The Butterfield Breakdown: NFL free agency round-up

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Laptop displaying the NFL free agency. Ethan Butterfield

Big moves and bigger signings.

Just when you thought it was done, the NFL free agency starts to pick up again with new signings and rumours that’ll make for quite an interesting 2021 season. Not to give too much away right off the top but there the names that are being signed this time around that should definitely turn some heads. As well, as opposed to the last breakdown I did, I try to offer a bit of analysis for the signing and why the team might make that sort of move. Anywho, enjoy the updates, all!

So, let’s get right into the individual signings. We’ll start off with my favourite part of the free agency, the quarterback (QB) carousel! This is the time of year where a lot of QB’s find new teams, which leads to all types of questions for the upcoming season. As opposed to last week, this week found a lot of QB’s making their way to different organizations.

Andy Dalton, who led the Dallas Cowboys through most of their disappointing 6-10 playoff-less 2020 season, ended up being signed by the Chicago Bears under a one-year contract. It was reported that the Bears had assured Dalton the starting position on the team, but it’s also rumoured that the Bears are still looking to pursue all-star QB Russell Wilson.

In other news, former Chicago Bears starting QB Mitchell Tribusky is now a member of the Buffalo Bills. Signing a one-year deal with the team, Tribusky will certainly be the backup to Bills QB Josh Allen, who had an amazing 2020 campaign with the team. It is a bit odd to put someone with Tribusky’s former 1st string status into the backup position, but considering his results as of late, it’s more than likely the best fit for him.

Moving away from Chicago, QB Tyrod Taylor will be coming back for another season. This time he’ll be playing with the Houston Texans. Taylor, being a former Super Bowl Champion (Super Bowl 47 with the Baltimore Ravens), as well as league veteran, will be a nice addition to the Texans organization. 

Speaking of veteran QB’s, veteran back-up Mike Glennon signed an agreement with the New York Giants for a year-long contract. Glennon will also provide some decent experience to the team, as opposed to first-string QB Daniel Jones and his fairly recent run in the league.

Finally (as far as QB’s go for now), former Indianapolis Colt Jacoby Brissett is now a part of the Miami Dolphins. After the release of Ryan Fitzpatrick, it was certainly necessary to get a more stable option at the QB position that could back-up the Dolphins first-string, Tua Tagovailoa.

Now having looked at the numerous QB’s that will be adjusting to their new teams throughout the offseason, we now move to other big signings that occurred from outside the under centre position.

First, the New York Giants landed a big deal with wide-receiver (WR) Kenny Golladay, solidifying a 4-year deal for over $70 million. Golladay’s presence is a welcome one for the Giants as it gives Daniel Jones more secure options to throw to.

As well, veteran tight-end (TE) Kyle Rudolph was also signed by the Giants in an effort to acquire more options for Jones. Rudolph’s signing ends his almost 10-year run with the Minnesota Vikings.

On the subject of tight ends and the Giants aside, TE Dan Arnold, formerly of the Arizona Cardinals, will find his way to the Carolina Panthers via a two-year deal with the team.

WR DeSean Jackson was signed to the Los Angeles Rams for a year where he’ll be another option for new QB Matthew Stafford, alongside that of Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods.

Moving away from the air to the ground, the Houston Texans made another move in the signing of Phillip Lindsay for a year. Lindsay was cut by the Denver Broncos organization earlier in the offseason, but quickly found a home with the Texans where his speed will be of great effect to the team.

On the defensive side of the ball, former Atlanta Falcon safety Keanu Neal was signed by the Dallas Cowboys organization for a year-long deal. Considering how the Cowboys struggled mightily on defensive during their 2020 season, a move for more defensive depth is hardly surprising.
 
Having looked into those, we arrived at the re-signings portion of the free agency breakdown where there were certainly a couple of ones worth addressing.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, the quality wide receiver option for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is coming back on a one-year contract. As well, Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is also re-signing with the team.

Another is Xavier Rhodes, the cornerback (CB) of the Indianapolis Colts who has made quite the career being a reliable defenseman.

Finally, kicker (K) Cody Parky is returning to the Cleveland Browns on a one-year deal.

So, there you have it, a quick round-up of some noteworthy signings that lay out the groundwork for what teams folks should keep an eye on in 2021. Of course, there’s still more signings to occur this offseason. So, at the end of the day, who knows what the future holds?

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