NFL Free Agency sends the NFL World into a Frenzy

Christopher Bean, Sports editor

While everyone is staying safe at home during these unprecedented times, NFL free agency has headlined the sports world over the last two weeks. Even though teams could not meet with any players in person because of COVID-19, there have been plenty of headlining moves. Let’s take a look at the most shocking free agency in league history.NFL free agency began on Monday, March 16, where each team could talk to any player in the league without tampering, meaning every team could negotiate a deal for any player in the league without breaking the rules. However, their deal would not actually be finalized until two days later on March 18 unless it was a trade.

It did not take long for free agency to turn into a frenzy on March 16. It all started when the GM and head coach Bill O’Brien of the Texans decided to trade his star wide receiver, Deandre Hopkins, to the Arizona Cardinals. This shocked the NFL world because what the Texans got in return.They only received a second-round draft pick, a busted-up David Johnson, and fourth-round pick in 2021. It later was reported that Hopkins and O’Brien did not have a good relationship and that’s why O’Brien traded away his All-Pro receiver. Hopkins said that story was over dramatic and he enjoyed his time as a Texan and was excited for his new journey as a Cardinal. What made it a head scratching move is that the Texans couldn’t get a first-round pick for one of, if not the best receiver in the game. What made it even worse for the Texans is later in the day the Minnesota Vikings traded their Pro Bowl receiver, Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills for a plethora of picks, including a first-round pick. And Diggs was arguably the second-best receiver on the Vikings behind Adam Thielen.

This trade was beneficial for both teams because the Bills give their star in the making quarterback, Josh Allen, another weapon. For the Vikings, they will have to reload after not only trading one of their best, but they got rid of most of their defensive core. One way to fix that is with draft picks, and that’s what they did. They received four draft picks, including Buffalo’s first-round, fifth-round and sixth round pick in this year’s draft. They also received their seventh-round pick in 2021.

With those two biggest trades headlining March 16, Tom Brady announced that day he was not going back to New England, ending his 20-year career as a Patriot. It was also the first time in his career that he would enter free agency. Four days later, Brady made it official and signed a two-year $50 million contract. He joins an offense with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and OJ Howard. Brady immediately makes a franchise whose had limited success into a super bowl contender in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL.

There was one more blockbuster trade later that week on Thursday, March 19 that sent Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay from the Detroit Lions to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Lions received the Eagles third and fifth-round pick in this year’s draft. On March 18, the Lions signed former Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant, and soon after that Slay tweeted out, “Congrats to my guy!!!! Hope that speeds up my trade process!!” After the trade was made, Slay went on ESPN’s First Take to talk about how he lost respect for Detroit’s head coach Matt Patricia. With the trade, the Lions now have four of the top 85 picks in the Draft and could potentially get more if they trade their No. 3 overall pick for a team that is interested in quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
With the majority of free agency coming to an end, the next step in the NFL season is the Draft. With some GM’s asking the league office to push back the draft because all pro days have been canceled due to COVID-19. However, last week Commissioner Roger Goodell announced last week that the draft will still be held on April 23-25. So sit back, relax and enjoy the 2020 NFL Draft.