NFL free agencyThe end of the year is fast approaching and many teams are working to improve their performance. signing some of the biggest namesThe 2022 open market. Who will sign where? Who are the top free agents? These are the teams that should be closely followed over the next few months. What about the quarterbacks?
Monday is the opening of legal negotiations. Most players will have settled on new homes by midweek. The NFL team has all the information you need to be a part of the free-agent frenzy. This includes a preview of what you can expect and a recap of the highlights. franchise-tag windowHere's a look at the top players in the league, a list of signal-callers who could be signed in new positions, a breakdown on the perfect player-team fit, and a discussion about how deals could affect April's. NFL draft. We look at the potential free agents who could be signed to huge contracts, prove-it deals, or other high-value deals. We look at teams that are willing to spend, and those that may remain dormant while they deal with salary-cap issues. We wrap it up with a few predictions of what could happen.
More than a dozen NFL experts weigh in on the wildest week of the offseason. This handy cheat sheet contains all the information you need. (Salary cap figures via Over The Cap.
Preview | Top names | Franchise tags
Quarterbacks to watch | Bank-breakers
Spender teams | Cap-concern teams
Best fits | Receivers to know | Sleepers
Prove-it candidates | Draft outlook | Predictions
What are the expectations of free agency? When does it begin?
The NFL's 2022 Free Agent Period officially begins Monday, March 14th with two days for legal negotiations. The Wednesday of March 16th deadline is the best day to make agreements. Early contract extensions and the franchise tags are used by teams to stop their best players from reaching the market. However, they know that bidding wars with unfettered leverage and unrestricted leverage will increase costs.
The most important question isn't where free agents will sign, but how they will reach the market. Eight of the top players got the franchise tag, along with two other pending free agent — Chargers receiver Mike WilliamsPass rusher for the Titans Harold Landry III— Signed new contracts. Two Saints players (left tackle) remain on the list. Terron ArmsteadSafety Marcus Williams) leading a class that includes an unusually high number of talented tight ends and some big-name veteran pass-rushers.
The 2022 market will see teams have to adhere to a salary cap cap of $208.2 millions per team. The Chargers (54 million), Dolphins (53 million) or Jets (50 million) have the largest cap spaces as of this week. — Kevin Seifert
Learn more NFL offseason preview … Lessons from navigating free agency … Moves that AFC teams should make … Moves that NFC teams should make
Which are the best free agents?
An ideal NFL free agent is someone who is just finishing his first contract. He is approximately 26 years old. However, teams try hard to re-sign players or use the franchise tag. The best free agents in this class include veteran pass-rushers (including four of the top 10). None of the above are younger than 29. — Seifert
1. Terron ArmsteadOT
2. Marcus WilliamsS
3. Von Miller, OLB
4. Tyrann MathieuS
5. Carlton DavisCB
6. Brandon ScherffG
7. Allen Robinson IIWR
8. Randy Gregory, DE
9. Chandler Jones, OLB
10. Jadeveon Clowney, DE
Learn more Top 100 free agents … Most overrated, underrated free agents … Deepest, thinnest positions
Who was franchise-tagged?
Franchise tags:Packers have many receivers Davante AdamsBuccaneers Wide Receiver Chris Godwin, Bengals safety Jessie Bates IIIChiefs offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr., Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki, Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz, Browns tight end David NjokuJaguars offensive tackle Cam Robinson.
Three of the eight franchised players for this year are extremely tight ends. This is mainly due to their relatively low franchise costs. The Packers try to placate the five other players, but each one has a very specific reason. Aaron RodgersThe Bucs are still hopeful that Tom Brady will return and the Jags continue to be infatuated with Robinson. You get the idea. I found it most fascinating: There were zero pass-rushers. I thought Harold Landry IIIHe signed an extension and was eventually granted one. Chandler JonesThey were solid candidates. This means there are many options for pass-rushers in free agency this year. — Dan Graziano
Learn more Franchise tag tracker
What are the most successful quarterbacks?
Jameis Winston:Winston has made tremendous strides in repairing the problems in his game with the Saints after a disappointing season due to an ACL tear. He is a hard worker and has made a full recovery from knee surgery. Winston's potential is amazing, as usual. — Jason Reid
Marcus Spears breaks down the future market for free agents for Saints' QB Jameis Newton.
Teddy Bridgewater:Bridgewater is a classic “game manager” and won't make you feel like a fool by his mind-numbing turnovers. Bridgewater is a great “game manager” and will often take the reins. Bridgewater is so risk-averse there's not much upside. However, most companies would prefer stability to sizzle. — Jason Reid
The best of the rest:Remember why teams will go to great lengths to retain or trade for their assets, as we saw with the team that we were referring to. Russell WilsonBroncos are looking for franchise passers. There are not enough signal-callers in a 32-team, quarterback-centric league. The class of free-agent passers this year reminds us of this reality. There are veteran game managers, as well some others who have proven their potential. These guys won't be of any use to organizations looking for game-changers in the most important position in professional sports. The following are other names you should know: Mitchell Trubisky, Marcus Mariota, Andy Dalton, Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Cam NewtonAnd Jacoby Brissett. — Jason Reid
Learn more NFL execs on the free-agent QB class
What free agents can break the bank?
Terron Armstead, OT: Armstead is a top target for many teams because of his high-demanded skill. Left tackles with good skills are rare. — Seifert
J.C. Jackson, CB:There are many opinions on his cover skills. It's worth asking why the Patriots allow him to approach the market. However, his playmaking is undeniable (25 interceptions from 2018). — Seifert
Carlton Davis, CB:Davis, despite a knee injury that kept him out of 10 games last season is still young and versatile. He has no obvious weaknesses in his game. This is a win for free agency. — Seifert
Marcus Williams, S:Williams' statistics aren’t impressive, but they do show that he is one of the NFL’s most trusted safeties. Williams is just 25 years old, so he has the same skills against both the pass and the run. — Seifert
Brandon Scherff, G:Scherff earned $33 Million over 2020-21 on consecutive franchise tags issued by Washington. Scherff is currently the top guard on the market, and at only 30 years old is still young enough for several more high-level seasons. — Seifert
Tyrann Mathieu, S:Mathieu has been named to three consecutive Pro Bowls. He is a top safety and leader. Mathieu is 30 years old when the 2022 season starts, but he should still have many productive years. — Seifert
What teams might be interested in free agency?
Jacksonville Jaguars:Wide receiver support is what they will be aiming for in the quest to become a quarterback. Trevor LawrenceWhile looking for pieces to augment the offensive or secondary line, — Jeremy Fowler
Cincinnati Bengals:Cincinnati signed several free agents in the offseason. With $35 million in cap space, the Bengals intend to make another run at the Super Bowl. Fowler
Los Angeles Chargers:Los Angeles is looking at potential upgrades for cornerback and defensive tackle, which are essential to one of the league’s worst run-stopping squads. The team has more than $40million in cap space. Fowler
Detroit Lions:This team has many holes to fill, beginning with wide receiver and moving onto the defensive side. Fowler
Carolina Panthers:It'd not be surprising if the Panthers land one of the top quarterbacks from the free agency class. Also, improving the offensive line would be a great idea. Fowler
Which teams are likely to be quiet in free agency
New Orleans Saints:New Orleans is currently projecting to have a salary cap of $45million. They will be focusing on restructuring existing deals and not being involved in free agency. — Mike Tannenbaum
Green Bay Packers:The Packers are right there after the Saints placed the franchise tag Davante AdamsAnd Aaron RodgersDeciding to return. However, they are in a much more difficult position. They will need to make decisions about cutting players and adding years of void to contracts. — Tannenbaum
Dallas Cowboys:As previously reported, Cowboys are expected to make receiver cuts Amari CooperTo re-sign their unrestricted, free agents. Specifically, Randy GregoryAnd Michael GallupYou could be offered new deals. DeMarcus LawrenceThey should also keep an eye on another player. Dallas also put a tag on the tight end Dalton Schultz. — Tannenbaum
New England Patriots:The Patriots were not unusually aggressive in free agency last March to improve their roster after poor drafting. Although it led them to the playoffs, the Pats will probably be more quiet in free agency. — Tannenbaum
Los Angeles Rams:The Super Bowl Champs want to bring back midseason purchases Von MillerAnd Odell Beckham Jr. What is the problem? They expect to go over $20 million above the cap. — Tannenbaum
Which are the best free-agent suits?
J.C. Jackson, CB together with the Arizona Cardinals:Jackson is a superior-tier player with the ball skills and coverage qualities to help elevate the Cardinals' secondary. It's easy to transition to Vance Joseph’s defensive scheme where Jackson would provide more man coverage. — Matt Bowen
Chandler JonesOLB with the New England Patriots:Jones would have the advantage of a system with planned matchups and stunts at this stage of his career. He'd be able to deploy from multiple alignments, which would help him defend Bill Belichick. Matthew Judon. Bowen
JuJu Smith-SchusterWR with the Philadelphia Eagles:To complement the Eagles' vertical speed, they need a slot target. Smith-Schuster is a physical target with the catch-and run ability and the physical attributes to play that role in Nick Sirianni’s offense. Bowen
Learn more Best team fits for 50 free agents
Who are the top names in the wide receiver group?
While the free-agent wide receiver group is led by a few top stars, there are still some questions. Some of the stars include Odell Beckham Jr. (ACL), Michael Gallup (ACL), Will Fuller V (finger), DJ Chark Jr. Smith-Schuster (shoulder), (ankle), had their 2021 season cut short after sustaining a major injury. Allen Robinson IIHe is entering the worst season in his career.
Keep an eye out for interesting names Christian Kirk. At 25, the former second-round selection is in his prime. And, unlike many of the others, he's coming off of a career year in terms both of availability and production. His availability and production are both in decline, however. reported impending releaseCooper may soon be added to the list, although it is not yet officially announced. Mike Clay
Dianna Russini describes the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' placing of the franchise tag on wide receiver Chris Godwin.
How many free agents do you see flying under the radar of government?
Bradley Bozeman, C:The second-best rookie phenom center Creed HumphreyBozeman is a strong upgrade for many teams in the center position, with a high pass block win rate. Bozeman was also in the top 10 for run block win rates. — Seth Walder
Casey Hayward Jr., CB:Hayward, who will be 33 years old in September, is an exceptional deterrent to targets. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, he had the lowest target rate among all outside corners during two of his three seasons. — Walder
Rashaad Penny, RB:Penny was quietly the most efficient running back in football last year. He was the only running back to have at least 50 rush yards more than expected per carry (plus-2.1), and had the third most total rush yards above expectation, despite only making 119 attempts. — Walder
Morgan Moses, OT:Moses, who is 31 years old, was above average in pass-block win rate last season and has played 16 games in seven consecutive seasons. Moses should be a reference point for any team looking for stability at the tackle position. — Walder
Derek Barnett, DE:Barnett's pass-rush ability was exceptional last year. However, the sacks were not there last year. According to NFL Next Gen Stats Barnett ranked in 10th place in pass rush win rate at edge and just one in sacks. — Walder
D.J. Reed, CB:Reed was the only outside corner to have at least 300 coverage photos last season. A.J. TerrellAnd Tre'Davious WhitePer NFL Next Gen Stats, in completion percentage over expected allowed. He also ranked in the top 10 for yards per coverage snap allowed. — Walder
What players might be interested in a prove it deal?
Allen Robinson II, WR:Robinson was not limited to one game in 2021, which resulted in career-lows in receiving yards, touchdowns and yards per catch. His stats were affected by inconsistent quarterback play, injuries, and low target share. Robinson is still an excellent player, it's clear. Field Yates
Marcus Maye, S:Timing is everything. Maye's Achilles injury last season was a devastating blow. He was a franchise tag player last year, and may be looking for long-term security. However, a one year deal to ensure that Achilles is not a hindrance to his future performance might be more feasible. — Yates
Ronald Jones II, RB:Jones could be one of the few running backs that might explore this short-term deal option. However, Jones is a good candidate since he has a clear skill set, but his opportunities were limited in the past year. Leonard FournetteTampa Bay's go-to back. — Yates
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR:Smith-Schuster might choose the one-year route once again, after agreeing to stay in Pittsburgh last year. An opportunity to change scenery, considering the uncertain situation at the Steelers' quarterback position, could be a boon for Smith-Schuster's production. — Yates
What are the major draft implications of free agency
Robinson has been re-branded by the Jaguars, creating a new dynamic for the franchise at No. The No. 1 overall pick. After weeks of speculation that offensive tackles would be selected, Ikem Ekwonu(NC State). Evan Neal(Alabama), were the leaders in the clubhouse to pick the top pick. However, the odds quickly shifted in favor of Michigan's edge rusher Aidan HutchinsonBecause of the logjam at offensive tackle.
What's next? Over the next two week, team needs will change significantly. But the first domino revolves around which teams with high draft picks require offensive tackle now that Jacksonville is likely looking in a different way. Jordan Reid
Are there any predictions as to how the free agency frenzy will unfold in the future?
The Cincinnati BengalsWill sign guard Brandon Scherff. You want to help the quarterback Joe BurrowAvoid getting fired Aaron Donald again? The Bengals have to address their offensive line. They had 48.8% of pass block wins in 2021, and Scherff was the worst interior lineman. Cincinnati has more than $30 million in cap space. This means that it doesn't have any excuses not to grab the five-time Pro Bowl blockinger. — Jamison Hensley
Linebacker Foyesade OluokunWill land a huge-bucks contract. It could make as much as $10 million per season. This makes people wonder “Who is that?” Oluokun was a sixth-round draft pick by the Falcons, hailing from Yale in 2018. He has steadily progressed from role player into an impact tackling machine. However, the Falcons have limited prime-time exposure so he is mostly invisible and has not made it to the playoffs. However, being a free agent at 27 is a great combination of disruptive, dynamic, durable. Oluokun was not invited to the NFL Combine in 2018, but he is about to be invited to negotiate and rewarded for being persistent. — Mike Reiss
Wide receiver Christian KirkReceive an above-market deal in agency. In his final season in Arizona, he posted his best season to date and has always shown high-end traits dating back to his time at Texas A&M. Kirk could be a valuable asset to a contender for the playoffs. — Ben Baby
Quarterback Jameis WinstonSigned a two-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers are well-placed to draft Malik WillisAt No. 20 and allow him to develop under Winston for at most one season. Before he tore his ACL in Week 8 last season, Winston was well on his way to resurrecting his career by leading the Saints to a 5-2 record with a 14-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Winston won't be carrying a huge load unlike his time with Buccaneers. He'll be able to rely on the strength and versatility of the Pittsburgh defense, as well the many weapons available to him. Courtney Cronin