Last week, I examined the most disappointing trades and free-agent signings from this past offseason. Today, after big performances from several offseason acquisitions over the weekend, I'm feeling a bit more positive.
Through six weeks of the 2022 NFL season, here are the five best offseason pickups (arranged in alphabetical order).
NOTE: All contract numbers were taken from Over the Cap.
New contract: one year, $7.25 million with $2.5 million available via incentives.
Philadelphia had one of the worst secondaries in the NFL last season, allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete a robust 69.4 percent of passes (tied for dead last in the NFL). This season, the Eagles are allowing QBs to complete just 56.8 percent of their passes (second-best in the league). The additions of Bradberry and safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson have turned Philly's secondary into one of the team's strengths. Bradberry, specifically, has played extremely well opposite Darius Slay with two interceptions, one of which was returned for a TD, and a league-high nine pass breakups. He's also allowing an opposing passer rating of just 35.4 when targeted.
After betting on himself with a one-year deal in May, Bradberry could be set to cash in this coming offseason.
Trade compensation: acquired from the Tennessee Titans in exchange for a first- (No. 18 overall) and third-round pick (No. 101) in the 2022 NFL Draft.
New contract: four years, $100 million with $57.22 million in guarantees.
Philadelphia made the biggest draft-day trade, and it's more than paid off. The Eagles currently rank 12th in passing yards per game, a year after ranking 25th. That positive jump in the aerial attack can be attributed to Jalen Hurts' development and Brown's impact as a playmaker. The Eagles haven't had a wideout like this since Terrell Owens. Brown gives Hurts a chance on every play as a big, physical target.
A perfect complement to DeVonta Smith, Brown is a big play waiting to happen, as evidenced by him ranking sixth in receiving yards despite falling outside the top 10 in targets and receptions.
Trade compensation: acquired from the Miami Dolphins in exchange for a first- (No. 29 overall), second- (No. 50) and fourth-round pick (121) in the 2022 NFL Draft, as well as a fourth- and sixth-rounder in 2023.
New contract: four years, $120 million with $72.2 million in guarantees.
The trade for Hill has made all the difference for the Dolphins' offense. His unique catch-and-run talent and ability to stretch the field maximize Tua Tagovailoa's skill set, and make Mike McDaniel's system hum. Through six weeks, Hill leads the NFL in receiving yards (701) and is second in receptions (50) despite playing with three different quarterbacks. The Dolphins' unit has reached new heights with Hill playing opposite Jaylen Waddle in Miami's second-ranked passing attack.
New contract: six years, $120 million with $51.435 million in guarantees.
Miller has found the Fountain of Youth in his first season in Buffalo. With six sacks in six games, including four over the past three weeks, the veteran pass rusher is poised to notch his first season with double-digit sacks since 2018. Josh Allen is getting most of the credit for the Bills' success, but Miller has been absolutely crucial. Ranked first in scoring and second in yards, Buffalo's D has maintained an elite level of play despite key players coming in and out of the lineup, thanks in large part to veteran leaders like the 33-year-old Miller.
This is exactly what Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane envisioned when they handed an offseason megadeal to Miller, who's been on the winning side in 14 of his last 16 games, nabbing a second Super Bowl ring in the process.
New contract: three years, $42 million with $11.5 million in guarantees.
Smith immediately showed Minnesota what he brings to the table, sacking former Packers teammate Aaron Rodgers in the first quarter of a Week 1 Vikings victory. His strong mentality and physical play are infectious, helping Minnesota's defense improve from 24th in scoring in 2021 to 11th through six weeks this season.
The 30-year-old pass rusher leads the team in sacks with 5.5 following a two-sack performance in Week 6. He's also tied with Von Miller and Micah Parsons for the most QB pressures (26) league-wide, per Next Gen Stats. This is the type of production Minnesota has missed along the defensive line over the past few seasons.