The new league year begins Wednesday, March 14 at 4:00 pm Eastern Time. This is when all of the reported trades we’ve been hearing about can be made official. It is also the time when free agents can sign new contracts with the team of their choice.
For years, teams and players would agree to massive contracts just minutes after the arrival of the new league year. It was obvious that some form of under the table dealing was taking place, so the league’s fix was to simply make this once hidden communication legal.
Now, two days before the new league year are declared a “legal tampering” period, allowing the teams, players, and their representatives to converse and partake in contract negotiations, with deals becoming official two days later.
In recent years, we’ve seen an increase in NFL off-season activity, including a major uptick in trades being agreed to, which makes things more exciting for fans and fantasy players. This off-season was already one that had fans eager thanks to the stacked free agent class, but the continued increase of trades and other transactions prior to the beginning of the new league year has been sweet icing on the free agency cake.
All of those moves have set the table for what is sure to be a busy week around the league. Here is an idea of some of the moves to expect in the coming days. Players are covered in order of free agent ranks, according to Rotoworld.
Kirk Cousins, QB
Following the Redskins acquisition of former Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, it has been clear that Kirk Cousins would be suiting up for a new team in 2018. In just the past six weeks, there have seemingly been multiple leaders for Cousins services, including the Browns, Broncos, and Jets. The latest and strongest rumors link Cousins to the Minnesota Vikings, who might be a top quarterback away from being a top Super Bowl contender. Cousins being paired with Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen would look nice, though he is almost certain to see his overall passing volume, as well as his passing touchdowns, take a slight hit due to the strong defense and running game in Minnesota. Wherever he lands, expect Cousins to take over the title as the highest-paid player in league history.