The NFL Offseason Was Active: Here’s What You Missed

Jam-packed with blockbuster trades, retirements and even the creation of new rules, the NFL offseason saw quite a bit of change.

Tom Brady announced his retirement during the 2022 playoffs, but then reversed his decision in March. According to ESPN, Brady will be returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to take care of “unfinished business.”

Unlike Brady, other tenured quarterbacks will be following through with their retirements, including 18-season Pittsburgh Steeler Ben Roethlisberger and Ryan Fitzpatrick, the starting quarterback for nine different teams throughout his 17-season career.

As for trades in the quarterback department, the Colts once again filled their starting spot with a new acquisition, Matt Ryan, who will be the Colts’ fifth starting quarterback in the past five seasons. Former Colts quarterback Carson Wentz will be joining the Washington Commanders.

Despite Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ continued frustration with the Packers management, he will remain with the team for the upcoming season. Rodgers will be missing a key wide offensive target, however, given that star wide receiver Devante Adams has declined all contract offers from the Packers. Adams will instead be playing for the Las Vegas Raiders after signing a five year deal for $30 million a season, according to ESPN.

As for other news in the AFC West, the Denver Broncos signed a deal with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, after seasons of struggling to fill the position permanently. The acquisition of Wilson will put the Broncos in the running for playoffs, but they will first have to compete with rising talent in their division, particularly against the Raiders and the Chiefs.

Former Houston Texan Deshaun Watson took a trade offer which sent him to the Cleveland Browns after sitting out for almost the entirety of the 2021-2022 season due to legal issues. Watson is facing 22 allegations of sexual assault and sexual misconduct, resulting in the NFL suspending Watson for the first 11 weeks of the 2022-2023 season and a $5 million fine, according to The New York Times.

Many quarterbacks will be looking at new offensive targets this season. Wide receiver A.J. Brown will join the Philadelphia Eagles on a four-year contract, and the team hopes for him to put up big yardage for young quarterback Jalen Hurts. Former Baltimore Raven Marquise Brown is headed to the Arizona Cardinals to play alongside a fellow Oklahoma Sooner Kyler Murray. Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper will join the Cleveland Browns. Potentially playing alongside Watson, the Browns need a veteran receiver to make up for the loss of both wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry.

The Miami Dolphins have added an array of new receivers for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, including Jaylen Waddle, Tyreek Hill and Cedrick Wilson Jr. The team also rostered Raheen Mostert, Chase Edmonds and Sony Michel as running backs for the upcoming seasons. Armed with former San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel as their new head coach, the team has a positive outlook going into the season, according to USA Today News.

Additionally, Brian Flores, the former head coach of the Miami Dolphins, filed a lawsuit against the NFL, targeting the Broncos, Giants and Dolphins for racial discrimination. The case led to the institution of a guideline known as the “Rooney Rule,” which requires all teams to have a person of color on the coaching staff.

Another new guideline introduced in the NFL during the offseason ensures at least one possession for both teams in postseason overtime games, after the controversial overtime result of the Chiefs vs. Bills game in the 2022 playoffs.

ESPN preseason rankings suggest the Buffalo Bills will be the toughest team to beat. The Bills offense is expected to continue to shine with top-rated quarterback Josh Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs, as well as an efficient offensive line. Putting on a show at training camps, the team is a force to be reckoned with in the league this season.

After an eventful offseason, numerous teams appear to have improved, which will make for an exciting, competitive and intense upcoming season.