Top 8 NFL big-name trades, free agency signings that will dramatically change the 2022 season

By Caroline Meuller

The 2022 NFL offseason has been arguably the most eventful in the last few years.

It seems that every day there is a new big-name trade or free agency signing that could potentially alter the trajectory of multiple teams this upcoming season.

In no particular order, here are eight of the craziest, unexpected and season-changing moves of the offseason thus far.

Tyreek Hill traded to the Dolphins

The Chiefs traded their all-star wide receiver to Miami on Wednesday in exchange for five draft picks, including two in the 2023 draft.

Hill signed a four year contract worth $120 million with $72.2 million guaranteed. This is the second major offensive move by the Dolphins this offseason including the addition of wide receiver Cedrick Wilson, their chances of winning the Superbowl increased from 70-1 to 40-1 following the trade.

Hill to the Dolphins makes an unexpected dynamic offense including rookie record setter Jaylen Waddle, the only question is if quarterback Tua Tagovailoa can use these assets to his advantage. 

Davantae Adams traded to the Raiders

Davante Adams is now the highest paid wide receiver in the NFL having signed a record breaking extension with Las Vegas at five years and $141 million.

In return for Adams, Green Bay received two draft picks including a No. 22 in the first round. In the 2021 season, Adams had 1,553 receiving yards and 123 receptions.

He now gets to reunite with his college quarterback Derek Carr, who has longed for a go-to receiver.

Adams will join Darrell Walker and Hunter Renfrow on this Vegas offense, who also made a blockbuster move in signing pass rusher Chandler Jones. 

Von Miller signs with the Bills

Free agent Von Miller agreed to a six-year, $120 million contract with the Buffalo Bills on Wednesday, March 16. Despite the Bills’ huge investment in defensive ends in the previous two selections, Miller is already the team’s greatest pass rusher with his postseason pass rush win rate of 41.5%.

In the last two years, Buffalo has spent two second-round picks and one first-round pick on the position, but has lacked a player that opposing offenses needed to look out for.

Khalil Mack traded to the Chargers

The Bears have agreed to trade Mack to Los Angeles in exchange for a second round pick in the upcoming draft, as well as a sixth round pick in 2023.

The Chargers are assuming his remaining salary of three years at $63.9 million, an arguably small price to pay for such an elite player (disregarding last season).

LA had a clear need for edge rushers and filled it with this transaction, Mack will team up with Pro Bowl pass rusher Joey Bosa to go after three outstanding quarterbacks in the AFC West: Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs, Derek Carr of the Raiders, and new Bronco Russell Wilson.

Russell Wilson traded to the Broncos

After much negotiation, the Denver Broncos have agreed to transfer a major package of players and draft picks to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson, in one of the biggest trades in NFL history.

The Broncos gave Seattle quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Noah Fant and defensive lineman Shelby Harris along with multiple draft picks in both the 2022 and 2023 NFL draft.

Since losing their franchise quarterback Peyton Manning, this trade gives Denver the star quarterback they’ve longed for.

Wilson will join a Broncos club led by first time head coach Nathaniel Hackett, and an offense composed of wide receivers Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, and KJ Hamler, tight end Albert Okwuegbunam, and running back Javonte Williams.

The Broncos’ Super Bowl odds have improved from 25-1 to 12-1.

Amari Cooper traded to the Browns

In a trade with the Dallas Cowboys, the Browns acquired veteran wide receiver Amari Cooper in return for their 2022 fifth-round pick and a swap of 2022 sixth-round picks.

Over seven years, Cooper has totaled 7,076 receiving yards, 517 receptions and 46 touchdowns since being the fourth overall pick in the 2015 draft.

Most of Cooper’s $20 million salary for next season was converted into a signing bonus, and his deal was extended by two years.

Despite coming off a subpar season in which he caught just 68 catches for 865 yards and eight touchdowns, Cooper automatically strengthens a Browns receiving group that could be without Jarvis Landry and is down to Donovan Peoples-Jones and Anthony Schwartz.

Matt Ryan traded to the Colts

Legendary Atlanta QB Matt Ryan is leaving the Falcon’s after 14 seasons as the franchise quarterback.

When the Colts acquired Ryan, they changed his deal, converting $12 million into a signing bonus, guaranteeing his base salaries of $12.7 in 2022 and $19.2 in 2023, as well as the $10 million roster bonus he’ll receive in 2023.

In exchange for Ryan, Atlanta received a third-round draft pick from the Colts, hopefully put to good use in finding a new starter.

The 36-year-old former league MVP is still at peak performance, his consistency sets him apart from his Indy predecessors.

While Ryan fell just short of the 4,000-yard barrier this season (ending with 3,968), he had done so for the previous ten years in a row. The addition of “Matty Ice” makes the Colts real AFC contenders as Indianapolis has finally reconstructed their roster with their biggest issue solved.

J.C. Jackson signs with the Chargers

The Chargers continue with an aggressive approach to the offseason, following the Khalil Mack trade they signed top cornerback in free agency J.C. Jackson.

ESPN reported that Los Angeles signed Jackson to a five year, $82.5 million contract with $40 million guaranteed.

Recording eight-plus interceptions in each of the last two seasons and leading the league with 23 pass breakups last season, Jackson has more than proved himself as one of the best cover cornerbacks in the NFL in the last two seasons.

The league is changing by the day, and with one month left to the draft we are sure to see even more drastic plays.

Honorable mention to Carson Wentz going to the newly branded Washington Commanders; even though signing Wentz is equivalent to flushing $28.2 million down the toilet, he is arguably one of the better quarterbacks this organization has seen since RG3. Seeming to follow in their footsteps is the Saints who signed QB Andy Dalton on Tuesday, begging the question “he’s still in the league?”. 

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