NFL Free Agents 2013: Biggest Losers of Day 1

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IMarch 13, 2013

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 03:  Dannell Ellerbe #59 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after the Ravens won 34-31 against the San Francisco 49ers during Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

You expect franchises that have been bumbling for years to make ill-advised decisions during free agency, but you certainly don't expect the world champions to get the short end of the stick.

The Baltimore Ravens were among a handful of teams that lost big on Day 1 of the NFL's free-agency period on Tuesday. This was after they traded highly-regarded veteran receiver Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday for a sixth-round pick (h/t ESPN).

Here's a look at my biggest losers of Day 1.


3. Buffalo Bills

Not only did the Bills have to cut starting safety George Wilson in February, they lost top guard Andy Levitre to the Tennessee Titans on Day 1 of free agency.

Levitre was ranked as the ninth-best guard in the league by Pro Football Focus in 2012, per PFF's Day 1 Free Agency Blog. He helped Buffalo average 5.0 yards per carry, fourth in the NFL.

To top it all off, the Bills released starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on Tuesday, hammering home the point that the hefty six-year extension they gave him in October 2011 was a poor move.


2. Cleveland Browns

The Browns actually found a way to subtract by adding. 

The Browns had a lot of cap space going into free agency's Day 1. It was just a matter of them using it wisely. Early in the day, they made sure to let everyone know why Cleveland has been a bumbling franchise for decades.

The five-year, $40 million deal the Browns offered to former Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Paul Kruger on Tuesday (h/t ESPN) may have technically been a "bargain"—given there were rumblings that the 27-year-old would sign for at least $10 million per year—but I wouldn't personally call it that.

Kruger is a pass-rusher first and foremost, but he's not an all-round player. He struggled against the run last season. On top of that, the Browns have the No. 6 overall pick in the draft. They could have found a similar player at that spot in a class riddled with athletic freaks of nature on the defensive side of the ball...for a much better price.

As I constantly find myself saying, "I do not understand, Browns."


1. Baltimore Ravens

After somehow finding a way to only get a sixth-round pick in exchange for Anquan Boldin on Monday, the Ravens lost Paul Kruger and—more surprisingly—inside linebacker Dannell Elerbe on Day 1 of free agency (h/t ESPN).

By trading away Boldin, it was expected that the Ravens were clearing cap space to keep Ellerbe, who was better than the recently-retired Ray Lewis last season.

The Ravens did sign defensive tackle Chris Canty (who is a great fit in their hybrid front, given his experience in a 3-4 and a 4-3), but that wasn't enough to keep them from being the No. 1 loser on Tuesday. When you lose Ray Lewis, and then lose your other top inside linebacker, you have officially lost at free agency.


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