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Ranking the best trades of the 2022 NFL offseason, from Russell Wilson of the Broncos to Tyreek Hill of the Dolphins

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There’s a lot left to play for the 2022 NFL season, at least for most teams. the playoff picture takes shape, and shortly the race for the Lombardi Trophy will be launched. But some clubs are already eyeing the offseason, where they could have a chance to rejuvenate their roster with splashy moves. Speaking of which, how did the biggest deals of spring and summer pay off this fall and winter? Which teams should be proud of their bets and which might be regrettable?

We’re glad you asked. Let’s review some of the best trades from the 2022 offseason and re-rank them based on current results:

Russell Wilson traded to the Broncos

Yeah. The proper assessment is likely “incomplete” pending a new coaching staff, which seems inevitable as Denver enters Week 16 at 4-10 with one of the worst offenses in the league. NFL. But even Wilson’s relocation skeptics haven’t engineered such a bad scenario. The ex-Seahawks star looked a bit sharper before he suffered a recent head injury, but overall he’s been sluggish, slow to release the ball and painfully inaccurate for much of the game. ‘year. Even if a new caller and a healthier supporting cast arrive in 2023, he may have to become the QB he never was as his trademark mobility wanes. The Broncos reclaimed a first-round pick by dealing Bradley Chubb this year, but they’re basically tied to Wilson for at least two more years due to the massive contract they handed him when he arrived; it cannot be cut without costing the team millions until 2024.

Upgrade: D

Deshaun Watson traded to Browns

QC Deshaun Watson (Texas), sixth-round pick

Three first rounds, third rounds, two fourth rounds

Like Wilson, “incomplete” is probably the true mark as 2022 was never going to be a good intro for the embattled ex-Texans. But even if you loved his smooth pocket passer game at the start of his career, he will enter 2023, aged 28, having played around 0.5 seasons in the last three years. Not only that, but Cleveland’s resources are being decimated as a result of pickaxes making their way to its land; The Browns are without first-round picks in each of the next two years, and the most important pieces of their roster — the trenches on both sides of the ball — are increasingly ripe for reinforcements. Is there a scenario where he’s a top-10 borderline passer again? Maybe. But in what offense, and for which coach, and how far in his lucrative contract? And we haven’t even touched on the ever-present shadow his alleged off-court misconduct has cast on the organization.

Upgrade: D

Matt Ryan traded to the Colts

This is one of the more unique failures on the list for several reasons: No. 1, it cannot be completely decoupled from the Carson Wentz the trade, which later paid for Ryan’s arrival by winning a third round; and no. 2, Ryan’s crumbling behind a shaky line could finally be the boost that convinces team leaders to shut down the veteran QB carousel and invest in development options. So yes, it was a bad move in terms of 2022: It did anything but hasten the firing of Frank Reich and left Indy unable to compete for a hugely winnable division. But overall, Ryan didn’t cost a fortune, it was always going to be a one- or two-year lease, and his flop could well lead to a needed offensive reset, exposing bigger flaws in team building. . Maybe it even gives them too much credit.

Upgrade: D+

Carson Wentz traded to COs

QB Carson Wentz (Colts), second-round pick, seventh round

Second round, third round, third round conditional

Everyone went wild on Washington the minute this one fell, mostly because the Colts basically broadcast their intentions to move on and still forced COs to drop a pair of potential picks for the second day. And the cost has, indeed, a proven steep slope: the current starter Taylor Heinicke isn’t much better, but the fact that it’s even comparable to Wentz begs the question, why give up so much – and pay over $30 million – for a negligible upgrade? We appreciate their interest in the Wentz upside, and they can easily get out of the QB contract after 2022, but in retrospect, using capital and money for a veteran like Jimmy Garoppolo or Gardner Minshew could have kept them in the playoff hunt.

Upgrade: D+

Tyreek Hill traded to the Dolphins

WR Tireek Hill (Chiefs)

First round picks, second round, two fourth rounds, sixth round

His claims about wanting and having to leave Kansas City may be ridiculous, but he certainly proved false to anyone who doubted his ability to post video game numbers with an inferior QB. Few players have had a more tangible impact on improving their respective caller. And Hill definitely – sometimes single-handedly – raised Tua Tagovailoa in a solid QB game. The only real issue here is wondering what the Dolphins’ ceiling is with Tagovailoa, whose deep, off-script accuracy remains unclear. With just three picks in the first five rounds of the 2023 draft — and no first round — thanks to Hill’s price tag, they’re betting the “Cheetah” will continue to lead the offense alongside him. Jaylen Waddle.

Upgrade: A-

Davante Adams traded to the Raiders

Much like Hill in Miami, Adams has been his explosive old self in Las Vegas, even with a demotion to QB. And so the cost has basically already justified itself: Even turning almost 30, with a huge salary, Adams remains one of the most stable weapons in his position, proving anything but QB-proof as a No. 1 target . The critical point, again, is more in the overall team spirit: what’s the ceiling for the Raiders with this current setup? Upcoming changes to the QB and/or head coach wouldn’t be so shocking. Adams’ great acquisition is therefore only marred by the lack of clarity in the rest of the organization.

Upgrade: A-

AJ Brown traded to Eagles

Few movements have done more for the trajectory of an organization than this one here. Jalen hurts is an MVP favorite for more than one reason — unlike, say, Tagovailoa, he’s uniquely capable of creating on his own, especially on the court. But the Eagles QB became a bona fide celebrity largely because of Brown. When the ex-Titans star isn’t dominating midfield or gaining depth, his commanding presence opens up avenues for DeVonta Smith. Best of all, it’s both younger (25) and cheaper than other big-name business acquisitions in its position (Adams and Hill), making it one of the most impressive building blocks of a well-rounded competitor.

Upgrade: A+

Marquise Brown traded to Cardinals

“Hollywood” made its Hollywood debut in Arizona, legitimately replacing DeAndre Hopkins like a no. 1 threat with 38 catches for 417 yards and three scores in his first five games. It turned out too good to be true. Brown is still a solid longer-term option at 25 with elite speed, but a foot injury robbed him of nearly half the season, and he’s now struggling with lingering durability issues/ intermittent in three of his four seasons in the NFL. It’s reminiscent of a larger issue in Arizona, where the team failed to properly add reliable development elements around QB Kyler Murray. His performance in 2023, a contract year, will determine a lot.

Upgrade: VS

Amari Cooper traded to the Browns

The Browns have major question marks at some of the most important positions – QB, OL, DL – but if not for Cooper, their offense might have really sunk this year. The racing game remains the driving force in Cleveland, but its presence as a dependable road runner has given up Jacoby Brisset a safety valve and will presumably equip Deshaun Watson with the same for at least a few years. The main reason Dallas dumped him for very little was his $20 million-a-year price tag, but that now looks like a bargain considering he’s tied with five others as the 10th-most player. best paid in the game, barely earning more than the guys. . as brandin cooks, Michael Thomas and Kenny Golladay. At 28, for such a small acquisition cost, he was more than helpful.

Upgrade: A-

Khalil Mack traded to Chargers

It’s been a little while since Mack really terrorized opposing QBs as a game wrecker, and his numbers (45 tackles, 7.0 sacks, 10 QB hits) haven’t been particularly showy during his first year as Charger. But with Joey Bosa sidelined for much of the year, his strength and experience have helped Brandon Staley’s team stay afloat and, lately, improve to a playoff-caliber unit. He will become much more expensive in 2023, when he owes more than $27 million, but LA can walk out of the deal without major ramifications. And with an immediate playoff run in mind, it’s not the worst thing in the world to overpay for a proven pass thrower down the stretch.

Upgrade: B

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