The day started with me getting a text from my mother saying, “Can you go in at 9:30?” It was 8:08, and I was excited. I really never do work a full-day because I go to high school and college. Whenever I can, I will try to work more, and it’s in my blood. But, that was not the most surprising thing that went across my iPhone today. Not even close! Here is my level of surprise of the top ten most shocking moves of the day:
AJ Green Gets Franchise Tagged
My Level of Suprise: 4.5 out of 10
Based on reports, this shouldn’t have been too surprising, but to me, I really thought he was going to find his way to a contender. Green is going to be a reliable target for the up and coming rookie QB. But, I guarantee Burrow is not going to turn this team around in a matter of five years. There are many reasons they were the worst team in the NFL. Terrible offensive line. Terrible defense. They might not even make the playoffs for the next three years. AJ is currently 31 years old, and he is going to waste his final peak years on a terrible team. It doesn’t make sense for him to stay if he wants to be a part of a winning team.
Dak Prescott Gets Franchise Tagged
My Ranking of Suprise: 6.3 out of 10
It was evident to me that Dak Prescott was going to return to Dallas. But, I was expecting him to be on a long term contract, and not another prove-it deal. It seems like it was supposed to be a team play by Prescott so his target Cooper could get a big deal. It looks even more so, now that Byron Jones is gone (I’ll touch on that later). So, we’ll see on that one.
Austin Hooper to the Browns
My Ranking of Suprise: 6.35 out of 10
I was honestly surprised when I heard he was going to be the highest-paid tight end in the NFL. I did not see him as a top five tight end in the NFL last year. He was not even close to the top tier of Kittle, Kelce, and (sometimes) Ertz. It makes sense when it comes to the Browns, though. At the moment, I thought it was a dumb decision. They still have a future standout tight end in David Njoku. They had a terrible offensive line, but it is now improved as they signed Michigan State alum, Jack Conklin. At the end of the day, it was not the worst thing they could have done, but I can’t entirely agree it is the best thing they could do.
Hayden Hurst to the Falcons for Draft Picks
My Ranking of Suprise: 5.4 out of 10
For a moment in time, it looked like the Falcons were having a big garage sale in their organization. Then, they made this move. It seems like a solid move, but they replaced Austin Hooper with an unproven Hayden Hurst, and they still gave up picks in the process. To give up a second and a fifth for Hurst and a fourth might be the wrong move right now. But, if Hurst ends up being a top ten tight end when he gets the lone tight end targets, it will be a win. The possibilities of this happening are high enough to say this was an alright trade for both sides.
Kyle Van Noy to the Dolphins
My Ranking of Suprise: 4.3 out of 10
So far, the Dolphins are winning free agency. As a Detroiter, I was confident that he was coming to Detroit last night. The Patricia-Patriots connection was what I was standing on along with the fact he played in Detroit too. When I saw that he was going to Miami, I was shocked. Once again, the “he once played for Patricia” haunt the Lions free agency (this was written before the Lions signed Jamie Collins). But, now it makes sense why he went to the Dolphins. They could have success sooner than most people realize, and he once played for Flores in New England.
Falcons Release Devonta Freeman
My Ranking of Suprise: 5.2 out of 10
With this move, the Atlanta garage sale began. By cutting Freeman, the only way they can improve at this position is through the draft or trade. I think this because Freeman is the top running back available in free agency at the moment. There aren’t really any other things I need to say about Freeman, but when this notification came in, I literally mouthed “wow.”
Kirk Cousins Gets a Contract Extension
My Ranking of Suprise: 7.2 out of 10
When this extension tweet popped on to the timeline, there was a shock, but there was more questioning than shock. I just asked myself, “why?” I texted my brother throughout the day, so we both could get each other’s reactions. This is one of two transactions that we both criticized the team for being so dumb. After winning one playoff game every year, if that, this is what happens? Not a great decision.
DeForest Buckner to the Colts for Picks
My Ranking of Suprise: 6.3 out of 10
The trade makes sense for both teams. Everyone has been raving about the Colts having sooooo much cap space. But, the odds are, they are going to sign a big-time QB this offseason, and it will be washed away. So, at least they are going to make a move before regretting signing Phillip Rivers. For the 49ers, they don’t need him with Ford and Bosa. They also needed the 13th pick because their only other pick in the first four rounds is the 31st. They most likely are going to use one of those picks to get more picks in the draft.
Byron Jones to the Dolphins
My Ranking of Suprise: 8.3 out of 10
I don’t know why the Dolphins were looked upon as a low free agent destination in my eyes. They were going to have a lot of cap space after clearinghouse at the beginning of last season. Also, they seemed like a quality team at the end of the season. But, at the time of the signing, it stunned me. Without thinking about the Dallas salary cap issue, I thought he was going to find a way to stay there. I’m glad he did not take a pay cut to stay there, though. I’m happy for him. It looks like things are looking good in the 305.
Deandre Hopkins and Picks to the Cardinals for David Johnson and Better Picks
My Ranking of Suprise: 11 out of 10
This trade came in stages:
Stage 1: David Johnson to the Texans
This part was suprising. It did not make sense because they were fine with the running back core they had. But, it was an upgrade and I approved of it.
Stage 2: Deandre Hopkins is in the deal
No way. This couldn’t be true. The Cardinals would have to be giving up a first for Hopkins.
Stage 3: Picks Are Announced
The Texans are giving up an additional fourth-rounder in the trade, and they only receive a second-rounder and a fourth-rounder.
Stage 4: Bill O’Brien gets shredded.
All in all, not a good day in Houston. It is one of the worst trades I’ve ever seen.
*UPDATED 3/17/2020 at 10:08 ET*
Amari Cooper Re-Signs with the Cowboys
My Ranking of Suprise: 2.3 out of 10
As mentioned before, I expected the Cowboys to come away from the Free Agency with Cooper. With Dak Prescott getting franchise tagged, I was expecting a long-term contract. I was shocked by the figures, though. I wouldn’t have predicted a five-year $100 million contract. That has put him as the second-highest paid WR, as of now, just behind Julio Jones. I would not put him in the top tier of WRs (Julio, Davante Adams, Michael Thomas, Deandre Hopkins, Odell Beckham Jr., and Tyreek Hill). But, I would put him in that second tier (TY Hilton, Mike Evans, Keenan Allen, Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Tyler Locket, and Cooper). I’m glad he is taking advantage of Jerry “The Big Money Spender” Jones.
Stefon Diggs Traded to the Bills
My Ranking of Suprise: 7.3 out of 10
Stefon Diggs, to me, has not been happy in Minnesota since the season began. That locker room had a lot of mouths to feed, and not a great feeder (Kirk Cousins). This was bound to happen, but I wouldn’t have predicted the Bills coming away with him. Also, I did not anticipate, after Deandre Hopkins was dealt, the Vikings would get that much back in return. The Vikings received the 22nd Overall Pick, 2020 Fifth Rounder, 2020 Sixth Rounder, and a 2021 Fourth Rounder for Diggs and an additional 2020 Seventh Rounder. It looks like a win-win trade. The Vikings got rid of a locker room issue for picks, and Josh Allen just got a reliable target.
Tom Brady is Not Returning to New England
My Ranking of Suprise: 8.6 out of 10
Even though today is St. Patrick’s Day, today will now be known as the day Brady left New England. There will be Instagram posts in five years with the caption, “Five years ago today Tom Brady announced he wouldn’t return to the Patriots. That was the start of his second dynasty. Last month, he won his third Super Bowl ring with the Detroit Lions.” Hey, a man can dream. But, the first part of the caption is going to be repeated. It was expected, but I never believed it would happen. He is going to be the biggest story this offseason. So, I expect to write more about him as time progresses.
*UPDATED 3/17/2020 at 10:50 ET*
Drew Brees Re-Signs with the Saints
My Ranking of Suprise: 2.1 out of 10
It was apparent Drew Brees was going to sign with the Saints when he announced he was not retiring. There is no other uniform imaginable he should ever wear besides the Saints. Drew signed a two-year $50 million deal, which will most likely be the last contract he signs in the NFL. When Drew is done playing in the NFL, he will be in the top five QBs ever. So, the deal fits what he has put into the organization.
The Last Words
This past week was shocking. But, the Texans trading Hopkins might have been the most surprising thing of March 2020. It’s not even close.