2023 NFL free agency: Winners, losers from Tuesday’s moves

While the NFL world waits for the official announcement of Aaron Rodgers joining the Jets, let’s take a look at some of the winners and losers from Tuesday’s free agency news:


Everyone Aaron Rodgers has ever played with: Allen Lazard would be a nice addition to the Jets in a vacuum, but it would be a very good addition given the expectation that Rodgers will join his former Packers wide receiver with the Jets soon enough. Many of Lazar’s best plays in Green Bay were improvised between him and Rogers. Lazar’s excellent blocking should also help the Jets keep the game on the perimeter.

Giving Lazard $44 million over four years is a small bonus for playing a role player, but such a move is a violation that almost done makes to put it on top. Don’t be surprised if Corey Davis gets cut to make room or if the teams call about Elijah Moore. (Although I would leave Moore because Rogers could have used a great receiver slot, or any a slot receiver whose name is not Randall Cobb.)

Other potential names on Rodgers’ wishlist (according to ESPN’s Dianna Russini), including Cobb, Marcedus Lewis and Odell Beckham, don’t make sense given the Jets lineup. They must be willing to spend the remaining cap space on the depth of the line on both sides of the ball.

Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn: I love the secondary Cowboys. The return of underrated safety Donovan Wilson and the trade for Stephon Gilmore shows the Cowboys want to keep their defense versatile and dangerous. Once known for his defense of the zone, Quinn has grown into one of the most creative game planners in the game. It’s fair to expect Gilmour to line up against Trevon Diggs next year.

32-year-old Gilmour, despite his age, played last season for the Colts at an outstanding level. This suggests the Cowboys committed to paying him (and keeping linebacker Leighton Vander Ashe) before adding another pass catcher for Dak Prescott, though signing Odell Beckham or bringing back Dalton Schultz could still be on the table. .

Chances of Daniel Jones to fulfill a new contract: The addition of Darren Waller is a start; this may not be the end of the giants’ search for new weapons. Acquiring Waller in exchange for the 100th pick of the 2023 NFL Draft is a great low-risk, high-reward gambit. Waller was electrified from 2019 to 2020, but his performance has been slowed by injuries in the past two years. He will now be the Giants’ most talented pass catcher.

If the 30-year-old Waller can’t stay healthy, the Giants can walk away from him with no problem with the salary cap after this season. His contract can be handled if he gets used to the new environment. The Giants have done a good job of franchising Saquon Barkley and keeping Sterling Shepard along with the Waller trade, but it looks like they have one or two more moves to bolster their extensive receiving team.

Colts salary cap space: Stephon Gilmour was a great signing for the Colts last season. So why did they trade him to the Cowboys for a fifth-round compensatory pick? Either they’re clearing the way for a big name (LAMAR?), given that Matt Ryan’s release would still leave them $18 million dead moneyor they just don’t see the point in paying an aging quarterback a year they don’t compete for the Super Bowl. Let’s hope for the first option, because it’s more fun.


Raider Masterplan: In September, the Raiders signed Darren Waller to a major contract. Josh McDaniels said two weeks ago that “Waller will be a big part of what we do going forward.”

On the one hand, their decision to trade Waller to the Giants isn’t a complete shock, because NFL Network insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported last November that the Packers were discussing trading Waller at last season’s trade deadline, just over a few weeks after he signed the contract. this is an extension. On the other hand, they essentially traded Waller for the 100th pick in the draft. Basically, it was a pay cut.

I like the Raiders’ signing of Jacobi Meyers on Tuesday as a low-risk move to add depth to the receiving group. But the Waller deal raises questions about how the organization operates. Who was in favor of giving Waller an extension before the coaching staff (hired last offseason) saw him play in the regular season? It looks like what you would see if ownership and front office weren’t on the same page.

As the McDaniels era dawns in Las Vegas, he and CEO Dave Ziegler need to find new versions of “their guys.” Getting rid of the old guys and bringing in the guys they’ve known since the New England days isn’t enough.

Recipients hoping to get rich: Jacobi Meyers and Allen Lazard liberated the wide receiver market with fair deals that would earn them $11 million a season. Unlike what happened to receivers in previous years, positional shortages didn’t push their prices past what they were worth, which is bad news for the broadest companies left in the market like Juju Smith-Shuster, DJ Chark and, yes , Odell Beckham. .

Eagle haters: Yes, the Eagles had a lot of free agents in my top 100. They lost their cut, but they also kept Jason Kelsey, Brandon Graham and James Bradberry, and the cornerback agreed to a deal that included a guaranteed $20 million. It’s a fair deal for both sides, and the Eagles are showing which positions they value most after letting linebackers T.J. Edwards and Keesir White go.

Signing a contract with Rashaad Penny is also fun. He’s a more dynamic clean runner than Miles Sanders, even if Penny’s injury history is a risky bet.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter.


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