The start of the 2017 NFL offseason has kicked off with a bang as teams start to put the pieces in place for a possible Super Bowl run this season. While teams have not been able to officially sign players till Thursday March 9th, 2017 they have however been able to work out deals leading up to the signings.
This new arrangement took place over the past few seasons with this year’s two day grace period becoming very active. At the front of the names landing big deals leading up to the start of free agency are Ricky Wagner, and
Despite the excitement this fast start has opened up a big question about the way this entire process works. While as fans we love the idea of our team signing that big time playmaker but on the other hand one offseason can see a playoff team turn into a bottom of the road one. With that also comes a league that has been fairly mediocre over the past 10 years outside of the New England Patriots.
The first of our two big questions about free agency is the salary cap? Now the system allows teams that struggle to get players to spend to land them but should a team be able to top the mark if it is on a home grown player? Also when a player is traded should the previous bonus and cap hits actually hit the team that is trading away the player?
The first part would allow a team that drafts well to keep their own players while not rewarding teams that can’t draft franchise caliber players. The second part is one that is tricky but if the league would allow teams to wipe out the bonuses or transfer them to another team, it would open the door for more trades to happen around the league.
The second big question is about the way the league compensates teams for their free agents who leave after their contract runs out. Yes, the teams get compensated but let’s look at this year’s class, the Baltimore Ravens lose Wagner to the biggest deal of the offseason for a right tackle. In return as long as the team does not sign an unrestricted free agent they could get as high as a third round pick for him in NFL compensation picks for the 2018 NFL Draft.
For this one it is simple if a free agent signs a top tier deal, the losing team should get as high as a 1st round compensation pick than down the road. The NFL could set up a chart that is broken down to the type of caliber players they are leaving. For example, this year we could see Wagner, Dont’a Hightower and a few other top tier talents land new deals. In return those teams should land higher compensation picks with or without signing new players.
In the end while the system is broken, we still all love the start of NFL Free Agent signings!
2017 NFL Draft Preview
The 2017 NFL Draft is just around the corner as we slowly approach the calendar month of April. That being said this year’s draft is setting up to be an interesting one from start to finish, including what looks to be an interesting first day that will be built around a ton of drama.
At the front of that drama will be the Cleveland Browns who have been actively busy over the past few seasons acquiring draft picks while also working out trades to finally put the team back onto a winning track. Those trades have helped the Browns land four picks in the top 52 which includes the 1st and 12th overall picks in the first round.
While we all sit and wait to see what the Browns will do with their 2017 NFL Draft here are some of the intriguing storylines that could take place on day one.
Quarterbacks Fall: Typically each year we see at least two or three quarterbacks who put on impressive Pro Days just jump up the board causing a chain reaction on other picks. That may not be the case this season after seeing the Dallas Cowboys land their potential franchise quarterback in the later rounds of the draft. While it is unlikely this will be the case we wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t hear one of their names till the 20th overall pick.
Blockbuster Trade: Speaking of those Browns they could be one of a few teams that could just find a way to make a big splash to land a potential franchise quarterback. That quarterback that many teams are chasing is Jimmy Garoppolo of the New England Patriots. Now we have seen the Browns do some crazy stuff in the past, this year though could be different as the team just pulled off one of the most memorable trades of All-Time, now they can use those picks along with the others to possibly make that trade.
Two Running Backs Go In Top 10: Just a few years back we saw zero running backs go in the first round now as we have seen some solid production from players like Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott, the position has slowly become that pick that teams want to make in the first round. This year we could possibly see two go over the first ten picks with Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook hearing their names called.
While these are three interesting storylines that could happen some of the other possibilities include seeing as many as three receivers go over the first ten picks as well as seeing at least one or two of the projected top 5 guys falling to the late first round. For now we all have to sit back and wait to see what happens come draft day 2017.