Winners and losers of NFL free agency

Story posted March 24, 2018 in Sports, CommRadio by Jason Marcus

Over the past couple of weeks, NFL free agency has dominated the headlines. Veterans have left the only teams they have ever known. Young superstars of the game will begin their legacy in a new city. But, as the case with any NFL offseason, not every signing is a good decision.

Here are the top winners and losers from NFL Free Agency thus far.

Winners:

1. Kirk Cousins

As the most sought after free agent of the offseason, it should be no surprise to anyone that Kirk Cousins would end up on the right-side of a huge contract.

In the end, Cousins signed a fully guaranteed, three-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings worth $84 Million. This could not have been a better deal for both parties. Cousins gets paid like the free agent crown jewel that he is, and the Vikings lock up their franchise quarterback for the foreseeable future.

For Cousins, he goes to a team with tons of weapons and arguably the best defense in football. No longer will he have to carry the burden of the entire offense on his shoulders like he did in Washington.

For the Vikings last season, they were one win away from going to the Super Bowl. With a new quarterback, and mostly the same defense with some new additions, they will be an early favorite to get back to where they once were.

2. Mitchell Trubisky

Last year the Bears were one of the worst teams in the entire NFL. Offensively, they were without a true number one receiver. Instead, they had to rely on running back’s Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard. However, the true shining star for Chicago was their rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.

This offseason the Bears did all they could to help Trubisky get more weapons. Their biggest signing came in the form of former Jaguars wide receiver Allen Robinson. Robinson is coming off an ACL injury that kept him out all last season. However, despite that, he was still one of the most coveted wide receivers this offseason.

Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and former Eagles tight end Trey Burton were all brought into the windy city to help alleviate the pressure of the second-year signal caller. In addition, the Bears hold the eighth overall pick in the draft, meaning it’s very likely that they aren’t done yet.

3. The Cleveland Browns

Speaking of bad teams, last season the Cleveland Browns became just the second team in NFL History to go winless. They struggled all season to move the ball down the field, and rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer failed to impress. The Browns couldn’t seem to catch a break. Josh Gordon was still serving his suspension for most of the year, and the offensive line was horrible after the injury to Joe Thomas.

However, this offseason new General Manager John Dorsey is looking to turn a corner. He started off his busy off season by trading for all-pro wide receiver Jarvis Landry from the Dolphins. He then followed that up by trading for cornerback Damarious Randall and signing free agent quarterback Tyrod Taylor. With the acquisition of Taylor, Dorsey had no choice but to ship the struggling Kizer to the Green Bay Packers.

All these big-time free agent moves signal a culture shift in Cleveland. They now have a playoff quarterback, a true number one wide receiver and two of the top four picks in the draft. In addition, the Browns have one of the best young defensive units in football, with players like Myles Garrett and Jabrill Peppers at the beginning of their careers. Overall, the Browns should be very happy with the direction in which they are going.

Losers:

1. Teddy Bridgewater

The former Vikings quarterback hasn’t started a football game since Jan. 10, 2016. He went down with a non-contact injury during training camp the following year, and the former first-round pick has never been the same since.

However, this offseason Bridgewater was looking like he was about to start the next chapter of his career. On March 18, 2018, Bridgewater signed a one-year contract with the New York Jets. Everything looked like Bridgewater was going to get his next shot to start. However, just a few weeks later those hopes would be dashed. The Jets would later re-sign their starting quarterback from lasts season, Josh McCown. Additionally, they then made a blockbuster trade with the Indianapolis Colts for the third overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

What started as the possible resurgence of his career, has now turned into an almost certain back-up role. For a man with everything to prove, this is one of the worst situations for his career.

2. NFC East Quarterbacks

In one of the most competitive divisions in all of football also lies some of the most feared defensive lines. Most notably is the one from the defending Super Bowl Champions, the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Eagles last season were the most dominant force on the defensive side of the ball. And during this offseason, they have only gotten better. While they have lost some key depth players, they added two former pro-bowl defensive lineman in the process. Defensive end Michael Bennet came over from the Seahawks in a trade, and former Lion’s defensive tackle Haloti Ngata signed a one-year deal.

The real losers here are all the quarterbacks that will now have to face this fearsome line-up twice a year.

3. Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals have had a rough couple of months. Both their head coach and quarterback retired, leaving their franchise without direction.

They attempted to move forward by signing quarterback Sam Bradford. The deal was worth $20 Million in only one year. While Bradford is certainly capable, it would be hard to believe that the franchise sees him as the future of their franchise.  The contract is a large-sum of money, but for a quarterback with a history of injury and not the future of the franchise, it feels very forced.

In addition, the Cardinals also let go safety Tyrann Mathieu, who was arguably the leader defensively. Mathieu has since signed with the Houston Texans, but the loss will certainly be felt in the desert of Arizona.

Jason Marcus is a junior majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email jasmarcus320@gmail.com.