Top 10 Free Agents Going Somewhere New in 2022

by Jason Allwine · Contracts & Free Agency

The 2022 NFL offseason has begun with some major fireworks to say the least. From Christian Kirk being the third-highest paid WR for a period of time to Deshaun Watson being traded to the Browns, there has hardly been a dull moment since the legal tampering period began on March 14th. The offseason is an exciting time for both the organizations and the players, and it is the time where new storylines begin. Teams are looking to fix last season’s mistakes, and free agents are looking for a fresh start. There has certainly been some movement that will change the trajectory of some NFL teams for years to come. Let’s take a look at some players going to new teams via free agency.


No. 10) Gerald Everett – Contract

The Los Angeles Chargers got their new TE1 in Gerald Everett. The move comes at a great time as Jared Cook isn’t on the roster anymore. Everett has been underwhelming through his career so far, never averaging more than 8.0 Fantasy Points Per Game in a season. Now, he finds himself in a fantastic landing spot. Last season, Jared Cook only had a 57.0-percent (No. 39 among qualified tight ends) Snap Share and still averaged more FPPG than Everett and his 73.2-percent (No. 18) Snap Share. Combining the targets of Cook and Donald Parham last season gives you 110 targets. That’s the same amount of targets Kyle Pitts received last year. Everett has never received more than 63 targets in a season, so this is an excellent opportunity for him.

No. 9) Christian Kirk – Contract

This signing set headlines and altered the WR market for years to come. At the time of signing, Christian Kirk would be the third-highest paid WR in the NFL if he achieved all incentives. The contract averages out to $18m annually, which is No. 10 overall according to Over the Cap. That really isn’t terrible, and puts him in the range of players like Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks, and Tyler Lockett. So yes, Kirk is being PAID, but he’s really just getting paid top-tier WR2 money. If he pans out like the Jaguars expect him to, then they will have a pretty solid WR2 for years to come. And that’s what they’re banking on as the first year of the contract is only a base salary of $1.5 million.

This move is also more of an investment into Trevor Lawrence. A WR is only as good as their QB, and a good QB can make an average WR pretty good. If Lawrence takes the next step, which he should, then the new receiver corps should all benefit. The Jaguars have been active this offseason. They’ve signed Zay Jones, Evan Engram, and Brandon Scherff to surround Lawrence. The main problem being that they still don’t have a true WR1. Luckily for them, this draft class is stacked with receivers.

No. 8) Hayden Hurst  – Contract

Former first-round pick Hayden Hurst may finally get the opportunity he’s been dreaming of. C.J. Uzomah signed with Jets, so Hurst will own the Bengals tight end spot. Head coach Zac Taylor already had some praise, saying Hurst “can be a real weapon and asset” for the team. In Hurst’s only season as the true starter, he finished the season as TE10 overall in full PPR formats. He averaged 9.3 (No.15) Fantasy Points Per Game in 2020 off of 56 catches for 571 yards and six touchdowns. All of those stats are better than Uzomah put up last season with a much more potent offense than the Falcons had. It’s a small, but welcome upgrade for the Bengals that should pay dividends. There’s a reason he was drafted in the first round. If he can tap into that potential, then there may be a pretty high ceiling for him.

No. 7) Mitchell Trubisky – Contract

Former No. 2 overall pick Mitchell Trubisky is being given another chance to be a franchise QB. The Steelers crawled to the playoffs last season with the ghost of Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben had his worst career year, yet still lead the Steelers to a 9-7-1 record and a wild card spot. Roethlisberger averaged 6.2 (No. 30) yards per attempt. Last year, the Steelers ranked No. 21 in points for and No. 23 in total yards according to Pro Football Reference. It’s important to highlight these stats because it shows that Trubisky doesn’t have to be a world-beater for the Steelers to succeed.

In 2018, Trubisky actually made the Pro Bowl and led the Bears to a 12-4 record which won the NFC North. Granted, the Bears also had the No. 1 overall defense according to Pro Football Reference that year too. Nonetheless, he still threw for 3,223 yards  and 24 touchdowns in 14 games as the starter. He also finished with the third-highest QBR that year with a 72.8 mark. Also according to Pro Football Reference, he led the Bears offense to the ninth-most points for in the league. He even had one game that year where he threw for six touchdowns.

After a year as Josh Allen‘s backup and now landing in Pittsburgh with Mike Tomlin, Trubisky has a real shot to turn it around. If he can perform like he did 2018, then the Steelers have their guy and don’t even have to take a chance on a rookie QB this year.

No. 6) Brandon Scherff – Contract

With Ryan Jensen staying in Tampa, Brandon Scherff was PFF’s best available interior offensive lineman this offseason. The Jaguars shelled out a $30 million guaranteed contract for Scherff, bolstering the offensive line to protect generational talent Trevor Lawrence. It couldn’t have come at a better time either as veteran center Brandon Linder announced his retirement. Lawrence was the 15th-most sacked QB last season, being sacked 32 times, nearly twice per game. Scherff has made five Pro Bowls and even made last year’s top 100 players. This move signifies how much belief the Jaguars have in Lawrence. Combined with the other signings mentioned earlier, next season should be a significant step forward for the Jaguars.

No. 5) D.J. Chark – Contract

Last season, the Detroit Lions only had one receiver with a sub 4.40 40-yard dash. That was none other than 2016 undrafted rookie from Holy Cross Kalif Raymond. He did fine last season, and even had two top 12 fantasy performances. But the Lions passing attack was not deep at all. Sure it was successful at times with Amon-Ra St. Brown‘s phenomenal rookie year, but Jared Goff only averaged 6.6 (No. 27) yards per attempt. Goff isn’t necessarily a dink-and-dunk QB either. In 2018, he attempted 71 (No. 8) Deep Balls. This was the year the Rams had Brandin Cooks, an excellent speed option. That year, Goff threw for 4,688 yards, averaging 8.4 yards per attempt. D.J. Chark can hopefully re-unlock that part of his game and help take the top off of the Lions offense. And for $10 million guaranteed, it’s a great deal for both parties.

No. 4) Marcus Mariota – Contract

The Atlanta Falcons made a splash not only when inquiring about Deshaun Watson, but also by the eventual offloading of Matt Ryan. The Falcons got a small return in a third round draft pick and still had to take on $40.5 million in dead-cap, the largest cap hit in NFL history. It’s a head-scratching move that had to be solved, and solve it they did. Marcus Mariota agreed to a 2-year, $18.75 million contract with only $6.75 million the books for this year. According to Over the Cap, that is the 21st-highest dead-cap for a QB in 2022. A solid deal if Mariota taps into his former No. 2 overall draft pick potential.

Mariota should be the Falcons starter in Week 1 and will be a great example for many different ideologies. For the people who value scheme, he’s rejoining Arthur Smith and also is being hooked up with Kyle Pitts. Delanie Walker never had less than 100 targets or 800 yards in his three years with Mariota. For the people who value athletic profile, he has one of the most impressive profiles out of any QB in the league or out. There was a reason he was so highly touted out of college. For those that think QBs need to study before reaching their potential, he has spent two years now behind Derek Carr. The time is now for Mariota. And if he plays like he was expected to out of college, the Falcons may not even miss Ryan.

No. 3) Allen Robinson – Contract

The Rams sending Robert Woods to the Titans for a sixth-round pick was upsetting, but it is fantastic news for Allen Robinson. Woods averaged 8.0 targets a game in his years with Sean McVay as the head coach. Those targets have to go somewhere, and it’s not going to be Van Jefferson. And as of writing this, Odell Beckham still hasn’t been re-signed. There’s not many landing spots better than Los Angeles for a receiver in need of a career revival. Robinson made the Pro Bowl in 2015, and made the NFL Top 100 list in 2016 (No. 31), 2020 (No. 93), and 2021 (No. 87). Now the talented receiver finds himself on the most recent Super Bowl winning team, with a QB who nearly threw for 5,000 yards last season.

No. 2) J.C. Jackson – Contract

In terms of points allowed, the Chargers ranked No. 29 last season per Pro Football Reference. They bolstered their defensive line by bringing in Khalil Mack and Sebastian Joseph. The next logical step was to upgrade their secondary. One year after making the Pro Bowl, J.C. Jackson should perfectly fit into the CB1 role as Chris Harris is still unsigned per the Chargers Wire. Jackson entered the offseason as PFF’s No. 1 available CB, and finished the season with the seventh-highest CB grade. It’s a signing that comes at a great time as the AFC keeps getting stronger and stronger. Hopefully Justin Herbert won’t have to completely carry the team next year and the defense can hold their own.

No. 1) Terron Armstead- Contract

The Miami Dolphins have perhaps been the busiest team this offseason. In an attempt to keep up with the explosive AFC offenses, the Dolphins have made their offense the No. 1 focus. They replaced Brian Flores with 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel. They tagged Mike Gesicki, signed Chase Edmonds, Raheem Mostert, Cedrick Wilson, and traded for Tyreek Hill. Now one year after being PFF’s worst offensive line, they’ve brought in three-time Pro Bowl tackle Terron Armstead. He will bring in veteran leadership and be a valuable asset to the Dolphins offensive line for up to five years. It’s put up or shut up time for Tua Tagovailoa, who still hasn’t really impressed at the NFL level. All the pieces are there, now it’s time for us to watch.