Linemen, safeties most popular on Day 1 of NFL free agency

Buffalo Bills free safety Jairus Byrd celebrates an interception against the New York Jets at Ralph...

Buffalo Bills free safety Jairus Byrd celebrates an interception against the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., Nov. 17, 2013. (TIMOTHY T. LUDWIG/USA Today)

John Kryk, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:49 AM ET

The big uglies up front, and the small dudes at the back on defence, hogged most of the money thrown at the NFL’s newest free agents Tuesday.

Offensive linemen, defensive linemen and safeties were by far the most popular as the annual free-agency frenzy kicked off at 4 p.m. EDT.

The most active teams were the Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears and, especially, teams in the NFC South: the Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers.

The Falcons bolstered their notoriously poor offensive and defensive fronts, while the Bucs roped in some of the best defensive players available for new head coach Lovie Smith.

The Panthers weren’t active in signing new players, but rather in watching their own players leave. Two more Carolina offensive linemen retired -- Geoff Hangartner and Jeff Byers, joining left tackle Jordan Gross.


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