By Dan Thompson ’18
Every season, NFL teams make a choice. They either look to build on their success from the previous season, or they look to improve their roster after a disappointing year. This can either be done through the draft or free agency. This years free agency class has been one of the best in recent past with many new teams getting and the mix and signing big time NFL names.
One of the most interesting team this offseason has been the Cleveland Browns. The Browns had the NFL’s worst record last year, going 0-16 and joining the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams in NFL history to go winless in a season. They have the first overall pick and the fourth but this didn’t make them shy away from free agency.
On March 10, the Browns went out and picked up three players in a single day. They signed quarterback Tyrod Taylor who ended the longest playoff drought in all sports for the Bills, Jarvis Landry a perennial pro-bowl wide receiver, and Damarious Randall a young cornerback with athletic potential and experience with a winning team in the Packers. This talent coupled with their first and fourth picks in the draft has led to some serious talk about improvement for the Browns.
“Jarvis Landry is one of the best wide receivers in the league, I think he can definitely help the Browns improve their record next season,” Alex Settos ’18 said.
A team with a very different situation in this years free agency mix was the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams were a playoff team last year going 11-5. They had the NFL’s best offense led by do it all running back Todd Gurley and young talented quarterback Jared Goff. Having a young team, the rams had plenty of cap space to go out and get players.
So far, the Rams have signed one of the best young corners in the NFL in Marcus Peters, one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL in Ndamukong Suh, and most recently speedy receiver Brandin Cooks from the New England Patriots. With these additions, some are saying that the Rams are now the best team in the NFL.
“The Rams didn’t lose any players from last season, all they did was add to an already great roster. I don’t see how they are not the best team in the NFL next season,” Zack Bloom ’18 said.
Not every team has the money to go out and get three major talents like the Browns and Rams did but there were still plenty of other big names to switch jerseys next season. To name a few, The Vikings signed former Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, Vikings former quarterback Case Keenum went to the Broncos, and former Jaguars wide receiver was sent to the Bears.
While it has never been proven that free agency is the best way to build a team, it is fun for the fans to their favorite players on new teams with new careers ahead of them.
“This has been one of the best offseasons ever. I can’t wait to see what all these players do on their new teams next season,” Stephen Niver ’18 said.