The 2019 NFL off-season is in full effect not that the new league year has begun. Three days of free agency have passed and so far a few teams have stood out. Some in a positive way and some negative. Between trades for star receivers and big money safety contracts this off-season has been an intense one. Here are three winners and three losers of free agency so far.
Free Agency Winners and Losers
Oakland were the lucky winners of the Antonio Brown sweepstakes, landing Brown for merely a third and fifth round selections in the 2019 NFL draft. They paired this acquisition with two huge signings. Oakland signed Offensive Tackle Trent Brown from New England. Getting Brown is huge for Oakland’s offensive line that needed help on the outside. Also, Oakland signed Lamarcus Joyner from the Los Angeles Rams. Joyner is a top safety in the league and will make a huge impact on a Raiders defense that was not very good last season. On the third day of free agency they also added Wide Receiver Tyrell Williams to pair with Antonio Brown.
Detroit made the first few splashes of free agency signing Jesse James, Justin Coleman, and Trey Flowers on day one of free agency. After losing 2013 first round selection Ezekiel Ansah, Flowers fills the positional need on the edge. Flowers was one of the top free agents this off-season and Detroit landing him was huge for the Lions.
Coleman is a top nickel corner in the NFL and Detroit will be glad to have him. After Darius Slay, the Lions secondary had some major issues last season that Coleman will help fix. James will start immediately at the Tight End spot for Detroit, giving Matt Stafford another weapon to target.
The Bills were in the news after an apparent trade for Antonio Brown got announced. After a series of events, Buffalo did not end up landing Brown, but in Free Agency, they were able to sign a large amount of players. They greatly improved their offensive line with the signing of Mitch Morse. Morse was a great center for the Chiefs before leaving for Buffalo. They also added Ty Nsekhe and John Feliciano. Both players will depth needs on Buffalo’s line and Nsekhe might even start at Right Tackle.
Buffalo also addressed the Wide Receiver position that they tried to address with Antonio Brown. The Bills signed Cole Beasley and John Brown. Beasley has been a strong slot receiver in Dallas for seven seasons and will be a great addition for Josh Allen. John Brown is a speed receiver who can line up on the outside and show off Josh Allen’s arm strength.
Buffalo also signed Tyler Kroft who had seven touchdowns in 2017 before an injury limited his 2018 season. He will be the starter for Buffalo, at least for now. Kevin Johnson was another signing that Buffalo could look back on as a steal. Johnson is a former first-round pick who had injuries limit his success with Houston. Lastly, running back Frank Gore is a nice low value signing for Buffalo to help the depth at the running back position and to possibly mentor a young running back that could be drafted this off-season. Buffalo also improved their special teams on day three by signing Andre Roberts.
New York Giants:
The Giants have not had a good off-season so far. They lost Landon Collins to a division rival at the start of free agency. Then, they traded Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns. It remains to be seen if they turn the draft picks into a fair return for Beckham, but losing Odell is a significant blow to their roster and is currently not something to cheer about. They haven’t been big players in the free agency either. They have only signed Antoine Bethea, a solid safety, but a significant downgrade from Landon Collins. The Giants hope that their two first-round selections will help them rebuild into a serious contender.
Baltimore has been a flee market for defensive talent for other teams. The Ravens lost C.J Mosley, Terrell Suggs, Zadarius Smith, and Eric Weddle so far. They also lost John Brown on offense. The Ravens have signed Earl Thomas and Mark Ingram on the third day, but running back was not a huge need for Baltimore after Gus Edwards had a strong season in 2018. Also, Thomas was given a large contract coming off an injury and it remains to be seen if it will be worth it for Baltimore in the end.
The Steelers are another team that are losing the 2019 off-season so far. They have lost two of the biggest offensive weapons in the entire NFL in Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. They still have issues to sort out on their roster, meanwhile, they have not signed many free agents to this point to help any of their issues. They did sign a corner, which is a big weakness on their roster, but they did not fully solve the issue with the signing of Steve Nelson for Kansas City. On day three the Steelers signed Wide Receiver Donte Moncrief to help replace Antonio Brown.
It’s still in the early stages of free agency, but to this point, we have already seen three teams who missed the playoffs last season improve their roster tremendously. It goes without saying that there may be some added competition in the NFL next season.
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