1. NFL Free Agency starts
The new league-year officially starts at 4:00 PM Eastern today, but signings and contracts are already leaking out, as a flurry of NFL action will dominate the day’s storylines. While it’s easy to knock teams who try to solve all their woes by throwing money around in free agency, we have also seen some veterans make a substantial impact on their new teams in recent years. The Giants overhauled defense was the league’s best unit in 2016, led by signings Damon Harrison, Olivier Vernon, and Janoris Jenkins. A big reason Atlanta’s offense achieved all-time status was the addition of center Alex Mack.
So which moves will be looked back on as genius pickups this year? Probably not the Mike Glennon deal in Chicago, or Pierre Garcon in San Francisco. Instead, look at the upgrades of already established teams.
Denver is bringing in Cowboys guard Ronald Leary in hopes of reigniting a run game that faltered last year. With reports that they’re also going after Calais Campbell, it sounds like the Broncos are trying to duplicate their 2015 Super Bowl team, which took a step back last season without Malik Jackson and Evan Mathis.
Already the odds-on favorite for Super Bowl 52, the Patriots are bringing in cornerback Stephon Gilmore. The expectation is that the team isn’t done, either. Suddenly deep at corner, New England has been rumored to be shopping Malcolm Butler. Not that a flurry of offseason moves should be a catalyst for backing the Pats, but it could mean their odds get even shorter in a few weeks.
There will plenty more moves to unpack in the coming days, including who will get a big odds boost from acquiring Tony Romo: Denver, Houston, or perhaps another surprise team? Be prepared for non-stop overreaction for the entire weekend.
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