NFL free agency 2022: who are the main free players this year?
The NFL free agency opened for business on Monday with the first deals going through just after the signing period opened at 4pm this afternoon.
A number of NFL teams have started negotiating for new players on the open market after the NFL free agency opened for business on Monday. The signing period starts at 4pm ET today - a six-week window when teams will have the opportunity to bring in players whose contracts have expired, either as exclusive rights free agents, restricted free agents or unrestricted free agents. We take a look at the players who will be moving on as unrestricted free agents, those whose contracts will run out or who have an arrangement to rescind the remaining years on their current deals.
Unrestricted free agents on the move in 2022
At 31, Terron Armstead is one of the senior, seasoned campaigners in this year’s free agency. A left tackle with nine year’s pro experience under his belt but his time with the New Orleans has reached its conclusion. Armstead had an erratic 2021 season with the Saints when he struggled with ongoing knee issues. He has never managed to make it through a full season without some kind of fitness setback - he even was laid low with Covid-19 which meant he had to sit out meetings against the Broncos and Falcons in Weeks 12 and 13. He’s still available but any interested team would be looking at around $15 million per year for his services.
Mitchell Trubisky is looking for a new team as his one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills came to an end. It didn’t work out for him with the Bills where he was back-up for Josh Allen - one of the league’s top QBs but before that, he had been a starter for four seasons with the Chicago Bears. He is priced at around $7 million per year and is looking for a two-season deal and there are several teams who would be willing to take him on - among them, the New York Giants. But it is believed that Trubisky has an agreement in place with the Pittsburgh Steelers who have been looking to bring in a QB to replace Ben Roethlisberger who has retired.
Tyrann Mathieu is another veteran looking for his last big contract. He is available after his three-year deal, worth $42 million with the Kansas City Chiefs, came to an end. He is unlikely to improve on that although he is seeking a lucrative deal - the Los Angeles Chargers have cap space and that’s an option although there is still a chance that the three-time Pro Bowler, who turns 30 in May, could strike a new deal re-signing with the Chiefs.
Von Miller spent the first half of last season with the Denver Broncos and the second half in Los Angeles where he impressed and managed to pick up his second Super Bowl ring. According to some reports, the Dallas Cowboys have shown an interest but they would face stiff competition from the Rams who have been in talks to re-sign him with various sources claiming that a deal is already in place.
This time last year, Wide receiver Allen Robinson II renewed with the Chicago Bears on a one-year extension. He finished last season with 38 receptions for 410 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown in 12 games. The Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs are looking for a player with his profile although it would be difficult to see him reunited with Matt Nagy who he fell out with and blanked for five months - Nagy has returned to Kansas as senior assistant and quarterbacks coach. Robinson made the Pro Bowl in 2015 and became the fifth Bears player in history to post back-to-back 1,000 yard-seasons (1,147 in 2019 and 1,250 in 2020) although his form has dipped since then.
The Denver Broncos were believed to be pursuing Chandler Jones whose six-year relationship with the Arizona Cardinals came to an end. He was in line for the Defensive Player of the Year in 2020 until he suffered a season-ending biceps injury in the Week 5 win over the New York Jets. But he bounced back last year, ending with 10.5 sacks, 41 tackles, 26 quarterback hits, and six forced fumbles. Just moments after the signing period opened, it was announced he has joined the Las Vegas Raiders on a three-year deal worth $51 million.