5 Key Stories: 4/23/23 – 4/30/23

Another draft has come and gone, bringing with it a number of interesting developments. Prior to the latest class of rookies joining the league, though, some long-anticipated quarterback deals were made as well. Here’s a quick recap of the week’s top stories:

  • Packers, Jets Finalize Rodgers Trade: More than one month after Aaron Rodgers stated his intention to play for the Jets, the trade sending him to New York came into place. The Jets paid a considerable price (including a conditional 2024 second-round pick, which could become a first-rounder if he plays 65% of the snaps this season), leading many to wonder whether the 39-year-old will play beyond this year. That question remains unanswered, but for at least this season the Jets’ offense will have substantially more upside than it had under Zach Wilson, which could allow them to compete in a stacked AFC. Rodgers, like Brett Favre before him, will look to find success in the Big Apple late in his career following an illustrious Green Bay tenure.
  • Ravens Extend Jackson: Lamar Jackson became the latest quarterback to land a monster extension, inking a five-year, $260MM deal with the Ravens. The agreement put an end to a years-long effort on Baltimore’s part to get the 26-year-old on the books for the foreseeable future, one which included several eyebrow-raising developments. The Ravens placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson last month, but no suitors emerged on the offer sheet or trade fronts, leading to the growing belief he would ultimately stay in Baltimore. Jackson’s pact supersedes that given to the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts by a small margin in both AAV ($52MM) and guarantees ($185MM), and marks further evidence of the upward trend in the position’s market – something which will no doubt influence talks for the likes of Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert down the road.
  • Commanders To Decline Young’s Option: Decisions on the fifth-year options for 2020 draftees are coming due, and the Commanders won’t exercise that of defensive end Chase Young. The former No. 2 pick has been dogged by injuries for much of his career, playing just 12 contests since his impressive debut season. The former Defensive Rookie of the Year showed plenty of potential in 2020, but the questions surrounding his health and ability to replicate his production from that year make Washington’s decision to turn down a guarantee of nearly $17.5MM in 2024 an understandable one, especially considering the other investments made in their defensive front. Young’s performance this season could set up a very high-profile free agent situation depending on how the Commanders handle his contract status.
  • Titans End Levis’ Draft Slide: As expected, three quarterbacks were selected with the first four picks of the draft, but Will Levis fell out of the opening round. The Titans ended his wait to hear his name called, trading up to pick No. 33 to draft the Kentucky alum. Tennessee has Ryan Tannehill under contract for one more year, but the veteran’s future with the team has been in serious doubt for some time. Levis’ addition also shows the organization’s desire to add another young passer despite the previous front office having drafted Malik Willis last year. Long considered a first-round lock, Levis should soon have the opportunity to take on a starting role in the NFL, which will no doubt lead to continued comparisons between he and the signal-callers drafted much earlier this weekend.
  • Lions Deal Swift To Eagles: Speculation ramped up after the first round that Detroit would move on from running back D’Andre Swift, and they did just that by trading him to the Eagles. The Lions swapped seventh-round 2023 picks and added a 2025 fourth-rounder by dealing the 24-year-old, who is a native of Philadelphia. The Lions signed David Montgomery in free agency, and used pick No. 12 on fellow back Jahmyr Gibbs, and this trade now sets up that pair at the top of their depth chart. Swift will look to solidify the starting role in a crowded Eagles backfield which lost Miles Sanders, but added Rashaad Penny. The Georgia alum is entering the final year of his rookie contract, so his production in his new home will go a long way in determining his future in 2024 and beyond.
View Comments (2)