SHAQ ON SPORTS: Free agent feeding frenzy underway in NFL


March 16, 2018

With NFL free agency officially starting March 14, there are many teams attempting to make moves that ultimately can put them in the position to win the ultimate prize, the Lombardi Trophy, accompanied with their very own specialized Super Bowl ring.

There are some teams that are making moves quickly because they know their window to win the Super Bowl is now and there are a couple of teams who are also in their Super Bowl window but are not making such drastic moves to improve their teams.

Right now it appears the Los Angeles Rams are winning free agency. They have improved their secondary defense, which adds to their already tremendous defensive line including the 2017 Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald.

The Denver Broncos traded Pro Bowl cornerback Aqib Talib to the Rams for a fifth-round draft pick.

Since he entered the league as a first-round draft pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008, Talib has had the most interceptions, 34, by a cornerback in the NFL and his 10 career interceptions for a touchdown rank fourth all time.

I don’t know how productive Talib will be at 32, but the Bronco certainly got their money’s worth from the cornerback.

For the Rams, the Talib acquisition continues what has already been a busy offseason. They previously acquired All-Pro cornerback Marcus Peters from the Kansas City Chiefs, then sent outside linebacker Robert Quinn to the Miami Dolphins and inside linebacker Alec Ogletree to the New York Giants.

Talib and Peters, who have combined for seven Pro Bowls and two first-team All-Pro nods, will now be the Rams’ starting cornerbacks on the outside. Kayvon Webster, who is recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon he suffered in December, and Sam Shields, signed late last week after missing most of the past two years with concussions, can serve as depth alongside Troy Hill, who stepped up down the stretch last season.

This Rams defense looks to wreck a lot of havoc come next season as their goal is to get to the Super Bowl and win it.

The Kansas City Chiefs are also out trying to make noise with their additions. The Chiefs have agreed to terms with wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who played last season for the Rams after three years with the Buffalo Bills.

He made the huge catch and touchdown run with 10 seconds left in the divisional round of the playoffs which allowed the Rams to move to the conference championship where they lost to now Super Bowl champions Philadelphia Eagles. Watkins gives the Chiefs a fast wide receiver with the ability to be the number 1 wide out that they were seeking to accommodate new starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The downside is Watkins’ inconsistency and he has yet to consistently produce like a number one receiver.

The Chiefs are planning to have a big-play, high-scoring offense. They have done so by surrounding Mahomes with not only Watkins, but wide receiver Tyreek Hill, tight end Travis Kelce and running back Kareem Hunt. That’s one of the league’s best collection of skill players and from this vantage point, it’s a disappointment if the Chiefs aren’t one of the NFL’s highest scoring teams.

The Chiefs also acquired inside linebacker Anthony Hitchens, who played the last four years with the Dallas Cowboys. Hitchens should team with Reggie Ragland to give the Chiefs a young pair of inside linebackers.

The Chiefs struggled last year to stop the run and full seasons from Hitchens and Ragland, who didn’t become a starter until the season was well underway, should definitely help. Hitchens could be the every down inside linebacker to fill the spot vacated by the release of Derrick Johnson.

The Eagles are beefing up their already stout defensive line, the New Orleans Saints locked up Drew Brees for two more years and the Minnesota Vikings are looking to acquire Kirk Cousins. A lot has been happening this off-season and we can’t get enough.

Shaquita Newton is a sports blogger. She can be reached at superstarproductions622@gmail.com.

 

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