NFL trades and free agency: rumored and confirmed

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By Vihaan Majumdar

With the new League Year opening up, let’s take a look at the latest personnel news:

Quarterbacks on the move

  • Russell Wilson has got the trade he wanted. The Seahawks have gone into full rebuild mode, receiving two 1st round picks, two 2nd round picks, and a 5th round pick, along with QB Drew Lock, TE Noah Fant, and DL Shelby Harris, while additionally parting ways with a 4th round pick.
  • The Indianapolis Colts will have a new Week 1 starting quarterback after they traded away QB Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders, in exchange for a 3rd round pick in 2022 and a conditional 3rd pick that could morph into a 2nd rounder should Wentz play 70% of the snaps. The Commanders will also pick up his entire $28.294 cap hit, leaving them with less $5 million left in cap space. The Colts, on the other hand, will enter the league year with the most cap space in the league, at around $70 million.
  • Mitchell Trubisky will be Ben Rothlesberger’s successor, getting a 2 year contract worth up to $27 million.
  • Aaron Rodgers signed a 4 year, $200 million deal that officially makes him the highest paid player in the history of the NFL. This comes after months of speculation that he would seek a trade away. 
  • Deshaun Watson will have a new home in Cleveland, at the expense of 3 first round picks, a 3rd round pick, and a 4th round pick. This came as a major reversal, as the Browns were initially informed that they were out of the race for Watson.
  • After a brief standoff, the Browns will honor Baker Mayfield’s request for a trade, following the signing of Watson, with the Colts looking increasingly likely to be Mayfield’s new team

Huge Defensive reshuffles

  • J.C. Jackson will be heading to the Chargers, after the Patriots refused to submit to his wage demands. He snags a 5 year, $82.5 million contract.
  • Khalil Mack will join Jackson in LA, in exchange for 2022 2nd and 6th round picks. This headlines what has been a good window so far for the Chargers, who have locked down soon-to-be free agent WR Mike Williams for another 4 years.
  • Von Miller has found a new home in Buffalo, snagging a huge 6 year, $120 million deal. The former All-Pro joins a defensive influx that includes DTs Tim Settle, Daquan Jones, and Jordan Phillips. Former 1st round pick Shaq Lawson makes his return in the blue and white as well.
  • Chandler Jones will wear black for the foreseeable future, after he signed a 3 year, $51 million contract with the Las Vegas Raiders.
  • A return to the Browns seems unlikely for former first overall pick Jadaveon Clowney, who just came off a strong 9 sack season. With a bidding war in the making, it’s likely that Cleveland will not come out on top.
  • Bobby Wagner will hit the open market after being released by the Seahawks, with the 49ers, Rams, and Cardinals all interested in buying his services.

Wide Receivers a Plenty

  • Amari Cooper has found a new home in Cleveland, at the expense of a 5th and 6th round pick. He’ll replace Jarvis Landry, who will hit the open market after being released by the Browns.
  • Cole Beasley will need to find a new home after he was cut by the Bills. This comes after Beasley failed to find a trade partner following an average season marred with off-field controversy surrounding his refusal to get vaccinated.
  • DK Metcalf may possibly have played his last game in a Seahawks jersey. He’s set for a huge cap hit in 2023, which likely would force his departure next year. With the Seahawks seemingly in full rebuild, it doesn’t make sense to have a star like him be there for half the process.
  • Aaron Rodgers will have to find a new favorite target after the Packers traded Davante Adams to the Raiders, in exchange for their 1st and 2nd round picks. Adams’s contract, 5 years and $142 million, makes the highest paid non-quarterback in the league.

Special Teams

  • Consistently inconsistent former All-Pro kicker Greg Zeurlein will not represent the Cowboys anymore after successive average seasons. However, expect to see him play in the upcoming season.
  • The Rams will have a new face handling punt duties after they released the ever-reliable, trick play-loving Johnny Hekker, after a decade.