Best NFL Free-Agent Moves in 2020: Buccaneers Top the List

Mar 30, 2020

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It has been a busy offseason for many NFL teams as they attempt to build rosters worthy of winning Super Bowl LV. A move here and a move there is sometimes all it takes for a team to move from a potential 8-8 season to competing for the Lombardi Trophy.

Here’s a look at the best NFL free-agent moves of the 2020 offseason so far.

Brady & the Bucs
It’s no secret that Tampa Bay’s chances at a playoff berth in 2020 increased dramatically when it was announced that Tom Brady was coming to town. After 20 seasons in New England and six Super Bowls, it was time for the future Hall of Famer to move on.

Brady should flourish in an offense with a multitude of weapons including 1,000-yard receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin and tight ends Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard. It’s no wonder Tampa Bay’s odds to win the Super Bowl in 2020 improved.

Teddy B to Carolina
The Panthers desperately wanted to move on from Cam Newton at quarterback. New head coach Matt Rhule saw the opportunity to bring in an experienced starter who has won NFL games. Rhule jumped on the opportunity to sign Teddy Bridgewater, who won all five of his starts in New Orleans last season.

Bridgewater signed a three-year, $63 million deal to become the new Panthers starter. The new Saints quarterback will also be reunited with his former coach in New Orleans, Joe Brady, who will be Carolina’s offensive coordinator. Brady was an offensive assistant in New Orleans before working as LSU’s offensive coordinator last season.

QB Upgrade in Indy
Jacoby Brissett just wasn’t the answer in Indianapolis, so head coach Frank Reich went out in the NFL free-agent market and signed veteran Philip Rivers. The former Chargers quarterback is now sixth on the all-time passing yardage list and is a significant upgrade over Brissett.

Rivers will play behind one of the NFL’s best offensive lines. The Colts had the seventh-best rushing attack in the league last year and Rivers will have a nice receiving threat in T.Y. Hilton. Rivers signed a one-year deal worth $25 million and will have the cap space to bring him back in 2021 if the experiment works.

Falcons Additions
The Atlanta Falcons just might be on the way back. The Falcons went 6-2 in their last eight games last season, including victories in their last four straight. Atlanta dipped into the NFL free-agent market to fill a hole at running back after Devonta Freeman was cut. The Falcons picked up former NFL Offensive Player of the Year Todd Gurley, who was released by the Rams.

Gurley signed a one-year deal with Atlanta for $6 million, but he is still due $5 million from the Rams which will still make him one of the highest-paid running backs in the league.

Atlanta also got a quality edge rusher in Dante Fowler Jr., who ironically also came from the Rams. Fowler cashed in with Atlanta for $48 million over three years after recording 11.5 sacks last season.

Bengals Lockdown Corners
Cincinnati signed former first-round draft pick Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander to shore up their secondary. Both Waynes and Alexander were starters in Minnesota and make the Bengals defense better without even having stepped on a field yet.

The signings, coupled with the franchise tag of A.J. Green, give Cincinnati some hope moving into 2020. There is also the 2020 NFL draft, which should yield the quarterback of the future in LSU Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow. The Bengals hold the No. 1 overall pick and are expected to select Burrow.

Get Your QB
Dallas decided to place the franchise tag on Dak Prescott and hope to sign him to a long-term contract. Prescott was a high priority for new head coach Mike McCarthy.

The Saints decided to keep 41-year-old quarterback Drew Brees signing him to a two-year, $50 million contract. Brees is the NFL’s career leader in passing yards and proved last season that he’s still got it.

The Titans decided to go all-in on QB Ryan Tannehill after his magnificent 2019 season. Tennessee signed Tannehill to a four-year, $118 million deal. Tannehill was one of the big reasons that the Titans came within a game of the Super Bowl.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are clearly the winners in the NFL free-agent market.