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NFL Free Agency: Ranking the Best Day 2 Signings

Vincent FrankCorrespondent IMarch 15, 2012

NFL Free Agency: Ranking the Best Day 2 Signings

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    While day one of free agency was filled with big-name acquisitions across the board, it isn't going to make or break a team's offseason plans.

    Instead, this is a rather drawn-out process filled with myriad different factors.

    Some teams didn't need to make a "sexy" splash into free agency. Instead, they were looking at adding nice pieces to an already-solid roster.

    Day two of free agency was filled with some of those types of signings. This article is going to look at the best signings from Wednesday.

John Carlson, Tight End, Minneota Vikings

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    A $25 million contract over the course of five seasons really isn't that bad to give your young quarterback another threat between the hashes.

    John Carlson was one of the up-and-coming tight ends in the NFL prior to missing the entire 2011 season due to injury.

    He will provide Christian Ponder with another weapon to go along with Kyle Rudolph at tight end.

    You can expect the Minnesota Vikings to run more offensive formations with these two players on the field—something that seems to play to the strengths of the young quarterback.

    While Minnesota still does need to get another receiver on the outside, I like what they have done at the skill positions. Adrian Peterson, Rudolph, Carlson and Percy Harvin is a nice-looking young core.

Kyle Orton, Quarterback, Dallas Cowboys

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    Normally someone signing to be a backup quarterback for a former Pro Bowler wouldn't make this list.

    That changes with the Dallas Cowboys' signing of Kyle Orton to a three-year contract yesterday.

    Despite what people might want you to believe, Orton wasn't brought in to challenge Tony Romo for the starting job.

    Instead, the Cowboys signed the veteran quarterback as an insurance policy, and a damn good one.

    Romo has had his fair share of injury issues over the course of his career with the Cowboys. Both Stephen McGee and Jon Kitna just didn't seem like the answer behind him.

    This deal enables the Cowboys to run fluidly as an offense if Romo goes down for an extended period of time. It also gives them someone who can step in and contribute in a crunch.

    This is one of the under-the-radar signings that I am talking about.

Eric Wright, Cornerback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    While $37.5 million over five seasons might seem a bit steep for Eric Wright, it is a signing that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had to make.

    They are not sure what is going to happen in regards to Aqib Talib and his legal situation, and they really don't have any corner depth after that.

    Wright played extremely well for the Detroit Lions last season, becoming much more of a consistent player on the outside in man coverage.

    He doesn't solve all the Buccaneers' secondary issues, and they will still take a look at Morris Claiborne in the draft.

    However, Wright is going to be a solid No. 2 guy for the next five seasons.

Martellus Bennett, Tight End, New York Giants

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    The former Dallas Cowboys tight end never fulfilled his potential with the club after they selected him in the second round of the 2008 NFL draft.

    As the backup to Jason Witten, he never caught more than 33 passes and struggled catching the ball between the hashes.

    With that said, Martellus Bennett has the talent to be a dominating receiving tight end in the league. At 6'7" and 248 pounds, he is as physically imposing as they come.

    Having Bennett on this list is more about the New York Giants' need at the tight end position and his upside moving forward.

    You can expect him to play a larger role with the Giants than he did in Dallas.

    This is also a low-risk signing for just $2.5 million for one year.

Jarrett Johnson, Linebacker, San Diego Chargers

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    The San Diego Chargers were in desperate need of getting a prototypical 3-4 outside linebacker with Antwan Barnes.

    There wasn't a better fit on the market than Jarret Johnson, who played that role to a tee with the Baltimore Ravens over the course of the last eight seasons.

    While he isn't going to put up double-digit sacks, Johnson fits extremely well in the Chargers front seven.

    He is stout against the run, which complements Barnes well.

    You can still expect the Chargers to look at a pass-rushing outside linebacker early in the draft.

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