If you are a fan of the game, you will appreciate this article. If you are not a fan of the game you will still like this article just because you will not believe the big-name players who got traded or which teams picked them up. Almost all teams have been busy with 2019’s free agency period and below I will highlight some of the most prominent pickups by team in alphabetical order.
Terrell Suggs (DE/OLB) on a two-year, $10 million deal. How did the Ravens decide to give up one of their most prolific defensive players in the midst of what could be his final year? I have no idea, and I am not necessarily happy about it. However, I saw one comment on Instagram that said the Cardinals are the Florida of the NFL, meaning people go there to retire soooo… (no offense, Florida). Still, even if Suggs is on the verge of retiring, he is a beast and the Cardinals are definitely benefiting.
James Carpenter (OG) on a four-year, $21 million deal. If you are wondering who this is, do not worry, I am too. Considering the Falcons tend to have a solid offensive line, this deal should not surprise us, but it should be worth noting that the team also agreed to a long-term deal with Jamon Brown (OG, 3-year deal) which goes to show how much the team values the O-line.
Earl Thomas (S) on a four-year, $55 million deal and Mark Ingram (RB) on a 3-year, $15 million deal. As a Seahawks fan, I would say this hurts, but considering Thomas was bound to leave anyways, I am glad he went to the Ravens. Whether Thomas will thrive as he did in Seattle is up for consideration, but he is going to be the leader of the defense and it is something the Ravens will definitely need with the loss of Suggs. Ingram is another solid pickup for the Ravens, although they really played us in making us think they were after RB Le’Veon Bell. Still, Ingram is a solid fit for the team and will compliment QB Lamar Jackson’s running.
Cole Beasley (WR) on a four-year, $29 million deal. To be completely honest, I do not know too much about the Bills or what their management is attempting, but they have been busy this offseason on all sides of the ball. In addition to Beasley, the Bills also picked up WR John Brown on a three-year deal and re-signed DT Jordan Phillips.
Matt Paradis (C) on a three-year, $27 million deal. The Panthers have not done much this offseason besides picking up Paradis, re-signing OT Daryl Williams, and signing Bruce Irvin (LB/DE) on a one-year deal, so we shall see if they decide to do anything in the upcoming draft.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (S) on a one-year, $3.5 million deal and Buster Skrine (CB) on a three-year, $16 million deal—as if the Bears needed any more help on defense. Every offense out there better be careful.
Tyler Eifert (TE) re-signed on a one-year, up to $6.5 million deal. Honestly, why? Eifert has been on injured reserve more times than I can count, and all towards the beginning of seasons or when they needed him the most. At some point you have just got to cut the ties. Nonetheless, good luck!
Odell Beckham Jr (WR) and Olivier Vernon (DE) in exchange for Jabrill Peppers (S) and Kevin Zeitler (G) along with first and third round draft picks. First off, wow—the Browns really doing big things. I guess the days of teasing the Browns are coming to an end because these are solid pickups, and I am not just talking about OBJ but Vernon as well. Beckham sought something prospective and the Giants were obviously not the team for that, so in a sense this trade makes sense. The Giants are somewhat benefiting from the deal as well, but why in the world did they sign Beckham to an extension last year only to trade him now? Whatever the reason, we cannot underestimate how major Odell will be for the Browns, and I cannot wait to witness the team’s improvement firsthand.
Jason Witten (TE) coming out of retirement on a one-year, up to $5 million deal and Randall Cobb (WR) on a one-year, $5 million deal. Maybe Witten got tired of all the teasing from his Monday Night Football commentary that he just decided to return (he was not very good, in my opinion). But whatever brought him back, I am sure he will be useful to the Cowboys. In addition, the Cowboys also picked up Cobb who is still very much capable of putting up numbers. With WR Amari Cooper, QB Dak Prescott, and RB Ezekiel Elliott leading the way, the Cowboys could be a threat.
Joe Flacco (QB) traded by the Ravens for a fourth-round pick. The end of an era for Ravens fans, but the beginning of something (hopefully) good for Broncos fans. Flacco is as reliable of a quarterback as you can get in terms of health (with the exception of these last couple of years), and if you somehow manage to get to the playoffs, he will go off. He seems like a good fit for the Broncos who are in dire need of some stability in the position.
Danny Amendola (WR) on a one-year, up to $5.75 million deal and Justin Coleman (CB) on a four-year, $36 million deal. After trading WR Golden Tate to the NY Giants, it makes sense why the Lions would pick up Amendola. Although Amendola does not rack up too many yards, he is a reliable receiver who can make plays when you desperately need them. Detroit’s defense has not been incredible, but they see some potential in Coleman giving him a long-term deal.
Green Bay Packers:
Za’Darius Smith (OLB) on a 4-year, $66 million deal. While the Packers have had a quiet offseason in terms of picking up players (but a hot one in terms of letting players go), this is a nice pickup for them considering they have struggled on defense. Letting OLB Clay Matthews go is not easy, but the team will have to rebuild.
Jadeveon Clowney (DE/OLB) receives the franchise tag, worth up to $17.1 million depending which tag the team decides on. Clowney is a pivotal piece to the defense and for him to just be receiving the franchise tag instead of a long-term deal makes me wonder if something is up.
Justin Houston (OLB) on an unconfirmed deal and Devin Funchess (WR) on a one-year, up to $13 million deal. Picking up Houston is a major deal for the Colts who were already good last year, but now have a leader and an overall beast. Offensively, Funchess will be a weapon for QB Andrew Luck to use for another great season.
Nick Foles (QB) on a four-year, $88 million deal. This means the end of QB Blake Bortles in Jacksonville and a new beginning for Foles. The team has struggled tons, but hopefully they find some consistency in Foles who has been pretty good in recent years and especially last year for the Eagles.
Kansas City Chiefs:
Tyrann Mathieu (S) on a three-year, $42 million deal. To think the Chiefs could not get better and then they add Mathieu. To be fair, the defense has not been as dominating as previous years, but with Mathieu on their side they are sure to get back into shape.
Los Angeles Chargers:
Thomas Davis (LB) on a two-year, $10.5 million deal. The Chargers are brewing up something special and I am all for this pick-up. Alongside DE Joey Bosa and DE Melvin Ingram, Davis is bound to show off his physical self yet again.
Los Angeles Rams:
Eric Weddle (S) on a one-year, $3.5 million deal, Blake Bortles (QB) on a one-year, $1 million deal, and Clay Matthews (Edge) on a two-year, up to $16.75 million deal. Nice little shocker for us all I would say because I did not see this coming whatsoever. All signs pointed toward the Ravens re-signing Weddle, but obviously that did not happen. Picking up Bortles is a decent backup for QB Jared Goff, but signing the dominant force that is Matthews is super impressive. This team is going to be tough to bring down.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB) on a two-year, $11 million deal. Much like the situation with the Jaguars, it seems Miami is also moving on from their once-upon-a-time franchise quarterback Ryan Tannehill. I hope “Fitzmagic” is able to do his thing for more than a couple of weeks, but it is still fun to see him nonetheless.
Anthony Barr (LB) on a five-year, $67.5 million deal. Barr is a beast and worthy of a monster, long-term deal like this. The offense, however, has yet to find its spark, but hopefully the draft proves to be a useful tool for the team.
New England Patriots:
Michael Bennett (DE) traded for a 2020 fifth-round pick. In light of this surprising trade I will quote Bennett’s reaction: “I used to hate the Patriots. I’d hate it because they’d win so much. I’d hate it because Tom Brady’s hair was long. I’d hate it that [Bill] Belichick would wear sweaters. But now that I’m here, I love you. I love Tom Brady’s hair.” Pretty much sums it up, right? Now if only he can get his brother, TE Martellus Bennett to come out of retirement…
New Orleans Saints:
Latavius Murray (RB) on a four-year, $14.4 million deal. After letting Mark Ingram go, the Saints needed a solid partner for RB Alvin Kamara, and they found it in Murray. He has not been as powerful as his earlier years, but the Saints are not like his past teams, especially with that offensive line.
New York Giants:
Golden Tate (WR) on a four-year, $37.5 million deal. Tate is no Odell Beckham Jr., but he does come close. He is quick on his feet and willing to go the distance—a nice compliment for QB Eli Manning. And who knows? Maybe behind RB Saquon Barkley, the team might be able to find a balance—something they have been lacking.
New York Jets:
Le’Veon Bell (RB) on a four-year, $52.5 million deal and C.J. Mosley (LB) on a five-year, $85 million deal. Yep, you are reading that correctly. Bell to the Jets. I don’t know whether to be excited or sad about this trade, but Le’Veon is getting his money so I think he is pretty happy. Will he win a championship, though? Time will tell. As for Mosley, will you look at that price tag? For a player who was dominant his first couple of years but has declined in recent years, he is getting a TON of money. Both players will be essential to leading both sides of the ball.
Antonio Brown (WR) traded by the Steelers for two 2019 draft picks (third-round and fifth-round) and a three-year, $54.125 million max deal. I cannot express how excited I am to see the AB-DC combo in action, especially after this excruciating year for the Raiders. Now they finally have something to look forward to. The defense still needs some work, and the offensive line wasn’t necessarily good last season, but having a powerhouse in AB will definitely help the team out. Is it too early to get a Brown jersey? Just asking…
DeSean Jackson (WR) traded by the Buccaneers along with a 2020 seventh-round pick, in exchange for a 2019 sixth-round pick and a three-year deal. The Eagles also traded the Chicago Bears a 2020 sixth-round pick in exchange for RB Jordan Howard. As exciting as it is to see Jackson back in Philly, the real shocker to me is Howard. I did not think the Bears would let him go, but as with all the names on this list, the NFL proves how unexpected it is.
Donte Moncrief (WR) on a two-year deal and Eli Rogers (WR) re-signed on a two-year deal. It makes sense why the Steelers would choose free agency to repair their loss of Antonio Brown; however, who can ever replace that man? Still, the Steelers must move on, and with Moncrief and Rogers, everything might not be lost. After all, QB Ben Roethlisberger tends to flourish with smaller-known wide receivers.
San Francisco 49ers:
Dee Ford (OLB), traded by the Chiefs in exchange for a 2020 second-round pick, on a five-year, $87.5 million deal. The Niners are making moves this offseason, picking up players from all sides of the ball, but especially on defense; they also picked up Kwon Alexander (LB) on a four-year, $54 million deal. As a Seahawks fan, should I be worried about the Niners?
D.J. Fluker (OG) on a two-year, up to $9 million deal and Mike Iupati (OG) on a one-year deal. Speaking of Seattle, they have not done much this offseason, but that is okay because they are known to make the biggest adjustments with the draft. However, seeing as their offensive line struggled quite a bit last season, the fact that they are amending this with Fluker and Iupati is a bit relieving.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Donovan Smith (OT) re-signed on a three-year, $41.25 million deal. I really don’t know what to say about the Bucs because they are just on their own island, doing their own thing. Really, though, they should be focused on that struggling offense.
Ryan Tannehill (QB) traded by the Dolphins with a 2019 sixth-round pick in exchange for a 2019 seventh-round pick and a 2020 fourth-round pick. The deal is a one-year contract, up to $12 million. This is a somewhat weird, unexpected trade, yet at the same time it makes sense. QB Marcus Mariota has been getting injured and their backups are not cutting it. But now, they have a solid Ryan Tannehill. It should be interesting to see who ends up leading the team.
Case Keenum (QB) traded by the Broncos with a 2020 seventh-round pick in exchange for a 2020 sixth-round pick. After gruesomely losing QB Alex Smith, the Redskins were in dire need of a new quarterback. Regardless of whether or not Keenum is their guy, he is a solid player for the time being.
There you have it: the craziest free agency moves of the offseason thus far. When asked what my favorite change has been, it has without a doubt been the Antonio Brown pickup for the Raiders. The team has been struggling for much too long, and with losing key players everything just seemed pointless. But now they have someone to count on and that makes me happy. Still, the OBJ shocker comes a close second for similar reasons. All in all, we are in for tons of change in the upcoming season, and whether you are crying over your favorite player leaving your team or crying because your favorite player came to your team, just know we only have a couple more months to see them in action.
All stats courtesy of the NFL.