The Biggest Moves In NFL Free Agency

In a game that is constantly changing, the latest NFL off-season shakeup is among the most interesting in years.

Faith Miller, Staff writer

NFL free agency officially started on March 15th, 2023. By this date, all NFL teams must have been under the salary cap, which was set at $224.8 million dollars. Many groundbreaking moves have already been made, and the NFL is already shaken up by it. From franchise quarterbacks getting moved, to stellar defenses being created, let’s take a look at some of the best and worst moves so far.


Aaron Rodgers: Grade A-

One of the biggest questions this offseason has been officially answered. Aaron Rodgers is set to be traded to the New York Jets. The Jets are now real playoff contenders, you could even argue a deep playoff run is in store for next year. Rodgers still has a lot left in the tank and has the potential to lead the Jets offense to greatness. Looks like all Rodgers needed was some darkness to find his new home in New York.


Jimmy Garoppolo: Grade B

With Derek Carr off to the New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas was in need of a quarterback. That got fixed when they signed Jimmy Garoppolo to a contract worth around $72 million this free agency. Garopollo has proven to be a good quarterback, leading the 2020 49ers to the Super Bowl, and holding down the fort in New England during Tom Brady’s 2016 suspension. We will see how well he does coming back from injury, but the Raiders have faith that Jimmy G will light up Vegas a bit more.


Darren Waller: Grade B

The Giants acquired tight end Darren Waller from the Las Vegas Raiders. This is a fantastic move. Darren Waller is going to be a monster weapon for Daniel Jones this season. Waller was outstanding in 2019 and 2020 but was faced with injuries the next two seasons. When he’s healthy, he is among the best tight ends in the league, and is a number one weapon for any quarterback. He will shine in Brian Daboll’s offense and prove he will not be slowing down anytime soon.


Javon Hargrave: Grade A

Defensive lineman Javon Hargrave was arguably the top free agent this season. The defensive lineman has been a top dog for years. He was a big reason the Eagles run defense and pass rushing was so dominant He had 11 sacks and 60 combined tackles this past season. With the 49ers defense already being such a dominant force, adding Hargrave is taking them to the next level of scary. It will be exciting to see Nick Bosa and Hargrave on the same line. San Francisco has real potential next year, and their defense is going to be one of, if not the, best.


Jalen Ramsey: Grade B+

On day one of free agency Jalen Ramsey was signed by the Miami Dolphins. Ramsey has been one of the most elite cornerbacks in the past five years. This isn’t Ramsey’s first time switching teams. He was traded from Jacksonville in 2019, and shined with the Rams. With Miami’s defense, Ramsey should have a great career going forward. 


Juju Smith-Schuster: Grade C

The New England Patriots have signed Juju Smith-Schuster to a three-year $33 million deal. This is a surprising pick. The Patriots let go of Jakobi Myers, who was one of their top receivers, in favor of Smith-Schuster. Smith-Schuster has been a good number-two receiver, but when he had to be a number-one, his stats dropped. He is a hardworking guy, and under Bill Belichick, he might rise to expectations, and fill that number-one role.


There will be more moves ahead and during the draft, but most of the big ones have been made. We now have to wait and see who gets drafted and what teams will be looking for in potential players. The offs-eason is a wild ride, and as teams get stronger — and the league gets harder — football will be even better.