Expert Analysis


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What Have Been the Most Surprising Moves of the Offseason?

What Have Been the Most Surprising Moves of the Offseason?

The 33rd Team’s Insiders Network is a group of former NFL coaches and front-office executives who are here to provide insight and perspective into all things football. We reach out to members of our Insiders Network to get their thoughts on topical questions. Here is this week’s question: 

What has been the most surprising thing that has happened this offseason in your opinion and why?

Nick Polk, former Atlanta Falcons Director of Football Operations

The most surprising off-season move to me was the Deshaun Watson trade with the contract being fully guaranteed at signing. It could have a big impact on the QB market going forward.

Rip Scherer, long-time college Offensive Coordinator an NFL position coach:

The most surprising thing to me has been the movement of so many top-tier and elite QBs. As a former QB Coach, I guess I look at things through that lens. To see the movement of Deshaun Watson, Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson; and the un-retirement of Tom Brady all within one cycle is surprising. 

Then you throw in the trade of Carson Wentz, the FA signings of Marcus Mariota, Teddy Bridgewater and Mitch Trubisky, all established starters at one time, along with the uncertainty of Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo; that is a lot of QB movement and potential movement (10 QBs) in the top half or so of the QBs in league.

Joe Banner, former Team President and CEO:

The specifics of the Watson contract. I’m surprised that under the circumstances they needed or chose to redo his contract. I am even more surprised that they gave him that large a guarantee, which will change the league in ways people haven’t fully understood

Mike Tannenbaum, former NFL General Manager and Executive Vice President:

The timing of Bruce Arians’s retirement. I’m not surprised by his decision to retire, I’m just surprised that he did it in late March.

Derius Swinton II, former LA Chargers Special Teams Coordinator:

I would have to say the overwhelming philosophical change of teams giving up picks in the current draft and next year’s draft for players right now. Not that it is some foreign idea but it seems as if more teams have taken the LA Rams model and become more aggressive with moving picks now for known commodities. 

I think teams see that success has come to the Rams over the last 5 or so years using this model and more teams are leaning into moving their picks for players that could only be with them 1-2 years. 

Charles Brensinger, former Detroit Lions Pro Scout:

All the drama. You have the Brian Flores situation and impending litigation, Deshaun Watson’s grand jury hearing and trade, the ongoing Daniel Snyder saga, players stating their displeasure with their current teams and/or demanding trades, teams trading star players and starting QBs. It’s been wild! Maybe it’s recency bias, but I really can’t recall another time with this many headlines — both good and bad.