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NFL off-season better than Super Bowl

On March 19, 2019

BRANDON WENNER / STAFF WRITER 

Super Bowl 54 may have been uneventful but the free agency season, which opened March 13, has been anything but.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have lost arguably the automatic one and two picks in fantasy football.

Antonio Brown is now an Oakland Raider after Pittsburgh received third- and fifth-round picks for this year’s draft.

Former Michigan State University Spartan Leveon Bell, after sitting out the entirety of the 2018-19 season, was signed by the New York Jets on a four-year deal worth $52.5 million with $35 million guaranteed.

Super Bowl 53 MVP Nick Foles, who has yet to play a full season of football, signed a four-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars worth $88 million with $50.125 million guaranteed.

The most exciting, yet extremely wild news coming out of the free agency window, is that the Cleveland Browns, out of all teams, have transcended into a Super Bowl contending team, on paper, with the acquisition of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in a trade with the New York Giants for first- and third-round picks (plus safety Jabrill Peppers).

With quarterback Baker Mayfield (23 years old), running backs Kareem Hunt (23) and Nick Chubb (23), tight end David Njoku (22) and wide receivers Jarvis Landry (26) and Beckham (26), the Browns look like they are going to be an offensive powerhouse for years to come given their youthful core.

The Giants tried to put a Band-Aid on a broken arm to make up for the departure of Beckham by signing wide receiver Golden Tate to a four-year deal worth $37.5 million with $23.5 million guaranteed.

Meanwhile, Washington has signed safety Landon Collins to a six-year deal worth $84 million with $45 million guaranteed.

For some reason, the Miami Dolphins thought it would be a good idea to trade their starting quarterback, Ryan Tannehill and a sixth-round pick for a seventh-round pick and a fourth-rounder next year.

I guess you could say they made up for it by signing quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on March 17, one of the most inconsistent quarterbacks of all-time.

It seems as though the Dolphins are looking to tank the 2019 season away in hopes of drafting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa from Alabama with the number-one pick in 2020.

Finally, the GM of the Detroit Lions, Bob Quinn, has actually made some key moves over the last week by strengthening the defense by signing Super Bowl champion defensive end Trey Flowers, cornerback Justin Coleman and safety Andrew Adams.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Lions have also signed wide receiver Danny Amendola to fill the vacant hole at slot receiver since Golden Tate and Bruce Ellington are both no longer part of the organization.

On top of this, after the backlash from fans after announcing the possibility of taking a tight end with the numb-eight pick in this year’s draft, the Lions went and signed former Steeler tight end Jesse James, who is definitely a young, strong talent.

The Lions should finally have enough weapons to get Stafford back to his normal self, and to help the promising second-year running back Kerryon Johnson establish a running game on the outside by getting behind Jesse James.

Only time will tell how Matt Patricia and the Detroit Lions will react this season after finishing underwhelmingly at 5-11 last season, but things are looking up.

Mark your calendars, the first round of the NFL draft starts at 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 25.

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