NFL free agency has been absolutely wild thus far across the league and six moves in particular stand out above the rest.
Thus far in free agency, we’ve seen some truly extraordinary moves go down in the National Football League. With teams hoping to take down the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and prevent them from repeating as Super Bowl champs, organizations are spending some serious dough to add some playmakers.
With that said, of all the moves, six really jump out as being the best of the best. So, which deals in free agency reign supreme?
Green Bay brings back Aaron Jones on an absolute steal
Starting things off, the Green Bay Packers were able to turn some heads last week when they agreed to a new four-year, $44 million deal with running back Aaron Jones. Only $44 million for Jones? That’s what everyone was thinking, as general manager Brian Gutekunst was able to do his thing.
Jones had been linked with several organizations, including the Miami Dolphins. Instead, he’ll return to Lambeau Field to try and help Aaron Rodgers win another Super Bowl in Green Bay. After the Packers lost to the Bucs in the NFC Championship Game, you know they’ll be fired up to try and avenge that loss in 2021.
Chiefs make Patrick Mahomes happy with monster Joe Thuney signing
On Monday, Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach came in from out of nowhere and broke the bank to sign one of the top offensive lineman out there: Joe Thuney. A beast for the New England Patriots, Thuney is now headed to Kansas City on a five-year, $80 million contract.
Last week, countless Chiefs fans started to panic when the team released linemen Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher, while it was also revealed that Austin Reiter would likely be leaving the team in free agency. Well, all those nerves have been calmed with the Thuney news.
Jerry Jones finally agrees to pay Dak Prescott with a mega-deal
Over in Dallas, the Cowboys were able to get things done with quarterback Dak Prescott, signing him to a four-year, $160 million contract. While even Jerry Jones admitted he overpaid here, the fact that Dallas was actually able to get something signed and the drama is over is enough reason to celebrate.
Prescott, who is coming off a fractured ankle in 2020, had been wanting a long-term extension from the Cowboys for years now. With the fear of a holdout incoming, Jones put things to an end and presented his star quarterback with the kind of money he was looking for. It’s a win-win for the two sides.
J.J. Watt heading to Arizona should scare the rest of the NFC West
Parties are still going on in the desert after J.J. Watt took to Twitter to announce that he’s going to suit up for the Arizona Cardinals. The superstar pass-rusher inked a two-year deal with the Cards worth $31 million, with him receiving $23 million in guaranteed money.
The NFC West was intriguing enough, but now you’re adding Watt to the mix? To make things even sweeter for Arizona, Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks have been in the middle of some serious drama this offseason, with Wilson complaining about the team protecting him. So, the Cardinals go out and sign one of the best defensive ends of this generation? Sorry, Seattle.
Shaq Barrett is staying put with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Also on Monday, agent Drew Rosenhaus confirmed with ESPN’s Adam Schefter that standout outside linebacker Shaq Barrett isn’t going anywhere and that he’s signed a four-year contract worth up to $72 million. In that deal, Barrett is also receiving $36 million in guaranteed dough.
Everyone saw just how important the Buccaneers’ defense was in helping the team win the Super Bowl this past February. With defensive coordinator Todd Bowles calling just about a perfect game, Tampa Bay’s defense was simply too much for Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs to overcome. Barrett was a big reason for that, which is why the team wanted to make sure no one else would sign him this offseason.
Tom Brady’s restructured contract opens up the door for big Bucs moves
Last but not least, let’s not forget about the GOAT and how he was able to help out Tampa Bay this offseason. Tom Brady made even more headlines last week when it was announced he had signed a four-year extension with the team. In that, though, Schefter is reporting that it actually voids to just a one-year extension.
With the Bucs and Brady getting creative here, it’s allowed the organization to free up $19 million against the salary cap for 2021. This helped the Bucs not only sign Barrett to his big deal, but also get things done with Rob Gronkowski and Lavonte David. Thanks to Brady, the team doesn’t have to worry about losing these stars and can do all they can to repeat as champs next winter.