One of the most exciting parts of any sport is the free-agency period, or even the offseason as a whole. This is especially true in the NFL, and this year has been no different. While there have been many big moves made in the 1st day of the FA period, two teams have stuck out as clear winners in the minds of fans. Those teams, shockingly, were 2 of the 4 worst teams in the league last season. The New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders.
The Jets are the team that I would say are the biggest winners after day 1, and they may not be done acquiring assets for next year’s team. First off, New York has the best linebacking duo in the league after signing Anthony Barr (Vikings) and C.J. Mosley (Ravens). Mosley was an integral part of the Ravens’ defensive success, and will be huge for a young Jets core that looks to improve upon their 4-12 season. Now you may be asking, “what could be better than signing a young defensive star?”. The Jets went ahead and signed a second 26 y/o star linebacker.
These additions will certainly bolster a budding NY defense, but the offense was the side that truly struggled last season under rookie Sam Darnold. The Jets plan to counter this through building a solid offensive line to protect him, and are still in the driver’s seat for Le’Veon Bell. Though I think that Bell could trend towards the next team that I am about to speak on, if NY could lock him up then I could see them taking over the AFC East in the near future. The Jets were able to pull off another big move by acquiring OG Kelechi Osemele from Oakland in exchange for a 5th round pick. I am very excited to see this team in action next season, and with their 3rd pick in this year’s draft look for them to pick up another young asset.
The team that I have firmly in 2nd place after the 1st day is the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders made a huge splash when they traded for WR Antonio Brown. Nabbing the 31 y/o for just a 3rd and a 5th round pick could prove to be the move that turns this team around. The star, even as his age rises is continuing to produce, putting up a sixth consecutive 100 reception-1,000 yard season despite reported struggles. The only negative of this trade is that Brown demanded a restructured contract with A LOT of guaranteed money.
In addition to this move, Oakland picked up a Top 5 OT in the NFL with Trent Brown, as well as a solid DB in LaMarcus Joyner. This team also went 4-12, and have the 4th pick in this years draft. Look for the Raiders to pass the Broncos for the 3rd spot in the AFC West, and even possibly rival the Chargers for the runner-up.
Big things are happening in the NFL, and TTS will be covering it all. Expect an in-depth article from me grading each team’s free-agency period at the end of the week, and full coverage of the upcoming draft.
PS: It has broken since the release of this article that Anthony Barr will be re-signing with Minnesota. He reportedly got cold feet and backed out of his deal.