• Bears move on from Justin Fields: With the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft in tow, Chicago trades its former first-round quarterback and opens the door for USC’s Caleb Williams.
• Haason Reddick has his trade request fulfilled: The Houston Texans give up a second-round pick to acquire Reddick’s services in this scenario, pairing him with the elite Will Anderson Jr.
• Draft and trade for yourself: Try PFF’s Mock Draft Simulator — trade picks and players and mock for your favorite NFL team.
Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes
Super Bowl 58 gave us 15 extra minutes of football for the 2023 season, but the beautiful game is nonetheless dormant for the next seven months as the calendar turns to 2024. Teams won’t waste a second working to dethrone the back-to-back champion Kansas City Chiefs, and before we even get to free agency on March 13, the tradewinds will be blowing.
Here are four major trades that could tip the scales heading into the 2024 league year.
- Trade compensation: 2024 second-round pick (No. 52), 2025 fifth-round pick
- Contract acquired: One year, $3.23 million fully guaranteed (plus fifth-year option for 2025)
A clear consensus began to emerge both in local and national reporting as the NFL’s power brokers gathered at the Shrine Bowl, Senior Bowl and Super Bowl: The Chicago Bears are going to use the No. 1 overall pick on a quarterback.
Naturally, the next question is, “What happens with Justin Fields?” In an ideal world, the NFL would be run like every Power Five school, where blue-chip recruits have legitimate quarterback battles that elevate all parties involved. Nonetheless, that’s not how the NFL works amid locker room dynamics, contractual implications and general league politics. Fields very likely won’t be on Chicago’s roster come Week 1 of the 2024 season, and if the Bears have truly landed on that decision already, as some believe, he may be on a new roster before the 2024 league year begins in mid-March.
Pittsburgh is one team looking for a legitimate competition at quarterback this offseason, with 2022 first-round quarterback Kenny Pickett not making the strides they’d hoped through two years, getting supplanted late in the season by third-stringer Mason Rudolph. Fields’ elite athleticism adds an entirely different dynamic to a Steelers offense that was quite stale in 2023, and he opens up the downfield passing game that has been lacking.
Over the past two seasons, Fields has 15 touchdowns to six interceptions on passes targeted 20-plus yards downfield, whereas Pickett has six and eight, respectively. Fields has a higher passing grade, a nearly doubled passer rating and a lower turnover-worthy play rate on such passes. From Fields’ perspective, he gets to play with a legitimate duo at wide receiver in George Pickens and Diontae Johnson.
- Trade compensation: 2024 second-round pick (No. 59)
- Contract acquired: One year, $15.5 million (non-guaranteed)
Reddick was recently granted permission by the Philadelphia Eagles to seek a trade, per a report from NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. We assume the two parties had engaged in cursory extension talks before it quickly became apparent they would not find common ground on a deal that would sign Reddick through his age-31 season and beyond. Now, Reddick is entering the final year of his three-year, $45 million deal signed with Philadelphia coming off back-to-back seasons with 60-plus pressures and 11-plus sacks.
Reddick wasn’t quite as dominant in 2023, with his pass-rush grade dipping from 90.0 to 75.2, his pass-rush win rate from 16.8% to 14.4% and his pressure rate from 15.9% to 12.6%. Nonetheless, he was still a very effective edge defender, one who has now logged 800-plus snaps and registered double-digit sacks in four consecutive seasons.
Teams looking for a smaller outside linebacker who can get upfield in a hurry and generate quick pressure with good bend around the edge will be calling Philadelphia, and will also probably look to extend Reddick as a part of the arrangement. If the Houston Texans cannot find a way to retain Jonathan Greenard in free agency, here they pivot to a pass-rush specialist to play opposite Will Anderson Jr.
- Trade compensation: 2025 fourth-round pick
- Contract acquired: One year, $23.25 million (non-guaranteed)
This will be a tough needle to thread, much like DeAndre Hopkins last offseason, with the Arizona Cardinals ultimately having to just release the veteran wideout despite other teams having clear interest in his services. That interest comes at a price in this league, however, and Mack’s 2024 salary is exorbitant for a 33-year-old edge defender, even one coming off as strong a season as Mack’s 2023 campaign.
The challenge for Los Angeles will be convincing teams they are trading for the 2023 version of Mack and not what is more likely a player whose median expectation should fall somewhere between his past two seasons.
|Pass-Rush Win Rate
|18.2% (T-10th among EDGEs)
This trade would send Khalil Mack from an AFC West team to an NFC North team, familiar territory for the former Las Vegas Raiders draft pick turned Chicago Bear. Detroit and general manager Brad Holmes have done remarkably well to add young talent through the draft and came quite close to a Super Bowl appearance in 2023, and while they don’t want to get too aggressive with a bunch of key in-house extensions on the horizon, picking their spot in adding a savvy veteran difference-maker like Mack could push them over the edge.
Any team acquiring Mack would almost certainly have an extension in place as a part of the trade, with Mack perhaps pushing his way to free agency if he so desires by not engaging in such discussions, depending on the prospective suitor.
- Trade compensation: 2025 second-round pick
- Contract acquired: Three years, $90 million ($16.89 million fully guaranteed)
After the coaching decisions made by Las Vegas this offseason, we view this move as less likely than we would’ve thought around the halfway point of the year when Adams was making his frustrations very clear. The star wideout threw his weight behind interim head coach Antonio Pierce retaining the top job heading into 2024, which he did, and Pierce’s offensive coordinator hire should inspire even more confidence that Adams will be back with the Silver and Black. Luke Getsy worked with Adams in Green Bay from 2019 to 2021, and the two were individually and collectively quite successful.
Adams got his chance to return to the West Coast and play for the team he grew up rooting for, the Las Vegas Raiders, but the team quickly shipped off Derek Carr, his college quarterback, and his time there so far has been as up-and-down as my blackjack runs in Vegas during Super Bowl week. Here, he reunites with Aaron Rodgers as the two look to make a Super Bowl run of their own.
Jets receivers not named Garrett Wilson were virtually unplayable in 2023, with Randall Cobb’s drop rate ranking as the highest in the NFL among wideouts with at least 100 snaps and Allen Lazard placing sixth highest, leading to both becoming healthy inactives down the stretch. Davante Adams had 103 receptions for 1,144 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in 2023, a down year by his standards, but all of those marks exceeded the total production of every Jets wideout not named Garrett Wilson combined. In fact, all three categories were nearly double in Adams’ favor, with the collective group putting up 57 receptions for 654 yards and three touchdowns.
A one-two punch of Adams and Wilson — who fueled speculation by changing his jersey from No. 17 to No. 5 ahead of the 2024 season, thus freeing up Adams’ number — would be among the league’s top duos for the next few years as the Jets push all in.