After an exciting 2012 NFL season and a thrilling Super Bowl XLVII, the NFL offseason began with a bang. Here are some of the biggest moves so far.
1. Alex Smith to the Chiefs for a 2nd round draft pick
After Alex Smith was one complete pass away from a perfect game (was 18 for 19 against the Cardinals), Smith got a concussion the following week. We all know what happened then. Colin Kaepernick played well, and brought the 49ers to their sixth Super Bowl. Smith, a former #1 overall draft pick in 2005, did not play a minute after his concussion. Now San Francisco and the Kansas City Chiefs have proposed a trade that would send Alex Smith to the Chiefs for a 2nd round draft pick.
My Thoughts: The Kansas City Chiefs are in a great position now. They have a quarterback that is in his prime, and they do not have to use their #1 pick in the draft on a quarterback. The 49ers, however, probably could have received more, but they now own more than 10 picks in the draft, which will help them bring a lot more talent into a team that reached the Super Bowl last year. I expect both teams to greatly improve from this deal.
2. Falcons release Michael Turner, Dunta Robinson, and John Abraham
The Atlanta Falcons, who reached the NFC Conference Championship in 2012, released three veterans to "make space for more young players". Michael Turner, who has been the Falcons' running back for quite some time now, has been underperforming and put up underwhelming numbers last season. The other two, defensive end John Abraham and defensive back Dunta Robinson, were surprisingly released, but are past their primes.
My Thoughts: I thought that this was a bad move for the Falcons. As the Ravens learned this year, good veterans can be the most important piece for Super Bowl contenders who want to be champions. I thought that releasing Michael Turner was not a bad move, but cutting Dunta Robinson and John Abraham will be like taking out the foundation of the Falcons defense. Expect a defensive collapse next year as the Falcons start to rebuild their defense. Maybe the year after next year, Falcons.
3. Joe Flacco gets the largest contract in NFL history, a 6 year, $120.6 million deal
The Super Bowl XLVII MVP got big bucks, earning a $120.6 million contract after a strong playoff run that featured Flacco throwing 11 touchdowns and no interceptions. As expected, the Ravens selected Flacco as their leader going forward after legendary linebacker Ray Lewis retired.
My Thoughts: At first I thought that the Ravens made a really bad decision. After looking over the contract more, I found out that the deal was quite cap-friendly, as Flacco will only use up $8 million in cap space this offseason, allowing the Ravens to have a chance at re-signing key players such as Paul Kruger, Anquan Boldin, and Ed Reed. While I am still wary of the Ravens making Joe Flacco to be the best quarterback in the NFL contract-wise, looks can be deceiving. Good move, Ravens.