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The best signings and trades of NFL free agency (so far)

With NFL free agency in full swing, it’s time to take a fantasy look at some of the recent moves.

Getty Images/Pete Rogers Illustrations

Can someone from the NFL please explain to me the purpose of the “legal tampering” period? Technically NFL free agency hasn’t even started and yet we’ve seen a large portion of the free agency pool already dry up. Trent Brown is gone (and really, really rich); Kwon Alexander’s gone; Landon Collins is gone (also really, really rich); and so is Trey Flowers (again, RICH). What’s the point of having free agency start Wednesday if it basically starts Monday? Riddle me that Batman.

I say, let’s just steer into the organized chaos that strikes Twitter when deals start flying around and start free agency two days early. No tampering, just straight signings. Come on NFL, you know my idea is better.

Anyway you cut it, a ton of action went down Monday and I’m here to sift through the madness and bring you the best signings so far. They’re mostly in terms of maximum fantasy impact, though I do have a few defensive moves in here because even as a fantasy fan, I can love defense. Also you’ll notice there’s no Antonio Brown on this list. That’s not because I don’t love the move, it’s more because I want to save all my burning hot takes for this week’s RB1 Podcast, so tune in!

Colts sign Devin Funchess

This could be my favorite signing of free agency. The Colts clearly needed another receiver to pair with T.Y. Hilton and they did just that, going out and getting the literal biggest guy on the market. Despite up and down seasons in Carolina, Funchess is a solid receiver who’s still surprisingly young (dude’s 24-years-old) and recorded 63 catches on 111 targets for 840 yards and eight touchdowns his last full season. He now gets to go catch balls from Andrew Luck, who just spent all of 2018 reminding us that he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the league when healthy. I’m almost certainly going to be overdrafting Funchess everywhere this year.

Hype level: 9/10

Eagles trade for DeSean Jackson

BRB, busily bumping “Coming Home” on repeat while reading this:

Hype level: ALL THE DEEP BALLS/10

Jets sign Jamison Crowder

Even as a Patriots fan I can get excited for this signing. Crowder has shown flashes of brilliance in his career—most notably his 2016 season where he caught 67 balls for 847 yards and seven touchdowns—and he fits perfectly in the role the Jets needed to address: security blanket for Sam Darnold. Adding Crowder to Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson makes a nice trio of receivers for Darnold to throw to. Don’t be surprised if Crowder quickly becomes Darnold’s favorite of the bunch.

Also, big props for trading for Kelechi Osemele. Got to protect your franchise quarterback and open up holes for Le’Veon Be—I mean whatever running back is in the backfield.

Hype level: 7/10

Chiefs sign Carlos Hyde

I mentioned on the podcast long ago that I would love to see Mark Ingram sign with the Chiefs. To me, Carlos Hyde is the next best thing. Hyde will come in and play the bruiser along side Damien Williams in Kansas City. While his time with the Browns and Jaguars last year wasn’t great, Hyde still has some juice in him as evidenced by his 938 yards and eight touchdowns in 2017.

Hype level: 7/10

Washington signs Landon Collins

If you’ve ever internalized any of the content I produce you know I can’t say no to a good old revenge narrative, especially when it comes at the expense of the Giants. I’m setting the over/under of Eli Manning passes Collins intercepts in 2019 at 4. Place your bets.

Hype level: $84 million/10

Patriots trade for Michael Bennett

Bennett recorded 30 QB hits, 15 tackles for loss, nine sacks and two forced fumbles last year. The Eagles traded him to the Patriots for a 2020 fifth round pick. The hype scale is officially broken.

Hype level: Super Bowl LIV/10

Titans sign Adam Humphries

Will this finally be the year that Marcus Mariota lives up to any of the fantasy hype we’ve given him in the past? Doubtful but adding a receiver like Humphries certainly helps. Humphries is coming off a breakout year where he catch 76 balls on 105 targets for 816 yards and five touchdowns. He’ll bring a reliable slot receiver for Mariota to rely on and hopefully the two of them develop some early chemistry and we can milk it for all the PPR points in the world. Fingers crossed.

Hype level: Could be 8/10, likely 5/10

Giants trade for Kevin Zeitler

...and sent Olivier Vernon to the Browns. I love this trade AND I love player for player trades! They’re just more fun than player for picks. This trade was a win for both sides but I’m singling out the Giants because Zeitler gives them some much needed help on the offensive line which helps Eli get the ball to Odell Beckham and Evan Engram (I’m speaking an Engram breakout year into existence) and helps Saquon Barkley rush for 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns. So yea, good trade if you ask me.

Hype level: 8/10

Jaguars sign Nick Foles

Hype level: 10/10