While most of the sports world is up in arms about the cancellation of March Madness, the NFL is seizing the opportunity to take center stage as free agency has hit the ground running.
On Monday, we saw a number of moves being made by teams on the first day of the free-agency period, but the biggest news came early Tuesday.
Brady Announces Departure
The fun of free agency did not slow down on Tuesday, as legendary Patriots quarterback Tom Brady announced that he would not be returning to New England. The six-time Super Bowl champion and 14-time Pro Bowl selection announced via social media in a heartfelt goodbye that was as classy as you would expect from the greatest of all-time.
There is wild speculation that Brady will be taking his talents to South Beach, but Tampa Bay also appears to be a player. The Buccaneers reportedly offered Brady around $30 million, as did the Los Angeles Chargers, who are in the market for a quarterback after parting ways with Philip Rivers. Rivers is expected to be the main target of the Indianapolis Colts.
Fast First Day
On Monday, we saw the Baltimore Ravens revamp a defensive line that was already stout by adding veteran Calais Campbell and Michael Brockers.
The Arizona Cardinals traded David Johnson and a draft pick for arguably the best receiver in football in DeAndre Hopkins. The trade was met with a healthy dose of disapproval as it was assumed to be for salary cap reasons, yet Hopkins is less than $1.5M more expensive next season than Johnson.
The move leaves Will Fuller as the number one receiver on the current roster. Fuller is very good when he can stay healthy the speedy fly-route runner has only played more than 11 games in a season once, and that was in 2016.
Bills Deal For Diggs
The Buffalo Bills went out and traded for an elite receiver for Josh Allen to throw the ball by acquiring Stephon Diggs from the Minnesota Vikings for a bundle of four draft picks. Diggs has played in at least 13 games in each of his five NFL seasons and has set personal bests in back to back season for yards, logging 1,021 yards in 2018 and 1,130 yards in 2019.
The Cowboys temporarily solved their two biggest issues by placing the franchise tag on quarterback Dak Prescott and then signing their top wide receiver, Amari Cooper, to a five-year, $100 million contract ($60M guaranteed) late Monday evening.
The contract makes Cooper the second-highest-paid receiver in the NFL behind the Falcons Julio Jones. Prescott will make $33 million in 2020 while playing under the tag.
Hargrave To Eagles
DT Jason Hargrave also became the highest-paid defensive tackle in the NFL, signing a three-year deal with the Eagles worth a reported $39 million per season. The 6-2, 300-plus-pounder recorded 14.5 sacks and 168 tackles in four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After the Carolina Panthers seemingly stood beside former MVP quarterback Cam Newton, they have decided to allow him to seek a trade, according to Ian Rappaport. It will be interesting to see what kind of market there is for Newton after a season in which he played in only two games. There is an awful lot of miles on those tires as Newton enters his 10th NFL season.
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