NFL Free Agency and Trade 2011: Which Teams Won the Most Games with Signings?
While no one is talking about the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, the team getting all the praise and attention are the Philadelphia Eagles.
Stealing all the free-agent headlines, the Eagles have put together a team that at least on paper, appear to be the favorites to win the NFC. While we haven't played a regular season game, it's never to early to start predicting who will be successful in 2011.
And that is what I'm going to try to do, as I present "2011 NFL Free Agency: Which Teams Won the Most Games with FA Signings?"
So sit back, relax and enjoy.
Kickoff is around the corner.
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FA Signings: LB Paul Posluszny, LB Clint Session, S Dawan Landry
2010 Record: 7-9
2011 Record: 11-5
With head coach Jack Del Rio on the hot seat, knowing a playoff berth is what he needs to keep his job, this is the year the Jacksonville Jaguars get back to the playoffs and capturing an AFC wild card berth.
After being ranked 28th overall, 32nd against the pass and 27th in points allowed, defense was the Jaguars number one priority heading into this offseason. After acquiring Paul Posluszny and Clint Session to help improve a run defense that gave up 4.7 yards per carry on the ground and 122 rushing yards per game, the Jaguars now might have what it takes on defense to be a serious contender in the AFC.
Although there might be a quarterback controversy between veteran David Garrard and rookie Blaine Gabbert when the season begins, news out of Jacksonville is that the team is fully behind Garrard. But if Garrard starts to struggle, don't expect Del Rio to be afraid to make the quarterback change. A move that might cost him his job, but at least he would go out swinging.
If the defense can come together and if the running attack led by Maurice Jones-Drew and Rashad Jennings can be effective, not only will Del Rio have a job in 2012, but for years to come as well.
Knowing the December woes the Jaguars have encountered over the past three seasons, going 4-11, it's essential they begin the year strong. Otherwise, before they know it, their season will be over and they'll be preparing for 2012.
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FA Signings: WR Sidney Rice, TE Zach Miller. G Robert Gallery, QB Tarvaris Jackson
2010 Record: 7-9, Lost Divisional Playoffs
2011 Prediction: 9-7
After becoming the first team with sub-.500 record to not only clinch a playoff berth, but to also win a division title and a playoff game, the Seattle Seahawks will finish 2011 with a winning record, but will fall short of making the playoffs.
Although the Seahawks are trying to replace Matt Hasselbeck with Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback (scary thought), the additions of Sidney Rice and Zach Miller will pay huge dividends for Pete Carroll and his staff.
Both were second-round picks, and they've already played in a Pro Bowl. With Rice only 24 and Miller being 25, both will be around for a long time.
And that is an extremely happy sight for the 12th man in Seattle.
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Signings: Kevin Kolb, G Daryn Colledge, G Floyd Womack, CB, Richard Marshall, LB Stewart Bradley, TE Todd Heap, TE Jeff King, WR, Chansi Stuckey
2010 Season: 5-11, 4th in NFC West
2011 Prediction: 11-5
Finding a replacement for future Hall of Famer Kurt Warner wasn't going to be easy and Arizona learned that the hard way.
Derek Anderson was a disaster, Max Hall proved that he wasn’t ready, and for John Skelton, Fordham was a long way from the NFL.
In comes Kevin Kolb, who was acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round draft choice in 2012. Kolb, who has started seven games in four NFL seasons, agreed to a new contract that's worth $63 million over five years including around $21 million guaranteed.
In 5 career starts for the Eagles, Kolb threw for 1,690 passing yards and 11 touchdowns, while Arizona's starters from a season ago, threw for three touchdowns in seven starts, but the Cardinals fate will not only be in the hands of their new quarterback, a lot of their success will depend on Beanie Wells and the Cardinals ability to run the football.
Coming off a season where they ranked last in the league, averaging 86.8 yards per game, Wells played in only 13 games. He rarely displayed the dynamic power that he has shown at his best and finished with 116 carries, averaging 3.4 yards an attempt.
It's no secret the Arizona offense struggled, scoring only 18.7 points per game. Now a new era in Arizona is beginning with Kolb leading the charge.
If the Cardinals are willing to pay free agent Braylon Edwards the money he wants, to go along with Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals are not only a threat to win the NFC West, but the Vince Lombardi Trophy might not be that far away.
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FA Signings: CB Johnathan Joseph, S Danieal Manning
2010 Record: 6-10
2011 Prediction: 11-5
They have a quarterback. They have a Pro-Bowl running back. They have a future Hall of Famer at wide receiver.
Now, they finally have help in the secondary.
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Signings: CB Nnamdi Asomugha, DE Jason Babin, DE Cullen Jenkins, RB Ronnie Brown, Vince Young
2010 Record: 10-6, lost in NFC Wild Card round
2011 Prediction: 11-5
Surprising winner's of the Nnamdi Asomugha sweepstakes, the Philadelphia Eagles look to improve on an overachieving 2010 season.
Led by NFC Pro Bowl starter Michael Vick, who finished the season passing for 3,018 yards, 21 touchdowns and six interceptions with a passer rating of 100.2, the Eagles expectations are flying high heading in this season.
Coming off a season where Vick carried the ball 100 times for 676 yards and nine touchdowns, it'll be interesting to see whether or not Vick can replicate his 2010 performance.
Was last year a fluke?
Remember, it was his first year back, so don't be surprised if teams have learned how to defend him. But even with defensive coordinators having created schemes to defend against Vick, with the talent on their roster, anything short of a championship will be a disappointment.
The Eagles might simply be this good.
Although DeSean Jackson has yet to report to camp, I expect him to be on the field when the season begins. That would easily make the Eagles the most dangerous team in the league, and all signs pointing towards a Super Bowl championship.
A championship victory is something the Eagles have never accomplished in the Super Bowl era.
Maybe this is the year that it actually happens?
Or maybe not?
New England Patriots
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Signings: WR Chad Ochocinco, DT Albert Haynesworth
2010 Record: 14-2, Lost Divisional Playoffs
Not only is a picture worth a thousand words, it's also worth a Lombardi Trophy.