The NFL lockout ended last week and it unleashed a flurry of moves. This has been the most active free agency period in recent memory.
Many big name free agents have found new homes: Matt Hasselbeck is a Titan, Nnamdi Asomugha is an Eagle, and Chad Ochocinco is a Patriot. Many teams have new looks and bright new hopes for the upcoming season.
Several teams have been relatively inactive and just sat around and watched other teams get better. There have been players that have gotten great deals on winning teams, and others are stuck in situations they'd love to get out of.
So here are the winners and losers of free agency thus far.
In one of the most surprising deals so far, Ochocinco is now a Patriot.
He is a huge winner in this deal and there are many reasons why. He went from a disaster in Cincy to one of the most stable teams in the league. Chad went from having quarterback questions to now catching balls from the league's best.
We're not going to see many antics from him this year. Expect him to be one of the most well behaved players in the league. What he's going to lose in off-the-field media time, he's going to gain in highlights on ESPN. Expect a rejuvenated Chad this season to put up numbers like it's 2006 again.
Ochocinco is a winner and his old teammate is a loser.
Palmer is not a free agent, but he has definitely been a loser so far. He wants nothing more than to be traded from the Bengals, but because of principal, his GM won't make a deal.
If he does decide to come back, it's going to be a mess. Cincinnati was one of the worst teams in the NFL last season and Palmer has lost his main two targets: Ochocinco and Owens.
The Panthers had the worst record in the league last year, and they've showed they want no part of that again.
They have been spending and spending and spending. DeAngelo Williams and Charles Johnson have both signed mega deals and so has Olindo Mare (for a kicker). They're loaded at the tight end position, bringing in Greg Olsen from Chicago and Jeremy Shockey. Carolina has also kept their premier pass catcher in Steve Smith.
Reports are Derek Anderson is close to signing a deal with them. This would bring in a good backup for Newton, and potentially a starter if he struggles.
Dallas is a team that was expected to thrive in this period. Well, they seem to be doing the exact opposite of that.
They were supposed to be a front runner for Asomugha, but instead they let a division rival swoop in and grab him. With a crippled secondary, they also couldn't pick up the number two free agent, corner Jonathan Joseph.
The only moves Dallas has made thus far is cutting Barber, Williams, and Davis. Not what you'd expect from an underachieving 6-10 team from last season.
Last season, they finished with the best record in the league at 14-2, but lost their first game in the playoffs.
The pickups of Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth were very surprising. They will now have a legitimate big threat target for Brady with Chad. The addition of Haynesworth has to give the Pats the biggest D-line in the game: Vince Wilfork at 6'2" 325 pounds, Albert Haynesworth at 6'6" 335 pounds, and Gerard Warren at 6'4" 330 pounds.
Both players have character issues, but with a coach like Belichick, I don't see that being a problem.
The Bucs came into this period with a staggering $52 million in cap room.
They had plenty of money to make multiple deals. Unfortunately though, just like the Cowboys, they haven't done much of anything at all.
They've resigned two offensive linemen, and their only free agent pickup was a punter.
Sanchez is a winner you might not have thought of.
The re-signing of Santonio Holmes is huge for him. It's very important for a young quarterback to have a number one receiver he's familiar with. Also, they have signed free agent Plaxico Burress. This is going to add a big target for Sanchez.
That picture is starting to get creepy to me, but I feel it best represents the team.
First off, their best player, Nnamdi Asomugha, is now an Eagle. They have done nothing to get better at that position, or any position for that matter. The Raiders have not done anything in free agency.
They had a surprise season last year, but expect them to be back to their old selves.
The Eagles are the no-brainer for the best team thus far in free agency.
Somehow, they snagged the number one free agent and one of the best defensive players in the league, Nnamdi Asomgha. They dealt backup quarterback Kevin Kolb for another good corner in Rodgers-Cromartie. This gives them Asomugha, Samuel, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie at corner.
They signed Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Babin, who had 12.5 sacks last season. They also signed tight end Donald Lee, defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins, and got a backup quarterback in Vince Young.
Philadelphia has been king of free agency.
The Bengals were bad last season, and expect them to be right at the top of the Andrew Luck lottery this season.
Their only good move was the re-signing of running back Cedric Benson, which was expected. Their top two receivers, Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens, won't be on the roster. Their starting quarterback is threatening retirement, and for some reason they won't trade him and get some value back.
Also, they have money to spend on free agents and haven't made any moves.