NFL trades, cuts, and free agents
The NFL has been active the past week with trades, players being released, and speculation of what team will sign what players during free agency. There have been 2 major trades and countless players being cut after being apart of a franchise for a better part of a decade. All these moves will make for an interesting and exciting free agent period!
Eagles Lesean McCoy traded to the Buffalo Bills for LB Kiko Alonso
This trade had the football world in shock because this trade was a player for player trade, which is hardly ever seen in this age of football. This trade had Eagle fans scratching their heads, and the Bills faithful were jumping for joy. I wrote about this trade previous in the week, and i expressed my thoughts about what Chip Kelly is doing. Kelly will either be praised for this move or he will be hated and fired in a couple seasons because of it. I think that McCoy was already on his way out because McCoy and Kelly had a few disagreements when it came to how Kelly ran the team. Speculation was thrown around that McCoy was going to be the center piece in the trade for the Eagles to try to get Marcus Mariota in the draft, but I think that Chip Kelly will still find a way to work out a deal with the Jets to go snatch up Mariota.
Bills acquire Matt Cassel from Minnesota
The Buffalo Bills and Rex Ryan are serious this offseason in building an offense to go along with the stout Bills defense. Obviously Cassel is not the long term solution at the quarterback position, but he will be able to play for a couple of years while the Bills train up EJ Manuel or they just go find a new quarterback altogether. The Bills sent 2 undisclosed draft picks to Minnesota for Matt Cassel and an undisclosed draft pick. It is obvious that Rex Ryan is not waiting for success to come in the draft, but instead he is going out and getting the talent he wants and needs.
Troy Polamalu is done in Pittsburgh
Earlier this week the Pittsburgh Steelers told their beloved safety Troy Polamalu that he will not be returning as a Steeler next season. Polamalu will need to make a decision if he wants to retire as a Steeler or try his luck on the free agent market. If Polamalu doesn’t retire, he needs to reinvent himself as a player. Instead of trying to be a ballhawking safety that tries to sniff out what the offense is going to do, he needs to play within himself and the system because he doesn’t have that extra step he used to have. Polamalu has an extra season or two, but i would like to see him retire as a Pittsburgh Steeler.
Peyton Manning takes a $4 million pay cut
The Denver Broncos announced that Peyton Manning will return for his 18th season earlier in the week. Just after that announcement, Manning took a $4 million pay cut. This move is going to allow the Broncos to go sign more free agents who can give them a better chance to win a Super Bowl. This move also allows the Broncos to possibly bring back TE Julius Thomas to keep Manning’s favorite red zone target. I do not think that Manning has a whole lot left in him. If the Broncos want to win a Super Bowl this season, they need to establish a running game because Manning cannot physically continue to throw 50 passes per game.
Reggie Wayne will not be resigned by the Colts
The Indianapolis Colts announced that they will not resign WR Reggie Wayne earlier this week. Wayne has played the most games in franchise history, and is second in all receiving categories in Colts’ history, only behind Marvin Harrison. Reggie Wayne has lost some speed, but is still a fantastic receiver. Wayne will be able to make a difference wherever he lands in free agency, and he will be able to teach the younger receivers how to get some separation and how to run routes. My top destination for Wayne would be going to Denver to be reunited with Peyton Manning. If the Broncos can sign Wayne, their offense will be that much more dynamic and it will give them a chance to make a Super Bowl run.
Brandon Marshall traded to Jets
The New York Jets have made a move to get the Bears wide out Brandon Marshall. The Jets sent Chicago a 5th round pick for Marshall. The Jets have the 3rd most cap space in the NFL behind Oakland and Jacksonville, so they were able to pick up Marshall’s contract. The Jets will be going out and shopping this next week to go get some dynamic play makers. It also frees up the Bears’ cap room, so the Bears can now go sign defensive players to revive their lifeless defense. The Bears have also been rumored to possibly move Jay Cutler because of that contract he signed last year. The Titans and Jets would be the top prospects to go trade for Cutler.