2020 NFL Free Agency Grades: Dolphins get a ‘B+’ for adding Byron Jones, Titans a ‘B’ for Ryan Tannehill deal


Guys haven’t even signed contracts, and already NFL teams are throwing around money like they print it.

Welcome to NFL Free Agency, 2020.

The period officially begins on Wednesday, but deals were already getting done on Sunday when teams could still negotiate with their own players. Once the legal tampering period opened on Monday, more deals started to get reported.

Expect a lot of outrageous deals this week, including big money going to a lot of good players, not great ones.

Here are my grades for this week’s moves:

Dolphins add CB Byron Jones

Yes, they will pay him a lot of money, but they locked down a top corner to go with Xavien Howard. That’s smart. Jones brings the versatility Brian Flores likes on the back end. This was a smart signing.

Grade: B+  

Giants add CB James Bradberry

The Giants needed help on the corner, so they get a player in Bradberry who has developed into a top cover player. The Giants are giving the former Panther a reported $15 million a year, which is steep, but they had to land a top corner.

Grade: B

Ryan Tannehill is staying with the Titans, so what does that mean for Tom Brady and other free agents? Will Brinson and the Pick Six Podcast Superfriends break it all down; listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness fired into your eardrums.

Ravens add DT Michael Brockers

Brockers is a nice run player, but he won’t give much in terms of pass rush. Even so, landing the ex-Ram and Calais Campbell to go with Brandon Williams gives the Ravens a nice big, power group among their down players. 

Grade: C

Bears add TE Jimmy Graham

Can Graham play anymore? Does he have much left? The Bears had injury issues last season at tight end, but I just don’t think Graham is the answer, especially not for the reported $8 million a year. 

Grade: D

Dolphins add DE Shaq Lawson 

Lawson is coming off his best season when he had 6.5 sacks for the Bills. He’s not an elite edge rusher, but he’s a good, sound defensive end who can hold up against the run.

Grade: B-

Raiders add LB Nick Kwiatkoski

This is s sneaky-good signing that won’t get a lot of attention. Kwiatkoski played well last season for the Bears when Danny Trevathan went down and the Raiders have a major need in the middle of their defense.

Grade: A 

Browns add T Jack Conklin

I love this signing by the Browns. Their tackles were a major issue last season, impacting the offense in a big way. Conklin was good for the Titans last year and will be a major upgrade at right tackle.

Grade: A

Lions add T Halapoulivaati Vatai

The Lions gave him a five-year, $50-million deal, and I like this move. The former Eagle is a young rising player. Those are the players you should target in free agency.

Grade: B+

Packers add T Rick Wagner

This one is perplexing since the Packers could have brought back Bryan Bulaga. Wagner isn’t an upgrade, although the ex-Lion is younger. But he didn’t cost that much on a two-year, $11-million deal.

Grade: C

Broncos add OL Graham Glasgow

The Broncos had some issues last season inside, and Glasgow, a former Lion, is an upgrade. But is he worth the money they paid him? Probably not, but he will help inside.

Grade: C+ 

Buccaneers re-sign DE Jason Pierre-Paul 

This was a move the Bucs planned to make. They didn’t want to let Pierre-Paul get out and they did a nice job signing him to a two-year deal. After his back injury forced him to miss the first six games last season, he had 8.5 sacks in 10 games and was a great locker-room guy.

Grade: B+

Falcons land TE Austin Hooper

Hooper was the best tight end on the market with Hunter Henry tagged by the Chargers, so he was a wanted commodity, which is why his reported $11 million deal is a little bloated. But new Browns coach Kevin Stefanski will use a lot of double-tight formations, so it fits.

Grade: B+

Dolphins add OL Ereck Flowers

While Flowers played better at guard last year, it’s still a big deal to give him $10 million a year. I get the Dolphins need help, and he did do some good things at guard last year, but this is a strange one.

 Grade: C-

49ers re-sign DE Arik Armstead

The pass rush was the key to the San Francisco Super Bowl run last season and Armstead had a career-high 10 sacks. It makes sense to keep him, but is he an elite down player. He’s good, but he’s being paid like he’s elite.

Grade: B-

Titans re-sign QB Ryan Tannehill

Tannehill did some good things last year when he came off the bench in place of Marcus Mariota, but is he really worth $30 million per year? He did throw for under 100 yards in two of his three playoff games. The price seems high for me. Why not tag him?

Grade: B

Colts re-sign OT Anthony Castonzo

Castonzo was considering retiring, but instead gets a two-year deal from the Colts for a reported $16.5 million per year. That’s pricey, but Castonzo is a solid player who can still play at a high level.

Grade: B-

Texans re-sign CB Bradley Roby

The Texans had to do something at corner and bringing back Roby after signing him to a one-year deal last year was a good move. The three-year deal is decent at an average of $12 million for a guy who played well last season, despite missing six games.

Grade: B+





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