Field Level Media's Top 50 Free Agents

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Oct 4, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) hugs Ravens offensive tackle Orlando Brown (78) during warmups prior to the Ravens'game against the Washington Football Team at FedExField.
Oct 4, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) hugs Ravens offensive tackle Orlando Brown (78) during warmups prior to the Ravens'game against the Washington Football Team at FedExField.
Image: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Move over March Madness, here comes NFL free agency.

Football's springtime spending spree gets a rolling start on Monday when teams are permitted to make contact with players on their shopping list.

Deals can become official on March 15, the first day of the NFL league year, but many moves are agreed to quickly through dialogue with agents and players on Monday.

The March 7 franchise tag deadline came with a few surprises.

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson can sign an offer sheet with other teams because Baltimore used the non-exclusive franchise tag, a cheaper and less-protective option.


And the Chiefs surprisingly stopped short of a second tag for left tackle Orlando Brown, who is speculated to be in line for a $125 million deal with the Chicago Bears.

Two Pro Bowl passers are already off the market -- the Seahawks re-upped with Geno Smith and Raiders quarterback Derek Carr relocated to New Orleans. And 39-year-old Aaron Rodgers, though under contract, appears on the verge of running an out route of his own to fly the coop from Green Bay to the New York Jets.

Field Level Media's top 50 unrestricted free agents for 2023:

1. Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens

Things are getting interesting, but Baltimore still has the final say here. Self-represented and negotiating without an agent, Jackson is using the fully guaranteed $230M deal Deshaun Watson signed with the Browns last year as his guidepost. Will the Ravens blink? Jackson is 26 and a five-year deal likely leaves him room to sign a third contract at age 31.


2. Orlando Brown Jr., OT, Chiefs

Jackson's former teammate in Baltimore and a member of the same Ravens' 2018 draft class, Brown has outperformed his draft slot (83rd overall) and contract. Unless general managers wait for the draft, the OT market is slim pickings. Brown has plenty of leverage. Tagged last spring at a value of $16.62 million for 2022, Brown declined a six-year, $139 million deal with a $30.25 million signing bonus last July.


3. Daron Payne, DT, Commanders

The 25-year-old was tagged and isn't getting out of Washington if coach Ron Rivera has anything to do with it.


4. Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders

Also tagged, the Raiders plan to keep Jacobs after his bounceback 2022 season.

5. Jessie Bates, S, Bengals

He'll relocate and isn't hiding the fact that he's chasing the biggest payday available. All too familiar with the franchise tag ($12.9M last year), Bates held out until Aug. 23 last summer when the two sides couldn't reach a long-term agreement.


6. Javon Hargrave, DT, Eagles

The ideal fit in Philadelphia's front after leaving a more restrictive role with the Steelers, Hargrave can command top dollar in free agency after posting a career-best 11 sacks last season.


7. Mike McGlinchey, OT, 49ers

This has risk written all over it, partly because he was protected by the downhill running game the 49ers prefer. With big contracts clogging the 49ers' path to a huge raise for the 28-year-old, McGlinchey will not offer a hometown discount to stay.


8. CJ Gardner-Johnson, S, Eagles

A trade heist in 2022 brought Gardner-Johnson to the Eagles for mid-round draft picks. Keeping him won't be quite as simple with the Jalen Hurts contract around the bend, but Philadelphia has a pair of first-round picks in 2023.


9. Jamel Dean, CB, Buccaneers

At 26, the former third-round pick can nearly name his price in a shallow pool of young free agent corners. Cap-strapped Tampa can't afford to keep him.


10. Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants

Franchised after the Giants signed QB Daniel Jones to a four-year deal, Barkley likes his fit in the Brian Daboll system. He turned 26 on Feb. 9, but other first-rounders have seen relative or dramatic letdowns on their second NFL contracts. Todd Gurley is only 28 and flat-lined two seasons ago with 6,082 career rushing yards. Ezekiel Elliott turns 28 in July and is showing severe wear and tear.


11. Lavonte David, LB, Buccaneers

David signaled earlier this month he's likely done in Tampa. Limited capital likely renders the Buccaneers as non-players in the David Sweepstakes, unless he's willing to go with a team-friendly deal at age 33.


12. Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles

Depth in the free agency class and upcoming draft takes some of the leverage out of Sanders' hands. He turns 26 on May 1 and has low mileage for a four-year pro. In 95 total games over the past seven pro and college seasons since enrolling at Penn State, Sanders has only 1,015 regular-season carries. By comparison, his predecessor at Penn State -- Saquon Barkley -- has 954 in 60 NFL games the past five seasons and tore his ACL in 2020.


13. Dalton Schultz, TE, Cowboys

Critical to an offense without a steady No. 2 wide receiver, the Cowboys might be willing to look toward the draft for his replacement or let understudy Jake Ferguson (fourth round, 2022) step into the lead role.


14. Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Bills

Drafted at 20 years old, Edmunds might not reach the Roquan Smith stratosphere of $20 million annually, but $15 million per season isn't out of the question. That's too rich for the Bills, who are over the cap and signed linebacker Matt Milano to a new deal.


15. Tony Pollard, RB, Cowboys

Pollard was tagged after grabbing the lead role for the Cowboys for only part of his fourth season, which ended at San Francisco in the playoffs due to a broken leg.


16. Jakobi Meyers, WR, Patriots

An undrafted free agent who became a nightmare matchup in the slot, Meyers should benefit from the rising market value for good and sometimes-great wide receivers.


17. James Bradberry, CB, Eagles

Before the holding penalty in Super Bowl LVII, Bradberry had one of the best seasons in pass coverage in the NFL. He'll be coveted, but too pricey for the Eagles to retain.


18. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, 49ers

Houston, hello? Proven starter but unproven finisher with an expanding history of injuries. Garoppolo is 44-19 as a starter (including playoffs) and the 31-year-old fits as a short-term option for teams potentially in transition (Buccaneers, Jets, Packers).


19. Taylor Lewan, LT, Titans

Age, durability and salary converged as factors leading to Lewan's exit. With a shallow OT market, he might be convinced to relocate for a title shot.


20. Marcus Davenport, DE, Saints

A first-round pick in 2018, Davenport has shown flashes of the dominant traits that caught New Orleans' attention. Without the consistency to climb into the backfield, a long-term deal brings risk.


21. Evan Engram, TE, Jaguars

22. Yannick Ngakoue, DE, Colts

23. Jason Kelce, C, Eagles

24. Ben Powers, OG, Ravens

25. Dre'Mont Jones, DT, Broncos

26. Kaleb McGary, OT, Falcons

27. Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Vikings

28. Marcus Peters, CB, Ravens

29. Kareem Hunt, RB, Browns

30. David Montgomery, RB, Bears

31. Jawaan Taylor, OT, Jaguars

32. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Chiefs

33. Isaiah Wynn, OT, Patriots

34. Isaac Seumalo, OG, Eagles

35. Jonathan Jones, CB, Patriots

36. Jadeveon Clowney, DE-OLB, Browns

37. Fletcher Cox, DT, Eagles

38. Drue Tranquill, LB, Chargers

39. Allen Lazard, WR, Packers

40. Ethan Pocic, C, Browns

41. Dalton Risner, OG, Broncos

42. Cam Sutton, CB, Steelers

43. David Long, LB, Titans

44. Jordan Poyer, S, Bills

45. Mike Gesicki, TE, Dolphins

46. Devin Singletary, RB, Bills

47. Baker Mayfield, QB, Rams

48. Mecole Hardman, WR, Chiefs

49. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, N/A

50. Bobby Wagner, LB, Rams

--Field Level Media