The past week has been the most active week in the 2019 NFL offseason. From trade rumors to franchise tags, there have been several breaking news events that have taken place. With so much happening in the league, it is important to stay up to date. Here is a breakdown of a few of the recent stories developing during the NFL offseason.
Cowboys Use Franchise Tag on DeMarcus Lawrence
For the second consecutive year, the Dallas Cowboys are using their franchise tag on defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence.
In the 2018 season, Lawrence has proved his worth by racking up 10.5 sacks, 64 combined tackles and an interception. Being one of the best pass rushers in the NFL, Lawrence was set to be a top free agent in the 2019 market. Now that a franchise tag has been placed on the defensive end once again, the Cowboys have created more time to reach a long-term agreement. If a deal is not reached before July 15, the franchise tag will cost the Cowboys $20.5 million.
Lawrence has been open about wanting a contract extension. If an agreement is not met by the start of the 2019 season, the Cowboys may be looking at a holdout.
Landon Collins is Expected to Hit Free Agency
The 2018 season was the final year of safety Landon Collins’ contract with the New York Giants. It had been rumored that the team would use their franchise tag on the former All-Pro, but this was not the case. NFL Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Giants are expected to allow Collins to walk.
The #Giants are viewed as unlikely to franchise tag safety Landon Collins, sources tell @KimJonesSports and me. They love the player but view the tag number as too high. If this holds, he’s expected to be free.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 4, 2019
Collins earned All-Pro honors in 2016 and is a three time Pro-Bowler. The safety has collected 437 combined tackles and 8 interceptions in his four years with the Giants. Collins is a great player but the price tag was just too much for New York to handle.
Collins is only 25 years old and has the talent to be one of the best safeties in the league. He will be a hot commodity in the 2019 free agent market.
Kingsbury Considers Drafting Kyler Murray
Since the Cardinals signed Kliff Kingsbury as their new head coach, there has been speculation on whether or not the team would draft Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the number one overall pick in the 2019 draft. Recently, rumors have poured in saying this is going to happen.
The Cardinals drafted quarterback Josh Rosen in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft. But, only after one year, it seems as if the team is ready to move on. NFL Journalist Omar Kelly has reported that Rosen will be traded before free agency begins, with Washington being the likely landing spot.
Kingsbury stated in October, “I’d take him [Kyler Murray] with the first pick in the draft, if I could.” Now, the coach has the opportunity to do so. Draft analyst Tony Pauline has reported that Kingsbury was heard stating it is a “done deal.”
Of course, this all could just be smoke screen in order to raise the value of the team’s first overall pick.
Antonio Brown Speaks on His Future With the NFL
Antonio Brown requested a trade from the Steelers organization a few weeks ago. Since then, multiple teams have expressed interest in acquiring the All-Pro wide receiver. But, after an interview with ESPN, Brown discussed that he does not even need football.
With so much controversy surrounding Brown, he stated his opinions to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington. Brown stated, “I don’t even have to play football if I don’t want. I don’t even need the game. I don’t need to prove nothing to anyone.” he then added, “If they wanna play, they going to play by my rules. If not, I don’t need to play. Obviously, I want the game, but I don’t need the game. It’s a difference.” Courtesy of ESPN’s Youtube channel, the full extended interview is below.
The interview may have dropped Brown’s trade value since many view his attitude as a nuisance. But even with his statements, there are teams that are interested in trading for him. The leading candidates include the Raiders, Redskins and Titans.
Texans Franchise Tag Jadeveon Clowney
The Houston Texas have placed the franchise tag on defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. It had been reported earlier in the offseason that the Texans organization would like to see another productive year out of Clowney before signing him to a long-term deal. The team followed through with this statement as they have held on to the pass rusher for at least one more season.
Just like DeMarcus Lawrence’s situation, Clowney and the Texans have until July 15 to reach an agreement on a new deal. If a deal is not in place by then, Clowney will have to play under the franchise tag or sit out, just as Le’veon Bell did last season.
Clowney has had 205 combined tackles and 29 sacks in his five years with the Texans. The pass rusher is also only 26 years old with a lot of upside potential. With the amount of production Clowney puts out, he was set to be a highly sought free agent in 2019.
Now that he has been franchise tagged, Clowney will have to prove once again that he is worth a long-term contract.
Featured Image Credit: The Washington Post / Don Wright