By: Matthew Faberman and Rohan Bommaraju (Sports Correspondents)
NFL free agency started more than a week ago, and thus far many big-name players are free agents. These players include Le’Veon Bell, Trey Flowers, Golden Tate, Tyrod Taylor, Demarcus Lawrence, Grady Jarrett, Nick Foles, and many others. Trade rumors circling around Eli Manning and Antonio Brown also dominate the talk.
Other than some coaching changes, the Browns’ February 11 signing of running back Kareem Hunt was the first major signing. Regarding these actions, many questions arise for fans, players, and team and league management: How will the NFL look during opening week? Who will retire? What players will be on new teams next year?
Nick Foles recently declined the option to stay with the Philadelphia Eagles, so he is set to be a free agent next year. Since there are several teams who need a quarterback, Foles is looking at a substantial market.
Campus Safety Monitor Mr. Sean Jeffery said that Foles will not go anywhere. “[Foles will] stay with Philly,” he said. However, Freshman Vanamali Vemparala says, “Foles will go to the Jaguars. He didn’t accept the option, and the Jags need QB help.”
Le’Veon Bell’s situation (deciding to hold out for the whole 2018 season to try to earn more money as a free agent) puts both himself and the league in a difficult position. His gamble has caused many teams to question his reliability.
In addition, Earl Thomas, who was rumored to go to the Dallas Cowboys before the 2018-19 season, is now a free agent. The Cowboys are very good defensively, but they still might consider picking him up. Thomas is also rumored to be reunited with a former Legion of Boom member Richard Sherman on the 49ers in San Francisco.
In addition, they’re also very interested in wide receiver Antonio Brown, who is “demanding” to be traded from the Steelers. He sat out the 2018 season finale against the Bengals, is also rumored to be interested in being traded to the Oakland Raiders as well as the Cardinals, Packers, and Dolphins.
Former Super Bowl M.V.P. quarterback Joe Flacco was traded to the Denver Broncos for a mid-round pick in this year’s upcoming draft. When the Baltimore Ravens moved on from Flacco earlier in the season, trading the veteran looked likely. The Ravens traded him for draft capital. The Broncos starting quarterback from last season Case Keenum states “I was definitely shocked. It was a surprise for us; you know, I think probably for the first day or so that’s kind of what it was. You know, for us, we’re definitely disappointed. It’s not something we wanted to happen. I know that everybody’s doing their job and John [Elway] feels like that was a chance for him to help the Broncos out.”
Additionally, the Houston Texans released wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (who they picked up in midseason). However, Thomas had a season-ending injury during the Week 16 loss against the Eagles, so his future as a premiere wideout still up for debate.
Former Broncos’ teammate Brandon Marshall, who spent the entire 2018 season with the Bears, will be released when the new NFL league year starts on March 16, 2019. The Broncos, the team he won the Super Bowl with, will not be exercising their team option for next year.
In addition, New England Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers is also a free agent. Freshman Vanamali Vemparala says they should keep Flowers, because “Kyle] Van Noy can’t pressure without him.” Some say the Patriots have to re-sign he is an integral part of the Patriots defense, and losing him would be a huge blow to the unit.