This isn’t a cheesy unnecessary sequel to a movie. Right before free agency, I wrote about how crazy the offseason had already been. Little did I know, how much crazier it was about to get. A lot more crazy things happened after we published the first part of this article.
One of the first things I mentioned last time around was Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger’s retirements. Well, SURPRISE! No retirement for Brady. He announced on March 13th that he was returning from retirement. He’s returning to look to extend his multitude of NFL records. However, his coach, Bruce Arians decided to retire. Since Brady’s announcement, the rumor mill has been swirling about a potential trade to the Dolphins. New Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniels used the term “fake news” to describe the rumor. Is it actually fake news or is this something being considered by Dolphins? If the trade is going to happen, my best guess is it will be before the draft so the Buccaneers can draft a replacement. The Steelers, however, appear to have found their replacement in Mitchell Tribusky. Tribusky played for the Bears and has failed to match the performance of his fellow 2017 quarterback draft class members DeShaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes.
There have been several big-time trades since my last article. The biggest being the one that broke hearts in Chiefs Kingdom, and that is Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins. The Chiefs traded Hill to the Dolphins in exchange for a plethora of draft picks, including a first-round selection. In addition to the Tyreek Hill trade, the Texans traded DeShaun Watson to the Browns after he missed the 2021 season due to off-the-field issues. Due to that trade, Baker Mayfield is looking for a new team. As of writing this article, the Browns have yet to trade or release him. Another quarterback that was traded was Matt Ryan who had spent the last 14 seasons with the Falcons. He was traded to the Colts on March 21st after the Colts quarterback last season, Carson Wentz, was traded to the Commanders. One of the Chiefs’ biggest rivals was a part of a massive trade as well. The Raiders received Davante Adams in a trade with the Packers giving Derek Carr a new weapon.
The defending AFC Champions improved their biggest weakness from 2021. The Bengals will have a new-look offensive line after giving up 19 sacks in their playoff run. They first signed Alex Cappa and Ted Karras. Cappa was a member of the Buccaneers Super Bowl LV champion team, while Karras won two Super Bowls with the Patriots. Their most recent offensive lineman signing was La’el Collins from the Cowboys. Will this new offensive line help the Bengals repeat as AFC Champions? A retooled offensive line wasn’t enough for the Chiefs to make it back to the Super Bowl.
Bobby Wagner has been consistently near or at the top of the league in tackles his entire career and is undoubtedly a future Hall of Famer. However, he appears to have fallen victim to a rebuild in Seattle that has already seen the likes of Russell Wilson be traded and rumors of DK Metcalf and/or Tyler Lockett being traded as well. Wagner was released by the Seahawks on March 9. Two weeks later, he would sign with the defending champion Rams.
Wagner was not the only future Hall of Fame linebacker to change teams though. Von Miller signed with the Buffalo Bills on March 16th. Despite Miller being days away from turning 33 at the time of his signing, the contract was for 6 years and it’s pretty uncommon for linebackers to play into their late 30s.
In addition to trading for Davante Adams, the Raiders also signed Chandler Jones. Chandler Jones is 2nd among active players in sacks. Besides the money, one thing that might have attracted Jones to the Raiders is that his brother, Jon “Bones” Jones, is a fighter in the UFC, which frequently holds events in Las Vegas. With these changes, the Raiders have a strong shot of returning to the playoffs.
Our beloved Chiefs have been pretty silent so far this offseason. However, they have made some under-the-radar transactions. Tyreek Hill’s trade freed up some cap room. Additionally, the Chiefs signed Justin Reid, who is expected to replace Tyrann Mathieu in the likely event he doesn’t return to the team. The Chiefs also signed, in an attempt to minimize the impact losing Tyreek Hill will have, Juju Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. The Chiefs also have signed a couple of players likely for depth and potentially special teams in Deon Bush and Jermaine Carter, though Carter could compete for the starting spot left by the release of Anthony Hitchens. The Chiefs also brought back Austin Reiter.
There’s been a lot happening in the NFL recently. Will I have to write a Part III? I didn’t expect to need to write a Part II, so who knows. Stay tuned.