Newton, Hopkins out; Brady, Dunbar in as NFL off-season provides the action fans need during coronavirus lockout

Jameis Winston, Cam Newton
Tampa, Florida: Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) greets Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) midfield following an NFL game between the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT
This is NFL off-season, yes. But nothing else is happening is sports with coronovius shutting everything down, so let’s take a look at the madness of the last week in the NFL, from free agency to bad trades.

The Tampa Bay Bucs may have landed the biggest free agent out there, Tom Brady, which means starting quarterback Jameis Winston is out of job.

The Panthers officially released Cam Newton today after nine years with the team, bringing the Newton era to an end in Carolina. Just five years ago Newton was the NFL’s MVP, guiding his team to the Super Bowl. Newton called out Panthers management on Twitter last week for forcing him into a trade from the team he never wanted to leave.

“Stop with the word play!! I never asked for it!! There is no dodging this one. I love the Panthers to death and will always love you guys!! Please do not try and play me or manipulate the narrative and act like I wanted this.
You forced me into this!!”

Cam Newton, Panthers trade Twitter post

The Panthers have already moved on, signing former New Orleans Saints back-up Teddy Bridgewater to a huge $40 million contract.

The Houston Texans pulled off the astonishing feat of trading DeAndre Hopkins, one of their best players (one of the best in the NFL), for peanuts and promises to Arizona Cardinals. The trade’s a head-scratcher. Cowboys legend Michael Irving set cable sports ablaze when he reviled on ESPN’s Get Up! that Hopkins’ trade had less to do with his performance, and possibly more to do with coach Bill O’Brien insecurities.

Speaking of the bonehead Texans, rumor has it there’s a chance star QB Deshaun Watson maybe headed to New England to replace Brady (if Cam Newton doesn’t get the spot). If true, Texans fans can facepalm from now through the end of next season. Surprisingly, the source of the rumor is Watson himself.

The Redskins gave up cornerback Quinton Dunbar to Seattle, giving the Seahawks a great shot at reshaping their defensive backfield, Cool news for Pete Carroll. Dunbar had another year on his contract and was angling for a raise. But here’s the kicker, Washington is trading Dunbar for 5th-round pick. Oof!

Stacey Mickles

Stacey Mickles is a native of Birmingham, AL and has worked as a lifestyle reporter and sports writer over the years.

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