Free agency is now well under way in the NFL, with the draft not that far on the horizon. This is the time of year when we see all manner of moves being made by every team in the league. Some moves are made to clear cap space so that free agents can come in, while others are to make room for players that might be drafted next month. It’s a traditionally busy time in the league and we have already seen a few moves, some of which need to fall under the surprising category. Let’s take a look at what has been going down this past week in the NFL so you can keep getting ready to make your bets against their NFL odds for the upcoming season.
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Easily the biggest surprise of the free agency period was seeing JuJu Smith-Schuster resign with the Pittsburgh Steelers. While JuJu had made it clear that he wanted to remain in black and gold, the Steelers cap situation suggested that a deal might not be possible. A new deal for Big Ben and the release of Stephen Nelson helped Pittsburgh make the space they needed to sign Smith-Schuster to a 1-year deal worth $8 million, which was reportedly less than what was being offered by the Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Things are not going so well over in Houston, where DeShaun Watson’s troubled offseason begins to get a whole lot worse. The QB made it clear that he wanted out of Houston, but that is the least of his concerns right now, as he now has 14 sexual assault lawsuits filed against him. Watson and his team are not saying too much at the moment and the details of the assaults are not yet fully known, although the lawyer in charge of handling the suits has said that the conduct described in each is very similar. For now, we are all waiting to see if the NFL will step in and make the decision to sideline Watson for the time being.
After it became clear that the Seattle Seahawks were not going to let Russell Wilson get away, his biggest suitor moved in another direction. Reports suggested that the Chicago Bears offered up a huge package that included 3 first-round picks and a pair of starters to get Wilson, but now that he is off the trading block, the Bears instead signed Andy Dalton on a 1-year deal, while also sending embattled QB Mitch Trubisky to the Buffalo Bills. The QB situation, at least in the short term, now looks a little clearer in the Windy City.
One of the more interesting offseason battles is going to take place in New Orleans, with Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill set to duke it out to replace Drew Brees, who recently formally announced his retirement. Hill has been the man in waiting for a few seasons now and got some playing time last season when Brees was out injured. It appears as though he is not guaranteed the starting spot, though, as Winston has made it clear that he wants the job and that he learned a lot in his year with Brees in New Orleans. This is going to be a fun one to watch.
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