Takeaways from Tampering Period Day One
The Dolphins make three great defensive moves and a questionable offensive acquisition
Brian Flores is one of the greatest defensive minds in the NFL and he’s completely revamping this entire Miami defense. Flores comes from New England and you can see the moves he’s making emulate New England’s. Let’s start with the obvious one. Kyle Van Noy led the Patriots in QB hits last year and was second in sacks. Van Noy brought the nasty to the Patriots number one ranked defense and will bring both swagger and leadership to Miami’s defense. Their biggest move of the day had to be acquiring CB Byron Jones. Jones signed a monster contract and is going to be on the other side of Xavien Howard. Jones was a top 5 corner this season and earned every cent of his new deal. Jones is going to be an alpha in the Dolphins locker room. I think the Dolphins still should make some moves on their defensive line, but they got a key addition with Shaq Lawson. Honestly, I thought he was going to demand more money so the Dolphins got a steal. Lawson led the Bills in tackles for loss and QB hits in 2019 and talks a ton of smack. The Dolphins need a ton of help on the defense and they gained three confident players who are all in their prime. Offensively, I wasn’t a fan of their lone move. They signed Ereck Flowers to a 3 year 30 million dollar deal. Don’t get me wrong, he had a comeback season with Redskins after he switched positions, but I think they over payed. Flowers is a good player, but to pay him double-digits is bold. The Dolphins are all in on protecting their future quarterback. For the rest of free agency, I’d like to see them attempt to land Melvin Gordon and another offensive lineman. I expect them to target another receiver in the draft and go after one of the top quarterbacks. Overall, a really good day for the Dolphins.
The Cardinals Win the Day
I’ve already gone in on Bill O’Brien with my previous article, which can be found in the NFL News section on my website. The Cardinals gained a top 3 receiver in the NFL for an RB they were going to trade anyways and a 2nd round pick. Deandre Hopkins is probably the most well-rounded receiver in the NFL and the Cardinals just completely took advantage of the Texans’ whimsical management. Kyler Murray is going to completely explode in his second year and now the Cardinals can focus in on the offensive line with the eighth pick. The Cardinals added a top target in the NFL and still have a top 10 pick. Kliff Kingsbury is building his dream offense and the Cardinals are going to air the ball out just like the Chiefs did this year.
The 49ers and Colts make the most fair trade of the day
The 49ers sent stud defensive lineman Deforest Buckner to the Colts in return for the 13th overall pick. As a 49ers fan, this deal was hard for me, but at least it’s fair. Some Colts fans are disappointed that they won’t be picking in the first round, but they are still in win now mode. Deforest Buckner was one of the most impactful players in the 49ers Super Bowl run last season. He was a team captain and won team MVP. Buckner has been a piece of consistency since drafted to San Francisco, but with Arik Armstead’s new deal they needed to free up cap space. The Colts desperately needed another piece on the front four and they got an all-pro who’s about to turn 26. DeFo is extremely humble and has absolutely zero off-field issues. He’s one of the most underrated players in the NFL and the Colts got an amazing player for what they’re trying to build. While I know emotionally, this deal is hard for 49ers fans, but it is sweet when you think about it. This move clears up $12.4 million for a player who only had one year left on his deal. The 49ers now have just over $22 million and two first round picks, one which they will most definitely trade back. They can either immediately extend George Kittle, resign Jimmie Ward, Kendrick Bourne, or Emmanuel Sanders, or go after a free agent corner. With paycuts/trades ultimately coming to Jerick McKinnon, Marquise Goodwin, and Dante Pettis, the 49ers are freeing up cap space. Expect DJ Jones to have an increase of snap count for San Francisco and them to target one of the “Big 3” receivers. The 49ers got 4 years of an all-pro on a rookie contract and now traded him to get another first round pick. For the Colts, they’re most likely making a run at Phillip Rivers, but I’d rather have Brissett than Rivers. My ideal quarterback additions for the Colts involve Teddy Bridgewater or Jalen Hurts. I’d also like to see them pursue Breshad Perriman. This is a true win-win for each team.
Big time players on the trade market
The four big players who could find themselves on a team are Stefon Diggs, Yannick Ngakoue, Darius Slay, and Todd Gurley. Three of these players are as good as gone while Todd Gurley is the most likely to stay on his current team. Stefon Diggs is the master of cryptic tweets, but this time I think he’s really being traded. Diggs is a top 5 route runner in the NFL, but I think he needs a change of scenery. I’d like to see him end up on a team that throws the ball a lot more frequently. The teams that I could see going after him are the Eagles or the Broncos. The Broncos are a lot closer to the playoffs than most of the NFL media thinks. Courtland Sutton and Stefon Diggs would compliment each other perfectly. Sutton is the big, physical reliable target while Diggs is the quick, precision route running playmaker. The Eagles need a lot of receiver and DB help, but this would be a big time target for Carson Wentz. For Yannick Ngakoue, the two teams I’m circling are the Seahawks and the Falcons. I’m not sure if the Falcons have the cap space to sign Ngakoue, but he would be the highly touted speed rusher that the Falcons have been missing. The Seahawks are also in need of a big pass rusher with Jadeveon Clowney on the market. Ngakoue fits the Seattle system really well. Darius Slay is still an elite corner and I’d prefer him to actually stay with Detroit, but if he gets traded I could see the Panthers and the Jaguars making a play for him.Lastly I don’t think Gurley is actually getting traded, but any team would be happy to have him. Gurley can still be a top 5 back in the league and I think it’d be foolish for the Rams to trade him.
The Browns make my favorite move of the day
Kevin Stefanski utilizes two tight end sets more than any team outside of the 49ers. Austin Hooper paired with David Njoku is probably the best tight end tandem in the NFL outside of Philly’s. Hooper receives a lot of hate, but before he got hurt last season, he was having the best season out of all the tight ends. Baker loves to throw the ball inside the numbers and now he has a great seam threat. Hooper’s size speed combo is perfect for what the Browns want to do. I think this is a perfect fit and I love the moves Cleveland made today to help out Baker Mayfield.
Free Agents I'm Most Looking Forward to see Sign
The three players I'm most interested in right now are all offensive players. Amari Cooper, Teddy Bridgewater, and Melvin Gordon all are going to demand big deals and will get paid!