NFL Free Agency Day 4 Winners and Losers: Justin Fields Trade Market Dwindles, Eagles May Pay the Price

NFL Free Agency Day 4 Winners and Losers: Justin Fields Trade Market Dwindles, Eagles May Pay the Price

Four days into NFL free agency have come and gone as the first wave of player signings comes to a close. There were a few trades on Day 4 as Sam Howell and Desmond Reeder — two quarterbacks from the 2022 draft class — were on the move.

Ridder has a new team with the Arizona Cardinals, while Howell is with the Seattle Seahawks. Rondale Moore found his way to the Atlanta Falcons as a result of the Ridder trade.

With not as much action on Day 4 as the previous three days, let’s take a look at some winners and losers from the second day of the league’s new year.

Winner: Sam Howell

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Howell’s days were numbered in Washington, but he’s getting a fresh start just a day after the Commanders signed Marcus Mariota. Washington traded Howell to the Seahawks in a package that included the Commanders giving up a 2024 fourth-round pick (No. 102 overall) and a 2024 sixth-round pick (No. 179). The Seahawks gave up a 2024 third-round pick (No. 78) and a 2024 fifth-round pick (No. 152).

Howell no longer has to worry about unrealistic expectations as Washington’s starting quarterback, starting over as Seattle’s No. 2 pick. He will learn from Geno Smith, who had a few years to learn from Russell Wilson as the No. 2 before taking over the starting role.

Maybe the Seahawks I think the same could happen to Howell. Giving up a third-round pick speaks volumes.

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The Eagles may be paying a price for signing Saquon Barkley … in the form of a draft pick. The team spokesman denied reports of contact between the Eagles and Barkley before the start of the legal tampering period on Mondayalthough the NFL is investigating the matter.

Barkley’s former coach at Penn State, James Franklin, said Tuesday that part of Eagles general manager Howie Roseman’s sales pitch to Barkley was “the Penn State connection and the fan base as well.”

In the legal tampering period, player agents can talk to teams, but not directly to players. Barkley has denied speaking directly with Roseman or the Eagles, but the NFL may have something to say about that after the investigation is complete. We’ll see what happens.

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The Jacksonville Jaguars paid Armstead handsomely just one day after losing Calvin Ridley to the Tennessee Titans. The money Jacksonville would have spent on Ridley ended up being used on Armstead, as he signed a three-year, $51 million deal on Thursday.

Pairing Josh Allen and Travon Walker in Jacksonville’s defensive line is more than ideal, especially in Ryan Nielsen’s system where getting to the quarterback is paramount. The Jaguars have a steady presence on the defensive interior with Armstead, which should free up Allen even more on the edge.

Loser: Desmond Reeder

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Reeder’s days as the starting quarterback were numbered last year when the Falcons benched him twice during the season. When Kirk Cousins ​​signed with the Falcons, Reeder faced an uncertain future with Taylor Heinicke having one year remaining on his deal.

The move to the Cardinals is a nice reset for Reeder, but not an endorsement that he can start again in the league. Kyler Murray is entrenched in that role as the franchise quarterback. Ridder will have to battle Clayton Tune for the No. 2 role, which is also not an ideal situation for a quarterback who has started games and is still developing as a player. Arizona’s No. 2 job isn’t set in stone.

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The futures of Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa in Chargers uniforms were uncertain as of Thursday. Both players had high hits and were prime candidates to either be traded or released.

Instead, the Chargers made both of their pass rushers restructure their deals — saving more than $10 million in cap space in the process. The Chargers would save $23 million by trading or releasing Mack and $14 million with Bosa.

Defensive coordinator Jesse Minter prioritizes the edge, so having Bosa or Mack was important. He gets both for at least a year.

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Four days into free agency and Fields still hasn’t been traded. Two more quarterbacks were dealt to other teams in Sam Howell and Desmond Reeder, as Howell was sent to a potential suitor in the Seahawks.

Which teams do the Chicago Bears have left to trade Fields? The New England Patriots could just pick a quarterback, the same as the Washington Commanders (who already signed Marcus Mariota) and the New York Giants (who signed Drew Lock and already have Daniel Jones under contract).

Whatever team Fields ends up on in 2024, he’s likely the No. 2 quarterback at this rate.

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