The NFL offseason is the perfect time for each franchise to do some housekeeping.
This comes in the form of cutting the extra fat that is not serving the team well, and by adding talent through free agency and the NFL Draft. This year, some NFL teams also chose to strike huge trades they felt would most benefit their franchise.
Let’s take a peek at 10 of the best moves made thus far in the NFL offseason.
Cleveland Browns win the Odell Beckham Jr. lotto
In a head-scratching move by the New York Giants, the G-Men chose to make a trade with Cleveland gifting away their No. 1 wide receiver.
This blockbuster trade makes the Browns one of the biggest winners of the offseason. OBJ will have an immediate and powerful impact on an offense that will be much-improved this season. Beckham arrives at Cleveland after averaging 93 yards per game and scoring 46 total career touchdowns, including two as a passer last year.
Pittsburgh Steelers rid themselves of the Antonio Brown drama
It was a necessary move by the Steelers to finally cut ties with Brown and all of the drama that was brewing in Pittsburgh. The two parties were at a stalemate, and Pittsburgh trading away Brown to an AFC franchise across the country made a ton of sense. It remains to be seen if Brown can keep his ego in check in Oakland. But, he is no longer a concern for the Steelers. The team will rely upon JuJu Smith-Schuster — who Brown threw under the bus — as their No. 1 pass-catcher. The vibe in the locker room should be all the better for this move.
Quarterback Dwayne Haskins falls perfectly to Washington Redskins
There is no denying that the Redskins’ quarterback situation was bleak prior to the NFL Draft, with Case Keenum listed as a starter. The Redskins prudently selected Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins 15th overall. The New York Giants chose to pass on Haskins at No. 6 and Washington landed a potential future franchise quarterback without having to trade up. Haskins passed for 4,831 yards and 50 touchdowns in his 2018 college season. He will compete with Keenum for the chance to start as a rookie.
49ers beef up their defense
After yielding the fifth-most points to opposing offenses in 2018, it was critical for the 49ers to make some big offseason moves. Trading for defensive end Dee Ford, formerly of the Kansas City Chiefs, was an excellent decision. He last recorded a league-high seven forced fumbles and career-high 13 sacks. Also joining Ford through free agency is linebacker Kwon Alexander and cornerback Jason Verrett. Aside from these additions, the 49ers landed Ohio State pass rusher Nick Bosa second overall. Soon enough, fans will see a better defensive effort from their team.
Ravens sign safety Earl Thomas
This former Seattle Seahawks All-Pro safety finally got the payday he thought he deserved. The Ravens went all in and signed Thomas to a contract that pays him an average of $13.75 million per year. When healthy, Thomas is one of the best at his position. Opposing offenses should still continue to fear the soon-to-be 30-year-old safety. Throughout his nine years playing in Seattle, Thomas recorded 28 interceptions, two touchdowns, 11 forced fumbles, and 684 combined tackles. Hopefully, Thomas will remain healthy as he begins his new journey as a Raven.
Denver Broncos ace draft, including Drew Lock pick
It was nice to see the Broncos not mess up the draft for once. The team made a smart move securing Iowa standout tight end Noah Fant with pick No. 20. He will make a great target for quarterback Joe Flacco to hone in on. Then, investing their next two picks on tackle Dalton Risner and quarterback Drew Lock were perfect. There was no reaching for a quarterback this time around. Lock has the talent to eventually become the Broncos’ franchise quarterback.
John Elway should be a happy camper as a result.
Panthers bolster offensive line by signing center Matt Paradis
This offseason delivered offensive line aid to quarterback Cam Newton in the form of one of the best centers in the league. They signed one of the better free agent centers in Paradis, who is slated to earn $9 million per year to keep Newton better protected. The Panthers do not appear to be worried that Paradis will return healthy from a broken leg he suffered in Week 9 when with the Denver Broncos. Since being drafted first overall in 2011, Newton has taken an average of 35.6 sacks per season. Ouch. Clearly, they needed the help.
New York Jets ink Le’Veon Bell
It was just last year that some New York Jets players were campaigning for Bell to join their team during his beef with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
That wish has been granted, and Bell should provide an immediate jolt of energy to his new offense. The addition of Bell will also help in quarterback Sam Darnold’s development moving forward. Bell is just as skilled as a pass catcher as he is a workhorse ball carrier. He comes to New York fresh after taking one season off and last touching the ball as an average of 27 times per game in 2017.
Philadelphia Eagles impress with strong draft
The Eagles made the most of the five picks they had in the draft. They chose future help for quarterback Carson Wentz by trading up to pick offensive tackle Andre Dillard, who will eventually replace Jason Peters. Continuing to bolster the offense, the Eagles also added running back Miles Sanders and wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside with their second-round picks. On the other side of the ball, the Eagles added pass rusher Shareef Miller, who had 7.5 sacks last year at Penn State.
Seahawks commit to Russell Wilson
Wilson is not going to play for the New York Giants any time soon, much to the chagrin of Giants fans who felt that Wilson would be a sweet replacement for the aging Eli Manning. The Seahawks met Wilson’s contract demand and have now made him the highest paid player in the league. His new average annual salary of $35 million should help him stay focused on getting the Seahawks back to another Super Bowl. Happy quarterback, happy team.