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The Biggest Moves in NFL Free Agency So Far

Credit: Kevin R. Wexler/USA Today Sports


Although the NFL’s free agency period doesn’t technically start until Wednesday, March 13, players were technically allowed to agree to terms with a desired destination at noon on March 11, which has been taken advantage of by some of the biggest NFL stars around the league. 


The NFL’s legal tampering period opened on March 11 at noon, which opened the floodgates for a wild few first days in the NFL’s free agency. There are more notable players available than ever before, making the biggest day of the NFL offseason live up to the hype so far. The legal tampering period essentially allows players with expiring contracts to agree to terms with a new team, however, they just can’t actually put pen to paper until Wednesday. 


Star players around the league have been cashing out while teams reinforce their ranks. Some of the moves that have been confirmed are guaranteed to shake up the league ahead of the 2024-25 NFL campaign, however, it’s just the beginning, which means next year’s league could be even more unpredictable than it already is. Players have been testing their value on the open market over the past few days while teams have been communicating with players to prevent them from doing so, which has led to numerous teams signing players they have been targeting since last season. 


Yes, it’s true that some of the moves won’t be as monumental as they are presumed to be, and of course, Super Bowls aren’t won in free agency. However, with some of the most stacked squads around the league like the Baltimore Ravens and the Philadelphia Eagles signing some of the most impactful players like Derrick Henry and Saquon Barkley, it definitely improves their odds in the quest for Super Bowl. 


As the NFL’s legal tampering period and official free agency period continue to wreak havoc across the league, let’s take a look at some of the biggest moves so far, and what kind of impact they will have on their new squad.


Derrick Henry

Credit: Michael Owens/Getty Images


One of the more recent moves that has taken the league by storm is former Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry to the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens announced that Henry would be signing a two-year, $16 million guaranteed contract, which includes $9 million guaranteed in 2024. The Ravens have targeted the 30-year-old running back since last season, and the four-time pro bowler has finally agreed to terms which will put him in purple and black next season. 


Gus Edwards who was the primary rusher for the Ravens last season announced he would be signing with the Los Angeles Chargers, so Henry could not be more of a perfect fit for the Ravens. While Henry is ageing and boasts a heavy career workload with more than 2,000 career carries under his belt, the two-time All-Pro has posted over 1,000 rushing yards in five of his last six seasons and is still one of the best rushers in the league. He’ll pair up with the two-way Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson to help headline the Ravens' offence and heavily contribute to one of the most dangerous run-pass options around the league.


Henry is not the only Pro Bowl running back who has found a new home over free agency though, as former New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley revealed that he would be signing with the Philadelphia Eagles for the next three years. The longtime Giants running back has agreed to a three-year, $37.75 million contract with the Eagles that can be worth up to $46.75 million. His departure highlights the end of a confusing saga in New York, which is highlighted by Barkley contemplating sitting out the 2023 campaign after the Giants failed to reach a long-term contract with Barkley. 


Barkley rushed for a total of 5,211 yards and 35 touchdowns over the course of six seasons with the Giants. He also had 288 receptions for 2,100 yards and 12 touchdowns. The two-time Pro Bowler’s time in New York however was marred by a plethora of knee injuries, including an ACL tear. However, a healthy Barkley alongside a stacked Eagles offence consisting of Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown, is a scary sight for the league’s defences. 


Aside from the two running backs, a few major quarterback moves have been made during the legal tampering period, highlighted by the former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins heading over to the Atlanta Falcons. The four-time Pro Bowl quarterback and the Falcons agreed to a four-year, $180 million contract with $100 million guaranteed and a $50 million signing bonus. With this move, the Falcons finally solve their quarterback issue, and Kirk Cousins gets the massive contract he so deserves.


With this move, Cousins ends a six-year stint down in Minneapolis where he posted a 50-37-1 all-time record with a 1-2 post-season record. He threw for 23,265 yards and posted a  171-55 TD-INT ratio with a 101.2 passer rating. In Atlanta, Kirk will have Bijan Robinson, Kyle Pitts and Drake London to work with on the offensive side, three weapons which will complement his pass-heavy play style. Atlanta is getting reliable production after years of instability, something they desperately needed.


Kirk Cousins

Credit: Brad Rempel/USA Today Sports


So far, the legal tampering period has produced some of the biggest, most unpredictable moves the NFL offseason has ever produced. Loyal players who have been with their franchise for years have left for better situations, while All-Pro calibre talents have left former squads in the quest for a Super Bowl. 


It has been one of the most active starts to free agency the league has ever seen, and it’s still only the legal tampering period, so the best is yet to come. Do not be surprised if players who claim the team they are currently with as their home, leave for more money or better situations.


Whatever happens, the league next year is going to look completely different. Squads who were Super Bowl contenders last year are getting stronger, while teams who didn’t even make playoffs may have finally solved their problems. The unpredictability of the off-season and free agency is what makes the NFL so great, especially when players of this calibre are being moved at this pace.



Edited By: Josh Reidelbach


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