2023 NFL free agent matchmaker: Teddy Bridgewater to the Cardinals, Carson Wentz to the Packers, and other sensible choices

new placements for outstanding unsigned veterans

From now until the beginning of the 2023 season, the majority of NFL rosters will only see minimal adjustments. However, often the smallest adjustments turn out to be the most significant, with spring and summer acquisitions strengthening crucial areas of depth for competitors of all sizes.

Which of the top free agents could still generate interest before Week 1 in light of this? Where might they logically end up, more specifically? Play matchmaker with a few well-known performers who are still unsigned:

Carson Wentz to the Packers

The fact that Green Bay has yet to find a single qualified backup quarterback for their new quarterback has been overlooked in the transition from Aaron Rodgers to Jordan Love. While Wentz is erratic, he is a veteran with more experience than the current reserves Sean Clifford and Danny Etling. Additionally, he’d be nearer to his Midwestern roots.

Teddy Bridgewater to the Cardinals

Arizona is likely more focused on competing in 2024, but new coach Jonathan Gannon may be depending on Clayton Tune and David Blough to carry them early with Kyler Murray returning from a late-year ACL rupture and older backup Colt McCoy also coming off his own problems. Meanwhile, Bridgewater, who is connected to both coordinator Drew Petzing and Gannon, is a tried-and-true stopgap.

Ezekiel Elliott to the Chargers

As long as Austin Ekeler is there, Los Angeles won’t have a pressing need for a running back. However, Ekeler excels as Justin Herbert’s receiving outlet, and despite a rather ineffective final chapter with the Cowboys, Elliott still possesses the skills to play a rotating role. Kellen Moore, the new Chargers coordinator, is also acquainted with Zeke from their time together in Dallas.

Jarvis Landry to the Vikings

Jordan Addison, a wide receiver who the Vikings previously addressed with a first-round pick and whose route-running abilities should complement the explosive Justin Jefferson, was selected by them. But Landry shouldn’t be expensive. If healthy, he would provide a strong challenge to K.J. Osborn in the slot, especially if Minnesota decides to adopt a more pass-oriented offense in light of the uncertain future of Dalvin Cook.

Kenny Golladay to the Lions

When Golladay cashed in on his Detroit renaissance in 2021 free agency, very nothing went right for him. But now that the Lions are aiming for the playoffs, the ex-Giant’s large bulk would be appreciated as more of a backup option, especially with Jameson Williams out to start the season.

Ben Jones to the Texans

C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson Jr. are the key players at quarterback and pass rusher, respectively. Stroud needs to be able to maintain his balance at this point; while the tackle positions are adequate, Houston could need some interior reinforcement. Both Jones and rookie Juice Scruggs have the skills to play guard and center. Jones started his career with the Texans before spending a significant amount of time in Tennessee.

Yannick Ngakoue to the Lions

Why not, you ask? Even though Detroit has been working this offseason improving every aspect of their defense, they might still use a true pass rusher to oppose Aidan Hutchinson, especially as they prepare to make a serious postseason run. The opportunity for a big play is there even though Ngakoue’s book was written as a one-trick pony off the edge, ala C.J. Gardner-Johnson.

Leonard Floyd to the Seahawks

Seattle paid a hefty price to bring back Jarran Reed and add Dre’Mont Jones to its front seven this offseason. However, the Seahawks could certainly need some edge pressure, and Floyd, a rival Rams cap casualty, has quietly recorded at least nine sacks in three consecutive seasons. He might serve as a drop-in outside linebacker for their 3-4 defense.

Marcus Peters to the 49ers

Peters still contributes a lot of tenacity to the secondary despite being past his prime, and if San Francisco still views itself as an NFC contender, the back end could use some additional depth after Emmanuel Moseley and Jimmie Ward left in free agency. Isaiah Oliver from Atlanta was added to the club, but Peters’ outside experience might be helpful in the final run.

John Johnson to the Chargers

Derwin James already dominates L.A.’s secondary, but Brandon Staley is banking on former sixth-round pick Alohi Gilman to play the other safety position on a potential contender. Gilman has nine career starts. Before Johnson made a fortune with the Browns, Staley also managed one of the veteran’s best seasons with the Rams.