The 2019 NFL free-agency period contains all sorts of highlights — or is it lowlights for some teams? — spanning trades for quarterbacks (Ryan Tannehill), the movement of veteran safeties (Earl Thomas), the addition of top-tier receivers (Antonio Brown) and much more.

NFL Nation rates each team in its free-agent efforts as well as its most impactful move.

Start with the teams that scored a perfect rating or click the corresponding logo to jump ahead to your team:

Near perfection

Most impactful move: The Bills made former Chiefs center Mitch Morse the highest paid in the NFL at his position, signing him to a four-year deal that averages $11.1 million per season. He is expected to anchor an offensive line that could have as many as four new starters in 2019 under new O-line coach Bobby Johnson. Buffalo is hoping its offensive line can protect quarterback Josh Allen better in his second season while paving the way for a revival of running back LeSean McCoy‘s career. — Mike Rodak

Key additions: Mitch Morse, center; John Brown, wide receiver; Cole Beasley, wide receiver

Key subtractions: John Miller, guard

Most impactful move: Carolina signing arguably the best available center in Matt Paradis to replace retired Pro Bowler Ryan Kalil was big. Paradis has the experience to replace Kalil’s leadership and is highly regarded in pass protection. Both are key for quarterback Cam Newton to be effective. With limited salary-cap space, general manager Marty Hurney made the most of his budget in getting Paradis, re-signing tackle Daryl Williams and signing an edge rusher in Bruce Irvin. — David Newton

Key additions: Matt Paradis, center; Bruce Irvin, defensive end/outside linebacker; Daryl Williams, offensive tackle

Key subtractions: Matt Kalil, left tackle; Thomas Davis, outside linebacker; Devin Funchess, wide receiver

Most impactful move: It would not be fair to assess the Browns’ moves without including the blockbuster trade that changed the nature of the team and the AFC North. The acquisition of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was a dynamic move to acquire a dynamic player — and to help quarterback Baker Mayfield. Beckham joins an offense that also includes his good friend Jarvis Landry at receiver, tight end David Njoku and running backs Nick Chubb, Duke Johnson and (after his eight-game suspension ends) Kareem Hunt. It’s an offense that should have the Browns contending to win the division and advance in the playoffs. — Pat McManamon

Key additions: Odell Beckham Jr., wide receiver; Sheldon Richardson, defensive tackle; Olivier Vernon, defensive end

Key subtractions: Tyrod Taylor, quarterback; Breshad Perriman, wide receiver; Briean Boddy-Calhoun, cornerback

Most impactful move: It was two moves, actually, that happened within minutes of each other. By signing Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith on the same morning early in free agency, the Packers revamped their outside pass rush. They essentially replaced aging stars Clay Matthews and Nick Perry with a pair of reliable 26-year-old players who may have their best football in front of them. While Matthews and Perry have battled injuries, the Smiths have a track record of reliability. It should give defensive coordinator Mike Pettine more flexibility with his defensive calls. — Rob Demovsky

Key additions: Za’Darius Smith, outside linebacker; Preston Smith, outside linebacker; Adrian Amos, safety

Key subtractions: Clay Matthews, outside linebacker; Randall Cobb, wide receiver; Bashaud Breeland, cornerback

Most impactful move: For the Jaguars to return to the postseason, they needed to make a change at quarterback, and signing Nick Foles was the move they absolutely had to make. Foles might not be an elite quarterback, but his consistency will make the offense significantly better. The Jaguars never knew what they were getting each week with Blake Bortles, and the offense was borderline nonfunctional when he was bad. Foles was the only major free agent the Jaguars signed, but that alone made free agency a home run. — Michael DiRocco

Key additions: Nick Foles, quarterback; Chris Conley, wide receiver; Geoff Swaim, tight end

Key subtractions: Malik Jackson, defensive tackle; Tashaun Gipson, safety; Donte Moncrief, wide receiver

Most impactful move: Running back Le’Veon Bell was a home run signing because he can be a legitimate game-changer on offense, and the Jets haven’t had one of those since 2015 (wide receiver Brandon Marshall). His dual-threat ability should make things easier for quarterback Sam Darnold. Bell’s price was big ($13.1 million average per year), but not crazy big. The “near perfection” grade is based on a best-case scenario. — Rich Cimini

Key additions: Le’Veon Bell, running back; C.J. Mosley, middle linebacker; Jamison Crowder, wide receiver; Kelechi Osemele, left guard

Key subtractions: Jason Myers, place-kicker; Andre Roberts, kick returner/wide receiver; Buster Skrine, cornerback

Most impactful move: Trading for and giving up only third- and fifth-round draft picks for an All-Pro receiver. Sure, Sticky Bun/Mr. Big Chest comes with some baggage from his unseemly exit from Pittsburgh, but he provides a consistent deep threat for the Raiders that should only help quarterback Derek Carr. Brown is the playmaker coach and his staff have been waiting for, and Brown, on his best behavior in this honeymoon period, already has started working out with Carr. — Paul Gutierrez

Key additions: , wide receiver; Trent Brown, offensive tackle; Vontaze Burfict, linebacker; Lamarcus Joyner, free safety

Key subtractions: Jared Cook, tight end; Kelechi Osemele, left guard; Jon Feliciano, offensive lineman


Most impactful move: Signing Robert Alford fills a significant void opposite Patrick Peterson at cornerback, which has been a position of concern for the past few seasons. Alford stops a carousel of corners since Jerraud Powers retired almost two years ago, at least for the time being. While Alford might not end up being the long-term answer at the position, he will provide the Cardinals a solution for this season and potentially in 2020. — Josh Weinfuss

Key additions: Robert Alford, cornerback; Terrell Suggs, outside linebacker; Jordan Hicks, inside linebacker

Key subtractions: Deone Bucannon, inside linebacker; Markus Golden, outside linebacker

Most impactful move: James Carpenter, the 6-foot-5, 321-pound veteran offensive guard who is coming off of shoulder surgery, is known to be “tough as nails” and brings 97 games of starting experience to the Falcons’ offensive line. Carpenter said in the past he prefers a gap scheme over a zone scheme, and the Falcons could mix it up under first-year offensive coordinator and run more power with Carpenter and fellow newcomer Jamon Brown. Carpenter will be an instant upgrade at left guard over last year’s starter, Wes Schweitzer. The Falcons needed to upgrade the line to better protect quarterback Matt Ryan and fare better in short-yardage situations. — Vaughn McClure

Key additions: James Carpenter, offensive guard; Jamon Brown, offensive guard; Luke Stocker, tight end/fullback

Key subtractions: Matt Bryant, place-kicker; Tevin Coleman, running back; Bruce Irvin, defensive end

Most impactful move: The arrival of safety Earl Thomas gives Baltimore its best ball hawk since soon-to-be Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed left after the 2012 Super Bowl season. Thomas, a six-time Pro Bowl defender, has drawn comparisons to Reed throughout his career because of his great range. Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta emphasized the need for getting playmakers, and Thomas’ 28 interceptions rank third in the NFL since he entered the league in 2010. — Jamison Hensley

Key additions: Earl Thomas, free safety; Mark Ingram, running back; Justin Bethel, special teams/cornerback

Key subtractions: C.J. Mosley, middle linebacker; Terrell Suggs, outside linebacker; Za’Darius Smith, outside linebacker

Most impactful move: Signing safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to a reasonable contract — one year, $3.5 million — to replace the departed Adrian Amos is a nice recovery. Amos was guaranteed $12 million to sign and will get $20 million from the Packers over the next two seasons. Clinton-Dix has been a Pro Bowl player, and he has the chance to be a much cheaper playmaking safety. — Kevin Seifert

Key additions: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, safety; Cordarrelle Patterson, wide receiver; Buster Skrine, cornerback

Key subtractions: Adrian Amos, safety; Bryce Callahan, cornerback

Most impactful move: After losing slot receiver Cole Beasley to the Buffalo Bills, the Cowboys made a nice recovery in adding Randall Cobb to fulfill some of that production at a lower cost. Cobb has been injured in recent years, but if he can remain healthy, then he has a chance to be a vital part of the offense for quarterback Dak Prescott. Nobody caught more passes from Prescott then Beasley in three seasons. If Cobb can be as quarterback-friendly and have more flexibility to play outside, the Cowboys’ offense could be more explosive because it will allow them to move Amari Cooper around. — Todd Archer

Key additions: Jason Witten, tight end; Randall Cobb, wide receiver; George Iloka, safety

Key subtractions: Cole Beasley, wide receiver; Geoff Swaim, tight end; Damien Wilson, linebacker

Most impactful move: When you make a guy the league’s highest-paid player at his position, as the Broncos did with right tackle Ja’Wuan James (four years, $51 million), it’s a clear message about how much you need the player and how much you think of his potential. The Broncos have to be right about James, 26, who will need to stay healthy. This is a position the Broncos have tried to fill for years. — Jeff Legwold

Key additions: Ja’Wuan James, offensive tackle; Kareem Jackson, cornerback/safety; Bryce Callahan, cornerback

Key subtractions: Brandon Marshall, linebacker; Jared Veldheer, offensive tackle; Bradley Roby, cornerback

Most impactful move: The Lions have needed consistent pass-rush help for the past few seasons, even with Ezekiel Ansah on the roster. With Ansah a free agent, Detroit brought in Trey Flowers, a player who knows coach Matt Patricia’s system well. Plus, Patricia will have a plan for how to use Flowers since he has done it before. Why this — and Detroit’s other moves — isn’t considered near perfection is because of the cost involved. The Lions gave $56 million guaranteed to a player who has never had a double-digit sack season. — Michael Rothstein

Key additions: Trey Flowers, defensive end; Justin Coleman, cornerback; Jesse James, tight end

Key subtractions: Ezekiel Ansah, defensive end; Glover Quin, safety; Nevin Lawson, cornerback, T.J. Lang, right guard

Most impactful move: Colts general manager Chris Ballard waited until the second wave of free agency before addressing a significant pass-rush need by signing former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston to a two-year, $24 million contract. Houston, who will transition to defensive end with the Colts, has 78.5 sacks in his pro career. Houston’s experience and ability to get to the quarterback will help the Colts’ young but promising group of pass-rushers. — Mike Wells

Key additions: Devin Funchess, wide receiver; Justin Houston, defensive end

Key subtractions: None

Most impactful move: Safety Tyrann Mathieu will be key to making the move to a 4-3 base defense work. But the Chiefs traded one of their top pass-rushers in Dee Ford after his best season and when he should be heading into the prime of his career. The Chiefs had doubts about Ford’s ability to play in the new scheme, but will they be able to replace his 13 sacks? — Adam Teicher

Key additions: Tyrann Mathieu, safety; Carlos Hyde, running back; Bashaud Breeland, cornerback

Key subtractions: Eric Berry, safety; , linebacker; Justin Houston, linebacker

Most impactful move: Although he’s 36 years old, the Chargers believe linebacker has productive snaps in his future — signing him to a two-year, $10.5 million deal that includes $5.25 million in guaranteed money. The Chargers penciled in Davis as the starting weakside linebacker. He’ll be counted on to help improve the Chargers’ leaky run defense, along with adding a veteran voice to a young but talented linebackers group that includes Denzel Perryman, Jatavis Brown and Kyzir White. — Eric Williams

Key additions: , linebacker; Tyrod Taylor, quarterback

Key subtractions: Tyrell Williams, wide receiver; Darius Philon, defensive tackle; Jason Verrett, cornerback

Most impactful move: The Rams did not use the franchise tag on linebacker Dante Fowler, who started 11 games (including the playoffs) after he was acquired at the trade deadline, and it appeared the fourth-year pro would test the market as an unrestricted free agent. But the Rams negotiated a one-year, prove-it deal worth up to $12 million with the pass-rusher, keeping his price from likely going up in free agency and keeping a key playmaker in defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ 3-4 scheme. — Lindsey Thiry

Key additions: Eric Weddle, safety; Clay Matthews, linebacker

Key subtractions: Rodger Saffold, guard; John Sullivan, center; Ndamukong Suh, defensive tackle

Most impactful move: Veteran cornerback Jason McCourty made one of the key plays in Super Bowl LIII by batting away a would-be touchdown pass in the end zone. McCourty’s return on a two-year deal with a base value of $10 million (it can increase to $11 million) bolsters what is arguably the deepest position group on the team with Stephon Gilmore, McCourty, J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones, Duke Dawson and Keion Crossen. — Mike Reiss

Key additions: Phillip Dorsett, wide receiver; Mike Pennel, defensive tackle; John Simon, outside linebacker

Key subtractions: Trent Brown, offensive tackle; Trey Flowers, defensive end; Cordarrelle Patterson, wide receiver

Most impactful move: Signing Jared Cook (finally). It took a couple of weeks to finalize, but adding Cook on Tuesday arguably filled the Saints’ most glaring need. They badly needed another reliable pass-catcher to flank receiver Michael Thomas and running back Alvin Kamara. Last season, tight end Benjamin Watson ranked third on the team with 35 catches — and Watson has since retired. Cook turns 32 next week, but he is coming off the best season of his career and his first Pro Bowl appearance. — Mike Triplett

Key additions: Jared Cook, tight end; Malcom Brown, defensive tackle; Latavius Murray, running back; Nick Easton, center/guard

Key subtractions: Max Unger, center (retired); Mark Ingram, running back; Alex Okafor, defensive end

Most impactful move: Signing corner Steven Nelson to a three-year, $25.5 million deal gives the Steelers a starter on the outside opposite Joe Haden and sets a tone of aggressiveness for an oft-conservative franchise. The Steelers had the salary-cap space to make this move because it decided not to tag running back Le’Veon Bell for a third season. — Jeremy Fowler

Key additions: Steven Nelson, cornerback; Donte Moncrief, wide receiver; Mark Barron, linebacker

Key subtractions: Le’Veon Bell, running back; , wide receiver; Jesse James, tight end; L.J. Fort, linebacker

Most impactful move: The Niners have been desperate for a dynamic edge rusher since Aldon Smith’s departure in 2014, and they believe they found it by trading for and signing defensive end . It took a 2020 second-round pick and a lucrative contract to make it happen, which is a big bet on a player who has one dominant season and a history of back issues on his résumé. Nonetheless, it was a risk worth taking given Ford’s ability to make game-altering plays. Last season, he led the NFL in turnovers forced by pressure with 10, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. — Nick Wagoner

Key additions: , defensive end; Kwon Alexander, linebacker; Tevin Coleman, running back; Jason Verrett, cornerback

Key subtractions: Cassius Marsh, defensive end

Most impactful move: Guard Rodger Saffold instantly upgrades the Titans’ offensive line and provides a player who fits the physical mindset that coach Mike Vrabel desires. Teaming up on the left side with tackle Taylor Lewan should bode well for running back Derrick Henry, who seems to get his best results when running to the left side. — Turron Davenport

Key additions: Rodger Saffold, left guard; Adam Humphries, wide receiver; Ryan Tannehill, quarterback

Key subtractions: Derrick Morgan, edge rusher; Quinton Spain, left guard; Johnathan Cyprien, safety

Most impactful move: The Redskins have long needed a safety who can be a major contributor, and Landon Collins will provide a major boost to Washington’s run defense. He’s an excellent tackler and will be a pivotal player in the meeting room, something else the team needs in the secondary. Washington must use him properly in coverage, which wasn’t his strength in , but he does have skills that help in various coverages, too. — John Keim

Key additions: Landon Collins, safety; Ereck Flowers, guard; Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, cornerback

Key subtractions: Preston Smith, linebacker; Jamison Crowder, wide receiver; Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, safety

Below average

Most impactful move: Two moves resonated for the Bengals — releasing Vontaze Burfict and re-signing Bobby Hart. The Bengals are hitching their wagon to the right tackle for at least another year in a move that did not go over well with fans. The O-line struggled at times last season and the right side alone combined for 25 penalties (Hart had a team-leading 14). Meanwhile, Cincinnati parted ways with Burfict despite signing him to an extension in 2017, signaling it is finally ready to move on after the linebacker unit as a whole struggled in 2018. — Katherine Terrell

Key additions: John Miller, guard; B.W. Webb, cornerback; Kerry Wynn, defensive line

Key subtractions: Vontaze Burfict, linebacker; Tyler Kroft, tight end

Most impactful move: Even with good seasons from Tyrann Mathieu, Kareem Jackson and rookie Justin Reid, the Texans allowed an average of 260 passing yards per game, which ranked 28th in the NFL in 2018. Safety Tashaun Gipson will replace Mathieu, who signed a three-year deal with the Chiefs, and will play alongside Reid, who impressed last season. The Texans hope Gipson will be especially effective against opposing tight ends. Last season, Gipson held Rob Gronkowski to two catches for 15 yards on four targets. For comparison, against the Texans in 2018, the former Patriots tight end had seven receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown on eight targets. — Sarah Barshop

Key additions: Tashaun Gipson, safety; Bradley Roby, cornerback; AJ McCarron, quarterback

Key subtractions: Tyrann Mathieu, safety; Kareem Jackson, cornerback/safety

Most impactful move: Trading Ryan Tannehill to the Titans and signing Ryan Fitzpatrick starts a new era for the Dolphins at quarterback. Tannehill has been the Dolphins’ starter since 2012, and his departure means Miami will be searching for a franchise quarterback in the NFL draft (be it in 2019 or in 2020). Fitzpatrick will serve as a veteran stopgap for a rebuilding team. — Cameron Wolfe

Key additions: Ryan Fitzpatrick, quarterback; Eric Rowe, cornerback; Dwayne Allen, tight end

Key subtractions: Ryan Tannehill, quarterback; Ja’Wuan James, RT; Cameron Wake, DE

Most impactful move: Consider it strange that the Giants traded a 26-year-old for assets that likely will reap benefits down the road while signing a soon-to-be 31-year-old at the same position for substantial money ($23 million guaranteed). But Golden Tate still has a couple of good years left, and he brings a skill set that should work well in coach Pat Shurmur’s offense. — Jordan Raanan

Key additions: Golden Tate, wide receiver; Jabrill Peppers, safety; Kevin Zeitler, guard

Key subtractions: Odell Beckham Jr., wide receiver; Landon Collins, safety; Olivier Vernon, outside linebacker

Most impactful move: The Bucs re-signed left tackle Donovan Smith, let linebacker Kwon Alexander walk and traded wide receiver DeSean Jackson to the Philadelphia Eagles. But the biggest “move” the Bucs made was one they didn’t actually make — rather than freeing up $13 million in salary-cap space by cutting or trading 31-year-old defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, they chose to stay put for the time being. Coach Bruce Arians was noncommittal about McCoy at the NFL owners meetings, but sources told the Bucs would entertain a “wow” offer for him. Keeping McCoy during free agency, though, limited the Bucs’ ability to bring in impact playmakers. — Jenna Laine

Key additions: Shaquil Barrett, outside linebacker; Deone Bucannon, inside linebacker; Breshad Perriman, wide receiver

Key subtractions: Kwon Alexander, inside linebacker; Adam Humphries, slot receiver; Ryan Fitzpatrick, backup quarterback


Most impactful move: It’s difficult to judge whether the Vikings prioritizing the use of their very limited salary-cap space by keeping Anthony Barr and Everson Griffen over going after one of the top-tier offensive linemen was the right choice until their impact can be critiqued this season. Barr is a staple in coach Mike Zimmer’s defense, and Griffen is one of the NFL’s top pass-rushers. But it still feels like Minnesota missed the mark by failing to address the O-line at the start of the new league year. The fact Josh Kline was the sole addition to the interior of the line feels problematic, especially after the Vikings saw the departures of Nick Easton, Tom Compton and Mike Remmers. — Courtney Cronin

Key additions: Anthony Barr, linebacker; Josh Kline, right guard; Dan Bailey, kicker

Key subtractions: Sheldon Richardson, defensive tackle; Latavius Murray, running back; Nick Easton, left guard

Most impactful move: The trade acquisition of wide receiver DeSean Jackson gives coach Doug Pederson the exact type of deep threat his offense needs. Quarterback Carson Wentz‘s long-ball numbers are about to skyrocket now that he is partnered up with one of the best downfield receivers in NFL history. — Tim McManus

Key additions: DeSean Jackson, wide receiver; Malik Jackson, defensive tackle; Vinny Curry, defensive end

Key subtractions: Jordan Hicks, linebacker; Nick Foles, quarterback

Most impactful move: Losing safety Earl Thomas, even though it was also the most predictable move. The Seahawks kept a piece of their defensive core together by re-signing K.J. Wright, but Thomas’ departure leaves them without their most experienced defender and an All-Pro eraser on the back end. That the Seahawks didn’t make one last effort to re-sign Thomas shows how content they were to move on and get a likely third-round compensatory pick in 2020. But the loss of Thomas increases the need to restock with playmakers. — Brady Henderson

Key additions: Mike Iupati, left guard; Jason Myers, place-kicker

Key subtractions: Earl Thomas, free safety; Justin Coleman, cornerback; J.R. Sweezy, left guard


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