Turn that scowl upside down, Jay Cutler. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis /Getty Images)
UPDATE: This post is already basically obsolete. Use it to discuss your winners and losers.
Is it early for this kind of list? Yes.
The Atlanta Falcons don't make either list thanks to their adherence to the status quo. On Tuesday, they brought back Harry Douglas (yay), Vance Walker (also yay) and Chris Redman (meh). Until they start fanning out, I'm reluctant to give them any sort of a real grade. Check back in a few weeks.
On to the short lists of winners and losers after the first 12 hours or so of free agency.
- The Buccaneers. They signed arguably the best free agent wide receiver in the market in Vincent Jackson, instantly upgrading the receiving corps for Josh Freeman. They're also in on Carl Nicks and, if his price comes down, will still probably make a run at Curtis Lofton. They have a chance to be two or three wins better in 2012 than they were in 2011.
- The Bills. They're being taken seriously as a landing spot for Mario Williams and Robert Meachem. If they get both, they're huge winners. As one of the most maligned franchises in sports, it's amazing they're even in the conversation.
- The Bears. They've identified their weaknesses and strengths and are moving to correct what's wrong and keep what's right. Cornerback Tim Jennings got a nice little deal, the Bears are aggressively targeting pass rushers, they traded a couple of mid-round picks for Brandon Marshall and grabbed Jason Campbell to rectify the league's worst backup situation. The new front office is much savvier than the old one.
- The 49ers. Getting Randy Moss is a minor win, yes, but they had mostly useless wide receivers in 2011 and now have someone to take the pressure off Vernon Davis.
- Is there a franchise less committed to bringing up its own players than the Redskins? Last year they drafted multiple wide receivers, including the promising Leonard Hankerson, and they decided to throw that all in the garbage by signing Pierre Garcon, Josh Morgan and Eddie Royal for guaranteed millions. I realize they wanted to upgrade the receiving corps for Robert Griffin III, but that was an incredible amount of money to invest in a receiving corps that isn't guaranteed to be top-flight.
- The Saints. Just because I don't like them.