Mon Aug 01 10:12am EDT
Free agency isn't good to everyone. Not every one has money to spend, and not every location around the league is considered a desirable one. If some teams are going to improve, it stands to reason that some teams are going to get worse. These are the five teams that have some recovering to do from the free-agency period.
1. Minnesota Vikings. I don't know how the state of Minnesota will deal with the devastating loss of Tarvaris Jackson(notes). His absence leaves a gaping hole in the hearts of so many fans who cherished his -- nah, I'm kidding. With Christian Ponder(notes) drafted and Donovan McNabb(notes) acquired, it'll feel like a whole new Vikings franchise. But when they let Sidney Rice(notes) and Ray Edwards(notes) leave, a whole lot of talent walked out the door in Minnesota.
2. Green Bay Packers. There's no need to host a telethon for the Packers or anything. They've still got a ton of good young players under contract, and a lot of them are at a very reasonable rate. But when you have a lot of good players, you're bound to lose some now and again, and the Packers have. Cullen Jenkins(notes) will be destroying things for someone else's defensive line, Daryn Colledge(notes) will be anchoring someone else's offensive line, and Nick Barnett(notes) is gone, too.
3. Carolina Panthers. The Panthers have certainly splashed around some money, so I guess there's an argument to be made that they're winners here. But when you're 1-15, I don't know why you give big money to a 28-year-old running back when you have Jonathan Stewart(notes) on the roster. They were kind of painted into a corner with Charles Johnson(notes) -- he's 25 years old and had 11.5 sacks last year, so they sort of had to keep him -- but to me, $30 million is a whole lot of guaranteed money for a guy who's had one good season. I'm glad they were active and I'm glad they're trying hard to improve, but I wonder if that money couldn't have been put to better use.
4. Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens haven't lost anyone that they can't live without, but when everything is tallied up, they lost a lot and didn't gain much. Gone are Josh Wilson(notes), Dawan Landry(notes), Donte Stallworth(notes), Fabian Washington(notes), Willis McGahee(notes), Kelly Gregg(notes), Chris Chester(notes) and Todd Heap(notes). Adding Vonta Leach(notes) at fullback is nice, but you'd still have to put the Ravens on the losing side of the ledger.
5. New York Jets. If you could define losing as "having a goal and missing out on it," then you'd have to classify the Jets as losers. They wanted Nnamdi Asomugha(notes) bad, and came up short. In the end, they had to make up with Antonio Cromartie(notes), putting them right back where they started. They lost playmaker Brad Smith(notes) to Buffalo, and I know everyone in New York is excited about the recent addition of Plaxico Burress(notes), but I'm not sure the Jets come out ahead on a Braylon Edwards(notes) for Plaxico Burress swap, either.
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