The Houston Texans decided to trade away DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals in a move that shocked the entire league, and every football fan on planet earth. This trade was most surprising, not because he was moved, but because of how little they got in return for potentially a future NFL HOF player.
The details of the trade were:
To Texans: David Johnson, Cardinals 2nd round pick (#40 overall), and Cardinals 2021 4th round pick.
To Cardinals: DeAndre Hopkins, Texans 2020 4th round pick
This was a terrible trade that only a team without a General Manager would make. I guess this is karma for Texans owner Robert McNair since he was unwilling to pay anyone to be their GM. This is another example of why head coaches should never be the ones making trades in the NFL. At the very least the Texans should have acquired a first-round pick in return for DeAndre Hopkins. Instead they get a RB who is owed $11,156,250 this upcoming season, and a second round pick. On top of that the Texans also gave up their 4th round pick this season. The Cardinals get an A+ grade for this trade and the Texans get an F.
The Atlanta Falcons decided to let Austin Hooper walk in free agency and find his replacement in Hayden Hurst. The Falcons are sending a 2nd & 5th round pick to the Baltimore Ravens for Hurst and the Ravens 2020 4th round pick. The Falcons pay a steep price for Hurst, giving up a second-round pick, but they also save around $9 million dollars by not paying Austin Hooper. They also move up from pick 158 to pick 134. If the Falcons view Hurst as a better TE option than any of the TE’s in this year’s draft class, then they couldn’t have done better with their second-round draft pick. Meanwhile the Ravens trade their second-string tight end for a second-round pick. This was a terrific deal for the Ravens, they still have Nick Boyle who will serve as a solid TE2 on their roster. My final grade for both teams, the Ravens get an A+, Falcons get a B.
The San Francisco 49ers today decided to trade DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts for the #13 overall selection in this years NFL Draft. Earlier today, before this trade went down, the 49ers re-signed Arik Armstead to a contract that will pay him $17 million annually. Buckner has agreed to an extension with the Colts that will pay him $21 million annually. The 49ers couldn’t afford to pay them both and didn’t want to lose Armstead. Instead of letting Armstead walk and get nothing in return they pulled off this trade.
The 49ers can now try and draft Derrick Brown or Javon Kinlaw and save around $18 million annually. Meanwhile the Colts add one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL to their team. The Colts currently have Margus Hunt, Tyquan Lewis, and Denico Autry who can play the interior defensive lineman position. Buckner is a huge upgrade and will anchor that defensive line for years to come. Personally, I thought the Colts should have been looking for a WR1 with their #13 overall pick. They could have targeted guys like CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, or Henry Ruggs. My final grade for the 49ers is an A+, and a B- for the Colts.
The fourth trade of today sent WR Stefon Diggs and the Vikings 2020 7th round pick to the Buffalo Bills for a flurry of draft picks. The Bills in return sent their #22 overall pick, their 5th & 6th round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft and their 4th round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft to the Minnesota Vikings. this was a huge trade for the Bills. In every mock draft I’ve done so far, I’ve given the Bills a WR at #22 overall.
Now instead of getting a talented but unproven college player, the Bills get one of the better receivers in this league. Josh Allen is finally given a true #1 option in the passing game to throw to and it should lead to an ever more dynamic offense for the Bills this offseason. The Vikings in return get a ton of draft picks, including #22 overall. They can use that pick to find a day 1 starter in the NFL. My grade for each team, the Bills get an A, and the Vikings get an A+.
Tracking each team’s offseason moves
The Bears have been linked to Quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater, Nick Foles, and Andy Dalton via free agency or trade. Reports are that the Bears are just looking to bring in someone who can give Mitchell Trubisky some competition, but the truth is, they just need a new starting quarterback. The Bears made on free agent signing today, adding TE Jimmy Graham to the team. To be Honest, I’m not totally sure why this move was made, since the Bears are looking to add a quarterback in free agency, and still have a hole at RG it doesn’t make much sense to use up cap space on a tight end, which is already a position of depth.
The Bengals have franchise tagged A.J. Green. Joe Burrow has stated he wants A.J. Green in the locker room if he is going to play for the Bengals. This is yet another indicator that he Bengals will be taking Joe Burrow with the #1 overall pick.
The Bills signed CB Josh Norman, DE Mario Addison and re-signed LG Quinton Spain today. The Bills also traded four draft picks, including #22 overall for WR Stefan Diggs. Brandon Beane continues to build this team into a championship contender.
The Browns have been busy on day one of the legal tampering period. They have made Austin Hooper the highest paid TE in the league at $11 million a season for 4 years ($44M total). They also upgraded their RT position by paying Jack Conklin $42 million over three seasons. Lastly, they also signed Case Keenum to a three-year $18 million deal to be their backup quarterback.
The Broncos placed the franchise tag on safety Justin Simmons, signed Graham Glasgow to a 4-year, $44 Million contract and traded for CB A.J. Bouye a couple weeks ago. The Broncos have made some smart decisions which should allow them to continue to be competitive in the AFC West division.
The Buccaneers first moves in free agency were to retain edge rushers Shaquil Barrett (by placing the franchise tag on him) and Jason Pierre-Paul, whom they signed to a 2-year $27 million contract. I expect the Buccaneers to sign free agent quarterback Tom Brady in the coming days.
The Cardinals have placed the transition tag on running back Kenyan Drake and traded for DeAndre Hopkins so far this season. In doing so they sent away RB David Johnson and fleeced the Texans in one of the worst trades in NFL history. The Cardinals continue to put pieces around Kyler Murray so that he can be successful, I expect the Cardinals to address the RT position either via free agency or in the draft this year also.
The Chargers have placed the franchise tag on Hunter Henry, re-signed Austin Ekeler and traded for guard Trai Turner this offseason. These were all smart decisions that will continue to allow their offense to be successful. The next big question is what they do at quarterback. Its possible they sign one in free agency, otherwise expect them to try and draft a quarterback in the first round of this year’s draft.
The Chiefs have placed the franchise tag on Chris Jones. They have also picked up the $2.3 million option on Damien Williams contract. The Chiefs have no cap space, so don’t expect to see any big signings over the next few days.
The Colts have re-signed LT Anthony Castonzo to a two-year contract and traded their #13 overall selection in this year’s NFL Draft for DT DeForest Buckner. Because of this trade I would expect to see the Colts try and sign a wide receiver in free agency.
The Cowboys have placed the exclusive franchise tag on Dak Prescott and re-signed Blake Jarwin to a 3-year contract. They also paid Amari cooper a 5 year 100-Million-dollar contract. I expect that the Cowboys and Dak Prescott will continue to try and reach an agreement on a long-term contract this offseason. I expect that the Cowboys will try find some defensive players on bargain contracts this offseason.
The Dolphins have been very active in this free agency window, signing four players on the first day. Those four players include offensive lineman Ereck Flowers, defensive end Shaq Lawson, linebacker Kyle Van Noy and corner Byron Jones. They used over half of this year’s cap space on those four players. It will be interest to see how the Dolphins use their remaining cap space for the rest of free agency. Melvin Gordon could be the next player signed by the Miami Dolphins.
The Eagles had one big day 1 free agent signing in NT Javon Hargrave who they signed to a 3-year $39 million contract. The Eagles still have holes to fill on the defensive side of the ball, I expect they will continue to try and sign players to improve their defense until they run out of cap space.
The Falcons have re-signed Tyler Davidson and traded for Hayden Hurst. These two moves filled some holes on their offense and will give them a little more freedom on how they should use their first two draft picks this year.
The 49ers have re-signed DT Arik Armstead to a five-year deal. They also traded away DT DeForest Buckner to the Colts for the #13 overall pick in this year’s draft. It was also just reported that the 49ers have re-signed safety Jimmie Ward. Losing Buckner really hurts their defense so it is a must that they get someone who can contribute right away with the #13th overall pick.
The Giants have made three moves so far this offseason, first they placed the franchise tag on defensive lineman Leonard Williams. Then they signed corner James Bradberry to a three-year $45 million contract. Now they have added Blake Martinez on a 3-year $30 million contract. The Giants still need to sign and edge rusher and will most likely look to address that hole in the coming days of free agency.
The Jaguars have placed the franchise tag on Yannick Ngakoue, and many believe they will trade him. It is possible the Jaguars could net a first-round pick for Ngakoue, which would give the Jaguars their 3rd first round pick in this year’s draft.
The Jets had a disappointing first day in free agency, missing on players like Graham Glasgow and Jack Conklin, but they were able to sign OT George Fant to a three-year contract. Bryan Bulaga is another player that is currently a free agent the Jets should be trying to sign in the coming days.
The Lions have signed Halapoulivaati Vaitai to a five-year contract at $10 million a season. Additionally, they have signed LB Jamie Collins to a three-year $30 Million contract. These are two players that should start right away and be contributors to the team. The Lions still have cap space and need to add talent to the defensive line, edge rush, and defensive backs, so expect them to be aggressive in the coming days of free agency.
The packers have signed both ILB Christian Kirksey and RT Ricky Wagner to two-year contracts. Both these players, if healthy are bargains who should contribute each week to the team’s success. I expect the Packers to make one more splash in free agency before focusing on addressing team needs in the NFL Draft.
The Panthers traded Trai Turner to the Chargers for Russell Okung two weeks ago. Today they signed QB Kyle Allen to an extension, while also signing free agent DE Stephen Weatherly to 3-year contract. I expect the Panthers to keep addressing needs in free agency over the coming days.
The Patriots have lost two key free agents already in Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins, but they were able to re-sign safety Devin McCourty on a 2-year $23 million contract. They also placed the franchise tag on left guard Joe Thuney and re-signed special-teams player Matthew Slater to a two-year extension. I expect Brady to sign elsewhere in free agency so I wouldn’t be surprised if within the next few days, we start hearing rumors about quarterbacks the Patriots are looking to sign in free agency or trade for.
The Raiders have signed Marcus Mariota to compete for the starting quarterback position as well as signing Nick Kwiatkoski to bolster the Raiders linebacking core. The Mariota signing is an interesting one in that both Mayock and Gruden were very high on him when he was coming into the league, I wouldn’t be surprised if he gives Derek Carr a run for his money during the preseason this summer.
The Rams have not made any moves this offseason, although it is believed that many players are available via trade including Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks, and possibly Robert Woods.
The Ravens have signed Michael Brockers, traded for Calais Campbell and franchise tagged Matt Judon. All three of these moves help bolster a defense that had multiple starters becoming free agents. These moves should allow the ravens to draft an ILB or SS with their #28 overall pick.
The Redskins released Josh Norman this offseason and replace him with Kendall Fuller who they signed to a 4-year $40 Million contract. They also franchise tagged guard Brandon Scherff and sign guard Wes Schweitzer to a three-year $13.5 million contract. with the loss of Ereck Flowers, Schweitzer should fill that hole on a bargain contract.
The Saints will soon officially re-sign Drew Brees, but before that happens, they were able to re-sign David Onyemata to a three-year contract for $27 million ($9M a season). The Saints don’t have cap space so don’t expect them to make any big signings after Brees re-signs.
The Seahawks have re-signed DT Jarran Reed to a 2-year $23 million contract, while also adding Greg Olsen in free agency to bolster the TE position. I expect the Seahawks to re-sign Jadeveon Clowney tomorrow and would be shocked if Seattle loses him in free agency after trading a 3rd round pick for him at the beginning of the season.
The Steelers placed their franchise tag on Bud Dupree but that has been the only move they’ve made this offseason. Considering they are $10+ million over the salary cap currently, expect them to be release players rather than signing them this offseason.
The Texans have acquired RB David Johnson via a trade with the Cardinals for DeAndre Hopkins. They re-signed TE Darren Fells, CB Bradley Roby, K Ka’imi Fairbairn, and backup QB AJ McCarron. The Texans have also signed WR Randall Cobb.
The Titans were able to address some needs by re-signing Ryan Tannehill to be their starting quarterback, franchise tagging Derrick Henry to retain their starting running back and signing Dennis Kelly to start at RT in place of Jack Conklin who signed with the Browns. These were all smart moves that allow the Titans to keep the core of their team together. I expect the Titans and Henry to try and agree to an extension at some point this offseason.
Vikings– sign punter Britton Colquitt to a 3 year, $9 million contract. They also re-signed FB C.J. Ham to a four-year contract.