The Off-season: The start of free agency



Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) prepares to throw during the first half against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Seattle. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Caleb Weiss, Staff

As we near the end of one NFL season and on our way to another in 2023, many teams and players are gearing up for the free agency period. Players with expiring contracts re-work and re-sign their existing contracts with their current teams, or they become free agents and try to find a new home with a different team. A big off-season for a team can easily shake up the NFL landscape and can bring that team from worst to first with only a couple of signings, or first to worst considering who gets signed away. But, with that being said let the madness begin:

Derek Carr signs with the Saints.

After a tumultuous 2022 season with the Las Vegas Raiders, Derek Carr was released from the team. With Bengals QB Joe Burrow unable to attend the Pro Bowl, Carr was named as his replacement while he was still a free agent, which awkwardly took place in Allegiant Stadium, the home of the Raiders. After the Super Bowl, Carr became one of the biggest free agents on the market. Many teams approached him with a potential deal, including the Jets, Saints, and Panthers. After speaking with many teams, Carr signed with the New Orleans Saints. His contract is a 4-year deal worth $150 million, making it $37.5 million buyout. Carr will likely become the starting quarterback as Andy Dalton becomes a free agent and Jameis Winston attempts to recover from lingering injuries.

Aaron Rodgers creates drama…again.

For what seems like the four billionth season in a row, Aaron Rodgers is unhappy with the Packers organization and is pondering either a trade or retirement. He decided to go into a darkness retreat to clear his head (whatever that means), promising a decision after he emerged into the light. He decided to take visits from teams around the NFL. The one who seems to be pushing the hardest is the New York Jets. For what seems like forever, the Jets have always struggled with mediocre quarterback play, and for a long time, the Jets was not a very good team to play on. But last year, the Jets proved themselves to be a young, developing team, and all they need is a quarterback. Personally, I think that Rodgers is, once again, creating drama and will likely end up staying with the Packers for another season before once again creating drama once the season is over.

Is there a potential Derrick Henry trade?

With the Tennessee Titans ending their nightmare season in which they started 7-3 and then proceeded to lose seven straight games, including the playoff clinching game in which they lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars, many people believe that the team is considering tanking.

If that is the case, one option the front office should consider is seeing what it can get from trading Derrick Henry, widely considered to be the best running back currently in the league. I believe a potential trading partner would be the Miami Dolphins. After having one of the most explosive offenses in the league last season, I believe that they would pursue even more offensive weapons to add to an offense led by Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill, and Jaylen Waddle. Adding Henry to the team could possibly put the Dolphins over the Buffalo Bills, their biggest division rival. However, after recently trading for cornerback Jalen Ramsey, will they be content or continue to shop and spend?

As with most off-season predictions, most are wrong and often end up going in a completely different direction that many people did not expect; therefore, do not ever expect a widely accepted prediction to come true. You can choose to follow the news of NFL experts such as Adam Schefter, Field Yates, or Ian Rapoport, but if you have faith in yours truly, keep checking out my column for the latest predictions and analysis of all things off-season related.