The time has come for our NFL free agency grades 2022. Besides all the blockbuster deals we’ve seen thus far (and those that may still happen), some teams have really gotten their money’s worth in free agency.
NFL free agency grades 2022
As it usually happens, struggling teams have gotten the worst NFL free agency grades so far, as their front office continues to shoot themselves in the foot. Others have addressed their biggest issues of last season, while a handful of teams has made some lowkey pretty interesting moves at a fair price. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the biggest and latest moves in NFL free agency.
Teddy Bridgewater to Dolphins, one year, $6.5 million
Tua Tagovailoa isn’t the real deal, and that’s getting clearer by the day. There are several injury concerns, the Miami Dolphins’ offensive line isn’t built to protect him, and he’s been wildly unimpressive even when given enough time to operate.
This version of Teddy Bridgewater isn’t a franchise QB by any means. However, it does put some pressure on Tua to finally step up and prove his worth. He has no guarantees with Mike McDaniel taking over Brian Flores and might well be benched if the organization feels like Teddy B gives them a better shot at winning. Landing a veteran backup QB with plenty of experience as a starter at a discount is sure a nice move by Miami.
Devin McCourty to Patriots, one year, $9 million
Bill Belichick always builds his teams around the defense so it’s unsurprising to see him prioritize bringing back Devin McCourty for next season. The veteran safety will be back on the gridiron for his 13th year in the league at a very reasonable price of just $9 million.
McCourty is the team’s defensive captain and one of the most respected and beloved figures around the locker room. He’s fourth all-time in interceptions (37) in Patriots history and is one of the most durable players in the league. He’s not getting any younger and bringing back aging players always comes with some risk, but he’s earned every single penny of that new deal.
Alex Cappa to Bengals, four years, $35 million
Somehow, someway, the Cincinnati Bengals managed to reach the Super Bowl despite having one of the worst pass-protections in the league. Clearly, Joe Burrow is something special, but no quarterback will endure such a beating and last for long in the league. He was sacked 70 times right after coming off a season-ending injury in his rookie campaign.
The Bengals made revamping their offensive line a top priority and pulled off a huge move to do so, landing Pro Bowl guard Alex Cappa from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Moreover, they also signed center/guard Ted Karras. The Bengals had a solid running game despite their terrible line, and Burrow was a master at extending plays with little-to-no time to operate. Now, they’ve only gotten even better.
Aaron Rodgers to Packers, three years, $150.8 million
Well, Aaron Rodgers did it again. He pulled off yet another massive power move and pretty much made the Green Bay Packers kneel and cave into his demands. He flirted with the idea of a trade or even retirement, played hardball, and then became the highest paid player in NFL history.
And, while someone can’t deny that he’s one of the greatest players to ever do it, this move is as questionable as it could be risky.
Not only have the Packers committed most of their cap space to one player. They now face the risk of losing Davante Adams after failing to strike a deal. Moreover, it’s not like Rodgers will block, run, catch his own passes, and also play defense. He’s not getting any younger and due to the structure of his deal, he can pretty much play this same game every offseason. They kept their guy, but at what cost? Will it be enough to finally win another Super Bowl?
Mitch Trubisky to Steelers, two years, $14.25 million
The Pittsburgh Steelers were a playoff team despite having that version Ben Roethlisberger behind center. Per simple logic, they could only get better by replacing him with nearly every single quarterback in the league. And while he wasn’t impressive by any means during his days in Chicago, Trubisky is perhaps the perfect stopgap for Mike Tomlin’s team.
Trubisky spent some time learning behind Josh Allen and working on Brian Daboll’s vertical, explosive offense. He’s not a lock to start but will sure put some pressure on the underwhelming duo of Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins. The Steelers will most definitely pursue a QB in the Draft but at this price, signing Trubisky was one of the best NFL free agent moves.
Christian Kirk to Jaguars, four years, $72 million
If someone would’ve told me that Christian Kirk was going to fetch one of the biggest NFL contracts of all-time for a wide receiver, I could’ve only imagined that the Jacksonville Jaguars would be his next destination. Unsurprisingly, the Jags managed to spend a big chunk of their cap space on an average player, leading to the release of their best tackler.
Christian Kirk’s deal only made Davante Adams’ situation even more embarrassing and humiliating. If Kirk gets $72 million and a deal that could max out at $84 million, then what’s Adams worth in today’s market? By no means should he agree to play under the franchise tag and would be wise to sit out and test free agency next offseason. I mean, look what they’re paying for this guy!
J.C. Jackson to Chargers, five years, $82.5 million
The Los Angeles Chargers proved over and over that they could outscore every single team in the NFL. Justin Herbert is a special talent, their offense is explosive, and their uber-aggressive approach proved to be effective every now and then. The only issue with them is that they couldn’t get a stop to save their lives. That has finally changed with the moves they’ve made thus far.
The Chargers brought in one of the three best cornerbacks in the game in J.C. Jackson, a turnover machine looming around the secondary defense. Also, adding Khalil Mack to a defensive unit that already featured Nick Bosa makes them an instant Super Bowl contender. Props to the front office for finally understanding what the roster truly needed.
Tyrod Taylor to Giants, two years, $11 million
In one of the latest moves in NFL free agency, the New York Giants signed Tyrod Taylor to serve as their backup. But, in reality, Taylor hasn’t fared that poorly in the league when given the chance to start and when healthy. Also, it’s not like Daniel Jones has been any good, so we wouldn’t be shocked to see Taylor taking over from him at some point in the season.
Taylor isn’t a superstar but he offers Brian Daboll a dual-threat weapon who can stretch the field and extend plays with his feet. And if it doesn’t work out, it never hurts to have an experienced quarterback at a fair price getting some reps and mentoring the young’uns.