NFL Winners and Losers: Free Agency Day 2
It's not too late to be a winner... for some
If you missed day one, check it out here. We enter day two. Still plenty of big names available and moves being made. Let’s start out with a big win for us all.
1. Winner: All football fans
Like former legend Brett Farve, Ryan Fitzpatrick just couldn’t commit to his own retirement talk, and signed with the Washington Football Team. This is a win for as long as Fitzy remains a good QB. Last year, he played very well in his limited appearances for the Dolphins, just one year after almost single-handedly keeping a disastrous roster competitive. Fitzpatrick has a fun, infectious personality. His interviews are always enjoyable and his antics are legendary. In Washington, he takes over a sneaky solid bunch of skill players with a good defense. The WFT might make the playoffs again! That’s not really the point here though, just getting to watch Fitzmagic for another year makes us all winners.
2. Loser: Anyone else who thought they were getting a tight end upgrade in free agency
In a shocking move, the Patriots cornered the market on tight end today in day 2 by grabbing the OTHER big name Hunter Henry. It was presumed that they were done after signing Jonnu Smith yesterday, but nope. Clearly they plan to go heavy on two tight end sets next season, and return to the glory days of Gronk and serial murderer Aaron Hernandez (off topic, but can we agree that Aaron Hernandez was the worst signing of all time? He killed multiple people in the city that signed him. That seems more significant than just being bad at playing football). Meanwhile, there are at least a dozen teams that could use an upgrade at tight end, but they won’t be getting one in free agency now. Good luck in the draft or trading for Julie Ertz’s husband.
3. Draw: The Jaguars turn to spend
The Jaguars started emptying the coffers on their big money pile with a plethora of signings, topped by Seattle’s on-again/off-again enigma Shaquill Griffin. One thing is for sure with him, but I don’t know what it is. Another pile of signings followed that, but at this point, they aren’t really any better overall. This is still a team at the bottom with lots of holes. Here are some more names you will probably never read in one of my articles again. Carlos Hyde, Philip Dorsett, Rayshawn Jenkins, Roy Robertson-Harris, Chris Manhertz (this sounds like a dick joke), Rudy Ford, Tyson Alualu, and Jamal Agnew. Congratulations to all of them on being football players.
4: Loser: Placating your unhappy franchise quarterback.
Neither Deshaun Watson nor Russell Wilson have received any support pieces of value so far in free agency, leaving things unresolved as we head toward the draft. I do think Watson will move, and I don’t think Wilson will, but neither team has done anything to change the perception their QBs are unhappy. The Texans have mostly signed linebackers after trading away their pro-bowl inside linebacker to the Dolphins so the Dolphins could dump failed signing from last offseason Shaq Lawson, on them (a trade that made everyone excited till they saw it wasn’t Watson). The Seahawks, meanwhile, have done nothing other than lose their no 1 corner and center from last year.
5. Winner: Jay Cutler’s legacy
Bears fans were sent into a sad and pathetic death spiral yesterday after weeks of pointless talk about acquiring Russell Wilson proved fruitless. It was so much worse than that, however, when the Bears signed a player in Andy Dalton who wasn’t elite at his peak, let alone at his current nadir (it’s especially depressing when several better players signed the same day to be backups elsewhere). The winner here, though, is Jay Cutler. Every time the Bears get a terrible quarterback (so every year) I see tweets lamenting driving Jay Cutler out of town. Somehow this man
is unquestionably the greatest Bears QB of all time. Every year that goes by simply cements his legacy a little bit more. I also want to acknowledge briefly the sorrow of Allen Robinson, who was not only franchise tagged (so he can’t get years, guaranteed money or a signing bonus) but now has to add Andy Dalton to his career resume of catching passes from Blake Bortles, Mitch Trubisky, Nick Foles, Chase Daniel and Chad Henne (in the pros). Let’s also not forget Christian Hackenburg and Matt McGloin in college. He might be Jerry Rice for all we know.
6: Loser: Michael Brockers
Michael was very excited about the arrival of Matt Stafford to his team in LA. Unfortunately, it turned out he was on the way out the door to the Lions… where former LA quarterback Jared Goff landed. I am sure he is excited to discuss his love for Matt Stafford with Jared.
7. Loser: The rest of Joe Burrow
Day two of the Bengals offseason priority to protect Joe Burrow also came up empty. They signed a former Steelers cornerback. I can’t believe they tricked Burrow into agreeing to go there last year. He was training with Carson Palmer’s brother before the draft. How did he not know this was coming???