Let me first preface this all with a fact – I have an obsession with the three major sports’ (baseball, basketball and football) offseasons. I scan the transaction wire several times per day, have all of the alerts ready to be sent to my phone – from a multitude of apps – and follow every insider under the sun.
So, when there was talk of pushing back the start of the NFL’s 2020 league year over the weekend, I was of course hoping a different outcome would occur.
Despite many wishing for the opposite of me, things officially got underway as the clock struck 12 p.m. Monday.
And while I certainly agreed with the thoughts that poured through Twitter that all of the moving and shaking that was about to ensue was ‘tone deaf’ with what was happening in our country and throughout the world, what it did – at least for me – was give a distraction.
It made things feel a little more normal for the first time in a few days.
But what took place on Monday – the first day of legal tampering – was anything but.
Franchise tags were used on Derrick Henry (RB/Tennessee), Shaq Barrett (DE/Tampa Bay), Bud Dupree (LB/Pittsburgh), AJ Green (WR/Cincinnati), Dak Prescott (QB/Dallas) and Anthony Harris (S/Minnesota) to name a few.
Multiple trades were made involving big name players, including Atlanta acquiring tight end Hayden Hurst from Baltimore, Houston sending wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona for former fantasy darling David Johnson and a pair of picks, San Francisco trading defensive lineman DeForest Buckner to Indianapolis where he inked an extension that made his the second-highest paid DL behind Aaron Donald and Minnesota shipped disgruntled wide receiver Stefon Diggs to Buffalo for a boatload of draft picks.
The NFC East – where my favorite team resides – all added one impact player as the Giants signed cornerback James Bradberry, the Cowboys brought back wide receiver Amari Cooper, the Redskins welcomed Kendall Fuller back into the fold after trading him a couple of years ago, while the Eagles made defensive tackle Javon Hargrave the second highest paid defensive tackle in the game.
A trio of teams that all missed out on the playoffs a year ago in the Browns (signed tight end Austin Hooper, right tackle Jack Conklin and backup quarterback Case Keenum), the Dolphins (signed offensive lineman Ereck Flowers, defensive end Shaq Lawson, cornerback Byron Jones, linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Kamu Grugier-Hill and running back Jordan Howard) and the Lions (signed offensive tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai, linebacker Jamie Collins and backup quarterback Chase Daniel) to beef up their chances at playing in January.
The quarterback carousel made a small turn with Tennessee re-signing Ryan Tannehill while allowing Marcus Mariota head west to Las Vegas. Carolina inked Teddy Bridgewater to join forces with new head coach Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady.
The rumor mill was swirling round and round as well, especially involving the signal caller position.
Tom Brady to Tampa Bay? Phillip Rivers coming to Indy? Cam Newton and the Panthers working together to get him out of Carolina? Chicago in the mix for Nick Foles and Andy Dalton, both would almost certainly supplant Mitch Trubisky as the starter in the Windy City and would be throwing to tight end Jimmy Graham who inked a two-year deal with the Bears Monday afternoon.
Yes, there are more important things going on in our daily lives right now. But it certainly was nice to have a sense of nervousness come over me about who the Eagles would be adding to the roster.
It sure beat worrying about the coronavirus.