2022 NFL free agency team-by-team ratings: Bills, Buccaneers, Chargers, Jets among early winners
The 2022 NFL offseason is officially upon us. Several big-name quarterbacks found new homes before the legal tampering period kicked off on Monday, but now dozens of notable veterans are hitting the market, free to trade with other teams. From blockbuster moves to bargain buys, below we’ve got a running track of each team’s additions in 2022, including outside signings and business acquisitions:
It’s not that the players the Cardinals have added or retained are bad; Conner and Ertz are key to their offense. But paying these two more than $50 million combined on long-term contracts? What is 2017? Arizona bet on older and/or injury-prone veterans a year ago, but it would be nice to see the team go a little greener if they had to spend a lot of money. He also has a pass rusher to address.
Locking in one of the most accurate kickers in the NFL is good. But they still have plenty of holes to fill, especially if they plan to rival Matt Ryan (or, somehow, Deshaun Watson) at QB. Letting Russell Gage walk may haunt them.
There are other areas (OL, DL) that need to be addressed, but Williams is a high-flying ball hawk who will instantly improve his defense in transition, especially alongside a Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey, etc. in better health.
- Commanders RB JD McKissic (2 years, $7 million)
- Titans OG Rodger Saffold (1 year)
- Commanders DT Tim Settle (2 years)
- CB Siran Neal (3 years, $10.9 million)
- Rams EDGE Von Miller (6 years, $120 million)
- Buccaneers TE OJ Howard (1 year, $3.5 million)
Von Miller will make a huge difference on defense. They basically replaced Daryl Williams with Saffold, which isn’t an obvious upgrade. Settle is a solid pickup for the D-line, however, and McKissic, while replaceable, should be a high-volume safety valve for Josh Allen out of the backfield.
Foreman gives them big insurance for Christian McCaffrey, which is smart. And Corbett is their best O-line investment in two years. Woods, meanwhile, brings experience to the back of defense at a reasonable price. Now, what happens to the QB?
They are betting on Ogubjobi’s continued development, but the price is still relatively high at $13.5 million per year. Let’s see what they do on other important spots (WR, OL, etc.).
Good for them, finally getting some extra help for Joe Burrow. Cappa and Karras weren’t necessarily the best options, but they’ll do. Plus, was BJ Hill worth locking up against Larry Ogunjobi for? May be. Maybe not.
Losing Jarvis Landry hurts, but getting Cooper gets them a bona fide No. 1 — at a reasonable cost, given the free agent market, no less. Bryan and Winovich are decent depth additions. Let’s see what happens at QB.
Dallas Cowboys: C
Gallup is worth keeping, no doubt, but they’re going to miss Amari Cooper more than most realize, especially with Cedrick Wilson now also gone. They also deserve props for holding Schultz back, but there’s still a dire need to rush after sniffing Randy Gregory.
It would be really tough for them to lose an “A” this offseason, because, well, Russell Wilson. They promised to be aggressive at QB, and they delivered. Jones is their next best addition, giving an already solid defense a big, rising man inside. They may have overpaid for Gregory, but he at least provides a long-term advantage against Bradley Chubb.
Nothing splashy here, but they were always going to make more noise in the draft. Chark and Reynolds are an underrated duo, giving Jared Goff — or anyone they pick up at QB — some big-game talent.
Retaining Aaron Rodgers was the biggest move of the offseason, even though the QB technically wasn’t a free agent. Adams, meanwhile, is apparently threatening to resist a long-term deal, so his return is still to be determined. Campbell is a solid point guard on his defense, but $50 million for a 29-year-old linebacker is a bit rich.
Another year, another free agency filled with cheap deals for mid and lower level veterans. In truth, none of these moves are patently bad, but the talent is still sorely lacking in Houston.
Time is running out for a QB addition, unless they have a draft day surprise up their sleeve. Plus, they still need help up front and on the outside.
The toughest team to rank, the Jags certainly have an improved supporting cast for Trevor Lawrence. But it’s awfully hard not to think they could have allocated resources better. Kirk, Jones and Engram, for example, are all good upside bets, but did they have to pay that much? Why not just join an Allen Robinson meeting? In defense, it’s the same thing: Oluokun is a slender building block, but did an LB really need 15 million dollars a year? Their best work has been up front where Lawrence should have a better line.
Adding Reid likely marks the end of the Tyrann Mathieu era, but it’s a smart long-term bet. Let’s see how they handle the D line beyond Frank Clark’s deal restructuring.
- Cardinals EDGE (3 years, $51 million)
- Acquisition of CB Rock Ya-Sin from the Colts
The Raiders added two showpieces but had to part ways with Yannick Ngakoue in a trade with the Colts.
It’s very possible they overpaid for Jackson, but at the same time, they’re absolutely right to go all out on their opening window with Justin Herbert at QB. Their defense already looks much better on paper, and keeping Williams out was huge.
With Andrew Whitworth retired, they wisely locked in his successor, essentially at the cost of a good starting tackle. Keeping Matthew Stafford up was always the most important thing.
New coach Mike McDaniel needed bodies in the backfield and in front, and he got both. Teddy also makes a strong backup and one-time starter behind Tua Tagovailoa, especially at a bargain price.
They arrived with little money to spend, and Phillips is an average investment replacement for Michael Pierce, but Hicks is an underrated leader for the middle of a rebuilding “D” alongside Eric Kendricks.
Not much action here other than getting Shaq Mason out of town. White’s return should be helpful for Mac Jones, but they still need an addition to the ladder.
Like the Vikings, they didn’t have much money to spend initially. Good for them to have a rock-solid inside starter to put in front of Daniel Jones at Glowinski. Taylor is an uninspiring starting option at QB, but he at least has the Bills connection and provides insurance/competition at New York’s top tier for Jones.
If they get just another starting caliber option, they will stay in “A” territory. Uzomah is a nice addition for Zach Wilson, and Tomlinson helps bolster the line.
They have other needs (WR, LB, S), but Reddick is a supreme asset at a top position, giving them the most explosiveness they’ve had in years.
They were never going to permanently fix QB through free agency, so Trubisky is a perfectly good and decent addition there. Good on them for tackling the trenches, too, especially with Daniels. Wallace is a quality plug-and-play wedge.
Ward is a nice bet on the corner, where they needed to rejuvenate. But they still have holes to fill, with the departure of Laken Tomlinson as starting keeper and the Jimmy Garoppolo deal yet to materialize.
Seattle Seahawks: C+
They got a good shot for Russell Wilson, but the sting of losing the franchise QB will linger until they find him under center again. Also, was it really necessary to pay Dissly a lot of money after landing Fant on the tight end? Diggs is the only other name you’re really proud of here, as Seattle’s best point guard.
Somehow, they not only brought Tom Brady back from retirement, but also found a way to keep his line anchor and best young cover man. Gage, meanwhile, is a sneaky good addition as a new wide No. 3 who should attract all sorts of targets.
Landry’s lockdown was key for the top seven. Investing in the line is also smart, given the turmoil Ryan Tannehill endured for part of 2021. They still have secondary needs, with Jackrabbit Jenkins gone.
Washington Commanders: C-
Wentz’s move could certainly blow up in their faces, given the QB’s polarizing tendencies. But you can’t blame them entirely for swinging higher than the free agent market, even though someone like Mitchell Trubisky would have been a more profitable bet. The problem is that they haven’t done much to improve the rest of the roster yet.