The 2018 NFL offseason has been every bit as hectic and chaotic as the season itself, and it featured something we have never seen before: a healthy franchise Quarterback becoming a free agent.
Kirk Cousins was set free by the Washington Redskins because they didn’t want to pay him top dollar in terms of Quarterback salary, so the Minnesota Vikings swooped in and signed him to a three year, $84 million contract.
This deal makes Cousins the highest paid player in the league in terms of average annual salary, and marked the first time in NFL history in which a player received a fully guaranteed contract, which means the Vikings have to pay him all of that $84, even if he gets hurt or gets cut.
This deal was the biggest free agency deal of the year, and it makes the Vikings bona-fide Super Bowl contenders. Minnesota wasn’t the only team that improved their title odds in free agency, however.
The Los Angeles Rams may be the biggest winners of free agency, bringing in dominant Defensive Tackle Ndamukong Suh from the Miami Dolphins, two of the best Cornerbacks in the league in Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib and game-breaking Wide Receiver Brandin Cooks all in the same offseason. These moves show that the Rams are going for broke trying to bring a title to Los Angeles.
The Denver Broncos also got a new Quarterback in Case Keenum, and his presence should push Denver back into the playoffs with a defense that is postseason ready right now. And with the hiring of coach Matt Nagy, a whole new offensive staff to join him and a brand new cast of playmakers starring Allen Robinson, the Chicago Bears will finally have a functional offense that could bring them back into playoff contention.
However, for every team that signs a new player that helps them inch closer to glory, there is a team that loses a winning piece to their puzzle.
The mighty New England Patriots were gutted by free agency, losing Left Tackle Nate Solder, Running Back Dion Lewis, Cornerback Malcolm Butler and Defensive Coordinator Matt Patricia. The Pittsburgh Steelers could also be in danger of losing star Running Back Le’Veon Bell, who is very unhappy with his current contract situation.
Seattle is also feeling the effects of free agency, as key members of their vaunted defense like Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett and Sheldon Richardson all walked out the door. Miami also made some curious moves, releasing one of the best players at his position in Suh, while also trading away Jarvis Landry for little in return and trying to replace him with inferior receivers like Danny Amendola.
The Jacks’ 2018 NFL Mock Draft
1.) Cleveland Browns: Josh Allen – Quarterback – Wyoming
2.) New York Giants: Saquon Barkley – Running Back – Penn State
3.) New York Jets: Sam Darnold – Quarterback – USC
4.) Cleveland Browns: Bradley Chubb – Defensive End – NC State
5.) Denver Broncos: Quenton Nelson – Offensive Guard – Notre Dame
6.) Indianapolis Colts: Denzel Ward – Cornerback – Ohio State
7.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Minkah Fitzpatrick – Safety – Alabama
8.) Chicago Bears: Tremaine Edmunds – Linebacker – Virginia Tech
9.) San Francisco 49ers: Derwin James – Safety – Florida State
10.) Oakland Raiders: Roquan Smith – Linebacker – Georgia
11.) Miami Dolphins: Josh Rosen – Quarterback – UCLA
12.) Buffalo Bills: Baker Mayfield – Quarterback – Oklahoma
13.) Washington Redskins: Vita Vea – Defensive Tackle – Washington
14.) Green Bay Packers: Marcus Davenport – Defensive End – UTSA
15.) Arizona Cardinals: Calvin Ridley – Wide Receiver – Alabama
16.) Baltimore Ravens: Mike McGlinchey – Offensive Tackle – Notre Dame
17.) Los Angeles Chargers: Da’Ron Payne – Defensive Tackle – Alabama
18.) Seattle Seahawks: Connor Williams- Offensive Tackle- Texas
19.) Dallas Cowboys: Courtland Sutton – Wide Receiver – SMU
20.) Detroit Lions: Jaire Alexander – Cornerback – Louisville
21.) Cincinnati Bengals: Isaiah Wynn – Offensive Guard – Georgia
22.) Buffalo Bills: Josh Jackson – Cornerback – Iowa
23.) New England Patriots: Leighton Vander Esch – Linebacker – Boise State
24.) Carolina Panthers: Christian Kirk – Wide Receiver – Texas A&M
25.) Tennessee Titans: Rashaan Evans – Linebacker – Alabama
26.) Atlanta Falcons: Maurice Hurst – Defensive Tackle – Michigan
27.) New Orleans Saints: Mike Gesicki – Tight End – Penn State
28.) Pittsburgh Steelers: Harold Landry – Defensive End – Boston College
29.) Jacksonville Jaguars: Lamar Jackson – Quarterback – Louisville
30.) Minnesota Vikings: Will Hernandez – Offensive Guard – UTEP
31.) New England Patriots: Derrius Guice – Running Back – LSU
32.) Philadelphia Eagles: Nick Chubb – Running Back – Georgia