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 is part two 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.
Shaq Mason: Patriots 🠮 Buccaneers
Patriots Receive: 2022 5th round
The Patriots have been known for trading players before giving them another contract, and this is no different. Mason has been a consistent part of their O-Line since joining the team in 2015, and now reunites with his former QB in Tampa. Replacing him in New England will be 5 year vet James Ferentz, who’s been on and off their practice squad in recent years. He’s started 6 games in 4 years as a Patriot and has some big shoes to fill now that Mason is gone. For a player of Mason’s stature the value they received back wasn’t much. This was a money saving move for the Pats, but with the departure of other offensive line in free agency, it’s not looking good when it comes to protecting Mac Jones.
Buccaneers Receive: Shaq Mason
The Bucs are receiving a solid guard that has many years of experience when it comes to protecting Brady. This is essentially their replacement for Alex Cappa, who left for the Bengals in free agency. They only had to give up a 5th rounder for a guard that has a lot of good football left in him. Protecting Brady is the Buccaneers’ priority considering his age, and Mason helps them to do just that. In 2020 he was the highest rated guard by PFF and earned a similar grade last year.
Grade: Patriots: D+, Buccaneers: A-
Davante Adams: Packers 🠮 Raiders
Packers Receive: 2022 1st round, 2022 2nd round
The Packers didn’t have much leverage over Adams and had no choice but to trade him. He notified that the team that he wasn’t going to play on the franchise tag, so they dealt him to the Raiders after contract negotiations fell through. The Packers lose their biggest weapon on offense and Aaron Rodgers favorite target. This leaves a massive hole for the Packers as they’re now without a true number one wide receiver. They got a good haul for Adams, but replacing him with one of those picks will be very tough. With the top free agents at WR off the market, it will be hard for the Packers to provide weapons for Aaron Rodgers.
Raiders Receive: Davante Adams
This was a solid trade for the Raiders all around. The only reason I didn’t grade it higher was due to the fact that they had to pay Adams a hefty amount as well. This was more of a luxury trade for the Raiders, as their offense has been good with Renfrow and Waller. Adams will now reunite with his former college QB with Carr, and should help improve their offense vastly. The Raiders haven’t hit on their recent first rounders, so they went the Rams route and got their guy.
Grade: Packers: D+, Raiders: B
Deshaun Watson: Texans 🠮 Browns
Texans Receive: 2022 1st round, 2023 1st round, 2024 1st round, 2023 3rd round, 2022 4th round, 2024 4th round
This is looking like a great deal for the Texans. After Watson sitting out all of 2021, they got a massive haul for one of the best young QBs in the league. They’re currently rebuilding so this was a great move to get some value back for their best player recently. They also benefitted from the fact that they didn’t have to give Watson the massive contract the Browns did. If they can use those picks to build a young core around Davis Mills, this trade will be even more of a win. They’re finally able to put this behind them and start a legitimate rebuild.
Browns Receive: Deshaun Watson, 2024 6th round
The Browns decided to massively upgrade at the most important position in football. Following the trend of trading many picks for a game changing QB, the Browns got one of the best young talents in the league. It’s still unknown whether he will be suspended by the league due to his legal issues, but they have him around for the long run. The only reason this trade wasn’t graded higher was the massive contract they gave him, and the fact that it’s all guaranteed. It’ll be interesting to see what they can get from former #1 overall pick Baker Mayfield, as Jacoby Brissett is expected to be Watson’s backup.