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.
When does NFL free agency 2023 start?
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
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 Garapollo – 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
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
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
Super Bowl champ heads to NFL free agency
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
- 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
Daron Payne is at the top of the defensive line class
After looking like he might never live up to the potential of being taken by the Commanders with the 13th overall pick in 2018, Daron Payne had a career year in 2022. Just in time for a jump into NFL free agency. The talented tackle will have many suitors on the open market, however, there is a very good chance Washington places a franchise tag on him in 2023, which is worth just under $19 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
- Yannick Ngakoue – Signs with Cincinnati Bengals; 4 years $54 million
- Dalvin Tomlinson – Re-signs with Minnesota Vikings; 2 years, $26 million
David Long highlights linebacker NFL free agent class
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
- Drue Tranquill – Re-signs with Los Angeles Chargers; 5 years, $80 million
- Bobby Okereke – Re-signs with Colts; 6 years, $79.8 million
Evan Engram hoping to cash in on the open market
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
James Bradberry takes talents to 2023 NFL free-agent market
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
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.