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Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

NFL free agency opens up

Where have some of the best players in the league landed?
Chicago Bears NFL
Former Chicago Bears and current Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Justin Fields

The recent NFL free agency period saw the movement of notable players, resulting in the fact that many teams will be fielding exciting new players next season.

Perhaps the most scrutinized team of the free agency period was the Chicago Bears, as they hold the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Projected to take 2022 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Caleb Williams with that pick, many were questioning what would happen to their 2023 starter, Justin Fields.

The Bears ultimately made many valuable additions while trading Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers. After the free agency period, it looks like Williams could be drafted to Chicago in a much more favorable situation than before.

The Bears acquired former Georgia Bulldogs and Philadelphia Eagles running back D’Andre Swift and multiple-time Pro Bowl veteran wide receiver Kenan Allen in a shock trade for a fourth-round pick from the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Eagles filled the hole made by Swift’s departure with Saquon Barkley, former star running back for their division rival, the New York Giants. The Eagles’ high-powered offense gained arguably one of the league’s best in the backfield. Barkley signed a three-year deal with Philadelphia worth $37 million.

“Saquon is going to get so much hate from his old fans,” said Jackson Kiser, a junior marketing major. “I understand his move, though. Running back is a really tough position, so an opportunity to play in a winning team and have lower injury risk is very rewarding. He got paid too.”

Another star running back made a great move in terms of his career trajectory. After carrying a heavy workload for the Tennessee Titans since 2016, Derrick Henry signed a two-year, $16 million deal with the Baltimore Ravens.

Nicknamed “King Henry” for his monstrous size and imposing running style, Henry will now be in the best situation of his career, sharing the backfield with the reigning league MVP and former Heisman Trophy winner, Lamar Jackson.

With this acquisition, the Ravens are primed to make a Super Bowl run next season. Although their defense took a hit through the loss of dominant linebacker Patrick Queen, who joined the Pittsburgh Steelers, they now have a Heisman Trophy-winning duo and two of the most feared runners in the NFL at the helm of their offense.

“I still believe Nick Chubb will come back from his injury and be the best running back in the league next year, but the Ravens getting Henry is scary, especially because they are in the

Browns’ division,” said Ryan Collins, a sophomore mass communication major and Cleveland Browns fan.

The NFC North will look very different across the board next year due to the Steelers’ acquisition of Fields and the departure of their Week One starter last year, Kenny Pickett. The Steelers have an interesting situation on their hands, as they also acquired former Super Bowl-winning QB Russell Wilson from the Denver Broncos.

The Steelers have named Wilson as their current starter after he signed a one-year, $1.2 million deal. Wilson was subject to a lot of harsh criticism after his stint of underwhelming play over the past two seasons with Denver.

“I’m excited for our quarterback situation,” said Matt Spreha, a 2023 GC graduate and Steelers fan. “Starting either Fields or Wilson, I think our offense will be improved next year. I would love to see Wilson get back to the way he used to play or Fields get the chance to shine with a change of scenery.”

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