Every NFL free agency period, even the legal manipulation window, brings with it losers and winners that we typically crown each spring. While the winners are worth debating, seeing how teams, players, or outside observers lost gives us a certain level of balance in how free choice making is going.
After all, it’s a zero-sum game. There are only 272 wins in a season, and for someone to add one, someone else has to lose one. Let’s look at the NFL Free Agency losers from Day 2.
NFL Free Agency Losers
Aaron Rodgers Observer
Once again, we’re left on the Aaron Rodgers front lines without much news, leaving us to speculate about his absence from his otherwise regular weekly appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, as well as the various contractual — and free — demands Rodgers has made of the jets
At the same time, it doesn’t look like we’ve ironed out a trade offset for the Packers. That said, the only thing holding up the deal is every part of the deal.
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Rodgers’ silence on the subject and the Jets’ reluctance to confirm a trade meant a normally busy period ahead of free agency came to a halt as smaller deals were announced and the NFL world waited for the end of the Rodgers saga was waiting.
And of course it will apparently end on Rodgers terms as he has something to announce tomorrow Pat McAfee Show.
New York Jets recipient
Rodgers submitted a “wish list” to the Jets detailing who they should pursue in the free hand. That list included a number of wide receivers, including Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb and Odell Beckham Jr. The Jets have already signed Lazard and are working on Cobb, making for a crowded receiver room.
One of the factors that made the Jets such an interesting organization for Rodgers is their receiving talent. Alongside offensive rookie of the year Garrett Wilson, they had an ascending Elijah Moore who looked great when anyone other than Zach Wilson threw the ball.
With them and Corey Davis, they had a solid corps with a rising star – one that could use a strong second receiver but looks crowded as more receivers are added to the group.
Knowing that Rodgers took it personally when the Packers cut some of his favorite players, including special teams role player Jake Kumerow, from the roster in favor of more talented and potential options, receivers like Moore and Davis will have plenty to worry about theirs Roles to worry about as a team, even if they outperform an incoming Cobb or Lazard.
The Raiders made an exciting move early on day two of the legal manipulation window by signing Jakobi Meyers, perhaps the best receiver on the market, for a deal costing just $11 million.
Meyers’ pairing with Hunter Renfrow, Josh Jacobs, Davante Adams and tight end Darren Waller should mean the Raiders could have been matchup-proof, with the ability to attack any defense anywhere.
Shortly thereafter, the Raiders organized a trade that sent Waller to the New York Giants for just the 100th pick in the draft. Before Waller was injured last year, he was managing 70 yards per game as a receiver between 2019 and 2021, a three-year span that showed the best an athletic tight end can do on the field.
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Even including this year, his average drops to 65.3 yards per game — more than Julian Edelman, DK Metcalf and Deebo Samuel over the same span and every tight end except Travis Kelce and George Kittle.
That kind of production is hard to find, and going for a late third-round pick seems tenuous, even considering injury history and age. But beyond that, McDaniels may have lost the confidence of those in the building as her star recedes Expressing sadness at the move on Twitter.
The fact that this is apparently the case per Vic Tafur at the Athletic comes on heels of McDaniels, who announced Waller’s marriage to Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum against Waller’s wishes, underscores the fact that McDaniels may not be doing the best job in the world at maintaining a peaceful locker room.
Running backs who want out
Following news that Austin Ekeler had received clearance to seek a trade with the Chargers, the number of backs in the trade market has expanded to include him, Dalvin Cook and Derrick Henry.
At the same time, Miles Sanders is still in the free agency market after the Eagles decided to sign Rashaad Penny, meaning he and a host of other prolific defensemen including David Montgomery, Devin Singletary, Kareem Hunt, Jamaal Williams and D’Onta Foreman are available for signature.
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Add that this is a pretty solid class of running back in the draft, and it would be difficult to convince a team to part ways with a draft pick for a back for their second contract if they only sign such a back could get a cheaper offer or draft in the mid or later rounds – or even an upgrade from the trade market backs in the first or second round.
There’s a good chance at least one team can move a running back, but it certainly won’t be all, meaning the RBs — and teams looking to get on from them — will have to wait it out.