Evaluating how FA will turn out for teams this early in the game would be called a stretch by any reporter, no one wants to be the one to say for sure what the end results will be, but for a few teams, it is already pretty clear who won out more than others on day 1 of FA.
Today's top two winners -
#1 - the 49ers - the 49ers did nothing, other than give up a 6th round pick the day prior to FA starting, to pick up Mr. Clutch of the 2012 playoffs when the Ravens traded WR Boldin to them. The fact that they are sitting on a dozen draft picks, and are not at risk to lose any non-replaceable players in FA, makes them the front runners to dominate the NFC in 2013.
#2 - The Patriots - while many other teams were paying top dollar for FAs, the Patriots remained patient, and held on to their money. Yesterday their 26 million dollars in cap space seemed almost insignificant when compared to the 50 million dollars the Dolphins had to spend... tomorrow they will be one of the few teams remaining with a lot of cap space left to spend... and the list of veteran FAs looking for work will seem as large on Wednesday as it did on the opening of FA, as players were being cut on the first day of FA as quickly as they were being signed.
The Patriots rolled the dice, and risked losing some players they would like to see back, exposing them to the unpredictable spending spree that day 1 of FA often brings... but the Patriots didn't lose any of their top FAs (Welker, Talib, Vollmer) or any of their 2nd tier FAs (Woodhead, Edelman, etc.) and are now in a stronger position to be able to bring them back into the fold, and not overpaying to do so.
Today's two biggest losers -
#1 the Ravens - the Ravens, like the Patriots, gambled in allowing some of their FAs to test the market, they misread the value other teams put on bringing in players from the current SB Champion. As is often the case, many NFL FOs are willing to pay top dollar for a player who is coming from a Championship team, and this year is no different, even though the usual suspects (IE - the Raiders and Redskins) are not the culprits this time around.
Between retirements (Birk, Lewis), trades (Bolden), and FA (Kruger, Ellerbe) the Ravens' Championship team is being torn apart, and will likely be a shadow of what it was come 2013, especially after the season begins to get long, and they suffer a few injuries, and don't have any depth to fill the voids.
#2 the Dolphins - the Dolphins had more money to spend in FA than any other team, and what do they have to show for it? Wallace. They brought in two new Linebackers for top $$$, only to let two starting Linebackers go. They brought in Wallace, but they are losing Reggie Bush and LT Jake Long and TE Fasano... they did nothing to really build any depth or continuity, they changed some faces, but in the end will likely be a team with less talent and depth than they had last year.