clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ranking the NFL’s Best Remaining Free Agents

It’s time to reset the free agent big board. As the market officially opens, these are the best players still looking for new deals.

Getty Images/Ringer illustration

The NFL’s new league year officially begins today at 4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. That’s when all of the reported deals from the past couple days can actually be signed and also when Lamar Jackson, who received the nonexclusive franchise tag from the Ravens, can begin talking to interested teams.

About half of the players on our initial list of the top 100 free agents have signed new deals, agreed to terms on new contracts, or received the franchise tag (including Jackson), so we thought this would be a good time for a free agency refresh. Wondering who’s left and what big signings might come next? Below, you’ll find a list of the 59 best remaining NFL free agents as of this morning.

The ages listed here for each player reflect how old they will be on September 1. Stats are courtesy of TruMedia and Pro Football Focus unless otherwise noted. Contract information is from Over the Cap. Now let’s get to it!

1. Orlando Brown Jr., OT, Kansas City Chiefs (27)

When the Chiefs opted not to use the franchise tag on Brown for the second straight season, I thought he’d quickly find a monster deal on the open market, but that hasn’t happened yet. Brown has been an above-average left tackle, he’s young, and he’s been one of the most durable offensive linemen in the NFL. Brown has missed just one game due to injury during his five-year career. The Chiefs moved on and agreed to a deal with former Jaguar Jawaan Taylor to play left tackle, so Brown is looking for a new home. He’s likely still looking at a deal worth at least $20 million per year.

2. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Philadelphia Eagles (25)

Gardner-Johnson transitioned from slot corner to safety in 2022 and finished the season with six interceptions. The floor for Gardner-Johnson is being a solid starter, and given how young he is, it’s reasonable to think that his best days are ahead of him. Jessie Bates III reportedly got a four-year, $64.02 million deal from the Falcons. If a similar deal were available to Gardner-Johnson, he likely would have snagged it by now. Instead, he could be looking at something in the $12 million to $14 million per year range.

3. Leonard Floyd, Edge, Los Angeles Rams (30)

Floyd was a 17-game starter for the Rams last year and had nine sacks and 22 QB hits. Floyd’s 29 sacks over the past three seasons rank 10th league-wide. He’s been one of the most durable pass rushers in the NFL, having not missed a game in the past five seasons. Floyd would be a nice option for a team in need of a starting edge rusher.

4. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Unrestricted Free Agent (30)

The wide receiver market has been quiet. Jakobi Meyers reportedly got a three-year, $33 million deal from the Raiders, and Michael Thomas is staying in New Orleans on a one-year, $10 million deal. But that’s about it. Beckham sat last year out after suffering a torn ACL in Super Bowl LVI. He played well for the Rams in 2021, with 48 catches for 593 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games, including the postseason. But he obviously hasn’t found the big payday he’s looking for yet, even after holding an open workout in front of NFL teams last week.

5. Dalton Schultz, TE, Dallas Cowboys (27)

Schultz played on the franchise tag last year and caught 57 balls for 577 yards and five touchdowns. He’s shown throughout his career that he can be a reliable blocker, too. Schultz will likely find a deal worth at least $13 million per year, similar to the deal Dawson Knox signed with the Bills last fall.

6. Mike Gesicki, TE, Miami Dolphins (27)

The Dolphins used the franchise tag on Gesicki last offseason and then barely used him in the offense. Gesicki had 32 catches for 362 yards—his lowest totals since his rookie season. From 2020 to 2021, Gesicki’s 1,483 receiving yards ranked fifth among tight ends. This draft class of tight ends is strong, which could hurt players like Gesicki. But before the negotiating period began, I thought he’d find a deal in the neighborhood of $13 million per year.

7. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Kansas City Chiefs (26)

Smith-Schuster is a free agent for the third consecutive season. Last offseason, he signed with the Chiefs on a one-year deal with a base value of $3.76 million and incentives that could earn him over $10 million. Teaming with Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid is never a bad idea, and Smith-Schuster had 78 catches for 933 yards in 2022, catching a career-best 77.2 percent of his targets. The best-case scenario for him might be something in the neighborhood of the three-year, $33 million deal that Meyers signed with the Raiders.

8. Dalton Risner, OG, Denver Broncos (28)

Risner has been a mainstay at left guard for the Broncos, with 62 starts in four NFL seasons. He’s never missed more than two games in a year, and O-Line expert Brandon Thorn had Risner as the second-best guard available in free agency. Nate Davis signed a three-year, $30 million deal with the Bears. Ben Powers got a four-year, $51.5 million deal from the Broncos. Something in that $10 million to $13 million per year range is likely what Risner is aiming for.

9. Isaiah Wynn, OT, New England Patriots (27)

A prove-it deal would make a lot of sense for Wynn. He’s coming off a down year at right tackle and missed eight games. But from 2019 to 2021, Wynn showed he can be a competent starting left tackle. Those guys usually get opportunities in free agency.

10. D.J. Chark, WR, Detroit Lions (26)

Coming off an injury in 2021, Chark signed a one-year, $10 million deal with the Lions last offseason. He battled injuries once again in 2022 and was limited to 11 games but came on strong toward the end of the season. From Weeks 12 to 18, Chark had 404 receiving yards, which ranked 23rd among wide receivers. And on the season, he caught 30 balls for 502 yards, averaging 16.7 yards per reception. Chark has been productive when healthy. It’s possible that he will once again get a one-year deal.

11. Yannick Ngakoue, Edge, Indianapolis Colts (28)

Ngakoue has been on five different teams—the Jaguars, Vikings, Ravens, Raiders, and Colts—in the past four seasons. When he was last a free agent in 2021, he signed a two-year, $26 million deal. No matter where he plays, Ngakoue continues to hit the quarterback at a remarkably consistent rate. He had 9.5 sacks and 16 QB hits in 15 games last season, and his 57 sacks over the past six seasons are eighth league wide. It’s concerning that no team seems to want to stick with Ngakoue for more than a year or two, but given the production, he should still be able to find a deal between $10 million and $13 million per year.

12. Jordan Poyer, S, Buffalo BIlls (32)

Poyer was productive and durable during most of his tenure with the Bills, but injuries slowed him down last year as he missed five games and didn’t perform at his usual high level. The issue for Poyer is that safeties of his age generally don’t command big money in free agency.

13. Lavonte David, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (33)

During his age-32 season, David still looked the part of a top-tier linebacker, starting 17 games and finishing with 124 tackles. But teams are generally hesitant to pay linebackers in their 30s. Bobby Wagner essentially got a one-year, $10 million deal from the Rams last offseason, shortly before he turned 32. A similar deal for David could make sense for a contending team.

14. Bobby Wagner, LB, Los Angeles Rams (33)

He started all 17 games last year and earned second-team All-Pro honors, filling up the stat sheet with 140 tackles (10 for loss), six sacks, 10 QB hits, and two interceptions. A one-year deal in the $8 million to $10 million range could make sense for a contending team looking to fill a short-term need.

15. Marcus Peters, CB, Baltimore Ravens (30)

Peters missed all of 2021 with an injury and returned to start 13 games last year, but he didn’t look like the same player. Peters has made his career on being a gambler and a playmaker, but he had just one interception last season. Patrick Peterson got a two-year, $14 million deal from the Steelers. That type of deal could make sense for Peters.

16. Isaac Seumalo, OG, Philadelphia Eagles (29)

Brandon Thorn had Seumalo as his top free agent guard, but Seumalo hasn’t found a home yet. He started 17 games at right guard for the Eagles last season. Seumalo is smart, technically sound, and reliable. As mentioned above, Davis got $10 million per year from the Bears. That could be the type of deal that Seumalo ends up with.

17. Fletcher Cox, DT, Philadelphia Eagles (32)

It’s clear that Cox is no longer the game-wrecking force he was in his prime, but he still projects as a competent starter. Cox’s seven sacks from a DT alignment were the 10th most in the NFL last season, according to Next Gen Stats, and his 34 pressures were 11th. The Eagles rewarded Cox with what was essentially a lifetime achievement contract last offseason—$14 million for one year. This time around, a one- or two-year deal worth around $9 million per season could make sense.

18. Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles (26)

There’s a strong statistical case for Sanders to get a lucrative contract this offseason. He finished fifth among running backs last year with 1,269 rushing yards. Among 42 backs with at least 100 carries, he finished fourth in success rate. Sanders’s 34 runs of 10-plus yards were fourth most, and his nine runs of 20-plus yards were tied for fourth most. Sanders had a career year, but he was also gifted with the most RB-friendly situation in the NFL. The Eagles had a great offensive line, and the threat of Jalen Hurts as a runner helped all of the Eagles’ backs. Sanders was not a factor as a receiver (just 20 catches for 78 yards), and Eagles coaches replaced him with Kenneth Gainwell on third downs. Tony Pollard, Saquon Barkley, and Josh Jacobs all got the franchise tag. Sanders is probably the best back to hit the market, but so far, it looks like no team has been aggressive in pursuing him.

19. Frank Clark, Edge, Kansas City Chiefs (30)

Clark spent four seasons with the Chiefs but was not as productive in Kansas City as he was earlier in his career with the Seahawks. His 23.5 sacks since 2019 rank tied for 42nd league-wide, and his 64 QB hits are tied for 28th. But Clark is a talented pass rusher who should find a job as a starting defensive end, and he should benefit from this being an underwhelming free agent class of edge rushers.

20. Bud Dupree, Edge, Tennessee Titans (30)

Dupree was a free agent in 2021 and signed a big deal with the Titans, but he totaled just seven sacks in 22 games over two seasons in Tennessee. Dupree, who is expected to be released by the Titans, has missed 17 games over the past three seasons, but he’s still a talented player who should find a job as a starting edge defender.

21. Jacoby Brissett, QB, Cleveland Browns (30)

The Browns offense performed better with Brissett last season than it did with Deshaun Watson. Brissett ranked 10th in EPA per pass play and 12th in success rate. He’s not going to put a team on his back, but can certainly offer short-term competency. Being patient and settling for Brissett on a reasonable, one-year deal could prove to be a wise move for a QB-needy team.

22. Donovan Smith, OT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (30)

Smith started 124 games in eight seasons with the Bucs, including 13 in 2022. He’s coming off a down year, but demand usually outweighs supply when it comes to left tackles. Given that Smith is only 29, he should have suitors.

23. Taylor Lewan, OT, Tennessee Titans (31)

Lewan is a nearly impossible player to slot because we don’t know how healthy he is or whether he even wants to continue playing. Retirement could be the move for Lewan after the Titans released him last month. His 2022 season was limited to two games because of a knee injury related to his torn ACL in 2020, and Lewan has appeared in just 20 games in the past three seasons. If he wants to keep playing, Lewan would likely be looking at a one-year deal somewhere.

24. Darius Slayton, WR, New York Giants (26)

Slayton has had three seasons with more than 700 receiving yards, is young, and has averaged 15.0 YPR for his career. He averaged 1.81 yards per route run last year, which ranked 28th among the 107 wide receivers who ran at least 200 routes. No one seemed interested in trading for Slayton at the in-season deadline, but he seems like a guy worth taking a flier on in free agency.

25. Mecole Hardman, WR, Kansas City Chiefs (25)

The Chiefs were enamored of Hardman’s speed and selected him in the second round of the 2019 draft, but he never developed into a consistent factor for their offense. He was limited to eight regular-season games last season and totaled 25 catches for 297 yards. Hardman had over 500 yards receiving in each of his first three NFL seasons. He’s averaged just 13.8 yards per reception for his career, but has the speed to stretch the field.

26. Connor McGovern, OC, New York Jets (30)

McGovern signed a three-year, $27 million deal with the Jets as a free agent in 2020 and started 48 out of a possible 50 games in three seasons. Ethan Pocic and Bradley Bozeman both got deals worth $6 million per year. That’s probably around the right range for McGovern.

27. Ben Jones, OC, Tennessee Titans (34)

Jones signed a two-year, $14 million deal with the Titans last offseason but was released Friday with a failed physical designation. He started 12 games in 2022 but suffered two concussions. If Jones wants to continue playing, he could offer a short-term fix for teams in need of a veteran center.

28. Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Las Vegas Raiders (27)

The Raiders acquired Ya-Sin in a trade with the Colts last offseason, but he was limited to 11 games because of injuries. Ya-Sin has missed 13 games over the past three seasons. The 34th pick in the 2019 draft, Ya-Sin is a talented, physical player, but he’s yet to put it all together. Whatever team signs him will be doing so based on upside, not past performance.

29. Jadeveon Clowney, Edge, Cleveland Browns (30)

Clowney has been on four different teams in five years and seems destined to play out his career on a series of one-year contracts. After a nine-sack season in 2021, Clowney had just two sacks and four QB hits in 12 games last season, and he ripped the Browns coaching staff at the end of the year. Clowney signed for $10 million last offseason, but he’s likely looking at a significant pay dip, given the lack of production last season.

30. Matt Ioannidis, DT, Carolina Panthers (29)

The Commanders released Ioannidis last offseason, and he caught on with the Panthers on a one-year, $5.9 million deal. Ioannidis had just one sack, but his 30 QB pressures from a defensive tackle alignment was tied for 16th, according to Next Gen Stats. A team in need of interior pass rush could get good value with Ioannidis.

31. Sheldon Rankins, DT, New York Jets (29)

Rankins started 15 games for the Jets last year and was an active run defender, setting a career high with 43 tackles. He didn’t offer a lot of pass-rush juice (three sacks, seven QB hits), but was a solid starter.

32. Poona Ford, DT, Seattle Seahawks (27)

He’s coming off a down season, but Ford played well in 2021, is young, and hasn’t missed a game in the past three years. He’ll find a home somewhere as a run-stuffing nose tackle.

33. Shaquill Griffin, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars (28)

Griffin was a free agent in 2021 and signed a three-year, $40 million contract with the Jaguars, who released him on Wednesday. He started 14 games in 2021 but was limited to just five last year after undergoing back surgery. Griffin began his career with the Seahawks and has started 72 games in six seasons. He has the size and speed that NFL teams covet in outside corners but has yet to put it all together. This is not a strong class of free-agent corners, and assuming he’s healthy, Griffin should find a starting job somewhere.

34. Drue Tranquill, LB, Los Angeles Chargers (28)

Tranquill was a full-time starter for the first time last season and finished 12th in the NFL with 144 tackles. He held up in coverage and produced as a blitzer, piling up five sacks and eight quarterback hits. Given what we’ve seen with the linebacker market so far, Tranquill can probably find a deal in the $4 million to $5 million per year range.

35. Juan Thornhill, S, Kansas City Chiefs (27)

A second-round pick in 2019, Thornhill started 52 games in four seasons, including 16 last year. He set career highs in 2022 with 71 tackles and nine passes defended. Thornhill tied a career high with three interceptions. His play has been a mixed bag, but he’s an excellent athlete with cover skills and could be an intriguing option for teams in need of safety help.

36. Taylor Rapp, S, Los Angeles Rams (25)

A second-round pick by the Rams in 2019, Rapp started 48 games in four seasons, including 33 of 34 in the past two years. Per PFF, Rapp logged more than 150 snaps in the box, in the back end, and in the slot. He has been an up-and-down player, but given Rapp’s age, his best football could still be ahead of him.

37. Julian Love, S, New York Giants (25)

Love started 16 games for the Giants last year. He logged over 150 snaps from in the box, at slot corner, and at free safety. Love was asked to play 278 snaps of man coverage—the second most of any safety, according to PFF. He held up well, allowing a total of 140 yards. Given Love’s age and versatile skill set, teams could view him as an ascending player.

38. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Miami Dolphins (30)

Bridgewater will likely get another look as a high-end backup. The problem is that when given the opportunity to play, he’s struggled to stay on the field because of injuries. Bridgewater is competent when healthy and has 65 starts under his belt. He got a one-year, $6.5 million deal last offseason and is probably looking at something slightly lower this time around.

39. Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings (33)

The Vikings released Thielen on Friday to clear cap space, and he now hits the open market. Thielen fought through injuries last season but still started 17 games and had 70 catches for 716 yards and six touchdowns. His 30 touchdowns over the past three seasons rank fifth in the NFL. Thielen’s best days are almost certainly behind him, but there will likely be teams looking to take a one-year flier on him as an option in the slot.

40. Foster Moreau, TE, Las Vegas Raiders (26)

He started 14 games last season and set career highs with 33 catches for 420 yards. Moreau averaged 12.7 YPR, which ranked seventh among the 44 tight ends with at least 20 catches. Perhaps the Raiders will now look to bring him back, given that on Tuesday they agreed to trade Darren Waller to the Giants.

41. Hayden Hurst, TE, Cincinnati Bengals (30)

He signed a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the Bengals last offseason and gave them what they needed, catching 52 balls for 414 yards in 13 starts. Hurst will likely get a pay bump this time around.

42. Austin Hooper, TE, Tennessee Titans (28)

The Browns released Hooper last March, and he signed with the Titans on a one-year, $6 million deal. He caught 41 balls for 444 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Hooper should interest teams in the market for a short-term solution at pass-catching tight end.

43. Marcus Mariota, QB, Atlanta Falcons (29)

The Falcons went 5-8 with Mariota as their starter last year. He ranked 16th among 33 qualifying starters in EPA per pass play and 18th in success rate. Mariota also ran for a career-high 438 yards in 13 games. He finished the season on injured reserve with a knee injury. If Mariota is healthy, he should draw interest as a useful backup.

44. Gardner Minshew, QB, Philadelphia Eagles (27)

Minshew started four games for the Eagles in the past two years and produced mixed results—the Eagles went 1-3 in those games, including losing both of his starts in relief of Jalen Hurts in 2022. For his career, he’s completed 62.8 percent of his passes and averaged 7.1 YPA with 44 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Minshew should be able to find a backup job in the $4 million to $5 million per year range.

45. George Fant, OT, New York Jets (31)

Fant bounced between left tackle and right tackle last year and dealt with injuries during a disappointing season. But in 2021, he played almost exclusively at left tackle, started 15 games, and gave up just one sack and three QB hits on 594 pass-blocking snaps, per PFF’s charting. Fant should get a chance to compete for a starting tackle spot somewhere in 2023, assuming he’s healthy.

46. A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Los Angeles Rams (28)

Robinson started 10 games for the Rams in 2022 before a torn meniscus ended his season. He’s not going to provide much pass rush juice (two sacks in his past 35 games) but can be an asset as a run stopper. The injury makes it tough to project Robinson’s market.

47. Justin Houston, Edge, Baltimore Ravens (34)

He’s a free agent for the third consecutive season. In 2021, Houston signed with the Ravens for $2.1 million, and last year he re-signed with Baltimore for $3.5 million. Given that he’s coming off a 9.5-sack season, Houston could see a pay bump once again—whether it’s from the Ravens or another team. He’s shown he can still offer value as a rotational pass rusher.

48. Calais Campbell, DT, Baltimore Ravens (37)

Campbell was a 14-game starter for the Ravens last year and was still productive, with 5.5 sacks and 14 QB hits. He’d be a welcome addition to any locker room and can still offer some interior pass rush.

49. Greg Gaines, DT, Los Angeles Rams (27)

Gaines produced 8.5 sacks and 19 QB hits in 33 games (25 starts) over the past two seasons. He played through some injuries last year, and his production dipped. But Gaines should still get looks from teams that need a starting defensive tackle.

50. Melvin Ingram, Edge, Miami Dolphins (34)

Ingram enters free agency for the third straight season. The previous two times around, he signed one-year, $4 million deals. And he is probably in line for something similar this offseason. Ingram had six sacks and 10 QB hits in 17 games with Miami in 2022.

51. Markus Golden, Edge, Arizona Cardinals (32)

Golden, who was recently released by the Cardinals, had just 2.5 sacks last year but still contributed 20 QB hits. And he delivered an 11-sack season in 2021. Add him to the list of veteran pass rushers who should be able to find a one-year deal.

52. D’Onta Foreman, RB, Carolina Panthers (27)

Foreman was given a chance to be the guy down the stretch for Carolina, and he came through, totaling 914 rushing yards and averaging 4.5 YPC. Among the 42 backs with at least 100 attempts, Foreman ranked 15th in success rate. He averaged 3.26 yards after contact, which ranked 10th. Foreman was explosive, too, with eight runs of 20-plus yards (tied for eighth most among all backs). Foreman isn’t going to offer much as a pass catcher, but he could provide nice value for a team looking to bolster its backfield.

53. Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills (25)

Singletary was solid, but not spectacular, during his four-year stint in Buffalo. Last year, Singletary ran for 819 yards and averaged 4.6 YPC. Among 42 backs with at least 100 carries, he ranked seventh in success rate. Over the past four seasons, his 21 runs of 20-plus yards are tied for seventh most among running backs. Singletary, who will turn 26 just before Week 1, has not been much of a factor as a receiving option, but I’m not giving up hope that he can produce a monster rushing season at some point.

54. Jamaal Williams, RB, Detroit Lions (28)

He had a career year in 2022, rushing for 1,066 yards and 17 touchdowns. Among the 42 backs with at least 100 rushing attempts, Williams ranked 11th in success rate. Williams has never been a big factor as a pass catcher, and he’s coming off a season in which he had 95 more touches than any other year of his career. Expecting him to duplicate last year’s success is probably unreasonable, but Williams could be a nice option for teams in need of a complementary back.

55. Morgan Fox, DT, Los Angeles Chargers (28)

Fox is coming off a season in which he set career highs with 6.5 sacks and 11 QB hits. His strength is as an interior pass rusher, not as a run defender. That’s generally a desirable skill set in free agency.

56. Shelby Harris, DT, Seattle Seahawks (32)

Harris was part of the Russell Wilson trade, but the Seahawks released him after one season, in which he started 15 games and had two sacks and six quarterback hits. Harris could be a fit for teams in need of some interior pass rush.

57. Matt Feiler, OG/OT, Los Angeles Chargers (31)

He started 33 of 34 games for the Chargers over the past two seasons and has experience playing both guard and tackle. Feiler, who was released by the Chargers on Tuesday, is coming off a down year, but teams will value his versatility, and he should get a chance to compete for a starting job somewhere.

58. Adrian Amos, S, Green Bay Packers (30)

Amos signed with the Packers as a free agent in 2019 and did not miss a start (66 straight) in four seasons. At his best, Amos was a versatile free safety with strong coverage skills. But his performance dipped last season, and interested teams will have to determine whether Amos is a declining player or whether he was battling through an injury last season that affected his play.

59. Baker Mayfield, QB, Los Angeles Rams/Carolina Panthers (28)

He had a couple of nice moments with the Rams, but overall 2022 was a mess for Mayfield. Among the 35 quarterbacks with at least 200 dropbacks, he ranked 33rd in EPA per pass play. Mayfield should be looking for a place where he can reset his career as a backup. Staying in Los Angeles with Sean McVay could make sense.

This list was updated to include Calais Campbell.