Grading Bolts’ opponents after first wave of free agency

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This time of year for NFL fans is understood by constant dings from phones. Updates with players being traded or signing contracts elsewhere marks free agency, and through the first couple days several of the Chargers’ 2018 opponents have landed new contributors.

Here’s how the Bolts‘ 2018 foes have fared in free agency thus far:

Grade A’s

Los Angeles Rams – Grade: A+

The acquisitions of defensive backs Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib are massive deals the Rams swung early on. Los Angeles was already stout defensively and the addition of these two guys continues to make the Rams the early favorite in the NFC West. The loss of Sammy Watkins hurts a tad, but L.A. has a few young pass catchers who could develop into decent replacements.

Tennessee Titans – Grade: A

Tennessee’s early move was the release of running back Demarco Murray, which makes sense being that Derrick Henry was waiting in the wings. To bulk up the running back room the Titans signed speedster Dion Lewis from the New England Patriots. Even so, Tennessee wasn’t done dipping from the Patriots’ pot. The addition of former Patriots’ cornerback Malcom Butler adds to an already solid secondary.

Grade B’s

Cleveland Browns – Grade: B+

Ah yes, the new and improved Cleveland Browns. The addition of Jarvis Landry will help any quarterback that comes through Cleveland. Now whether that means Tyrod Taylor is a guy they intend to have on the roster for a chunk of time is yet to be seen. However, the swooping up of Carlos Hyde again bolsters a roster that lacked serious talent.

San Francisco 49ers – Grade: B

The moves getting done in the Bay Area are definite upgrades for the 49ers. However, the reason they sit at a “B” is due to general manager John Lynch overpaying. The signing of Jimmy Garoppolo was an obvious “must” for the 49ers, but there is no denying they overpaid for a guy that has played less than a full season of games. Jerick McKinnon is an expensive bandaid at running back, but he has serious potential. The move to grab Richard Sherman was arguably a top-five move thus far. Sherman is still a prime talent in the NFL, and Lynch getting him for barely any guaranteed money is impressive.