Thursday, March 19, 2020

A Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

This has certainly been a week to remember. For many of us, our daily lives are 100% different from this time last week. For me, I've been handed the opportunity to ply my skills with education tech tools and place all my content online. In our school, at least, we found ourselves well-equipped to make a transition, even though we might not have been prepared.

And then this happened yesterday:

It's a pandemic! It's an earthquake! It's a . . . PANQUAKE? I don't live in Salt Lake, but we are about 30 miles south of the epicenter and it definitely shook our house. It was just after 7:00 am. Everyone in our house was awake, but nobody was out of bed yet, so we all felt the swaying while lying down.

Meanwhile, only one major sport seems to still be rolling: the NFL. The new NFL year began this week, and with it has come a flurry of major transactions. I heard this week that the owners weren't happy with the league's decision to move forward with free agency, claiming that it would be bad optics for news of players receiving multi-million dollar contracts to break while many people were facing financial hardships due to the CDC's social distancing guidelines. Personally, I don't have a problem with it. I think people love their sports and understand that players are going to be paid more than the average person anyway. Whether or not you agree with the amount of money pro athletes are paid, it's a widely accepted fact that they make a lot.

So we are less than a week into free agency, and like Salt Lake county, everything is being shaken up. First, we have quarterbacks finding new teams. You know what I'm talking about here.

That's right. Case Keenum has found a new home. These three signal callers are all moving on. Teddy Bridgewater looks to be the favorite to start in Carolina. Keenum and Marcus Mariota will most likely be backups who are expected to push the incumbent starters. Keenum is headed to Cleveland, behind Baker Mayfield, and Mariota is on his way to Vegas, hoping to pull the same move on Derek Carr that Ryan Tannehill pulled on Mariota himself last year.

In a rare player-for-player trade, DeAndre Hopkins and David Johnson swapped places. This move has been much criticized, and you can count me as one who doesn't understand what Houston is doing. The team has seemingly been in "win now" mode, parting with high draft picks to trade for the likes of Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills last year. It seemed that the team was intent on sacrificing some future development to bring in the pieces they needed to contend now. Then they trade a top 3 reciever while they have a young superstar quarterback with years ahead of him? For a guy who has been one of the biggest disappointments in the league in each of the last three years? I just don't get it.

That's not the only trade to happen this week. Indianapolis gave a first-rounder to San Francisco for DeForest Buckner. The Eagles are hoping to shore up their secondary by trading for Darius Slay. The Bills traded for WR Stefon Diggs. And a year after signing former Super Bowl hero Nick Foles, the Jaguars shipped him to Chicago.

Some big-name tight ends have moved on in free agency. Austin Hooper was considered the top tight end on the market; he signed with Cleveland. The other three are past their primes, but are still notable signings. Greg Olsen is headed to Seattle. Legendary Cowboy Jason Witten will likely end his career with the Raiders. Jimmy Graham will stay in the NFC North, leaving Green Bay for Chicago.

A couple of linebackers that I had an interest in have already signed with new teams. Former BYU linebacker Kyle van Noy is leaving New England to play for division rival Miami. Last year's starter at middle linebacker in Green Bay, Blake Martinez will be manning the middle for the Giants next year. This was no surprise, as Packers' GM Brian Gutekunst had already indicated he was looking to upgrade from Martinez.

A pair of high-priced defenders also found new homes. Cornerback Byron Jones is also heading to Miami, joining van Noy on the Dolphins. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is heading to Jones's old home, Dallas.

Of course, none of these signings are the marquee signings of the week. A future Hall of Fame quarterback changed teams, after spending his entire career with one franchise.

Philip Rivers is leaving the Chargers for the Colts!

Okay, okay. The big news is really Tom Brady splitting with Bill Belichick and heading south for Tampa Bay. I'm interested to see how Brady fares without Belichick and with Father Time as his constant companion, but with the addition of having more dangerous weapons around him than he has had in recent years.

Not all big moves have been new acquisitions, though. The Rams made headlines earlier today when they released Todd Gurley. Gurley was joined by Clay Matthews in his release from LA. Rams receiver Brandin Cooks is rumored to be the next to go. The Rams are certainly shaking things up in Southern California.

Before I go, I want to point out that things like this virus and earthquakes seem to happen arbitrarily. What isn't arbitrary is receiving a package of Free Friday gifts from Brian at Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitary. This week, I received just such a package.

I claimed a quartet of cards to fit my ROY and ASG MVP collections.

And once again, Brian sent along a BYU card in the package. Thanks once again for the Free Stuff, Brian!


  1. I still call So Cal home, though we've lived in Texas 20 years now, so I know what the earth shaking is like. In a weird way I kinda miss the quakes!

  2. I'm actually glad that the NFL off-season is continuing as normal. At least we have some non-virus news to talk about. Brady to Tampa Bay is a wild one, and so was that Hopkins trade. I liked Blake Martinez a lot and I'm not certain Christian Kirksey is an upgrade. Maybe if he can stay on the field as much as Martinez did we'll know for sure.

    1. I'm not sure Kirksey is the upgrade we were looking for, either. I think the Rick Wagner signing indicates they won't go OL in the first round of the draft, and by all accounts this class is deep at WR, so maybe LB with the first pick?

  3. This was a fun post, especially for those of who don't always keep up with all of the latest comings and goings.

    P.S. I could really go for a big plate of panquakes right about now :)

  4. As a California resident, I'm not stranger to quakes... but I gotta say that struck you guys was pretty legit. It's funny that you mention laying in bed. I actually enjoy riding out earthquakes laying on my back in bed. It's like a ride at an amusement park or something.

    1. This was the biggest we have had in decades, but it's the second one I felt. Both times I was in bed, so I don't know any other way to experience them.