By: Enzo Whetton
The NFL season came to an end last month with the L.A. Rams defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl, 23-20. Now, it’s time for the 32 NFL teams to rebuild and strengthen their teams in free agency before the NFL draft on April 28th. Teams that just missed the Superbowl last year, like the Bills, 49ers, and Chiefs, will all look to upgrade in order to secure a spot in the title game. Others who just missed the playoffs, like the Chargers, Colts, and Dolphins, are seeking free agents that can push them over the edge and into the postseason.
Some teams are in a much better position than others to make bank-breaking moves because of their excess in cap room. Heading into free agency, teams like the Colts, Dolphins, Seahawks, and Jets are leading the pack with the most money to spend in free agency. Some notable teams in the red are the Packers, Saints, Rams, and Buccaneers. The Packers have already made the blockbuster move to make the MVP of the past two seasons, Aaron Rodgers, the highest paid quarterback in the NFL, earning $50 million per year for each of the next four years. But, they will have to maneuver some money if they want to make any other deals due to their cap situation.
So far, there have already been massive trades and signings. Star quarterback Russell Wilson was traded from the Seattle Seahawks to the Denver Broncos for a plethora of picks and players, including two 1st round picks. J.C. Jackson, the former Patriots cornerback, signed with the Chargers on a 5 year, $82.5 million contract. This move followed the Chargers bolstering their defense with another trade, bringing star edge rusher Khalil Mack back to the AFC West by trading their 2nd and 6th round picks to the Bears. The Jacksonville Jaguars have already begun to splash their cash and surround last year’s number one overall pick Trevor Lawrence with targets. They have signed former Giants tight end Evan Engram to a 1 year, $9 million deal, as well as signing wide receiver Christian Kirk to a 4 year, $84 million deal.
There are a lot of players unhappy with their current situation. Quarterback Deshaun Watson is looking for a new home this year, either through trades or signings. The free agency period can make or break a team’s year, so keep an eye out for many more moves that will change the football landscape this coming year.