As ever, the NFL offseason threw up a multitude of surprises as teams frantically prepared their rosters for the start of the regular season.
With the trade deadline having closed and the regular season starting in just two days, we take a look at some of the very best trades that have everyone talking ahead of the 2023 NFL season.
5) Brandin Cooks, Wide Receiver – Houston Texans to Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys were in desperate need of another wide receiver after last year’s over-reliance on CeeDee Lamb and the loss of Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns prior to the 2022 season.
They addressed this with the addition of Cooks, a player who spent the last three seasons with the Houston Texans following stops with the Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints.
Cooks, 29, has produced for every team he’s played for, finishing with 1,000 receiving yards in six of his nine seasons and has scored a total of 51 touchdowns.
The Cowboys also got him for a relative steal, sending the 161st overall selection in this year’s draft and a 2024 sixth-round pick to the Texans in exchange for the receiver. Dallas also managed to convince his former team to cover $6 million of his $18 million salary in 2023.
With Cooks on the roster, quarterback Dak Prescott has even more offensive weapons to throw to in 2023.
4) Jalen Ramsey, Cornerback – Los Angeles Rams to Miami Dolphins
When news broke that the Los Angeles Rams were willing to listen to offers for Jalen Ramsey, you felt the star cornerback would fetch a high price.
— Decyfr Sport (@DecyfrSport) March 13, 2023
The Rams had to settle for the 77th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and tight end Hunter Long, as Ramsey only wanted the Miami Dolphins.
The final trade package included assets the Dolphins were far more comfortable giving up in return for one of the best in the league, and to make an acquisition that gives them arguably the NFL’s best cornerback pairing – as Ramsey will lineup alongside Xavien Howard.
This partnership will have to wait a little longer than expected, though, as it was announced that Ramsey is expected to miss a substantial chunk of the season with a knee injury that required surgery.
3) Darren Waller, Tight End – Las Vegas Raiders to New York Giants
Last season, the New York Giants’ starting tight end was fourth-round rookie Daniel Bellinger, making the position an obvious area in need of strengthening. And New York have done just that with the acquisition of Darren Waller from the Las Vegas Raiders.
When healthy, Waller is one of the top tight ends in the league but, after struggling with injury, has started just 17 games over the last two seasons.
Just one year ago, the Raiders handed Waller a three-year, $51 million deal, but it seemed they were no longer willing to rely on the injury-stricken tight end to consistently produce at a high level for a full season.
Because of this, the deal comes with a certain amount of risk for the Giants, who sent the Raiders a 2023 third-round draft pick.
They know that without a healthy Waller, they will be, once again, heavily reliant on Bellinger. However, if they manage to keep their star tight end healthy, who knows what kind of numbers Daniel Jones could produce this year.
2) D.J. Moore, Wide Receiver – Carolina Panthers to Chicago Bears
The Carolina Panthers gave up their best receiver, D.J. Moore, in order to acquire the number one overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
As well as sending More to the Chicago Bears, they also traded the ninth and 61st overall picks in this year’s draft, their 2024 first-round pick, and a 2025 second-round pick, to select Alabama quarterback, Bryce Young.
Despite trading for Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Chase Claypool last season, the Bears’ offense desperately needed more talent, which made this offer incredibly attractive to Chicago – and made the new-look Bears offense even more dangerous.
— Decyfr Sport (@DecyfrSport) August 29, 2023
1) Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback – Green Bay Packers to New York Jets
It’s hard to argue that any trade made this offseason would have a more immediate impact than the New York Jets decision to acquire quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Seeing a Green Bay Packers team without Rodgers will take some getting used to, but it makes him, and his new team, immediate Super Bowl contenders – something they haven’t been for quite some time.
BREAKING: Aaron Rodgers, along with the 15th pick in the draft and a 5th-round pick, has been traded to the New York Jets in exchange for the 13th pick, a 2023 2nd-round pick, a 6th-round pick and a conditional 2024 2nd-round pick
— Decyfr Sport (@DecyfrSport) April 24, 2023
However, this deal came at a huge price for the Jets, as they sent their 2023 first-round pick to the Packers, along with the 42nd and 207th overall picks in this year’s draft, and a conditional second-round pick that is likely to convert into a first-rounder in 2024.
However, it’s also a no-brainer for the Jets. Not only does Rodgers represent an upgrade at the most important position on the field, but he should also serve as a mentor to Zach Wilson, who New York drafted in 2021 with the intention of him becoming their franchise quarterback, who has struggled so far in his NFL career.
At the age of 39, Rodgers may not have many years of high-quality play left, which makes this deal dependent on immediate success – something that fans know he is incredibly capable of achieving.
Munich and Frankfurt Games Unlike Anything the Country Has “Ever Seen Before”, Says NFL Germany MD, Alexander Steinforth
For the First Time Since ‘99, Tom Brady’s Not in the NFL – So Who Can Become this Generation’s ‘GOAT’?
What the signing of Odell Beckham Jr. means for the Ravens, their quarterback – and the New York Jets