NFL Free Agency is not the frenzy it was made out to be. Teams typically don’t allow elite players to hit free agency, lock them out on the stretch before that happens or use the franchise tag.
But there are two key players that are changing teams this month. Free agency officially begins Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET. There is no superstar who hasn’t been awarded a franchise in this free agency category, but there are veterans who can fill the needs.
In our ranking of the 25 best free agents, we wouldn’t include the franchise’s most notable players — Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, Cowboys RB Tony Pollard, Jaguars TE Evan Engram, Commanders DT Daron Payne, Raiders RB Josh Jacobs, Giants RB Saquon Barkley — although Jackson It will obviously be No. 1 on this year’s list and probably any other list over the past few decades.
Here are the top 25 free agents of the year, and updates as they’re signed:
The Browns did not earn a second consecutive franchise touchdown from the Chiefs. He is 26 years old and has a very good left tackle. It is rare to see a good left tackle in the market at that age.
Hargrave had three great seasons with the Eagles after he was not retained by the Steelers. Hargrave had 11.5 sacks last season, which is an impressive mark for an inside linebacker. He just turned thirty.
Bates wasn’t happy about getting the franchise tag last season from the Bengals, but he didn’t get a second tag and left Cincinnati. He is a versatile 26-year-old safety.
Bradberry has become a household name for that suspended Super Bowl call that will be discussed forever. This is unfortunate because he is the heck of a player in a prime position. He got a one-year deal last year with the Eagles and he’s supposed to get more than that this time around.
Allen, 25, was a solid third-round draft pick for the Cardinals in 2019. He developed into a baserunner and extra defense against the run and pass.
Dean has been a solid starting hacker at just 26 years old, and there’s value in that. He may never be a professional player, but the Bucs valued keeping the veteran cornerback.
McGlinchey has a draft pedigree as the former 10th overall pick, and was a good starting right tackle for the 49ers for five seasons.
8. CP Darius Slaughtered
Early reports that the Eagles were intending to release Slay turned out to be premature as it was reported on the first day of the new league year that the star cornerback was He is expected to remain in Philadelphia. The five-time Pro Bowler may have a deal in the works to return to the NFC Champions.
If you need a receiver, there’s bad news. This free agent class is shockingly weak. Myers was in exactly the right place at the right time. Myers has never had more than 866 yards in a season for the Patriots.
10. S. Chauncey Gardner Johnson
It was surprising that the Eagles got Gardner-Johnson on the cheap in a deal with the Saints (Gardner-Johnson was a seventh-round pick for the fifth and sixth), and then had a good season for the NFC champs. There are some injury concerns but he’s the kind of play-making, versatile safety that’s so valuable in the modern NFL.
Jones was a good, solid player for the Broncos who may have been overpaid for not having many stars available. Jones is 26 and could be an above-average starter for the Seahawks’ defensive line.
Poyer will be 32 before the start of next season, so he’s not a long-term option. But he had six great seasons with the Bills and he should still have a good season or two.
Edmunds is a two-time professional pro who has had over 100 tackles in each of his five NFL seasons with the Bills. The former first-round draft pick didn’t make many big plays, but he’s a good option as an off-the-ball linebacker for the Bears, who are looking to fill Roquan Smith’s absence after he was traded.
Taylor is a former second-round starter who has never missed a start for the Jaguars. He is only 25 years old. Taylor isn’t a great right tackle, but he will still be a KC upgrade in his adulthood.
The tight end has become a high-profile stand around the NFL. Schultz’s numbers are down from his 808 yards and eight touchdowns 2021 campaign with the Cowboys, but he’s still a good passer and many teams need an upgrade at that position.
16. WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Beckham would be the best wide receiver on the market if there were no health questions. Beckham never signed last season after tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the Super Bowl 13 months ago. Beckham has done enough with the Rams after his mid-season deal to prove he’s still one of the top talents in the position. It’s just about which team wants to gamble.
Clark and the boss were unable to come to an agreement on a new contract, so it was cut short. He can go back to Kansas City. If not, teams will be interested in a solid passer with an impressive postseason resume.
Wagner will be cut off By the Rams after one season there, but he still played at a high level for a bad team last season. Wagner will turn 33 before Week 1, but the short-term deal could work well for a team looking to improve at fullback.
Tomlinson won’t give you much of an inside pass rush, but the Browns got a quick fix on run defense with his 325-pound tackle. Tomlinson has had two productive seasons for the Vikings.
Let’s play a game called “supply and demand”. There are more teams that need a midfielder than there are players available at the starting level. Garoppolo may not be great, but he’s been with the 49ers and has a lot of experience. The Raiders knew the game of musical chairs QB was over and they needed to overpay for the Garoppolo rather than venture into the unknown.
McGarry had a good season with the Falcons, ranking fourth in the Championship Focus on professional football scores for offensive tackles, and the former first-round pick was just 28 years old. There are never too many great offensive line options available in free agency, and McGary will be a fine addition at right tackle.
With Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, and Tony Pollard tagged along, Sanders is probably the best frontrunner available. A second contract for running back is always fraught, but a team that wants to help a veteran (Dolphins?) can speak to Sanders’ versatility as an asset. Sanders had 1,347 yards and 11 touchdowns from scrimmage last season with the Eagles.
Teams don’t value off-the-ball linebackers as much as they used to. And David is 33 years old. But he’s also one of the elite players in his position, who’s strong against passing and running. David had a great 11 years with the Buccaneers and may still have another good year or two ahead of him.
Jessic was no good fit for Mike McDaniel’s offense with the Dolphins. Another team could see an athletic talent who was productive from 2019-2021 and is only 27 years old. For a team that knows Gesicki is primarily a big receiver rather than a tight end on the line, he could be a nice addition.
Davenport is a former Saints first-round draft pick, 26 years old and had nine sacks two seasons ago. Overall, Davenport has been a disappointment (21.5 sacks in five seasons) but the Vikings will live up to his potential.
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