NFL free agency season was likely not what most of you sports fans wanted to follow the most in late March, but with the current situation, it may be the most exciting thing happening in the world of sports.
Free agency in the NFL, as it always does, came in with a bang last week. Superstars traded and signed to new teams. Players, both old and young, moving on to bigger and better things, they hope.
The league also shifted power a bit from division to division. Making one of the biggest leaps this season is the NFC South. The NFC South made headlines and several big splashes over the last week, highlighted by one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time joining the division.
Coming off of three straight division titles, even the Saints were aggressive to kick off the offseason. A team that it seemed could easily coast to yet another division title under Drew Brees and Sean Payton, had its hand forced by its division rivals.
New Orleans grabbed Emmanuel Sanders on a two-year, $16 million deal as free agency kicked off. Alongside Michael Thomas, there is no ceiling for what the Saints receiving corps could do.
To improve an already decent secondary, they also signed veteran safety Malcolm Jenkins, who will make his second stint in New Orleans under Payton. Andrus Pear and Justin Hardee will also don the fleur de lis in 2020.
On The Prowl
In the absence of Brees last season, Saints backup Teddy Bridgewater went a perfect 5-0. Now, he will see what he can do with a full season in Carolina. The Panthers signed Bridgewater to a three-year, $63 million deal. They also grabbed XFL standout, P.J. Walker, to presumably backup Bridgewater.
This move left an odd man out. After giving Cam Newton permission to seek a trade, the Panthers gave Newton his all-out release on Tuesday. While Newton’s future is uncertain, there is a vacancy in the state of Massachusetts if they are interested.
The G.O.A.T. is a Buc
That’s right, the Patriots need a starting quarterback. Tom Brady is no longer a New England Patriot. Brady is a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. A statement that not many of us will ever be comfortable saying out loud or writing for that matter.
Nonetheless, the Bucs added the goat. The Champ. Fantasy owners may want to think about holding onto the likes of Mike Evans, Chris Godley, and any other receiver wearing a Bucs jersey. This move also left an odd man out in Jameis Winston, but there are still plenty of teams needing a starting quarterback, including that one team in Massachusetts.
Georgia on My Mind
Atlanta may have had the quietest acquisition of a Pro Bowl running back in free agency history, likely overshadowed by the Brady news. The Falcons return Todd Gurley to the state of Georgia on a one-year, $6 million deal.
They grabbed a second Ram in the form of pass rusher Dante Fowler Jr. Fowler is on a three-year, $48 million deal after getting his career back on track in LA. Fowler looks to improve a pass rush attack that was near the bottom of the league.
The impact of many of these free agents and trades remain to be seen, but one thing is certain. We will all tune in and find out how Brady does in Tampa Bay. How Teddy throws in Carolina. How Manny Sanders runs alongside Michael Thomas. When the NFL returns, especially this season, we will all be ready. As will the entire NFC South.
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