Today, the legal tampering window is open, and free agency (as well as the NFL 2018/19 season) has officially begun. That said, the past week was full of so many cuts, trades, and acquisitions, that teams who didn't get in on the action are wondering exactly what happened. Don't worry though, we're here to explain it to you.

Let's start with the Cleveland Browns. This team was bad. Like, 1-31 over two seasons bad. Now, in a move inspired by near-religious self-hatred, the Browns have turned the entire NFL upside down. They shipped DeShone Kizer, their starting QB, off to Green Bay for CB Demarious Randall. They then traded the Dolphins some draft picks and acquired pro-bowl wideout Jarvis Landry. A side note to all this calamity is that Miami's front office is a mess and they've been shipping off top talent for pennies on the dollar. No one really knows what's going on down there. Too many drugs? Possibly. It's impossible to say.

Anyway, the Browns also picked up Tyrod Taylor and now that Josh Gordon is back from suspension, Cleveland's offense actually looks pretty decent. If you combine these trades with the fact that Cleveland has both the first and fourth overall picks, it's not inconceivable that they could go .500 this year, though the idea that this is an improvement is kind of sad.

Now that we've talked about the worst, let's talk about the best. Eagles GM Howey Roseman is a genius. There's no argument about it. He managed to turn a dreadful team into a Super Bowl winner in just two years, turning around all of Chip Kelly's awful trades. Even now, in the wake of the ultimate victory, Roseman isn't taking his foot off the gas. In order to bolster the Eagles already stellar defensive line, the Birds picked up Seattle's Michael Bennett and shored up the cornerback position by trading wideout Torrey Smith to Carolina in exchange for Daryl Worley. On top of this, following his release from Miami (seriously, what are the Dolphins doing?) there are now rumors that Ndamukong Suh could come to Philly, making their defensive line even deadlier. They also still have plenty of trade maneuverability as well, considering their backup QB is the one who led them to victory this year. It would seem that the Super Bowl Champions are digging in and getting set to defend their title.

The third and final team on this list is Sean McVay's Rams. This past season, they underwent an extreme transformation. In 2016 they went 4-12. This year, they made the playoffs and dominated their division. Now, they're making big moves once again. They traded big defensive players like Robert Quinn and Alex Ogletree and picked up some unbelievable CBs like Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters. This was done in part to deal with the expected departure of Trumaine Johnson but is also part of a bigger scheme to shore up the team's passing defense.

Considering wide receivers Tavon Austin and Sammy Watkins will be leaving this year as well, it seems that the Rams are trying to become a defensive power and base their offense around running back Todd Gurley, last year's offensive MVP. Whether or not it will work remains to be seen. As of right now, the moves look more erratic than calculated.

While these three teams have certainly made the biggest splash over the last couple of days, there are plenty of top-tier players bouncing around the league. Richard Sherman just got picked up for a three-year deal by his former rivals in San Francisco. Alex Smith is leading the Redskins now. Kirk Cousins' release has made him the most sought-after player in the league, and while most people think the Vikings are a heavy favorite to get him, there are plenty of teams who could use his services. On top of this, there are tons of great receivers and cornerbacks available.

Super Bowl winners like Malcolm Butler are up for grabs. Tyrone Mathieu is reportedly testing the waters of free agency. Receivers like Allen Robinson, Donte Moncrief, Sammy Watkins, and Jordan Matthews are also looking for new teams. Drew Brees and Leveon Bell are both technically free agents, but it's doubtful that they'll leave their respective teams. With so many talented players available, and free agency opening at noon today, this week should prove to be a wild one.


Matt Clibanoff is a writer and editor based in New York City who covers music, politics, sports and pop culture. His editorial work can be found in Pop Dust, The Liberty Project, and All Things Go. His fiction has been published in Forth Magazine. Website: https://matthewdclibanoff.journoportfolio.com/ Twitter: @mattclibanoff


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