It was always going to be an offseason to remember across the NFL with legendary figures such as Tom Brady and Philip Rivers hitting the open market. But few could have expected quite as many headlines being delivered one after the other in stunning fashion.
It was not just free agency signings such as the one that saw Byron Jones become the highest-paid cornerback in NFL history upon joining the Miami Dolphins. There were massive trades and a star-laden quarterback carousel span and span before seeing Jameis Winston settle for a backup job while Cam Newton found himself out of the league all together.
Here are my top 10 veteran additions made across the league over the past few months. I personally cannot wait to see what these guys can do with their new teams when the eagerly-awaited 2020 season kicks off.
1. DeAndre Hopkins WR Arizona Cardinals
Why on earth did Houston part company with a receiver many still consider to be one of the very best in the game? Hopkins can do it all. He is crafty in terms of his route-running and can win jump balls to help out his quarterback. His addition to the Cards is a massive boost for young quarterback Kyler Murray.
2. DeForest Buckner DT Indianapolis Colts
Looking for more roster balance, the 49ers were happy to part ways with one of their leading defensive linemen. And the Colts were more than happy to give up a first-round pick to grab Buckner, who is a game-changing Pro Bowl force in the middle. The Colts have added a foundational piece to their D.
3. Tom Brady QB Tampa Bay Buccaneers
With the dust now settled on the most hyped move of the offseason, this is still an addition I like from a Bucs point of view. Brady takes care of the ball almost to a fault and will not commit offensive hari kari in the same way Jameis Winston did. Brady and all those offensive weapons will be fun to watch in 2020.
4. Stefon Diggs WR Buffalo Bills
Buffalo got a great deal out of John Brown and Cole Beasley at receiver last season but I like the further bolstering of the pass-catchers around Josh Allen. If he is to be a true franchise quarterback, surround him with talent. Diggs may have done a bit too much sulking in Minnesota, but he is still a top target.
5. Darius Slay CB Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles were crying out for an elite cornerback and three-time Pro Bowler Slay wanted away from Matt Patricia in Detroit. So this offseason trade made total sense. With 13 interceptions over the past three seasons, Slay lives up to his 'Big Play' nickname and instantly upgrades the Philly defense.
6. Calais Campbell DL Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore's outstanding defense got even better with the addition of perennial Pro Bowler Campbell, who is a man-mountain capable of playing the run and the pass with equal success. But Baltimore are getting more than just a player – they are getting a locker room leader of the highest character.
7. Jack Conklin OT Cleveland Browns
A lack of competent offensive tackle play really held the Browns back in 2019 and was a factor in the regression of quarterback Baker Mayfield. Conklin was an All-Pro in Tennessee and he will make a significant difference to the Browns on the right side while rookie Jedrick Wills plays left tackle.
8. Philip Rivers QB Indianapolis Colts
It was a rough year for Rivers as he threw far too many passes up for grabs while under pressure and was picked off 20 times. The future Hall of Famer has a chance to bounce back and silence his critics in 2020 as he plays behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. This is a good fit for team and player.
9. Trent Williams OT San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers saw the retirement of veteran Joe Staley coming down the pike and they moved quickly to add a Pro Bowl replacement in Williams, who wanted out of Washington in the worst possible way. With Williams slotting in at left tackle, the 49ers should not miss a beat on the offensive side of the ball.
10. Cory Littleton LB Las Vegas Raiders
You could argue that Kyle Van Noy joining Miami or Emmanuel Sanders joining New Orleans should make my top 10. It was close but I really like the way Las Vegas got younger and more athletic at linebacker with the addition of Littleton, who has topped 125 tackles in each of the