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Harry’s Winners & Losers From the NFL Offseason

Harry's Winners & Losers From the NFL Offseason

In the midst of a world crisis, the NFL world moved forward with trades and free agency this week with major moves and monster contracts for many of the best players in the league.

The media was at one point thinking that things should have been pushed back based on the coronavirus spreading across the world and that this was not the right time for the rich to get even richer but it is still football, deals are going to be made and it gave us fans something sports-wise to talk about this week.

Here are my winners and losers in free agency this week and why I feel that way, with their latest odds to win division, conference and Super Bowl.

Winners

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Division +200
NFC +900
SB +1600

My theory I made on my pod Against All Odds with Cousin Sal – of “TB to TB”, Tom Brady to Tampa Bay – actually came to fruition. This will make Tampa Bay relevant for the first time since winning the Super Bowl in 2003. The signing of Brady has already raised ticket sales and he will love working with the QB whisperer head coach Bruce Arians. Brady will also have two Pro Bowl receivers and a stud tight end to work with, something he didn’t have last year in New England.

The Buccaneers also franchise-tagged Shaq Barrett, who had a breakout season with 19.5 sacks. Bruce and Brady equals big time for the Bucs in 2020.

Arizona Cardinals

Division +800
NFC +2500
SB +5000

Cards general manager Steve Keim pulled off the deal of the century in acquiring DeAndre Hopkins, possibly the best wide receiver in the game, from the Houston Texans. They got him from Texans head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien for a banged-up running back in David Johnson.

What a weapon to acquire for second-year QB Kyler Murray. Arizona now will have three excellent receivers in Hopkins, Christian Kirk and future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald. The Cards also bolstered their defense by scoring defensive tackle Jordan Phillips from Buffalo. With the acquisition of Hopkins, the odds instantly went down on the Cards knowing what a steal they just pulled off.

Cleveland Browns

Division +400
AFC +1500
SB +4000

The Browns signed tight end Austin Hooper from Atlanta and made him the highest-paid tight end in the league at four years and $44 million. That will certainly help QB Baker Mayfield control the line of scrimmage. They also signed a reliable backup for Mayfield in Case Keenum and helped fix that offensive line with Titans right tackle Jack Conklin for $42 million.

Miami Dolphins

Division +1200
AFC +4500
SB +10000

The Miami Dolphins finally spent some money and signed four possible starters and that includes paying ex-Dallas Cowboy cornerback Byron Jones the richest contract for corners in the league.

They also upgraded their pass rush with Kyle Van Noy (Patriots) and Shaq Lawson (Bills). Lawson had 6.5 sacks last season and had 13 tackles for losses. This Dolphins team never quit on head coach Brian Flores, winning five of its last nine games a season ago. These moves should account for another win or two.

Winning Player

Los Angeles Chargers QB – Tyrod Taylor

Division +1000
AFC +2500
SB +5000

It seems after the Chargers failed to sign Tom Brady that for the time being, they will roll with Taylor and maybe select a QB in the draft. If that is the case, the soon-to-be 31-year-old Taylor will open the season as their starter and will have one more chance to get it done as a starting QB in the league. The Chargers still have a solid receivers crew plus they re-signed running back Austin Ekeler, who had a tremendous season last year running and receiving.

Losers

Indianapolis Colts

Division +160
AFC +1500
SB +3000

It seems like the Colts were in desperation mode to find a starting quarterback and they fell out of the running for Brady, so they settled on aging Philip Rivers. Rivers’ play has tailed off and the $25 million for one year that they are paying him is so not worth it when that money could have been spent somewhere else.

Chicago Bears

Division +300
NFC +1500
SB +3000

The Bears already had issues at quarterback with Mitch Trubisky but they just received more questions by trading for Nick Foles. Foles was a flop in Jacksonville and the Bears have an insane history of making terrible QB decisions. I can’t see this ending well especially come November and whether it’s Foles or Trubisky, the cold weather will bring bad plays from one or both.

Houston Texans

Division +200
AFC +3500
SB +8000

It came out that head coach/general manager Bill O’Brien didn’t get along with star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, but that is no excuse for basically giving away one of the top two receivers in the league for a guy who might be done in the league and taking on the rest of his enormous contract.

David Johnson in 2016 had 2,100 total yards and 20 touchdowns, and in the next three seasons combined he has 2,100 yards and four fewer TDs. If this trade goes extremely badly, and we will be able to tell as the season goes, O’Brien and his smug attitude may have sealed his fate by season’s end or before.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Division +1500
AFC +15000
SB +30000

This Jaguars team is not only in a rebuilding mode and that’s fine, but they continue to make terrible decisions in trades. They barely have a home-field advantage as they continue to play games in London and are scheduled for two games there in 2020. The Jags just traded defensive end Calais Campbell to the Baltimore Ravens for a measly fifth-round pick.

Campbell is 33 years old but has made five Pro Bowls, including three in a row. The Jacksonville/London Jaguars since 2018 have in deals gotten rid of not only Campbell but A.J. Bouye, Dante Fowler, Malik Jackson and Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey. The Jags traded away QB Nick Foles, who was a one-year disaster, to the Bears on Wednesday, which now adds to the stack of questions of what this team plans on fielding for a team heading into the 2020 season.

On the Fence

Buffalo Bills

Division +130
AFC +1000
SB +3000

The Bills are on the fence because of the trade they made with the Vikings for wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Diggs is most definitely a valuable asset, but he has a temper as we saw in the playoffs and the Bills gave up first-, fifth- and sixth-round picks in the draft this year and a fourth-rounder next year. This trade long term could eventually hurt Buffalo, however short term it’s brilliant especially with Tom Brady out of the AFC East and the Patriots scrambling for a starting quarterback.

Losing Players

Cam Newton

It will be interesting to see what happens to Newton here considering the Panthers didn’t even inform him that they were signing QB Teddy Bridgewater. Then there were rumors he was going to Chicago to play for the Bears but the signing of Foles squashed that thought. In this spot Cam Newton is basically being “left for dead” by Carolina with no starting QB positions left in the league.

Jameis Winston

Winston led the league in turnovers (30 interceptions) a season ago and with the Buccaneers signing Brady, it meant Winston was forced to look elsewhere. I felt he would sign with the Chargers, who still have a solid offense, but they decided not to go that route which has Winston stuck in limbo with not many answers. Winston’s erratic play and his off-the-field issues seem to have finally caught up to him in free agency.