The United States is operating significantly below normal operating capacity right now, but that has not stopped NFL free agency from providing Americans some much-needed entertainment while practicing social distancing.
The NFL has kicked off this period with some blockbuster moves left and right, and I want to break down the biggest situations and their impact.
Brady’s New Home
The New England Patriots are the only team that Tom Brady has ever known in the NFL, but that will no longer be the case. Early Tuesday morning, Brady posted a statement saying thank you to New England and the Patriots organization while announcing that he will not return to the Patriots next year.
Obviously, this news was a bit of a shock for a lot of people that just assumed that the Brady drama would end in his eventual return to the only place he’s ever called home in the NFL. While it was widely reported that this could be the case, there were surely a lot of fans all over the country that struggled to comprehend this news at first, but this confirmed it.
Brady had not announced anything as of Tuesday night, but reports started to flood in just a few hours after the announcement that suggested he had already made a decision as to where he was headed next.
The betting lines suggested that Tampa Bay was the clear No. 2, behind the assumed destination of New England and in front of the Chargers as the most likely to sign Brady. With the Patriots out of the picture, it seemed like those were the only two options on the table.
Fox Sports News eventually reported that Brady was expected to sign with Tampa Bay on Wednesday. That is a big report from a very reputable source, but one that is often not active like the NFL insiders such as Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter.
Eventually, those big names also attached their reputations with that report, and they believe that Brady will sign a contract with the Buccaneers worth about $30 million.
Brady will take over a team with a very talented receiver group and a good offense that was led by Jameis Winston last year. Winston will likely become the next major topic of free agency, as the market for him is going to be very interesting with Brady taking his job.
Hopkins Traded To Arizona
At first, we heard that David Johnson was on the move to Houston, which did initially sound interesting with Houston’s offensive firepower, until we heard the pieces that they were sending away. The Texans sent DeAndre Hopkins and a fourth-rounder for Johnson, a second this year, and a fourth next year.
This may go down as the worst trade ever, at least in principle. Hopkins is an elite receiver, and Johnson is no longer an elite back, at least he was not last year. Never mind the fact that the Texans took on the salary of Johnson while Hopkins could very well have one of the most team-friendly contracts in the NFL.
Cowboys Staying Put
Dak Prescott has been franchise tagged after the Dallas Cowboys’ efforts to come to a decision came up short. Prescott will be able to negotiate with the Cowboys through July 15, and they could easily come to a decision before then that would have Prescott under contract by the start of the season.
The tag comes to lock Prescott up with the Cowboys and restrict him from flirting with other teams.
Amari Cooper is the other star that has been locked into the Cowboys recently. Cooper signed a five-year, $100 million deal with the Cowboys, turning down what was reportedly much more from the Redskins.
Keeping this dynamic duo was clearly the Cowboys’ goal heading into free agency, and they have done it quickly, while Prescott awaits his mega-deal that seems inevitable.
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