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Top players fly off the board in Day One spending spree

Brock Osweiler Getty Images

Going, going…almost gone.

Free agency opened Wednesday, and most of the marquee players who weren’t already committed to deals soon found their way into them. Defensive players generally went earlier and for money, but by the time the smoke began to clear on the first few hours of a spending frenzy, plenty of offensive linemen and skill position players had cashed in, too.

The surprise of the day was Brock Osweiler leaving a contract staredown with the Broncos to become the new quarterback of the Texans, who also signed running back Lamar Miller. Olivier Vernon started the day as the Dolphins’ transition tag player and ended it with a $52.5 million guarantee from the Giants. Wide receiver Marvin Jones leaving the Bengals wasn’t a surprise, but his destination, Detroit, probably was.

As of 9 p.m. ET Wednesday, only four of the top 25 on PFT’s Hot 100 Free Agent List didn’t have a rich new contract or a franchise tag. The four still unsigned were Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith (No. 14), Chargers safety Eric Weddle (No. 16), Bengals tackle Andre Smith (No. 18) and Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (No. 25).

By one count — and it was changing quickly, even well past regular business hours — only 43 of the top 100 were still on the board just a few hours into the free agent period. Add in the dozens of other signings and extensions of players who weren’t on the top 100 list and it’s fair to wonder how Twitter (or this site) didn’t explode.

Wednesday’s spending spree was one for the ages.

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30 Responses to “Top players fly off the board in Day One spending spree”
  1. burfictisabeast says: Mar 9, 2016 9:30 PM

    Denver is about to find out that life in the current NFL without a QB is no life at all. Look at the first twenty teams drafting this year. Besides Andrew Luck they all have QB issues or no QB at all. Kind of diminishes the value of all other positions really. Change the rules back to where they were and if you play football you sign a waiver. Maybe that fixes things before they make the game monotonous.

  2. jbaxt says: Mar 9, 2016 9:32 PM

    If Weddle’s in the top 100, FA’s suck this year. Or maybe the guy placing them does?

  3. j0esixpack says: Mar 9, 2016 9:33 PM

    Fitzpatrick has no negotiating power with the Jets

    Everyone knows that if the Jets get in a jam, you’ll see Roger Goodell once again assume the role of Jets GM and broker a deal by which a suddenly un-retired Super Bowl winning QB tries to bring that mojo to the Jets

    Two Mannings in NY. Goodell must be drooling at the prospect.

  4. kmdp4 says: Mar 9, 2016 9:36 PM

    Yes signing high priced FA’s on the first day of FA’s has worked so well in the past, I mean every team that does it wins the SB.

  5. haslamdrinkshisownpee says: Mar 9, 2016 9:36 PM

    The big winner is the Browns. I think they just won deshaun Watson in 2017.

  6. icebowler says: Mar 9, 2016 9:36 PM

    One for the ages?…only to be toped next year, and then the year after that, etc., etc.

  7. kmdp4 says: Mar 9, 2016 9:37 PM

    Denver had no QB last year.

  8. arwiv says: Mar 9, 2016 9:38 PM

    The Giants did the vast majority of the spending.

  9. steelcurtainn says: Mar 9, 2016 9:41 PM

    Weddle to the Steelers by tomorrow.

  10. tooz72 says: Mar 9, 2016 9:41 PM

    burfictisabeast says:
    Mar 9, 2016 9:30 PM
    Denver is about to find out that life in the current NFL without a QB is no life at all. Look at the first twenty teams drafting this year. Besides Andrew Luck they all have QB issues or no QB at all. Kind of diminishes the value of all other positions really. Change the rules back to where they were and if you play football you sign a waiver. Maybe that fixes things before they make the game monotonous.

    Raiders are set at QB at 14

  11. rbarrett96 says: Mar 9, 2016 9:42 PM

    I’ll enjoy watching the Giants blow up their team in three years like the Redskins do every year.

  12. iceracer2015 says: Mar 9, 2016 9:45 PM

    For all Texans fans: I really, really hope y’all did not just get Scott MItchell’d. That is a pretty sorry fanzone in which to live.

    — A Lions Fan

  13. arwiv says: Mar 9, 2016 9:48 PM

    rbarrett96 says:
    Mar 9, 2016 9:42 PM
    I’ll enjoy watching the Giants blow up their team in three years like the Redskins do every year.

    _________________________________________

    Theyve won 2 sb’s in the last decade and they have a future HOF QB under contract for 4 more years. You honestly cant be dumb enough to believe that the Giants dont have at least 1 more run in them before Eli retires. C’mon man.

  14. iammrbinky says: Mar 9, 2016 9:49 PM

    Happy to see the Dolphins finally were responsible. Well done. Pass that off season trophy to the Giants.

  15. aneaglesfan says: Mar 9, 2016 9:51 PM

    haslamdrinkshisownpee says:
    Mar 9, 2016 9:36 PM
    The big winner is the Browns. I think they just won deshaun Watson in 2017.
    =================================
    You are missing something IT’S CLEVELAND. The eagles are pulling a full out rebuild and its a tank year so the eagles can draft deshaun watson. Good luck with it being Cleveland.

  16. eoyguy says: Mar 9, 2016 9:52 PM

    Denver is about to find out that life in the current NFL without a QB is no life at all

    Did you miss/forget/ignore their entire 2015 season???

  17. bassplucker says: Mar 9, 2016 9:56 PM

    The Browns have just been brutalized this offseason. FA has claimed pretty much every one of their decent players outside of Joe Thomas yet the one player the need to part ways with most, remains. The only person I feel more sorry for than Thomas is whoever the poor QB is that they draft next month.

  18. justintuckrule says: Mar 9, 2016 10:22 PM

    Scoff all you want. Those players would have given us the 4 wins we blew at the gun. That’s playoffs.

    We’ll be fine.

  19. suckafree9rs415 says: Mar 9, 2016 10:37 PM

    Raiders will win no more than 8 guarantee.

  20. beerbratscheese says: Mar 9, 2016 10:59 PM

    I’m a Packers fan. Do I want my team to be more active in free agency? Yes! But I laugh hysterically at all these teams that overspend on day one.

  21. cavington says: Mar 9, 2016 11:20 PM

    Maybe Fitzpatrick to Denver. It wouldn’t surprise me at this point. Fitz trying to start for every team in the league.

  22. lukedunphysscienceproject says: Mar 9, 2016 11:51 PM

    burfictisabeast says:
    Mar 9, 2016 9:30 PM
    Denver is about to find out that life in the current NFL without a QB is no life at all.
    ===

    Except that they just won the Super Bowl with a crash test dummy at QB.

  23. number1hawkfan says: Mar 9, 2016 11:51 PM

    Name the last team that “won” the first day of free agency and then won anything else. Let’s just say if your favorite team is all over the news in the beginning of March it’s gonna be a long year.

  24. ncphinsfan says: Mar 10, 2016 12:15 AM

    Take it from the Dolphins and Eagles Fans… This FA spending spree does not work unless you are SB contenders missing one piece. I absolutely guarantee the majority of these names will be on the Cuts list in 2 years from now. To the Giants, Raiders and Titans- I say enjoy the Fools Gold.

  25. dohczeppelin says: Mar 10, 2016 12:17 AM

    Too bad the Bills are capped out. Mike Wallace would be a great fit for wr2. Fortunately we’ve drafted well the last couple years, because we’re going to have to have another great draft to plug the holes on defense.

  26. radrntn says: Mar 10, 2016 1:02 AM

    jbaxt says:
    Mar 9, 2016 9:32 PM
    If Weddle’s in the top 100, FA’s suck this year. Or maybe the guy placing them does?
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    you a little butt hurt or what. You must be a charger fan. Even as a raider fan i can give the guy props for being all pro, and to the pro bowl as many times as he has. Been to few games where I have seen first hand where he has laid the wood on of our guys. I hope we sign him!

    Go Raiders. Go Reggie!

  27. brewdogg says: Mar 10, 2016 1:20 AM

    For once I agree with the Packer fan…. This is ridiculous.

  28. shaggytoodle says: Mar 10, 2016 1:38 AM

    “Top Tier” FA’s tend to fly off the shelf every year… and like a Library book they are returned to that shelf before the “Due Date”

    Whether its Haynesworth, Wallace, Jennings, Revis (TB) Peppers (Chi) Asomugha, or D. Murray its so unlikely, that Top Tier free agents see the end of the deal with their new team to resign. Except for the extremely rare cases with Injury where a player can stay healthy like Brees or McFadden

    That is why I don’t wonder when a team like GB lays low early in FA, because if a player was THAT good thee original team wouldn’t let them become a FA in the first place.

  29. patsfan4lifesbchamps says: Mar 10, 2016 3:24 AM

    Denver absolutely had a QB. I should know, their QB outscored our QB in the AFCC game. Their QB had twice as many TDs as our QB.

  30. sdcharger123 says: Mar 10, 2016 3:47 AM

    I’m pretty stoked with the Chargers moves today. Filled needs with starting caliber players without breaking the bank. Dwight Lowery worries me though. He’s only had one season that wasn’t filled with injuries, and the last thing the Chargers need is another injury-prone player. Here’s hoping he isn’t Bob Sanders 2.0. Telesco just can’t seem to resist bringing in at least one ex-Colt per offseason.

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