NFL Trades and Free Agency… Let the games begin

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
AFC North/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

It’s time. It’s the time when every team has a perfect record. It’s time for teams to trade for “that guy” who will be exactly what they need for their team. It’s time for free agents to get their money and run with it. Happy NFL New Year!

With the craziness that the world is going through right now while we deal with COVID -19 and all that comes with it, it is so nice to get a break and have my Twitter timeline full of football news.

As a sports reporter, I am SO DAMN HAPPY to have something to write about. I feel for my peers who cover MLS, MLB, NHL, XFL, golf, NCAA, etc, as I know it is a news desert out there right now. But for us covering the NFL, it is one of the best times of the year. Let the games begin!

Today has been full of surprises, irritated (and sometimes baffled) fans, and excitement…and the New Year doesn’t even start until Wednesday. Here are some of the trades that happened today.

Push me over with a feather, Bill O’Brien has pissed off his fanbase once again. Seriously, there have been questionable trades in the past coming out of Houston, but this one might actually take the cake. The Houston Texans have traded wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and a fourth-round pick to the Arizona Cardinals. In return, the Texans get running back David Johnson and a second-round pick.

There is no question that this is a huge get for the Cardinals who are trying to keep pace with the red hot NFC West. However, for the Texans, most are wondering why they would do this. Johnson is a solid RB but has had health issues. Fans didn’t seem happy about the trade.

The other “big news” trade that surprised a few people today was defensive lineman DeForest Buckner being sent from the San Francisco 49ers to the Indianapolis Colts. The 49ers received a first-round pick, pick 13, for the Pro Bowl lineman. The Colts are also giving Buckner an extension worth $21 million, showing that Indianapolis is ready to start investing all that cap space they have available.

The Baltimore Ravens and Atlanta Falcons have a deal in place that sends Ravens tight end Hayden Hurst to the Falcons. Atlanta gets the TE and a fourth-round pick, while Baltimore gets a second and fifth-round pick.

Also in Ravens news, just yesterday the Ravens acquired defensive end, Calais Campbell, from the Jacksonville Jaguars for a fifth-round pick. A perennial Pro Bowler and a player any fan would kill to have on their team…for a FIFTH ROUND PICK. Nice pick-up, Baltimore.

Free agents are also starting to get some deals done. The Cleveland Browns have been BUSY! They landed one of the most sought after offensive lineman in the league, giving tackle Jack Conklin a 3 year, $42 million deal. Free agent QB Case Keenum also landed with the Cleveland Browns, getting a deal worth $18 million. He will be back up to current Browns QB, Baker Mayfield. They also added TE Austin Hooper, apparently making him the highest-paid tight end in the league.

TE Jimmy Graham is heading to Chicago to try to help the Bears offense. He got a 2-year deal worth $16 million. $9 million is guaranteed.

In the world of quarterbacks, it looks like the Chicago Bears are all about replacing QB Mitch Trubisky and giving both Andy Dalton and Nick Foles a good look, although Teddy Bridgewater‘s name has been batted around too.

It has been reported that the Colts are about ready to sign long time Los Angeles Chargers QB Philip Rivers, but nothing has been confirmed just yet.

And then there are all those tags. Here is a list of some of the players who got a tag slapped on them in the last few days.

Dak Prescott (DAL)
A.J. Green  (CIN)
Bud Dupree (PIT)
Shaquil Barrett (TB)
Leonard Williams (NYG)
Kenyan Drake (ARI)
Brandon Scherff (WAS)
Justin Simmons (DEN)
Joe Thuney (NE)
Derrick Henry (TEN)
Yannick Ngakoue (JAX)
Chris Jones (KC)
Anthony Harris (MIN)

That’s a whole lotta tags, my friends.

Look, this isn’t a complete list, and trades/free agency is going to continue through the next few weeks. So as we sit in our voluntary quarantine, watching rewatching old Super Bowls, we can enjoy that the sport we all love actually has some news to share.

Stay safe everyone, and WASH YOUR HANDS!

Follow Dayna on Twitter // @DaynaOG

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