2018 NFL Free Agency: A Whirlwind Of Trades In 72 Hours
The past 72 hours of NFL activity has been a whirlwind of trades and releases. There were seven trades agreed upon in the last three days. While none of the trades can become official until Wednesday, there is little doubt they will all go through. This is shaping up to be a very interesting 2018 NFL Free Agency period already.
So, let’s break down the trades in the order they were announced.
Seahawks acquire WR Marcus Johnson and a 2018 5th round pick
Eagles acquire DL Michael Bennett and a 2018 7th round pick
Seattle is reshaping their defense as they need to start reallocating salary. They have to change their philosophy from spending big money on their defense to shoring up the offensive line and adding weapons for QB Russell Wilson. The Seahawks have also released CBs Richard Sherman and Jeremy Lane and are seeking trades for safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. Philadelphia has added to their already tremendous pass rush. The addition of Bennett likely means the end of Vinny Curry in the City of Brotherly Love.
Giants acquire LB Alec Ogletree and a 2019 7th round pick
Rams acquire a 2018 4th round pick and a 2018 6th round pick
The Rams need to redistribute salary and acquire draft picks. Ogletree is a couple of years removed from a big extension and is one of the top weakside linebackers in the league. For the Giants, it is an immediate upgrade.
Broncos acquire a 2018 5th round pick
Rams acquire CB Aqib Talib
Los Angeles (still weird to say) will pair Talib with the recently acquired Marcus Peters to form a potential dynamic corner duo. Talib, at 32-years old, is likely to contribute much more to the cause than a fifth rounder would. Denver has depth at cornerback to withstand this hit. It also clears some cap space to make a potential run at QB Kirk Cousins.
Eagles acquire CB Daryl Worley
Panthers acquire WR Torrey Smith
Philly gets a corner with two years left on a cheap rookie contract for a wide receiver that wasn’t going to be on the 53-man roster. Worley gets paired with a former West Virginia teammate to provide depth in the secondary. Smith gives Carolina deep speed at wide receiver, but a pass catcher clearly on the downside of his career. The Panthers only had five draft picks in 2016, now only two remain.
And now we get to the Cleveland Browns portion of the article. The Browns consummated three trades after 4 pm (CST) on Friday afternoon. New GM John Dorsey is using the assets acquired by former GM Sashi Brown to shape the team for the future.
Browns acquire WR Jarvis Landry
Dolphins acquire 2018 4th round pick and a 2019 7th round pick
Jarvis Landry fits a “positional need” for Cleveland but I don’t necessarily like the fit. Landry is the first player in NFL history to have 100 receptions without having 1000 receiving yards. He is currently on one-year franchise tag worth $16 million dollars. The picks given up are negligible for the Browns because they have so many of them. It is giving Landry a big extension (assuming they do) to a WR that does not push the ball downfield that I have an issue with. If no extension is signed and Landry walks, they will receive a 2020 comp pick.
Browns acquire QB Tyrod Taylor
Bills acquire 2018 3rd round pick (65th overall)
Cleveland picks up their starting QB for the 2018 season. This changes NOTHING about what they do at the top of the draft. Taylor has one year left on his deal. The Browns should still draft a quarterback at No. 1 overall. They could also draft one at No. 4 but then you are at the mercy of picks 2&3 on what QB you get. I’ve been convinced for months that Bengals unrestricted free agent QB AJ McCarron would be the bridge passer for the Browns. He may be that for Buffalo now. The Bills have only 2017 5th round pick Nate Peterman on the payroll. Buffalo has FIVE picks in the first 65, so they have plenty of ammo to make a move to get their man.
Browns acquire DB Damarious Randall
Packers acquire QB DeShone Kizer
The teams swapped draft positions in the 4th & 5th rounds of the 2018 draft
The Browns pick up the best corner on the Green Bay roster. Randall played free safety at Arizona State and could also play that spot for Cleveland. It really depends on who they pick in the first two rounds. The Browns are also throwing in the towel on last year’s 2nd round pick DeShone Kizer. If we are being honest, he probably had no business playing last year, but he got thrown from the frying pan into the fire. Kizer will now sit behind one of the best QBs in the league and for his sake maybe develop into a starting caliber signal-caller down the road. For Green Bay, their cornerback depth chart is looking mighty thin. I would not rule out that position being in play at 14.
All of this has gone down and we still have five whole days before the start of free agency. What other surprises are in store for us?
Let us know in the comments what you think about these trades and what may be coming next.