NFL free agency is starting to pick up as we are nearing the end of week 2. It has been a hectic last couple of months with the cancellation of many sports leagues across the U.S due to this global pandemic. Therefore, with the lack of sports, NFL free agency has been a source for sports fans to pay attention to. Many teams have wasted no time making splash signings early on and finding good value in trades. As most of the top 100 free agents have been signed there is still tremendous value left in the market. Jadeveon Clowney has yet to find a home, along with two big quarterbacks left, Jameis Winston, and Cam Newton. As of right now, here is mine and Tommy Kitzmiller’s top 10 moves of the offseason so far.
10: Todd Gurley
This man just can’t catch a break. First it was Super Bowl LIII where he played hurt. Then, last year played even worse and was hurt. Now, on the day he was owed 10.5 million from the Rams, he gets cut. Just amazing luck. He didn’t last too long on the market however as he joined Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Hayden Hurst on an Atlanta Falcons team that needs to start producing or else Dan Quinn could see the end of his tenure sooner rather than later. Gurley was signed to a one year prove it deal worth 6 million. It will be interesting to see if the Falcons can keep up with the high powered Saints and the new and improved Bucs.
9: Darius Slay
Darius big-play Slay is heading to the NFC East in a trade that saw him get traded for a 3rd and a 5th round pick to the Eagles. He then turned around and signed a 3 year 50 million dollar deal with them. This benefits both teams equally as the Lions now have 5 of the first 85 picks and the Eagles got a clutch shutdown corner that they can build around on defense. So, both GM’s should feel very happy with this trade.
8: Teddy Bridgewater
Free agent Quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater is moving on from his backup role on the saints to a starting role with the Carolina Panthers. He has signed a 3yr $63 mil contract with the Panthers. This was a very interested signing because it happened on the same day the Panthers gave Cam Newton permission to seek a trade. Fast forward a couple days later the Panthers have now released former MVP Quarterback Newton and handed the keys to Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater, the former 1st round pick in 2014, finally gets a long awaited chance to be the starting Quarterback for an NFL Franchise. The new look 2020 panthers will be an interesting team to pay attention to as they are moving on from the Rivera-Newton era.
7: Byron Jones
Byron Jones has signed with Miami Dolphins for a 5yr $82.5 million contract. This move immediately boosts the Dolphins secondary as well as their defense as a whole. Miami was ranked near dead last in almost every statistical defensive category for the 2019 season. They have had no problem signing free agents on that side of the ball with all the cap space they possess. Their biggest signing comes with former Cowboys cornerback Jones however. Jones has started 73 games over the past 5 seasons and was named a pro bowler in 2018. With Miami finishing last in their division, it was expected for them to dip into the market early on. Money talks, and Byron Jones followed it.
6: Ryan Tannehill
One of the most underrated moves of the offseason as Tannehill was locked up for 4 years 118 million with 91 of it guaranteed. Tannehill showed he can stand in the pocket and deliver the ball where it needs to go when he has a decent run game and he had the best in the business as he handed off to Derrick Henry every game. The Patriots and Ravens eliminations were no flukes as the Titans proved that Mike Vrabel is here and he isn’t going to be playing around. He knows what he wants and Tannehill is a piece of that puzzle.
5: Stefon Diggs
(Bills receive Stefon Diggs and a 2020 7th round pick. Minnesota receives 2020 1st round, 2020 5th round, 2020 6th round, and a 2021 4th round pick.)
If I were the AFC east, I would’ve been absolutely scared by this trade as Josh Allen who just needed a wide receiver finally got it with Stefon Diggs. The defense has already shown it is up to the task, now the offense just needed to compliment Singletary in the running game and now they have Cole Beasley at slot and Diggs as the go to guy. This leaves Buffalo as real contenders in the AFC. Minnesota on the other hand, made out just as well as they got a first rounder which they can use to select another wide receiver or go with other needs. They also got 3 other picks which is a lot to get for a disgruntled wide receiver who made it clear he wanted to get out of there.
4: Philip Rivers
The colts were not done with free agency as they upgraded another position of need. Philip Rivers was long rumoured to sign with the Indianapolis Colts even before free agency began as the Chargers intended on moving on. This is clearly a short term solution for the colts as the contract only runs through the 2020-2021 season at 25 million. Rivers comes to Indianapolis with an immediate upgrade to his offensive line. The Colts best position group is easily their offensive line so Rivers is in good company there.
3: DeForest Buckner
(Indianapolis gives 49ers pick number 13 in upcoming draft)
Colt’s General Manager, Chris Ballard, has a history of trading his 1st round draft picks. In the 2018 draft he traded back from pick 3 to pick 6 and accumulated later round draft picks. In 2019 he traded out of the first round for numerous 2nd round picks. Now in 2020, he has given the 49ers the 13th pick in the upcoming draft for All-Pro defensive tackle, DeForest Buckner. This was an immediate need for the Colts who needed to bolster their defensive line. Last year they lacked the ability to pressure the quarterback, so adding a defensive force up in the trenches was on the top of Ballard’s to-do list. Indianapolis then signed him to a 4yr $84million contract to keep him for the long run.
2: DeAndre Hopkins
(Texans trade 4th rounder and Hopkins to Arizona for David Johnson and a 2020 second-round draft pick as well as a 2021 fourth-round draft pick)
The Cardinals pulled off a huge blockbuster as it was originally reported that David Johnson was being shipped to Houston for a couple picks. Then, the entire NFL world was rocked when they learned that Bill O Brien shipped his all pro receiver Hopkins to the Cards as well. While this could easily fill Houston’s void at running back, they just lost a generational talent in Hopkins. Kyler Murray approved of the trade showing his eagerness through twitter.
1: Tom Brady
One of the biggest free agents in NFL history made his mark on the entire world on Tuesday when he announced he would no longer continue his tenure with the New England Patriots. Instead, he took his talents down to Tampa Florida where they offered him a very lucrative 2 year 50 million dollar deal that New England just couldn’t match. This sent shockwaves through the entire NFL with players supposedly trying to hop on the TB bandwagon and go along with Brady. It’s not everyday that the G.O.A.T shifts teams so late in his career so players are seeing it as a once in a lifetime shot to play with a talented roster that finally got a franchise quarterback after Winston turned out to be a bust.