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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Madison Williams

12 Prominent NFL Players Who Changed Teams in 2023

The 2023 NFL offseason was chock full of impactful trades and free-agent signings, and it can be difficult to remember which faces are in new places this season.

With that in mind, it undoubtedly will be weird for many fans to see Aaron Rodgers in a Jets uniform after 18 seasons with the Packers. Likewise, at least 12 other teams will start a different quarterback in Week 1 than they did in last season’s opener—including the entire NFC South.

So as we carefully count down the hours and minutes until the Lions and Chiefs kick off the season on Thursday night, Sport Illustrated presents a handy cheat sheet of the most notable players to change teams this year.

Aaron Rodgers (From Packers to Jets)

After 18 seasons, Rodgers will not be taking the field as a Packer this season. Instead, the quarterback follows in the footsteps of Brett Favre with a late-career move to the Meadowlands. The Jets’ acquisition of Rodgers was arguably the biggest trade of the offseason. Hype will follow the Jets all season, and the NFL is taking full advantage, as Rodgers’s first regular-season start with his new team will take place on Monday Night Football against the Bills.

Odell Beckham Jr. (From Rams in 2021 to Ravens)

Beckham missed the entire 2022 season while recovering from an ACL tear suffered during Super Bowl LVI. He flirted with several teams late last season but ultimately opted to wait until the offseason to join a new club. The wide receiver joins the Ravens this year and is expected to be one of quarterback Lamar Jackson’s top targets.

Dalvin Cook (From Vikings to Jets)

Dalvin Cook was named to the Pro Bowl in each of the past four seasons with the Vikings. Now, he joins the Jets backfield.

Daniel Bartel/USA TODAY Sports

The former Florida State tailback was one of the last prominent free agents to ink a new contract when he signed with the Jets on Aug. 14. Cook spent the first six years of his career with Minnesota, earning four Pro Bowl bids. Cook is likely to get a majority of carries for the Jets while Breece Hall recovers from a knee injury.

Derek Carr (From Raiders to Saints)

After spending the first nine seasons of his career with the Raiders, Carr will now be plying his trade for the Saints. The Raiders last reached the playoffs in 2021 under Carr, but the nine-year veteran has yet to win a playoff game. Carr will look to end that drought in a wide-open NFC South as the Saints aim to earn their first postseason berth since 2020.

Jimmy Garoppolo (From 49ers to Raiders)

After cutting ties with Carr, the Raiders signed Garoppolo to a three-year deal in March. Garoppolo was named the 49ers’ backup prior to last season, but he started 10 games after Trey Lance suffered a season-ending injury. He posted a 7–3 record in that span before suffering his own season-ending foot injury.

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Jadeveon Clowney (From Browns to Ravens)

After two seasons wit the Browns, Jadeveon Clowney moves elsewhere in the AFC North to play for the Ravens.

Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports

Clowney, the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NFL draft, was released by the Browns in March. But as fate would have it, one of their AFC North rivals, the Ravens, signed him in mid-August. The veteran pass rusher boasts 43 career sacks, but only two of those were recorded last season.

Trey Lance (From 49ers to Cowboys)

The former first-round pick was demoted to the third string by the 49ers last month and then was traded to the Cowboys for a fourth-round pick as San Francisco cut its losses. Lance started just two games last season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. He’s expected to play behind Dallas starter Dak Prescott and backup Cooper Rush.

Darren Waller (From Raiders to Giants)

The former Raiders star will now be a key target for Giants quarterback Daniel Jones after being traded to New York in March. Last season, the standout tight end only appeared in nine games because of a hamstring injury.

Bobby Wagner (From Rams to Seahawks)

A longtime emotional leader for the Seahawks, Bobby Wagner returns to Seattle this year after one season with the Rams.

Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports

The veteran linebacker played just one season with the Rams following 10 years with the Seahawks to begin his NFL career. Now Wagner heads back to Seattle on a one-year deal. Wagner was named to eight Pro Bowls and won a Super Bowl ring previously with Seattle.

DJ Moore (From Panthers to Bears)

The Bears earned the No. 1 pick of the 2023 NFL draft but ultimately traded the pick to the Panthers in exchange for Moore and four other draft picks. Moore led the Panthers with 888 receiving yards and seven touchdown catches last season.

Adam Thielen (From Vikings to Panthers)

Thielen signed a three-year pact with Carolina in March, moving on from Minnesota after nine seasons. A two-time Pro Bowler, Thielen posted some of the lowest numbers of his career last season, finishing with 716 yards and six touchdown catches despite playing in all 17 games.

Baker Mayfield (From Rams to Buccaneers)

The former No. 1 pick played for both the Panthers and Rams last season. Now, Mayfield will start for the Buccaneers after winning the quarterback competition over Kyle Trask. Mayfield went 2–8 in his 10 starts last season.

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