NFL Free Agency 2011: The 6 Teams That Were Surprisingly Cunning
This was perhaps the single craziest free agency period in NFL history. In basically two weeks, it seemed like the entire landscape of professional football was changed.
Some teams did great, other teams not so much. The team's on this list land on the more positive side of things as they all improved their teams with a good bit of cunning.
A couple of these teams are definitely among the favorites for a Super Bowl run, while the other half are just looking to improve and hopefully make the playoffs in 2011.
New York Jets: Bringing Back Antonio Cromartie
The Jets wanted Nnamdi Asomugha. They wanted him a whole lot, but that didn't work out for them.
So, after losing out on the sweepstakes for the top player on the market, the Jets then had to try and get back on good terms with Antonio Cromartie, the corner back that they were going to let go to make room for Asomugha.
They were able to bring things back, which I thought was pretty impressive because I'm sure Cromartie was not exactly a happy man with the way things were going down.
Houston Texans: Bringing in Johnathan Joseph
The Texans also fell out of the Nnamdi sweepstakes, but came away with possibly the second-best corner on the market in Johnathan Joseph.
The fact that they got Joseph, who is a very good corner, is enough to improve their defense right away. They also signed him to a five-year deal, which means that they have a player that they can build their secondary around.
They also got him at a cheaper price than they would have Nnamdi, so that makes this a very good move.
Minnesota Vikings: Signing Donovan McNabb and Getting Him a Bit of Help
The Vikings drafted Christian Ponder in the first round this year, but knew that they needed to bring in a veteran guy that could not only help bring Ponder along but also give them a better chance to win in the immediate future.
The Vikings were also able to restructure the deal that McNabb signed with the Washington Redskins, only having to pay him at the most $7.25 million.
If McNabb can get back some of the magic of his days as a Philadelphia Eagle, then the Vikings may really surprise some people.
The Vikings did try and replace Sidney Rice by bringing in Michael Jenkins. Don't take that the wrong way, Rice is a much, much better player than Jenkins. However, Jenkins is a solid receiver that can make some plays and has really improved his hands.
New England Patriots: The Haynesworth-Ohcocinco Experiment
Just a few years ago, Albert Haynesworth was considered one of the best defensive players in the league. The Patriots traded for him this offseason and got him for just a fifth-round pick in 2013.
Chad Ochocinco was one of the better wide receivers of the last decade. The Patriots traded for and just had to send a 2012 fifth-rounder and a 2013 sixth-rounder.
Both players have had issues off the field and aren't like they used to be, but that doesn't mean that they are completely done in this league.
Haynesworth can still move the offensive line around when he wants to, and Ochocinco still brings a good bit to the table. Both have the chance to shine once again for one of the top organizations in all of sports.
Atlanta Falcons: Ring Back Majority of Their Free Agents and Sign Ray Edwards
The Falcons have recently reached agreements with Brent Grimes and Jason Snelling to get the corner and running back, respectively, back into the Red and Black.
The Falcons were also able to sign Tyson Clabo to a five-year deal worth $25 million. Perhaps the best part of the deal was that, because of Clabo's willingness to sign for $5 million a year, the Falcons were able "squeeze in a Ray Edwards at $6Mil."
It was a, as John Clayton said, "Huge move."
Philadelphia Eagles: The "Dream Team"
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Vince Young, Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins, and Nnamdi Asomugha himself.
How did they do it? Only they know.
Babin and Asomugha were Pro Bowlers last year and Rodgers-Cromartie was one in 2009. Jenkins was also very important as the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl.
This group of players makes the Eagles one of the top favorites to win the Super Bowl this year.
It was a amazingly brilliant for the organization and they without question stole the Free Agency show.