Skip to main content

12 NFL players who have shined on new teams

Jets quarterback Teddy Bridgewater

The NFL offseason saw multiple players land on new teams. Whether it was through a surprise trade or a free agency signing, said players have had ample time to acclimate to their new surroundings.

That said, some players have adjusted far better than others. This is especially the case when it comes to new quarterback faces in new places. A couple of veterans we cover here are simply thriving with their new franchises.

Outside of this, players at other positions are really shining in their new digs, proving a fresh change of scenery within the NFL can do wonders.

Sam Bradford, quarterback, Arizona Cardinals

Bradford is healthy and hitting home runs across the board in Arizona. In his limited preseason appearances, Bradford passed for a perfect 7-of-7 attempts for a total of 67 yards. This is not a huge piece of pie, but it is enough to see that he is actually a good fit for the Cardinals. Prior to this, Bradford received excellent reviews in both his offseason program and throughout training camp, further distancing himself from rookie Josh Rosen. The 30-year-old quarterback has been a pleasant surprise in Arizona, considering all of the skepticism that took place after his signing.

Carlos Hyde, running back, Cleveland Browns

Hyde has been the projected starter for the Browns backfield since signing on during the offseason. That means he’s ahead of pass-catching back Duke Johnson and rookie Nick Chubb, who has struggled in the preseason. This past week Hyde dazzled, rushing for 64 yards and one touchdown at a pace of 7.1 yards per carry in an extended preseason performance. This ex-San Francisco 49ers running back should be the guy we see taking the majority of the carries when September rolls around.

Jimmy Graham, tight end, Green Bay Packers

Opting to wear green and gold rather that suit up as a New Orleans Saint again, Graham is looking quite sharp in Green Bay. He has the keys to succeed playing with one of the best in the business in Aaron Rodgers. Just look at him in action while surrounded in coverage hooking up with Rodgers for this touchdown. When on his A-game, Graham is a ridiculous threat in the red zone. His stock will be on the rise if he keeps making plays such as these during the season.

Teddy Bridgewater, quarterback, New York Jets

It is a small miracle that Bridgewater is healthy and back on the field after his freak knee injury two yeas ago. And, he’s looking every part of a capable quarterback during this preseason with the Jets. Through two games, Bridgewater has completed a stunning 73.9 percent of his passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns. He looks poised and could certainly handle a more prominent role if given the opportunity. So much so that the Jets are open to trading Bridgewater to a team in need (at the right price, of course). Wherever he may land, we wish him success as he continues his NFL career.

C.J. Anderson, running back, Carolina Panthers

C.J. Anderson

Anderson had his best year in 2017, rushing for 1,007 yards with an additional 224 receiving yards, yet the Denver Broncos let him walk in free agency. The Panthers quickly swooped him up, and he will fill Jonathan Stewart’s old role. While Anderson does not look to steal much thunder from second-year back, Christian McCaffrey, he has performed quite well this preseason. Anderson has averaged 4.6 yards per carry and should receive a fair share of the goal line work during the regular season.

Robert Griffin III, quarterback, Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens doubled down on backup help by adding Griffin for depth behind Joe Flacco. Currently, RGIII is playing to hopefully keep a spot on the team’s final 53-man roster. Considering the 28-year-old quarterback did not play at all in 2017, he has looked pretty darn good in his preseason action. So far, Griffin has completed 69.2 percent of his passes and has thrown two touchdowns. Griffin has provided enough of a sampling to show that he should have some type of role within the league, should the Ravens part ways with him.

Doug Martin, running back, Oakland Raiders

Martin has barely seen any action in the preseason, but he has been garnering glowing reviews since his OTAs. Anyone who makes head coach Jon Gruden’s good list must be doing something right. Martin is currently listed as the No. 2 back behind Marshawn Lynch. But, he could nudge the veteran out of his starting role if he keeps producing at a high level. After a hot and cold six-year stint in Tampa Bay, Martin seems to be taking well to his new west coast digs.

Trey Burton, tight end, Chicago Bears

Burton will always be remembered for his game-changing passing touchdown in Super Bowl 52, helping the Philadelphia Eagles claim victory. But, that era is over and Burton is now working his way into becoming one of Mitch Trubisky’s top targets. So far, Burton is embracing his new role and has looked fantastic in the preseason. He last caught four of his five targets for a total of 45 yards and one touchdown. Burton is going to be a busy man this season and could be quite the catch for those who draft him in fantasy football.

Tyrod Taylor, quarterback, Cleveland Browns

The Browns are taking on an entire new look after trading for Taylor during the offseason. Taylor has performed nearly perfectly during his limited preseason snaps, completing 75 percent of his passes for 121 yards and one touchdown. The 29-year-old quarterback looks like a natural in his new surroundings and is already considered as a mentor to his teammates. His presence has been quite refreshing, and the Browns are already looking into potentially extending his contract beyond 2018.

John Brown, wide receiver, Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens are looking to resuscitate their passing game after ranking 29th in the league last year. As a means to do so, the team revamped its receiving corps, and Brown is already creating big waves. He exceeded expectations in training camp and is developing a nice rhythm with quarterback Joe Flacco. This circus-type touchdown catch Brown made on the fly in the red zone during Monday’s preseason game was quite fantastic. Hopefully, it is only the start of more cool plays to come.

Jeremy Hill, running back, New England Patriots

The Patriots backfield is never an easy one to predict, but Hill is standing out thus far with his new offense. With last year’s sluggish season in Cincinnati behind him, Hill has been averaging 4.8 yards per carry during the preseason, along with scoring one touchdown. With rookie Sony Michel and fellow back Rex Burkhead banged up, Hill is receiving plenty of opportunities to rise up the depth chart. He could be the goal line vulture, keeping in mind those 29 rushing touchdowns Hill scored between 2014-16.

DeShone Kizer, quarterback, Green Bay Packers

An surprising offseason trade landed Kizer to Green Bay after he spent his rookie season playing with the Browns. Kizer is a diamond in the rough, but a young talent who stands to learn a ton from his future Hall of Fame quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. The second-year quarterback has been making us take note as he attempts to bypass Brent Hundley on the depth chart. So far this preseason splitting time under center, Kizer has averaged 141.5 passing yards per game, on top of throwing two touchdowns. The Packers are the perfect franchise to help groom Kizer for an eventual NFL starting job.