A look at some of the offseason moves we liked the most
The 2023 NFL offseason saw a variety of activities from teams throughout the league. Some clubs took big chances in the crucial moments, while others played it safe to save money. Now that the summer is winding down and clubs are getting ready for training camp, we’re ready to predict whose offseason purchases will pay off the most in 2023.
The following are the moves we’re really excited about for the coming year:
Aaron Rodgers to the Jets
Not much bigger than this they don’t get. Before boasting once more about the Jets’ chances to win the Super Bowl, Coach Robert Saleh should make sure the offensive line is strengthened, but Rodgers’ movement to Tampa from 2020 is eerily similar to Tom Brady’s move there. The veteran Packers quarterback is an obvious upgrade at quarterback, even if he isn’t back to MVP form, and New York has elite weapons and defensive support. The Jets should at the very least make the playoffs for the first time in 13 years if A-Rod is standing.
Bryce Young to the Panthers
Although it may seem difficult, many people have messed up the first overall pick in the draught. In Carolina, where Young offers everything but the prototypical size for a quarterback, this author does not believe that to be the case. Does he anticipate growing pains? Sure. By the time his rookie season is really started, the Alabama product should be a clear step up from the trail of wreckage that was Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, and Cam Newton 2.0 because he exudes a veteran’s level of poise. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to get a playoff bid in Year 1.
Frank Reich to the Panthers
In a way, he and Young are a package deal here. Even if Reich taking over the staff would have made the QB a worthwhile top choice, the fact that they are collaborating makes Carolina even more fascinating. Reich is as level-headed as they come, making him the perfect tutor for the new signal-caller, despite the fact that he only managed one playoff victory during his tenure as the Colts’ head coach from 2018 to 2022. His roster for the Panthers should be competitive from the start.
Sean Payton to the Broncos
To point out Payton as an acquisition that made a difference feels almost like a standard response. In fact, given how infrequently his regular-season domination resulted in postseason success towards the end of his Saints career, we’re almost hesitant to hail him as Denver’s saviour. However, this team arguably couldn’t have found a coach more qualified to lead a Russell Wilson comeback and/or a culture revival. He competes in a competitive division, but whether this year or the following, his clear-cut strategy should make them competitive once more.
Brian Flores to the Vikings
He might not have the same immediate effect as, say, Vic Fangio with the Dolphins. That’s because Minnesota, unlike Miami, didn’t exactly conduct its summer operations as if it were preparing a championship run in 2023, opting to part with expensive veterans instead of welcome them. Flores, however, signals a complete philosophical change for the Vikings “D,” which in 2022 stood back and let rival offences control games. He should foster an aggressive mindset that at the very least keeps opponents on their toes.
C.J. Gardner-Johnson to the Lions
We would still applaud the move even if the former Eagles safety had been replaced by newcomer Brian Branch from Alabama or fellow acquisition Cameron Sutton. Detroit, of course, prioritises adaptability and physicality in its secondary, which is the common thread. Gardner-Johnson epitomises a fiery player, seizing the chance to provoke opponents while hawking the ball from a variety of positions. Although he may just be a one-year rental, he showed with Philadelphia that he can be a game-changer, and he is a perfect fit for the Lions.
D’Andre Swift and Rashaad Penny to the Eagles
Call them the bargain pair. The defending NFC champions took Swift off the hands of the Lions and signed Penny to a one-year, prove-it contract in free agency rather than paying Miles Sanders to return as their top ball carrier. Both veterans have shown outstanding breakaway talent, however neither has been very healthy throughout his career. They have a definite road to effective, explosive productivity in Philadelphia when working together with Jalen Hurts and returning backs Boston Scott and Kenny Gainwell.
Javon Hargrave to the 49ers
Given that Nick Bosa was already the star of San Francisco’s front off the edge, it is questionable if they needed to spend big money on another defensive lineman. However, it doesn’t follow that Hargrave won’t work on their interior. In spells with the Steelers and Eagles, he transitioned from being reliable to disruptive, and now he’ll play on the best defence of his career, in front of Fred Warner and close to Bosa. If he competes with someone like Chris Jones of the Chiefs as the top interior terrorizer in 2023, it wouldn’t be at all unexpected.
Stephon Gilmore to the Cowboys
trade acquisition of a peer Another solid contender for success in 2023 is Brandin Cooks, who will play CeeDee Lamb’s opposite in Dallas. But given that Dan Quinn’s group has recently served as the core of America’s Team, Gilmore might be joining an even stronger group. The former All-Pro should feel much more at comfortable playing opposite playmaker Trevon Diggs than he did with the Panthers and Colts in 2021–2022, when expectation was frequently placed on him to act as the lone star cover man on the outside.