NFL Free-Agent Signings: Ranking 5 Best Signings Through Day Three

Vincent Frank@VincentFrankNFLCorrespondent IMarch 16, 2012

NFL Free-Agent Signings: Ranking 5 Best Signings Through Day Three

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    Some of the best free-agent signings might not be considered sexy. In fact, a downgrade at a certain position might mean better things for the future of a franchise, but I will get to that later.

    Good teams are built through the draft and supplemented in free agency. While it may seem like this sentiment is a broken record, it is something that few organizations throughout the NFL understand.

    A decent player that provides what a team is looking for might be a better free-agent signing than a player that receives all the press for tens of millions of dollars. 

    With all that taken into account, here are my top-five free-agent signings from the first three days of the NFL free agency period.

5. Jarret Johnson, LB, San Diego Chargers

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    Jarret Johnson has been an unheralded defensive player for the Baltimore Ravens over the course of the last eight seasons.

    His signing will not alter the San Diego Chargers' draft plans. They still need to get a pass-rushing outside linebacker opposite Antwan Barnes in their 3-4 scheme.

    What it will do is give them a player that has the ability to stuff the run and has a tremendous amount of experience playing in this type of scheme.

4. Steve Hutchinson, G, Tennessee Titans

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    You can't convince me that Peyton Manning had no impact in the Tennessee Titans' decision to sign Steve Hutchinson yesterday.

    Despite not being anywhere near the player he was five seasons ago, the guard provides Tennessee with an immediate upgrade along the interior of their offensive line.

    He will do wonders as a run blocker for Chris Johnson, while protecting the hashes for whoever is behind center in Tennessee next year.

    A great under-the-radar signing.

3. Randy Moss, WR, San Francisco 49ers

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    This is the type of contract that the San Francisco 49ers specialized in last offseason, and they are right back at it again in 2012.

    Randy Moss, who still looks like he has some tread left in his tires, signed a non-guaranteed one-year contract with the 49ers prior to the start of free agency on Monday.

    He provides San Francisco with the deep threat that they were missing last season and promises to open up an offense that was slowed considerably without a weapon on the outside.

    Even if Moss is half the player he was in 2009, he is a great value of San Francisco. 

2. Ben Grubbs, G, New Orleans Saints

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    This is a tricky signing to evaluate. Ben Grubbs isn't in the same league as Carl Nicks, that much is obvious.

    So how can a perceived downgrade at a position be considered a good signing?

    Nicks signed a five-year contract worth nearly $50 million with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On the other hand, Grubbs signed a contract with the New Orleans Saints worth $36 million over the same amount of years.

    This saved the Saints nearly $3 million a season moving forward—a huge bonus for a team that is without a first-round pick and needs to make more free-agent moves in the near future. 

    Grubbs is also one of the best run-blocking guards in the entire league.

1. Mario Williams, DE, Buffalo Bills

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    Despite the large sum of money the Buffalo Bills threw at Mario Williams, this has to be considered the best free-agent signing of the first three days.

    Sometimes, you just have to bite the proverbial bullet and bring in a guy that is going to cost you a lot of cash.

    In doing so, the Buffalo Bills immediately upgraded a poor defensive unit. This is a team that would have contended for a playoff spot in 2011 if they had even a mediocre defense.

    Williams is going to wreak havoc against opposing offenses, making the jobs of Tom Brady and Mark Sanchez that much more difficult.