Updated: Mar 22, 2022
Several moves have dominated the NFL offseason. After trading Wilson to the Denver Broncos, the Seattle Seahawks got quite the haul. The Seahawks received quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Noah Fant, and defensive lineman Shelby Harris. Seattle also gets a first-round draft pick this season (9th overall) and next season and a third-round pick this season (40th overall) and next season. That was not the only big move this season, however.
The Las Vegas Raiders sent their first, and second-round draft picks to the Green Bay Packers to reunite college teammates Derek Carr and Davante Adams. The Packers get to stockpile picks, and the Raiders get the best wide receiver in football. The Buffalo Bills signed Von Miller to a six-year $120 million deal.
Those were three crucial deals, but others on balance could prove to be game-changers for their perspective teams. Here are three offseason deals that could prove pivotal to the success of the franchises which made them.
3. Russell Gage (Atlanta): To Tampa Bay
Russell Wilson was not the only Russell to find a new home this offseason. This past Friday, former Atlanta Falcon wide receiver Russell Gage signed with the Tampa Bay Buccanneers as a free agent. Gage, a sixth-round pick from LSU, had 66 receptions for 770 yards and four touchdowns.
Gage was recruited exclusively by returning quarterback Tom Brady and thought someone was pranking at first when Brady called him personally. The addition of Gage alongside pro bowl receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin makes Tampa have arguably the best receiving trio in the NFL. Godwin brings the speed, Evans is the 50/50 ball/ red-zone threat, and Gage is the chain mover.
Brady came back to try to win another Super Bowl, and Gage is the type of receiver he loves because Gage knows how to get open.
2. Alex Cappa (Tampa Bay) and Ted Karras (New England) to Cincinnati:
When the Bengals drafted Ja'Marr Chase over Penei Sewell, critics came out of the woodwork to slam the pick. Chase has developed into one of the best young receivers in the NFL, but Cincinnati had not solved their need to improve the offensive line.
This offseason, they solved that problem by signing Alex Cappa to a four-year $40 million contract. Cappa isn't Quinton Nelson but is an upgrade over every interior lineman the Bengals had last season and is rock solid; that is what Burrow needs. After signing Cappa, the Bengals signed Ted Karras away from the New England Patriots. Karras is a top-five guard who is going to play center after the release of Trey Hopkins.
1. J.C. Jackson (New England): Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers snagged one of the better defensive backs on the market in cornerback J.C. Jackson. Don't worry about Jackson being a scheme fit from New England; he's good enough to translate to Brandon Staley's cover one philosophies.
Jackson is an upgrade over Michael Davis, and Chris Harris, Jr. is on the other side of his prime and will cover the slot. Jackson forms a great duo with Asante Samuel, Jr., one of the better young defensive backs in the league. Like Samuels, Jackson excels at man coverage and gives Staley room to be creative with two great man-coverage corners.