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2022 NFL Free Agency: Building the best team from available free agents

Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) celebrates with teammates after an interception during the second half against the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Most of the big names of 2022 NFL free agency are off the board as we stretch into the second week of the new league year. Others have been added to the pool as cap casualties by teams starting to feel the constraints of the salary cap.

A sizable chunk of the players remaining have some warts, whether that be age, recent injury or both. But we’ve seen in previous years that there are still values to be had late in free agency. The players on this list — PFF’s top free agents remaining by position — could be among that group.

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Quarterback: Andy Dalton

The quarterback carousel hasn’t lacked action this offseason, with several big-name veterans changing teams. It’s coming to a stop now, though. The only teams that stand out as potentially interested in a veteran starting quarterback are the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks. They could both very well turn to the draft or trade options like Baker Mayfield or Jimmy Garoppolo rather than what's left of a relatively weak free agent quarterback class. Options like Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Teddy Bridgewater and Mitchell Trubisky have already signed deals elsewhere.

Dalton is, at best, a low-ceiling starting option, as he has shown in stints with the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears in recent years. However, there are plenty of teams that should have interest in him as one of the better backup options in the NFL.

Potential team fit: Las Vegas Raiders

Running back: Melvin Gordon III

People wanted to see Broncos rookie running back Javonte Williams earn a larger workload in 2021, and for good reason. Williams ran through contact and forced missed tackles at a higher clip than nearly every other running back in the NFL. But Gordon refused to give up the starting job in Denver with another strong year as a runner. Gordon has now earned PFF rushing grades of 83.0 or higher in back-to-back seasons and three of his last four campaigns.

Gordon has been utilized in the passing game at times throughout his career, but he is best suited in an early-down rushing role where he can still offer legitimate value.

Potential team fit: Houston Texans

Wide receiver: Odell Beckham Jr., Julio Jones and Jarvis Landry

Could OBJ and Landry reunite on a third team after their time together at LSU and with the Browns? Potentially. They’re two of PFF’s top free agents available at the position, along with Antonio Brown, whose future remains unclear after leaving Metlife Stadium shirtless in early January.

Dec 21, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (3) carries the ball against the Seattle Seahawks in the first half at SoFi Stadium. Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Beckham showed down the stretch with the Rams that he can contribute at a high level, earning PFF grades of at least 75.0 in three of Los Angeles’ four playoff games. A torn ACL in the Super Bowl and the fact that he turns 30 years old next season is likely limiting his market. Landry is still a very viable slot receiver who recorded over 120 receptions both in the slot and out wide over his last four seasons in Cleveland.

Jones carries some risk given his injury history, but he was still productive (1.8 yards per route run) when healthy and on the field in 2021. Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Will Fuller stand out as vertical threats who can stretch the field beyond those three names.

Potential team fits: Beckham to the Kansas City Chiefs, Jones to the Indianapolis Colts, Landry re-signs with the Cleveland Browns


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