Welcome to the first day of NFL Free Agency. The wonderful time of the year when 100 million dollar contracts are negotiated in a matter of seconds! Keep checking back all day as I update the big signings and roster cuts.
10:30 PM: Getting caught up the past couple hours of signings and let’s run through them.
Justin Reid goes to the Chiefs for 3 years/30 million. I think this was an absolute must on the Chiefs end. First, the Chargers are building up their defense and there needed to be a response within the division to keep up. Secondly, the Chiefs’ safety situation last season was atrocious. They spent most of the season being an absolute barn door for receivers and tight ends. While Reid isn’t one of the top safeties on the free agent market, he was probably the best that Kansas City could do financially with their cap situation.
CJ Uzomah to the Jets for 3 years/24 million. I think Uzomah is a really good tight end and he got three years at 8 million per, which is the going rate for tight ends these days. Along with the resigning of Braxton Berrios, the Jets are trying to get some weapons around Zach Wilson to see if they can help in his progression as a quarterback.
The Jaguars are fucking drunk. They completely sent the wide receiver free agent market into chaos by overpaying the absolute hell out of Christian Kirk. Then they doubled down and gave Zay Jones a 3 year/24 million dollar deal. Jones has averaged at least three catches per game in one season, 2018. He has caught one touchdown pass each of the past two seasons. He wasn’t really on the radar as someone who was going to receive a multi year deal. My only explanation is that the Jaguars have to pay a premium to players to get them to actually show up to Jacksonville.
10:00 PM: Took a few hours off from being mad about football to write about Scott Hall, who passed away on Monday night. If you are a wrestling fan, you are no doubt aware of the impact he had on the industry. You can read it by clicking this link: https://fancyboysclub.com/2022/03/14/scott-hall-1958-2022/
6:05 PM: In what is my favorite deal of the day so far, the Eagles are locking up Haason Reddick on a three year deal worth 45 million. Reddick has gone from being a super athletic guy who didn’t know how to hone in his athleticism on the field in his first couple seasons in the league to a double digit edge rusher who can keep up with tight ends.
Reddick has improved his tackling every season in the league, going from a missed tackle rate of 12.6% in 2019, all the way down to 5.6% this past season in Carolina. In 2020, Reddick had 12.5 sacks on 140 blitzes. Last season, he had 11 sacks on only 62 blitzes. He was also on the field for 83% of all defensive plays for the Panthers last year.
The deal makes him the tenth highest paid outside linebacker in the NFL, but to put it in perspective, he is making one million per year less than Leonard Floyd, even though Reddick puts up better stats. 15 million per year is a very fair contract for a 27 year old linebacker who has been healthy through his career and is hitting his prime.
5:45 PM: Just took a break from obsessively staring at Twitter to take the dogs for a walk and enjoy the weather. Now i’m back, and i’ll keep updating through the evening and into tomorrow as news breaks. First up, Demarcus Lawrence has resigned with the Cowboys on a three year deal worth 30 million dollars fully guaranteed. Lawrence is far removed from his 2017 and 2018 Pro Bowl seasons, and only has 14.5 sacks total in the past three seasons.
While it’s not a huge contract, it does seem odd that they would guarantee the contract for a guy who seems pretty far from his prime and who might be at the point of his career where injuries become a bigger concern. 10 milion doesn’t seem like a lot for a guy who is a starter on defense, but the 30 million guaranteed makes it feel like a massive overpay for a guy who is most likely past his prime.
4:05 PM: The biggest chip in free agency has just fallen, with cornerback JC Jackson going to the Chargers on a 5 year, 80 million dollar contract with 40 million of that guaranteed. Jackson is one of the best cornerbacks in football, and was the best defensive player hitting free agency this season. Pro Football Talk had him listed as the second best free agent this season, with the first being Davante Adams, who was given the franchise tag. The Athletic has Jackson as the number one free agent this season. And he is getting paid like it.
For the Chargers, this gives them a top player at ever level of their defense, with Jackson joining Joey Bosa, Derwin James, and the newly acquired Khalil Mack, to go along with an offense that boasts Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, and the ascendant quarterback phenom Justin Herbert.
Health seems to be a constant issue with everyone who plays for this team, but given good health, the Chargers will have the best defense in the AFC West, which is looking to be the best division in football. While most teams in the division are pushing hard on offense to keep up with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, the Chargers are doubling down on defense to make life hell on Mahomes, Russell Wilson, and Derek Carr.
2:35 PM: I wasn’t planning on circling back to it, but jesus fucking christ, the Jaguars gave Christian Kirk one of the most absurd contracts i’ve seen in years. I’m honestly struggling to remember a worse contract. Yea, Kirk is a good player. Kirk also just got a contract that could pay him more this upcoming season than Davante Adams, who is arguably the best receiver in football. The Jaguars gave him 4 years, 72 million dollars, with the ability to earn up to 12 million more over the life of the deal.
This is, in a word, psychotic. It also might have thrown the wide receiver market into chaos. If Kirk is worth at least 18 million per year, then is Russell Gage worth 14 million? Is JuJu Smith-Shuster worth 18 million as well? Kirk getting this much money means that a better wide receiver like Allen Robinson would, in theory, be getting over 20 million dollars per season.
The Jaguars Jaguars’d hard and has thrown the free agent market into chaos.
2:00 PM: The Bears made their first big move in free agency today by signing former Bengals defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi to a three year, 40 million dollar contract with 26 million guaranteed.
After getting rid of Khalil Mack and Eddie Goldman last week, the Bears were definitely going to be targeting free agents on defense who fit with new head coach Matt Eberflus’ new 4/3 system, after running a 3/4 defense for the prior seven seasons.
The Athletic had Ogunjobi listed as the 30th best free agent this season, and the Bears definitely paid a premium to fill a position they might have worried they would struggled to fill in the draft. Ogunjobi had career highs in both sacks and quarterback hits last season, playing on a one year prove-it contract, and is now cashing in. The contract will make him the tenth highest paid defensive tackle in the NFL.
The Bears obviously sound system value in Ogunjobi and are paying him to fill the void left by getting rid of Eddie Goldman, who hadn’t actually been a competent lineman in three seasons.
1:45 PM: Back to football. The Jaguars are out to prove they might not be a complete laughing stock and are serious about surrounding last year’s number one overall pick Trevor Lawrence with some protection and weapons. First they brought in Brandon Scherff to anchor the offensive line and now theyare bringing in wide receiver Christian Kirk, one of the more underrated receivers in the NFL.
Kirk had 77 receptions last season in Arizona, but was sometimes treated as an afterthought on the Cardinals offense, with Deandre Hopkins, AJ Green and rookie Rondale Moore eating up a big share of the throws.
With the addition of Kirk, that most likely means that talented but inconsistent receiver DJ Chark is on his way out the door.
The Jaguars have been among the biggest spenders in free agency on the day. Jacksonville seems intent on making sure that the Texans are the worst team in the NFL this upcoming season.
1:30 PM: Non-NFL news! In a massive trade, the Atlanta Braves are acquiring All Star first baseman from the absolute trash franchise known as the Oakland Athletics. Olson is one of the best hitters in the game but doesn’t get much recognition due to the fact that he plays in Oakland, the Siberia of baseball teams.
Olson hit 39 home runs and had 111 RBI’s last season, accruing a WAR of 5.4. He is also remarkably cheap for being a top 40 player in MLB. This season, he will make 12 million dollars, and is still arbitration eligible next season, meaning the Braves will be getting at least two seasons out of him before he becomes a free agent.
This means the end of the Freddie Freeman era in Atlanta, with Freeman leaving with a World Series ring, most likely to make a Scrooge McDuck amount of money for the Dodgers.
In return for Olson, the Athletics got a number of top prospects from the Atlanta system, who Oakland will just up and trade the moment the players start costing money. According to Keith Law’s prospect rankings on the Athletic, the players going to Oakland are outfielder Christian Pache, the top Atlanta prospect and 38th overall ranked prospect in baseball, catcher Shea Langeliers, the third best prospect in the system, and 80th overall prospect in baseball, and pitchers Ryan Cusisck and Joey Estes, who are ranked 5th and 15th respectively in the Atlanta system.
Pache has been a top prospect for several years, but has never shown the ability to hit major league pitching in his short stints in the big leagues so far. Langeliers, the 9th overall pick in the 2019 MLB draft, is a good defense, poor hitter with big time home run power type. If he turns into Gary Sanchez, then the Athletics have found a bargain that they can trade just as soon as he starts to cost money.
Let me take this moment to inform everyone of a very important fact: Fuck the Athletics. And Fuck the Pirates. And Fuck the Marlins. The entire MLB lockout happened because these shit teams and their slumlord owners.
1:06 PM: Pro Bowl offensive lineman Brandon Scherff has decided to ruin his career by going to the Jacksonville Jaguars. He will be paid very well to be there, but it’s the Jaguars, so nobody will notice or care.
12:20 PM: And the Mitch Trubisky reclamation project continues! After spending a year not playing and giving people amnesia about the quality of player he is, Mitch is joining the Pittsburgh Steelers, one of the only teams in the NFL he could have joined where he is definitively the best quarterback ont he roster. The Steelers currently employ Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins at quarterback, so Trubisky is most likely coming in to be the starter.
So what are the Steelers getting? They are getting a quarterback who was buried by expectations and incompetent coaching. At least that is what Trubisky apologists say. They gloss over the fact that he had zero ability to get through his read progressions and, most importantly, had zero ability to accurately throw to his left, which, last I checked, was still half of the field.
The most likely scenario is that Mitch is going to act as a bridge quarterback for Pittsburgh. The quarterback draft class this season is very underwhelming and they are likely punting on the class to keep their options open for what should be a deeper quarterback class next year.
The numbers aren’t out yet on how much money Mitch was given, but it will most likely to be in the 12-18 million per year range. Trubisky will replace Ben Roethlisberger, who retired after 2021 to pursue his one true love: getting as fat as possible.
11:50 AM: The two headed running back monster has been broken up in Arizona. The Cardinals are bringing back James Conner on a three year contract worth 21 million, with 13 million guaranteed. Chase Edmonds is the odd man out, signing a two year, 12 million dollar deal with perennial dumpster fire Miami.
After reviving his career last year, Conner is cashing in. He had 18 touchdowns in 15 games, earning a Pro Bowl nod in the process. Seven million per year puts him in as the 11th highest paid running back in the NFL, which is impressive because of his lack of a track record beyond one season in Pittsburgh where he had 55 receptions in 13 games.
For the Dolphins, they are spending six million dollars per season to add another person to their running back graveyard, which has ended the careers of more football players than MRSA.
11:35 AM: And there it is, Alex Cappa, a great and capable offensive lineman for the Bucs who once attempted to play a playoff game on a broken leg, is leaving the Bucs to go to the Super Bowl runner up Cincinnati Bengals. Tampa had a few issues on the offensive line, and financially, they could not fix them all. They were able to resign center Ryan Jensen to a three year, 39 million dollar contract. Cappa is gone. Ali Marpet retired.
It will be interesting to see how the Bucs rebuild their line. The Chiefs had to go through a similar thing last season, and it had….mixed results. And by that, I mean Pat Mahomes nearly got his ass killed. And Brady wasn’t as mobile as Mahomes when he was 22. He sure as hell isn’t that mobile at 57, or however old he is.
10:30 AM: The biggest chip to fall in the offseason has officially been put back upright, as Tom Brady stayed retired for all of a month before deciding that the idea of being able to eat regular food and spend time with his family was awful. He is returning to Tampa to try to win another championship with the Buccaneers. The team has already brought back wide receiver Chris Godwin on the franchise tag, and they are further slapping their penises up against the face of the salary cap by bringing back Brady.
The upside is obvious as Tom Brady hasn’t lost his arm later in his career like Peyton Manning did. In 2021, Brady had his highest completion percentage in six years, and threw for 43 touchdowns while throwing for the most yards in a single season in his career.
Obviously, another shoe is going to drop because they are going to have to make the money work under the cap. Someone will have to go.