NFL free agency predictions 2023: Projected landing spots for Lamar Jackson, Aaron Rodgers, Derrick Henry & more

It’s time to play the game that’s right, the NFL Free Agency Edition. Soon, as the new league year of 2023 begins, several unrestricted free agents will be changing teams with new short- and long-term contracts.

Although the quarterbacks available no longer include Derek Carr (Saints), Daniel Jones (Giants) and Geno Smith (Seahawks), Aaron Rodgers and Lamar Jackson can be traded for the right high price. Unsigned QBs behind them are still Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett.

While Jackson received a non-exclusive franchise tag, running backs Josh Jacobs (Raiders), Saquon Barkley (Giants), and Tony Pollard (Cowboys) were also among the six players tagged to keep them off the open market. That leaves Derrick Henry on the trading block for the Titans, along with a string of top free agents led by Miles Sanders.

With that sorted, Sporting News predicts who’ll end up there when all the spinning and acting is done:

MORE: Ranking the top 60 NFL free agents for 2023

Table of Contents

NFL Free Agency Predictions 2023

Jets trade for Aaron Rodgers

With a new team and a familiar and comfortable offensive coordinator, Rodgers will put on one more show before leaving the NFL. The Packers need to make that move to see a big return on an hapless 39-year-old QB, especially with their next franchise passer hopeful Jordan Love already on the team.

Colts trade for Lamar Jackson

Shane Steichen wants his version of a mobile QB a la Jalen Hurts in Indianapolis looking to break out of reliance on shaky bridge pocket passers. The Colts should feel like Jackson carries his own brand of young advantage over the QB that they can match in the draft at #4 overall.

Read  Josh Jacobs trade rumors: Raiders coach Josh McDaniels says team has 'no desire' to deal running back

Jackson would thrive on offense using Jonathan Taylor’s running and Thorwing against Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce. Quenton Nelson and the blocker should also help the rebound. The Colts would immediately push the Jaguars for the AFC South title with Jackson as they remain solid defensively.

Dolphins act for Derrick Henry

Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. are free agents. The Dolphins want a strong running game to be the bread and butter for Mike McDaniel’s plan. Henry’s strong presence would also allow for better downfield passing to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Wadle for Tua Tagovailoa. The Titans are in clear cost-cutting mode and moving Henry’s contract to 29 makes a lot of sense given the wear and tear of his previous volume should soon kick in.

Raiders sign Jimmy Garoppolo

Garoppolo should also consider the Texans, but they’re capable of rolling with Bryce Young or CJ Stroud as a rookie given their No. 2 overall pick. The Raiders are considering picking Will Levis early in the first round, but there’s more potential in initially leaning on Garoppolo’s knowledge of Josh McDaniels’ system before throwing a rookie QB into the fire.

Bengals sign Kaleb McGary

The Bengals have a little more leeway to make another splash before considering how to pay Joe Burrow and Tee Higgins. It would make perfect sense to track the Breakout Falcons’ right tackle to better protect Burrow and bolster the game in progress.

FREE AGENT RANKINGS: QBs | RB’s | WRs | defense

The Bears sign Dalvin Tomlinson

The Bears need to bolster their run defense and could use some pass rush pop as well. With plenty of cap space, stealing Tomlinson from NFC North rivals Vikings makes a lot of sense.

Read  IPL 2023: How does the auction work?

Buccaneers sign Jacoby Brissett

The Buccaneers can’t just flip the QB page from Tom Brady to Kyle Trask. They need a scheme-flexible veteran who can fit well into new offense coordinator Dave Canales’ new, more run-oriented scheme. Canales, coming from Seattle, should see some Geno Smith-like capacity from Brissett to back up top wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.

The Browns sign Jessie Bates III

Bates can stay in Ohio and move on from the Bengals to fill a huge security hole in Cleveland. The Browns can’t do much with their cap situation, but given Bates’ well-rounded play, it would be an acceptable takeover.

Cardinals sign Javon Hargrave

That makes too much sense. The Cardinals have retired JJ Watt and Zach Allen is a free agent, which means they need an inside-pass rush pop for new defensive coach Jonathan Gannon, who Hargrave played for in Philadelphia.

The lions sign Bobby Wagner

The Lions need to provide more help to Malcolm Rodriguez at the second level and could use a cleaning up venerable defensive leader for Aaron Glenn.

Raiders sign Lavonte David

The Raiders must continue to work on being more effective overall at the second level to help Maxx Crosby up front. David is the active veteran who would thrive for Patrick Graham.

Bears sign Orlando Brown Jr.

The Bears have a good run blocking unit for Justin Fields but could benefit from a big move to add pass protection with an ace left tackle. They should jump on the Chiefs not tagging Brown.

Texans sign Jimmie Ward

Read  Sporting KC Weekly Schedule: Feb. 27 - March 5, 2023

The versatile defensive back was tremendous for the 49ers as a first-rounder in 2014. At 31, he should have a calling to lead DeMeco Ryans’ new defense in Houston.

NFL DRAFT 2023: SN’s Latest Mock | Top 125 large board

Cardinals sign James Bradberry

The Cardinals had a shaky cornerback game and Byron Murphy is a free agent. He’s also a strong contender to reunite with Gannon of the NFC Champions.

The Patriots sign Jamel Dean

He is a versatile and intellectual defender. Bill Belichick needs one as Jonathan Jones is also a free agent. This may be New England’s big stir with good cap space.

Lions sign Dalton Schultz

The Lions need to replace TJ Hockenson and add another dependable veteran element to their blocking and passing games. Schultz could immediately serve as a key target for Jared Goff to help his other recipients.

Raiders sign Jakobi Meyers

Meyers should also consider moving to a familiar scheme, and his inside-out versatility would be great to bring in for Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow, with Mack Hollins and Keelan Cole being free agents.

Bills sign Miles Sanders

Devin Singletary is a free agent and Sanders, based on his finally healthy showing with the Eagles, makes a solid power back upgrade and complements James Cook well.

Giants sign JuJu Smith-Schuster

Daniel Jones likes to throw in the slot, but he could lose Richie James in the free hand. JuJu’s size and sometimes large presence would be a good start to get her new-look wideouts back on track.

Seahawks sign Dre’Mont Jones

The Seahawks will be looking for a rare disruptor up front to boost their pass rush and Jones would be ideal. They’re one of the few teams who should break the bank a bit for the Broncos’ services.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button