NFL free agency before the draft


NFL has another active free agency with more to come

Matt Mariani, Editor-In-Chief

Once again the NFL’s free agency was full of wild and surprising trades and signings. While the rumors are still around as not everyone has been signed yet and the draft still to come, it will be interesting to see where everyone lands. 

Everything started off with a blockbuster trade between the Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers. The Bears traded their first overall pick for wide receiver D.J. Moore, the ninth overall pick, a second round pick, a 2024 first round pick, and 2025 second round pick. The Dolphins then traded for defensive back Jalen Ramsey, giving up tight end Hunter Long and a third round pick. These two trades opened up the free agent window, where over 20 players were signed or resigned in the first two days. 

Teams began signing players on March 13 and many big name players went to new teams for fresh starts or to continue their already great careers. The 49ers signed defensive linemen Javon Hargrave on a 4 years, $84 million deal. Hargrave had 11.0 sacks on an Eagles team that went to the SuperBowl last season. The Raiders signed their hopeful quarterback of the future, Jimmy Garoppolo, to a 3 year, $67.5 million deal. Garoppolo has had an up and down career, reaching the SuperBowl in 2020 as a starter and winning 2 as a backup in 2015 and 2017 with the Patriots. 

Two Bengals defensive backs, Vonn Bell and Jessie Bates III signed big deals with two NFC South teams. Bell signed a 3 year deal with the Carolina Panthers and Bates III a 4 year deal with the Atlanta Falcons. The Chicago Bears have also made more splashes in this off-season signing multiple talented players. The signed linebacker Tremaine Edmunds to a 4 year, $72 million contract, quarterback P.J. Walker, running back D’onta Foreman, and tight end Robert Tonyan. These pieces will hopefully help quarterback Justin Fields and the Bears improve after a lackluster season, finishing 3-14 in 2022. 

While not a free agent signing, the New York Giants traded for pro bowl tight end Darren Waller from the Las Vegas Raiders. The Dallas Cowboys made two big trades, as well. Trading for wide receiver Brandin Cooks and defensive back Stephon Gilmore. Dallas also released running back Ezekiel Elliot after 7 seasons with the team. 

Some other big signings include SuperBowl champion Juju Smith-Schuster signing with the New England Patriots, as well as Mike Gesicki. Baker Mayfield signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The New York Jets signing Allen Lazard and Mecole Hardman. The Pittsburgh Steelers signing Patrick Peterson and the Baltimore Ravens signing Nelson Agholor. 

Some notable current free agents include Odell Beckham jr., Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan, Byron Jones, Bud Dupree, and Julio Jones.