NFL Free Agency Signings Begin

Kaylee Donnelly, Senior Writer

Despite the NFL football season just recently ending, teams are now beginning to start their prep for the 2023-2024 season. The 2023 NFL free agency officially starts on March 15. Since this deadline rapidly approaches, there have been some significant signings within the past week, and rumors of trades that could change the dynamics of entire teams. 

A notable signing comes from the Giants commitment to Daniel Jones. Jones reportedly signed with the New York Giants for another four years, earning $160 million with another $82 million guaranteed. This may not be that shocking of a signing, given the quarterback’s relative success this year. After seven years of not making the playoffs, Jones led his team to their first playoff match since 2016. It was also Jones’ best season, completing 67 percent of his passes and scoring 15 touchdowns in 16 games with only five interceptions. 

The signing of Jones allowed the Giants to put the franchise tag on star running back Saquon Barkley. A franchise tag allows NFL teams to select one player to be set as a free agent but guarantees another year under their contract. Reportedly, Barkley does not want to play on the tag and negotiations are continuing. But the singing of Jones also allows the Giants to be able to focus on some potentially better options in the 2023 NFL Draft. They have the 25 overall pick, and perhaps now can find some stronger players to stand alongside Jones. 

Another significant signing was the New Orleans Saints addition of quarterback Derek Carr. Carr played for the Las Vegas Raiders the year prior, and was initially drafted in 2014 when Saints head coach Dennis Allen was with the Raiders. The two are now brought back together after Carr had a decent season with the Raiders. Carr could potentially put New Orleans back on the map of the NFC South after a few struggling years following the retirement of Drew Brees. Carr was signed for four years, for $150 million with $60 million guaranteed. 

Carr is a pretty good pick for New Orleans, considering their position in the NFC South as well as Carr’s familiarity with head coach Allen. He is a good performer, placing between 10th and 14th in the QBR each of the past four seasons. Signing Carr now also gives the Saints a leg up in the NFL draft in April, where they now have the first-round draft pick after trading the rights to former coach Sean Payton to the Denver Broncos. 

The third signing goes to Geno Smith, who re-signed with the Seattle Seahawks. It’s reported that Smith signed for three years, earning $105 million, with a $52 million guarantee. Smith is an easy re-signing for the Seahawks, considering he led his team to a surprising playoff berth and earned the title of Comeback Player of the Year. He also led in completion percentage and finished fourth in touchdown passes. 

This re-signing can significantly alter the 2023 draft, considering rumors of the Seahawks being connected to University of Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson. Having their starting quarterback, Seattle is unlikely to use their number five pick on this position. The Florida quarterback will end up potentially making a splash somewhere else in the league.

For a little over a month, it will be important to keep an eye out for new signings in the league. The 2023 NFL Draft will be on April 27 this year, and more signings are likely to happen up until then.

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