2012 NFL Free Agents: Power Ranking Manning to the Broncos and More Signings

T.J. McaloonContributorMarch 19, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 07:  Peyton Manning attends a press conference announcing Manning's release from the Colts at Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on March 7, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Joey Foley/Getty Images)
Joey Foley/Getty Images

The NFL free agency period has brought a number of big name players to new places. The reported addition of Peyton Manning to the Denver Broncos is potentially the biggest move of the offseason.  

However, these other signings may prove to be more beneficial to their new teams' success. 


Peyton Manning to Denver 

DENVER - SEPTEMBER 26:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts and linebacker Mario Haggan #57 of the Denver Broncos talk during a video replay ruling at INVESCO Field at Mile High on September 26, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Colts def
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Manning to Denver should help the Broncos establish a dangerous passing offense that helps them separate themselves from the rest of the AFC West division. According to Peter King, Denver had a great recruiter with John Elway leading the charge to get Peyton to the Broncos saying:

Denver has a good confidant, John Elway, running the show, a young franchise receiver in Demaryius Thomas and one of Manning's very good friends (Brandon Stokley) living in town. He could win at any of the three places. He'd win biggest in San Francisco, most likely. So there you go. 

With these pieces around Manning, he should be able to lead the Broncos to 10 or more wins and a trip to the AFC Championship Game next year. 


Mario Williams to Buffalo

HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 11:  Mario Williams #90 of the Houston Texans battles with offensive tackle  Jeff Linkenbach #72 of the Indianapolis Colts during the season-opening game at Reliant Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/
Bob Levey/Getty Images

When Williams signed a six-year contract worth up to $100 million including $50 million guaranteed with the Buffalo Bills, it was not only the biggest deal in their franchise history, but the richest deal for any defensive player. 

According to the AOL Sporting News, Williams is the cornerstone of a new-look defense saying:

Williams joins a new-look defense that's making the switch to a four linemen-three linebackers scheme under highly regarded defensive specialist Wannstedt, who was promoted to coordinator in January. Williams will fit at right defensive end, playing alongside tackles Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus.  

Williams will be expected to help this defense improve from a terrible 2011 season where they were 26th in yards allowed and 30th in points allowed in the NFL. 


Brandon Lloyd to New England

ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 18: Nate Clements #22 of the Cincinnati Bengals tackles Brandon Lloyd #83 of the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on December 18, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

New England whiffed on free agent Chad Ochocinco last year, however, they hit a home run with the addition of Brandon Lloyd. 

Lloyd struggled last year playing with the St. Louis Rams. However, he did not have a talented quarterback throwing him the ball. When he does, like his huge 77 receptions, 1,448 yards, 11 touchdown season in 2010, he can be a very effective receiver.  

According to ESPN Boston, the Patriots reached a fairly small deal with Lloyd signing him to three years for only $12 million.

If Lloyd pans out, he can provide a great second option for Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady. He will have a big season with the Patriots and will be a solid fantasy football pick-up. 


These three free-agent signings will be huge impacts for their new teams. Any one of these players could be a big reason why they reach their team reaches the postseason.