Onside Kick: Offseason Winners and Losers

By Sam Carroll (@3samcarroll)

WINNERS

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals won the offseason with a single trade. They managed to prise star receiver, DeAndre Hopkins away from the Houston Texans for a couple of mid-round draft picks and a past-his-prime running back in David Johnson. With Kyler Murray now going into his second year with top tier weapons, Kliff Kingsbury’s team are already becoming a popular pick for a dark horse playoff team next season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The big story this offseason was where Tom Brady would end up. That question was answered when news came out that the Buccaneers had signed him to a two-year, $50million deal. Tampa Bay already have a good roster and have now added the greatest quarterback of all time to their squad. While it’s true that Brady is not the player he once was, he still has plenty to give and will only benefit from the elite weapons the Bucs have on the outside.

Baker Mayfield

After an impressive rookie year in 2018, Baker Mayfield’s second season in the NFL was disappointing to say the least. However, he still has huge potential and the Browns have done everything they can to help him going into year three. They got rid of Freddie Kitchens and brought in a coach who actually knows what he’s doing. Not only that, but they beefed up the offensive line by signing an elite right tackle in Jack Conklin and added Austin Hooper at tight end to give Mayfield yet another weapon to throw to. The former Heisman trophy winner is set up perfectly to have an outstanding season in 2020.

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There’s a new TE in Cleveland 👀 @ahooper81

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LOSERS

Houston Texans

The Houston Texans were on the wrong end of one of the most one-sided trades in recent memory. Letting go of DeAndre Hopkins- arguably the best receiver in the league- is not a good move anyway, but to not even get a first-round pick in return is even worse. The Cardinals have been rightly praised for their part in the trade, but you have to question what the Texans were thinking. Surely now it’s time to bring in a proper GM to control the personnel side of the team, rather than having Bill O’Brien fill the role of head coach and general manager at the same time. It seems harsh to say, but he clearly isn’t up to the task of running an NFL franchise.

New England Patriots

Bill Belichick would never admit it, but having to let go of Tom Brady after 20 years is a huge loss for the Patriots. Years of stability at quarterback are now gone and New England will have to decide what they do at that position. They’re reportedly happy to stick with Jarrett Stidham, who was Brady’s back up last year, but he remains unproven and it could be a big risk to commit to him being their starter just yet. On the defensive side, losing Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins are also huge losses, as both of those played big parts of the Pat’s elite defence last season.

Cam Newton

The 2015 MVP has had a rough go of it these last few years. His injury problems have meant he hasn’t been able to finish a season healthy since 2017. The Panthers decided to move on from their former first-overall pick and signed Teddy Bridgewater replace him. Cam was understandably frustrated with being replaced after nine years with the franchise, but his outburst on social media wasn’t the best look. He is now still looking for a team, and unfortunately for him, it doesn’t look like anyone is prepared to pay him to be their starter in 2020

For more American football content listen to the Onside Kick Podcast every Wednesday with Sam Carroll and Brandon Spalding on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/4Klr153np6ahWglRUfVQAT?si=LMpb2qMNRteTRGqCy0vgEw

Feature image by FF Swami, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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