By Adam Sarsfield
The 2022 Free Agency period of the off season was full of unexpected moves and legends returning to football. On February 1, Tom Brady responded to leaked information that he was retiring by confirming the rumors and thanking his coaches, teammates, and fans for the support and love, but he said it was time for him to put the football down and watch from the sidelines. However, only a month after announcing his retirement, Tom Brady declared that he would return for the 2023 season, with many speculating that he hadn’t finished up his business with the NFL.
Aaron Rodgers’ contract expired, and there was much speculation on where he would end up, but he was able to re-sign with the Green Bay Packers for a 3-year $150M deal. This deal would make Rodgers the highest-paid player in NFL history. The next big move was a trade between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks. The trade was a huge move for the Broncos as they acquired Russel Wilson, a nine-time pro bowler and a 4th Rd pick, in exchange for Noah Fant(TE), Shelby Harris(DE), Drew Lock(QB), and three 2022 plus two 2023 draft picks. The infamous quarterback also got a massive deal after Deshaun Watson was traded to the Cleveland Browns and received a $230M contract for 5 years. The Houston Texans also got six draft picks over the next three drafts.
Moving past the quarterback position there were some top-tier wide receivers getting a major payday and a mediocre receiver getting a massively inflated contract. Starting with a player who is considered to be one of the top 5 receivers in the league, Davante Adams got traded to the Las Vegas Raiders, led by his former college teammate Derek Carr. Former Arizona Cardinal, Christian Kirk, received a 4-year $72M contract even with under 3,000 career receiving yards and only 17 touchdowns since his drafting in 2017. Ending off the receivers, the former Kansas City wideout, Tyreek Hill, got a $120M contract for 4 years with the Miami Dolphins.
Flipping the side of the ball, there were many huge trades/pickups of exceptional defensive players. Von Miller signed with the Buffalo Bills for a $120M 6-year contract and many believe that he will retire before his contract expires. Another move made by an LA team was the addition of Kalli Mack, a 1x DPOY winner to the Los Angeles Chargers for a 3-year $63.9M contract. Another trade by the Chargers, picking up the former New England Patriot cornerback, J.C. Jackson. These trades and pick-ups, complemented by all of the other moves in the NFL, created a major shift in Super Bowl odds and which teams are predicted to dominate the field.