2022 NFL Free Agency Day 3 winners and losers: Raiders score as Baker Mayfield future uncertain

The league’s new year has begun and all the trades we heard about in the early days of legal tampering can finally become official. It was also a day when the big trades that were reported finally materialized. Russell Wilson was introduced to Denver as a new member of the Broncos and Carson Wentz is scheduled to speak to Washington Commanders reporters tomorrow.

The offers are starting to fly, and some of the top free agents left the board on Wednesday. There’s still plenty of action to come, but let’s break down some winners and losers from Day 3 of NFL free agency.

Winner: Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders were probably Wednesday’s big winner. According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, they agreed to terms with one of the best passers available, giving former Arizona Cardinals defensive end Chandler Jones a three-year deal worth around $51 million. Jones may be 32, but he doesn’t look it. He’s notched 10.5 sacks in 2021 – making it the sixth season in seven years where he’s recorded double-digit sacks. The one season Jones didn’t play, he only played five games. Pairing Jones with Maxx Crosby is going to be a staple on TV.

As Vegas hits the jackpot at Jones, some immediately wondered what was to come to Yannick Ngakoue. Fans didn’t have to wait long for an answer, as the Raiders traded him to the Indianapolis Colts for cornerback Rock Ya-Sin in a rare player-to-player trade. CBS Sports’ Tyler Sullivan rated the trade an “A” for the Raiders. Here’s what he had to say about Ya-Sin and the transaction:

“He’ll be 26 at the start of next season and had a strong 2021 season at Indy. According to PFF, he allowed a receiving percentage of just 56.5 percent while opposing quarterbacks had a 93 passer rating, 4 against him, which were the best totals of his career. He also recorded seven pass breakups.

“For the Raiders, they improved at one of their passing points and were able to add a young corner to their secondary, which should be seen as a positive as this division continues to add attacking firepower.”

Loser: Baker Mayfield

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The Cleveland Browns are one of four teams launching Deshaun Watson, which means Baker Mayfield could be on the way out. Even if the Browns don’t land Watson, it’s still possible they’ll quit their starting quarterback.

The former No. 1 overall pick made himself comfortable Tuesday night, posting what seemed like a goodbye and thank you to the city of Cleveland. One of the first sentences said “this is not a message with a hidden meaning”, but the message said a lot:

Things only got worse after that. Mayfield tweeted the message at 10:03 p.m., and less than 20 minutes later, his former teammate, running back Duke Johnson, posted a gif of a train wreck on Twitter.

The next day, Wednesday, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen said he was told things had changed lately and the Browns wanted what they considered “an adult” in the position. Yeah. The Browns may not be the “favorites” to land Watson per se, but it looks like a divorce is coming with Mayfield.

Winner: By Miller

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Von Miller was considered by many to be the best defensive free agent to hit the market this offseason, and he was paid as such. Wednesday, the former Super Bowl MVP accepted the conditions with the Buffalo Bills on a whopping six-year contract worth $120 million, with $51.345 million guaranteed, by CBS Sports NFL Insider Josina Anderson. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport says deal postponed, with Miller on average $17.5 million over the first four years.

Miller turns 33 later this month, but he showed last year that he’s still an impact player and isn’t slowing down just yet. He helped the Los Angeles Rams win a Super Bowl last season and will try to do the same for the Bills next year – as a very wealthy man.

Loser: New England Patriots

It’s definitely not the time to panic in New England, but it looks like not much is going on for the Patriots while they’re leaking oil. Look who they’ve lost or traded so far: cornerback JC Jackson, center Ted Karras, offensive guard Shaq Mason, running back Brandon Bolden and fullback Jakob Johnson. All the Pats have added are Mack Wilson in the Chase Winovich trade and cornerback Terrance Mitchell.

To make matters worse, right tackle Trent Brown visits the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday. He said CBS Sports NFL Insider Josina Anderson that the Patriots are still in the game, but his departure would mark another big loss. Losing key players and watching other teams in your conference and division improve immediately is an unsettling feeling.

Winner: Washington Commanders

It’s not a story that made the headlines, but the COs had one of the weirdest things with them in free agency.

On Tuesday, it was reported that the Bills had agreed terms with Washington running back JD McKissic on a two-year, $7 million deal that had an $8 million maximum. It was curious, because Washington said re-signing McKissic this offseason was a priority, by JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washingtonbut Washington never made an offer to try to keep him, according to Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post.

So what happened? According to ESPN’s Adam SchefterWashington didn’t actually offer McKissic a deal – until he agreed to go to Buffalo. Once McKissic and his camp heard that Washington was willing to match that offer, he decided to stay in DC.

Turns out, Commanders don’t plan to be very “commanding” in free agency when it comes to which players they want to keep. They’re lucky McKissic decided to come back. Some players would take this lack of communication personally.

Loser: Carson Wentz’s first day of school photo

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