Football has calmed down quite a bit, but it doesn’t mean things aren’t happening. We are smack dab in the middle of the offseason, and with the National Football League (NFL) draft coming up at the end of April, teams are scrambling to make trades and sign free agents. Here are my rankings for the biggest moves made so far.
4. The reality of “more time with family”
No surprise here as the greatest of all time has retired and unretired to the point where I’m never going to count him out of the game of football no matter how old he gets. Tom Brady is bored. Clearly the domestic life isn’t for him because six weeks after announcing his retirement, he announced that he would be returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for another shot at a Super Bowl.
Still rumors are swirling. One potential destination for him is Miami. My opinion? His return is to test out the waters with his childhood team, the San Francisco 49ers, who are currently in a quarterback predicament of their own. As a self-designated representative of my home team, I’d like to see Brady in the Bay Area. Given Brady’s Super Bowl history, he’s due to win one this year.
Regardless of where he ends up, the team is going to be lucky to have him.
3. Tyreek Hill moves to Miami
Tyreek Hill, the star six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs, has been traded to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for Miami's first- and second-round picks in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft. Hill took the podium, repping the orange and blue, and commented that Miami was always his first choice destination.
So how are the Chiefs now? Looking at the cap, the Chiefs had more than enough money to keep Hill but chose not to pay him his desired amount. I tend to agree with this strategy. By choosing to pay Hill, the Chiefs would most likely have to restructure contracts, and so they went the easy way and took the draft picks to better their depth issues. Hill is an electric player, and it will be tough for any defense that faces him, but I do believe that head coach Andy Reid will continue to field tough offenses. Patrick Mahomes isn’t going anywhere and can definitely utilize any weapon that he’s given. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
2. Deshaun Watson hits gold
While facing 22 allegations of sexual misconduct, Deshaun Watson has finally gotten out of Houston and landed in Cleveland. And he signed a massive contract — a five year, $230 million contract with the Cleveland Browns, including a $44.965 million signing bonus, $230 million guaranteed and an average annual salary of $46 million. To say this is a game-changer is a complete understatement. It redefines the entire industry in terms of structuring contracts and constructing rosters.
Baltimore Ravens’ owner Steve Bisciotti said what everyone’s thinking. In an interview with beat writers, he commented, “Damn, I wish they hadn't guaranteed the whole contract. I don't know that he should've been the first guy to get a fully guaranteed contract. To me that's something that is a groundbreaker, and it'll make negotiations harder with others.” Given the added complications with contracts and the legal issues at hand, Watson is under a lot of stress and so is the NFL. One thing’s for sure — I wouldn’t want to be Roger Goodell right now.
1. Russell Wilson becomes a Bronco
Now broke, the Denver Broncos, after Aaron Rodgers elected to stay with the pack, quickly acquired the nine-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl 48 champion and a 2022 second-round pick. In exchange the organization gave up first-round picks in 2022 and 2023, second-round picks in 2022 and 2023, a 2022 fifth-round pick and three players — Drew Lock, Noah Fant and Shelby Harris.
This landing spot comes with a rich group of targets, including Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler and what Wilson probably desires most — an offensive-minded head coach in Nathaniel Hackett, who just left Green Bay after three years there. In that time he was a major player in helping Rodgers win his two straight Most Valuable Player Awards. He’s sure to be an asset to Wilson. The American Football Conference West is completely loaded, so it’ll be tough, but this is the Broncos’ best shot at a Super Bowl since Peyton Manning retired.
There are lots to look forward to in the football world, and I’m excited to see what’s to come in the next few weeks as we draw closer to the new season.