The free agency opened on Monday. Technically clubs will not sign contracts until 4 p.m. ET Wednesday, but in reality, negotiations and deals are already in full swing. Last year, the free agency signed nine of the most significant contracts within the first six hours of the market opening, so we’ve been waiting for a lot of action even now.
Jacksonville is trying to make its way to the top with money. Everyone was surprised by Christian Kirk’s contract.
The Jaguars made a bid for the dubious title of offseason champions by signing six free agents on day one for a total of $230 million.
Most of the acquisitions target the progress of quarterback Trevor Lawrence. He got 30-year-old guard Brandon Scherf, tight end Evan Ingram (who some teams saw as a slot receiver), and receivers, Zay Jones and Christian Kirk. The most emotional reaction came from the latter’s contract – Kirk will get $72 million over four years, a top-10 position (and even top-3 if he gets all the bonuses). However, no one anywhere near considers Kirk an elite receiver. But it looks riskier to sign Scherff, who has missed 22 games over the past four seasons.
Linebacker Foyesade Oluocon and dee-tackle Folorunso Fatukasi look more solid. “Jacksonville is far from the first team to have to pay big money for average free agents.
The Chargers are ready to compete in the NFL’s toughest division. The window to enter the Super Bowl is open.
The Chargers picked up the best available cornerback, JC Jackson.
The AFC West looked very strong last season, with the Chiefs making two Super Bowl appearances in the previous three seasons, the Raiders making it to the playoffs, and the Chargers gaining momentum. In the offseason, quarterback Russell Wilson was added to Denver’s roster. But the Chargers decided to up the ante – as long as quarterback Justin Herbert is playing on a rookie contract, they need to take a chance. Before the free agent market opened, the Los Angeles club had already given a big contract to receiver Mike Williams and traded pass rusher Kalil Mack, from Chicago.
After the market opened, the Chargers picked up the best available cornerback, JC Jackson, giving him $82.5 million over five years, and then improved their defense against the outfield by signing D-backs Austin Johnson and Sebastian Joseph-Day.
The Brady effect is already saving the offseason for the Buccaneers.
Everyone remembers how Tom Brady’s move to Florida in 2020 instantly made the godforsaken Buccaneers the most attractive destination for free agents. GOAT’s return had the same effect – center Ryan Jensen signed a three-year, $39 million contract with the club, and experts agree he could have gotten more on the market. Cornerback Carlton Davis, who signed a three-year, $45 million contract, stayed with the team. Their examples could be followed by Gronk and early-round pick Leonard Fournette, who deleted a farewell message to Tampa fans on Instagram.
Mitch Trubisky is Pittsburgh’s new quarterback
The Steelers’ successor to Ben Roethlisberger is one of the most memetic quarterbacks in the current NFL. Trubisky’s prospects, as well as the ceiling of his opportunities, are debatable. The fact is, there weren’t many options much better. Pittsburgh didn’t want to participate in a questionable attempt to trade Deshaun Watson from Houston or overpay any sought-after free agents (Winston? Bridgewater?). Instead, the Steelers agreed to an upside temp (suddenly, he was progressing with the Bills, where they molded Josh Allen into a sweetheart), giving him a not-so-great deal of $14.25 million for two years.
That amount best explains Trubisky’s status with the team. Yes, he’s the starting quarterback, but nothing is stopping Pittsburgh from selecting another quarterback in the draft and generally being bold enough to consider reinforcing the position for the future.
Indianapolis is at risk of not having a good quarterback
One of the teams needing a point guard is the Colts. “Indianapolis traded Carson Wentz to Washington but now must find a more or less adequate replacement. Meanwhile, options are falling away one by one:
- Bridgewater and Trubisky have signed with other clubs.
- Cousins has extended his contract with Minnesota.
- Watson has been barred from negotiating with Houston’s division rival.
A few more signings I liked
- The Bengals signed two offensive linemen, Alex Kappa from the Buccaneers and Ted Carras from the Patriots
- Linebacker Devondre Campbell to Green Bay for $50 million for five years.
- Linebacker Haason Reddick to Philadelphia for $45 million for three years.
- Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to Miami for $6.5 million for one year.
Three more signings I didn’t like at all
- Running back James Conner to Arizona for $21 million for three years.
- Seifty Quandre Digs at Seattle for $40 million for three years.
- Tight end Will Dissley at Seattle for $24 million for three years.