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4 biggest surprises of early NFL free agency

Touchdown Wire logo Touchdown Wire 3/13/2018 Michael Colangelo
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Some deals make sense. Other deals are big surprises. It makes sense that Kirk Cousins signed with the Vikings. It's odd that the New York Jets decided to stay out of the quarterback fray and bring in Josh McCown. It makes sense that there were suitors for Allen Robinson. It's weird that the Packers cut their top wide receiver. Here are the most surprising moves of early free agency.

Jordy Nelson cut by Green Bay Packers

Jordy Nelson has been Aaron Rodgers top receiving target since 2012. Now, he's reportedly being cut by the Packers. Nelson just didn't have the same burst this past season. He saw his targets cut in half. While most of that was due to Rodgers missing a large portion of the season due to injury, it did show that maybe Rodgers makes the wide receiver. That would mean a $12 million cap hit is too much. If receivers are replaceable with Rodgers, then making sure to focus on value at the position is a key.

The Packers went and signed Jimmy Graham who will be a key red-zone target in the Green Bay offense. Still, it's shocking that Nelson may not be playing in green and yellow this offseason.

Danny Amendola to the Dolphins

Amendola will reportedly receive a two-year deal for $12 million with $8.25 million in guarantees. The sheer size of the contract is surprising. Amendola said he wanted to stay in New England, but he couldn't turn that money down.

It's surprising that Amendola is leaving his comfort zone in New England. He's excelled when Josh McDaniels is his offensive coordinator. It's also surprising the Dolphins wanted to give Amendola that much guaranteed. There couldn't have been many bidders out there. Miami also signed Albert Wilson as a slot receiver, so Amendola is a bit duplicative. There are surprises all around with this deal.

Jets resigning Josh McCown

The Jets didn't land Kirk Cousins. They went after Teddy Bridgewater but didn't come to a deal. They apparently didn't look at A.J. McCarron. Instead, they chose to resign McCown.

This move screams that the Jets are going to draft a quarterback in the first round of the NFL Draft. Their young QBs aren't franchise players. McCown is 39 and serviceable, but he's not the answer at quarterback. The Jets may need to move up in the draft to actually get their target.

Signing Bridgewater or McCarron would have let the Jets keep their cards close to the vest on draft day. Now it looks like everyone knows what they are going to do.

Sam Bradford is still worth $20 million

Starting quarterbacks cost at least $17 million dollars. Bradford is going to reportedly net $20 million for his one-year deal in Arizona. This is another signal that the Cardinals are going to draft a quarterback in the draft.

This is a win-now move for the Cardinals. They are the fourth best team in a tough division. It's a bit of a head-scratcher.

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