Because few actually abide by the “legal tampering period” rules, the meatiest portion of free agency can strike at any time. For those on the east coast, that meant waking up to a flurry of major deals on Tuesday morning in addition to four inches of snow. Case Keenum, Sammy Watkins and Andrew Norwell were off the market before some West Coast general managers went to bed. While there are still some remaining tidbits, like how the Steelers will resolve their near future with Le’Veon Bell and where remaining players like A.J. McCarron land, the opening bell was an early climax.
Here are the biggest acquisitions thus far and how we think they graded out (in reverse-chronological order):
One of Muhammad Wilkerson’s goals in free agency was to get out of town—growing up a few minutes from the Jets’ facility was, eventually, burdensome. Green Bay seems to represent the best of all scenarios that he wanted in a franchise. An organization that will protect him, a defensive coordinator that knows how to best utilize him and a defensive line that will clear his way to the quarterback. The 28-year-old former first-round pick is a boom-or-bust signing. He seemed increasingly less interested or motivated after his only Pro Bowl appearance in 2015, but still possesses a sturdy frame