The first day of the NFL’s legal tampering period is in the books, and a number of big free agents have at least agreed in principal to a new home, or to return to their current teams.
But there are a lot of talented players still out there, and with the second day of the legal tampering period upon us, it is worth taking a look at some players still available.
Of course, the big name is quarterback Lamar Jackson. While technically he did receive a franchise tag, given that the Baltimore Ravens used the non-exclusive tag, there is still the potential that a team swoops in in the coming days and signs him to an offer sheet, giving the Ravens the chance to match, or move on from the former MVP and receive a pair of first-round selections in return.
But Jackson is not the only name to watch as Day Two unfolds. Here are the best remaining free agents to watch in the coming hours.
Lamar Jackson, QB
While it is technically true that the Ravens placed a franchise tag on Lamar Jackson, given that it is the non-exclusive tag, we might still see a team sign the talented quarterback to an offer sheet in the next few days. Jackson is dangerous both inside the pocket, and outside of it, and one has to believe some quarterback-needy teams are at least going to inquire.
James Bradberry, CB
Sure, most probably think of the holding penalty at the end of Super Bowl LVII, but Bradberry is a steady, experienced cornerback who might be ideal for a team looking for a CB2 type of player. Teams that play heavy zone coverage, or lots of off-man, might look at him as the best option on the market.
Orlando Brown Jr, OT
It’s been quite the ride for Brown, going from Ravens’ right tackle to Super Bowl champion at left tackle for the Kansas City Chiefs. Brown is going to ask for a lot of money, and that could scare teams off, but Brown is still an automatic plus in the run game for teams who want to get downhill then use play action to set up their passing game.
Jakobi Meyers, WR
Given both the free agent class of wide receivers, as well as the incoming crop of rookies, there was speculation that Jakobi Meyers would find a deal quickly. But that has yet to materialize. Still, he is a versatile receiver who can play inside and on the boundary, and his background as a quarterback gives him great feel for finding soft spots in zone coverage. Note: The Raiders reached an agreement with Meyers on Tuesday morning on a three-year deal. You can follow along with all the free agent moves here.
Lavonte David, LB
Devin White makes more of the splash plays, but former Buccaneers LB Lavonte David is the better, more consistent player at the second level. Despite his age (33 years old), David is still a very good processor and can make some plays in space. He should be a good signing for a team that wants to win a ring right away.
Jordan Poyer, S
With the departure of Tremaine Edmunds to the Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills fans are hoping this is a sign that the team will bring back Jordan Poyer. The tandem of Poyer and Micah Hyde is perhaps the best safety duo in the league, and given the high-powered offenses the Bills face in the AFC, bringing him back should now be a priority. He battled injuries this past season, which might be the reason that he remains unsigned after the first day, but he has a lot of good football in his future.
Dalton Schultz, TE
After using the franchise tag on Dalton Schultz last season, the Cowboys decided to let Schultz test the market this free agency period. It might be a difficult time to do so, given the strength of the incoming class of rookie tight ends, but Schultz became one of Dak Prescott’s favorite targets over the past few seasons. He is a solid receiving option and holds his own as a blocker, whether in line or on the wing.
C.J. Gardner-Johnson, S
C.J. Gardner-Johnson is a very versatile defensive back, who played in a bunch of different roles for the Philadelphia Eagles this past season. He logged the bulk of his snaps as a deep safety, but the played on the outside and then in the slot down the stretch for Philadelphia. There were expectations that the time would find a way to bring him back — and they still might — but given the market we saw for safeties such as Jesse Bates III and Vonn Bell, he might find a very lucrative offer on the open market. Perhaps in Cincinnati, given those departures from the Bengals.
Jacoby Brissett, QB
Jacoby Brissett started the first 11 games of the season for the Cleveland Browns a year ago, and completed 64% of his passes for 2,608 yards and 12 touchdowns, against six interceptions. He is probably best viewed as a spot-starter/long-term backup, but teams looking to either upgrade at QB2, or find the right bridge to the QB of the future, would be wise to give him a call. In our free agency predictions list, we outlined how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be that team.
Isaac Seumalo, G
Offensive guards had a very good Monday. Chris Lindstrom reached an agreement with the Atlanta Falcons on a big five-year contract extension, Ben Powers agreed to a big free agency contract with the Denver Broncos, and Nate Davis reached an agreement of his own with the Chicago Bears. Could Isaac Seumalo be next? With Jason Kelce agreeing to come back for one more year, the Eagles could slide second-year player Cam Jurgens to guard, allowing Seumalo to find a big payday of his own elsewhere. He is as solid as it gets in pass protection for an offensive guard, and was also a big part of what the Eagles did in the run game.
Charles Omenihu, DL
Since joining the San Francisco 49ers, Charles Omenihu has put together solid production as a pass rusher, and he is coming off perhaps the best season of his career. A year ago Omenihu posted a career-high 54 total pressures, along with five sacks, also a career-high. He also showed a ton of versatility this past season, aligning anywhere from the A-Gaps to on the edge. With the addition of Javon Hargrave on Monday, the 49ers might not be able to keep Omenihu in San Francisco much longer.
Jadeveon Clowney, DL
Jadeveon Clowney’s time in Cleveland seems to be drawing to an end, given that he was inactive for Week 18 after making comments to the media that he was “95% gone” and that the team was more interested in getting Myles Garrett to the Hall of Fame than they were “winning games.” Clowney has also struggled to stay healthy in recent years, playing less than 500 snaps in two of the past three seasons. But he can set the edge, is solid against the run, and can still pressure the passer, as he notched 11 sacks back in 2021.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR
JuJu Smith-Schuster signed a one-year, incentive-laden contract to play with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, and he made the most of the opportunity, earning a Super Bowl ring and putting himself in a position for a solid contract in free agency. He caught 78 passes on 101 targets for 933 yards and three touchdowns, and remains a tough option over the middle who can be relied on at all levels of the field. For a team looking to add at receiver — perhaps the Carolina Panthers — he could be a perfect fit.
Kaleb McGary, OT
According to recent reports, the Atlanta Falcons are making a “good-faith effort” to re-sign offensive tackle Kaleb McGary, after declining to use the franchise tag on the lineman. After declining his fifth-year option, the Falcons saw McGary put together perhaps his best year in the NFL, particularly as a run blocker in Arthur Smith’s offense. He has slowly been improving as a pass blocker as well, and if the Falcons cannot come to an agreement with the right tackle, expect some teams with a need up front to swoop in.
Bobby Wagner, LB
In his only season with the Los Angeles Rams, Bobby Wagner added a new club to his bag: That of a pass rusher. Wagner recorded six sacks a season ago, the most in a season in his illustrious career. He is still solid against the run, and has great vision as an underneath defender in zone coverage. He may not be in his prime, but he is coming off a Second-Team All-Pro selection, and still has some good football left.