NFL Free Agency Update, March 2020

NFL Free Agency Update, March 2020

Every year, the NFL's free agency period is a frenzy. Superstars swap jerseys, surprising trades shake the league's core, ballistic amount of dollars are thrown, and teams start to mold up their rosters just before the NFL Draft, that's the cherry on top.

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Note: Before we move forward, please be aware that this is an ongoing topic, and all the information is accurate from the time of writing this article. We will continue to update as soon as new information develops.

Most marquee Free Agents have quickly found new places, such as Tom Brady (Buccaneers), Philip Rivers (Colts), Teddy Bridgewater (Panthers), Blake Martinez and Kyler Fackrell (Giants), and so on.

These signings, nevertheless, don't mean all the good players are gone. In the end, the NFL is as popular as it is because nothing is for granted. Don't you believe me? Well, Tom Brady is in Florida as opposed to Foxborough, Rivers is out of the BoltUp Nation, and Jason Witten will enjoy the unique aroma of Las Vegas with the recently relocated Raiders.

But this period is not exclusive for those players who seek new pastures. Trades can occur, and wow have they surprised everyone this year. The WRs market has been particularly active in these early stages of the Free Agency. 

Elite wide-out DeAndre Hopkins was traded to Arizona, who gave up declining RB David Johnson and a second 2020 round draft pick and a fourth 2021 draft pick. A bargain for Arizona that should mark the end of Bill O'Brien as the GM -and coach- of the Houston Texans. Talk about winners and losers here.

Another wide receiver who changed his colors was great wide-out, Steffon Diggs. After forming a formidable tandem at the position with Adam Thielen at Minnesota, Diggs changed airs and is now at Buffalo. Diggs was unhappy with the Vikings, and now he goes to a playoff team where his impact can be an incredible boost for their aspirations. Buffalo did pay a hefty price, throwing a 2020 first-round pick (No. 22 overall), a 2020 fifth-round pick, a 2020 sixth-round pick, and a 2021 fourth-round pick. Apart from Diggs, they received a seventh-rounder.

Dallas Cowboys had to open the bag to retain their WR1 in Amari Cooper. In a five-year extension, Amari will be earning a whopping $100 million, $60 million guaranteed. 

Another franchise that has gone hunting for talent is Miami. Last year was atrocious for the Dolphins, but that was their plan. However, with plenty of draft picks and cap space, Miami's rebuild was fast. They have signed defensive power, including the likes of top CB Byron Jones, DE Emmanuel Ogbah and Shaq Lawson, LB Kyle Van Noy, and S Clay Fejedelem. Add OG Ereck Flowers and RB Jordan Howard, and all of a sudden, the Phins are looking sharp.

Lastly, you can never forget the franchise tags. Teams look to improve, guard, and steal assets all over the league. Big names are involved when it comes to the somewhat undesirable franchise tags. Amongst those tagged, you can find:

  • Dak Prescott: Dallas Cowboys' starting QB has been looking for a massive contract since last season. His wish will not be granted, at least for the moment, since the Lone Star team has franchised tagged him. The tag has a $33 million value for the 2020 season.
  • Hunter Henry: one of the most prolific Tight Ends in the league when healthy, Henry was franchised by the LA Chargers to an $11 million base salary for the 2020 season. However, the rumors are that a long-term contract is still on the plans for both parties.
  • AJ Green: poised to be one of the NFL's elite wide receivers, AJ Green's career has been harmed by two reasons: injuries and being in a mediocre franchise. However, the Bengals have the first pick in the draft and what it looks like to be their new QB for the foreseeable future in Joe Burrow. So they decided to tag AJ Green, who's projected to make an $18.3 million for the upcoming season.
  • Derrick Henry: after a great season and a historic postseason, Titans' star RB is now franchised. However, this is just a mechanism for the Titans to push for a long-term contract with the 26-year-old phenom.

Alongside those, other names tagged, you can find:

  • DT Chris Jones/ Kansas City Chiefs
  • LB Shaquil Barrett/ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • OLB Bud Dupree/ Pittsburgh Steelers
  • DE Leonard Williams/ New York Giants
  • DE Yannick Ngakoue/ Jacksonville Jaguars
  • OLB Matt Judon/ Baltimore Ravens
  • FS Justin Simmons/ Denver Broncos
  • G Brandon Sheriff/ Washington Redskins