In addition to monitoring the progress of specific players during this wild free agent frenzy, we’re going to track the progress specific teams are making in the grand scheme. Here’s how we rank the league’s 32 teams one day into the free agency negotiating period:
1. Green Bay Packers: Defending champs have a young roster that should only get better.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers: I can’t see much changing in this offseason. They’ll start 2011 with Ben Roethlisberger.
3. New England Patriots: They were the best team in the league throughout the 2010 regular season.
4. Philadelpia Eagles: Unlike the teams surrounding them, they actually have some money to spend.
5. Baltimore Ravens: Ed Reed will be healthy from the get-go. Re-signing Marshal Yanda was a big move.
6. Atlanta Falcons: Another young roster. Easy to forget they went 13-3 last year.
7. New Orleans Saints: This could be a wild stretch for the Saints. They have a league-high 29 free agents.
8. Chicago Bears: With a healthy Jay Cutler against Green Bay, they might have been Super Bowl bound.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Over $50 million to spend on a roster that is already good enough to make a run.
10. St. Louis Rams: Quintin Mikell will help a young, improving defense. They’re the favorite in the NFC West.
11. New York Giants: Tom Coughlin is coaching for his job in 2011.
12. New York Jets: No money to spend this year. Still unsure about Mark Sanchez.
13. Kansas City Chiefs: A young team that has to establish some consistency. Lots of money to spend.
14. Dallas Cowboys: Need to improve the secondary, but they also don’t have money.
15. Indianapolis Colts: With that offensive line, Peyton Manning is eventually going to take some hits.
16. San Diego Chargers: They have a lot of players to take care of. They also have to stay healthy in 2011.
17. Detroit Lions: This might be the year they challenge for a wild-card spot.
18. Houston Texans: Have to add at least one cornerback.
19. Tennessee Titans: A potential Chris Johnson holdout is now their biggest concern.
20. Oakland Raiders: Not happy that they’re going to lose Nnamdi Asomugha, Michael Huff and Zach Miller.
21. Miami Dolphins: They have a quarterback problem. Kyle Orton? Kevin Kolb?
22. San Francisco 49ers: Speaking of teams with quarterback problems…
23. Jacksonville Jaguars: Paul Posluszny immediately upgrades the front seven.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: This will be a rebuilding year in Cincinnati, regardless of who’s at quarterback.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Tarvaris Jackson isn’t a massive step down from Matt Hasselbeck. They’re still bad.
26. Buffalo Bills: Second-worst point differential in the league last year. I don’t trust the front office.
27. Minnesota Vikings: Acquisition of Donovan McNabb actually hurts them on this list.
28. Cleveland Browns: Colt McCoy is at least a year away, especially with that offensive line.
29. Denver Broncos: With Elvis Dumervil back and Tim Tebow showing promise, there’s hope.
30. Arizona Cardinals: Kevin Kolb would be an improvement, but who wouldn’t?
31. Carolina Panthers: That was a lot of money for Charles Johnson. We’ll see if it pays off.
32. Washington Redskins: Mike Shanahan has failed. Not a lot of money to improve a very bad roster.