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What we know after Week 1 of NFL free agency: Who’s left, and what’s up with Aaron Rodgers?

There’s a lot to unfold from the first week of NFL free agency, with several teams swinging blockbuster trades and making big additions to their rosters. Yet, with each addition, there’s a subtraction somewhere else, as teams cannot afford to field star players at each position.

Recapping what’s been a landscape-altering roster shuffle in some areas of the league, we review who’s been signed so far, which players are still available, and the latest on Aaron Rodgers. We’ll also examine which teams have lost the most talent and which have taken the biggest leap since the offseason began. Let’s dive in.

Related: NFL QB Rankings: See where Raiders QB Jimmy Garoppolo lands

Biggest free agents off the board

Syndication: The Enquirer
Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Free agency got off to a hot start, with several big-name players signing new contracts within minutes of the legal tampering window, which opened on the 13th. We saw quarterbacks, Pro Bowl offensive weapons, and All-Pro defenders change teams for as much as eight figures in annual salary.

We also saw teams invest heavily into the trenches, with the Denver Broncos spending as much as $109 million on offensive linemen on the first day alone. Over 100 players have signed new contracts for the 2023 season, here’s a quick list of players who have agreed to new deals.

Related: 5 best moves of NFL free agency so far: 49ers, Eagles and Steelers find great value

A more complete list is found at the link below.

Related: NFL free agent tracker 2023: Latest signings, contract info, news for all 32 teams in NFL free agency

Best players available in free agency

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

While there have been many talented players who have found a new home, there are still several others who have not. Teams can still find starters in free agency, including a few who come highly-accomplished with multiple Pro Bowl appearances under their belts. Here are just a few of the top available free agents left.

  • Carson Wentz, QB
  • Kareem Hunt, RB
  • Ezekiel Elliott, RB
  • Odell Beckham Jr., WR
  • D.J. Chark, WR
  • Austin Hooper, TE
  • Donovan Smith, LT
  • Isaiah Wynn, OT
  • Dalton Risner, OG
  • Ben Jones, C

Related: 5 worst moves of NFL free agency so far

  • Yannick Ngakoue, EDGE
  • Frank Clark, EDGE
  • Leonard Floyd, EDGE
  • A’Shawn Robinson, DT
  • Bobby Wagner, LB
  • Marcus Peters, CB
  • Ronald Darby, CB
  • John Johnson, S

For a more complete list, the link below will have everything you’re looking for.

Related: Top NFL free agents of 2023: Ranking the best players available from 1-400

What’s up with Aaron Rodgers?

Syndication: Journal Sentinel
Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

One of the biggest dominoes of the offseason has yet to fall. Yet, it feels like Aaron Rodgers getting traded to the New York Jets is inevitable. Last week Rodgers spoke of his desire to join the Jets after 18 seasons with the Green Bay Packers. It’s only a matter of time.

More accurately, it’s a matter of trade compensation. How much do the Packers want for parting with a 39-year-old four-time MVP? And how much are the Jets willing to spend to acquire a player who may only be on the roster for one to two seasons?

A Rodgers trade could get done any day now. Really, it’s a surprise the two teams haven’t been able to agree on compensation yet. There’s not much to hash out. The Jets know they want Rodgers under center, and the Packers are ready to see what former first-round pick Jordan Love can do.

Yet, moving on from a franchise icon and future Hall of Famer can’t be easy, especially when the Packers don’t know what’s behind door No. 2 with their next QB. Still, expect a Rodgers trade in a matter of days, not weeks.

Related: NFL trade rumors: Latest on Aaron Rodgers, DeAndre Hopkins and more

Which NFL team improved the most in free agency?

NFL: Chicago Bears Press Conference
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

While it’s true that the ideal way to build up a franchise is through the NFL Draft, teams sometimes have no other choice but to address some needs in free agency. Sure, this tends to lead to a few overpays, but at the end of the day, it’s better to have talented players than be a bad team. That’s why the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans got to bad in the first place.

Yet, we’ve seen both teams become extremely active in free agency so far. Especially the Bears, who have not only added a Pro Bowl receiver with D.J. Moore by trading down from the first pick to the ninth pick but also by making several splashy signings.

Adding tight end Robert Tonyan only gives Justin Fields another option, adding to Moore, Darnell Mooney, Chase Claypool, and Cole Kmet. But we’re more impressed with how they’re attacking a defense that allowed the most points in the NFL a season ago.

The Bears added two starting linebackers from top-five NFL defenses, reshaping coach Matt Eberflus’s unit, by signing Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards. We’re not saying this is a team ready to compete, but when you earn the No. 1 pick, there’s a lot of room for improvement.

Related: Predicting NFL playoff bracket and Super Bowl 2024 winner

Which NFL team lost the most talent in free agency?

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Philadelphia Eagles
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Entering free agency, the Philadelphia Eagles always seemed like a team that wouldn’t be able to keep the band together for another Super Bowl run. That’s exactly what we’ve seen play out so far.

While longtime Eagles GM Howie Roseman has done a fine job of being one step ahead, building a deeply talented team, there are only so many holes one can patch up. We can’t knock Philly too much, as they’ve done well to retain several key vets such as Jason Kelce, James Bradberry, and Darius Slay, but the losses of other starters, in addition to losing both coordinators, could come back to haunt them.

In all, the Eagles have lost two offensive starters and four defensive starters, including guard Isaac Seumalo, defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, and C.J. Gardner-Johnson. Yet, as mentioned, the Eagles have a few replacements on hand, such as 2022 first-round pick Jordan Davis and linebacker Nakobe Dean, who appear ready for a bigger role.

The Eagles may have lost a lot of talent, but it’s hard to say they weren’t prepared for many of their losses. In the end, we still expect Jalen Hurts and Co. to remain competitive next season.

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