Day 2 Manipulation Period Winners (Dan Quinn, Rashaad Penny) and Losers (Elijah Moore, Colts)

The NFL free agency craze continued Tuesday, with more signings and more dollars being spent in the run-up to the new league year that begins Wednesday. There’s still no official word from Aaron Rodgers on his decision with the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers, but there’s the rest of the league to delve into. Here are a few winners and losers from day two of the NFL’s “manipulative” free agency period.


Whoever convened the Panthers

Frank Reich and the new-look Carolina Panthers will clearly draft a quarterback with the first overall draft pick, but they’ve eased the workload on their new quarterback by signing Andy Dalton to be an experienced presence for their rookie .

At this point, Dalton is a journeyman and a good option to hold the position for a rookie quarterback while they get into full swing in the early weeks of the season.

Let’s face it – the first overall pick will start a handful of games this season, but Dalton’s presence helps ease the transition.

[Free bracket contests for both tourneys | Printable Men’s | Women’s]

Desmond Rider

The Atlanta Falcons appear to have decided that Desmond Ridder will have a legitimate shot at becoming the team’s next long-term starting quarterback.

Star guard Chris Lindstrom was renewed on day one of free agency, Jonnu Smith was acquired by the Tennessee Titans, Kaleb McGary re-signed with the team and they added a clear backup-level quarterback contract to Taylor Heinicke.

All signs point to Ridder being the starting quarterback and they’re looking to provide him with a stable supporting cast to allow him to grow. That’s good news for Ridder, who showed promise in the final quarter of the 2022 season.

Dan Quinn

The Dallas Cowboys have built continuity on defense, and that starts with being able to retain the services of defense coordinator Dan Quinn, who could have left for other jobs the last two offseasons. Quinn stays and the Cowboys make life a little easier for him in high school.

First, they signed stud backup Donovan Wilson to a three-year deal before trading in for veteran cornerback Stephon Gilmore to play opposite Trevon Diggs. To wrap up the day, they re-signed linebacker Leighton Vander Esch on a year-long deal.

One of the best units in the league holds up along with more opportunities to add more talent during the offseason and it’s a good start to the offseason for Quinn.

Rashaad Penny was one of the NFL’s best big-play running backs when he was healthy, but he really needed to find his next spot as a player to maximize his talent. It’s safe to say that Penny did so by choosing to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles on day two of the free agency manipulation period. As of 2018, Penny ranks third in yards per rush attempt (5.7) among all NFL players with at least 330 carries — the only players with higher stats are quarterbacks Lamar Jackson (6.1) and Kyler Murray (5, 8th). Now Penny can run behind arguably the best offensive line in the sport while playing alongside Jalen Hurts.

Penny should have plenty of room to do what he does best – tear down explosive runs. Penny’s injury history has been a concern, but this is the best place to land for him.


Buccaneer skill player

Who blocks for the Buccaneers? Donovan Smith was fired (which is a replaceable move) and now Shaq Mason is en route to Houston to begin Texan rebuilding.

The Buccaneers are in a strange place where they have some young plays, but these young players have played a lot of football in recent seasons due to the presence of Tom Brady. They need to make some conversions and conversions up front and now their offensive line needs a major overhaul alongside Tristan Wirfs.

The Bucs also failed to get into the quarterback game. Now Mike Evans and Chris Godwin find themselves in a sticky spot in the wake of Brady’s retirement.

At least they have a ring! That makes everything worth it, even catching passes from Baker Mayfield.

Following the retirement of Tom Brady and the Bucs moving into NFL free agency, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin don't seem to be around much anymore.  (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

After Tom Brady’s retirement and the Bucs’ moves to NFL free agency, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin don’t seem to have much around them anymore. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Will Moore return to the trade market? With Aaron Rodgers seemingly just one appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” away from making it to New York, the Jets have begun to rally the gang for Rodgers.

Allen Lazard is reportedly close to signing a four-year deal and they are reportedly snooping on the possibility of adding Randall Cobb to their offense. That’s going to leave someone looking outside for the Jets’ receiver room, and that someone won’t be offensive rookie of the year Garrett Wilson. Moore could find himself among the rest in the pecking order, and the Jets may not be willing to trade him based on their past handling of his trade request and their refusal to move fellow Denzel Mims.

Moore is a talented wide receiver, but he might struggle to get on the field for this iteration of the Jets.

Indianapolis’ investment in Matt Ryan will officially backfire after he was released this week. Normally this wouldn’t matter too much, especially given Ryan’s level of play last season, but after he was acquired by the Falcons, the Colts guaranteed $12 million in his contract for the 2023 season. Ryan won’t be one next season be Colt, but they still owe him the $12 million on his revised contract.

Hopefully things will get back to normal with the Colts soon! Or not, that’s pretty fun too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *