Oh man, what a first week of jam packed free agency action.
Tom Brady is a Buccaneer, Deandre Hopkins got traded for the corpse of David Johnson, and Stefon Diggs finally got his wish to get out of Minnesota.
Madness I tell you, madness!
The 3 transactions I just mentioned weren’t the only ones that got our mind racing and our blood pumping.
DeForest Bucker bringing his violent style of play to Indianapolis, Cory Littleton is taking a short drive from LA to Las Vegas to join the Raiders, and Austin Hooper is joining Kevin Stefanski’s Browns.
Now, with the majority of the action out the way, we can proceed to grading each and every marquee move that occurred during the first week of free agency.
So sit back and relax.
DeAndre Hopkins Traded to Arizona
Close to a week later, and I still can’t believe this trade went down. I mean seriously, this trade is one of the worst trades in the recent history of professional sports.
Who in their right mind even considers trading Hopkins in the first place?
Because you don’t want to pay Hopkins $20M a year?
The idea is so astronomically stupid, that my head’s hurting from trying to think of some rational negative words that I can say about the trade. Seriously, I’m teetering on the edge right now, borderline ready to blast anyone who thought this trade made a lick of sense.
Looking at you Bill O’ Brien.
The trade itself isn’t even the worst thing. Oh boy let me tell you, the return was 100x worse.
The corpse of David Johnson and a couple of measly draft picks? Now, saying “the corpse of David Johnson” might be a little harsh, but man is it somewhat close.
This is an awful trade, a trade that I’m sure Deshaun Watson is still confused over.
That’s another aspect of this horrendous deal. Why take away talent from your young, talented quarterback? Watson has been beaten and battered behind a still porous offensive line, his head coach hasn’t done him any sort of notable favors as well, but he’s always had the connection with DeAndre Hopkins to lean on.
Now that Watson’s connection with Hopkins is gone, what’s Watson left with? An exciting talent on the outside with injury problems, and a guy who does his best work in the slot.
That’s about it.
Disgusting trade from the Texans, and a brilliant awaiting opportunity for Kliff Kingsbury & Kyler Murray. Don’t look now, but that Cardinals offense has a good shot of finishing in the top 10 next season.
Grade For Texans: F
Grade For Cardinals: A+
Stefon Diggs Traded to Buffalo
After being heavily underutilized in Minnesota’s run first offense, Diggs’ wish to be shipped out of Minnesota was finally granted.
Honestly though, underutilized isn’t even the word to use, let’s replace it with criminally limited.
To keep this one light, Diggs’ production in 2019 wasn’t even close to what we’ve come to expect. His target total (94), reception total (63), and receptions per game average (4.2) were the lowest they’ve been since Diggs entered the league in 2015. If there was a silver lining though, he totaled the best single season receiving yardage mark (1,130) of his entire 5 year career.
Diggs now finds himself in Buffalo, on an offense that hasn’t had a true #1 wideout in quite some time now. Josh Allen gets another weapon to sling the rock to, and Bills OC Brian Daboll gets another toy to play with. A big win for Buffalo in my eyes, there’s only one job left, just throw him the football.
As for Minnesota, their cap situation isn’t pretty, so trading away Diggs for more assets makes sense.
But you now leave Kirk Cousins with only Adam Thielen, Kyle Rudolph, and a wild card in Irv Smith Jr. as the only intriguing pieces in the passing game.
You should be seeing a lot more Dalvin Cook in the passing game this upcoming year, to at least try to offset the departure of Diggs.
Grade For Minnesota: B+
Grade For Buffalo: A-
Calais Campbell Traded to Baltimore
The old man is taking his talents to the DMV.
The Baltimore Ravens only gave up a 5th round pick in the trade for Calais Campbell, receiving a monster interior pass rushing presence that still has some juice, and getting Campbell off the sinking ship in Jacksonville.
Campbell is 34, but his play over the recent years show no signs of decline. He himself knows he has plenty more in the tank, and he’s more than ready to help contribute to a Ravens squad that’s among the AFC’s elite.
“I feel like my best football has come over the age of 30,” Campbell said. “The last three years, I feel like I’ve been in my ultimate prime — 31, 32, 33. I’m hoping I can keep that going. I’ve spent so much time and effort taking care of my body.”
Campbell slides into a Ravens interior defensive line group, that already employs a complete mammoth in Brandon Williams. Add in the re-signings of Jihad Ward and Justin Ellis, plus the signing of newcomer Michael Brockers, this Ravens defensive line has a decent shot at accomplishing a high quality of play this upcoming year.
As for the Jaguars, they’re in a full fledged rebuild right now.
Selling off valuable assets to gain more seems like the only way to accelerate their track back towards success. They’re not a super attractive destination for free agents, their quarterback situation is a never ending movie twist, and they can’t seem to realize that their current coaching staff isn’t going to cut it.
Grade For Baltimore: B+
Grade For Jacksonville: C
DeForest Buckner Traded to Indianapolis
This trade was a surprising one, considering the valuable asset Indianapolis gave up, and the money they shelled out to Buckner once the trade was completed.