NFL: Five players who won in free agency

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With the free agency period winding down as almost all the big deals have been done lets take a look at five of the players whose situation improved the most.....

Darren McFadden

It is likely that the Cowboys will make drafting a running back somewhat of a priority. Even so there is no disguising the fact that Darren McFadden, that's right Darren McFadden has won big in free agency.

McFadden has looked anemic at best in recent seasons finishing last season with just 534 total rushing yards and demonstrating on the way all the tackle breaking ability of a hug. What is his reward for such play? He moves from the Raiders, one of the worst teams in the NFL, to a Dallas Cowboys offense that last season was dominant.

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Jerry Jones and co are clearly hoping that it was the offensive line that allowed DeMarco Murray to play like he did last year and that consequently any half-alive running back, in this case McFadden, will clock up similar numbers.

It is a huge gamble. Whether is works or not though there is disguising the fact that Christmas came about nine months to early for one running back.

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Matt Cassel

Cassel has gone from the Minnesota Vikings where he was guaranteed to be the backup to last year's second round pick Teddy Bridgewater to Buffalo where EJ Manuel is all that stands between him and a starting spot.

Cassel is a far superior quarterback to EJ Manuel and given that the Bills don't have a first round pick this superior talent will be enough to earn him the starting spot come the autumn.

Not only has Cassel managed to land a spot as a starting QB but he couldn't be in a more favorable position. The Bills offense has some pretty tasty playmakers. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins will be looking to kick on from his encouraging rookie year. Tight End Charles Clay will be looking to show he is worth all that cash he is being paid and best of all Cassel will have running back LeSean McCoy lining up next to him.

With that array of talent at his disposal Cassel just needs to not be disastrous and the offense will
move the ball.

Russell Wilson and Blake Bortles

A bit of a cheat here putting in two players but both these quarterbacks are winners for the same reason there teams have spent big to get them a stud tight end.

The circumstances of course aren't exactly the same the Seahawks see Jimmy Graham as the final piece of the puzzle that will take back to Superbowl success whilst the Jaguars simply see Julius Thomas as someone who can make the Jaguars offense relevant.

In both cases though it is clear that the addition of stud tight end to the roster means that Bortles and Wilson have both won big in free agency.

Mark Ingram

Reading the tea leaves of free agency it looks like the Saints are going to lean heavily on the run in the upcoming season. Star tight end Jimmy Graham has been traded away to the Seahawks and in return comes center Max Unger an offensive lineman with strong run blocking abilities. On top of this wide receivers Pierre Thomas and Kenny Stills have both also excited.

Add these moves together with the increasing age of Drew Brees and it seems highly likely that the Saints are going to run the ball a lot more. Ingram has been kept on the roster by the Saints on a, not inconsiderable, 4 year $16 million contract and even with the signing of CJ Spiller looks set to be the number one running back in a run heavy scheme.

Andre Johnson

This is a simple one. Andre Johnson has gone from a Texans offense that has never been able to make the most of his talents to a Colts offense that has Andrew Luck at quarterback.

After playing with Ryan Fitzpatrick behind center last season the thought of having Andrew Luck throwing him the ball this season must be a welcome change of pace. Expect to see Johnson have a huge year.

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Houston Texans
Andrew Luck
Dallas Cowboys
New Orleans Saints
Indianapolis Colts
Oakland Raiders
Seattle Seahawks
Drew Brees
Buffalo Bills
Jacksonville Jaguars
Minnesota Vikings

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