Opening day of the NFL’s free-agent market

The Dolphins got two declining players and move down in the draft in a Day 1 head-scratcher. The Jets, meanwhile, have a great fit with Matt Forte.

Source: espn.go.com

Opening day of the NFL’s free-agent market is drawing to a close. While we have a moment, let’s consider some winners and losers.

Best value

The Minnesota Vikings signed a highly regarded, still-young offensive lineman to fill arguably their biggest need without setting a financial precedent. GuardAlex Boone, 28, will sign a contract that averages $6.6 million annually — a bit more than half what the Oakland Raiders committed to Kelechi Osemele a day earlier. At the moment, Boone ranks sixth among NFL guards in annual pay, and his $10 million in guarantees ranks No. 10. After Osemele, Boone was the Vikings’ best option for shoring up an offensive line that left quarterback Teddy Bridgewater pressured on an NFL-high 37 percent of his dropbacks.

Worst value

The Miami Dolphins took on two descending players and dropped out of the draft’s top 10 in a trade that will take some time to understand — if indeed the reasoning ever becomes clear. Playing with the Philadelphia Eagles last season,Byron Maxwell proved that he doesn’t like to tackle and that he is nowhere close to a shutdown corner. Linebacker Kiko Alonso, meanwhile, did nothing to dissuade the notion that he is an injury risk. He has now missed 21 games in the past two seasons. How did this trade do anything but leave the Dolphins with two discards and diminished draft position?