It’s that time of year, again, free agency! Star players such as Lamar Jackson, Bobby Wagner, and Javon Hargrave, among others, all might be on the move in the coming days. Who else is available?
Whilst the new league new year doesn’t actually start until Wednesday, from 5 PM GMT today, teams will be able to contact players regarding contracts, triggering the start of free agency, and movement in the hours afterwards.
Who are the Top 10 players in the 2023 Free Agency Class?
1. Lamar Jackson – QB
Baltimore strangely decided to use the non-exclusive franchise tag on their former MVP quarterback, meaning he is now available for the price of two first-round picks, technically keeping him a free agent.
While a move is unlikely at this point due to Jackson wanting a fully guaranteed contract, if any team wanted to put a contract on the table, Baltimore would then have five days to match the offer.
If no one wants Lamar what does he do? Hold out? Play on the tag? Or agree to an improvised contract?
2. Javon Hargrave – IDL
At the age of 30, Hargrave looks set to be on his third contract for his third team. Due to the interior defensive line class being one of the weaker position groups, he looks set to be in for a big payday.
Hargrave is one of many Eagles defensive players set to test free agency after making the Super Bowl in February. He had a career-high 11 sacks, putting up an 80.1 PFF grade, tied for 11th highest at IDL in the league.
3. Bobby Wagner – LB
On top of Jackson, another man who will be the talk of the next week is Bobby Wagner. The nine-time All-Pro linebacker, eight-time pro bowler, and 2013 Super Bowl champion is coming off a strong season and chasing another ring.
Even at the age of 32, Wagner is still one of the top free agents and the league’s best at his position, putting up only a 2.9% missed tackle percentage and NFL best 90.7 PFF grade in 2022.
4. Tremaine Edmunds – LB
At the young age of 24, Edmunds has already played five seasons and is on to his second contract. He’s one of the most sought-after players in this free agency class, but will he re-sign with Buffalo?
In 2022 he put up a career-high PFF grade of 81.9, the 5th best among all linebackers. Six pass breakups was also the best in his young career, as was a 6.5% missed tackle percentage.
5. Lavonte David – LB
Another player going strong in his 30’s is Lavonte David. Whilst he won’t make as much as the other two big linebackers testing free agency, he is an excellent pick-up for a contender.
In a down year for the Buccaneers’ defense, David still managed an 85.1 grade, the fourth-highest of his career, and the third-best number of all linebackers in 2022.
6. Orlando Brown Jr – OT
With offensive tackle being a premium position in free agency, another big money maker will be Orlando Brown Jr. After being unable to agree to a long-term deal with Kansas City a top tackle is set to test the market.
2022 was a pro bowl season for Brown, who was the 19th-best offensive tackle according to PFF. He only allowed four sacks and seven quarterback hits on the year.
7. Jessie Bates III – S
Bates is the first of two Cincinnati Bengals safeties to test free agency this week. He’s definitely earned his big contract over the years, but will he choose to stay and help a real contender?
He would be a huge loss for Zac Taylor’s team, and may well be a bit cheaper than he was last offseason after a down year in coverage. That being said, Bates was as great in the box, posting the fifth-best run defense grade of all safeties.
8. Marcus Davenport – EDGE
Davenport is a bit of a strange one, because he only put up one sack last year, but is still a top player at his position. Whilst he still had seven quarterback hits, the one sack was a career low.
Had he been a free agent after a strong 2021 season, he may well be a whole lot richer. Whilst the end product wasn’t their Davenport still had a good year in many categories. Will he make a similar jump to Trey Hendrickson, should he leave New Orleans?
9. Mike McGlinchey – OT
Mike McGlinchey is another top tackle who is expected to make a buck or two this week. He’s a solid player who’s always played at the calibre of the top half of the players at his position in his five years in San Francisco.
2022 saw the 49ers reach the NFC Championship game, and McGlinchey allowed the lowest amount of pressures in a full season in his career. Could a reunion with Mike McDaniel in Miami be a fit?
10. James Bradberry – CB
In his one and only year in Philadelphia, James Bradberry earned himself another big contract. The 29 year old made it all the way to the Super Bowl having only joined the team in May.
Bradberry was as excellent as ever in coverage, allowing a 54.2 passer rating, the 3rd lowest number among all cornerbacks, and intercepting the ball three times on top of the 12 pass breakups.
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