to hit the ground running once more for the stretch portion of the race where free agent signings will be coming in far less frequently.

In spite of this year being different with the uncapped season changing all the rules, day one of free agency was still chaotic and exciting throughout. As usual, several teams jumped into the fray head first, while others stayed back to watch and wait for things to calm down. There were big time splashes with crazy amounts of money being handed out, and multiple trades between teams going down that moved key players from one side of the country to another.

With that in mind, I wanted to take a look back at all the major signings that came across the wire yesterday and point out a few winners and losers as I saw it. Feel free to leave any thoughts you may have in the comment section, and don’t forget to check us out on Twitter either @NFLNewsRumors

Free agent signings

  • WR Nate Burleson (Five years, $25 million) – Detroit
  • TE Brandon Manumaleuna (Five years) – Chicago
  • LB Gary Brackett (Five years, $33 million) – Indianapolis
  • RB Leonard Weaver (Three years, $11 million) – Philadelphia
  • DE Kyle Vanden Bosch (Four years, $26 million) – Detroit
  • DE Julius Peppers (Six years, $72 million) – Chicago
  • RB Chester Taylor (Four years, $12.5 million) – Chicago
  • LB Tully Banta-Cain (Three years, $13.5 million) – New England
  • QB A.J. Feeley (Two years, $6 million) – St. Louis
  • CB Dunta Robinson (Six years) – Atlanta
  • OT Chad Clifton (Four years, $20 million) – Green Bay
  • WR Kevin Walter (Five years, $21 million) – Houston
  • LB Karlos Dansby (Five years, $43 million) – Miami
  • DT Vince Wilfork (Five years, $40 million) – New England
  • DE Justin Bannan (Five years) – Denver
  • CB Nathan Jones (Four years, $13.6 million) – Denver
  • S Antrel Rolle (Five years, $37 million) – New York Giants
  • OG Stephen Neal (Two years) – New England


  • CB Antonio Cromartie – San Diego to New York Jets (2011 third round pick)
  • DT Corey Williams – Cleveland to Detroit (2010 fifth round pick)
  • WR Anquan Boldin – Arizona to Baltimore (2010 third and fourth round picks)

Day One Winners

  • Chicago - Even though the contracts they handed out were astronomical in size, the Bears did a fantastic job of identifying their three main targets and landing all of them in one fell swoop. Their addition of Brandon Manumaleuna is an extremely underrated move, and while the signing of Julius Peppers will get all the attention, he has the ability to help Jay Cutler out in a big way with his blocking up front. Stealing Chester Taylor from their division rivals in Minnesota was a great move as well. He’s got plenty of life left in his legs and will be a weapon out of the backfield on passing plays.
  • New England – They didn’t make any moves on the open market to get new faces in the fold, but then again they really don’t need to with all the draft picks they’ve got lined up for this year. Signing their in-house free agents was a major goal and they took care of all three yesterday with new deals for their leading pass rusher (Tully Banta-Cain), standout nose tackle (Vince Wilfork), and offensive line anchor (Stephen Neal). That’s a win-win any way you want to slice it.
  • Baltimore – Their trade for Anquan Boldin was sheer genius, in that they really didn’t give up much to get him and he’s a perfect fit for what they like to do offensively. Getting him to sign an extension was icing on the cake, although they could have issues down the road if Boldin is injured or struggles with his game. All in all, it’s good move and much needed considering just how bad their receiving corps was last year.

Day One Losers

  • Arizona – Let’s see… they lost one of their best linebackers (Karlos Dansby), a defensive playmaker (Antrel Rolle), and traded away their #2 receiver (Anquan Boldin) so yeah I’d say that’s a pretty bad day by anyone’s standards. Of course, they expected as much to occur and brought some of it on themselves by sending Boldin off to the Ravens, but still they could have done more to keep Dansby, who’s going to be missed next fall.
  • Detroit – It’s hard to say they actually lost, given how bad this team has been over the past decade, but the Lions left a lot of people scratching their heads with the amount of money they tossed to Nate Burleson and Kyle Vanden Bosch. Both players are on the downslope of their careers, and yet combined they got 10 years and $51 million out of Detroit’s front office. It’s one thing to overspend on top tier players, but those deals are downright bad on multiple levels. Swinging a trade to get Corey Williams was the saving grace yesterday.
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