NFL Off-Season Update

Andrew DeCapua, Sports Editor

With the 2023 National Football League season kickoff still months away, there is plenty for fans to tune into to get their fix of NFL drama during the off-season.

Even with the two biggest dominos in this off-season, Aaron Rodgers and Lamar Jackson, yet to fall, there have already been several shake-ups that will affect the landscape of the 2023 NFL season.

The free agency period officially started on Wednesday, March 15, and we have already seen several big-name players switch teams. Derek Carr, who was released by the Las Vegas Raiders, signed with the New Orleans Saints. The Raiders then went out and signed Jimmy Garoppolo in free agency to replace Carr.

Dalton Schultz, a security blanket for Dak Prescot, left the Dallas Cowboys for the Houston Texans. After being released by the Minnesota Vikings, Adam Thielen agreed to a contract with the Carolina Panthers.

After a resurgence year for the Detroit Lions, they signed several players to build off their first winning season since 2017. They signed running back David Montgomery away from division rival Chicago Bears. They also landed a trio of defensive backs that should help improve a pass defense that ranked at the bottom of the league last season.

The Super Bowl runners-up, Philadelphia Eagles, have seen key players move on from the team. Defensive tackle Javon Hargrave left for the San Francisco 49ers, leaving a hole in the middle of the Eagles’ defensive front. Safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson departed the Eagles unceremoniously for the Detroit Lions. After signing with Detroit, Gardner-Johnson engaged in social media beef with Eagles fans.

The team that beat the Eagles in the Super Bowl, the Kansas City Chiefs, also saw key weapons such as Mecole Hardman move on in free agency.  Hardman signed with the New York Jets in anticipation that he would be catching passes from Aaron Rodgers.

There have also been trades involving marquee players this off-season. The New York Giants added a weapon quarterback Daniel Jones by trading a third-round pick in this year’s upcoming draft to the Raiders for tight end playmaker Darren Waller.

Another tight end, Jonnu Smith, is on the move as well. The New England Patriots traded him to the Atlanta Falcons for a seventh-round pick in this year’s draft.

A pair of wide receivers will be debuting in a new uniform next season. Elijah Moore, formerly of the Jets, was traded to the Cleveland Browns for a third-round pick in the draft. D.J. Moore was part of a trade package between the Bears and Panthers that included the overall number-one pick in this year’s draft.

With the Jets and Green Bay Packers still hammering out the details of the Rodgers trade and the saga involving Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens still unfolding, there are significant moves that have yet to be finalized.

Many big-name free agents, including Odell Beckham Jr., Leonard Floyd, Jadeveon Clowney, Donovan Smith, Frank Clark, Shaquill Griffin, and Marcus Peters, are still on the market.