HONESTLY, it was hard to keep a track of all the moves that went down on Day 1 of NFL free agency. From Kirk Cousins getting PAID to Malcolm Butler leaving New England and everything in between the dust is finally settling from the hurricane of the first week. As we clearly get a picture of how teams are looking heading into the draft I love some of the moves made and others leave a lot to be desired.
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The Cleveland Browns?
I hope you’re sitting down, I have big news. Believe it or not, the Cleveland Browns are starting to become a competent NFL team. I’ll give you a moment to pick your jaw up off the floor.
NEWLY appointed GM John Dorsey has wasted no time at all making his imprint on the team making a handful of interesting moves before free agency even began. He managed to trade for QB Tyrod Taylor, WR Jarvis Landy and CB Damarious Randall before adding RB Carlos Hyde and a few other pieces to their roster. The best news was that the Browns managed to keep their high picks, giving them a great platform to launch from in 2018.
Kirk Cousins’ Wallet
EASILY the biggest winner from the start of free agency is the Minnesota Vikings new play-caller Kirk Cousins. With the team opting to turn their backs on their previous quarterback’s the former Redskin comes to the team on the highest QB salary in NFL history after signing a fully guaranteed three-year, $84 million dollar deal. I have some uncertainty as to how far Cousins can take the Vikings, but there’s no doubt that he won’t be slumming it in Minnesota.
MITCHELL Trubisky is probably the real winner here. His new head coach will welcome their signees in with open arms too though, as the Bears aim to vault back up the standings. Allen Robinson looms as the wideout Chicago has been crying out for and Trey Burton gives them depth at pass catcher in the form of a tight end. Add dynamic backs Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen to the mix and the Bears are looking alright.
San Fransisco 49ers
WHILE signing Richard Sherman might turn into a risky deal, the reason San Fran are winners is due to their other moves. Talented back Jerick McKinnon looks like a perfect fit for Kyle Shanahan’s offense, an offense that will benefit greatly from a full season of Jimmy G as their starter. Along with signing center Weston Richburg, the 49ers are a team to watch out for next year.
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New York Giants
THE moves made so far in the Giants 2018 offseason can be defined as ‘fine’. Nate Solder and Alec Ogletree are players that will help them, but they had their hearts set on bigger fish in the free agent market. After striking out, they are left with a subpar 6-10 roster and no clear blueprint for their future. Sigh.
WHAT are the Dolphins? Are they making a playoff push? Are they rebuilding? Are they even sure? Headscratching transactions over the last week have everyone asking the same question as Miami continues to confuse us. Cutting Suh and leaving themselves with $22mil in dead cap space is dumb and the signings of slot receivers Danny Amendola and Albert Wilson are just weird.
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SPARE a thought for the Arizona Cardinals QB coach Byron Leftwich, who will enter 2018 with Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon as the guys expected to lead the Cards to success. Arizona went out and paid an injury prone Bradford $20 million and an inconsistent Glennon $8 million over two years. What the f***. Actually, pour one out for Larry Fitz too, he deserves better than this as the curtain falls on his career.
OH how McCarron’s fortunes would be different if he was traded last season. Instead of becoming a Brown he entered free agency uncertain of his future or market value. As a result, he was overlooked for a large chunk of week one and ended up in Buffalo on a mediocre $10 million dollar deal over two seasons. It was way below what McCarron and his camp would have liked and there’s no guarantee that he won’t just be a backup for the Bills.
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