The Chicago Bears made headlines on the first day of the legal tampering period, revamping their linebacking core.
Tremaine Edmunds, my number four free agent, signed a four-year, $72 million deal, whilst former Eagle TJ Edwards signed for three years and $19.5 million.
As for quarterbacks, Jimmy Garoppolo will reunite with Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels, whilst Mike White will act as Tua Tagovailoa’s backup in Miami.
Elsewhere there were big deals for three offensive linemen, and Javon Hargrave joined an already stacked 49ers defensive line.
Top 10 free agents: Who signed?
2. Javon Hargrave – IDL – San Fransisco 49ers, 4 years $80 million
Hargrave loves a winning organisation. His last two landing spots of Philadelphia, and San Francisco, on top starting his career in Pittsburgh, have been playoff regulars in recent years. With the talent on that defense, I can’t see anything changing.
The 30-year-old, one of the league’s best defensive linemen in 2022 joins Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead in one of the now scariest positions groups in the entire league.
4. Tremaine Edmunds – LB – Chicago Bears, 4 years $72 million
Coming into March the Bears had the number one overall pick, a quarterback in Justin Fields, and the most cap room in the league. Ryan Poles got a haul, and a new receiver for Fields by trading down. Now he can splash the cash on defense.
If this past year is anything to go by, Edmunds could join the long line of elite linebackers to have played for Chicago. He’s still young too, only 24!
6. Jessie Bates – S – Atlanta Falcons, 4 years $64 million
Bates was one of two Cincinnati Bengals safeties to leave on Monday, decimating the back end of Lou Anarumo’s defense.
On his day, there’s no doubt that he is one of the best safeties game. Bates, who played under the franchise tag in 2022, will play a big part in revamping a poor Atlanta defense.
8. Marcus Davenport – EDGE – Minnesota Vikings, 1 year $13 million
My top edge in the free agency class found his destination late on Tuesday night, landing in Brian Flores’ scheme, where I’m sure he’ll have a similar role to what Emmanuel Ogbah had in Miami.
2022 wasn’t the best year in terms of sacks for Davenport, but he was still effective off the edge. His work in the run game should be favoured in this scheme too.
9. Mike McGlinchey – T – Denver Broncos, 5 years $87 million
The first offensive tackle drafted in 2018 joins Denver, who are hoping to be a lot better on offense in 2023 with Sean Payton at the helm. Keeping Russell Wilson upright is this team’s key to success.
Wilson showed improvement in the final weeks of the season which I’m sure gave the organisation some optimism, McGlinchey was one of two lineman brought in by the Broncos yesterday.
Top 10 Free Agents: Who’s still left to sign?
1. Lamar Jackson – QB
While nothing is expected to happen with Lamar, especially not until Wednesday, thanks to the non-exclusive tag he is still there for negotiation should a team want to part with two first-round picks.
3. Bobby Wagner – LB
Only one of my top three linebackers were signed on the first day, but for Wagner I’m sure it’s more about destination than a paycheck. A second ring is very high on the agenda.
5. Lavonte David – LB
As with Wagner, David is another I’d expect to take his time and pick a top destination. Miami is a shout for both of them, less so after signing David Long yesterday, but the linebacker position is valued highly in Vic Fangio’s defense.
7. Orlando Brown – T
Whilst Brown is without a contract so far in free agency, one thing we do know is that he will not be returning to Kansas City. New FA signing Jawaan Taylor is expected to take his role, moving to left tackle.
10. James Bradberry – CB
As the top corner in this free agency class, Bradberry is smart to wait for the offers and pick another contender, as he did with Philadelphia last offseason. Dallas continues to be linked.
Other big Free Agent Signings
Chris Lindstrom – G – remaining in Atlanta, signed a five year $105 million extension
Jimmy Garoppolo – QB – San Francisco to Las Vegas, signed for three years, $67.5 million
Mike White – QB – New York to Miami, signed for two years, $16 million
Jawaan Taylor – T – Jacksonville to Kansas City, signed for four years, $80 million
Jamal Dean – CB – remains in Tampa Bay, signed a four year $52 million extension
TJ Edwards – LB – Philadelphia to Chicago, signed for three years, $19.5 million
Cam Sutton – CB – Pittsburgh to Detroit, signed for three years, $33 million
Andre Dillard – T – Philadelphia to Tennessee, signed for three years $29 million
Zach Allen – EDGE – Arizona to Denver, signed for three years $47 million
Dre’Mont Jones – IDL – Denver to Seattle, signed for three years $51 million