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2 Winners and 2 Losers in Free Agency

With free agency underway let’s see what players, coaches, and teams have been winning or losing so far.

Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

Winner: Bill O’Brien

After the Patriots failure of a season on offense, Bill Belichick has decided to take a more traditional route and hire an actual offensive coordinator to lead the New England offense in 2023. Familiar face Bill O’Brien is now the play caller in New England and to make sure this offense does not have a repeat of last year, they are bringing in more talent for O’Brien to work with. Belichick and company have decided to bring in pass catchers Mike Gesicki and JuJu Smith-Schuster into the fold, joining a receiving core of DeVante Parker, Hunter Henry, and second-round speedster Tyquan Thornton. The Patriots have been very aggressive this free agency as they are heavily targeting other receiving weapons like DeAndre Hopkins and Jerry Jeudy. Be on the lookout for the Patriots to take a wide out with their 14th pick as well.

Winner: Justin Fields

After a breakout season for Fields running the football, the Bears made it a priority to get Fields a legitimate receiving threat to develop his passing. We’ve seen young quarterbacks in the past take a leap in the pass game after acquiring star wide receivers. For example, Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs for the Bills, Jalen Hurts and AJ Brown for the Eagles, and Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins for the Cardinals have all shown this to be beneficial strategy for developing young QB’s. The Bears have now assembled an actual receiving core for Fields in Chicago revolving around D.J. Moore, Chase Claypool, and Darnell Mooney.

Losers: Running backs

Year after year running backs are losing leverage in free agency after another super bowl winner has won with a running back on the cheap deal (Isiah Pacheco, Kansas City Chiefs). Starting running backs, David Montgomery and Miles Sanders, were able to land deals with new teams, sending Sanders to Carolina and Montgomery to Detroit, but were only able to acquire contracts around $6 million per year (despite Sanders being top five in rushing yards in 2022). Once again teams would rather try drafting a running back in later rounds who would in turn be on cheaper deals, as opposed to shelling out larger contracts for veteran backs.

Losers: Eagles

Yes, the Eagles were able to retain a lot of key players that got them to the Super Bowl this year like Jason Kelce, James Bradberry, and Darius Slay, but they have also lost some keys players on defense and their offensive line. The Eagles elite offensive line will be taking a hit with guard, Isaac Seumalo, likely joining a new team this free agency and on the other side of the ball Javon Hargrave, T.J. Edwards, and Kyzir White will all be playing for new teams this fall.

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