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The online student news site of Redondo Union High School

High Tide

The online student news site of Redondo Union High School

High Tide

Free Agency Frenzy

The 2024 NFL free agency was full of surprising, yet interesting new contracts.

The 2024 NFL free agency was loaded with some of the most shocking and disappointing new NFL contracts. Free agency is a time during the NFL offseason where players who don’t currently have a contract can sign with one of the 32 teams in the NFL. What made this free agency so special, was the amount of star players joining new teams. 

The spree of new signings ignited with one-time Super Bowl champion, Russell Wilson. Wilson, who started and won his only Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks, signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Only a day later, we witnessed a frenzy of signings. I would look at my phone after a period to see them flooding my lock screen. I found each signing exciting on different levels as it depends on who signed and if they were a great player or not. I would be happy with the signing mainly if the player went to a team I liked or a team that could really improve. 

The joy of new signings always makes me happy. I wouldn’t want anything to change about how it functions and restrictions within the time. Some teams have spent a lot of money in the past and don’t have as much money to spend. Some might say this takes some fun out of free agency but if you want a good set of signings each year you need to prepare for it better. This can include hiring a new general manager or just saving up money.

Atlanta did a great job in preparation for their new contracts, however, I think they could have done better with their money, the Falcons signed 35-year-old quarterback Kirk Cousins to a four-year 180 million-dollar deal. There are a few things I dislike about him, the first is that Cousins will be rolling into next season coming off a season-ending ruptured Achilles. He hasn’t played a game since that injury and to have the confidence of signing a 35-year-old to a four-year deal is absurd. Though Cousins is coming off some of the best football he has played, who is to say he will have the same touch with different fans, playmakers on offense and a whole new coaching staff. I could end up being wrong about this, however, It is a precarious decision.

One of the biggest contracts that day came from former New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley. Shockingly, the running back signed with one of their division rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles. The move added to the Eagle’s already stacked team. I am not happy with this contract as the player didn’t change divisions, and I actually would have been happier if the running back signed someplace else, especially because I am a Washington Commanders fan. The Commanders are in the same division as the Eagles and Giants; this signing only made matters worse because the Eagles are a solid team when the Giants already sucked with Saquon. Though I am not happy with the contract, It brings more of a pop to the league, as the signing of this electric player should bring more exciting football to the fans.

The one position that stood out in free agency was the running back. Three of arguably the top five running backs in the league all joined new teams. All three star running backs, Derrick Henry, Josh Jacobs and Saquon Barkley are to earn at least 15 million dollars in their first year with the signing bonus and their annual salary. All three were happy to move on because as of last year, they were on below 500 teams meaning they had more losses than wins. The fact that these running backs are being put into a backfield with a smart quarterback and a better offensive line will possibly produce a career year for the player. We need more star running backs in the league and I think this helps solve that problem as it could spark former backups to get their start. 

Washington had 90 million dollars to spend this offseason, which was the highest in the league. I expected Washington to get a lot of value with that amount and they have so far. They struggled a lot on defense last year, so our main goal was to sign some of the many defensive stars available. Our overall best signing was linebacker Frankie Luvu, a Carolina Panther last year. Luvu was at the top of all linebackers in free agency so I am thrilled with this signing. They made a lot more exceptional signings but none like the level of this one, I think with the bland defense the Commanders had last year, Luvu and others they signed during free agency will pop out in a very good way, the Commanders may wiggle up the defensive ranks this upcoming season, I think they are a team to look out for.

Regarding the team that has improved the most this offseason, I have to say the Houston Texans. There are a few things that make me say Houston, one is they signed former Bengals running back Joe Mixon, who is a very good receiving and physical back. Houston also got a run-stopper, Danielle Hunter. Hunter just came off one of his best years as he played in the Pro Bowl, which is the all-star game for the NFL. Though Houston might not have signed as many players, they are best set for the future, and it honestly isn’t close. As of last year’s NFL Draft, they found their franchise quarterback and a long-term head coach. The Texans will have a great 24-25 NFL season. There were very few teams I truly enjoyed watching last season, the Texans were one of them with their young raw talent, so many of their players improved so much under the coaching of Demeco Ryans, and I speak for the whole league when I say I can’t wait for Houston’s upcoming year..

Overall, I loved seeing all of the new signings pop up out of nowhere, and there are still a lot of stars left on the market. I just hope Washington can sign a few more stars and make the most out of the upcoming NFL season. I am positive this upcoming season will be super action packed after one of the best offseasons in NFL history.

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About the Contributor
Sam Schwartz
Sam Schwartz, Online Sports Editor
Hell0. I'm Sam Schwartz. This is my second year in High Tide, and this time I am an online sports editor. I love watching and playing sports, where I will translate that love into High Tide.

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