NFL Rumors: Buzz and Predictions After Day 1 of 2018 Free Agency

NFL Rumors: Buzz and Predictions After Day 1 of 2018 Free Agency

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It probably goes without saying, but the first day of free agency—or the "legal tampering" period—did not disappoint.

Every time you turned around, there was new news hitting you in the face left and right.

It’s not even the official start of free agency and most of the bigger-name players have deals in place to sign already.

The highlight of the day was the Minnesota Vikings locking down quarterback Kirk Cousins on a three-year, $86 million contract that is fully guaranteed, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

In the NFL, it is rare to see a fully guaranteed contract, so not only has Cousins gotten paid a ton of money by a good team, he may have altered the negotiations for quarterbacks moving forward.

Wide receivers Allen Robinson and Sammy Watkins found new homes, too.

For Robinson, he’s headed to the Chicago Bears, according to Schefter, while Watkins is going to the Kansas City Chiefs, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Those three deals are far from what the day brought overall as there were plenty of transactions.

Thankfully, Spotrac has a comprehensive list of all the signings. 

With that said, not everyone has a home yet. There are still players out there, but they have rumors swirling around them that we cannot ignore.

Let’s check out three of them, shall we?

        

Browns to Replace Joe Thomas with Nate Solder?

Could the Joe Thomas era be over in Cleveland?

According to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, the Cleveland Browns are pursuing left tackle Nate Solder as a replacement for Thomas.

After playing in 10,363 consecutive snaps across 11 seasons, Thomas tore his left triceps in 2017, bringing an end to the streak.

According to Pat McManamon of ESPN, Thomas has said that his future of playing in the NFL will come down to health, but the reporter added Thomas has been happy with the moves new general manager John Dorsey has made.

One of those moves could be luring Solder away from the New England Patriots. Right now, on paper, the Browns do not have a bad football team. While Thomas may be an excellent left tackle, they may not be able to sit around and wait for Thomas with someone like Solder out on the market.

As Volin noted, the Browns have a ton of cap space, so they can easily blow any offer Solder would get out of the water. It would just come down to if Solder wanted to play in Cleveland.

Albert Breer of MMQB reported that the New York Giants are also in on Solder as they desperately need offensive line help, but they don’t have the money to spend like Cleveland.

With the Browns going after Solder, it’s clear they’re not exactly confident in Thomas returning. 

Solder would be an excellent addition to the Browns and would take care of a huge need should Thomas decide to hang up his cleats.

This will come down to the Browns and a return to the Patriots to chase another Super Bowl ring.

Prediction: New England Patriots

         

Could ASJ Be Plan B for Saints?

After losing out on a potential reunion with tight end Jimmy Graham, the New Orleans Saints are back to the drawing board in the tight end market.

As quarterback Drew Brees heads into the twilight of his career, the Saints would be doing right by him to get as many weapons as possible for the 39-year-old passer.

One potential backup plan could be Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (h/t Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times), we should expect the Saints to "make a big play now" for ASJ.

Most recently with the Jets, ASJ has had his off-the-field issues, but he came roaring back in 2017, catching 50 passes across 13 games and showing off his red zone potential.

For Brees, he’ll take all the red zone weapons he can get.

While ASJ might be a fine option, the Saints could also look to adding a guy in the draft.

Even with ASJ, they could do this, but without him, they may be in a position where they could take someone like Mike Gesicki out of Penn State, who had an incredible combine performance.

Right now, Coby Fleener just isn’t cutting it at the position, so it makes sense for the Saints to upgrade.

Whether it’s through the draft or signing ASJ, the Saints will have a new tight end on the roster.

ASJ would get plenty of action with Brees as his quarterback.

Prediction: New Orleans Saints

       

McKinnon Heading South to the Bucs?

In a running back free agent class that has quite a few big names—DeMarco Murray, Adrian Peterson and Dion Lewis—you may have forgotten that Jerick McKinnon is also a free agent and looking for work in 2018.

Well, one team certainly didn’t forget he was out there anyway.

According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, that team is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who, after cutting ties with Doug Martin, are looking to re-stock their backfield.

Right now, with Peyton Barber and Jacquizz Rodgers on the roster, McKinnon does make some sense.

The Buccaneers have a clear need at running back, but in such a loaded running back draft class, they could always address this position there.

While McKinnon has expressed he wants more of a featured role, he’s never carried the ball more than 159 times in a season.

In a sense, he’s a bit like Lewis. He can carry the ball 150-175 times and also execute well in the passing game. 

According to Spotrac, McKinnon‘s estimated market value is $4 million. 

At 25-years-old, McKinnon still has plenty of miles left on his legs, but maybe the Buccaneers take a rookie running back and save a few dollars and complement him with that they currently have on the roster?

McKinnon fits better on a team where he can be on a productive offense that will really allow his athleticism to shine.

Prediction: New England Patriots

Breaking Sports News

via Bleacher Report – Front Page http://ift.tt/yO6Sgr

March 14, 2018 at 09:17AM

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