Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
- The 2019 NFL offseason started with some big moves.
- The Raiders brought in wide receiver Antonio Brown and appeared ready to add even more talent.
- The Steelers have watched as two of the most talented players in the league left for greener pastures.
The 2019 NFL offseason is well under way, with teams now free to negotiate to bring new players in and superstars are maneuvering their ways across the league to what they hope will be greener pastures.
Teams and free agents were allowed to begin negotiations on Monday, and signings will go official on March 13, but in just a few hours that the market has been open, there’s already been plenty of action that will reshape the NFL heading into 2019.
From teams reloading on defense to players getting huge raises, take a look below at the winners and losers of the opening hours of the 2019 NFL offseason.
Winner: Antonio Brown
It took a while to get there, but Antonio Brown got exactly what he wanted.
After a messy breakup with the Pittsburgh Steelers that included tense arguments and some awkward posts to social media, Brown has left the team to join the Raiders in Oakland and earned himself a solid raise that will pay him $50.1 million over the next three seasons.
Loser: Pittsburgh Steelers
Gene J. Puskar/AP
The Steelers are set to lose two of the most talented offensive weapons in the NFL, with Antonio Brown joining the Raiders and Le’Veon Bell unlikely to return after holding out for the entirety of 2018.
While Pittsburgh still has plenty of firepower — Ju Ju Smith-Schuster and James Conner both had extremely productive years — it’s tough to believe that losing two of the most feared players in the league is a positive.
Making matters worse is the paltry return the Steelers got for their departing superstars — nothing for Bell, and a mere third- and fifth-round pick from the Raiders for Brown. Hardly a king’s ransom.
Winner: Nick Foles
AP Photo/David Banks
After a career spent as a nominal backup, Nick Foles getting a huge payday to take over the starting role in Jacksonville, reportedly set to sign a four-year, $88 million deal that includes more than $50 million guaranteed.
While the Jaguars had a rough 2018 campaign, they’re only a season removed from an appearance in the AFC Championship, and have a solid defense and set of skill position players that could make some noise if Foles comes through as he did for the Eagles over the past two years.
Add the fact that the Eagles could have used the franchise tag to keep Foles and then trade him away to the destination of their choosing — Washington, Miami, or worse — it’s obvious that Foles is one biggest winners of free agency thus far.
- NFL free agency had a wild first 48 hours — here are all of the biggest moves
- NFL players loved Le’Veon Bell’s radical decision to sit out a year and called it a ‘game-changer’
- 2019 NFL DRAFT: What every team needs heading into the first round