NFL free agency is one of the most vital times of the year for teams as they look to solidify holes in their roster prior to the draft in April. With plenty of big names being printed on new uniforms, let’s look to see who were the biggest winners and who was the biggest loser of the 2021 NFL free agency frenzy.
“Bring it On!” ~ No Name
The Washington Football Team (WFT) may be the only team in sports that does not have an actual name, but don’t let that dissuade you from seeing how real of a threat they’re becoming in the NFL. With a very strong free agency, Washington is emerging as a favorite to come out of the NFC East division ahead of the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, and Dallas Cowboys. Of the positions that were given the most significant jolt, few can compare to the strengthened wide receiver core after bringing in former Carolina Panther Curtis Samuel and former Tennessee Titan Adam Humphries. With Terry McLaurin as their No. 1 wideout, having Samuel on the outside opposite to him and Humphries in the slot gives Washington truly dangerous threats in the passing game. They also added depth at cornerback by bringing in former Cincinnati Bengal William Jackson III. To top it all off, the organization brought in grizzled veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to serve as a placeholder under center until they can find their franchise guy. The No-Name franchise is looking pretty good ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft after having one of the best performances in free agency.
Out with the Old, In with the New
If you were to ask ten football fans how they felt about the New England Patriots’ 7-9 record in the 2020 NFL season, eleven would have a smile on their face. After the 2021 free agency frenzy though, it’s unlikely any of those smiles were still shining when the Patriots spent the second-highest amount of guaranteed money during free agency in NFL history by spending $137.5 million in less than 24 hours (so much for “The Patriot Way”). In doing so, they acquired the top tight ends available, former Tennessee Titan Jonnu Smith and former L.A. Charger Hunter Henry, while also signing former Las Vegas Raiders WR Nelson Agholor to provide QB Cam Newton with more receiving weapons. On the other side of the ball, Bill Belichik signed linebackers Matt Judon and Kyle Van Noy to strengthen the front-seven while bringing back DT Lawrence Guy for added depth. The Patriots were also able to bring back their superstar center, David Andrews, but they were unable to keep LG Joe Thuney due to salary cap restrictions. To finish their list of noteworthy signings, the historic franchise brought back former Super Bowl hero RB James White. It is without question that the New England Patriots are the most improved NFL team after free agency and they’re alerting the rest of the league that they are out for blood.
Last, and for good reason, we have the Tennessee Titans as the least improved team after the bulk of the 2021 free agent signings. They went from being one of the most feared offenses in the NFL, to hardly having an offense at all. The Titans lost TE Jonnu Smith, WRs Corey Davis, and Adam Humphries, and had lost significant players on defense as well, losing cornerbacks Malcolm Butler and Adoree Jackson. Simply put, there is nobody in the NFL that fared worse than the Tennessee Titans during this offseason. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill now not only has nobody to throw the ball to, outside of A.J. Brown, but now he has to put the team on his back, as the Titan’s defense won’t be able to stop any respectable offense they face in the 2021 NFL season.