Jorge Elias ‘19
The real free agency period is kicked off with the NFL Combine, where the top players in College Football come out to show off their abilities to 32 NFL scouts, coaches, and some head coaches looking on from the suites. During this event, mock drafts are made and the NFL draft order is revealed. This is when every NFL fan gets nervous and excited, constantly keeping an eye on ESPN to see if their team is going to make any big moves for a big time player to try to help them make a playoff push, or in some cases, teams give up their big time player for more draft picks to begin rebuilding or to clear house and start fresh.
This year veterans, such as Eric Weddle, Case Keenum, Danny Amendola, Le’Veon Bell, Odell Beckham Jr, Landon Collins, Tyrann Mathieu, and Antonio Brown, are all heading to new homes. Brown is headed to the Oakland Raiders via trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers. After a season with trash talking, locker room controversy, and Brown being very vocal about Big Ben’s “leadership” and wanting the ball more, this seems like a good move for Brown.
Heading to an offense with a desperate need for a secondary receiver to play alongside Amari Cooper, and hopefully get Derek Carr on track and a hot start in Las Vegas, Bell has decided to sign with the New York Jets. This is another good move, in my opinion, especially because the Jets haven’t had a consistent starting running back in long time. The Jets were making some steady progress as a team with their rookie QB Sam Darnold. Hopefully, with the addition of Bell, they will be able to rely on the run game when the passing game isn’t clicking.
After a very disappointing season as a team, the Giants finished off the year at 5-11, but their rookie RB Saquon Barkley was everything they wanted and more: an explosive, elusive young back who can electrify an offense with ease. Beckham Jr. had a decent season only playing 12 games but hauling in 77 catches for 1,052 yards and 6 touchdowns, which is a pretty good season coming off multiple injuries. This trade was a major surprise because the Giants front office had stated that they were not going to trade Beckham Jr. and that those conversations were over. When news came of Beckham Jr.’s trade to Cleveland for a draft pick and Jabrill Peppers, the sports world was shocked. Giants fans and Saquon Barkley were crushed. But in Cleveland, they were rejoicing and running through the streets.
The Browns had ended the season with a 7-8-1 record, their best record in four years and adding the most dynamic and exciting wide receiver in the league and putting him alongside his lifetime teammate Jarvis Landry and with an exciting QB like Baker Mayfield, Browns Fans are very optimistic for this upcoming season.
The Patriots’ free agency hasn’t been quite as exciting as the rest of the league’s, with the departures of Trent Brown (Raiders), Dwayne Allen (Dolphins), Trey Flowers (Lions) , Cordarrelle Patterson (Bears) and the crushing news of Rob Gronkowski retiring.
From the outside looking in, it seems as if the defending Super Bowl champs are as depleted as ever, but never count out the Patriots. They always bring in good players who for some reason, play extremely above their usual performance, and make a run for the playoffs. The Patriots have quietly added RB Brandon Bolden, DT Mike Pennel, TE Matt Lacosse, S Terrence Brooks,WR Maurice Harris, WR Bruce Ellington along with the re-signing of Phillip Dorsett and Jason Mccourty. So the future looks bright for the Patriots. Hopefully the Draft will be a haul for Patriots and hopefully we will see the return of Josh Gordon in the near future.