NFL Fan Free Agency: The Rules


Welcome to the set-up for the NFL Fan Free Agency series. I wanted to make sure the rules and procedures for this process are laid out so everyone can follow along as we decide who my next favorite NFL team will be.

In case you didn’t see why I am no longer a Chargers fan:

NFL Fan Free Agency: The Rules podcast:


  1. A 32-team bracket was created by Dayne Young. There is a division for each corner of the bracket. They are the Front Runners, On The Rise, Don’t Trust Them, and Garbage. (A breakdown of the divisions is later in the post)
  2. Each week or two, Dayne will select two match-ups on the bracket. He and I will breakdown the good and bad of each team on a podcast, and move the deserving team on to the next round. A summary and bracket update will be posted on the Ben Bolton Blog.
  3. The grading criteria will vary for each match-up, but can include practical information like win/loss records and statistics. It can also include more subjective criteria including color schemes, if the logo/mascot is cool, off-the-field issues, and more.
  4. There is an option for a “Team Swap” once the bracket reaches the Final Four. That swap can include any eliminated team, and replace any team remaining regardless of the division. The swap (and Final Four) will only happen after the NFL Draft. This provision allows changes based on free agent signings and draft picks.

THE DIVISIONS: (Written by Dayne Young)

Dayne will organize the 32-team bracket. Dayne does not have a favorite NFL team, so he is as close to impartial as one can be.

FRONT RUNNERS: Consistent contenders, rarely whiffs on draft picks or errs in free agency.

  • Patriots- Belichick, Brady, Gronk, and tiny white receivers
  • Steelers- Splash!
  • Cowboys- But, would they be in this category with Romo?
  • Broncos- Can Von Miller play QB?
  • Falcons- Tony Gonzalez was simply too early on that investment
  • Ravens- But really, is Flacco elite?
  • Seahawks- Miss you, Marshawn. Keep sellin’ those Skittles though

ON THE RISE: Back-end of the playoff kind of teams

  • Raiders- There are better shows in Vegas, but this one is improving
  • Cardinals- They have one play: run David Johnson while wasting Fitzgerald’s career
  • Panthers- Cam is still great, if he isn’t curled up in the fetal position behind a fallen OL
  • Texans- Clowney, Watt, Hopkins…if only they didn’t have Osweiler
  • Vikings- Remember that time they traded a high pick for Sam Bradford?
  • Buccaneers- Mike Evans has swag
  • Chiefs- How has a backup not beaten Alex Smith by now?
  • Redskins- YOU LIKE THAT?!

DON’T TRUST THEM: Save your money, don’t bet these routine disappointments

  • Saints- They’ve got the coach, the quarterback, and nothing else
  • Eagles-Football version of the Atlanta Braves with the recent record to prove it
  • Dolphins- Stuck in Tannehill purgatory
  • Colts- Not bad considering we know they hate their coach
  • Jets- Destined to be the team that gives Johnny Manziel a chance
  • Lions- Insert Jim Caldwell face here
  • Bengals- They are Barry Sanders-ing A.J. Green’s Hall of Fame career
  • Giants- But, remember- Eli has two rings. Always important to note

GARBAGE: These teams are the ones that move to other cities to become their garbage.

  • Browns- Perfect candidate for the Big 12 in the next conference re-alignment
  • Jaguars- Will the Georgia-Florida game move to London too?
  • Bears- The Matt Barkely era begins…
  • Rams- Someone rescue Todd Gurley!
  • Chargers- Playing in front of 30,000 fans sounds about right for them
  • Titans- A marginal improvement gets them to ‘Don’t Trust Them’
  • 49ers- John Lynch might determine he is their most talented defensive back on the team
  • Bills- They want us to think Tyrod Taylor is the future so bad


  1. Friends of the Bolton Sports Podcast will also be included to add arguments for different teams. For example, Dillan Edwards will provide Dayne and I an argument as to why the Minnesota Vikings should be my new favorite team. Greg Speir will do so for the Atlanta Falcons. FEEL FREE to send Dayne or I your argument for your team, or join us on the podcast. The more debate points the better!
  2. Evan Powell, our resident college football fan, is providing the reasons why I shouldn’t pick a new favorite team. His philosophy is to root for specific players. He will join us for a podcast, and write a blog post describing the 32 players I should be rooting for. He will also assist in breaking down teams a long the way in the bracket.

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