A move every NFL team should make in the 2022 offseason: Trade Russell Wilson from Zeke Elliott

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The NFL offseason is already in full swing. The season of cap cutters is upon us. The combine is this week. Teams can apply franchise tags.

It’s on.

It doesn’t matter that the official start of the league year isn’t for two weeks. The business of football is already in the foreground. Teams have long decided on their priorities as a free agent, which players they will cut and who they will ask to take a pay cut. The jockey for a potential franchise quarterback in the trade market is well on. Budgets have been set. Many of the most critical meetings – those that will dictate the tenor and outcome of months of dealings – are already in the past, with the groundwork for these acquisitions reaching another level with the entire league meeting in Indianapolis.

And even for the best football teams, like the Super Bowl-winning Rams, there’s a lot of work to be done. Getting enough under the cap on its own is good enough for some franchises, while others are waiting to try and top the market to throw mega-offers to unrestricted free agents. With that in mind, here’s a look at a critical move every organization should make as we head into one of the most fertile roster change times of the year (in order of worst to first) :

Rebuild the offensive line. A purge of veteran linemen is underway, and that must be a priority. Incubate Trevor Lawrence. And since it’s not an excellent draft class from OL, it’s time to start incursions with the agents, it’s this week. New coach Doug Pederson saw what a strong unit looked like in Philadelphia…and also what happened to Carson Wentz when things started falling apart up front.

Complete the purge of inflated contracts (Trey Flowers, etc.) and continue the teardown. Extend TJ Hockenson and resist the urge to do anything fancy in free agency because the timeline doesn’t make sense with the distance between you. Likewise, don’t force a QB selection since you’re stuck with Jared Goff for another year, anyway, and next year’s class already looks better.

Prepare as if Mekhi Becton isn’t the answer to left tackle, and he might just become a sunk cost. I’d love to see him resume at the peak of his rookie season, but there’s an obvious reason for concern at this point.

Leave Saquon Barkley and drop as much of the old regime’s excessive recent contracts (Blake Martinez, Kenny Golladay) as possible in the commercial market. And if there is a market for Daniel Jones, I would explore that as well.

Start having weekly zooms with Josh McCown to update him on roster moves, philosophies, and offseason priorities. He’s going to be this team’s long-term head coach (unless someone beats them to the punch). Just a question of when.

Tag a pending trainer or at least roll back early, because this Matt Rhule experiment has an expiration date around Thanksgiving. Resist the urge to trade for Deshaun Watson without full closure on his legal status.

Extend Roquan Smith and try like hell to keep Akeim Hicks from entering the market. They need those front seven to be a hard-hitting unit to stand a chance, even in a watered-down NFC North.

Washington Commanders

Put together a massive recruitment package for Ciara. On the low-low, of course. No forgery. But if you have connections with celebrities who might know the artist, ask them to go all out. Maybe create a splashy video she could watch extolling all the virtues of the greater DC area. Incredible mansions in Mount Vernon. Ridiculous row houses in Georgetown. Just a short train/flight from New York. World-class shopping. A cosmopolitan and international destination available to her and her husband. Oh, and extend Scary Terry immediately.

Exchange Russell Wilson. The odds of winning another Super Bowl with him on his current contract are slim at best. He will not make an extension. Franchising it in your late thirties is silly. You have no choice and very little talent. It’s time to restart.

Check out the suggestion for commanders and do the same, just for Aaron Rodgers. Let him know how many yoga studios per capita you have, offer the new owner to do a 12 day cleanup with him if he comes there. Do all your own research into the beauty of the Rocky Mountain region and put it in good hands.

Try as hell to get Matt Ryan to make a realistic short-term extension as a precursor to a trade. Promise to only send him to a winning team. Of course, he’s been used to being among the highest paid in his position, so he might not be inclined. And the best time to do it was years ago, anyway.

Don’t triple up on Kirk Cousins. Even if you move on from guys like Danielle Hunter and Adam Thielen and Michael Pierce, there’s still enough talent to win the NFC North (especially if Rodgers is gone). Roll for another year, looking to keep improving that offensive line. You’re going to have to outclass people to win, anyway. Take the comp pick for Cousins ​​on the go.

Bring on legitimate competition for Baker Mayfield. I’m not talking about Case Keenum, who at that age could last for about a month. I’m talking about someone who could get you through three months if need be. I don’t know if Gardner Minshew or Mitch Trubisky or Marcus Mariota is an upgrade, but I might be inclined to know.

It would be easy to say extend Lamar Jackson, but that may be unachievable this offseason with the QB inclined to bet on himself on a fifth-year option. So I’m going to rethink their contract structures, their aversion to voidable years, and their predilection for doubling down with extensions for injury-prone players they’ve already heavily compensated. When new team president Sashi Brown — a former cap/trading GM of the Browns — takes over on April 1, a lot of that might work out anyway.

Sign Pat Ricard, the best fullback/H-back/tight end/emergency tackle in the NFL. Think of everything Kyle Shanahan and new Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel did with former Ravens guard Kyle Juszczyk in San Francisco? Now go get the latest hybrid weapon created by the Ravens. The racing game needs all the help it can get, and that’s McDaniel’s bread and butter.

Don’t trade Carson Wentz just to trade him. He has significant flaws around the goal line (both ends of the pitch), and those brain cramps can be brutal… But you gave up two high picks for him, you’re not convincing a Rodgers or a Wilson to go , and the other options aren’t great. He also produced 27 TDs at 7 INTs, FWIW.

Franchise Mike Williams and be prepared to be one of the highest spending teams this offseason. You’re already chasing the Rams and suffering in this market and you’ve only got a year left before Justin Herbert can start making the kind of crazy money he’s worth. No time to be frugal. Let’s go!

Re-sign Jameis Winston. AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. Familiarity, comfort and understanding if there is any. He was playing his best ball before his injury. Other options abound.

Sign up for Jalen Hurts for one more season. Build around it with this abundance of choice. Maybe pick up a flyer on Carson Strong somewhere on day two of the draft. But don’t force a QB selection with this obscure passer class.

Race Winston. Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins aren’t the answer and this team can still deal with enough QB play. Winston would unlock the down passing game and create space for Najee Harris in the box. Either way, you need a veteran QB who has won a few games in the league. I would also do interior promotion for GM.

Get something close to a #1 wide receiver. Whatever it takes. Kiss him. Mac Jones is not Tom Brady and he will not turn the companions into superstars.

Would Derek Carr be of interest to the Seahawks as part of a Wilson package? I would definitely like to know. Pete Carroll is nearing the end and wants a winning veteran QB.

Throw away all the platitudes you want to try to make the Kyler Murray/social media thing look like shit, but hand out high-end deals to him and Kliff Kingsbury at your peril. Still a lot to be won there. The team has the power.

Leave Zeke Elliott and tell Mike McCarthy to prepare as if he might need to take on play call duties at some point to save his job. Because things keep getting bogged down with Kellen Moore in charge. And I suspect it will become a talking point again in 2022.

Offensive line, offensive line, offensive line.

If there’s a second-day development QB you like in this draft, grab him. At some point, the whole impact will catch up with King Henry. Ryan Tannehill has its limits, and this could be a team that transitions into an offensive identity over the next few years.

Stop it with the Blake Bortles hype train. Please! We love Bruce Arians, but this team needs a real starting QB with retired Tom Brady.

A year ago you made a pact with a future Hall of Famer that included a bunch of provisions that were basically poison pills in order to get him out in 2022, and for you to move on to another team-building exercise, opening a new window with Jordan Love playing for peanuts. Whether or not he’s a starting quarterback remains to be seen, but it’s time to start finding out. Because building a Frankenstein team this year when you know it’s all or nothing, having failed to win with better training for the past two years, is a risk that will only plunge you deeper into the abyss. Putting that genie back in the bottle won’t work

Hang on to Jimmy G. Unless you get two second-round picks from a rebuild team (and so those picks are high), be careful here. Trey Lance is still a project at this point. This team can win with an uneven QB, but is Lance ready to give them what Garoppolo gave them a year ago?

Franchise Orlando Brown, get rid of Frank Clark and focus on the defensive line and pass the seekers beyond.

Franchise Jessie Bates, sign Brandon Scherff and only draft offensive and defensive linemen. I am not joking. For real.

Los Angeles Rams

Add a “no-media til 2025” clause to Sean McVay’s contract? Alright, it won’t fly. But landing a starting caliber left tackle is a must, and I’m not against doubling Von Miller and OBJ. Stan Kroenke has the money.

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