With the dust settling following the opening flurry of NFL free agency, one thing is clear: In the AFC, the Broncos and Patriots have been the most aggressive in trying to upgrade their rosters.
The teams squared off in the AFC Championship Game in January, and they are the early favorites in the conference for 2014. Broncos boss John Elway admitted to USA Today on Sunday afternoon that his moves have not been made in a vacuum.
“You always know you have to go through New England. With their track record over the last 10 years, they’re a team you’re going to have to be able to deal with,” Elway told USA Today. “For us to get done what we want to get done, you have to be able to beat them. It’s a fun arms race, and we’ll see what happens next year.”
For the second straight offseason, the Broncos added a player from the Patriots' roster. Cornerback Aqib Talib was the player changing jerseys this time around after Wes Welker’s defection last year. Soon after the Broncos agreed with Talib, the Patriots seemed to one-up them with the signing of cornerback Darrelle Revis.
Here’s a rundown of how the “arms race” has played out so far in free agency: