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. Especially with star players in Derek Carr, Geno Smith, and Daniel Jones now offer the board. To start the month, the Baltimore Ravens made the decision the football world expected and slapped a franchise tag on the one-time NFL MVP.

However, it was a non-exclusive tag that allowed rival teams to make an offer with a compensation package of two future first-round picks. Yet, since the news, several QB-needy teams are reportedly not planning on pursuing the young superstar. This means he is likely to give into the Ravens’ demands at some point as opposed to taking the $32 million he would make on the tag if he doesn’t get an offer elsewhere.

Expect Jackson to get a deal from Baltimore for seven years and $310 million.

NFL free agency predictions – Quarterbacks

  • Geno Smith – Signed with Seattle Seahawks; 3 years; $105 million
  • Carson Wentz – Signs with Houston Texans; 2 years, $29.2 million
  • Derek CarrSigned with New Orleans Saints; 4 years, $150 million
  • Daniel JonesSigned with New York Giants; 4 years, $160 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 – Signs with Washington Commanders; 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

Miles Sanders takes Pro Bowl talents to NFL free agency

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With Saquon Barkley, Tony Pollard, and Josh Jacobs all getting franchise tagged by their teams, Miles Sanders has jumped to the top of the free-agent running back list. The first-time Pro Bowler was a major part of the Eagles’ success in 2022 and is likely to get a lot of interest on the open market.

With the Buffalo Bills expected to free up some space by letting several key defensive players walk in NFL free agency, don’t be surprised if they make a hard push to finally find an answer at running back and sign Sanders to a four-year contract worth $48 million.

Predicting landing spots for top running backs

  • Saquon Barkley – Franchise tagged by New York Giants for $10.09 million
  • Josh Jacobs – Franchise tagged by Las Vegas Raiders for $10.09 million
  • Jamaal Williams – Signs with Houston Texans; 3 years, $31.5 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

Jakobi Meyers a top talent on the receiver market

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Jakobi Meyers has been a rock-solid talent over his first four seasons in the league with the New England Patriots, and he seems on the cusp of being a breakout star in 2023. After totaling a career-best 866 yards in 2021, he slipped to 804 this season. However, every player on the offense saw their stats suffer during a messy season for the unit in 2022.

However, despite the questionable coaching on the offensive side of the ball, Meyers still reeled in six touchdowns in 2023 and can become a star for either the Patriots or another team next season. Look for the Bears to make a move for the 26-year-old to get Justin Fields another weapon. Expect the contract to be in the range of four years and $64 million.

NFL free agency predictions – Wide receivers

  • Odell Beckham Jr. – Signs with Giants; 1 year, $18 million
  • Juju Schuster-Smith – Signs with Chiefs; 3 years, $17.5 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

Dalton Schultz hoping to cash in on the open market

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With Evan Engram now off the board after being franchise tagged by the Jaguars, Dalton Schultz is the premiere tight end on the NFL free agent market. The five-year veteran has been solid for the Dallas Cowboys and there is a belief the talented endzone threat has a lot of upsides if put in the right situation.

With the Packers in a transition period, look for them to get Jordan Love some new weapons and sign Schultz to a four-year deal worth $47.8 million.

NFL free agency predictions – Tight ends

  • Evan Engram – Franchise tagged by Jacksonville Jaguars for $11.3 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 because unlike in 2022 the Super Bowl champions will not slap a franchise tag on the elite offensive tackle. Being the best player available at the position means Brown will get a major deal from a team with a lot of space to burn. Expect that organization to be the Chicago Bears as they aim to get Justin Fields more protection and give Brown a four-year deal worth $95 million.

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

Frank Clark tops defensive line class in 2023 free agency

nfl free agency
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Frank Clark will take his Pro Bowl talents to NFL free agency in 2023 after the Kansas City Chiefs cut ties with the star pass rusher this month. In three of his four seasons in Missouri, he earned Pro Bowl honors and helped the team win two Super Bowls and he is sure to garner a great deal of interest in free agency. The Las Vegas Raiders need to improve the defense in 2023 and will sign him to a four-year deal worth $56 million so he can be paired with Chandler Jones next season.

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NFL free agency predictions – Defensive linemen

  • Yannick Ngakoue – Signs with Cincinnati Bengals; 4 years, $54 million
  • 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 – Signs with Browns; 5 years, $90 million
  • Lavonte David – Signs with Chicago Bears; 3 years, $43.2 million
  • T.J. Edwards – Signs with Falcons; 6 years, $78. 2 million
  • Eric Kendricks – Signs with Titans; 5 years, $62 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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Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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
  • John Johnson – Signs with Raiders; 3 years, $27.5 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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Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

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
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