The NFL offseason is finally here, and with that comes the most exciting time, free agency. This years’ free agency has been one of the most exciting in recent memory, likely due to the Rams team building philosophy. There’s lots of trades to break down, and this will be part one of an article series doing just that. That being said, let’s break down some of the big trades that have happened so far this year.
Carson Wentz: Colts 🠮 Commanders
Colts Receive: 2023 3rd round (conditional), 2022 2nd round, 2022 3rd round
The Colts took a risk by trading for Wentz in the first place, and it didn’t pay off. He wasn’t terrible for them and posted average numbers, but he wasn’t going to be at the same level as he was in 2017 like they might have thought. His trade value tanked this season, but they were able to get decent value back. What seems to be customary when trading Wentz is including a conditional pick based on playing time, which is a good idea by the Colts. They also were able to land Matt Ryan with the third round pick, which somehow is an upgrade over Wentz. The Colts are looking to make the playoffs this next year, and in a loaded AFC should be doing anything to help put them on top.
Commanders Receive: Carson Wentz, 2023 2nd round, 2022 3rd round, 2022 2nd round
I don’t think that many people including Washington believe that Carson Wentz will be the Commanders’ long term option at quarterback. Commander Carson is a slightly above average QB and is an upgrade from Taylor Heinicke, but I’d be surprised if he’s their long term answer. What mostly likely will happen is that they’ll take a more developmental QB this year, or roll with Wentz until the 2023 draft. Carson should be a decent starting QB until they figure out the future of their franchise. This was a good amount of capital to give up for a bridge quarterback however. As for the playoffs, I could see him leading the Commanders to the playoffs in a fairly weak NFC.
Grade: Colts: B , Commanders: C+
Amari Cooper: Cowboys 🠮 Browns
Cowboys Receive: 2022 5th round, 2022 6th round
This was one of those situations where the Cowboys didn’t have much choice but to trade Cooper. The Cowboys made some questionable decisions in this trade, and basically chose Gallup over Cooper. Granted, Gallup was a little cheaper, but a receiver coming off an ACL injury is going to take a while to get back to normal. Gallup didn’t have the same level of production that Cooper did in Dallas, so this move was pretty bad. Their receiver corps got much weaker with the loss of Cooper and Cedrick Wilson. I wouldn’t expect much more than a first round exit next season for the Cowboys.
Browns Receive: Amari Cooper, 2022 6th round
This was a pretty great deal on the Browns’ part. They were able to trade for a top 10 receiver talent for little draft capital, despite having to pay his salary. Trading for Cooper might have been what lured Deshaun Watson to town to ultimately want to be a Brown. After releasing Jarvis Landry this offseason, the Browns’ WR room doesn’t have much depth. Trading for Cooper was almost necessary, as I don’t think Donovan Peoples-Jones can be a WR1.
Grade: Cowboys: C, Browns: B+
Khalil Mack: Bears 🠮 Chargers
Bears Receive: 2022 2nd round, 2023 6th round
This trade was certainly a bit unexpected, but it was likely in response to the AFC West getting loaded with talent in free agency. This is the second time Mack has been traded, the first being from the Raiders to the Bears in 2018. It’s the start of a new regime in Chicago under GM Ryan Poles, and I think a mini rebuild for them is necessary. The picks that they acquired aren’t amazing, but with a roster with holes, something is better than nothing. His trade value did heavily tank, mostly due to injury, but Chicago got some value back, and doesn’t have to pay for him anymore.
Chargers Receive: Khalil Mack
Now back in the AFCW, Mack gets to play on a defense that is probably the most improved this offseason. The Chargers are looking to take the division throne from the Chiefs this season, and Mack gives them the pass rush help to do so. He isn’t 100% what he used to be, but should still make an impact on this defense. With some high flying offenses within the division, defense will likely be the deciding factor in who wins the division title. I think this was a great move for the Chargers, they have the cap space to pay him, and can capitalize on Justin Herbert’s rookie contract.