10 NFL Free Agent Signings That Will Be Game-Changers Next Season

10 NFL Free Agent Signings, From The Ones I Love To The Ones I Loathe

Some teams made strides, others stumbled and face-planted.


NFL Free Agency is always a crazy time. The existing power structure of the league shifts considerably based on the moves that are made with some teams pushing for the top, and others careening towards that bottom. Just because you make a move, however, doesn't mean that it will pay off. Some signings will completely sink a team, while others help them take flight. In this list, I examine five NFL free agent signings that I think will help teams soar, and another five that I think will destroy hope in their respective fanbases.

1. Love: Nick Foles to the Jaguars

The Jaguars have found their guy to replace Blake Bortles. A good quarterback with a great record of previous success, Foles will have pressure to succeed in Jacksonville right away.

2. Loathe: Landon Collins to the Redskins

Dan Snyder did what he always does: overpay. Collins is one of the best safeties in the league, but $84 million? That's a ridiculous amount of money for a safety. Needless to say, the Skins expect big things from Collins.

3. Love: C.J. Mosley to the Jets

The Jets continue to rebuild their defense. In doing so, they signed a player who can lead their defense on and off the field. Mosley will make an immediate impact fro Gang Green, and could turn this defense into a great unit.

4. Loathe: Earl Thomas to the Ravens

Another safety who was overpaid, Thomas is 30 years old and coming off of a broken leg. Despite this, they gave him $55 million anyway with $30 million guaranteed. This is a boom or bust signing; if Thomas plays well he can earn every penny, but if not there will be pain.

5. Love: Preston Smith to the Packers

The Packers are actually investing in free agency. Adding Smith along with Adrian Amos and Zhadarius Smith will really improve this atrocious defense, and with Aaron Rodgers on the other side of the ball, the Packers have a chance to reclaim the division and then some.

6. Loathe: Golden Tate to the Giants

The Giants signed Tate to replace Odell Beckham. Tate is not nearly as good as Beckham. Tate said he only wanted to sign for a winning team. The Giants are not that. This signing makes no sense for either team.

7. Love: Randall Cobb to the Cowboys

Dak Prescott has a new safety valve to throw to. When Cobb is healthy, he can be a very good receiver, and they got him at a bargain price of $5 million. This move could pay huge dividends for the Cowboys next year.

8. Loathe: Cole Beasley to the Bills

Josh Allen also got a good option in the slot, the receiver that Cobb is replacing in Dallas. However, Beasley is being paid much more money than he's worth, especially on a team that is still rebuilding and isn't ready for playoff football. There were cheaper options on the table.

9. Love: Trent Brown to the Raiders

Spider 2 Y Banana enthusiast and Raiders coach Jon Gruden is engaging in a full on reload in Oakland. Part of this was going out and signing the best offensive lineman on the market to protect their golden goose Derek Carr. Sure it was a lot of money, but this is a guy who can be a staple on that O-line for years to come. Another boom or bust signing, the risk and reward are huge.

10. Super Mega Loathe: Kareem Hunt to the Browns

The only position I'd sign this guy as is a kicker.

Fuck this guy.

With the season so far away and the draft still on the horizon, a lot can still change. However, whether I'm right or wrong about specific guys, some will inevitably fail in their new homes, and I can't wait to laugh at the ones that do.

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Why Cheerleading Should Be Considered A Sport, And Why You Should Care About It

Why isn't cheerleading considered a sport when it meets the exact definition of one?

According to http://varsity.com , cheerleading involves five major categories: Stunting, or the lifting and throwing of people; tumbling, or the “flips” and “passes”; dancing, a fast, sharp, and synchronized show for about 15-30 seconds; jumping, where flexibility and strength is demonstrated; and of course, the cheers, a section usually towards the middle of a routine that demonstrates spirit and skills. So what are the individual parts people play called? The girl on top is called the “top girl” or “flyer”, the two holding the girl up are the “bases”, and the one in the back, holding her ankles are called “back-bases” or “backspots”. Competitive cheerleading is judged on several major factors: the difficulty of the routine, the skills demonstrated by stunting, tumbling, and dancing, and the completeness of the routine, or how many mistakes were made.

One qualification for an activity to be a sport, according to http://dictionary.com, is an “athletic ability requiring skill or physical prowess.” Cheerleading is a sport because there is a very large amount of athletic ability required in order for skills to be demonstrated. Great tumbling skills are one aspect of competitive cheerleading that are highly athletic and should contribute to its consideration as a sport. Tumbling requires a relatively high amount of athletic ability, because it takes a lot of training and conditioning in order to do it right. One needs to have very strong core muscles, as well as upper body muscles. Flexibility, an important aspect of many sport trainings, is also necessary in order to complete complicated tumbling. The skills required to do a cheerleading tumbling pass are equal to the skills needed for gymnastics. Many tumbling passes in the Olympics are identical to those done by competitive cheerleaders. Some more challenging tumbling can involve three complete rotations of the body in the air!

Stunting is a very challenging activity involved in cheerleading that requires a high amount of physical fitness and strength. There is an extreme necessity for complete physical fitness in order to do a stunt successfully. I know from personal experience as a base that it's a lot harder than it looks. It's basically like lifting a 110 lb weight above your head, except that this weight can move, and if it falls, it could be seriously injured or die. According to http://varsity.com, there are many skills required in order to successfully complete a stunt. The most obvious skill is proper form. Just like weight-lifting, one must protect their back by lifting properly with assistance from their legs. It is also necessary to lock out your arms and legs in order to be stable. Proper form is even more necessary in the flyer, as a simple movement could cause a collapse. Teamwork is another skill that is necessary. I formed a bond with my stunt group where we could look at each other and know what needed to happen if a stunt was failing. However, if you are unable to work with someone and perform a skill with someone else holding half of the responsibility, then stunting would be basically impossible.

Dancing is another part of cheerleading that is a very intense, fast section of a routine that is very challenging to properly carry out. A significant amount of athletic ability is required in order to complete a cheer-dance routine. The routines are fast-paced with sharp movements that without proper training and a lot of practice are very hard to do properly. The dancing is also a cardio workout that engages many muscles. The skills required for dancing could potentially be more challenging than those for normal competitive dancers. Because dances are only 15-30 seconds long, it is completely necessary to be 100% precise with every movement. Your specific section of the dance is intertwined with every other person doing the dance; this means that if you mess up or fall behind, everyone else could potentially mess up or even run into you.

Athletic ability is not the only thing necessary for something to be considered a sport; according to dictionary.com’s definition of a sport, the activity must be in a competitive nature. Cheerleading is extremely competitive, and teams compete in competitions throughout the year with the goal of making it to state/national/world competitions. According to the National Cheer Association, there are many different competitions throughout the world that involve cheerleading. There is a state competition in which teams compete against the best teams in the state, national competitions in which teams compete against the best teams in the country, and “worlds”, a competition in which the best teams in the world compete against each other.

Cheerleading is competitive within the team as well. Many cheer teams hold auditions in order to select the best team-members possible. Within the team, there is also a competition to see who will be the center stunt group. This is the group of people who stunt front and center-stage, and are most likely to be watched by the audience. Team members compete for the first/last tumbling pass. These are the passes that leave a lasting impression, as people remember what comes at the beginning and end most. The girl that is in the front center for jumps also probably competed for that spot. Usually, the person in the center has the best jumps, as they are the person that pulls the whole group together, and the person that the crowd is most likely to watch. Lastly, girls compete within the team to be in the front for dances. Usually, choreographers hide the cheerleaders that aren’t as strong of dancers in the back, or in a stunt. The girls in the front are the best of the best, and have really made an effort for that spot.

According to dictionary.com, the last aspect of a sport that is necessary for consideration is a tight set of rules in which the activity must abide by. There are two major cheerleading corporations, the NCA (National Cheer Association) and the UCA (United Cheer Association). These two organizations have specific rules set in place in order to protect cheerleaders and regulate cheerleading routines. For example, it is “illegal” to throw a basket toss on a hard track during football games, but it is legal to do so if a cheerleading mat is underneath or if the track is soft.

So why does cheerleading affect the general public? Well, according to Jack Lindamood from his article “What Impact do Cheerleaders have on the Performance of Sports Teams?”, the noise and enthusiasm that are caused by cheerleaders actually benefits sports teams. With cheerleading as a considered-sport, the cheerleaders will have more opportunities to become better cheerleaders. If cheer was considered a sport, then more money from high school and college sports funds can help to make these teams more beneficial to the school. Someday, your daughter or son might be on the cheerleading team, on the basketball team, or involved in football. Cheerleading will help the basketball and football teams do better, bring more trophies and respect to your school, and gain more respect and will receive scholarship money for its members.

Cheerleading meets every single qualification required in order to be considered a sport, and involves many parts of weightlifting, gymnastics, hurdles from track, and dancing. It requires a very high amount of skill and athletic ability in order to be done correctly, and is extremely competitive, both between different teams and individuals within a school. There are many organizations that follow the same tight-knit rulebook that regulates cheerleading. This is why I believe that cheerleading should be considered to be a sport due to its competitive nature, the athletic ability that it requires, and the rules that govern it.

Cover Image Credit: Abigail Kolbe

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Will The Seahawks Extend Bobby Wagner?

The star veteran linebacker will turn 29 in June.


The Seattle Seahawks have made a few notable moves so far in the 2019 NFL offseason. They traded star pass rusher Frank Clark to the Kansas City Chiefs for significant draft capital and made quarterback Russell Wilson the highest-paid player in NFL history after his self-imposed April 15 deadline for a contract extension. In addition, they selected Ohio State wide receiver D.K. Metcalf in the 2019 NFL Draft after he surprisingly fell to the 64th overall pick at the end of the second round. However, there are still a few questions to be answered. Most notably, will the Seahawks extend veteran linebacker Bobby Wagner?

Seattle drafted two linebackers in Cody Barton and Ben Burr-Kirven in this year's draft. However, Wagner has been one of the NFL's top linebackers throughout his seven-year career and is considered by many to be the best along with Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly. Although a versatile player, he is perhaps most known for his elite tackling ability and efficiency in that department. In the 2018 season, he missed only one tackle out of 139 attempts and was given a 139.0 tackling efficiency score from Pro Football Focus, more than double the score of runner-up Jon Bostic. However, he is entering a contract year and approaching his 29th birthday, so Seattle must make a decision on his long-term future.

Wagner is expected to become the highest-paid linebacker in the NFL after being overtaken by five other players of his position since he signed his initial four-year, $43 million contract extension on August 2, 2015. He has been one of the most consistent linebackers in the league and has stayed relatively healthy throughout his career with few character concerns. After Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley set the market for the position with his five-year, $85 million contract, the Seahawks will have to offer a significant amount of dough to their star to keep him. Wagner has stated that he will play the 2019 season as if it is his last in the Emerald City and reports say that he is not keen on taking a hometown discount to stay with the team.

The Seahawks were in a similar situation with veteran safety Earl Thomas last offseason when he held out for a contract extension that paid him his perceived value. We all know how that turned out. Could the same scenario happen with Wagner? All we know for sure is that Seattle has another large decision to make for another veteran star player.

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