While the rest of the sports world is seemingly on hold, the NFL has been very active, given that it is the midst of its offseason. With that in mind, trades, free-agent signings, and draft preparations have been keeping NFL teams busy.
Let’s take a look at some of the major stories from around the league over the last week.
Despite their efforts to trade quarterback Cam Newton, the Carolina Panthers have decided instead to release the former MVP. Newton was set to earn just under $19 million this season, but with the Panthers having signed quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, there was no reason to keep Newton around.
Newton will now be a free agent, and there has been some early speculation he could sign with his former coach Ron Rivera in Washington. Wherever he signs, the early news seems encouraging as Newton passed a physical and should be ready to go from the get-go.
While he only played in two games in 2019, Newton played 14 games in 2018, throwing for 3,395 yards and 24 touchdowns. He also had 101 rushes for 488 yards and four touchdowns that season.
Gurley Hits Open Market, But Not For Long
In a bit of surprising news, the Los Angeles Rams parted ways with All-Pro running back Todd Gurley. Gurley had originally signed a four-year, $57.5 million contract back in 2018.
Unfortunately, an injury to his knee late in the 2018 season derailed his career, and he has struggled to consistently produce since.
Gurley was not a free agent for long, though. The Atlanta Falcons signed the running back to a one-year deal worth approximately $11 million. Through cap breakdowns, part of this money will come from the Rams while the rest will be paid by the Falcons.
Last season, Gurley played in 15 games and rushed 223 times for 857 yards. He also had 31 receptions for 207 yards and another two touchdowns. His best season was probably in 2017 when he rushed for 279 yards times for 1,305 yards and 13 touchdowns.
He also had 64 receptions for 788 yards and another six touchdowns that season. While those seasons seem like ages ago, Gurley is just 25 years old and will try to rekindle his career in Atlanta.
Panthers Sign Anderson
After clearing cap space with the release of Newton, the Panthers have already spent a little bit of that money, having signed wide receiver Robby Anderson to a two-year, $20 million deal.
Anderson will be 27 at the beginning of next season and has been a solid weapon for the New York Jets over the last four seasons. In 2019, Anderson had 52 receptions for 779 yards and five touchdowns. Between Anderson, Christian McCaffrey, Teddy Bridgewater, D.J. Moore and others, the Panthers are hoping their offense will still be very effective, even if there have been significant roster changes.
Patriots Release Gostkowski
While Tom Brady may be the most significant name to part ways with the New England Patriots this offseason, he isn’t the only one. Stephen Gostkowski, who spent his entire career with the Patriots, will also be finding a new home.
Drafted in the fourth round back in 2006, Gostkowski has been one of the league’s premier kickers throughout his tenure in the NFL. Unfortunately for Gostkowski, though, injuries meant he only got to play four games last season.
Coming off hip surgery now, the 36-year-old will look to continue his career, but will have to do so in a new uniform next year.