fbpx

NFL’s Free-Agent Frenzy Hits Peak With “Official” Beginning On Wednesday At 4 PM ET

Big Trades In The NFL Nothing is official until it’s actually official, and that happens on Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET. That’s when the NFL’s 2019 League Year officially...

Big Trades In The NFL

Nothing is official until it’s actually official, and that happens on Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET. That’s when the NFL’s 2019 League Year officially begins, and with it the ability to sign free agents and trade players.

How much more can still happen? In the last week, including the “legal tampering” period in which teams, agents and players cut these deals, agreements have produced stunning improvements for some teams and terrible losses for others.

Count the Cleveland Browns as winners after Tuesday’s trade with the New York Giants for wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The Browns are also adding defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson to go with pass-rusher Olivier Vernon (previously picked up from the Giants) and are likely to sign safety Earl Thomas.

The Giants? Well, they appear to be in complete tear-down mode, even as they stick with 38-year-old Eli Manning at quarterback.

The Baltimore Ravens? Losers. They cut a top safety in Eric Weddle and are also losing pass-rusher Terrell Suggs and linebacker C.J. Mosely from a defense that carried them to the playoffs.

Mosely is going to the New York Jets, and apparently so is running back Le’Veon Bell, the former Pittsburgh Steelers star who sat out 2018 in a contract dispute.

And you have to like the Oakland Raiders’ moves, as they got receiver Antonio Brown from the Steelers for two middle-round draft picks and also will add an excellent safety in Lamarcus Joyner.

There’s plenty more in store. The NFL salary cap is $188.2 million per team, but those big signing bonuses are prorated over the life of contracts. And there are other tricks teams can use to open up more room under the cap.

One team to watch: The Chicago Bears. They haven’t said much, but there’s an undercurrent in the league that says they’re planning some big moves.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

Follow @TwistityNews