Biggest Takeaways from Day Two of NFL Free Agent Frenzy
Big bucks continued to reportedly get shelled out to more big-name unrestricted free agents as the theme of this offseason continues to be “new faces in new places” as many players are opting to follow the money rather than stick with old teams. Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the legal tampering window in which deals can’t be made official until the new league year begins tomorrow but teams and players can agree to terms in principle:
Browns make MAJOR moves: The Cleveland Browns shook the whole NFL world with a blockbuster trade late in the day. After being mostly quiet through the first 48 hours leading up to the new league year the team made tidal waves by trading for New York Giant star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. To get the polarizing playmaker they sent the Giants their first-round pick (17th overall) in this year’s draft, a third-round pick in 2019 and safety Jabrill Peppers. They also agreed to deal with former Vikings and Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson worth $36 million over three years earlier in the day. They might not be done making splash moves as they are reportedly in talks with top free agent safety Earl Thomas on a three-year deal for his reported asking price of $14 million per year.
Jets continue to spend BIG money: After making a bunch of reported splash signings on day one of the legal tampering period the New York Jets decided to use their bevy of cap space to revamp their defense following day. They’re deal with Vikings Pro Bowl linebacker Anthony Barr late last night didn’t fall through as he will opt to resign with Minnesota, but they did make the biggest splash of day two by luring away four-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker CJ Mosley away from Baltimore with a five-year deal worth $85 million. At about half an hour past midnight, they made arguably the second biggest splash of the offseason by answering the question that everyone has been wondering for months when they agreed to terms to sign All-Pro running back Le'Veon Bell to a four-year deal worth 52.5 million.
Packers are going all in on defense: The Green Bay Packers, who rarely ever dip their toe into the free agency pool, are making big waves this year as they are reportedly going to be allocating a lot of resources to their defense. They have agreed to terms with a safety form their division rival Chicago Bears in Adrian Amos on a four-year deal worth $37 million that will pay him $14 million and $21 million in the first two years. They also have agreed to terms to bring a pair of the top available pass rushers to Title Town in former Redskins outside backer in Preston Smith who will ink a four-year deal worth $52 million and former Baltimore Ravens’ versatile pass rusher Za’Darius Smith who broke out last season in his final year of his rookie deal by logging a team-high 8.5 sacks.
Raiders continue to be aggressive: After agreeing to make former New England Patriot Trent Brown the highest paid left tackle in NFL history yesterday, the Oakland Raiders continued to make significant moves on day two by agreeing to terms to sign one of the ascending young safeties that were on the market in Lamarcus Joyner to a four-year deal worth $42 million and includes $16.7 million in guarantees.
Ravens No.1 defense loses more key pieces: The Jets reset the middle linebacker market by agreeing to pay former Ravens star CJ Mosley an average of $17 million per year which proved to be too rich of an offer for Baltimore to match. After reportedly losing franchise sack leader and future Hall of Famer in outside linebacker Terrell Suggs to Arizona Cardinal yesterday the Ravens have lost yet another of their top pass rushers, and last year’s leader in that category in Za’Darius Smith who is reportedly going to cash in with the Green Bay Packers for four years and $66 million.
Broncos make some key moves: After making the first trade of the offseason last month when they agreed to trade for Superbowl XLVII (47) MVP in former Ravens franchise quarterback Joe Flacco, the Denver Broncos made some moves that may not be considered splashes but could prove integral in Flacco’s success going forward. They signed top right tackle free agent Ja’Wuan James to a four-year $52 million deal that includes $32 million guaranteed. They also agreed to terms with former Texans corner Kareen Jackson on a three-year deal worth $33 million and $23 million guaranteed.
Colts have been surprisingly quite: Despite having the most cap space in the league, the Indianapolis Colts have been rather silent outside of agreeing to terms with former Panthers receiver Devin Funchess on a one-year deal that could be worth up to $13 million. After having arguably, the best haul from last year’s draft they might continue to stand pat and make some more under the radar moves.
Cardinals continue to bolster LB core: After agreeing to terms to bring the NFL’s active leading sack leader in Terrell Suggs to line up across from Chandler Jones, Arizona reached a deal with former Eagles middle linebacker Jordan Hicks for $36 million over four years and $20 million guaranteed.
Bill revamp receiving corps: The Buffalo Bills have reportedly agreed to terms with a pair of veteran receivers that will help their young franchise quarterback Josh Allen develop heading into his second year. They agreed to terms with speedy receiver John Brown on a three-year deal worth $27 million and slot receiver Cole Beasley for four years and $29 million.
Vikings will hold on to Barr: After it was reported late last night that Pro Bowl linebacker Anthony Barr was going to be signing a deal with the New York Jets when the new league year opened up, but Minnesota made one last late push and are reportedly going to resign Barr on a new five-year deal worth $67.5 million.
Panthers land top free agent center: The Carolina Panthers have found a successor for former Pro Bowler Matt Khalil in former Broncos center Matt Paradis, who is viewed as the top available free agent at the position, to a three-year deal worth $27 million.
San Francisco procures one of the top pass rushers: After slapping the franchise tag on outside linebacker Dee Ford the Kansas City Chiefs traded the top-flight edge rusher to the 49ers who agreed to a five-year deal worth $87.5 million upon the finalization of the transaction. The 9ers are sending a second-round pick in the 2020 draft to the Chiefs in exchange for Ford.