NFL Free Agency
It’s a weird time of the year for sports fans. With the MLB just around the corner, the NBA at the height of its season, and March Madness kicking off, who would think that the NFL would be relevant right now? We all know that there are a few trades and pickups that happen at this time of year, but who predicted this year's offseason to be chock full of excitement? There are plenty of players that have been moved around that we could talk about for a while, but I’m only going to talk about the players I care about and find interesting because this is my blog.
Plenty of people got paid (even though we might think some do not deserve all that cash), plenty of players have been cut, and plenty have been traded. Starting with quarterbacks, the first player to talk about is going to be Kirk Cousins. He signed on with the Minnesota Vikings for 3 years making $86M, all guaranteed. This might be the most controversial QB deal this year. This is the first deal that included the player being guaranteed all of his money. Whether Cousins gets traded or injured, that man is getting PAID. The thing that doesn’t make too much sense is why the Vikings think this is their guy. Is Cousins that much of an upgrade compared to Case Keenum? I don’t think so, but only time will tell if they made the right move.
Speaking of Keenum, he signed on with the Denver Broncos. He signed on for 2 years, $36M. This contract seems very fair to me, considering Keenum's only memorable season was last year. He hasn’t made a very big splash in the league since joining, yet. As long as the Broncos can get close to that 2016 defense they had, I think Keenum will fit in just fine.
With both the Vikings and the Broncos being the topic of conversation right now, some might be surprised to find out that Trevor Siemian and a 2018 seventh-round pick was sent over from Denver to Minnesota for a 2019 fifth-round pick. I have no idea what the Vikings have in mind, but the Broncos definitely didn’t need Siemian in Denver along with their other trash QB’s.
Siemian isn’t the only trash QB packing up and heading to another team. Both Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon are on their way to Arizona. With subpar Carson Palmer retiring, the Cards didn’t want to rely on Drew Stanton, and who can blame them? The real question is, why both Bradford and Glennon? They definitely paid for Bradford with a whopping 1-year, $20M deal. What organization looks at Bradfords highlights and agrees to pay this man that much money? We all know he will be sitting on that IR two weeks into the season. Glennon was a much better deal for the Cardinals. I think for the amount of skill Glennon has, 2 years in Arizona for only $8M was a good move.
The last QB worth noting is Tyrod Taylor. The Cleveland Browns traded away a third-round pick for him, and in my opinion this wasn’t a bad move. People like to bag on Tyrod, but i think he’s better than people say he is. With a couple other key additions to this offense, I believe Tyrod could earn himself some respect. It won’t happen this year, but if this team continues to grow it won’t take long.
There have been a few running backs on the move the last few days that I think will definitely be making an impact with their new team. The first RB I want to discuss is Carlos Hyde. Sure, he’s an above average RB. I think him signing with the Cleveland Browns is going to help out this team tremendously. The backs Cleveland had were very average, but with Hyde having experience on a team with a shitty O-Line and having decent years, I can see him having a good stint on the Browns as long as the team can get it together and snag a couple wins.
The other RB i think is worth talking about is Jerick McKinnon, who signed a 4-year, $30M deal with the San Francisco 49ers. I have always thought McKinnon was a decent RB, but I would have never thought that he was going to sign on to be the guy to carry the rock for a team. In Minnesota you could tell that he was the passing down back or the guy to come in to relieve the starter. Good for him to make the impression he did. I think he will fit in with Jimmy G in San Francisco, as long as they get one more strong running back to plug in on 3rd and 3 to rush up the middle for the first.
With the wide receiver position coming up next, there are a few surprises here that are worth talking about. The first is Jarvis Landry signing with the Browns for only a year. The Browns are definitely going to be an interesting team to watch yet again, but I think the main attraction will be Josh Gordon alongside Landry. I see a dangerous offense on paper,
as long as Tyrod can make his passes. Landry is such a speedy receiver, and if he can make an impact for the Dolphins, he can make a name for himself in Cleveland.
The other guy worth mentioning is Sammy Watkins. Who in their right mind decides to give this man $48M for 3 years? The Chiefs, that’s who. This guy has just over 1000 yards receiving in the last two years. That’s shit compared to these other guys who deserve getting paid that much. Maybe if he can stay healthy he and Tyreek Hill can be an incredible duo downfield for Mahomes, but if I were to put money on it I’d say this was a shit of a decision by Kansas City.
The biggest shock to me was the Green Bay Packers dropping Jordy Nelson. The next biggest shock to me was the Oakland Raiders dropping Michael Crabtree and then proceeding to pick up Jordy Nelson. I was thinking about this earlier, and honestly I couldn’t convince myself that Nelson was an upgrade from Crabtree. Crabtree has been reliable the last couple seasons and the Raiders have now decided they’re done with him. Crab signing with the Ravens ruined everyone on the internet’s dream of him signing with the Rams, and then he and Aqib Talib riding off into the sunset with matching Super Bowl rings.
Moving on to DB’s, it was crazy reading that Tyrann Mathieu was released by the Arizona Cardinals. Apparently he didn’t want to take a pay cut, so they decided to part ways with the young safety. This blew my mind when I first read this. He is such a good player that you’d think a semi-decent Cardinals defense would try to hold on to him. The Honey Badger has now signed on with the Houston Texans. People all over the country always overhype this defense, but maybe this year they actually live up to the hype.
Richard Sherman was an interesting drop by the Seattle Seahawks. He started telling his teammates goodbye before the Seahawks officially released him, so to me it’s interesting how they must have ended their relationship. Soon after he was released he then signed a 3-year, $39M deal with the San Francisco 49ers. I love this move because Niner fans absolutely hated Sherman. I have heard so many mixed feeling about this pickup, but I think in the long run he will be a valuable asset to the team as long as his Achilles holds up.
The only other DB worth talking about is Trumaine Johnson. He ended up signing with the New York Jets for 5 years making $72.5M. This guy has been with the Rams since the start of his NFL career. Last year wasn’t a crazy year for him compared to his 2015 year. Talking about overvalued players, this guy definitely fits in the category. As a Rams fan I would have loved to see him stay in LA, but not for that much money.
To finish things off, some players that could be great adds include Ndamukong Suh, Kenny Vaccaro, Eric Reid, and Terrelle Pryor. I don’t care what anyone says, but with the right team any of these players can make an impact. This offseason has been crazy so far, and I’m looking forward to what the actual 2018 NFL season has in store. I am certain that there are plenty more moves in store this offseason.