Free agency in the NFL has the same excitement as any other year, even if the 2023 class doesn't appear as deep as in years past. Thewill affect the free agent spending for teams, but how much will franchises overpay for some of these players?
This year's free agent class is quarterback-heavy, assuming the quarterbacks slated to be free agents aren't franchise tagged in the coming days. The running back class is the deepest its been in years, but how much of a premium will teams pay for a position that hasn't been kind to its players during the lives of their second contracts. The wide receiver class is lackluster, yet the tight end group has potential.
The offensive line group has some players who could significantly help other teams, while the defensive line has some difference-makers on the interior. The linebacker group has some very good players while the cornerbacks hitting the market will be in high demand. The safety group has some players who can make a secondary significantly better.
While free agency is weeks away, some teams won't regret the loss of some players in their free agent crops. Others will be scrambling to retain their key players over the next few weeks. These are how all 32 free agent crops are ranked for each team (Bobby Wagner and Derek Carr).), with recent releases for high-profile players factored into the equation (i.e.
Note: Players listed below are all unrestricted free agents
The Eagles simply won't be able to retain all of their top free agents, showcasing how deep this class is and how talented the roster was in 2022. Bradberry is arguably the best cornerback on the market after a career year and Hargrave had double-digit sacks last season. Gardner-Johnson tied for the league lead in interceptions and Sanders was top five in the league in rushing yards. Jason Kelce is also technically a free agent as his contract voids June 2, but he'll either retire or rework his deal with Philadelphia.
If the Eagles can retain half of their high-profile free agents, it's a good offseason for general manager Howie Roseman.
For a group that doesn't have a starting quarterback on this list, the Bills have a lot impact players entering this year's free agent class. Poyer is one of the best safeties in the NFL and still a difference-maker in his 30s while Edmunds is set to become one of the highest-paid linebackers in the league. Singletary isn't amongst the best running backs in free agency, but is a valuable piece for a contender. Saffold is in his mid-30s, but has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last two years.
The Bills have some coveted players in free agency. Will they be able to retain Poyer and Edmunds?
While Jones is a candidate to be franchise tagged, he's still one of the the top quarterbacks on the free agent market and is expected to get paid. Barkley is arguably the best running back in a free agent class loaded with good running backs and his market will be one of the most intriguing ones this offseason. Love had a breakout year in 2022 and is an ascending safety in the league.
Jones and Barkley are why this free agent class is one of the best. The Giants will have a tough decision to make on retaining both of them.
Jackson is the best free agent available this offseason, even if the Ravens are likely to franchise him to buy more time and get a long-term deal done. The Jackson saga is arguably the offseason's most intriguing storyline. Peters, 30, is a four-time First team All-Pro at cornerback, but injuries have prevented him from being the game-changing cornerback he's been throughout his career. Houston had 9.5 sacks at age 34 last year, so he still has value as a pass rusher.
Jackson elevates the Ravens to a top five spot on this list. He's too good a player to allow on the open market.
The Chiefs have a good crop of players available for the taking this free agent season, even if Brown could be classified as the lone difference-maker. The only tackle to make the Pro Bowl in each of the past four seasons, Brown played a huge role in Kansas City winning its second Super Bowl title in four seasons. Wylie will also be in demand after playing well in Super Bowl LVII. Thornhill had a good season at safety and is an underrated player. Smith-Schuster, Hardman and McKinnon are excellent fits in the Chiefs offense, which elevates their free agent status.
Brown will likely be franchise tagged again by Kansas City, but the Chiefs could be undergoing another roster turnover this offseason -- while keeping the core players intact. Brown is one of those core players.
Top free agents: Derek Carr (QB), Josh Jacobs (RB)
Carr and Jacobs are the two headliners in this class -- and one of them certainly won't be returning to Vegas. Carr forced the Raiders' hand in releasing him and is one of the top free agents on the market. He'll take his time in free agency, but can sign anywhere before the start of free agency since he was already released. Jacobs was the league's rushing champion and had his best season in the NFL. How much will he get in free agency and what is his market as a running back set to get his second contract?
The Raiders have solid free agents that would benefit other teams, but Carr and Jacobs are easily the best players. They are two of the top free agents on the market.
Pollard is arguably the most explosive running back available in free agency and a player the Cowboys must re-sign. He's likely worth the big money on his second contract. Schultz has been a top five tight end in catches and receiving yards over the last two seasons and is arguably the top tight end on the market. He played on the franchise tag last year. Brown is a starting cornerback in the league, but the Cowboys may find it difficult to retain him.
Pollard and Schultz will be in demand once the new league year begins. The Cowboys would be wise not to lose both.
The Buccaneers have a laundry list of good free agents, starting with one of the top linebackers of this era in David. While David is 33, he's still one of the most productive linebackers in the game. Dean is the best free agent on this list and will be one of the top cornerbacks available. Edwards could be excellent value on his second contract as a safety while Murphy-Bunting is certainly a starting cornerback in the league.
Tampa Bay's secondary is set to get a makeover if the Buccaneers can't retain Dean or Edwards, but they'll be top commodities if they hit the open market.
Smith is one of the top quarterbacks available -- assuming the Seahawks don't franchise him. He was a top 10 quarterback in the game last season and will be in demand if he hits the open market. The Seahawks would like to keep Smith, but how much is he worth? Penny will be one of the most intriguing players in free agency, as he's averaged 6.8 yards per carry and has 1,017 rushing yards in his last 10 games. Health is the only thing preventing Penny from being one of the best backs in the game. Ford is a good nose tackle while Blythe is a solid start that can play guard and center.
If Penny could stay healthy, this free agent crop would be one of the best in the league.
Bates is one of the best players available in free agency, even if it remains to be seen if he's a core piece of the franchise with Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase -- both whom the Bengals have to pay. Bates having a career year won't favor Cincinnati getting a long-term extension done with him, but the Bengals could franchise tag him again. Bell and Perine are also good players in a small free agent class for Cincinnati, with Perine due for a role as a featured back in an offense.
Bates' game-changing ability coupled with Bell's durability gives this crop a boost.
Jones is one of the best cornerbacks available in this class -- and a player many teams will covet if he hits the open market. Meyers is arguably the top wide receiver in the free agent class and could thrive in an offense with a better quarterback or play-caller that utilizes his strengths as a shifty slot receiver who can get open. Those two alone elevate this class.
McCourty is either coming back to New England or retiring, but he's still a free agent and had four interceptions last year at the age of 35. Harris is just a year removed from a season with 15 rushing touchdowns and should have value in a crowded running back market. New England has one of the deeper free agent crops.
Garoppolo was well on his way toward leading the 49ers on a deep playoff run before his foot injury. Whether he's a product of Kyle Shanahan or not will be answered this offseason if he signs with another team, but there's a possibility the 49ers could bring him back if they aren't fully sold on Trey Lance. The 49ers have good pieces in the secondary set to hit the free agent market, as Gipson had a career year at 32 and Ward is a valuable piece at cornerback and safety. Moseley is a good cover cornerback who had his season cut short due to injury.
The 49ers have talent in their free agent class, even though the best players are on the north side of 30.
13. Detroit Lions
The Lions have some good players set to hit free agency, starting with Williams, who led the league with 17 rushing touchdowns and set a franchise record. In a crowded free agent class for running backs, where does Williams fit into the equation? Chark will be one of the top wide receivers in a weak class for the position.
Oruwariye had a poor 2022 season, but is a playmaking cornerback who had six interceptions two seasons ago. A bounce-back season makes him an intriguing free agent. Anzalone and Elliott are coming off career highs in tackles, but both players aren't great in coverage. Detroit's free agent crop certainly has players worth retaining.
Lazard is one of the top free agent wideouts available in a weak class, which boosts his profile for a hefty contract this offseason. Will the Packers keep him in an attempt to retain Aaron Rodgers or could they let him walk in favor for another veteran or get even younger at the position? Amos is a good safety, but had a down year in 2022. He was one of the better free agent values the last time he hit the open market (2019). Tonyan had 11 touchdowns in 2020, but just four since.
This isn't a big free agent class, but there are players to be had in Amos and Lazard.
15. Cleveland Browns
The Browns don't have a great crop of free agents, but a group of players that would be beneficial to a roster. Jones had a career resurgence in his half season with the Browns and is worth monitoring in free agency. Hunt and Johnson are looking for expanded roles in their next offense as Hunt can still be a No. 1 running back in the right system. Brissett will be one of the best No. 2 quarterbacks on the market.
Hunt and Johnson are intriguing running backs in a crowded market, which elevates this class.
16. Tennessee Titans
This free agent crop certainly was elevated with the releases of Lewan and Cunningham, two players who were one of the most productive at their positions not too long ago. Cunningham had three straight 100-tackle seasons, including leading the league in 2020 with 164. Lewan will be one of the top tackles on the market even with injuries hindering the three-time Pro Bowl left tackle.
Long is one of the best linebackers available and should be a player the Titans attempt to re-sign while Daley has established himself as a starting lineman in the league.
17. New York Jets
Williams is the headliner of this class, as the Jets have to make decisions on key players on the offensive line and their defense. Joyner had an excellent season at age 32, but what will his market be heading into his mid-30s? Fant is a solid starter coming off an injury-riddled season while Alexander played a full season for the first time in six years. Rankins is still disruptive at defensive tackle.
None of these players is a top free agent, but will be names to watch in the second wave of free agency.
Don't be fooled by the 0.5 sacks from Davenport, as he had 32 pressures on the season. In other words, he's getting to the quarterback. Injuries have significantly riddled Landry and Thomas' production, but they could be huge signings for a team at the right price. Thomas is the biggest wild card amongst all the free agents. Dalton can be a valuable No. 2 quarterback or a good bridge quarterback for a team.
The Saints may not be able to keep any of these players. Davenport's market will be the most intriguing.
19. Miami Dolphins
Gesicki is one of the best receiving tight ends in football when in the right system, which didn't happen in Miami last year. His market should be much better than anticipated. Where Mostert and Wilson end up in the running back market will be interesting, as both players were productive when given the opportunity.
Roberts had a career high in tackles and sacks this past season, which will be interesting to see his market if defensive coordinator Vic Fangio decides to seek another linebacker for his defense. He's arguably the Dolphins' best free agent on a lengthy list of second- and third-tier players set to hit the open market.
20. Los Angeles Rams
Wagner significantly elevates this crop, as he's still one of the game's best linebackers at 32 -- notching a career high in sacks (6.0) and earning Second Team All-Pro honors. He'll be in high demand as a player the Rams released to save cap space.
Rapp is a solid starting safety while Scott proved he could start in the league when given the opportunity. Can Los Angeles afford to retain either of them? Mayfield will be intriguing amongst the free agent quarterbacks given how he ended the 2022 season.
Top free agents: DaRon Payne (DT), Trai Turner (RG)
Payne is one of the best free agents available this offseason, a defensive tackle the Commanders must retain. He's arguably one of the top 10 players in this class, which elevates a Commanders free agent class that is considered lackluster.
Turner is a starting guard in this league and won't be 30 until this summer, so there's good football ahead of him. Starting linebacker Cole Holcomb is also a free agent in a light class.
Foreman was a revelation for Carolina in 2022, but will his price be high in a crowded running back market? The Panthers may be on the fast track toward retaining him. Darnold definitely earned an opportunity to play for his job in Carolina, but his market may heat up pending on which quarterbacks are franchise tagged.
Littleton is a former Pro Bowler, but he's been in and out of the lineup in Carolina. Ioannidis has just five sacks since his career-high 8.5 sacks in 2019. Foreman is easily the best player in one of the weaker free agent crops.
The Cardinals have three starting offensive linemen hitting the free agent market, including the whole right side of the offensive line. If Hernandez and Beachum don't re-sign, they'll find starting jobs elsewhere.
Allen is the best player in an uninspiring class with plenty of free agents. Whether he fits in Jonathan Gannon's type of defense remains to be seen, but he'll be in demand on the open market.
Engram is one of the best tight ends in this free agent class, valuable enough for Jacksonville to strongly consider franchise tagging him. Jones isn't as productive as in years past, but he's good enough for wide receiver depth and an efficient red zone target. Taylor has never missed a game in the NFL, starting every game at right tackle for Jacksonville in his four seasons.
This crop isn't deep, but has two players worth retaining in Engram and Taylor.
Tomlinson is the top free agent in this class, a reliable player who's disruptive on the interior of the defensive line. He's been a valuable defensive tackle since entering the league. Bradbury is worth retaining on an offensive line that needs him, especially since he'll have a market. Peterson is 33, but coming off a year which he was strong in coverage and notched five interceptions.
This class isn't great outside of the three mentioned, but the Vikings would be wise to keep Bradbury around.
26. Denver Broncos
Jones is set to earn a nice raise heading into his second contract, a player the Broncos would be wise to retain on their defense. Will Denver even have the cap space to retain him? Jackson will be 35 this year, but didn't have an interception last season. Risner has started every game he's played for the Broncos at left guard in his four seasons.
This class is highlighted by Jones, but they have a lot of replaceable players.
The Colts' free agents aren't as intriguing thanks to a horrible season, yet Ngakoue will be sought after as an edge rusher who's never had fewer than eight sacks in a season. Okereke's market will be interesting after having 151 tackles last season while Campbell finally had a healthy season for the first time in his career. In a weaker wide receiver class, Campbell could be a hot commodity since he's only 25.
There players are going to be coveted amongst a light free agent crop in Indianapolis.
The Chargers don't have a lot of free agents after going on a free agent spending spree the season prior. Tranquill finally earned an opportunity to start and ended up with 146 tackles and five sacks, so he'll have a strong market. Pipkins may be the best option for Los Angeles at right tackle as he's a quality starter while Adderley's market could go a few ways as a starting safety.
Tranquill is the best player in one of the weaker free agent classes.
Sutton is the best free agent in an underwhelming class, part of a good group of cornerbacks set to hit the open market. Edmunds is a reliable starter, yet had a poor year in coverage after signing a one-year deal last offseason.
This is a good year for the Steelers not to have a lot of available cap space. Not many players are worth retaining.
30. Chicago Bears
A very good offseason for the Bears to have a significant amount of cap space, having plenty of free agents from a bad roster in 2022. Montgomery probably won't be back with Khalil Herbert around, having a questionable market in a deep running back class. Reiff is replaceable on the offensive line -- even as a solid starter. Morrow had a career year with 116 tackles and could be a piece to retain on a rebuilding defense.
The Bears just don't have a good free agent crop -- a good thing for a rebuilding team.
31. Atlanta Falcons
This group of free agents is big, but bigger doesn't mean better in the case of the Falcons. McGary is a starter at right tackle, but has struggled in pass protection since he's entered the league. Evans and Carter are starting linebackers for Atlanta and should have a market, but they aren't in the top tier at their positions.
Just like Chicago, not a bad thing to have a poor crop of free agents on a rebuilding team.
32. Houston Texans
Top free agents: Jordan Akins (TE), Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (EDGE)
What a year for the Texans to have a lot of cap space, as practically all of their free agents are replaceable. Akins and Okoronkwo had career years getting first-team snaps, but Houston can certainly improve at both positions on the open market if it so chooses.
This probably isn't the year the Texans will spend a lot of money in free agency, so some of these players could be brought back in this weak class.