NFL | Jul 04, 2023

Ranking the Best 2023 Offseason NFL Trades

By Harry Bazley

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As we approach the training camp phase of the 2023 NFL offseason, it's time we look back on the best trades of the year. We saw some of the biggest moves in NFL history, from future Hall of Fame quarterbacks to rising stars who are looking to make a name for themselves in a new city.

Today we'll be ranking our favourite trades, looking at the players we expect to make the biggest impact for the 2023 season.

12. Cameron Sutton to Detroit Lions

If there was one thing the Lions needed this offseason, it was to improve their talent at cornerback. And instead of eagerly paying out for a big name or someone with no more room for growth, they made a decision that will benefit them now and later.

Detroit managed to pick up Cameron Sutton, a promising young player who is only 28 years old and can still improve within Dan Campbell's roster. And the best part is that they got Sutton for a reasonable price of $11 million per year, tied for only the 17th highest wage in the club. The former Pittsburgh Steeler has a physical play style that fits well into Campbells scheme.

Expect great things from Sutton in the blue and white.

11. Allen Lazard to New York Jets

While they chased a trade for Aaron Rodgers, New York managed to sweeten the pot by picking up former Green Bay Packers wide receiver, Allen Lazard on a four-year, $44 million contract.

Lazard became a free agent after last season and unsurprisingly was on the prospect list Rodgers gave to New York before he made his move to the Big Apple. Not only are the Jets in need of some experience in the receiver corps, but with plenty of chemistry already there, the two former teammates are set to take New York's offense a long way.

The 6-foot-5 vet will be joining the likes of Garrett Wilson, the 2022-23 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, and slot receiver Elijah Moore, both of which have a lot they can learn from Lazard.

With two trades of this top 12 list (including the No.1 spot) I'm expecting the Jets to make a solid run at the playoffs this season, and the sportsbooks agree - putting them as the 7th favorites in the odds to win the 2024 Super Bowl.

10. Jakobi Meyers to Las Vegas Raiders

Depending on whether they decide to keep Hunter Renfrow, the Raiders could be absolutely stacked at receiver this season. Vegas now have All-Pro wideout Davante Adams leading the pack, with Jakobi Meyers and Renfrow backing him up at WR2 and 3 respectively.

After three straight 700-yard seasons with New England, Meyers was released into free agency and swiftly picked up by Dave Ziegler & Co. And with Jimmy Garoppolo now at the helm, Meyers should have plenty of shots to make a name for himself in Sin City.

9. Allen Robinson to Pittsburgh Steelers

The Los Angeles Rams went into recovery mode after their 2022 Super Bowl win. Sean McVay put everything on the line for a ring last year, and although it paid off, LA were left struggling as they lost major playmakers and quickly found themselves with an injury riddled offense.

In order to save cap space for now and later, the Rams offloaded Jalen Ramsey, Leonard Floyd, and Bobby Wagner, and the last step was to trade away Allen Robinson. Luckily for Pittsburgh, they didn't receive much attention for the 29 year-old wideout, and they managed to pick him up for peanuts.

Robinson may have failed to make a name for himself in LA, but with Matthew Stafford relentlessly targeting Cooper Kupp, he didn't exactly have a chance to make plays, and he also missed seven games with a foot fracture.

In order to offload Robinson’s salary, the Rams ate $10 million just to give him away for the Steelers 234th pick in the 2023 NFL draft.

Although he was a bust for the Rams, Robinson undoubtedly has the potential to make an impact with the Steelers and for the low low price of a seventh-round pick, there's really no way they can lose.

8. D'Andre Swift to Philadelphia Eagles

The hype of Philly's impressive draft day very much overshadowed their trade for D'Andre Swift. Sure, the Eagles picked up some top-tier defensive talent in the first round to make their already scary defense, even more terrifying. But adding Swift to one of the most dominant running teams in the league is just as notable.

Swift lost his job in Detroit after they selected Jahmyr Gibbs with the 12th overall pick, and with Miles Sanders walking in free agency, it was an easy decision for Philly GM Howie Roseman.

Although he struggled to handle more than a few runs and receptions with the Lions, Swift won't need to be a 3 or 4-down back in Philly, who also added Rashaad Penny to the roster this offseason. And it seems he's fully on board with that idea, saying he only wants “a piece of the puzzle” in the Eagles’ offense.

A big part of the puzzle missing for Philadelphia last season was the backfield’s receiving game, especially on screens, so Swift should make a big impact there.

7. Stephon Gilmore to Dallas Cowboys

Taking on an ageing player is always a risk in the NFL, but the experience and talent of a vet like Stephon Gilmore is a gamble any team should be willing to take.

Although Stephon Gilmore turns 33 later this year, Dallas jumped at the chance to add him to the roster, and only had to trade a 176th overall pick for him.

The Cowboys have been lacking a star corner, and the former Defensive Player of the Year should easily fill that role. Plus, without much talent at the position in the 2023 draft class, it was an easy choice to opt for a big name instead. Gilmore balances being a turnover machine and a great coverage defender on all 4 downs and will hopefully be more productive than his season in Indianapolis.

6. Darren Waller to New York Giants

The Giants had a pretty solid offense last season, but desperately needed to upgrade their receiver options this offseason (after all, you can only rely on Saquon Barkley for so long). With limited talent in the free agency pool, New York opted to steal Darren Waller from Vegas for their 100th overall pick.

Although he only played 20 games in the last 2 years, Waller has proven himself to be one of the top tight ends in the league when healthy. Brian Daboll probably wasn't too excited to make do with fourth-round pick Daniel Bellinger as his starting tight end last season, so this addition makes perfect sense.

The Giants still have a fair amount more to do if they want to compete at the highest level, and Waller is certainly a gamble on health, but if it pays off, quarterback Daniel Jones will have a lot more to work with.

5. Javon Hargrave to San Francisco 49ers

If having last season's top-rated defense wasn't enough, the 49ers picked up yet another monster on the line.

Javon Hargrave will earn $21 million annually, but just $6.6 million will hit the books in 2023 thanks to a smart manoeuvres from GM John Lynch.

The veteran DT logged 18.5 sacks over the last two years in Philly, and now joins Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead in what is potentially the best defensive line in the league. The rich just keep getting richer...

4. Brandin Cooks to Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys are back in the top 10 with another addition they desperately needed.

In a search to add some speed to the roster and a complement to Pro Bowler CeeDee Lamb, the Dallas Cowboys signed WR Brandin Cooks from the Houston Texans for a fifth-round pick in 2023 and a sixth-round pick in 2024.

After losing Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns last year, Dallas only picked up James Washington from free agency, who suffered a broken foot in training camp and played in only two games. It was clear that Dak Prescott struggled to make things work with so few options.

Expect Cooks to draw some attention away from Lamb and make a big impact at WR2.

3. Jalen Ramsey to Miami Dolphins

Miami joined the hoard of teams to cash in on the Rams collapse, as they signed Jalen Ramsey in the steal of the century. The Dolphins only gave up a third-round pick and tight end Hunter Long in the trade. They now have arguably the best defensive backfield in the league, with Ramsey lining up alongside cornerback Xavien Howard and safety Jevon Holland.

Ramsey's pure coverage rates have never been through the roof, but he shines as a turnover machine and big playmaker that can disrupt the run game too.

They have certainly struggled on defense over the last few seasons, but now, with an elite cornerback duo, things are set to change...

2. D.J. Moore to Chicago Bears

While the Carolina Panthers did what they had to do to secure a new quarterback, the Bears certainly came out on top in this trade.

The deal delivered two first- and two second-round selections to Chicago, along with D.J. Moore, who should become Justin Fields' go-to target this season.

Moore has overcome some awful quarterback situations throughout his career, but has still put up at least 788 yards in all of his five seasons. In what will be a critical year for Fields’ own development, having Moore, a healthy Darnell Mooney, new addition Tyler Scott, and Chase Claypool, the Bears are all-in for a playoff run next year.

1. Aaron Rodgers to New York Jets

And finally, in the blockbuster deal of the year, Aaron Rodgers will be leaving Green Bay after a whopping 17 seasons to join the New York Jets for 2023.

The swap included their 2023 first-round pick, the 42nd and 207th overall picks, and a conditional second-round pick that will probably upgrade to a first-rounder in 2024.

Sure, the price was high, but New York has a real chance to compete for a ring this season thanks to a well-built defense and a young receiver core on the rise. Plus, it's not much of a risk if Rodgers stays healthy and doesn't fall off a cliff performance-wise... *cough* Russel Wilson *cough*.

The Jets have a painfully long history of quarterback struggles and although they put together a competitive roster last season, a few specific mishaps threw them under the bus. But, with the way the team is shaping up, Rodgers could play a completely average year and New York should still make the postseason.

That sums up the biggest offseason trades of 2023! Did we miss any of your favourite signings? Do you think Rodgers will boom or bust in the Big Apple?

Let us know your thoughts over on Twitter & Instagram and be sure to follow for all the latest and greatest sports betting news. And if you liked this article, check out all of our NFL articles here, from Super Bowl Odds & Predictions to Preseason Betting Tips.

(Header Image Credit: John Jones - USA TODAY Sports)