With the regular season right around the corner, it is very likely that the blockbuster moves are done for the off-season. Despite this, the 2023 offseason has been one of the most eventful in recent history. Two quarterbacks inked deals that made them the highest-paid players in the league. Along with this, a handful of teams were extremely active in free agency and the draft. There were three moves that stood out amongst the rest as the best of the offseason.
The best move of the offseason was the New York Jets making a blockbuster deal that landed them four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers. Last season, the Jets were one of the most promising teams in the league. They have an extremely young core, and their defensive unit was elite.
Despite this, they still missed the postseason mainly as a result of their lackluster offense. While the offensive unit was able to stay afloat while rookie running back Breece Hall was taking the league by storm, once his season ended early with an injury, New York’s offensive attack went stagnant. This fell on the shoulders of quarterback Zach Wilson who finished the season completing 54.5% of his passes and also had a touchdown to interception ratio of .86.
With Rodgers now on the team, the Jets are capable of making a Super Bowl run. While the team will have to mesh quickly for this to happen, they have the talent to win it all. New York was very confident in Rodgers being capable of leading them to the promised land. Despite holding a fair amount of leverage in the negotiations, they still gave up a considerable amount of draft capital for what could end up being one season of Rodgers being on the team.
The Jets would end up giving up the 13th, 42nd, and 207th overall picks in the 2023 draft, and a 2024 second-round pick that will become a first-round pick if Rodgers plays in 65% of the Jets’ snaps. In return, they would receive Rodgers and the 15th and 170th overall picks in the 2023 draft. While they may have given up a bit more than necessary, this was arguably the biggest move in franchise history for New York, and they now find themselves with a real chance for a Super Bowl run this season.
The next best move of the 2023 offseason was the Detroit Lions making moves in free agency to bulk up their defense. Through the second half of the 2022 season, the Lions were one of the top offensive teams in the league, however, at times, their defense struggled to keep teams out of games.
As a result of this, the Lions’ front office was very active in free agency to patch the holes in their defense. They would sign both C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Cameron Sutton. These moves would give Detroit a very respectable cornerback room, which was a large position of need heading into the 2023 season. If their passing game is able to click as well as it did in 2022, teams will have no choice but to go to the air to try to keep pace with the Lions. However, with Gardner-Johnson and Sutton blanketing the opposing team’s top two receivers, this could be a very tall task. In response to the improvements that Detroit made over the offseason, many sportsbooks are now listing the Lions as the favorites to win the NFC North over the Minnesota Vikings.
The final top-tier move of the offseason was the trade that landed the Miami Dolphins Jalen Ramsey. The Miami Dolphins are another team with an elite passing game. With the duo of Tyreek Hill and Jaylin Waddle projected to set the league ablaze again in 2023, teams will be desperate to match Miami’s air raid.
However, with the duo of Xavien Howard and Ramsey waiting for them, this will be much easier said than done. While Ramsey will hit 29 years of age in the 2023 season and has regressed a bit, he is still one of the best corners the league has to offer. Along with this, the Dolphins did not give up much to add the six-time Pro Bowler to their team. The deal sent a third-round pick and tight end Hunter Long to the Los Angeles Rams, and in return, Miami would receive the three-time All-Pro corner.
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