- Free agents are agreeing to contracts left and right—nothing is official until the new league year starts on Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET—so which players are still on the market?
Day one of the legal tampering period, or whatever the NFL is calling their annual pre-sale these days, is in the books. Surprisingly, we continue to be surprised that the best players who come available incrementally top the previous highest-paid player on the market by about $1 million or so. We freak out, project an irrationally positive future between the player and new team and convince ourselves that this time, teams needing to spend gobs of cash are doing it the right way.
And let me tell you, it rules.
Ready to do it again today?
Here’s a list of the three best free agents (it was five until we learned this morning that LB C.J. Mosley agreed to a five-year, $85 million deal—guaranteed money still unknown—with the Jets, and DT Sheldon Richardson intends to sign a three-year contract with the Browns) remaining on the board, and what we learned about them on Monday:
• Le’Veon Bell, running back: Decisions, decisions. Bell Tweeted on Monday that he’s “torn,” which suggests someone is bidding against the Jets for his services (or that he’d like the Jets to think someone is bidding against them for his services).
• Earl Thomas, safety: This has a chance to be a good week for Earl. The safety market came back like Champion sweatshirts this March, and for some reason now cost twice as much as they used to. Both Tyrann Mathieu and Landon Collins leapfrogged Eric Berry and became co-headliners at $14 million per season. Thomas, while older than both, may be able to command slightly more with fewer years.
• Tyrell Williams, wide receiver: Surprised to see Devin Funchess go first? Us too. That being said, the high premium for Funchess and the strong commitment Jamison Crowder received from the Jets should bode well for Williams. The Bills were eager to jump into the Antonio Brown discussions and were left empty-handed. That could be an interesting fit. Jarvis Landry needs a running mate in Cleveland. The Raiders are “systematically rebuilding” by torching all their available cap space. All could be possibilities there.
Not getting this newsletter in your inbox yet? Sign up for The MMQB’s Morning Huddle.
Now on The MMQB: Grading the best and worst of free agency 2019 (so far) … WR DeSean Jackson is heading back to Philadelphia. What are the Eagles getting in him? ... So what happened to that long-term Raiders rebuild? ... Congratulations! You’ve been hit with the franchise tag!
1. A Bennett Brothers reunion in New England? Unlikely.
2. Will the Patriots trade for Josh Rosen?
3. The hottest new craze for NFL owers? The Superyacht.
5. Even on such a stressful day, Tavon Austin is finding a way to make us all cool down.
Watch these people try American spirits (not American Spirits) for the first time.