- Mike Triplett, ESPN Staff Writer
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With the first month of free agency now in the books, ESPN Stats & Information put together some league-wide numbers. And it was interesting to note that the New Orleans Saints were among the most and least aggressive teams at the same time.
The Saints only added three players from other NFL teams in free agency (Jairus Byrd, Champ Bailey and Erik Lorig). That tied for the lowest number in the league, along with the Green Bay Packers and St. Louis Rams.
However, the New Orleans Saints were the biggest spenders on any one player. They gave Byrd more guaranteed money than any other free agent in the NFL this offseason.
Byrd’s $26.3 million in guaranteed money beat out Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Branden Albert ($26.0 million), Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib ($25.5 million) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Michael Johnson ($23.0 million).
With the Saints investing so heavily in one player, it’s the equivalent of trading up for a top pick in the draft. Only this time they “traded up” for the top pick in free agency.
The division-rival Buccaneers, meanwhile, led the NFL in both new free agents signed (15) and total guaranteed money spent since March 11 ($74.3 million).