Bold predictions for 2023 NFL free agency: Destinations for more than 50 top players

NFL free agency in 2023 should be very active with a plethora of high-end players up for grabs, including at the quarterback position.

Below, we’ll preview when the NFL free agent period begins for the star players available on the market, as well as the likely landing spots and contract predictions for each competitor. Make sure to bookmark and save this page as we provide updates when players sign and add new NFL free agency predictions throughout the offseason.

Related: NFL mock draft 2023 – Latest Round 1 projection for 2023 Draft with big trades

When does NFL free agency 2023 start?

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There are several key dates on the road to the official start of NFL free agency. First, from February 2 to March 7, organizations have to decide which star players they will use their lone franchise tag on.

That is then followed by the legal tampering period from 12 PM ET on March 13 and runs through 3:59 PM ET on March 15. During that time many players will begin having conversations with interested teams and fielding actual offers.

The previous league year also comes to a close at the same moment as legal tampering. Once the clock strikes 4 PM ET on March 15, the new league year officially starts and players can put pen to paper on contracts with the teams they will be playing for in 2023.

Lamar Jackson tops QB class in 2023 NFL free agency

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Lamar Jackson is by far, the best quarterback in the 2023 quarterback class of NFL free agency. Which is saying something for a year and class that is much deeper than most. The one-time NFL MVP missed the final five games of the season and the Baltimore Ravens Wild Card loss, but it had little effect on his elite value.

If he were to hit the open market at least six teams would be vying for her services. However, he is expected to be slapped with an exclusive franchise tag by the Ravens before then. Jackson will make $45 million on the tag in 2023 unless he gets a new long-term deal or is traded after March 15.

NFL free agency predictions – Quarterbacks

  • Geno Smith – Signs with Seattle Seahawks, 3 years; $94.3 million
  • Derek Carr – Signs with New Orleans Saints; 3 years, $105 million
  • Daniel Jones – Signs with New York Giants; 4 years, $140 million
  • Jimmy Garoppolo – Signs with Las Vegas Raiders; 2 years, $58.5 million
  • Jacoby Brissett – Signs with San Francisco 49ers; 2 years, $19.5 million
  • Baker Mayfield – Re-signs with Los Angeles Rams; 2 years, $18.2 million
  • Sam Darnold – Signs with Arizona Cardinals; 2 years, $24.5 million
  • Teddy Bridgewater – Signs with Atlanta Falcons; 1 year, $9 million
  • Cooper Rush – Re-signs with Dallas Cowboys; 2 years $14 million

Josh Jacobs takes Pro Bowl talents to NFL free agency

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It’s not often that an All-Pro running back hits NFL free agency, but Josh Jacobs hits the open market at the peak of his powers. Unfortunately for the Las Vegas Raiders star, the game has shifted away from running backs being a necessity to win championships. The Kansas City Chiefs continue to prove that fact.

However, Jacobs will cash in with the best contract of his career in 2023, and that will likely come from his current team. Expect the Raiders to use up their plentiful cap space and give Josh Jacobs a four-year deal worth $56 million.

Predicting landing spots for top running backs

  • Saquon Barkley – Franchise tagged by New York Giants for $10.09 million
  • Miles Sanders – Re-signs with Buffalo Bills; 3 years, $39 million
  • Tony Pollard – Franchise tagged by Dallas Cowboys for $10.09 million
  • Devin Singletary – Signs with Detroit Lions; 2 years $8 million
  • David Montgomery – Signs with Los Angeles Rams; 1 year $5 million

JuJu Smith-Schuster headlines receiver free agent market

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The wide receiver market in NFL free agency is not filled with elite talents, but it does have several difference-makers, including Super Bowl champion Juju Schuster-Smith. The six-year veteran had another strong season in 2023 and offered a nice secondary option for Patrick Mahomes in the Chiefs’ offense.

Schuster-Smith and the team have too much of a good thing going to end the relationship just yet. Expect him to return with a long-term deal for three years and $12.5 million.

NFL free agency predictions – Wide receivers

  • Jakobi Meyers – Signs with Giants; 2 years, $28.5 million
  • Allen Lazard – Re-signs with Green Bay Packers; 3 years $26 million
  • Darius Slayton – Signs with New York Jets; 2 years, $22.5 million
  • DJ Chark – Signs with Chicago Bears; 1 year, $12 million

Evan Engram hoping to cash in on the open market

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Despite a trip to the Pro Bowl on his resume, Evan Engram had the best season of his six-year professional career in his debut season under Doug Pederson in Jacksonville. After years of never quite hitting his potential, Pederson was finally able to unlock something in the former Giant and he became a solid go-to target for young star Trevor Lawrence.

The Jaguars need to retain him and they will do so to the tune of a three-year deal worth $21. 4 million.

NFL free agency predictions – Tight ends

  • Dalton Schultz – Signs with Chicago Bears; 4 years, $48 million
  • Mike Gesicki – Signs with New York Giants; 3 years, $33.3 million
  • Robert Tonyan – Re-signs with Packers; 3 years, $21 million
  • Hayden Hurst – Signs with Houston Texans; 2 years, $15 million

Super Bowl champ heads to NFL free agency

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Four-time Pro Bowler Orlando Brown is set to hit the free agent market in 2023. However, just like in 2022, it seems highly unlikely that the Super Bowl champions will allow one of the best offensive linemen in team history to reach free agency. Expect the team to slap a franchise tag worth over $18 million on him for a second straight season.

Projecting landing spots for offensive linemen in NFL free agency

  • Mike McGlinchey – Signs with New York Jets; 3 years, $42 million
  • Taylor Lewan – Signs with Seattle Seahawks; 3 years, $61 million
  • Ben Powers – Re-signs with Baltimore Ravens; 4 years, $32 million
  • Jason Kelce – Re-signs with Eagles; 1 year, $14 million
  • Kaleb McGary -Signs with Washington Commanders; 3 years $25 million

Yannick Ngakoue at the top of defensive line class

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Yannick Ngakoue has played for five teams in six NFL seasons. That would seem like a bad sign but is more a result of his consistently rock-solid pass-rushing skills and every team in the league is always in need of such talents. In 2021 in racked up 10 sacks in 17 games for the Raiders, and nearly replicated the number in 2022 with 9.5 sacks for the Colts in just 15 games.

Look for the one-time Pro Bowler to take his talents to a sixth team in seven seasons in 2023. And that team will be the Cincinnati Bengals, as they give Ngakoue a four-year deal worth $54 million.

NFL free agency predictions – Defensive linemen

  • Javon Hargrave – Signs with New England Patriots; 6 years, $90 million
  • Marcus Davenport – Signs with Chicago Bears; 3 years, $45 million
  • Dalvin Tomlinson – Re-signs with Minnesota Vikings; 2 years, $26 million
  • Daron Payne – Franchise tagged by Commanders for $18.9 million

David Long highlights linebacker NFL free agent class

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David Long has consistently gotten better since being taken in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Last year he had his best year yet with 86 tackles in just 12 starts for the Tennessee Titans. The 26-year-old has been a major surprise for the team and is only getting better. Look for Tennessee to hold on to him long-term with a five-year, $32 million

NFL free agency predictions – Linebackers

  • Tremaine Edmunds – Re-signs with Bills; 3 years, $42 million
  • Lavonte David – Signs with Chicago Bears; 3 years, $43.2 million
  • T.J. Edwards – Signs with Falcons; 6 years, $78. 2 million
  • Bobby Wagner – Signs with 49ers; 2 years, $18 million
  • Drue Tranquill – Re-signs with Los Angeles Chargers; 5 years, $80 million
  • Bobby Okereke – Re-signs with Colts; 6 years, $79.8 million

James Bradberry takes talents to 2023 NFL free-agent market

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After being unwanted by the New York Giants, James Bradberry found a new home in Philly in 2022 and was part of an elite defense that got all the way to the Super Bowl. While he gave the Eagles a favorable deal last season, he won’t do that again this spring and will be looking to cash in in NFL free agency.

The Seattle Seahawks will have a lot of funds available in the offseason, so look for them to add the proven veteran on a four-year deal worth as much as $57.2 million.

Predicting landing spots for free agent defensive backs

  • C.J. Gardner-Johnson – Re-signs with Philadelphia Eagles; 4 years, $53 million
  • Jessie Bates – Franchise tagged by Bengals for $14.5 million
  • Jordan Poyer – Signs with Bears; 4 years $60 million
  • Cameron Sutton – Re-signs with Steelers; 3 years, $18 million
  • Patrick Peterson – Signs with Giants; 2 years $20 million
  • Jamel Dean – Signs with Texans; 4 years $44 million
  • Vonn Bell – Signs Detroit Lions; 3 years $36 million

Keisean Nixon leads special teams market in free agency

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Keisean Nixon was one of the bright spots in a frustrating season for the Packers as he starred in a return role and was the best in the NFL at kick returns in 2022. Racking up over 1000 yards and had an impressive 28.8 average after 35 attempts, which also included one touchdown. A good return game is still a major boost in the league, so expect the Packers to realize that with their QB situation up in their air and reward Nixon with a three-year contract worth $4.2 million.

Predicting landing spots for free agent special teams players

  • Mason Crosby – Re-signs with Packers; 2 years, $4.3 million
  • Robbie Gould – Retires
  • Matt Prater – Re-sign with Cardinals; 1 year, $3.7 million

This article was originally published on and is republished here with permission.

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