Shemon & Sheppard – In The Afternoon

Shemon & Sheppard – In The Afternoon

Shemon & Sheppard – In The Afternoon

I have argued for a long time that the NFL offseason is the second biggest sport in the country. During the season is great. But for a handful of teams the season is over before it even started. And for about two thirds of the league a Super Bowl is an unrealistic expectation. But in the offseason EVERYONE gets better. Or at least that’s what the fan bases think. Players can officially sign with teams on March 16th, but the “legal tampering” period begins on March 14th. What I want to do is lay out the top free agents by position. There are definitely positions with a ton of talent available (Safety) and others that are deprived of top tier talent (wide receiver).

The five teams with the most salary cap are the Bears, Falcons, Raiders, Giants, and Texans. That makes sense that 4 of the 5 teams with the most cap space missed out on the playoffs last season. The Giants are in a good spot obviously. But they have Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley who could hit free agency in a month. 14 of the 32 teams are currently over the cap and need to get under by March 14th. Those teams range from the Jets at $264,000 over the cap to the Buccaneers who are $56.5 million. Those teams will need to release players or restructure contracts to get under the cap number of $224.8 million. This list could change. Teams can apply the franchise tag to players, and that would take them out of the free agency pool. Here’s the top free agents by position.

  • Quarterbacks

    Top Free Agents by Position Quarterback

    (Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images)

    1. Lamar Jackson
    2. Geno Smith
    3. Derek Carr
    4. Daniel Jones
    5. Jimmy Garoppolo

    This is a pretty good list of quarterbacks. Traditionally, this many starters are not on the market. I think Lamar has played his last game for the Ravens. Geno was really good last season. Better than Carr. Danny Dimes is looking for $45 million a year! Doubt he gets that. And if Jimmy G lands in the right spot and stays healthy, he has shown he can take a team to a Super Bowl.

  • Running back

    Top Free Agnets by Position Running back

    (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

    1. Saquon Barkley
    2. Josh Jacobs
    3. Miles Sanders
    4. Raheem Mostert
    5. David Montgomery

    Solid group of backs on the market here. Barkley is an elite back, and Jacobs led the league in rushing last season. Sanders is a solid, reliable back who can help a good team. Mostert had great moment for Miami last year. Montgomery has talent to be very good… he’s just been stuck with the Bears.

  • Wide Receivers

    Top Free Agents by Position Wide Receiver

    (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

    1. Jakobi Meyers
    2. JuJu Smith-Schuster
    3. Odell Beckham Jr.
    4. DJ Chark
    5. Allen Lazard

    Oopf. That’s a pretty rough list right there. Meyers is a solid option but is probably better served as a #2 in an offense. I don’t think much of JuJu, but he did put up some solid number last season (Patrick Mahomes gets credit for that). Odell is an huge question mark. Are you getting Cleveland or Los Angeles Odell? Chark and Lazard are low end #2’s to middle of the road 3’s. I will say that Michael Thomas is a free agent. But he hasn’t been able to stay on the field recently.

     

  • Tight End

    Top Free Agents by Position Tight End

    (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

    1. Mike Gesicki
    2. Dalton Schultz
    3. Evan Engram
    4. Foster Moreau
    5. Hayden Hurst

    Gesicki can be one of the best pass catching tight ends in the league. Schults is a very good all-around tight end. Engram has been up and down so far in his career, but 2022 was definitely an up. I really like Foster Moreau, so I might have him a little high. Hurst is another solid all around tight end.

  • Tackle

    Top Free Agents by Position Tackle

    (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

    1. Orlando Brown Jr.
    2. Jawaan Taylor
    3. Mike McGlinchey
    4. Kaleb McGary
    5. Isaiah Wynn

    This is a really strong group of Tackles. Brown is a top-5 Tackle, and if Taylor holds true to his 2022 form, then he might be better than Orlando. Mike McGlinchey is a solid option at RT. McGary and Wynn have a ton of talent and would be an upgrade for a lot of teams across the league.

  • Interior Offensive Linemen

    Top Free Agents by Position IOL

    (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

    1. G Isaac Seumalo
    2. G Dalton Risner
    3. G Ben Powers
    4. C Eathen Pocic
    5. C Connor McGovern

    Not as good of a list that the Tackles gives us. However, there are still quality players on this list. Seumalo is top of the sport talent.

  • EDGE

    Top Free Agents by Position

    (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

    1. Marcus Davenpot
    2. Charles Omenihu
    3. Arden Key
    4. Jadaveon Clowney
    5. Yannick Ngakoue

    Another solid group, but I don’t think there is an elite name on this list. Davenport has the best combo of measurables, productivity, and age. Key, Clowney, and Ngakoue are super talented, but have some issues in one area or another.

  • Defensive Tackle

    Top Free Agents by Position Defensive Tackle

    (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    1. Javon Hargrave
    2. Da’Ron Payne
    3. Dre’Mont Jones
    4. David Onyemata
    5. Dalvin Tomlinson

    The interior defensive linemen are better than the guys on the outside. Hargrave will be a huge loss for the Eagles if they don’t bring him back. Da’Ron Payne is an elite talent that will get a huge payday. The other 3 guys are quality level starters.

  • Linebacker

    Top Free Agents by Position Linebacker

    (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

    1. Lavonte David
    2. Tremain Edmunds
    3. TJ Edwards
    4. David Long
    5. Bobby Okereke

    David and Edmunds are both elite and will garner fat paychecks. The other 3 guys are good, but not great.

  • Cornerbacks

    Top Free Agents by Position Cornerback

    (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

    1. James Bradberry
    2. Jamel Dean
    3. Cameron Sutton
    4. Jonathan Jones
    5. Patrick Peterson

    I know Eagles fans, Bradberry held. But he is still a very good corner in the league. Jamel Dean has the most upside on this list and a team will overpay for him on the potential. Sutton played well last season with the Steelers even though he showed up half way through the season. Jones will be 30 at the beginning of next season. But he only has had 1 great season. Peterson is old, but has enough knowledge where a team would take a flyer.

  • Safeties

    Top Free Agents by Position

    (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

    1. Jessie Bates III
    2. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
    3. Jordan Poyer
    4. Vonn Bell
    5. Jimmie Ward

    I think this is the strongest position hitting free agency. Bates has shown he is one of the best in the league. Poyer and Gardner-Johnson have small questions, but there will be at least a team willing to throw a bag of money at them. Bell is a big-time playmaker on the back end. And Jimmie Ward played at a very high level at the end of 2022.

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