Rob Issa, FISM News
A couple of trades highlighted the second day of NFL free agency on Tuesday.
The Dallas Cowboys acquired star cornerback Stephon Gilmore from the Indianapolis Colts for a fifth-round pick in the NFL draft. The New York Giants got Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller from the Las Vegas Raiders for a third-round pick.
The Philadelphia Eagles kept All-Pro cornerback James Bradberry, giving him a three-year, $38 million contract, per multiple reports. They also added former Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny.
The Cowboys further strengthened their defense, agreeing on deals to keep safety Donovan Wilson (three years, $24 million) and linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (two years, $11 million) in Dallas.
Quarterback Andy Dalton is leaving the New Orleans Saints for the Carolina Panthers, who have the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft. The veteran Dalton could serve as a mentor for a rookie QB.
The Colts plan to release Matt Ryan, the 2016 NFL MVP. Ryan had an inconsistent season in his first year in Indianapolis and could be headed toward retirement.
WHAT ABOUT RODGERS?
While plenty of players switched teams on the first two days that teams can negotiate contracts with agents, the NFL world is still waiting on a decision from four-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The New York Jets met with Rodgers last week and are hoping to acquire him from the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers has also said he might choose to retire or stay in Green Bay. The Packers have indicated they’re ready to move on from Rodgers and turn things over to Jordan Love.
ESPN reported that Rodgers told the Jets he’d like them to pursue wide receivers Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, and tight end Mercedes Lewis.
The Jets already have a deal in place with Lazard.
Rodgers is scheduled to make his regular appearance on the “Pat McAfee Show” on Wednesday afternoon and it’s possible he could provide an update on his future.
GIANTS, RAIDERS SIGN NEW PASS CATCHERS
Before trading Waller, the Raiders agreed to a deal with wide receiver Jakobi Meyers. He joins Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow to give new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo another target.
Waller bolsters the receiving corps for the Giants, who gave quarterback Daniel Jones a $160 million contract last week.
Waller has twice surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in his career. He recently married WNBA star Kelsey Plum of the Las Vegas Aces.
MAN AND WOMAN OF FAITH
Both Waller and Plum are outspoken about their Christian Faith. Waller told the “Faith On The Field” show that former Raiders quarterback Derek Carr helped him develop a closer relationship with the Lord.
“I don’t walk around with shame and guilt and things like that,” Waller said. “And I just want to try to share that truth with other people. That’s why if I go to a conversation, I’ll initiate the vulnerability and say like you know I’m struggling with certain things, I’m scared about certain things or I’m or I may be worried.”
“I kind of had to go through life and figure out what’s important,” Plum told Sports Spectrum. “It takes a lot of failure and mistakes and humility to be able to see that I need a relationship with God.”
Plum was drafted no. 1 overall by the WNBA’s San Antonio Silver Stars in 2017. She has said that her transition to the league was difficult.
“I’m super grateful because I think that He’s always really been very precise about exactly where He wanted me to be and He’s put certain people in my life to really help me,” Plum said in another interview in 2020. “I’m just super grateful, so I think for me, as I continue to grow into a woman and a woman of faith, I try to make sure that I’m a light.”
Editor’s Biblical Analysis
Fellow Believers, let us pray for God’s people who are going through times of transition.
Whether they are professional athletes moving their families to new cities as they join new teams, parents starting new jobs, children going to new schools, someone learning to live after the loss of a close loved one, or a Christian going through any of the countless other transitions and hardships life brings, let us pray that fellow believers keep their eyes on Christ (Hebrews 12:2) and their ears open to the Holy Spirit as He guides them in truth (John 16:13).
And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight — if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister. – Colossians 1:21-23