Free agency was just as expected during the tampering period. There were great moves, OK moves, not-so-OK moves, and simply bad moves. The latter moves are usually the most fun ones to cover, because - and there’s really no better way for me to put this - bad can be fun.
Let’s take a look at see which teams actually took a step back instead of a step forward:
1) The Giants tag Leonard Williams as a defensive tackle
It was already an odd decision to tag Williams, but things just got stupid once the Giants tagged him as a defensive tackle.
Did you click on those links? If you did, look at the names that will now surround Williams. Williams is a good player, but he is not a premier pass rusher like those guys. That’s who you pay this type of money to - pass rushers.
For context, he has 17.5 career sacks, which is the 18th-most in the NFL since 2015.
2) Houston trades DeAndre Hopkins and a draft pick for David Johnson and a draft pick
I mean, what? Trading the best (arguably) receiver in the league for an expensive, oft-injured running back and a Day 3 draft pick? The Texans cite Hopkins’ desire for restructuring his contract as the reason for the move, but I mean, what?
Texans didn’t want to re-do Hopkins contract with three years left.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) March 16, 2020
The wildest part is that the Texans took on all of Johnson’s salary ($11 million), but didn’t want to pay Hopkins.
Don’t you usually give your best player a lot of money?
I feel bad for Deshaun Watson.
3) The Dolphins give Ereck Flowers a ton of cash
If this is the Dolphins’ plan for rebuilding the franchise, then they may want to rethink a few things.
Ereck Flowers just isn’t very good and he’s certainly not $10-million-per-season good.
Thanks for attending my TED Talk.
4) The Bengals franchise AJ Green
Sometimes you just have to stop and wonder why teams do certain things.
I am a huge fan of Green and I’ve loved watching him play over the years, but he’s nowhere near the player he once was and he’s certainly not worth the price of nearly $17.9 million.
There is definitely a chance that both sides could work out a long-term deal to help reduce his 2020 price tag, but the thought is he may want more than $16 million per year when it comes to his new deal.
Green has played one 16-game season and has one 1,000 yard campaign in the last four seasons. He’s missed 29 games, as well, including the entire 2019 campaign.
Where things go from here will certainly be interesting - and expensive.
5) Vic Beasley becomes a Titan
Tennessee went ahead and locked up Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry, but lost right tackle Jack Conklin to the Cleveland Browns. With a minimal amount of cap room, the Titans had just enough money for one more decent-sized signing.
Many in the Nashville area were likely hoping that the Titans use that money on Logan Ryan, the starting slot corner for the last three seasons, but alas, they used it on Vic Beasley.
The Titans needed an edge rusher after the Cameron Wake experiment, but I’m not too shabby on Beasley. He’s been rather inconsistent outside of 2016 - a large part of that was a position change - and just hasn’t shown the same dominance he did that year. Pro Football Focus gave him a 58.9 overall grade in 2019, which is average by their metrics.
Beasley’s deal is $9.5 million guaranteed, but worth $12 million if he hits certain incentives. That money could’ve been used to help the team in other areas, but instead, it will be placed on the poker table.