NFL Free Agency 2022: A free agent every team needs to keep this offseason

With the 2021 NFL season on the books and the 2022 offseason underway, free agency is just around the corner. Every team has at least one big name set to hit the open market. But which free agents could – or should – be locked down before making offers elsewhere? Below, we’ve highlighted one free agent each of the NFL’s 32 teams are expected to bring back for 2022.

Note: The following free agents are unrestricted. Restricted and exclusive free agents were not included.

WR Christian Kirk is just 26 and posted career-high totals in 2021, but he’s never really exploded alongside DeAndre Hopkins and the like. DE Chandler Jones, meanwhile, can cost a fortune. Ertz, though older, is almost irreplaceable in his place.

They shouldn’t be overpaying for a 31-year-old journeyman utility player, but Patterson was a real playmaker when they actually gave him the ball in 2021. It’s not like they were neither are they abundant in arms.

The Ravens’ offensive line has struggled to hold up throughout 2021, but Bozeman has been a revelation in the middle. Baltimore needs to keep Lamar Jackson and the running game upright, even if it costs a pretty penny.

Yes, he’s going to 34, and he’s no longer an all-around force on board. But he’s the perfect add-on piece to a title-chasing defense, still fresh and enduring after more than a decade in the league.

CB Stephon Gilmore is the best player, but at what cost? Additionally, Reddick is four years younger at his peak and playing a position that tends to age a bit better. It can be an anchor for Carolina’s “D”.

On paper, WR Allen Robinson is the obvious top priority, especially given QB Justin Fields’ lack of weaponry. But it was both verified and bumped in 2021; the ship sailed. Daniels at least helps them take action to protect Fields first.

Perhaps the easiest to identify of the whole group. Bates was already a quietly stable point guard before his national emergence during the Super Bowl bid. His range is matched by only a few defensive backs in the NFL.

WR Rashard Higgins and DE Jadeveon Clowney guarantee new offers, at obviously different prices. But the Browns could afford to spend big while replacing Clowney with a cheaper alternative. Njoku, meanwhile, still has an advantage as a wide receiver.

DE Randy Gregory is the hot name as a potential candidate, but he’s more than four years older than Schultz, who has become one of Dak Prescott’s most trusted targets. With uncertainty looming over WR, they need to prioritize their attack on the pitch.

CB Bryce Callahan works here too. Both guys are strong starting pieces for a feisty defense, but they’re losing years through injury or performance. QB Teddy Bridgewater is not a priority if their hearts are rightly on an upgrade under center.

In just seven games with the Lions after his short-lived run with the Titans, the former Rams player had 306 yards and two scores as a big-play threat. At the very least, he can offer competition to a team in transition.

Need we say more? Even if Aaron Rodgers retired or moved, they would be forced to lock him up and auction him off, or save him for the next QB. He is one of the top two pass catchers in the entire NFL.

They would do just as well to literally let everyone walk and start from scratch, but you can do worse than Collins, at 26, with a few solid years under his belt, inside. It starts in the trenches.

Left tackle is a bigger need so you’d think Eric Fisher would get the green light here, but do they need paying too much for his pass blocking? Glowinski is a safer bet on the inside, and you can never go wrong investing up front no matter who is at QB.

They seemed foolish to tag the blindside tackle before 2021, but he ended up sticking it out as a legitimate starter. Is it worth a market reset deal? Certainly not. But the protection of Trevor Lawrence is of the utmost importance.

S Tyrann Mathieu is an obvious alternative, but they paid a heavy price to make Brown their long-term bodyguard for Patrick Mahomes. At only 25, he still has room to grow and deserves long-term treatment.

CB Casey Hayward may be the best player, but with Gus Bradley moving elsewhere, is a 32-year-old corner looking for his third team in as many years the top priority? Jones is best suited in a reserve role, but he’s really flashed in 2021.

An evidence. Whether it’s the tag or a long-term contract, they need him opposite Keenan Allen. His big body and ball skills are a perfect complement, and if LA can become more balanced offensively, he will continue to grow with Justin Herbert.

OLB Von Miller was a perfect on-season addition to help fuel their title run, but as he approaches 33, with a big salary in order, he doesn’t seem like quite as good of a deal as Odell, who will come out of an injury but will provide incredible scale assurance.

A mainstay in defensive coordinator Josh Boyer’s unit, Ogbah has hit nine sacks in two straight seasons. TE Mike Gesicki is just as worthy here, but new coach Mike McDaniel can probably make the most of other offensive options if needed.

They don’t really need to be rushed to bring back aging defenders like Anthony Barr and Patrick Peterson. Woods, on the other hand, isn’t perfect but has remained healthy and around the ball in his Vikings debut. He too is only 26 years old.

They have a handful of veterans, including OT Trent Brown and LB Dont’a Hightower, who warrant new offers. But no one is more deserving than Jackson, who was an absolute ball hawk in their dominant secondary.

Long OT Terron Armstead plays the most important position, but in a precarious ceiling situation as they enter an overhaul, the Saints would be smarter to lock in their 25-year-old secondary centerpiece. QB Jameis Winston would again be a good flyer, but only if bigger and better QB bets don’t pan out.

One of their team’s only bright spots, the 27-year-old has become an inside man clogging spreads in 2021. The new management can’t really afford to spend real money on one of the other free agents on the team, who are lackluster anyway.

OT Morgan Moses might be a safer short-term bet for QB Zach Wilson, but Maye still has Pro Bowl-caliber talent and shouldn’t cost a ton after injury. A strong return to form could also increase its future business value.

In all honesty, they could let all of their free agents walk. But with compatriot S Anthony Harris also due to hit the market, McLeod’s leadership on and off the pitch would be welcome, especially with no other short- or long-term answer there.

Fellow CB Joe Haden deserves a new deal just as much, but Witherspoon, at 26 and fresh off a hot run after returning from Seattle, provides a longer-term advantage for a defense that has several key pieces on the market. .

It’s all about the trenches in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, where running game and action play are key. Tomlinson may be 30, but he just completed his first Pro Bowl nod in another NFC Championship bid. In other words, it is an integral part of their plans.

It depends on their openness to moving Russell Wilson and going for a soft or major rebuild, as Brown is a short-term play in a key spot. S Quandre Diggs is a fair alternative, but they already pay Jamal Adams a ton.

Mike Evans would help make up for the potential loss to Godwin, but in today’s NFL you often need at least two great pass catchers to be considered a true contender. CB Carlton Davis is another big priority on the other side of the ball.

He may cost a ton, but he’s exactly the kind of passing thrower you want to pay big bucks: young, durable, and just entering his prime. If the Titans intend to stay in the playoff mix, they’d be smart to invest in that D-line.

RB JD McKissic should be a priority as an add-on and/or insurance for Antonio Gibson, but finding a perennial Pro Bowl lineman is harder to find than a change-of-tempo weapon. Scherff is nearing 31, but he’s still in the top flight when healthy.

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