Wow, wow ,wow I can't remember a day this action packed with high profile moves for as long as I can remember. It seemed like every time I refreshed my twitter timeline today another free agent signing broke. Pure pandemonium all day long, as soon as I thought the day's news was beginning to slow down it picked right back up and hasn't slowed down since. The shake up happening in the league right now is pretty crazy as there's going to be a lot of familiar faces in unfamiliar jerseys come the beginning of the 2018 season.
The biggest signing of the day had to be Kirk Cousins to the Vikings. He signed a 3 year $84 million deal that is fully guaranteed. Yes, Kirk Cousins who was a 4th round pick in 2012 will now earn over $150 million in his NFL career. That's a whole lot of money for a QB that has accomplished a whole bunch of nothing. Yes, Cousins did lead the Redskins to the playoffs, mostly by default because of how bad the NFC East was that year, however I can't take the playoff appearance away from him. How he did in that playoff appearance is a completely different story. He stunk. He also stunk in week 17 against the Giants in 2016 with a playoff spot on the line when he couldn't beat the Giants second string defense. Cousins is certainly an upgrade over Case Keenum, no one can argue that, but I wouldn't get my hopes up that he'll bring Minnesota their first Super Bowl.
It was a busy day for the former Minnesota quarterback trio. Teddy Bridgewater, who was drafted in 2014 to be the Vikings franchise QB, will be moving on to the New York Jets. He'll start the season in the backup role as the Jets also brought back Josh McCown who was told he will be the starter. The Jets continue to be the Jets and I just can't help but laugh. Next, Sam Bradford found another team dumb enough to pay his glass bones to show up and shatter with the Arizona Cardinals. They're paying Bradford $20 million this season of which $15 million is guaranteed with an option for another year. Looks like the Cardinals are stuck in limbo at the quarterback position just like they've always been. Case Keenum signed with the Broncos, which I already wrote about so check that out here.
The Packers made a great addition today along with a surprising departure. The Packers brought in Jimmy Graham who I believe will have a career year with Aaron Rodgers if he stays healthy. Rodgers makes shitty tight ends look great, so I can't even imagine the connection him and Jimmy Graham will have. It was good thing they brought him in because Rodgers is losing his favorite target in Jordy Nelson. This was a decision that came down to money, age, and injury history, all of which were against Jordy Nelson. I still think this guy can ball out and be a productive player in the league so I'm sure he won't be on the market long. Davante Adams and Jimmy Graham will be plenty of fire power for Aaron Rodgers, who really doesn't need great weapons to be great.
Remember when Malcolm Butler got benched and the Patriots secondary got torched losing them the Super Bowl? Well, looks like Butler got the last laugh as he got the Tennessee Titans to pay him an absurd amount of money. The deal is 5 years $61 million with $30 million guaranteed. Obviously the Titans overpaid for a guy that's nothing more than just an average cornerback. With how poor the Titans secondary was last season anything helps, so Butler will be a huge upgrade for them at cornerback. He'll be able to compliment Adoree Jackson and now maybe the Titans won't get torched all year by Deshaun Watson and Andrew Luck. I highly doubt that'll be the case, though. Bill Belichick wouldn't have been so eager to get rid of this guy if he was as talented as most people think he is. The Jets also made a big splash in the secondary market by landing Trumaine Johnson. Johnson will be a huge upgrade for the Jets and to have him and Jamal Adams in the same secondary will be a force to be reckon with. The deal pays Johnson $15 million per year which is a lot, but not when you're the Jets and have $90 million in cap space.
The big boys up front on the offensive line got some love today. Andrew Norwell signed a monster contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The deal ended up paying him over $13 million a year for the next 5 years or something ridiculous like that. I wanted the Giants to get him, but clearly at that price we didn't feel comfortable deflating our cap to land a guard. Giants former center Weston Richburg signed with the 49ers. Not only did the Giants whiff on the guy they wanted most in free agency, they also let one of their only good offensive lineman walk. The only other good lineman they had was Justin Pugh, who is also a free agent that the Giants are showing no intention of resigning.
The Patriots didn't sign anybody worth noting which comes as a surprise since they're usually the ones making the big splashes in free agency. They did however lose a player that had been a cog in their machine for many years. Danny Amendola has decided to move on from the Pats and join the Miami Dolphins. Definitely a blow to the Patriots who had used Amendola as a security blanket for a long time. He also always seemed to make clutch plays in the biggest games. The Bears improved their awful receiving core with the addition of Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabrielle. Sammy Watkins went to the Chiefs to add to an arsenal of weapons there that are now at the disposal of Patrick Mahomes. Big day for the wide receivers.
The Eagles weren't going to miss out on the signing frenzy of course. Why wouldn't they add to their defensive line which already had 7 more than capable players in the rotation. Haloti Ngata is the most recent addition to the Eagles D-line that is going to wreck the league this season. Tough time to be a team from the NFC East that isn't from Philadelphia. That wasn't the only big time defensive lineman on the move today. Mo Wilkerson, the former star defensive lineman for the Jets, has decided to sign with the Packers. This comes as surprise since the Packers are generally quiet when it comes to making big free agent splashes and they already made a big time move today.
There was even more moves like Johnathan Stewart to the Giants, John Brown to the Ravens, and Drew Brees resigning with the Saints. Nothing that's really worth noting. I'm sure I missed something since there was a billion transactions today, but that should wrap it up for day one of craziness throughout the NFL. Let me remind you that the league year doesn't even start until tomorrow and we already have all this ridiculous commotion. What a time to be a fan of the NFL!
Update: Dion Lewis has signed with the Tennessee Titans. This is a fantastic get especially after the departure of Demarco Murray. Derek Henry is a good running back, however he can't be relied on to carry the entire load himself. Him and Dion Lewis will make for an explosive 1, 2 punch. Lewis provides speed and quickness out of the backfield with the ability to catch the ball very well. The Titans upgraded their running game, which was already phenomenal.