Just about the only thing keeping sports fans like myself sane right now is NFL free agency. Moves are flowing, players are changing teams, and the Patriots dynasty is over. NFL offseason and free agency has been exciting thus far, so I decided to grade some of the biggest moves including some trades as well.
Tom Brady QB: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This move is almost perfect for both Brady and the Bucs. Brady lacked dynamic weapons in New England, but that will not longer be an issue at all. He’s now got 2 stud receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, and a good tight end in OJ Howard. There are a plethora of options now for Brady, not to mention the Bucs still hold the 14th overall pick which could potentially be used to snag a great offensive lineman prospect. The 7-9 Bucs lost 6 games by one score and old QB, Jameis Winston, threw an insane 30 interceptions last year. The Bucs may now be the NFC favorite. Of course this year’s super bowl is held in Miami…. coincidence?
Phillip Rivers QB: Indianapolis Colts
The vetern gunslinger is headed to Indy on a 1 year 25 million dollar deal. The Colts have moved on from Jacoby Brissett after he was holding the team back from the playoffs after a great 5-2 start last year. Rivers is still a capable starter and comes into an ideal situation with great coaching, offensive line, and running game. He’s not going to have to throw it 50 times a game, and Rivers will hope to lead the Colts to the playoffs. He is still only the short term answer clearly;Look for the Colts to add a young, franchise quarterback in the next few years if not this year.
Teddy Bridgewater QB: Carolina Panthers
The former first round pick has had an incredible story and has earned great respect around the league. Teddy was drafted to become a franchise quarterback when the Vikings took him in the first round, but a nasty knee injury took that away. After backing up Drew Brees, Teddy went a perfect 5-0 in his spot which helped land him this 3 year, 63 million dollar deal. He gets paired up with his old mastermind of an OC, Joe Brady, as well as studs Christian Mccafrey and DJ Moore. Teddy landed in a great situation, now he just has to prove he was worth the gamble. Look for the Panthers to be a really solid team next season.
Austin Hooper TE: Browns
Hooper had a career year last year in Atlanta which helped him land this massive contract, 4 years for 44 million. He is now, deservingly or not, the highest paid TE in the NFL. Hooper will be another good addition for Baker Mayfield, but the reason I’m not so high on this trade is 1)the contract is massive, and they had young promising tight end David Njoku as well, and 2) TE should not have been the focus as they own one of the worst O-lines in the league and should have spent this money there. Regardless, Hooper will provide a security blanket for Baker and should post some good numbers in his new uniform.
Byron Jones CB: Dolphins
Byron Jones earned the title of a shutdown corner last year with his great play. He, along with stud CB Xavien Howard, will look to form a lockdown secondary in Miami. The only reason I’m not a huge fan of the signing is because of the contract. Jones is now the highest paid CB in the NFL when he signed this 5 year 82.5 million dollar contract. Jones, already 27, will have to keep up his great level of play for the next 5 years for this contract to make sense. Regardless, it is a good move for the position-needy Dolphins, and the Dolphins are making moves especially on the defensive end, and look to be headed in the right direction. So far, the Dolphins are the biggest winners of the offseason
Deandre Hopkins WR: Arizona Cardinals
Man, this trade is just a straight up robbery. Bill O’Brien proved once again he has no clue what he is doing and is even a worse GM than he is a coach. He traded away the league's best WR for almost nothing. The Texans received David Johnson who has had one good season, which was three years ago, and Johnson’s contract is massive, in fact more than Hopkins. This is an F grade move for the Texans, especially since rumors have been going around that the team is justifiably very unhappy with the trade. This move seemed personal as news came out in which BOB campred Nuk to Aaron Hernandez (crazy!!). This was a hell of a move for the Cardinals though. With the addition of Nuk, Kyler gets his go-to guy along with vet Larry Fitzgerlard and promising young receiver, Christian Kirk. The Cardinals are going to be improved and are so far one of the biggest winners of the offseason thanks to Bill O’Brien.
Stefon Diggs WR: Buffalo Bills
The Bills got Josh Allen his guy. Arguably the best route-runner in the league, Diggs is a great receiver who will help the Bills fill a massive void they had at the receiver position. The Bills had a great year last year and should be primed for an even better one with the new addition of Diggs. Yes, he costed a lot, but that's what a #1 receiver should cost, and in my opinion it is much better and safer to grab a proven guy that will help immediately then invest a high draft pick in a young, unproven guy. This trade should have Bills Mafia very excited for the 2020 season.
Deforest Buckner DL: Indianapolis Colts
The Colts are making moves this offseason and filled a massive need in their team by trading for Pro Bowler Deforest Buckner. The D-line was the weak spot for the team, and Buckner will immediately help solve these problems. He cost a lot in terms of contract and value as the Colts gave up their first round pick for him, it will be worth it as long as Buckner performs. The Colts are in win-now mode, and they filled their immediate concerns of QB and DL; Now they need to go get a receiver.
Nick Foles QB: Chicago Bears
This trade is very strange. Yes, Mitch Trubisky is clearly not the answer, but the Bears should not have brought in another mediocre quarterback to compete for the job. Foles has a massive contract, so the Bears almost have to play him to return any value. On the plus side, Foles has been good in the past, and he has worked with Bears coach Matt Naggy, but if I was a Bears fan, I would have much rather traded for Cam Newton or drafted a young promising rookie.
Darius Slay CB: Philadelphia Eagles
Slay was clearly unhappy in Detroit, and everyone knew a trade was in the works for quite some time now. He even tweeted a congrats to new Lions CB Desmond Trufant, and then stated that this will hopefully speed up his trade process. The Eagles made a great move here to get the shutdown corner as they were lacking in their secondary. They didn’t overpay for him, but did make him the highest paid corner on a yearly average. This was a huge move for the Eagles, and we can go ahead and write in CB Jeff Okudah to the Lions at #3.