NFL stars were on the move in 2023 offseason: Who is gearing up for a new team?
The NFL offseason saw a handful of big moves in which star players were traded to different teams or signed with a new organization to help further their careers and hopefully make an impact.
The obvious ones drew all of the attention – Aaron Rodgers going to the New York Jets for one. And then there were some acquisitions that fell under the radar and fans will certainly be scratching their heads thinking to themselves, “Oh, that guy plays there now?”
Before Week 1 kicks off, read below to catch up on some of the big offseason moves and which players will be donning unfamiliar jerseys.
Aaron Rodgers was a 10-time Pro Bowler, four-time MVP and a Super Bowl winner with the Green Bay Packers. He was traded to the New York Jets in the offseason and will be commanding the new-look Jets offense.
Derek Carr played nine seasons with the Las Vegas Raiders, helping the team to one playoff appearance. He nearly beat the Cincinnati Bengals in the process. But his run came to an end before the 2022 season was complete. He signed a four-year deal with the New Orleans Saints in the offseason.
One of the bigger questions in the offseason was where Dalvin Cook was going to land. The Minnesota Vikings didn’t end up trading him and the four-time Pro Bowler sat on the free-agent market a bit before a team swept in and signed him. Of course, it was the Jets. He’ll be splitting time with the emerging talent the team has in the backfield.
DeAndre Hopkins got one of his wishes to come true this offseason and was released by the Arizona Cardinals. Nearly two months later, he signed a two-deal with the Tennessee Titans. He will be another weapon for Ryan Tannehill to throw to during the year.
One of the trades that seemingly flew under the radar was the New York Giants’ acquisition of Darren Waller from the Raiders. Daniel Jones will now have a legitimate No. 1 receiving target. Waller was a Pro Bowler in one of the seasons he played for Las Vegas.
Baker Mayfield is getting another crack at a starting job in the NFL. After splitting time between the Carolina Panthers and Los Angeles Rams in 2022, he joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and won the starting job. He will serve as Tom Brady’s successor – at least for now.
Ezekiel Elliott’s time with the Dallas Cowboys ran out. Elliott saw his production decrease in 2022 as he rushed for 876 yards a year after going over 1,000 yards. His 12 touchdowns showed he can still be a reliable scorer, but he will be doing it for the New England Patriots this season.
Jimmy Garoppolo wasn’t supposed to play at all in his final season with the San Francisco 49ers last year. But he helped win games once Trey Lance was injured and put the 49ers in a good position before he himself suffered a season-ending injury. The 49ers traded Garoppolo to the Raiders. He will replace Carr in the position.
Javon Hargrave was among the anchors on the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense last season. In 2023, he will be lining up for the San Francisco 49ers. Hargrave had a career-high 11 sacks last year to go along with 60 tackles. He was a Pro Bowler in 2021.
D.J. Moore found himself a part of a trade package that landed the Carolina Panthers the No. 1 overall pick before the draft. Moore will be a weapon for Justin Fields, who is entering his third season with the Chicago Bears. Moore had 63 catches for 888 yards and a career-high seven touchdowns.
The Miami Dolphins got better on defense over the offseason. The team acquired Jalen Ramsey from the Rams in a surprising move. The cornerback has been a Pro Bowler in eight of his nine seasons. However, he will get a late start to the season as he suffered a torn meniscus in training camp.
Orlando Brown is going from protecting Patrick Mahomes to protecting Joe Burrow. After winning a Super Bowl last year with the Kansas City Chiefs, Brown signed a deal with the Cincinnati Bengals in the offseason. He’s made a Pro Bowl in each of the last four seasons.
Allen Lazard emerged as one of Aaron Rodgers’ top targets since he entered the league in 2018. He will be wearing a different shade of green in 2023, joining the Jets right before Rodgers did. Lazard had 60 catches on 100 targets last year. He had 788 receiving yards and six touchdowns.
JuJu Smith-Schuster made a name for himself with the Pittsburgh Steelers and played for the Chiefs last year, winning the Super Bowl. Smith-Schuster bet on himself and signed a three-year deal with the New England Patriots in the offseason. He will be a target for Mac Jones should he stay completely healthy.
Taylor Heinicke’s grit was on full display with the Washington Commanders. But as Sam Howell takes over, Heinicke tested the market and found a new team. He signed a two-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons. He had 1,859 passing yards and 12 touchdown passes in nine games last season. He was 5-3-1 as a starter in 2022.
Patrick Peterson will play his 13th NFL season with the Steelers. The eight-time Pro Bowler, three-time first-team All-Pro selection and member of the All-2010s Team signed a two-year deal with the Steelers. He spent the last two seasons with the Vikings and several years with the Arizona Cardinals before that.
Miles Sanders was a staple in the Philadelphia Eagles’ backfield for four seasons. But after missing out on a ring, Sanders and the Eagles parted ways. He signed with the Panthers in the offseason coming off his best season ever. He had 1,269 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns.
Marcus Mariota didn’t have a ceremonial sendoff from the Falcons. After a lost first season, the team decided to try out Desmond Ridder at the end. Mariota left the team, never to return. Instead, he will play the 2023 season with the Eagles and serve as the viable backup to Jalen Hurts.
Sam Darnold is on his third team since he entered the NFL in 2018. He joined the 49ers in the offseason after two years with the Panthers. Once the Panthers made it clear they were taking Bryce Young No. 1 overall, Darnold went to San Francisco. He competed for the backup job and won.