It can't be overlooked that in a desolate void, even a fragment can seem enormous. We are most certainly in a sports vacuum but the news being produced by the Purple is far from a small part. The bulk of their activity came on the first Purple Monday since the season concluded but they didn't waste the first day after the "legal tampering" window closed. I'll start where they did before addressing the latest news.
Right around breakfast time on a limit contact schedule, news broke that the team was opening up some more room under the salary cap by extending Cousins for two more years. At first blush, it seemed like that meant they were going to make another push toward the toward. 60 hours later I still think that's what it means but I'm dubious as to whether they'll be able to do more than be a .500 team again because of some of the other moves being made.
Not long after, news went wide that they were giving a well-earned new contract to CJ Ham as well. He's got a bit of a swiss army knife quality to his game while being young enough that he may not have shown everything he can be in the league.
Then came the news that I don't think anyone expected - they tagged Anthony Harris so that if he ends up elsewhere they will benefit from the departure. It also could give them more time to work out a new deal with him as well, but more of the steam has been toward him being traded than extended.
Things went quiet on the Purple's end for the afternoon but then erupted again around sunset. The latest talented but mercurial wide receiver to don the colors was jettisoned to the worst destination of all, Buffalo. It's a close competition with Cleveland but I'd give the edge to wing town. In exchange, they deepened their draft war-chest and opened up some more $ for today's action. Dumping Diggs makes sense in a lot of ways but did and does fly in the face of the idea that they're going for it all again. But it may not have been most questionable move made.
Earlier today they cut ties with Josh Kline. He doesn't have the name recognition of some offensive-linemen but he was well regarded for the season he is coming off of, was through the first year of a three-year deal and plays a position that was already needy. Not to mention the move only saves them 1.5 million, that's a lot of money for ordinary folks but is kind like spare change in pro sports.
But instead of more white flag decisions, they signed a young and talented defensive tackle away from Baltimore to fill the void left by the big goon. With an average salary of $9 million/ Michael Pierce doesn't break the bank but his acquisition further clouds what direction they're trying to go in. They're playing the chessboard, with many more moves to go but a particular strategy is not clear. That's just how the dust has settled so far. Or rather, not settled, as it were.
On the bright side, they came to an agreement with the human energizer bunny also known as the Skolquitt, Britton Colquitt for three years at three per year. To top it off they put a second-round tender on Erik Wilson so they're really guarding their assets this year like never before under this administration. That's one thing that has been very clear to far.
With said war-chest of selections under control for this year, it's going to wild trying to keep up with trader Rick moving around on draft weekend. There's also the distinct possibility that they package some of the picks for a higher selection or a player that they covet but I'm still averse to speculation about specific trades. Like I said, our guy is playing chess but the strategy has not nearly become clear yet. There are parts to like about the free agency process so far for Minnesota but maybe not surprisingly I'm copping out with a firm incomplete grade as Thursday looms.