Eight NFL players received the franchise tag this week, and another two of the top presumed-free agents signed extensions. But make no mistake: The 2022 NFL free-agent class is still loaded with talent and big names who could land huge-money deals. How will it all play out? Who will sign where, and for how much? We mocked how offers and deals might go down for six of the top players available at multiple positions.
Our NFL Nation reporters served as GMs for their teams and made contract offers for key free agents while trying to stay within that team’s salary-cap restraints and realm of realistic outcomes. The object wasn’t to “win” but rather to accurately reflect how a team might approach negotiations. For instance, the cap-strapped Packers didn’t throw around any offers here, but the Dolphins and Jaguars had money to spend — and it showed. Once the offers were all in, national NFL reporter Dan Graziano played the role of player rep, mulled the proposals and “signed” each of the playmakers to a new deal.
So who is headed to a new team, and who re-signed for another go with his current franchise? Who earned the big bucks? Let’s predict this offseason’s free agency, which officially opens on March 16 after a two-day negotiating window, for six stars on the open market: Allen Robinson II, J.C. Jackson, Terron Armstead, Von Miller, Tyrann Mathieu and Chandler Jones. Here are some hypothetical pitches and landing spots.
Robinson | Jackson | Armstead
Miller | Mathieu | Jones
2021 team: Bears | Free-agent rank: 8
Colts’ offer: Three years, $50 million ($22M guaranteed with incentives for games played and total receptions) … We have the best running back in the NFL in Jonathan Taylor, which will make your life easier on the outside. — Mike Wells
Eagles’ offer: One year, $11.5 million ($11.5 guaranteed with incentives of $1M for 1,000-plus receiving yards, $1M for making the Pro Bowl, $500,000 for reaching the postseason and $1M for reaching the Super …….