HomeFootball#239: 2021 NFL Free Agency Special (Analysis + Reaction with Matt Mackowiak)

#239: 2021 NFL Free Agency Special (Analysis + Reaction with Matt Mackowiak)

 The Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made it clearer than ever that they are hell bent on running it back and repeating. Last week, we saw Chris Godwin receive the franchise tag, Lavonte David sign a 2-year extension and Tom Brady agree to an extension via restructure that cleared $19 million in cap space. And yesterday, minutes after the legal tampering period began, star pass rusher Shaq Barrett re-signed with the team on a four-year deal worth up to $72 million. Just hours later, Gronk re-signed on a one-year deal and the Bucs currently are deep in talks to retain Antonio Brown, Ryan Succop, Ndamukong Suh and Leonard Fournette. At the moment, how do you feel about Tampa’s odds of making it back to the Super Bowl and who do you think is the greatest threat to them in the NFC?

2.   Arguably the biggest headliner of free agency so far is Tom Brady’s former team, the New England Patriots. As of this morning, according to Adam Schefter, the Patriots have doled out a WHOPPING $137.5 million in guaranteed money, which is the second most in NFL history. Most notably, a bulk of those guarantees went to TE’s Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, WR’s Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, and pass rusher Matt Judon. Based on these moves, do you think the Patriots have a team that can win the AFC East, or at least make the playoffs as a wild card in 2021? Should the Patriots be eyeing a move up the board on draft night for either Justin Fields or Trey Lance?

3.   In response to the shellacking they experienced in Super Bowl LV, particularly up front, the Chiefs made the biggest OL move in free agency so far by signing former Patritos All Pro G Joe Thuney to a market-setting five-year, $80 million deal. Last week, they released both of their starting tackles, Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz, but the club is very high on last year’s third-round pick Lucas Niang, who had a STELLAR performance against Chase Young in college. For now, looking at the Chiefs potential starting OL for Week 1 of the 2021 season, you’ve got Niang at LT, Thuney and Duvernay-Tardif at G, Austin Reiter at center and a rookie RT who they will likely draft early. While this group may be a downgrade from their 2020 Week 1 starting offensive line, do you think it could eventually represent a dramatic upgrade from the OL MASH unit they trotted out in the Super Bowl?

4.  Last week, Texans head coach David Culley told Jim Trotter of NFL Network that Deshaun Watson was their QB “right now”, and those two words convinced Trotter and many, including myself, that the Texans will inevitably end up trading him. And today, the Texans signed Tyrod Taylor to a one-year deal that can be worth up to $12.5 million based on playing time and incentives. This shows you the Texans are at LEAST bracing for a LONG holdout from Deshaun Watson. But should they eventually realize a trade is in their best interest, should they make a deal before the draft or in late August before the regular season?

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