Sometimes it’s difficult to follow every offseason move in the NFL. That’s why we put together this simple list outlining the 10 Best Offensive Players joining new squads in 2021. From blockbuster trade pieces like Julio Jones to under-the-radar acquisitions like Mike Davis, you should probably know where these noteworthy players landed.
Beginning of the season NFL watch parties (not to mention fantasy drafts) always have that one guy who doesn’t keep up with the offseason moves. They identify themselves in the crowd by shouting out, “Wait, when did (insert player name) leave the (insert team here)”. After reading this article, you won’t be that person. In fact, it’s your responsibility to educate that slacker, which will make the world a better place.
With that, let’s get to the list of the 10 best offensive players on new teams. You’ve got to know these:
1. Matthew Stafford – QB – LA Rams (from Detroit)
Everybody is eager to see what Matthew Stafford can do within Sean McVay’s creative offensive scheme. Many people label Stafford an underrated QB after falling out of the media spotlight in Detroit. However, the veteran signal-caller now has a legitimate chance to make some waves while playing for a genuine contender. Stafford’s highly anticipated debut will come on Sunday Night Football against the Bears. Not a small number of people are picking the Rams to win the NFC West this season. This will be the first test.
2. Julio Jones – WR – Tennesee Titans (from Atlanta)
Jones requested a trade out of Atlanta this offseason. He pretty much did it via a TV interview, which isn’t the best way for your fans, not to mention your GM, to find out. They granted his wish in the form of a one-way ticket to Tennessee. Most media outlets were already predicting the Titans to win the AFC South, and their new acquisition serves as icing on that cake. Will this move finally push Tennessee into the Super Bowl? It certainly can’t hurt. Current Julio Jones isn’t old Julio Jones, which is exactly what was said about Jerry Rice when the 49ers let him go to the Raiders at age 39 where he had 83 receptions for 1,100+ yards and 9 TDs.
3. Carson Wentz – QB – Indianapolis Colts (from Philadelphia)
This is one of the more interesting changes. I don’t necessarily mean that in a good way. Wentz was downright bad for the Eagles last season. How bad you ask? It’s lucky he survived Philly fans before he got out of Dodge. He ranked 32nd among qualified QBs according to Pro Football Focus player grades. There are 32 teams in the NFL. So no bueno. Philadelphia replaced Wentz with Jalen Hurts to finish the year, and Hurts has been deemed their QB of the future. Meanwhile, Indianapolis is taking a chance on Wentz to turn things around. This is a big “we’ll see”.
4. Kenny Golladay – WR – NY Giants (from Detroit)
Golladay could end up being one of the best (non-QB) acquisitions this offseason. Most people are sleeping on the former Detroit receiver because he missed the entire second half of 2020. However, Golladay is fully healthy and ready to display his supreme talent while donning a Giants’ uniform. You better believe he’s going to be Daniel Jones’ favorite target. Somebody in the NFC East has to go above .500 this season you’d think. Could it be Jones-to-Golladay making that team the Giants?
5. Jared Goff – QB – Detroit Lions (from LA Rams)
This side of the Rams-Lions trade is less exciting. Stafford will finally get his chance for a legitimate competitor while Goff joins a rebuilding project in Detroit. It’s hard to envision any sort of bounce-back season for Goff, as he has fewer weapons to work with. To further that point: Breshad Perriman, Quintez Cephus, Geronimo Allison, and Chad Hansen are his primary receiving targets. It’s okay if you think those are the names of the guys in Nickelback. I did too. Cephus plays a wicked pop-rock bass.
6. Ryan Fitzpatrick – QB – Washington Football Team (from Miami)
Fitzpatrick will begin his 27th NFL season this fall. Okay, so this is only his 17th year in the league, but you get the joke. Fitzpatrick proved that he still has some gas left in the tank while patching together some strong games for the Dolphins in 2020. The 38-year-old has capable receivers in Washington, as Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel should help him assimilate just fine. The Washington defense is super strong, so you’d think Fitzpatrick won’t be asked to play from well down in a bunch of games and have to be a superstar for this team to win. Think game manager. That’s where the older guys tend to shine.
7. Mike Davis – RB – Atlanta Falcons (from Carolina)
It’s rare to promote a 28-year-old running back into a featured role, but that’s what the Falcons are doing with Davis. The powerful 5’9” RB filled in admirably for Christian McCaffrey last season in Carolina, so there’s some room for optimism. The Falcons are rebuilding at the moment, and their offensive line ranks bottom ten in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. In other words, Davis will have to earn his $5.5 million contract. Atlanta should be a fun team to watch this season. Will they be competitive is the bigger issue.
8. Sam Darnold – QB – Carolina Panthers (from NY Jets)
The “Sam Darnold Era” finished with a whimper in New York. The Jets spent a first-round draft pick on BYU QB Zach Wilson, prompting them to ship Darnold out of town. Will a change in scenery help Darnold, or is he never going to live up to the draft pick and USC-QB background hype? Carolina fans pin their hopes on the former, but Darnold ranks 44th of 50 qualified QBs in passing grades over the past three seasons. Needless to say, it’s make-or-break time for the newly minted Panthers’ QB.
9. James Conner – RB – Arizona Cardinals (from Pittsburgh)
Conner is out of Pittsburgh, and rookie Najee Harris (of Alabama) will take his spot. Pittsburgh fans have to be excited about Harris, yet another beefy strong Alabama RB who can also catch passes and do damage down the field. But this is about Conner. Kenyan Drake is out of Arizona (joined the Raiders), and Conner has been asked to fill that vacancy. The Cardinals could rotate a committee at RB, but Conner stands to be the key guy. There’s a chance he’ll carve out a nice role within an otherwise dynamic offense that includes every defense spying on Kyle Murray and his dangerous feet.
10. Teddy Bridgewater – QB – Denver Broncos (from Carolina)
This is going to be an interesting position battle to monitor through the preseason. Teddy Bridgewater joined the Broncos to challenge incumbent QB, Drew Lock, for a starting role. Lock has the advantage of youth and (maybe) potential on his side, while Bridgewater is more of a game-managing veteran. As of early July, Bridgewater and Lock had equal odds (+145) to start – according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Those odds will start shifting once we start seeing who’s getting the preseason first team reps. But Denver could play it right down the middle.