Happy New Year - NFL Free Agency

by Mike Pelletier

Happy New Year!

Most will say I am a day late. Everyone else will say I am 74 days late. To the latter I say, ‘You gon’ learn today’. It’s the Chinese Year of the Dog. That could be the explanation for why the Browns have made exciting moves so far. Mind you, I do not use the word ‘exciting’ when talking about the Browns. Ever. Except for this rare occasion.

It’s time to break down what has been transpiring, and much has been indeed! Due to the amount, let’s focus mainly on the most eye grabbing story lines. 

Since we have already dipped into Cleveland’s pool, let’s start doggy paddling there. 

It’s a sad goodbye to one of the best tackles in the league. Joe Thomas had a legendary career and good luck to him in retirement. Speaking of retirement and luck, let’s talk about Tyrod Taylor. After an ‘eh’ final year with the Bills, Taylor was sent off to the Browns to grow the franchise and to secure at least a single win for them this upcoming season while in the meantime bouncing back from last season and securing his career. The funny thing is is that if they can replace Thomas and grab ahold of a strong back (Carlos Hyde was a nice little add) while boosting their defensive line, then they will win a game. In a nutshell, hope rekindles. On the other hand, hope usually always rekindles for this franchise every draft season so make of it what you will. The addition of Jarvis Landry was on some next level, not-Browns type *bleep*. What a snag. Honestly. What. A. Snag. Isn’t that the beauty of the National Football League? In a blink of an eye, Landry went from sea to shining…uh…orange (Brown?) helmets. 

Speaking of jumping Dolphins, let’s talk about the new Dolphin in the ocean. Mr. Danny Amendola has been called on by Miami. Although I do not relate to any feelings any fans of the Patriots may have, I can only assume that Julian Edelman is looking better now than he did snagging a game saving catch off of a foot. One, such as I, can only assume, of course. JUMPING DOLPHINS, BATMAN! THERE’S MORE! Not only did Miami send off their best receiver, but they also released Ndamukong Suh (Yes, it’s still the coolest name in the league, and yes, I did have to Google the correct spelling). After racking up only 4.5 sacks last season, Suh has hit the markets, and new Rams cornerback, Aqib Talib, has his eyes set on the Defensive Lineman. Maybe a payback after veteran Robert Quinn was taken by the Dolphins.

Why haven’t I mentioned Talib yet or Marcus Peters for that matter? What is quite possibly and probably and definitely the biggest move by any team thus far is the acquisition of cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters. A storm is a-brewin’. And it is navy blue and gold. I mean yellow. I mean just blue and yellow. And white. Mob Squad for life, but honestly, they need to figure out the uniform situation. Another situation is finding a replacement for young, talented Alec Ogletree who has climbed the beanstalk and found that he enjoys the company of Giants (These puns and word plays are getting more and more fun by the minute). Sammy Watkins has hit the free agency being scooped up right away by none other than, Peters’ old team, the Chiefs giving Patrick Mahomes someone to work with. 

Alex Smith joins the Redskins (photo credit: sportingnews.com)
That’s right. I said ‘Patrick Mahomes’, not ‘Alex Smith’. Why? Because Alex Smith is now a tribe member. Mr. Smith has gone to Washington (Editors must have been drooling over that headline because so was I). Wait, what? Where did the highest paid, non-playoff winning stud quarterback Kirk Cousins run off to? If you listen closely, you can hear the SKOL chants starting to rise after a suffering loss to the Eagles in the NFC Championship game. 

Cousins is now the face of the Vikings. Personally, I thought he was going to end up in Denver. Trevor Siemian must’ve thought that too and gotten really excited to be his backup because not long after Cousins’ decision, Mr. Siemian showed up on Minnesota’s snow covered front step ready to be #2 again. So now the Vikings must have 5 quarterbacks on their roster then, right? Survey says, ‘ehhh’. Wrong. 4 quarterbacks then? 3?

Kirk Cousin heads to Minnesota (photo credit: si.com)
What is two quarterbacks, Alex. That is correct. The Vikings rid themselves of ALL 3 quarterbacks they had on their roster. Literally. Teddy Bridgewater (You know, the guy that they were so excited about getting back last season) went to the Jets. Sam Bradford (You know, the guy that was always on camera when commentators were talking about injuries) went to the Cardinals. Case Keenum (You know, the guy that GOT THE FRIGGEN VIKINGS TO THE FRIGGIN NFC CHAMPIONSHIP LAST YEAR) went to the Broncos. 

Speaking of ridding yourselves of NFC Championship team players or SUPER BOWL team players, Torrey Smith is off to North, I mean South, I mean both Carolinas to join Superman and the Justice League. As for Nigel Bradham, well, thank God the Eagles got this right. He’s now signed up for 5 years with a $40M deal. 

Guess who doesn’t want to be a bird anymore. In fact, he wants to play the birds twice a year so that he can show them what a middle finger looks like if it were an athlete. Richard Sherman is off to the Bay Area where he will seek revenge on his former team that is already crumbling. But he’s not the only bird looking to fly south…uh… east-ish. Jimmy Graham has been given a seat at a table filled with many different cheeses. Look for him to be catching many, many touchdowns from Aaron Rodgers because Rodgers is now without Jordy Nelson who just signed up in Oakland. Unless Rodgers decides to go down again (Knock on wood). But I’m sure new backup quarterback, Deshone Kizer would love to be given the chance to throw to the big guy. That’s right. The Packers have picked up Kizer from the Browns.

And THAT is where it all connects. 

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