The first wave of free agency is over — and it might have skipped all the way through to the third phase — with all the big money doled out and the big moves made.
There was quite a flurry there so it's a good time to take stock of what everyone has been up to, and how the landscape has shifted among the AFC contenders and the Patriots' brethren in the AFC East. And, oh yes, we take stock of the Patriots. We're going in descending DVOA order.
Away we go...
What I liked: Holy big defensive front, Batman. A year after the Ravens were not good at defending the run (19th DVOA), the Ravens went out and got the 6-5 Brockers and 6-7 Campbell to line up around the stout Brandon Williams at nose tackle. They should see a dramatic improvement there. And the biggest offseason win for the Ravens will always be that offensive coordinator Greg Roman didn't get a head coaching job and take his system – which has made Lamar Jackson, not the other way around — with him.
What I didn't like: Don't love the Ravens at LG and C. They could get away with it if Marshall Yanda didn't retire, but now they're weaker at all three spots. I really wonder if the Patriots got a whiff of the Ravens sniffing around Thuney (I'm told the Ravens had no interest) to basically replace Yanda (would have been another smart coup by GM Eric DeCosta) and that's why they suddenly slapped the franchise tag on him out of nowhere. Matthew Judon's tag is essentially the same at Thuney's and the Ravens aren't in love with paying Judon $15 million.
Are they better or worse?: Better. Pierce and Wormley will be missed and are good players, but the Ravens draft and develop, and DeCosta addressed his biggest weakness in the run defense. I love when a good team doesn't do much in free agency — continuity is a pillar of success in the NFL.
What I liked: