NFL Free Agency Grades: Every major signing so far for each team

The start of a new NFL league year is upon us, which means free agency deals have come fast and furious since the legal tampering window opened Monday.

Jimmy Garoppolo traded red and gold for silver and black, reuniting with former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels on the Raiders. Garoppolo’s former team, the 49ers, made a splash by luring star defensive tackle Javon Hargrave from the Eagles. Meanwhile, the Chiefs‘ offensive line will look different following its heroic performance in Kansas City’s Super Bowl LVII victory as Andrew Wylie has departed for the Commanders and Orlando Brown is expected to leave. Andy Reid & Co. have brought in former Jaguars offensive lineman Jawaan Taylor to help fill the void. 

[2023 NFL free-agency tracker: Signings, best players available]

As the dust starts to settle and a reshaped league turns its attention to the April 27 NFL Draft, the FOX Sports NFL crew takes a look at the biggest signings of 2023 free agency and grades the moves. Players are listed according to their rank in FOX Sports’ top 50 free agent list.

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Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens

2022 stats: 2,242 yards passing, 764 yards rushing, 20 total TDs
Reported terms: One year, $32.41 million guaranteed (franchise tag)
Previous team: Ravens

Jackson has been given the non-exclusive franchise tag, essentially a one-year deal worth $32.41 million. But of course, it’s more complicated than that. He will be able to dabble in free agency. Starting Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET, teams can communicate with him about a contract offer. And if there’s an offer he likes, he can sign it and present it to the Ravens. They will have five days to match — or else Jackson will join the offering team on the agreed-upon deal. If Jackson leaves through this process, his new team will owe Baltimore two first-round picks. (Jackson is also eligible for sign-and-trade situations.) So it will be fascinating to see if any of the quarterback-needy teams contact the former NFL MVP. Interested parties could include the Jets, the Colts, the Lions and — even though reports have indicated they won’t be in the mix — the Falcons, Commanders and Panthers. —Henry McKenna

Grade: TBD

Javon Hargrave, DT, 49ers

2022 stats: 60 combined tackles, 11 sacks, one forced fumble
Reported terms: Four years, $84 million ($40 million guaranteed)
Previous team: Eagles

The 49ers were surprising big spenders in addressing one of the team’s most obvious needs. San Francisco snapped up one of the best interior pass rushers in the game, agreeing to terms with the former Eagles defensive tackle on a reported four-year, $84 million deal that includes $40 million in guaranteed money at signing. Hargrave, who finished with a career-high 11 sacks last season, joins Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead to give San Francisco one of the most imposing defensive lines in the NFL. —Eric Williams 

Grade: A-

DT Javon Hargrave signs with 49ers

Javon Hargrave will join Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead on the Niners’ defensive line. Emmanuel Acho, LeSean McCoy, Will Blackmon and Ric Bucher grade each of the big free-agent moves.

Daron Payne, DT, Commanders

2022 stats: 11.5 sacks, 20 QB hits, 18 TFLs
Reported terms: Four years, $90 million ($60 million guaranteed)
Previous team: Commanders

There’s good and bad with this deal. First, the good. Payne was originally franchise tagged, so the Commanders are surely relieved to get him on a deal, particularly one with just a $10 million cap hit in 2023. That’s awfully friendly off the bat. But of course, the money rockets upward from there, with the defensive tackle set to earn $90 million over four years. He’ll be the second-highest-paid DT behind Aaron Donald. I worry slightly about signing a player to a massive deal after his best season was his contract year: a monstrous season headlined by 11.5 sacks. It’s the only season in which Payne has eclipsed five sacks — so Washington is gambling it get consistent dominance from Payne, perhaps with help from the scheme change that the Commanders rolled out in 2022. —Henry McKenna

Grade: B

Geno Smith, QB, Seahawks

2022 stats: 4,282 yards, 69.8 completion percentage, 30 touchdowns, 11 interceptions
Reported terms: Three years, $75 million (maxes out at $105 million)
Previous team: Seahawks

Seattle brought back the team’s starting quarterback after a career year for the West Virginia product in 2022. Starting in place of the traded Russell Wilson, Smith led the NFL in completion percentage (69.8) and finished with a franchise-record 4,282 passing yards, earning Pro Bowl and Comeback Player of the Year honors. Smith’s three-year, $75 million deal gives the Seahawks stability at quarterback while still allowing them the flexibility to draft a QB of the future with one of the team’s two first-round selections. —Eric Williams

Grade: B+ 

Derek Carr, QB, Saints

2022 stats: 3,522 yards, 60.8 completion percentage, 24 touchdowns, 14 interceptions
Reported terms: Four years, $150 million contract ($60 million guaranteed)
Previous team: Raiders

After nine years with the Raiders, Carr gets a fresh start in New Orleans, signing a four-year deal worth $150 million (more likely three and $100 million) to try to bring the Saints back to the playoffs in the post-Drew Brees era. Making the playoffs would give Carr a chance to improve that area on his résumé, as he has thrown 217 career touchdowns but has made only one postseason appearance, a loss to the Bengals in the 2021 season. —Greg Auman

Grade: B

Will Saints regret paying Derek Carr?

Nick Wright argues that the Saints did not make the best move paying Derek Carr lots of guaranteed money with the team well over the cap. He then explains why he does not mind Geno Smith’s deal with Seattle.

Jessie Bates III, S, Falcons

2022 stats: 71 combined tackles, four interceptions, one forced fumble, eight passes defended
Reported terms: Four years, $64 million
Previous team: Bengals

Both of Cincinnati’s starting safeties were raided by the NFC South on Monday, with Vonn Bell going to the Panthers. Atlanta finally had the salary-cap space to be major players in free agency, and Bates might be the biggest piece of their spending spree on the first day. Four picks last year, and arguably the best safety available, are now part of an upgraded defense that will likely get another boost with the No. 8 pick in the draft. —Greg Auman

Grade: A- 

James Bradberry, CB, Eagles

2022 stats: 44 combined tackles, 3 interceptions, 17 passes defended
Reported terms: Three years, $38 million ($20 million guaranteed)
Previous team: Eagles

After watching a mass exodus of defensive starters leave in free agency — defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, safety Marcus Epps and linebackers Kyzir White and TJ Edwards — the Eagles are able to retain one of their star cornerbacks in Bradberry. This was critical. The reigning NFC champions, Philadelphia will need at least some continuity on its defense to perform at an elite level for a second consecutive season. Bradberry joins defensive lineman Brandon Graham so far as returning defensive starters. And considering the veteran cornerback’s age — Bradberry turns 30 in August — the reported terms are reasonable for both sides. — Ben Arthur

Daniel Jones, QB, Giants

2022 stats: 3,205 passing yards, 708 rushing yards, 22 total TDs
Reported terms: Four years, $160 million ($92 million guaranteed)
Previous team: Giants

It’s beginning to feel like the Giants misread the room, right? New York and Jones agreed to a four-year, $160-million deal. Jones had a unique piece of leverage, with the team needing to get him under contract so it could slap Saquon Barkley with the franchise tag. The Giants seemed to buckle to Jones’ high asking price, with $40 million per year — a sum that is on par with quarterback Josh Allen and is higher than recently signed deals for Derek Carr ($37.5M per year), Geno Smith ($25M) and Jimmy Garoppolo ($24.3M). The Giants might have been a desirable landing spot for a QB, given that Brian Daboll has proven himself a Quarterback Whisperer. Alas, the Giants bet on the bird in hand rather than two in the bush. And now they’re paying for a projection — for what Jones might someday be. If he doesn’t develop into an elite QB, this deal could get ugly. —Henry McKenna

Grade: C

Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants

2022 stats: 1,312 rushing yards, 57 receptions, 10 TDs
Reported terms: One year, $10.09 million (franchise tag)
Previous team: Giants

Of the three running backs on the franchise tag (Tony Pollard, Josh Jacobs), Barkley is the one I like the most. He’s a top-five player at his position. For the first time since 2019, he was healthy and had room to run. Given how little the running backs are making on the tag ($10M), this makes perfect sense. Barkley is the engine for New York’s offense. No need to overthink this. The Giants need him in 2023. (And if they don’t want to sign him to a long-term deal, they can draft and develop a running back this year.) —Henry McKenna

Grade: A

Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders

2022 stats: 1,653 yards, 12 touchdowns
Reported terms: $10.091 million guaranteed (franchise tag)
Previous team: Raiders

The Raiders applied the non-exclusive franchise tag to the talented running back. Jacobs led the NFL in rushing (1,653) and scrimmage yards (2,053) last season. And at 25 years old, Jacob still has gas left in the tank. With the Raiders adding Jimmy Garoppolo in free agency, Las Vegas has a quarterback who can serve as a distributor, leaning on Jacobs to carry a lion’s share of the team’s offense. The Raiders have until July 17 to negotiate a long-term deal with Jacobs. —Eric Williams

Grade: B

Mike McGlinchey, OT, Broncos

2022 stats: 17 starts, six sacks allowed
Reported terms: Five years, $87.5 million ($50 million guaranteed)
Previous team: 49ers

New Denver head coach Sean Payton took a step in improving the pass protection for quarterback Russell Wilson by signing former 49er Mike McGlinchey to a five-year, $87.5 million deal. McGlinchey started every game as San Francisco’s right tackle last season. He allowed six sacks, according to Pro Football Focus, but he also helped anchor one of the best run games in the NFL. Denver also signed Ravens guard Ben Powers to a lucrative free-agent deal, as Payton looks to put together an offensive line that can be more effective running the football in 2023. —Eric Williams

Grade: B-

Jamel Dean, CB, Buccaneers

2022 stats: 57 combined tackles, two interceptions, eight passes defended
Reported terms: Four years, $52 million
Previous team: Buccaneers

The Bucs’ biggest free agent was feared gone with the team’s limited salary-cap flexibility, but they were able to keep him — and at slightly less than they signed Carlton Davis for last year. Those are two bookend corners who were key parts of the Super Bowl team in 2020. They are now locked up as key leaders on a fairly young defense the team will lean on more in 2023. Dean has a rare combination of size and speed and is still improving as a corner. —Greg Auman

Grade: A-

Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Browns

2022 stats: 13 games, 42 combined tackles, 2.5 sacks
Reported terms: Four years, $57 million
Previous team: Vikings

Cleveland adds bulk to its defensive front with Tomlinson, who is 6-foot-3, 325 pounds, and has started all but five games in his six-year NFL career. For the money they’re paying him — $57 million over four years — they’ll have to hope he has the production he had his last two years with the Giants (15 tackles for loss in 2019-20) vs. what he had in Minnesota (five tackles for loss in the past two years). —Greg Auman

Grade: C+  

Tony Pollard, RB, Cowboys

2022 stats: 1,007 rushing yards, 371 receiving yards, 12 total TDs
Reported terms: One year, $10.09 million guaranteed (franchise tag)
Previous team: Cowboys

It’s the year of Running Backs Don’t Matter and Dallas has franchise-tagged Pollard while paying out the end of Zeke Elliott’s six-year, $90 million contract. It’s good for teams to zig when the NFL zags. It’s good to find value in the RB market when no one else is targeting it. But that’s not what’s happening here. The Cowboys are just over-invested in a position where it’s easy to find bargains. In a vacuum, I like Pollard sticking around with the Cowboys. Given how much money Dallas is burning at RB (and the needs it has elsewhere on the roster), I don’t love this deal. —Henry McKenna

Grade: B-

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Raiders

2022 stats: 2,437 passing yards, 16 passing touchdowns, four interceptions, 103.0 passer rating
Reported terms: Three years, $67.5 million ($34 million guaranteed)
Previous team: 49ers

After Las Vegas head coach Josh McDaniels moved on from Derek Carr this offseason, he’s turning to a familiar face in Garoppolo, signing him to a three-year, $67.5 million deal that includes $34 million in guaranteed money. A second-round selection by the Patriots in 2014, Garoppolo played three seasons for McDaniels when he served as New England’s offensive coordinator. Garoppolo is intimately familiar with McDaniels’ system and has a 37-18 record as a starter. However, staying healthy will be the key for Garoppolo, who has finished on the injured reserved list in three of the past five seasons. —Eric Williams

Grade: A-

Is Jimmy Garoppolo an upgrade for Raiders?

Will Blackmon joins Emmanuel Acho, LeSean McCoy and Ric Bucher on Speak to discuss the Raiders reportedly signing Jimmy Garoppolo to a three-year, $67.5 M deal.

Marcus Davenport, DE, Vikings

2022 stats: 29 total tackles, 8 QB hits. 0.5 sacks
Reported terms: One year, $13 million 
Previous team: Saints

The Saints pass-rusher didn’t have much of a market, even with limited edge options available, and signed a one-year, $13 million deal with the Vikings. They’re counting on him to return to his 2021 levels — nine sacks — and not a disappointing 2022 in which he finished with 0.5 sacks and had just two tackles for loss in 490 defensive snaps. The Saints had a top-10 defense and cap issues, so it’s smart to try to find help there. —Greg Auman

Grade: C+

Patrick Peterson, CB, Steelers

2022 stats: 66 combined tackles, five interceptions, 15 passes defended
Reported terms: Two years, $14 million ($5.85 million guaranteed)
Previous team: Vikings

Peterson turns 33 in July, so the question is how much he has left in the tank for the Steelers. His 2022 was a solid comeback season with five interceptions — his most in a decade — and a career-high 66 tackles. He made eight straight Pro Bowls to open his career in Arizona but hasn’t made it the past four years. Pittsburgh lost out on Cam Sutton but didn’t have to pay Peterson too much at $14 million over two years. —Greg Auman

Grade: B-

Vonn Bell, S, Panthers

2022 stats: 77 combined tackles, four interceptions, one fumble recovery
Reported terms: Three years, $22.5 million ($13 million guaranteed)
Previous team: Bengals 

Bell got his start in the NFC South with the Saints, and he took a big step forward in 2023. After two interceptions total in his first six NFL seasons, he broke out with four last fall, an important part of Cincinnati’s return to the AFC Championship Game. Panthers DC Ejiro Evero gets a nice veteran piece as part of an upgraded defense, which also gives him more flexibility to use Jeremy Chinn creatively as well. —Greg Auman

Grade: B-

David Long Jr., LB, Dolphins

2022 stats: 12 games, 86 combined tackles, 7 TFLs
Reported terms: Two years, $11 million
Previous team: Titans 

Long is undersized (5-foot-11, 227 pounds), but he’s a dynamic inside linebacker who can get downhill or sideline to sideline in a hurry. A force in the run game, he’s not afraid to throw his body around. He’s a Pro Bowl-caliber talent, but health has been an issue. That explains his relatively modest deal with the Dolphins (a reported two-year contract worth $11 million; guarantees are unclear). He battled a nagging hamstring issue last season, playing just 12 games. And in fact, in four NFL seasons, he has never made it through a full year. If Long stays healthy, his contract will look like a bargain for Miami down the line. If he doesn’t, the financial commitment isn’t so large that it would be a major disappointment. —Ben Arthur

Grade: B

Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Bears

2022 stats: 102 combined tackles, one interception, one sack
Reported terms: Four years, $72 million ($50 million guaranteed)
Previous team: Bills

The Bears are getting a good one — and a young one. Edmunds is just 24 years old, but he has at least 100 tackles in all five of his NFL seasons. It’s not often that a premier player is available at that age. That’s why he makes so much sense for a team like Chicago, which is far more likely to be competitive in 2024 than in 2023. Edmunds is already a three-down linebacker, though he doesn’t yet make the jaw-dropping big plays. He’s more of a consistent and accountable centerpiece. But the Bears — given the fact that they’ve signed him for four years and $72 million — clearly expect him to develop into a game-changing player. He certainly has that potential. I do think, at $18 million per year, the Bears are taking a risk if Edmunds can’t take a step up in generating more turnovers (5 INTs, 2 forced fumbles in his career) and more sacks (6.5 in career). —Henry McKenna

Grade: B+

Zach Allen, DL, Broncos

2022 stats: 47 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 20 QB hits
Reported terms: Three years, $45.75 million ($32.5 million guaranteed)
Previous team: Cardinals

Allen had a career-high 5.5 sacks last season and was rewarded in free agency with a three-year deal that includes $32.5 million in guaranteed money. According to Next Gen Stats, Allen tackled opposing ball carriers for a loss or no gain on 5.5% of his run defense snaps last season, trailing only Aaron Donald (5.8%) in the league. Allen joins former Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph in Denver. —Eric Williams

Grade: B-

Jawaan Taylor, OT, Chiefs

2022 stats: 17 starts, five sacks allowed
Reported terms: Four years, $80 million ($60 million guaranteed)
Previous team: Jaguars

The Chiefs reportedly plan to play Taylor — the Jaguars’ right tackle the past four seasons — at left tackle, replacing Orlando Brown Jr., who is expected to walk as an unrestricted free agent. It will mark the second time in three offseasons that Kansas City plans to use a career right tackle as Patrick Mahomes’ blindside protector (the other was Brown, whom the Chiefs acquired via trade in April 2021). If it works with the 25-year-old Taylor, it will look like a stroke of genius by GM Brett Veach. Taylor’s contract is reportedly worth $20 million per year in average annual value, which would be good value for an elite tackle. Three left tackles make more than $20 million per year under their current deals, according to SpoTrac: the 49ers’ Trent Williams, Packers’ David Bakhtiari and Texans’ Laremy Tunsil. If it doesn’t work … Taylor could move back to right tackle, right? —Ben Arthur

Grade: A-

T.J. Edwards, LB, Bears

2022 stats: 159 combined tackles, two sacks, one fumble recovered
Reported terms: Three years, $19.5 million ($12 million guaranteed)
Previous team: Eagles

The Bears bolster their linebacker room with Edwards, who was a starter for the Eagles the past three years. Chicago had the second-worst run defense in the NFL last season — allowing 157.3 rushing yards per game — so this move makes a lot of sense. The 26-year-old Edwards, an Illinois native who went undrafted out of Wisconsin in 2019, has had at least 130 tackles in each of the past two seasons. On a reported deal that comes to $6.5 million per year in average annual value, it’s a reasonable cost for a starting inside linebacker. —Ben Arthur

Grade: B-

Ben Powers, OG, Broncos

2022 stats: 17 starts, zero sacks allowed
Reported terms: Four years, $52 million ($28.5 million guaranteed)
Previous team: Ravens

Denver is making a splash with new coach Sean Payton, adding Powers and 49ers tackle Mike McGlinchey. Powers is only 26, a fourth-round pick who worked his way up to become a starter, but Pro Football Focus had him as the No. 38 guard in football, so four years and $52 million feels a little high. Makes sense to want solid protection for Russell Wilson. —Greg Auman

Grade: C+

Evan Engram, TE, Jaguars

2022 stats: 73 catches, 766 yards, 4 TDs
Reported terms: One year, $11.345 million guaranteed (franchise tag)
Previous team: Jaguars

At least for now, Engram is set to play for the Jaguars in 2023 on the non-exclusive franchise tag, which would pay him a fully guaranteed $11.345 million for the season. If Engram were to sign an offer sheet with another team and the Jaguars didn’t match, Jacksonville could receive two first-round picks. But this doesn’t appear to be headed in that direction. Both sides are motivated to get a deal done ahead of the mid-July deadline, and it’s in both sides’ interest to make sure that happens. Getting an extension in the books could bring down Engram’s 2023 cap hit significantly, giving Jacksonville much-needed financial wiggle room to continue to improve the roster around quarterback Trevor Lawrence. —Ben Arthur

Grade: TBD

Andrew Wylie, OT, Commanders

2022 stats: 17 starts, nine sacks allowed
Reported terms: Three years, $24 million
Previous team: Chiefs 

In Wylie, the Commanders fortify their offensive line, which has struggled the past two seasons in part due to injuries. The 6-foot-5, 304-pound Wylie started 17 games in 2022, part of a Chiefs front that neutralized the Eagles’ dominant pass rush in the Super Bowl, helping Kansas City win a second Lombardi Trophy in four seasons. He becomes Washington’s likely starter at right tackle, but he could also play right guard, depending on where the team elects to play 2021 second-rounder Sam Cosmi. In five seasons with the Chiefs, Wylie started games at right tackle and both guard spots. His reported three-year, $24 million deal represents a strong value for a player who can provide above-average play at three spots on the offensive line. —Ben Arthur

Grade: A

Jakobi Meyers, WR, Raiders

2022 stats: 67 catches, 804 yards, 6 TDs
Reported terms: Three years, $33 million ($21 million guaranteed)
Previous team: Patriots

This is an outstanding deal for the Raiders. It’s one thing for the Bears and 49ers to do what they did: Sign the top player at a position to a market-changing deal. It’s another thing to do what Las Vegas did: Sign (arguably) the top player at a position to a moderate deal. Meyers is set to make $33 million over three years with $21 million guaranteed. It pales in comparison to what I might have projected — in the range of $13 million or $14 million. Meyers will likely to fall in as WR2 alongside Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow. Vegas also franchise tagged RB Josh Jacobs for 2023, which could make for a potent combination of skill players. But it all hinges around whether new QB Jimmy Garoppolo proves an upgrade over Derek Carr. Meyers will be one of the players tasked with elevating Garoppolo, an above-average (but not outstanding) starter. —Henry McKenna

Grade: A-

Grade: B+

Jonathan Jones, CB, Patriots

2022 stats: 69 combines tackles, four interceptions, 11 passes defended
Reported terms: Two years, $20 million ($13 million guaranteed)
Previous team: Patriots

The Patriots clearly valued him more than the open market, because as soon as the tampering period opened, Jones agreed to a deal that brought him back to Bill Belichick’s defense. Jones and the Patriots agreed to a two-year deal worth $20 million (with $13 million guaranteed). It’s not so different than the two-year, $20 million deal that the Colts signed with former Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore. But Jones, 29, is a distinctly different player than Gilmore, 32. Jones spent the 2022 season playing on the boundary, an interesting development considering he’d played the slot for most of his career. When he wasn’t playing in the slot, he was playing safety and special teams. Given that versatility, it makes sense that the Patriots valued him higher than other teams. Safety Devin McCourty also retired this offseason, which increased Jones value as a leader on the defense. On the whole, New England deemed Jones too valuable to lose. It’s not the kind of deal that fans get excited about — but it’s the kind of deal that Belichick gets excited about. —Henry McKenna

Grade: B

Nate Davis, G, Bears

2022 stats: 12 starts, three sacks allowed
Reported terms: Three years, $30 million ($19.25 million guaranteed)
Previous team: Titans

The Bears need to fortify their offensive line for quarterback Justin Fields, and adding Davis — a plug-and-play starter — is a step in the right direction. The Titans’ starting right guard the past four seasons, Davis is a strong run blocker with room to grow as a pass blocker. On paper, he should be a key cog in Chicago’s run game built around Fields, who had 160 carries for 1,143 yards and eight touchdowns last season. A potential concern with the 26-year-old Davis is his health. The 2019 third-round pick has missed a combined eight games the past two seasons, including five in 2022. He’s played a full season just once in his career, in 2020. A reported $10 million per year in average annual value and $19.25 million in guarantees in the contract for Davis, though, represents strong value for the Bears for an above-average starting guard. —Ben Arthur

Grade: B+

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