So far it has been a very crazy National Football League (NFL) free agency period. There is still so much more to go. Players like Bobby Wagner and Odell Beckham Jr. have yet to be signed. In this article, I am going to highlight some of the big moves as of March 16. All details of these moves are coming from NFL.com.
The Miami Dolphins traded a third round pick and tight end Hunter Long for cornerback Jalen Ramsey of the Los Angeles Rams. This trade is definitely a crazy one. The Dolphins have been trading for big players over the past couple years. This includes Tyreek Hill and Bradley Chubb. They are building a really good team over there in Miami. I have no idea how the Rams only got a third round pick for Ramsey. He might have regressed a little bit last year, but he has been the best cornerback in the NFL for the past few years.
JuJu Smith-Schuster signed a three-year contract worth up to $33 million with the New England Patriots. The Patriots lost wide receiver Jakobi Meyers to the Las Vegas Raiders, so they went out and signed the next best player. I am not sure how Smith-Schuster’s personality is going to fit with Bill Belichick though.
The New York Jets signed Allen Lazard to a four-year $44 million contract. This signing is hilarious because it is clear that they are just doing what Aaron Rodgers wants. Rodgers made it clear that he wanted to play for the Jets and that the Green Bay Packers should trade him. The Jets obviously want to make him happy, so they are going out and trying to sign all of his favorite players. Rodgers is probably going to the Jets, but since the trade isn’t official yet, I am not going to comment.
The Baltimore Ravens gave quarterback Lamar Jackson the non-exclusive franchise tag. This whole situation is really confusing because it seems like nobody wants Jackson even though he is a top five quarterback in the NFL.
Orlando Brown left the reigning Super Bowl champions to sign a four-year $64 million contract with the Cincinnati Bengals. Every team in the NFL should be very scared. If they get a good offensive line in front of Joe Burrow, their offense is going to be unstoppable.
The Denver Broncos signed offensive guard Ben Powers to a four-year $52 million contract and offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey to a five-year $87.5 million contract. That is a lot of money spent on the offensive line. The McGlinchey deal in particular is interesting considering he is not worth that money. I have no idea what the Broncos are doing.
The Raiders had a terrible season last year. So they released quarterback Derek Carr. It looked like they had a chance at Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, but it quickly became clear that that was not going to happen. Instead they signed Jimmy Garopolo to a three-year $72.75 million contract. They basically just replaced mediocre quarterback play with mediocre quarterback play. I am not a fan of this move, but I don’t think the Raiders have a lot of other options.
The New York Giants signed quarterback Daniel Jones to a four-year $160 million deal. As a Washington Commanders fan, I am laughing because I do not think Jones is worth that contract. He is clearly just abusing the quarterback market. To put it into context, his average salary is $40 million, which is right behind quarterback Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills at $43 million. Allen is a top five quarterback in the NFL. Jones is like maybe top 15. They aren’t close at all in terms of talent. The Giants, however, did make a good move when they traded for Darren Waller. All it took was a third-round pick to get a top five tight end in the NFL.
The Commanders signed Daron Payne to a four-year $90 million contract. This is a terrible move in my opinion. It is a lot of money for a guy who has had double digit sacks once in his career. Also the Commanders are now paying two defensive tackles a ton of money. It seems illogical.
The Chicago Bears absolutely fleeced the Carolina Panthers when they traded the number one overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft. They got the ninth overall pick and 61st overall pick in this year’s draft, as well as a first round pick in next year’s draft and a second round pick in 2025. Last but not least, they also got wide receiver DJ Moore, who is a Pro Bowl caliber receiver. I understand the Panthers really need a quarterback but this is a lot to move up to number one. The Bears didn’t stop there as they signed Tremaine Edmunds to a four-year $72 million contract and T.J Edwards to a three-year $19.5 million contract. That is a lot of money for two linebackers. It is some aggressive spending that is fun but also I am not sure that is going to pan out within two years.
Since Drew Brees retired, the New Orleans Saints have been searching for a quarterback. They thought it was Jameis Winston and then Andy Dalton. Neither of them worked out so they instead signed the former Raider Carr to a four-year $150 million contract. I am also not a fan of this one because, like Jones, Carr is working the quarterback market. He knows that he is better than all the other options so teams that need a quarterback have to overpay for him. It’s definitely a lot of money for an average quarterback, but the Saints do not really have another option.