Hub Arkush: San Francisco 49ers among teams with best free-agent plans

Conversely, Bengals would have been better off not spending

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But the majority of the league’s 32 teams have already locked in their salary cap plans for the 2019 season, and though there are still a number of quality signings to come, most of the “big deals” and headline makers are done.

So here’s a way-too-early look at who appeared to have the best and worst plans of attack in free agency:

Good plan

San Francisco: The 49ers may have overpaid for Kwon Alexander, but when healthy he’s a tackling machine you can build a defense around. While Dee Ford arrived in a trade – and the new contract the Niners gave him is a bit over the top too – he should make an outstanding bookend with DeForest Buckner and dramatically improve one of the league’s weakest pass rushes. Tevin Coleman is an instant upgrade for their ground game at a bargain price, and if he’s healthy Jason Verrett could very well prove to be the steal of this year’s free agent crop.

The Niners got that all done while retaining the No. 2 overall pick in the draft and almost $35 million in cap space.

Bad plan

Washington: This team just doesn’t appear to have a clue. I love Landon Collins but the money they gave him was way over the top, while they let Preston Smith walk for far less and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix took less than they offered him to pair with Collins to go to Chicago for a bargain basement prove-it deal and a chance to win. You get that the Alex Smith injury has left them in a difficult spot, but the idea that Case Keenum is the answer seems highly unlikely. The problem is this team never seems to have a plan at all.

Good plan

Buffalo: The Bills are all in on last year’s top pick Josh Allen as their franchise quarterback and made the commitment in free agency to upgrade the weapons they have around him as much as possible without committing any “stupid” money that is likely to hamstring them down the road.

By teaming Frank Gore with LeSean McCoy and adding five new offensive linemen, their ground game should take a significant leap forward, and while WRs Cole Beasley, John Brown and return specialist Andre Roberts will probably never be Pro Bowlers, they are a significant upgrade over the weapons Allen had on hand.

And Buffalo got that all done while still retaining the fifth most cap space in the league, approximately $37 million.

Bad plan

Bengals: I’m not dogging any teams here for doing nothing, but the Bengals probably would have been better off if they had done just that. $20 million for Bobby Hart is absurd. It would be great to have a healthy Tyler Eifert, but at this point to chase Tyler Kroft away to keep Eifert is about as dependable as playing the lottery. B.W. Webb is a bottom-of-the-roster guy, and while re-signing Preston Brown was smart, Cincinnati definitely looks like it has a weaker roster now than it did when free agency began.

Good plan

N.Y. Jets: Le’Veon Bell for the most part made a fool out of himself over the past two seasons, forcing himself away from one of the winningest teams in football to one of its biggest losers, for less money, and leaving almost $15 million on the table last year he can never recoup. But he is still just 27 years old, has no wear and tear on his body over the last year and a half and if he can stay away from off-the-field issues that shadowed him prior to all his contract problems, he should be a huge comfort for Sam Darnold. The Jets flat out stole Kelechi Osemele from the Raiders, and while they wildly overpaid for C.J. Mosley, he should be the focal point of their defense for the next three or four years.

Bad plan

Chiefs: Tyrann Mathieu would have been a great get ... to pair with Eric Berry. I also like Alex Okafor and Bashaud Breeland, even if the Chiefs overpaid for Mathieu and Okafor. But if someone made me the offer, I just couldn’t see agreeing to trade Justin Houston, Dee Ford, Eric Berry and Steven Nelson for the three of them, which is effectively what they did. On the other side of the ball, Mitch Morse, Chris Conley and Demetrius Harris may not be Pro Bowlers, but they are nice pieces that now have to be replaced as well.

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