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Inside the Huddle: Early NFL offseason grades

Welcome back! It has been too long since my last column for you guys, but I am back and better than ever with some early looks at the NFL’s offseason moves. A lot has happened, so without wasting any more time, let’s hop in.

Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams return to Green Bay

Yvonne Tang / DFP Staff

OK, if any of you seriously thought Rodgers was leaving Green Bay, you’re either a Bears, Vikings or Lions fan — or you’re just delusional. While the Packers won’t have the exact same roster as last season, Rodgers knows his easiest path to the Super Bowl is still in the NFC North alongside star wide receiver Davante Adams and two talented running backs in Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. 

Packers Grade: A-

Russell Wilson gets traded to Denver

Now, this was definitely a shock. We knew the Broncos were in the market for a quarterback, but the fact they actually pulled off a trade for one of this generation’s best is still crazy to me. Wilson instantly makes the Broncos one of the more intriguing teams in the AFC, albeit in the toughest division in the NFL. The Seahawks also got a nice haul in return for Russ, headlined by the number nine overall pick in this year’s draft and promising young tight end Noah Fant. The Hawks should be set up well to either rebuild over the next few years or even trade the picks for another quarterback *cough* Deshaun Watson *cough*. 

Broncos Grade: A

Seahawks Grade: B+

Tom Brady un-retires

So… yeah, that happened. I’m not going to lie, I initially thought the reports of him retiring were false, but after confirming his retirement on social media, Brady has now announced that he will be back on the field in 2022. This is obviously a huge win for Tampa Bay, which has little to no QB talent behind the future hall-of-famer. Plus, now that Brady is back, you can expect Rob Gronkowski and the rest of the team to come back too.

Buccaneers Grade: A+

Brady Family Grade: F


Amari Cooper to Cleveland

Cooper got shipped out of Dallas for a… *checks notes* fifth-round pick? I mean, that’s just absurd. I know he’s getting paid a lot at $20 million, but this is still a guy who had three 1,000+ yard seasons in the last four years. While I don’t love Cooper’s potential in a run-centric offense in Cleveland, the Browns got him for basically nothing.

Browns Grade: B+

Cowboys Grade: D

The Jaguars overpay for Christian Kirk and Zay Jones

First off, I actually really like Kirk. I think he’s uber-talented in the slot and can burn defenders with ease. But a four-year, $84 million deal is pretty insane for a guy who has yet to record 1,000 receiving yards in a season. Zay Jones was also brought in for a three-year, $30 million contract, but much like Kirk has yet to be a consistent producer at the NFL level. Both of them could easily show out in 2022, but even if they put up elite years, will their contracts be justified?

Jaguars Grade: C+

Kirk’s and Jones’s Agent Grade: A+

Chargers bolster defense with Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson

How do you improve a team that had a bottom-half defense in 2021? Why not add two of the league’s best at their respective positions. Khalil Mack may not be the same Khalil Mack of old, but he still ranks among the best in pressure rate in the NFL and is a clear upgrade over anybody else the Chargers had last year. But the even better get might be J.C. Jackson, who has secured an absurd 25 interceptions in just four seasons. Jackson is one the league’s few true shutdown corners, and is a huge acquisition for a Chargers defense that struggled to get opposing offenses off the field last season. $17 million is a good chunk of change, but Jackson is *that* good.

Chargers Grade: A-

Washington gets its QB

The newly-named Commanders went into the 2022 offseason with quite a few needs, but the most glaring was at the quarterback spot. Well, they certainly solved it with their trade for Carson Wentz! If you couldn’t already tell, I’m 100% kidding. Wentz was awful last season in Indianapolis, and hasn’t been good since his near-MVP season in 2017. I really hope Washington still snags a QB in the draft this year, because while Wentz is a bad option for 2022, his long-term outlook is even worse. Yeah, they got him for only a couple of third-round picks, but they also picked up his entire contract. So who’s the real loser?

Commanders Grade: C-

Colts Grade: A

That’s all the major moves (so far), but here are some quick grades about some other moves I thought were interesting but didn’t get to write about. 

Russell Gage to Tampa Bay: B+

Alex Cappa to Cincinnati: A

Mitchell Trubisky to Pittsburgh: C+

Marcus Williams to Baltimore: A-

Haason Reddick to Philadelphia: B

Chase Edmonds to Miami: A-

Brandon Scherff to Jacksonville: A-

Randy Gregory to Dal- oh whoops, I mean Denver: B+

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