NFL Offseason Madness
Okay everyone, breathe in. Breathe out. Let’s breakdown the past couple of days in the NFL because it was a frenzy to say the least.
Antonio Brown is traded to the Oakland Raiders
Now this is honestly one of the most brilliant scenarios to play out where the player wins and the team loses. Antonio Brown essentially declared himself a free agent under contract and managed to bring the Pittsburgh Steelers to their limit on what they could handle.
There were two factors that led to this move. To start, Brown was very explicit on how he wasn’t on board with the Steelers not paying Le’Veon Bell the contract he wanted. It was very obvious that not having Bell impacted the Steelers season despite finding a gem in James Conner. Second, Brown had a serious problem with Ben Roethlisberger. The sentiment has been reported to be shared among more of the Steelers locker room. The issue is that Big Ben thinks he’s bigger than the team. Furthermore, Brown felt that from the front office to the coaching staff, they allowed Roethlisberger to be a rogue player, making his own criticisms of players, changing calls, and to keep it short, he was the Pittsburgh Steelers, not the other way around. Antonio Brown wasn’t up for it, and it showed in the public fracas he put on to where Steelers owner Art Rooney had to sit down with Brown to essentially tell him he gave up and he would trade him.
Now the Oakland Raiders certainly got an upgrade. Derek Carr now has his big target. With all the draft picks they’ve acquired, Oakland is poised to bring in enough talent to return to contenders in the AFC conference.
Everyone who has good knowledge of the game and the condition of the New York Giants can tell you, they were bad, but not that bad. But with the departures of Olivier Vernon to the Browns and Landon Collins to the Washington Redskins, it seemed the Giants control over their future seemed to be slipping. Once Beckham Jr. was the final major departure, the matter was settled.
The Giants have gone from a transition to a rebuild. The only piece they truly can build around as an attraction is Saquon Barkley. Eli Manning will for sure not last another season (though we’ve been saying this for about three years now). The Giants have the opportunity this year and next year to select a quarterback in the NFL Draft for the future.
One thing to note, Dave Gettleman, the Giants General Manager, better make this rebuild work. It was himself and Head Coach Pat Shurmur that thought the trade was the best choice. The ownership was very against it, but in the end the Giants aren’t going anywhere with Beckham Jr. There was no indication he was making them better, and so in the end, a gut-wrenching trade is what’s best for both sides.
The Cleveland Browns are loaded. Think of this situation for QB Baker Mayfield. Your No. 1 target is Odell Beckham Jr. He’s not open, so next you have Jarvis Landry, an exceptional receiver who should enjoy the spoils of Beckham Jr.’s arrival. But let’s say Landry isn’t open, you also have David Njoku at tight end. He’s becoming a solid player and should get even better over time. With three outfield targets, Mayfield will have no problem finding someone to throw to. Coupled with the receiving talent, Mayfield can hand the ball off to Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb, and that is one hell of a backfield, especially if Hunt doesn’t miss a beat from his time in Kansas City, and Chubb grows in his talent as he showed great promise last season. We can’t count them as a true Super Bowl contender just yet, but Beckham Jr. makes them plenty dangerous.
As one star leaves New York, another arrives. Bell’s arrival has brought great joy to the Jets fan base. It elevates the offense greatly, as QB Sam Darnold doesn’t have to worry about throwing the ball too much. Having a RB who can push your offense just as well as your arm is a blessing. As long as the Jets bring in more pieces around Darnold and Bell, this is going to be a Jets team on the rise. Let’s just hope their coaching staff, which has been heavily scrutinized is up to the challenge.
Earl Thomas signs with the Baltimore Ravens
What? So you’re telling us that the soap opera of Days of our Cowboys was just a pilot? This must be a slap in the face to the fan base of the Cowboys, whose owner Jerry Jones and company tried their best to entice Thomas to sign with them. With Seattle refusing to trade, there was just simply the matter of waiting until free agency. So why now couldn’t the Cowboys get their man? Over time, there’s bound to be answers. The Ravens were gutted on the defensive side, so adding Thomas as a defensive leader was a great move on their part.
There’s bound to be more big story-lines coming to a close this off-season, but for now, there’s no questioning the NFL has gone through a big shake up.
Hailing from New York City from the borough of Brooklyn, Dillon is a die-hard New York sports fan. He currently resides in Upstate New York, where he studies at Wells College in Aurora, NY.
Follow him on Twitter @thedavistirado and the other MFST writers.
Stay tuned for more!