Biggest moves of 2023 NFL season so far

Joe Corvino, The Delphi Staff

NFL teams could officially start trades for the 2023 season at 4 pm on March 15. Since then, many teams have made good moves and others, not so much. 

First off, while it’s not confirmed as of this writing, Aaron Rodgers going to the Jets was one of many debated trades. At the end of the 2022 season, one thought was on everyone’s mind: where will Rodgers go, and how will he play with a new squad? Aaron Rodgers has been the face of the Green Bay Packers for over a decade now. 

This trade is a smart move for both teams. The Jets pick up a veteran quarterback to lead a star-studded young team as they prepare to attempt a Super Bowl run, and the Packers free up a lot of cap space among whatever draft picks and players the Packers will receive once the trades are confirmed. 

Another major move this offseason so far has been the Carolina Panthers trading up for the number one pick in the draft.

This trade turns the Panthers into an entirely different team. Obtaining a young, solid quarterback to build around in the coming years is exactly what the Panthers franchise needs. But who will they draft? With such a loaded QB class in this year’s draft, it’s difficult to say, but the obvious front runner is Ohio State’s quarterback C.J. Stroud who’s been labeled as first overall potential since he was in high school. 

On the other hand, do the Panthers take the physically impressive Anthony Richardson from Florida, who posted insane numbers at the combine including a 4.43 second 40-yard dash, a 40.5 inch vert and a 10 foot nine inch long jump. 

While, C.J. Stroud proved in college that he can most likely step in day one and make a big impact on the team, Anthony Richardson shows raw talent similar to Cam Newton. He’s big, weighing in at 244 pounds at six foot four inches, he’s fast with a 4.43 40 and he can throw the deep ball. He has the physical attributes of an immediate starter, but the question remains on whether this will translate onto the gridiron or not. 

The Panthers have officially entered rebuild mode now that this trade has been confirmed. In order to get the 1st overall pick into their possession, they had to give up a lot to the Bears, including star WR D.J. Moore. While Moore might seem like a lot to give up, the Panthers also gave the Bears two first-round picks, including the ninth overall selection, and two second round picks. 

Both parties benefit from this trade. While the Panthers had to give up a lot for the first overall pick, a solid young quarterback is exactly what they need to get back into playoff contention. The same goes for the Bears. They receive a stud WR on top of four early draft picks, which is perfect for the Bears to put up a fight in the NFC North after Aaron Rodgers’ departure. 

A not so smart deal this offseason would be Lamar Jackson getting franchise-tagged. This was a brilliant move for the Ravens showing Lamar that other teams aren’t going to offer him the ridiculous amount of money he’s requesting either. The Ravens will match whatever contract Jackson is offered, but they won’t offer him a high-money, long-term contract like he wants. 

This situation has not been a smart move on Jackson’s part. If he took the initial 150 million dollar contract he was offered previous to the 2022 season, he would be making a lot more money than he’s going to receive from any future deals he’ll be offered, which is genius for the Ravens because its a win-win either way. If Lamar leaves, they free up cap room and remove his toxic personality from the locker room. If he stays, the Ravens will pay him less than he was initially offered and they still keep a stud quarterback. 

With these huge trades so early into this year’s NFL “season,” it’s definitely going to be a year fans don’t want to miss: new faces on new teams, the 2023 draft approaching and new teams emerging as frontrunners for the postseason.

The NFL draft is Thursday April 27. Make sure to tune in to see who each team drafts.