David D’Annibale | Staff Writer
The official start to the 2020 NFl year was this Wednesday with the opening of free agency. Now, teams can officially sign free agents and confirm trades that were made before March 18. Many big names have hit the open market and have made decisions that will shake up the NFL this season.
However, not all teams allow their big name players to hit the market. Some notable players that received the franchise tag include quarterback Dak Prescott, defensive tackle Chris Jones, edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue, running back Derrick Henry and guard Joe Thuney. The Titans re-signed Ryan Tannehill to a four-year contract worth $118 million before the start of free agency.
The first major trade was between the Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans. The Cardinals acquired wide receiver DeAndre Hopkin and a 2020 fourth-round pick from the Texans for running back David Johnston, a 2020 second-round pick and a 2021 fourth-round pick. Many are calling this the “worst trade of all time.” The Cardinals now have one of the league’s best receivers and have since dumped the salary of Johnston onto the Texans.
Another major trade took place between the Minnesota Vikings and the Buffalo Bills. The Bills acquired wide receiver Stefon Diggs and a seventh-round pick from the Vikings for a 2020 first-round pick, a 2020 fifth-round pick, a 2020 sixth-round pick and a 2021 fourth-round pick. This is a great move for both teams as the Vikings get good value picks and unload Diggs’ contract. The Bills lose their first-round pick but finally have a top receiver to pair with John Brown and Cole Beasley. Other big trades include the Ravens acquiring Calais Campbell from the Jaguars and the Colts acquiring Deforest Buckner for a first-round pick from the 49ers.
During the offseason, fans and media outlets began speculating as to where Tom Brady would sign. Tom Brady has made his decision to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The six-time Super Bowl champion is leaving New England and signing a contract worth $50 million over the next two years. Brady was sought afterby the Los Angeles Chargers and the Miami Dolphins as well. Tampa Bay’s season ticket demand has increased, and more players are interested in joining Brady. One name to watch is wide receiver Antonio Brown, who has made it clear he wants to play with Brady.
Another high profile player is former Charger quarterback Philp Rivers. The 38-year-old has been signed by the Indianapolis Colts on a one-year contract deal worth $25 million. This is an excellent move by the Colts since after losing Andrew Luck to retirement the Colts were searching for a good replacement, but Jacoby Brissett wasn’t the answer. Also, quarterback Drew Brees has resigned with the Saints on a two-year deal worth $50 million and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has signed a 3-year agreement worth $63 million. Another big free agent signing includes the Dolphins picking up Byron Jones to a five-year contract that is worth $82.5 million.
Many game-changing players remain on the open markets, such as defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and wide receiver Robby Anderson, who haven’t signed with new teams. Judging from the amount of franchise players that have already signed with new teams and the amount of players still left on the market means that the 2020 NFL season will be just as action-packed and unpredictable as the free agency period.