Early Free Agency Grades

Yes, it's early. But free agency is underway, and teams are re-shaping their rosters in anticipation of the draft in April.

The Chicago Bears have made the biggest splash, at least financially, with an early flurry of signings, highlighted by the meda-deal given to defensive end Julius Peppers.

But closer to home, what about the teams in the NFC East?

Dallas Cowboys
This one's easy. The entirety of the Cowboys' free agent moves this offseason has been the re-signing of cornerback Cletis Gordon and the signing of kicker Connor Hughes. Granted, the team is a little handcuffed by the NFL's restriction on free agent options for teams that were among the final eight in the playoffs. But players haven't signed, haven't left … again, it's early, but it almost seems like folks are asleep inside the walls at Valley Ranch.

Early grade: Incomplete

New York Giants

New York made the biggest individual signing of the NFC East teams thus far when safety Antrel Rolle headed east from Arizona. The Giants swapped out backup quarterbacks, losing David Carr to the San Francisco 49ers and signing Jim Sorgi, who left his gig in Indianapolis as Peyton Manning's backup in order to back up Eli Manning in New York. (Has anyone ever made a better living by doing less?) The Rolle signing was big, but after losing defensive tackle Fred Robbins to St. Louis in free agency, and cutting middle linebacker Antonio Pierce, the Giants are lacking at linebacker and in the middle of the defensive line.

Early grade: B-

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles have had an interesting offseason. Their two biggest moves came when they announced they will pick up the 2010 option on quarterback Michael Vick's contract, and when they cut longtime running back Brian Westbrook. They signed defensive back Marlin Jackson away from the Colts, but which Jackson they'll get — the player who starred in the Indianapolis secondary, or the one who has had both ACLs surgically repaired in the last two years. Philadelphia also welcomes back two key offensive linemen off the injured list — center Jamaal Jackson and guard Shawn Andrews — and re-signed receiver Hank Baskett, who is known for two things: marrying Playboy playmate Kendra Wilkinson, and head-butting Thomas Morstead's onside kick in the Super Bowl during his brief sojourn to Indianapolis. His return to Philadelphia is more yawn-inspiring than anything else.

Early grade: B-

Washington Redskins

Just before the start of free agency, new coach Mike Shanahan and new general manager Bruce Allen tossed a grenade into the locker room when they cut 10 players, including wide receiver Antwan Randle El, running backs Rock Cartwright and Ladell Betts, guard Randy Thomas and defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin.

On the acquisition side of the ledger, the normally über-aggressive Redskins have slow-played their approach in free agency as much as any team in the NFL outside of Dallas. Ever heard of offensive lineman Artis Hicks? Does journeyman tight end Sean Ryan, who has played for six teams (including Dallas) in six years, ratchet up anyone's excitement? Nose tackle Maake Kemoeatu is a mountain of a man who can clog the middle of the field … if he is fully recovered from the torn Achilles tendon he suffered last year. Friday's signing of once-productive malcontent Larry Johnson (has there ever been a backfield with two bigger egos than Johnson and Clinton Portis?) doesn't exactly send shockwaves through the division, as Johnson has done little since Kansas City's line began to deteriorate a few years ago.

Early grade: C

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