Every NFL teams’ best signing after day 1 of free agency


NFL teams were active during the first day of the league’s free agency negotiating period. Many of the big fish free agents have already signed contracts, and even more remain on the market.

These deals do not become official until the start of the new league year at 4 p.m. on March 15. At that point, names like Lamar Jackson, who received the non-exclusive franchise tag, can begin negotiating with other teams as well.

Jackson is one of the biggest dominoes in the NFL still yet to fall. The future of Aaron Rodgers is another. All rumors and reports have tied Rodgers to the New York Jets; however, a deal has not yet emerged.

Whether it is a big splash, a quiet re-signing or a bargain bin find, every NFL team has made some move on or before the first day of the negotiating period. Here is the best signing for each NFL team so far.

Arizona Cardinals: Re-signing Kelvin Beachum on a tw0-year deal

The Cardinals have not been busy this early in the free agency period. The team re-signed wide receiver Greg Dortch on March 10, but they are yet to strike a deal with an outside free agent. Kelvin Beachum is a reliable veteran right tackle. Arizona keeps Beachum on a two-year deal. The offensive lineman allowed five sacks and committed seven penalties in 2022. He is not an elite tackle, but he holds up fine in pass coverage and can create holes in the run game. The Cardinals are going to make other moves, but until then, Beachum is the best signing by default.

Other signings considered: WR Greg Dorth I guess? The Cardinals did nothing.

Atlanta Falcons: Signing Jessie Bates III to a four-year, $64.02 million deal

Four years and an average annual value (AAV) of $16 million for one of the best safeties in the NFL? The Falcons made out well on this deal. Sure, $16 million per year is the going rate for a top-end safety, but Atlanta could sign Bates without breaking the bank and making him the highest-paid safety in the NFL.

Bates finished 2022 with 50 solo tackles and four interceptions. In a weakened NFC South, Bates could be critical to the Falcons making a push to take home the division title in 2023. Atlanta has been one of the more active teams on the free agent market on the first day of the negotiating period. Bates is the best of a solid group.

Other signings considered: DT David Onyemata (three years, $35 million) OG Chris Lindstrom five years, $105 million) Trading for TE Jonnu Smith

Baltimore Ravens: Tagging Lamar Jackson with the non-exclusive franchise tag

The Ravens have effectively allowed the rest of the NFL to set the market for Jackson. Baltimore can match any offer that is thrown Jackson’s way. If a team offers more than the Ravens will match, the team will get back two first-round picks. Either Jackson returns next season, or the team gets draft capital in return for him.

Baltimore has not been active so far in free agency. The team is yet to make a signing, but it has lost two productive players in free agency already. As it turns out, not re-signing your franchise quarterback makes it difficult to budget for the rest of your team. Baltimore may not make many significant moves until teams can begin negotiating with Jackson on March 15.

Other signings considered: None. Re-sign your franchise quarterback.

Buffalo Bills: Extending Matt Milano on a two-year, $28 million contract

The Bills knew linebacker Tremaine Edmunds was as good as out the door. The star linebacker was guaranteed to receive a payday the Buffalo could not match. So, the team extended All-Pro Matt Milano. While Milano’s contract was not expiring this offseason, keeping his services through the 2026 season is an important move for Buffalo. It also opened up $6 million in cap relief for a team currently over the cap limit. After exiting the playoffs in the divisional round, Buffalo is looking to reload hoping to make a run to the Super Bowl. Extending Milano means the Bills will have reliable linebacker play beyond just next season.

Other signing considered: G Connor McGovern (three years, $23 million) (Cowboys Connor McGovern, not Jets Connor McGovern) P Sam Martin on a three-year deal.

Carolina Panthers: Signing Shy Tuttle to a three-year, $19.5 million deal

The Panthers now boast an interior defensive line rotation of Derrick Brown, Shy Tuttle and Matt Ioannidis. Tuttle is a decent defensive lineman. He produced 26 solo tackles and two sacks in 2022. He does not inspire fear as a pass rusher, but he will provide adequate play for a rebuilding Panthers team. Carolina could be competitive in the aforementioned weak NFC South. Under new head coach Frank Reich, the team could be the right quarterback away from competing for the division title. The Panthers recently acquired the first overall pick in the NFL draft, they have their pick of the bunch for that quarterback.

Other signings considered: S Vonn Bell. Honestly this was a toss-up between the two. They are both fine.

Chicago Bears: Signing Tremaine Edmunds to a four-year, $72 million contract

First things first, this was an overpay. Edmunds will make $18 million dollars in the first season of his new contract. That is a lot of money for a team who traded star linebacker Roquan Smith to save money. Smith is also a better linebacker than Edmunds. Still, Edmunds is a fantastic linebacker. He finished 2022 with 77 solo tackles and an interception. He has youth on his side as a 24-year-old. The Bears will not be competitive in 2023, but as the team continues to build its roster, Edmunds will play a critical role in the rebuild.

Other signings considered: LB T.J. Edwards (three years, $19.5 million) G Nate Davis (three years, $30 million) Trading the first overall pick for D.J. Moore and picks

Cincinnati Bengals: Re-signing Germaine Pratt on a three-year, $21 million deal.

Pratt played like one of the NFL’s better linebackers in 2022. It comes as no surprise that the Bengals re-signed the 26-year-old. Pratt provides continuity for a Bengals team that is looking to make a run for the Super Bowl next season. Pratt’s re-signing also lands as the Bengal’s best move so far because the team has not really done anything else.

Other signings considered: None.

Cleveland Browns: Re-signing Ethan Pocic to a three-year, $18 million contract

The Browns have built a solid offensive line over the years. Retaining Pocic is critical to keeping continuity heading into 2023. Pocic allowed just two sacks and committed one penalty in 2022. He was one of Pro Football Focus’ highest-rated centers.

Other signings considered: DE Obo Okoronkwo (three years, $19 million) DT Dalvin Tomlinson (four years, $57 million)

Dallas Cowboys: Franchise tagging Tony Pollard

The Cowboys have not made a move yet in free agency. They lost McGovern to the Bills in free agency, but their only major move this offseason is tagging running back Tony Pollard. Paying two running backs top dollar is definitely a great use of a team’s salary cap. Pollard is certainly the better back than Ezekiel Elliott is at this point in both their respective careers, but it is hard to imagine another NFL team paying two running backs top dollar.

Other signings considered: None. What is the point of having two high-paid running backs? Jerry Jones is one of the GMs of all time.

Denver Broncos: Signing Mike McGlinchey to $87.5 million over five years

Mike McGlinchey immediately provides an upgrade to the Broncos’ offensive line. The 28-year-old has been one of the NFL’s best right tackles in the past. While he was not perfect in 2022, he allowed six sacks and committed 10 penalties, he was one of the best offensive linemen available in free agency.

Other signings considered: G Ben Powers (four years, $52 million) DE Zach Allen (three years $47 million)

Detroit Lions: Signing Cam Sutton to a three-year, $33 million contract

The Lions found their new No. 1 corner in Cam Sutton. The veteran cornerback was one of the most versatile players in this year’s free agency pool. Sutton proved he can provide reliable coverage on the outside, but he has the flexibility to slide into the slot in nickel packages as well. Signing Sutton gives the Lions flexibility in their draft plans. The team no longer needs to zero in on a corner with one of its two first-round picks; however, they still could.

Other signings considered: LB Alex Anzalone (three years, $18.7 million)

Green Bay Packers: Re-signing Keisean Nixon on a one-year, $6 million deal

The Packers have done little in the first day of free agency. The Rodgers saga has taken up much of the headlines surrounding the team. It would not be a surprise if the Packers stayed relatively quiet until Rodgers is moved, or until he retires. Green Bay retains their return man in Keisean Nixon. Good for them.

Other signings considered: None.

Houston Texans: Signing Jimmie Ward

New head coach DeMeco Ryans could steal away his star safety from the 49ers. Ward continued to play at a high level in 2022. He finished the season with 41 solo tackles and three interceptions. The Texans will not turn into a playoff team overnight, but Ward will help reset a winning culture with the team.

Other signings considered: WR Robert Woods (two years, $15.2 million)

Indianapolis Colts: Re-signing Tyquan Lewis to a one-year $3.5 million deal

The Colts have not done much on the first day of negotiating. Bringing back edge rusher Tyquan Lewis on a one-year deal is neat. He finished 2022 with just a single sack. As a depth player, the team could do worse. All indications point to the Colts focusing on building their roster through the NFL draft.

Other signings considered: None.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Franchise tagging Evan Engram

After being the NFL’s biggest spender in free agency in the 2022 offseason, the Jaguars have not jumped out to any major signings early in 2023 free agency. The team retains a valuable weapon in tight end Evan Engram. No long-term contract has surfaced. While both sides still have time to come to an extension agreement, it would be far from a shock if Engram played 2023 on the franchise tag.

Other signings considered: DL Roy Roberstson-Harris (three years, $30 million)

Kansas City Chiefs: Signing Jawaan Taylor for $80 million over four years

The Chiefs have found a right tackle to shore up their offensive line. Jawaan Taylor has been a reliable pass protector in his NFL career. He allowed five sacks and committed seven penalties in 2022. It is likely that left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. finds his way to another team after this signing.

Other signings considered: None.

Las Vegas Raiders: Signing Jimmy Garoppolo to a three-year, $67.5 million contract

The Raiders have bought themselves time at the quarterback position. While the team is still a favorite to target one of the top quarterbacks in this year’s NFL draft, signing Jimmy Garoppolo makes it less of a necessity. Garoppolo’s contract is team friendly considering how much quarterbacks like Daniel Jones are set to make next season. He likely does not push the needle for the Raiders to become a playoff team, but he will provide steady quarterback play.

Other signings considered: S Marcus Epps (two years, $12 million) Franchise tagging RB Josh Jacobs

Los Angeles Chargers: Signing Eric Kendricks

Eric Kendricks may lose a step as he ages into his 30s. However, the veteran linebacker still provides solid production. The Chargers want to finally make the playoffs with Justin Herbert at the helm. Kendricks can play a big role in helping the defense improve enough to accomplish that.

Other signings considered: None.

Los Angeles Rams: Trading for Hunter Long

The Rams have been quiet so far in free agency. The team acquired tight end Hunter Long in the trade that sent star cornerback Jalen Ramsey to Miami. Bringing in the former Dolphin is by no means a big splash, but it is all the Rams have done so far.

Other signings considered: None.

Miami Dolphins: Trading for Jalen Ramsey

The Dolphins now boast one of the NFL’s best cornerback rooms. Ramsey can provide elite cornerback play, and he should help take Miami’s defense to the next level. If quarterback Tua Tagovailoa can stay healthy, the Dolphins could be dangerous in 2023. If the team needs to turn to newly signed Mike White for an extended time, they no longer appear so dangerous.

Other signings considered: None.

Minnesota Vikings: Signing Marcus Devenport to a one-year $13 million deal

Are the Vikings rebuilding, or are they going for another run in 2023? The team cutting receiver Adam Thielen and linebacker Kendricks suggests a rebuild. However, signing edge rusher Marcus Davenport suggests the opposite. Davenport is fine. He did not have the best 2022 season, but he still graded out well according to PFF.

Other signings considered: None.

New England Patriots: Re-signing Jonathan Jones to a two-year $20 million contract

The Patriots need to find a replacement at free safety after Devin McCourty retired. Jonathan Jones has consistently performed as one of New England’s best cornerbacks. Retaining his services allows the team to explore some options to flex other defensive backs into McCourty’s safety role. Traditionally a slot corner, Jones made the transition outside in 2022. It would not be a surprise if the team experimented with him at safety in the 2023 season.

Other signings considered: None.

New Orleans Saints: Signing Derek Carr to a four-year $150 million deal

Yes, the Saints have made some signings during the negotiation period, but none of them are nearly as intriguing as the team signing quarterback Derek Carr. The Saints possess a veteran roster and are not looking to rebuild just yet. Carr gives the team a chance to extend its playoff hopes for another few seasons. Whether the rest of the Saints’ roster is good enough to make the playoffs is another thing.

Other signings considered: None.

New York Giants: Signing Bobby Okereke to a four-year $40 million contract

Bobby Okereke proved to be one of the NFL’s better run-defending linebackers in 2022. He has room for improvement in pass coverage, but he moves well for the position. The right coaching could unlock better pass coverage. Signing Okereke builds the Giants’ defense. The team expects to make strides in the playoffs next season, and Okereke can be a reliable piece to that puzzle.

Other signings considered: None. Daniel Jones was overpaid. It is not a good contract.

New York Jets: Re-signing Quincy Williams to a three-year, $18 million contract

The Jets have not done much during the free agency period. The team is waiting on a Rodgers deal to materialize before it can make any other serious moves. One move the team did make was to re-sign linebacker Quincy Williams. The 26-year-old is a serviceable linebacker. More important than his return in itself, it gives his brother Quinnen Williams one more reason to re-sign with the Jets himself.

Other signings considered: Trading for S Chuck Clark

Philadelphia Eagles: Jason Kelce returning for another season

Jason Kelce took his time in deciding whether to return for the 2023 season or not. The veteran center ultimately decided to return for at least one more ride. Kelce continues to play as a top center in the NFL, even at the ripe-young age of 35. Kelce ranked among the top centers according to PFF. He will be instrumental if the Eagles are to return to the Super Bowl.

Other signings considered: Edge Brandon Graham (one year, $6 million)

Pittsburgh Steelers: Signing Patrick Peterson to a two-year $14 million deal

After losing Sutton to the Lions early during the negotiation period, the Steelers found their new No. 1 cornerback in Patrick Peterson. The 33-year-old veteran continued to play at a high level in 2022 late in his NFL career. Peterson will be asked to play significantly more man coverage in Pittsburgh’s system. At his age that could be a concern, only time will tell. More importantly, Peterson can serve as a mentor to whichever corner the Steelers draft this year.

Other signings considered: None.

San Francisco 49ers: Signing Javon Hargrave to a four-year $84 million deal

Javon Hargrave has established himself as one of the NFL’s best interior pass rushers. The 30-year-old veteran enjoyed a 2022 season where he racked up 11 sacks. Hargrave joins an elite 49ers defense. San Fransisco is building one of the NFL’s best rosters. The only question for the team heading into the 2023 season is who starts at quarterback. That is a pretty big question.

Other signings considered: None.

Seattle Seahawks: Signing Dre’Mont Jones to $51.3 million over four years

Reports indicate that Dre’Mont Jones was a popular name among NFL front offices before the start of the negotiation period. The Seahawks ultimately won the sweepstakes for Jones’ services. The team gets a solid pass rusher as Jones racked up seven sacks in 2022. Seattle continues to retool its roster, the addition of Jones helps ensure the team will be in the playoff mix in 2023.

Other signings considered: QB Geno Smith (three years, $75 million

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Re-signing Jamel Dean to a four-year, $52 million deal

The odds of the Bucs retaining Jamel Dean this offseason did not look good just one day ago. Now, the team has the young cornerback locked up for the next four years. Dean pairs well with Carlton Davis. With both players on the roster, Tampa Bay will boast one of the best starting cornerback duos in the NFL. The right quarterback could help the Buccaneers repeat as division champions. Baker Mayfield anyone?

Other signings considered: None.

Tennessee Titans: Signing Andre Dillard to a three-year $29 million contract

After cutting Taylor Lewan earlier this offseason, the Titans have found his replacement in former Eagle Andre Dillard. The 27-year-old did not see the field much in 2022 for Philadelphia, but he has provided solid offensive tackle play when he was called upon. Dillard may not be an elite left tackle or even much more than an average one, but tackle is no longer a glaring hole on the Titans roster.

Other signings considered: None.

Washington Commanders: Re-signing Daron Payne to a four-year, $90 million deal

Daron Payne was one of the best free agents on the market this offseason, not just one of the best defensive linemen. He produced as an interior pass rusher in 2022. Payne tallied 12 sacks and 39 solo tackles with the Commanders last season. It is a good re-signing, even if it is a very rich contract. At just 25 years old, Payne should ultimately be worth every penny.

Other signings considered: None.

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