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NFL Conducts ‘Business As Usual’ Amid Coronavirus Shutdowns

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

With the world at a standstill amid the Coronavirus outbreak, the NFL calendar forged ahead as teams began to release and franchise tag players
this past weekend.

The Baltimore Ravens franchised tagged OLB Matthew Judon, followed by the Broncos tagging safety Justin Simmons and the Chargers doing the same with TE Hunter Henry. Some notable players released from teams on Friday include: OT Cody Glenn (Cincinnati), TE Delanie Walker (Tennessee), and a pair of former Pro-Bowl teammates Linval Joseph and Xavier Rhodes (Minnesota).

On Saturday at around 11:00 AM PST, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the NFL is to conduct “business as usual” as the new season is slated to begin on March 18th at 1:00 PM PST.

Shortly after, it was announced the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio would be closed until March 27th but that they “will continue to closely monitor the situation and maintain ongoing communication with state and local health officials. Updates will be provided at www.profootballhof.com/visit/

On Sunday morning the biggest sports news of the weekend dropped, as Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported, the Nation Football League Players Association (NFLPA) had agreed to the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement through 2030 sent over by the owners back in February.

Included in the new CBA is the addition of 1 regular season game, expanding it’s schedule to 17 games, and 2 new playoff spots, one in each conference, along with an increase in revenue sharing, and added benefits for retired players.

With the new CBA signed and the new season slated to begin the following week, teams began to go to work…

Calais Campbell Traded to Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens fell short of their Super Bowl aspirations last season, they look to bulk up an already stout defensive line as they trade a 2020 fifth-round pick for the former All-Pro defensive end Calais Campbell.

Ryan Tannehill get$ PAID, Henry gets tagged.

The Tennessee Titans, the team that took the NFL by storm and took out the top-seeded Ravens in the postseason, locked down their two best weapons from last season in Ryan Tannehill, who signed a four year, $118M extension followed by the team franchise tagging Derek Henry who ran all over opponents all postseason.

Twinning in Foxburough

Safety Devin McCourty breaks his own news that he is re-signing in New England for a 2 year $23M deal that will keep him in the same secondary as his twin brother Jason.

Falcons Flock From the Nest

After a disappointing season the Atlanta Falcons have released RB Devonta Freeman and breakout tight end Austin Hooper to the Cleveland Browns via free agency.

Kirk Cousins Extended…

As Monday morning came along, the NFL kicked into high motor. The first big news of the day came through as the Minnesota Vikings extended QB Kirk Cousins’ contract through the 2022-23 season.

Cousins finshed last season in Minnesota with 3,603 poassing yards, 26 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, and a 107.4 QB rating (career-high).

Dak Gets The Tag

We finally have an answer to how the Dak Prescott v Dallas Cowboys contract saga will end, sort of. (not really)

With this move just pretty much shelving the conversation down another year, the Cowboys ultimately decided to franchise tag QB Dak Prescott, locking him in for another season, and then doing their best to keep free agent receiver, Amari Cooper, in Dallas.

DeAndre Hopkins Get Traded To Cardinals

In a move that I still can’t believe is real, the Arizona Cardinals have sent injury-depleted RB David Johnson, a 2020 second-round pick, and 2021 fourth-round to the Houston Texans for arguably the best wide receiver in football in De’Andre Hopkins and a 2020 fourth-rounder.

Like I said, I still cannot believe it’s true. Even if David Johnson is able to return to his 2016 form where he was able to amass 2118 yards from scrimmage and 20 total touchdowns (a real pretense to what we would see this past season with Christian McCaffrey) with the rapid decrease in value for running backs and the fact that DEANDRE HOPKINS MIGHT BE THE BEST RECEIVER IN FOOTBALL, I just don’t see how the Texans got any sort of better from this deal.

The Local Guy Gets A Great Deal!

The best for last. I know I’m not supposed to show bias in my work, but Ill make the exception for Sacramento’s own.. Pleasant Grove High School’s own…and now, San Francisco 49ers own, Arik Armstead! After having the best year of his young career, highlighted by a trip to the Super Bowl, the Bay Area’s team locked down the 26 year old to a five-year, $85M deal to keep the Sac-town native close to home.

Congratulations Arik!

NOTABLES

I’m sure I missed some news, as it continues to pour in by the minute it seems, but here are some of the transactions that I may have missed…