The NFL’s free agency period is coming to a close, and most players have been scooped up by a team at this point. Still, players like Odell Beckham and Bobby Wagner have yet to sign with a team, but they will. Here are how some of the free agency signings will affect their teams.
!! DISCLAIMER !! Trades will not be included in this article, only free agents that changed teams.
QB Derek Carr —> New Orleans Saints: One of the first dominoes to fall this year, this move is like taking $150 million and giving it to me to play quarterback. Carr will lead the Saints to maybe 10 or 11 wins at most, but we will win the same amount of Super Bowls. 0.
QB Jimmy Garoppolo —> Las Vegas Raiders: Copy and paste the Derek Carr entry here.
LB Eric Kendricks —> Los Angeles Chargers: Kendricks will provide a great locker room presence and have a big on-field role for a Chargers team lacking severely at the LB position. Kendricks’ play dropped off a bit last year for the Vikings, but there is still some gas left in the tank for the 31-year-old linebacker.
LB Tremaine Edmunds —> Chicago Bears: As one linebacker leaves the NFC North, another takes his place. Edmunds, despite entering his sixth season in the league, is still only 24 years old and has a lot of good football ahead of him. All of their moves considered, the Bears are starting to worry me just a little bit.
S/CB Chauncey Gardner-Johnson —> Detroit Lions: Staying in the NFC North, the Lions added the NFL’s interception leader from the 2022-23 season on a one-year, $8 million deal. The Lions get their DeShon Elliot replacement with CGJ, and he will be a versatile player for Lions’ DC Aaron Glenn.
WR Adam Thielen —> Carolina Panthers: In the weirdest move of the off-season, Thielen proved that he just wanted to chase the bag, and the 32-year-old receiver failed to even do that right. In an offseason where Jakobi Meyers and Juju got 3-year, $33 million deals, Thielen got a 3-year, $25 million deal from the worst team in the NFL. I’m confused.
QB Baker Mayfield —> Tampa Bay Buccaneers: If Mayfield wears #17 again, his career will be over. That number was so ugly on him. As for the signing itself, this is the best place Mayfield could have signed, and the best QB the Bucs could have signed. I don’t think this makes them contenders or anything, but there is definitely upside for both parties here.
QB Sam Darnold —> San Francisco 49ers: While we’re still talking about QB’s getting their last chance, here’s Sam Darnold signing with the QB factory. I’m sure he will ball out while he has the chance, but he will be swept under the rug once Trey Lance or Brock Purdy are fully healthy, if he even gets a chance.
LB David Long —> Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins got a steal with this one. Long quietly made his presence felt for the Titans a season ago, and his PFF grade indicated that he is a top-15 LB. He is great against the run, where the Dolphins desperately need help. A great signing for Miami.
S Jessie Bates III —> Atlanta Falcons: Bates had a relative down year in 2022-23, but he still got PAID this offseason. The Falcons are in the middle of a rebuild, but clearly had money to burn, giving Bates a 4-year, $84 million deal, making him the fourth highest paid safety in the NFL, behind only Derwin James, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Jamal Adams.
WR Jakobi Meyers —> Las Vegas Raiders: As mentioned before, Meyers cashed in with a 3-year, $33 million deal. It’s weird, Meyers made one of the worst plays of all time against the Raiders, but they still were adamant in signing him. I think Davante Adams might be out the door, but if he is not, Meyers should have a productive season as a no. 2.
T Orlando Brown Jr. —> Cincinnati Bengals: I have no idea how this guy keeps getting paid. Bro is just robbing the Bengals blind. Burrow will be buried and the Bengals are trending down right now. I just don’t like this signing for the amount of money he’s getting paid.
T Mike McGlinchey —> Denver Broncos: Offensive line was not the Broncos’ biggest problem a season ago, but McGlinchey should help QB Russell Wilson bounce back from his atrocious season in 22-23. Billy Turner sucked last year, so McGlinchey will be a definite upgrade.
TE Dalton Schultz —> Houston Texans: Since Jordan Akins caught the touchdown and two point conversion that cost them the no. one pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, they decided to replace him with the top free agent tight end on a one year deal. The Texans will be taking a QB in the draft, and Schultz will provide a nice safety blanket for Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud or Anthony Richardson.
WR Allen Lazard —> New York Jets: If not for Aaron Rodgers requesting to be a part of the New York Jets, this would be a massive overpay. The 4-year, $44 million deal is a rich deal for a receiver of Lazard’s caliber. This deal’s value hinges on Aaron Rodgers’ potential arrival, which still hasn’t happened yet. Weird.
RB Miles Sanders —> Carolina Panthers: After losing a surprise star RB in D’Onta Foreman, the Panthers added the guy who ruined my Super Bowl parlay. Sanders had a career year in 2022-23, posting nearly 1300 yards and 11 touchdowns, which definitely helped him secure the 4 year deal from Carolina.
LB Kyzir White —> Arizona Cardinals: White was a great surprise for the Super Bowl runner-ups, and got a nice 2 year, $10 million dollar deal from the Cardinals, so that means he will probably retire in a few years.
Free agency is not over yet, and I left out all of the Vikings signings, you can read about those at https://www.msureporter.com/2023/03/16/kwesi-deserves-the-nobel-peace-prize/.
Some of the top remaining free agents include:
LB Bobby Wagner
WR Odell Beckham Jr.
LB Lavonte David
EDGE Jadeveon Clowney
G Dalton Risner
CB Marcus Peters
WR D.J. Chark Jr.
T Isaiah Wynn
EDGE Yannick Ngakuoe
I hope the Vikings sign them all. Skol.
Write to Hayden Lee at Hayden.Lee@my.smsu.edu
Header Photo: Who even cares that David Montgomery signed with the Lions? And is Odell Beckham even relevant anymore? (ESPN)