NFL Free Agency 2023 Primer: Projected free agents, cap space, needs for every team in offseason
The 2022 NFL season came to an end as the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl for the second time in four years. Teams are still trying to figure out ways to stop the Chiefs, which makes this offseason crucial.
Teams will be making important roster decisions over the next few weeks, leading to the start of the legal intervention period on March 13th. , as well as creating even more cap space as the league is set to try out another quarterback carousel featuring some of the best signal players in the game.
This past offseason has been one of the busiest in recent years. Can 2023 surpass it? With less than a month until the start of the legal manipulation period, we’ll be reviewing all unrestricted free agents in the league, each team’s salary cap situation, and each franchise’s top-ranking requirements.
Unlimited free agents: Justin Pugh (G), Matt Prather (K), Calvin Beachum (RT), Byron Murphy (CB), Cody Ford (RG), Nike Vigil (LB), Tanner Vallejo (LB), Andy Lee (P), Zeke Turner (LB), Tristen Hill (DT), Darrel Williams (RB), Antonio Hamilton (CB), Will Hernandez (RG), Charles Washington (S), Stephen Anderson (TE), Chris Banjo (S), Aaron Brewer (LS ) ), Max Garcia (LG), Max Williams (TE), Zach Allen (DT), Ben Niemann (LB), Faro Cooper (WR), Kamu Grugier-Hill (LB), Billy Price (C), Josh Jackson ( CB ), Rashaad Coward (RT), Corey Clement (RB), Trace McSorley (QB), Michael Dogbe (DT), Sean Harlow (C0, Joshua Miles (RT)
Cover projected space: $14,604,205
The team needs: EDGE, KB, FROM
The Cardinals will be upgrading their defense under new head coach Jonathan Gannon, so the cornerback will be a top free agent priority. The DeAndre Hopkins situation will rear its ugly head as Arizona could get away from their No. 1 wide receiver. There could be a refresh in position.
Unlimited free agents: Caleb McGary (RT), Olamide Zacchaeus (WR), Isaiah Oliver (CB), Rashaan Evans (LB), Bradley Pignon (P), Keith Smith (FB), Vincent Taylor (DT), Eric Harris (S), Damier Byrd (WR), Germaine Ifedi (RT), Elijah Wilkinson (LG), Beau Brinkley (LS), Hadarel Hodge (WR), Mike Ford (CB), Jalil Johnson (DT), Nick Kwiatkoski (LB), MyCole Pruitt (TE ), Anthony Firkser (TE), Colby Gossett (RG), Cornell Armstrong (CB), Matt Dickerson (DT), Plague of Edog (LT), Rashad Fenton (CB), Lorenzo Carter (EDGE)
Cover projected space: $56,575,855
The team needs: KB, EDGE, KB
The Falcons will need a quarterback to compete with Desmond Ridder so they can gauge the market for the veteran. Atlanta’s priority in free agency should be improved passing and a secondary value, as last season the defense allowed the highest percentage of possessions that ended in offensive scoring.
Unlimited free agents: Marcus Peters (CB), Justin Houston (EDGE), Kyle Fuller (CB), Lamar Jackson (QB), Ja’Vuan James (LT), Sammy Watkins (WR), Trayvon Mullen (CB), Jason Pierre-Paul (EDGE) ) ), Steven Means (EDGE), Josh Oliver (TE), Vince Biegel (LB), Kenyan Drake (RB), DeMarcus Robinson (WR), Kevon Seymour (CB), Justice Hill (RB), Ben Powers (LG)
Cover projected space: $24,978,480
The team needs: WR, CB, G
The Ravens will have to deal with Lamar Jackson’s contract situation, but they’ll also need a wide receiver — or two — to keep the franchise quarterback happy. Baltimore also needs help at quarterback if the Ravens decide not to bring Peters back.
Unlimited free agents: Jordan Poyer (C), Case Keenam (Quarterback), Tremaine Edmunds (LB), Tyler Matakevich (LB), Jamison Crowder (Human Rights Defender), David Quessenberry (Human Rights Defender), Sam Martin (P), Taiwan Jones (PB), Greg Wang Rothen (RG), Bobby Hart (RT), Ike Bettger (RG), Shaq Lawson (EDGE), AJ Klein (LB), Cole Beasley (WR), Dean Marlowe (S), Jake Kumerow (WR), Devin Singletary (RB), Jaquan Johnson (S), Tommy Sweeney (TE), Roger Suffold (LG), Jordan Phillips (DT)
Cover projected space: -16,770,436 USD
The team needs: S, OG, DT
The Bills are championship contenders, but as a franchise they are at a crossroads trying to get there. Poyer should be a top priority to re-sign along with Edmunds. The extra running help would have helped Josh Allen as well, as would a better offensive line play.
Unlimited free agents: Sam Darnold (QB), Cameron Erving (RT), Bradley Boseman (C), Corey Littleton (LB), D’Onta Foreman (RB), Andre Roberts (WR), JJ Jansen (LS), Rashard Higgins (WR) , Henry Anderson (DT), TJ Carrey (CB), Sean Chandler (S0, Juston Burris (S), Joel Iyigbuniwe (LB), Justin Lane (CB), Michael Jordan (LG), Eddie Pineiro (K), Matt Ioannidis (DT)
Cover projected space: -7,743,950 USD
The team needs: KB, KB, EDGE
Darnold is a free agent and the Panthers will have to make a decision about his future as the quarterback market will be enough to improve the position. The Carolinas could also use another pass rusher paired with Bryan Burns and a deeper guard with an injury history, Jaycee Horne.
Unlimited free agents: Byron Pringle (WR), Nicholas Morrow (LB), Riley Reiff (RT), N’Keel Garry (WR), Ryan Griffin (TE), DeAndre Huston-Carson (S), Patrick Scales (LS), Matthew Adams (LB) ) ), Dane Cruikshank (S), Joe Thomas (LB), Mike Pennel (DT), Michael Schofield (RG), Dakota Dozier (LG), Tim Boyle (QB), Nathan Peterman (QB), Elijah Lee (LB) , Dante Pettis (WR), David Montgomery (RB), Khary Blasingame (FB), Trevon Vesco (TE), Armon Watts (DT), Angelo Blackson (DT)
Protruding cover space: $94,434,449
Team needs: WR, FROM, EDGE
The No. 1 pick does a lot of good for the Bears, whether they decide to keep Justin Fields or not. The Bears also have enough room in the salary cap to improve their performance as a wide receiver and get Fields — or whoever their quarterback is — to be true pass catchers (even if the market for wide receivers in free agency is less than perfect).
Unlimited free agents: Jesse Bates III (S), Vaughn Bell (S), Eli Apple (CB), Hayden Hurst (TE), Tre Flowers (CB), Samai Perine (RB), Drew Sample (TE), Clark Harris (LS), Max Sharping (RG), Brandon Allen (QB), Trent Taylor (WR), Michael Thomas (S), Germaine Pratt (LB), Traveon Williams (RB), Chris Lammons (LB)
Cover projected space: $35,673,058
The team needs: KB, S, TE
Safety is the biggest concern for the Bengals as they have to sign a long-term contract with Jessie Bates, who has played on the franchise this season. Bell and Apple are also free agents, making Cincinnati three minor members that may have to be placed. They have plenty of room to work with, especially with expansions for Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase coming soon.
Unlimited free agents: Deion Jones (LB), Kareem Hunt (RB), Jacoby Brisset (QB), Taven Bryan (DT), Chris Hubbard (LT), Gridy Williams (CB), Ronnie Harrison (S), D’Ernest Johnson (RB), Stephen Weatherly (EDGE), Ethan Pocic (C), Jesse James (TE), Reggie Ragland (LB), Jermaine Carter Jr. (LB), Pharaoh Brown (TE), Jordan Kunacik (LB), Tae Davis (LB), Chase Vinovich (LB), Sione Takitaki (LB), Hjalte Froholdt (RG), Jadeveon Clooney (EDGE), Anthony Walker Jr. (LB)
Cover projected space: -13,534,606 USD
The team needs: DT, VR, OT
The Browns could use a wide receiver upgrade, but they’ll have to clear a spot in the offseason to do so. The permanent option #2 will bail out Deshawn Watson, whose solid contract will move up significantly this year. They will also need help on the defensive.
Unlimited free agents: Dalton Schultz (TE), Anthony Brown (CB), Dante Fowler Jr. (EDGE), TY Hilton (WR), Anthony Barr (LB), Leighton Vander Ash (LB), Jason Peters (LT), CJ Goodwin (CB ) , Jonathan Hankins (DT), Noah Brown (WR), Jake McQuaid (LS), Matt Overton (LS), Luke Gifford (LB), Carlos Watkins (DT), Cooper Rush (QB), Brett Maher (K), Connor McGovern (LG), Aviante Collins (LG), Tony Pollard (RB), Donovan Wilson (S)
Cover projected space: -7,008,743 USD
The team needs: OG, DT, LB
Pollard should be a top priority to re-sign in Dallas as the Cowboys have to make a decision on Ezekiel Elliott now that he has no guaranteed money left on his contract. Dallas may also need help on the inside offensive and defensive lines. Cowboys don’t usually spend a lot on freedom of action.
Unlimited free agents: Billy Turner (RT), Calvin Anderson (LT), Tom Compton (RT), Kareem Jackson (S), Mike Boone (RB), Dalton Risner (LG), Cameron Fleming (RT), Andrew Beck (TE), Eric Saubert (TE), DeSean Williams (DT), Latavius Murray (RB), Alex Singleton (LB), Dre’Mont Jones (DT), Marlon Mack (RB), Eric Tomlinson (TE), Darius Phillips (CB), Dakota Allen (KB)
Cover projected space: $9,387,224
Team needs: OT, LB, DT
The Broncos will have the opportunity to improve their roster, especially with the return of Sean Payton as head coach, making Denver an attractive destination for free agents. This offseason needs to improve the offensive line, especially with the limited number of picks in the draft.
Unlimited free agents: Jamaal Williams (RB), Mike Hughes (CB), Alex Anzalone (LB), Evan Brown (C), Chris Board (LB), Josh Woods (LB), DeSean Elliott (S), Michael Badgley (K), Justin Jackson (RB), Nate Sudfeld (QB), Isaiah Baggs (DT), CJ Moore (S), Will Harris (S), Dan Skipper (LT), Austin Bryant (EDGE), John Kominsky (DT), Amani Oruvarie ( CB) ), DJ Chark (WR)
Cover projected space: $13,915,951
The team needs: TE, SV, DT
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