2022 NFL Free Agents: Rumors, Predictions for Potential Offseason Targets
There will be 14 teams that reach the NFL playoffs. Entering Week 18, 11 postseason berths have already been secured, while the other three will be clinched in the final week of the regular season.
For the 18 teams that miss out, the 2021 season will be over after Sunday, which means it will be time for them to start looking ahead to the offseason and the potential changes they can make to try to reach the postseason in the future.
Some will likely be looking to the free-agent market to improve their rosters heading into 2022, and there should be some talented players who will be looking to sign with teams this upcoming offseason.
Here's some of the latest free-agent buzz from around the NFL, along with predictions for several moves that could take place.
Will Adams Return to Green Bay in 2022?
Davante Adams has spent his first eight NFL seasons with the Green Bay Packers, and he's developed into one of the best wide receivers in the league over that time.
However, the 29-year-old is going to be a free agent at the end of the season, meaning there's some uncertainty surrounding his future.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Adams and the Packers "broke off big-money extension talks" in late July and there have been no conversations since regarding a deal. But that doesn't mean the player will end up somewhere other than Green Bay next season.
"All of which sets the stage for what several sources believe is an eventuality: The Packers give Adams the franchise tag following the season before attempting to work out a long-term deal," Rapoport wrote.
Rapoport noted it will likely cost Green Bay about $20 million to give the Fresno State product a franchise tag for 2022. But he has had more than 1,300 receiving yards in three of the past four seasons, so that could be money well spent for the Packers.
It's hard to imagine Green Bay would let Adams go, even if it can't yet work out a long-term deal and has to use the franchise tag. So expect to see him back with the Packers for a ninth season.
Prediction: Packers use franchise tag on Adams for 2022.
Could Brown Get Another Opportunity with NFL Team?
Antonio Brown left the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in unorthodox fashion, ditching his jersey, pads, shirt and gloves and departing in the middle of an eventual win over the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.
And although the 33-year-old is still technically on the roster, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians confirmed after the game that he is no longer a member of the team.
So, what's next for the wide receiver? It's clear Brown can still produce at a high level, as he had 42 catches for 545 yards and four touchdowns in seven games this season. But it's always tough to predict his moves.
Josina Anderson of CBS Sports reported that if the Miami native "wants a job on another team in the NFL, he can have one." So it seems there is at least one team that would be willing to sign him, although it's not clear who his potential suitors may be.
But the prediction here is that Brown will be on an NFL roster in 2022. And one team that could be a fit is the New Orleans Saints. They could use a boost in their receiving corps, and it would give the Central Michigan product a chance to play against the Buccaneers at least twice next season.
Prediction: Brown signs one-year deal with Saints.
What Will Texans' QB Group Look Like in 2022?
The Houston Texans have started rookie Davis Mills at quarterback down the stretch, even though Tyrod Taylor has been healthy. But it's unclear what the team's future at the position may look like and whether Mills has played well enough to land the job for the future.
However, Taylor may not be back in Houston in 2022. The Athletic's Aaron Reiss doesn't believe the 32-year-old will re-sign with the Texans this offseason, but it is possible the team will bring in a different veteran quarterback to compete with Mills in training camp.
Mills has passed for 2,363 yards, 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 12 games this season, having made 10 starts. He and the Texans will conclude the 2021 season with a home matchup against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
Maybe Houston will then bring in a QB with starting experience such as Jacoby Brissett, Teddy Bridgewater or Mitchell Trubisky?
It's unknown who the Texans will have interest in, but the guess here is that Trubisky will be affordable enough to come in, battle with Mills for the job and then likely begin 2022 as the No. 2 QB.
Prediction: Texans sign Trubisky to a two-year deal.