2021 NFL Free Agency Period: Reviewing Some Major Moves

  • 2021 Free Agency
  • 2021 nfl free agency
  • Adoree Jackson
  • Allen Robinson
  • Andy Dalton
  • Bill Bellichick
  • Bud Dupree
  • Buffalo Bills
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  • deshaun watson
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  • Hunter Henry
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  • Janoris Jenkins
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  • JuJu Smith-Schuster
  • Kenny Golladay
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  • Matthew Judon
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  • Patrick Mahomes
  • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • russell wilson
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Tennesse Titans
  • Trey Hendrickson
  • Will Fuller
By Andy Davies March 26, 2021 0 Comment
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A week has now passed since the start of the 2021 NFL free agency period. As is seen in most offseasons, there was plenty of movement and the 2021 version has been no different.

Here is a review of week one of the 2021 free agency period:

Open for Business: New England Patriots

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Without a doubt, the most active team during this first week of the 2021 Free Agency was the New England Patriots. After a disappointing 7-9 season in 2020, and loaded with cash thanks to the many opt-outs last year, head coach Bill Belichick had the opportunity to be very aggressive.

Nobody would have felt the pain of last season more than Belichick, who is not used to missing the playoffs. He watched Tom Brady leave and win a Super Bowl without him. He will be eager to bring this team back to super bowl contention in a hurry.

These free agent signings not only significantly improved his roster but also gives quarterback Cam Newton much-needed help around him. The Patriots fixed the offensive line issues by trading for Trent Brown and re-signing David Andrews. They signed the top two tight ends in Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry. They also added speed to the receiver room by signing Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne to team with Julian Edelman and Jakobi Meyers

Defensively, they signed Matthew Judon, Davon Godchaux, Henry Anderson, Lawrence Guy, Raekwon McMillian, Kyle Van Noy, and Jalen Mills. This is a much different roster on paper than it was a season ago. One thing is for sure: The patriots are giving former MVP Cam Newton the weapons to return to MVP form.

Closed for Business: Chicago Bears

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During the offseason, the Bears were linked with plenty of different quarterbacks, including both Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson. After many years of struggles at the position, the Bears appeared destined to finally fix their issues with one of two elite quarterbacks. there appeared to be a move in the making to avenge taking Mitch Trubisky over Patrick Mahomes and Watson in 2017.

Instead, Andy Dalton was announced as the team’s starter on a one-year, $10 million deal while Trubisky left to backup Josh Allen for the Buffalo Bills. This is an incredibly difficult pill for Bears fans to swallow. Dalton isn’t a bad backup quarterback, but is the red rifle deserving of being a full-time starter? Bears fans are about to find out.

Trey Hendrickson: Good Deal or a One-Season Wonder?

The Cincinnati Bengals signed former New Orleans Saints defensive end, Trey Hendrickson. He has signed a four-year, $60-millio-dollar deal. This has been met with mixed opinions.

Hendrickson had a brilliant 2020, recording 13.5 sacks and 25 quarterback hits. However, this is just one season of terrific production for a young player. Hendrickson only had 6.5 sacks and 18 quarterback hits across his first three seasons with the Saints.

It remains to be seen how Hendrickson does as the main man in Cinci, since he will not be lining up on the opposite side of star Cameron Jordan. If the Bengals can get the same kind of productivity as the Saints got in 2020, then Hendrickson can be a real star.

Star Wide Receiver Market Starts of Slow

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There was a plethora of wide receiver talent available in free agency, but it was slow-moving the first few days. Pittsburgh’s Juju Smith-Schuster, Tampa Bay’s Chris Godwin, Indy’s T.Y. Hilton, and Chicago’s Allen Robinson all stayed put, but plenty of other top wide receivers found new homes.

Kenny Golladay was one of the biggest movers, signing for the New York Giants on a 4-year, $72-million-dollar deal. He will be joined by John Ross III. His former Detroit Lions teammate, Marvin Jones, is now a Jacksonville Jaguar along with Jamal Agnew and Phillip Dorsett. Breshad Perriman and Tyrell Williams will attempt to replace both Golladay and Jones which seems like a letdown.

Will Fuller signed a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins and Emmanuel Sanders will now be playing for the Buffalo Bills.Corey Davis signed a 3-year deal with the New York Jets while Curtis Samual will be playing with former Ohio State teammate Terry McLaurin in Washington. A.J. Green found a home in Arizona, which makes Larry Fitzgerald‘s future questionable.

Titans Trying to Improve Their Defense

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Tennessee was 28th in passing yards allowed in 2020. The departure of cornerback Adoree Jackson, who was injured in 2020, has been fixed with the addition of Janoris Jenkins.

Many felt that they were missing a true pass-rusher to get to the quarterback. The Titans ranked 29th in sacks-per-game at 1.4. Their sacks leader was not Jadeveon Clowney, but Harold Landry with 5.5. Landry ranked low amongst all defensive players across the NFL in 2020 for sacks and the Titans have gone out and addressed the issue with Bud Depree.

Before Dupree suffered a season-ending injury late last season, the Steelers were 11-0. They finished the season poorly without him in the lineup, even with DPOY candidate TJ Watt still available. They were eliminated in the Wildcard Round by Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns.

Despite only playing 11 games in 2020, he recorded 8 sacks and 15 quarterback hits. He immediately adds a significant upgrade to the Titans defensive line, something that has been their Achilles heel throughout Mike Vrabel’s time in Tennessee as head coach.

Adding top defensive players to this Titans roster can help them in their dreams of going to a Super Bowl.

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