The NFL off-season is arguably one of the most climactic and exciting periods of the sports world, with mind-blowing trades and plentiful contact extensions. When games aren’t on TV, free agents become our source of football entertainment. Former and current players are looking for both new teams and big dollar signs, and in only one month after Super Bowl LIII, more contracts have been accepted than fans can wrap their minds around.
discussed leaving the team after butting heads with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers decided not to sign Antonio Brown for the 2019-2020 season, and he then requested a trade. Soon three different teams were interested in the young player: the Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders. After a long week of waiting, it was finally revealed by ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the Steelers agreed to a trade with the Raiders in exchange for a third- and fifth-round pick in the NFL Draft. Steelers fans were a bit disgruntled with seeing the end of the Ben, Brown and Bell trio, but officials from the Raiders say that this is the “best fit” for Antonio Brown.
In another surprising exchange, the Philadelphia Eagles may have lost one of their most valuable assets. Nick Foles, the second-string quarterback of the team, has played a crucial role in the Eagles’ recent success. Not only did he smoothly replace Carson Wentz after a back injury early in the season, but he led the team to its first Super Bowl win back in 2018. At 30, he’s an experienced and seasoned player that any desperate team would be after.
Enter the Jacksonville Jaguars who are scrambling to find a quarterback after their crisis with Blake Bortles. The Jaguars offered Foles a four-year contract worth $88 million and a $50 million guaranteed, to which he accepted. This could leave the Eagles in a sticky situation if Wentz can’t recover fully from his back injury or suffers re-injury. However, we’ll see what this addition to the team means for Jacksonville.
In yet another trade, two teams battled it out for the prize of a safety powerhouse. The Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs went head-to-head in a bidding battle for safety Tyrann Mathieu. The Chiefs eventually won out, signing the 26-year-old to a three-year contract worth $42 million. The question for Kansas City is: what about Eric Berry, their current safety? After an injury, Berry only played five of the Chiefs’ 35 last games. In addition, he is already 30 and hasn’t had a chance to really prove himself to be an asset to the team. Only time will tell what Kansas City will do, but Mathieu’s already demonstrated skill set will be hard to beat.
Despite all these trades and more (including Joe Flacco and Kareem Jackson to the Broncos, Case Keenum to Washington, and DeSean Jackson back with the Eagles), there’s still much to come in the NFL off-season and draft in April. Considering the fact that it’s only been a month since the season officially ended, there’s plenty of time for more trades to be made. This shuffle of players will make for an interesting next year.
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