Free agency has officially arrived in the NFL and it’s time to start shuffling the deck. Tom Brady is already on his way out of New England, most likely heading to warmer weather with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers unless hell freezes over before the deal can be finalized.
The coronavirus is forcing delays in trades as players submit to physicals outside standard operating procedures, but there’s little doubt that the 42-year-old six-time Super Bowl champ will soon be throwing for the Bucs. Elsewhere in the league, contracts are being written and re-written and even re-written again as teams try to set up their rosters for the upcoming season.
To give Brady a helping hand, the Bucs are reportedly close to picking up Todd Gurley from the LA Rams. The All-Pro running back would be a great addition to an offense that includes Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Gurley doesn’t enter unrestricted free agency for a few more years, but Tampa Bay is certainly setting itself up to have a monster roster.
With Philip Rivers now out the door, the LA Chargers are going to have to figure out what to do next. The team might still be working on its offense, but the defense is starting to take better shape. The Chargers just signed cornerback Chris Harris after stealing the four-time Pro Bowler away from the Denver Broncos.
With no hope of landing Brady and Rivers gone, the Chargers decided to promote backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor to be the starter. It’s a big job and Taylor is going to have his work cut out for him as the team tries to rebuild after several key exits.
Cam Newton isn’t feeling much love. The former Carolina Panthers quarterback is now on his own after his team gently let him go, and he’s waiting to receive word from some alternatives. One of these could be the Washington Redskins; however, the team is now taking a “wait and see” approach to determine if anyone else in the league shows interest. That makes it sound like Newton is not at the top of Washington’s list. There’s also talk of him possibly going to the Chargers, but he shouldn’t hold his breath.
The LA Rams are picking up Leonard Floyd from the Chicago Bears. He started strong when he entered the league in 2016, but has slipped since then. That’s probably why he’s only getting a one-year contract to head to the west coast. The Rams are desperate to pick up some defensive talent, though, especially after losing Dante Fowler to the Atlanta Falcons. Fowler is heading to Georgia on a three-year, $48-million deal.
With free agency, many players hope to pick up the big bucks in what ultimately amounts to a sports auction – the highest bidder usually wins. Jadeveon Clowney, coming into free agency after a stint with the Seattle Seahawks, stood patiently by the phone, waiting for the calls to start coming. He’s still waiting. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports that the linebacker has not received any attractive offer yet, much to his surprise. He might end up having to settle just to be able to stay on the field.
Ben Garland is going to stay at home one more year. The San Francisco 49ers decided to keep their center and signed him to a one-year contract. Garland is probably thinking his skills aren’t appreciated, as the team was only willing to give him $2.25 million.
For those free agents who may find interest coming from the Houston Texans, former players have a few words of advice. Run away – run far away. Head coach Bill O’Brien has come under fire lately for his treatment of players and one, former Texans receiver Jaelen Strong, even accuses O’Brien of ruining his professional career. Others are being told directly that they should avoid the Texans like it was the epicenter for COVID-19.