The first week of NFL free agency began quickly as usual, then slowed toward the weekend after top-tier players had all signed with new teams. We’re ranking positions by average contract worth here, and the results should in no way surprise anyone.
Teams spent just more than $1 billion on Day 1, marking the first time in free-agency history that has happened, according to Peter King.
It was money well-spent for the most part. Cornerback Aqib Talib signed the richest free-agent contract during the first week, a six-year, $57 million deal with the Denver Broncos that includes $26 million in guaranteed money. He will make $7.9 million in 2014.
The Broncos handed out by far the most money per player during Week 1 of free agency, totaling $124.5 million for four players—or $31.1 million per player. Joining Talib on defense is defensive end DeMarcus Ware (three years, $30 million) and strong safety T.J. Ward (four years, $22.5 million), as well as wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (three years, $15 million).
Team president John Elway and Co. clearly learned a lesson from their 43-8 Super Bowl embarrassment, and that is while offense may get you there, defense wins championships.
Here is where each position ranks in average contract worth after a week of free agency.
Note: With the continued signing of players, positional contract averages are fluid. These averages are as of Tuesday night, but barring a big contract announcement, rankings are pretty much set.