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An overview of the wild 2023 NFL Free Agency

(Photo courtesy of “Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster signed with the Patriots this offseason.”

Tanner Hume
Connector Editor

The March 13th through 15th 2023 NFL Free Agency period has been one of chaos and futility. Moves happening left, right and center that it was near impossible to see what was happening at any given point. This will cover the bigger signings and trades that have occurred around the league within this time slot.

The Chicago Bears very obviously fluked their way to the first overall pick. With over $100 million in cap space they used that to their advantage; they explored options in shipping the first pick of the draft around until they came to a quarterback-needy team willing to trade for it. They shipped the first overall pick to the Carolina Panthers for the ninth overall pick, the 61st overall pick, a first round pick in 2024, a second-round pick in 2025 and top wide receiver D.J. Moore. This was a massive overpay by Carolina, but they needed a quarterback desperately so time will tell how this pans out.

After losing D.J. Moore and acquiring the first pick Carolina decided that they needed receivers. So, they went out and signed former Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (3y, $25 million) and D.J. Chark (1y, $10 million) to soften the blow. At least the new quarterback will have some reliable options.

The Patriots had massive issues with the offense last season and head coach Bill Belichick knew it. First, he signed a couple offensive lineman (Calvin Anderson 2y, $7 million; Reilly Reiff 1y, $5 million) to make sure quarterback Mac Jones doesn’t turn into Jell-O. Next, they brought in tight end Mike Gesicki (1y, $9 million) to compensate for the loss of tight end Jonnu Smith and to make sure tight end Hunter Henry isn’t the only capable one at the position.

But the big signing came in the form of “Mr. TikTok” himself, wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who signed with the Patriots after leaving the Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs. It is all but confirmed that Belichick will be doing at least one TikTok featuring “Corvette Corvette” at midfield as compensation.

Meanwhile in Raiders land, they searched for a new quarterback after releasing Derek Carr before the beginning of the offseason. What they got was Tom Brady’s protégé: Jimmy Garoppolo. He was paid handsomely too, getting a 3-year deal worth $72.75 million.

Then there was the question of what would happen to Derek Carr; the answer soon made itself known as the New Orleans Saints came into the picture. Carr chose the bayou on a four-year deal at $150 million. That much for a quarterback that could do nothing to get the Raiders up and running? Could be worse, but also could be a whole lot better.

There were a lot more signings than is allowed to be mentioned here, but let this small sample size serve as a lesson to all; never underestimate the chaos and carnage that can happen in NFL Free Agency. It simply is not worth the hustle. Someone please help this league.

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