NFL free agency changes landscape of league for upcoming season

Dylan Mehl, Staff Writer

While much of the sports world has come to a halt in recent times, the NFL calendar year has started off hot. With free agency under way, many faces are now in new places and the landscape of the league will be much different this upcoming season. 

The man that many consider to be the greatest player of all time, Tom Brady, is on the move and has found a new home in Tampa Bay. This gives Brady weapons he didn’t have in New England like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.

Brady’s new contract with the Bucs is for two years and worth 50 million dollars all fully-guaranteed, with Brady having the opportunity to earn nine million dollars more in incentives.  

Many people were, and still are, shocked to hear the news of Brady leaving the Patriots after an illustrious 19 years with the team.

“Tom Brady in a pirate uniform? It jars me to my soul,” said Skip Bayless, a former ESPN and current Fox Sports analyst.

Aside from Brady, many other NFL stars will find new homes next year, including the likes of DeAndre Hopkins and David Johnson, who were not free agents but were part of a blockbuster trade between the Texans and Cardinals. For many, this was a real head-scratching move by the Texans, a team going on a second season without a general manager.

The Cardinals however, appear to be in great position for the future. They now have a core of Kyler Murray, Hopkins, Christian Kirk and Kenyan Drake. Larry Fitzgerald is also sure to serve as a mentor for both Hopkins and Kirk as he enters the end of his career.

Other big name quarterbacks not named Brady will also find themselves playing for new teams in the upcoming season. Philip Rivers, Teddy Bridgewater and Nick Foles all have new teams. 

Rivers decided to sign a one-year, 25 million dollar deal with the Colts. This drew mixed reactions from Colts fans early on because of Rivers’ age and poor performance with great weapons last season. But, now he inherits the best offensive line in football and an offense with good weapons.

Teddy Bridgewater will find himself as a Carolina Panther under new head coach Matt Rhule with a three-year contract, worth 63 million dollars. Bridgewater will enter perhaps the most competitive division in football in the NFC south.

The Panthers also made a splash, signing PJ Walker out of the XFL where he was the best player in the league and most likely the MVP. Walker also played his college ball for Rhule.

As for former Super Bowl champion and MVP Nick Foles, the Jaguars decided it was time to move on from him after just one season and traded him to the Chicago Bears. This creates a bit of quarterback controversy in the Bears’ locker room, as there will now be a battle for the starting job with Mitchell Trubisky. 

Three-time Pro Bowl running back Todd Gurley finds himself in a bit of a homecoming situation, as next year he will be playing for the Atlanta Falcons, after the Rams cut him. Gurley, the once Georgia bulldog, is sure to look to come out hot next year to prove he still has it.

Star cornerbacks Byron Jones and Darius Slay are also on the move, as Jones will be a Miami Dolphin next year and Slay was traded to the Eagles.

Rosters are far from being set in stone with more free agents out there and the draft coming up in a month, but already the NFL has a much different feel to it.