NFL Free Agency 2011: Hard to Determine Winners and Losers

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NFL Free Agency 2011: Hard to Determine Winners and Losers
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On July 25, the 130-day NFL lockout officially ended and a 72-hour window opened for teams to negotiate contracts with their own free agents.

Some new deals were signed, some old ones were ripped up and players were released and still others were restructured in some way to make room for potential incoming free agents or to get teams back under the $120 million salary cap. 

Once that 72-hour window opened and closed, one of the most frenzied free agency periods in the history of sports ensued, and many high profile players changed uniforms for the upcoming 2011-12 season in the span of days. 

While some players landed exactly where they were expected to, others went to dark horse teams that weren't even mentioned as possible landing spots until the last minute. 

Some teams took a chance on aging veterans, hoping for one last strong season. Others banked on the untapped potential of a young player, betting they will break out with an expanded role on a new team. 

Many teams filled needs by bringing in players who fit a hole in their starting roster, while others bolstered positions that were already considered strengths by signing a solid backup. 

The road to a Super Bowl championship oftentimes starts with the construction of the roster, and this free agency period could well be looked back on as the start of something special once the season ends in early February. 

It is just as likely, however, that a free agent signing could go bust and that a team and its fans will look back on this time period as a big mistake. 

So, which teams got it right and which ones will look back on this crazy free agency period with the pangs of regret?

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