Every few weeks during the regular season, and every month or so during the offseason, I chat with a group of fans from all around the NFL to ask them a question. This month’s edition focused on free agency as that is the hot topic of the month.
Fans often have a very different perspective regarding moves their team makes than the general media does. Fans look at their team with emotion and heart. The media, or more cynical fans, tend to focus more on statistics and grades given by random websites.
The Super Bowl is officially 2 weeks old. Congratulations to Kansas City, but… the football world has already moved on. As Kate mentioned in her article about quarterbacks last week, the free agency frenzy and the trade block rumors have already started and it is at full steam.
While yes, the draft is just a few months away and we are seeing plenty of articles and mock drafts online, the focus has definitely turned to who is available via trade. We know the free agents traditionally go with who throws them the biggest amount of cash, which I’m all for, but trades are a little different. A surprising trade… now that makes a splash!
Ok ok, you’re right. Trade rumors usually start early and can often be ridiculous. I mean, it’s almost like a game to see who can come up with the most insane trade.
The first day of the NFL’s “Free Agent Frenzy” period is over and a few teams made quite a splash. And even though free agency hasn’t truly started, the legal tampering period has brought some great news to some teams.
This is the time of year where Armchair Experts try to predict what their teams will do and are filled with either excitement over signings or depression when their team isn’t as active as they think they should be.
While the drama surrounding the trade of Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown to the Oakland Raiders took a lot of the focus over the weekend, Monday’s free agent activity brought us all back into the mix.
The Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions made the loudest noise in adding talent to struggling teams. Their fanbases seem to be really excited about the possibilities these new players bring, but they aren’t the only teams who were active yesterday.
The Tennessee Titans have been busy in free agency.
Most notably, running back DeMarco Murray was the first of eight Titans to be released. Murray was still considered the Titans #1 RB in 2017 although he had shoulder, foot, and knee injuries. He missed the last regular season game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Veteran quarterback Matt Cassel was released on March 9th. He started just one game for the Titans last year, which ended up being a loss to the Miami Dolphins. Although the Titans have contracts with quarterbacks Alex Tanney and Tyler Ferguson, it was rumored that the team was interested in another veteran QB Chad Henne, who ended up signing with the Kansas City Chiefs.
After being very quiet since the season ended, the Denver Broncos have made a few moves. They picked up Chris Harris, Jr’s option of $1.1 million. This makes his contract for the year guaranteed.
They traded Aqib Talib to the Los Angeles Rams where he will be reunited with Wade Phillips, Denver’s former super bowl winning defensive coordinator. He’ll also be teaming up with another former player, Kayvon Webster.
In the trade, Denver received a fifth round draft pick, and many believe this was a low ball move. However, a source said that he wasn’t happy with Vance Joseph or the way the defense was being run. Publicly, he said everything was swell.
The long-anticipated trades and free agency frenzy has finally arrived. It began with a surge of trades throughout the league ignited by the Seattle Seahawks. A shock to the Seattle fans, defensive end Michael Bennett is traded to the Super Bowl champions, the Philadelphia Eagles and a seventh round pick in exchange for a fifth round pick. But what seemed like a simple trade was the beginning of players released which included cornerback Richard Sherman and Jeremy Lane, tight end Jimmy Graham and wide receiver Paul Richardson. Seahawks did re-sign DB Bradley McDougald.
But the Bennett trade also ignited a trading bonanza by the Cleveland Browns as they gave up a 2018 4th rounder and a 2019 seventh-rounder for Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry, This was followed up by a trade of their top third-round pick for Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor. But before anyone could take a breath, the Browns swapped fourth and fifth round picks for Green Bay Packers cornerback Damarious Randall in exchange for QB DeShone Kizer.
Yes, you read that right. Why? Because by bringing Tony Romo in, it says John Elway, and his new coaches, without witnessing a single live snap, have shown they don’t trust Paxton Lynch…or, for that matter, Trevor Siemian. Why have quarterbacks hanging around, that you don’t have faith in?
Twist it any way you want, but that’s the bottom line. The last franchise rookie who was drafted by his team and sat, was Aaron Rodgers. However, unlike Denver Broncos, Rodgers was drafted to replace Brett Favre. Favre wasn’t brought in after Rodgers was drafted. Big difference. Rodgers was meant to take over from a Hall of Fame quarterback. The point is, NFL quarterbacks don’t sit the bench for two years anymore.
Not if they’re the, meant to be, team starter. Brock Osweiler was drafted after we signed Peyton Manning. Siemian, too.
I am over quarterback drama. Oooo ver. Lets just be the franchise with rental QBs and focus on the rest of the team. Defenses win Championships, right? Build up a stout defense, get a rock star running back and be done with it.
In an expected move, WR Brandin Cooks traded to New England Patriots for its 32nd (first round) and 103rd (third round) draft picks. New Orleans Saints traded Cooks as well as their 118th (fourth round pick). Cooks’ value in the trade is the equivalent of a 30th overall pick.
These draft moves are expected to help the Saints build its defense through the draft. A trade for CB Malcolm Butler is not completely out of the picture.
Sterling Moore still remains a free agent.
The free agency moves made by the Saints and the additional, high draft selections could carve out a scenario whereby the Saints move up for a player they really like. The holes filled in free agency gives them freedom to reach for a player they covet.