2022 NFL Free Agents: Latest Rumors, Predictions for Davante Adams, Top WRsJanuary 7, 2022
2022 NFL Free Agents: Latest Rumors, Predictions for Davante Adams, Top WRs
There's still plenty of action to come during the conclusion of the 2021 NFL season. With one week to go in the regular season and all of the playoffs still to take place, it'll be exciting to see which teams reach the postseason and how things will unfold when they get there.
But with 18 teams set to play their final games this weekend, it's not too early to start looking ahead to the offseason, especially for those with glaring needs on their roster. For those teams, there will be some players on the free-agent market who should be quite appealing.
That especially could be the case at wide receiver, as there's the potential for some big-name playmakers to hit free agency later this year. If these players hit the market, then there could be some major changes coming to receiving corps around the league.
Here's some of the latest buzz surrounding several wide receivers who are slated to become free agents, along with predictions for where each will end up in 2022.
It's hard to picture Davante Adams suiting up for a team other than the Green Bay Packers. That's because he's spent his first eight NFL seasons with the team, serving as quarterback Aaron Rodgers' No. 1 target for much of that time.
Adams is set to become a free agent after the season, and it's possible he could go somewhere other than Green Bay for the next stage of his career. However, don't necessarily count on that happening.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, several sources believe Adams is going to receive the franchise tag from the Packers, which would give him a one-year contract for the 2022 campaign. Adams would make about $20 million for the season in that case, per Rapoport.
Rapoport noted that Adams and the Packers "broke off big-money extension talks in late July," and that there haven't been any discussions since then. But even if Green Bay doesn't work out a long-term deal with the 29-year-old receiver, it seems likely he'll be back for at least one more season.
Expect Adams to get the franchise tag from the Packers, who will then have more time to try to work out a long-term deal with him down the line.
Prediction: Adams receives franchise tag from Packers
Chris Godwin was having a terrific 2021 season before he suffered a torn ACL in Week 15 that brought it to an early end. The 25-year-old receiver had 98 catches for 1,103 yards and five touchdowns in 14 games in his fifth season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Now, Godwin is slated to hit free agency this offseason. And it's unclear whether his injury (and subsequent surgery) will have an impact on his market.
ESPN's Jeremy Fowler recently reported that some NFL executives believe Godwin's market will be "slightly" affected due to his injured knee. However, Fowler noted that Godwin "should remain well-positioned for a long-term deal" when free agency arrives in March.
Godwin has been among the best wide receivers in the league over the past few seasons, and he's been a key member of the Bucs' offense. So the prediction here is that Tampa Bay gives him a sizable deal to keep him with the team for the next few years, as it will be confident that he'll be the same type of player when he gets back to full health.
Prediction: Godwin signs multi-year deal with Buccaneers
On Thursday, Antonio Brown was released by the Buccaneers. And it wasn't a surprise considering all that has unfolded since the 33-year-old wide receiver left the team in the middle of this past Sunday's game against the New York Jets.
Brown was going to be a free agent this offseason either way, but now he's hit the market a bit earlier than expected. And it's unclear how many teams will be interested in giving Brown a chance after his tumultuous end to his time with Tampa Bay.
Fowler reported that numerous NFL personnel evaluators believe Brown "will not get another NFL job in the short term."
"His immense talent might seduce a team eventually," Fowler wrote, "but as one exec pointed out, he had a limited market before signing with Tampa Bay twice—once during the 2020 season, then again in free agency—and that's largely because of the off-field issues."
If Brown wants to play, it's hard to imagine some team won't give him a chance, considering he's still performing at a high level when he's on the field. And while it's unclear at this point, which teams may eventually have interest, the prediction here is that Brown will be back in the NFC South to give a boost to a New Orleans Saints receiving corps that could use it.
Prediction: Brown signs one-year deal with Saints