The 2021 NFL free agency period may be well underway, with dozens of big names off the board, but that doesn’t mean plenty of others aren’t still available. From Kenny Golladay and JuJu Smith-Schuster to Chris Carson and Melvin Ingram, a number of starters are still up for grabs. That said, with two full offseason days officially in the books, it’s time to take stock of the latest movers and shakers around the NFL. Who won Day 2 of the official start of free agency? Who lost? Here are our knee-jerk evaluations:
No lie, this is a rock-solid pairing. Buffalo needed a new backup for Josh Allen with Matt Barkley hitting free agency, and Trubisky is on another level in terms of athleticism, upside, etc. He’s a perfect No. 2 for that offense, which thrives on a guy who can move around the pocket. Troobs, meanwhile? Instead of returning to the sinking ship that is the Bears, he gets to enjoy a modest $2.5 million while learning under Allen and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, potentially filling in for a contending team, and then going right back to the market in 2022 with a fresh chance at a bigger role. Well done, boys.
Loser: Bears fans
No one expected the Bears to knock it out of the park this offseason, what with such desperation at the quarterback spot and team brass entering a make-or-break year. But this has been worse than anticipated. It was bad enough to sign Andy Dalton as a stopgap when they already had Nick Foles on the roster. But now Dalton is saying the Bears already told him he’ll be the starter? Are you kidding? The $10 million contract justifies it, maybe, but … come on. Trubisky at the same price would’ve been the better bet! To put a cherry on top, Chicago closed Thursday by dumping former All-Pro corner Kyle Fuller.
Top WRs are forced to wait out big deals, but Drake gets up to $14.5 million as a running back from a team that already owns a workhorse at the position? The Raiders may or may not be misusing resources by paying a premium for a No. 2 back, but this is a major victory for Drake: He gets to move to Las Vegas, limit wear and tear as a complement to Josh Jacobs, presumably catch a bunch of passes from the efficient Derek Carr, and collect nearly top-10 RB money while doing so.
The Eagles are trying to drum up interest in their longtime tight end, who’s bound to depart after a lackluster 2020 and amid a lofty 2021 salary, but one of Ertz’s most logical landing spots now appears to be off the board. The Chargers made a ton of sense considering they play in the Pro Bowler’s home state and just lost Hunter Henry, but by signing Jared Cook for $6 million, they’ve essentially written off further big-money moves there. Now he may be forced to head to a less enticing team/location.
Miami has made some smart depth additions on offense, adding Jacoby Brissett at QB and Malcolm Brown at RB. But Thursday the Dolphins connected on maybe their most exciting swing by adding Will Fuller on a one-year deal. Talk about a win-win, low-risk, high-reward move. Is Fuller reliable? Not necessarily. But with the draft around the corner and likely offering more swings at major WR upgrades, you can do a whole lot worse out wide, where Fuller’s flashed big-play ability and could be a great complement to DeVante Parker.