In a time of great need, the NFL has come through to save us all from our collective “social distancing” and life without sports. Free agency is here!
It has only been a few days but there have been a dizzying amount of moves made and some are sure to shake the NFL to its core.
So far we have already seen some of the biggest names in the game on the move. The Texans and GM/HC Bill O’Brien made the (very questionable) decision to trade arguably the games best WR DeAndre Hopkins to the rival Arizona Cardinals for a bag of beans and some postage stamps. The Buffalo Bills finally got their number one WR in Stefon Diggs, trading all their draft picks for the next four years and QB Josh Allen’s firstborn son.
Jason Witten is signing with the Oakland Raiders (??), which makes perfect sense…I guess. Tom Brady is no longer a Patriot. Tom Brady is no longer a Patriot. I wrote twice thinking it would sound better the second time, but nope. It still sounds very weird and borderline criminal. Just imagining him in a Bucs jersey…wow.
Cam Newton is in the middle of a nasty divorce from the Panthers, and new HC Matt Rhule is going to need to finesse the hell out of the locker room to get them on board with him and his new regime after making comments just a few weeks ago that Cam was going to be on their roster come September.
The Rams have entered into free agency making a few notable moves, however, none of them are leaving a warm and fuzzy feeling. Instead of making a splash or making a nice complementary piece addition they have done nothing but make subtractions to the team.
The team declined to re-sign DE Michael Brockers, but he wasn’t unemployed for very long. Brockers signed a 3 year, $30 million dollar deal with the Baltimore Ravens. For those of you keeping score, that means the Ravens defensive line now features Brandon Williams, Brockers, and Calais Campbell. Pretty pretty good.
Littleton has a great NFL success story. The guy went from undrafted in 2016 to start on special teams, until becoming a starter in 2018 where he has thrived ever since. Since becoming a starter he has played on 94% of all the defensive snaps, without missing a game. Last season Littleton made a career-high 134 tackles, forced two fumbles, had 3.5 sacks, 5 QB hits, and had 2 INTs. (Littleton pictured below)
In case you were wondering who will be replacing all of this production inside LB it is a real who’s who of talent. Names like Micah Kiser, Kenny Young, Troy Reader, and Tavin Howard, a group that collectively has a total of 14 NFL starts.
The most recent move might be the most puzzling of them all. The Rams have decided to part ways with CB Nickell Robey-Coleman after the team declined his $4.5 million dollar option. The team is clearly focusing on shedding money for cap space but given his talent and very team-friendly deal this move doesn’t really add up. He told ESPN’s Josina Anderson as much, calling the move “bittersweet”, also adding “I don’t know why they moved on”. Over the past two seasons, Robey-Coleman allowed a completion rate below 66%, allowing only 4 TD’s in coverage. (Robey-Coleman pictured below)
It is really hard to see a bright spot at the end of the tunnel here. I have to believe there is a plan in place, but what that could be is anyone’s guess at this point.
For those of you who like to read the tea leaves, Both Brandin Cooks and Todd Gurley are not following the team’s official Twitter or Instagram accounts after their names have come up in trade discussions.
So the off-loading of talent might just be starting.
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