With the season exactly a month away, training camps are well underway across the nation, revealing imperfections, injuries and areas for improvement.
Now is the time for teams to enact last-minute trades and explore the free agency market where they can pick up a bargain, and we are taking a comprehensive look at the best players from each position who are readily available with no existing contract.
Best 2022 NFL Free Agents by Position
Quarterback – Cam Newton
Undoubtedly one of the finest quarterbacks to ever grace the football field, Newton played for the Panthers for eight years after exploding on the scene as the first pick in 2011. He won the 2015 NFL MVP award, featured in one Super Bowl and was a three-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro.
He is also the leader in quarterback rushing touchdowns and second in quarterback rushing yards.
After a short stint with New England Patriots in 2020, he returned to the Panthers last year in a $10million one year deal to fill in for the injured Sam Darnold, although he has not be re-signed for another year.
There were rumblings of a return with the Cleveland Browns to deputise for the suspended Deshaun Watson, and although he would be an adequate replacement, they are not thought to be interested.
Wide Receiver – Odell Beckham Jr
The emphasis on wide receivers has never been more prevalent than in 2022. Not only have there been some monumental contracts for the likes of Devante Adams and Tyreek Hill, but recent training camp injuries have been propping up all across the league, potentially opening the door for some talented free agents to step in.
While there are some huge names to pick from, namely Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders, none come close to matching the gravitas of Odell Beckham.
While he seems in no rush to sign with anyone at this moment in time, a whole host of teams have shown interest including his most recent outfit the LA Rams, as well as the Buffalo Bills.
He became the fastest player in NFL history to reach both 200 career receptions and 4,000 career receiving yards in 2016, and was named named in the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons as well as in the second-team All-Pro twice.
Running Back – Alex Collins
Although we most likely would have picked Le’veon Bell before announcing his will focus on boxing this year, we have sided with former Seahawks running back Alex Collins.
While the roster of free agents was spread fairly thin with running backs becoming less valuable over the years, Collins returned to the Seahawks last year after a stint with the Baltimore Ravens and saved them on more than one occasion.
Still only 27, he was integral in a victory over the 49ers with 78 all-purpose yards and a touchdown, while prior to an injury he was averaging 4.7 yards per carry and was on pace for over 800 rushing yards and six touchdowns. He has certainly shown no signs of slowing down.
Tight End – Jared Cook
After the news MyCole Pruitt has been picked up by the Atlanta Falcons, the most intriguing free agent left at tight end is likely to be Jared Cook.
A league veteran, the 35-year-old has featured for six teams over his 13 year career, most recently for the Los Angeles Chargers last year. He registered 48 receptions on 83 targets, amounting to 564 receiving yards and 4 receiving touchdowns despite his relative old age.
An injury to fourth-round draft Daniel Bellinger may force the New York Giants to consider Cook for some depth, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have also been heavily linked.
Offensive Line – JC Tretter
The president of the league’s Player Association, Tretter commands a lot of respect and will enter his 10th year as a player having been a first draft pick for the Packers in 2013.
It seems as if his former team the Browns are unlikely to re-sign him, and although the Minnesota Vikings and the Buccaneers are seemingly in the market for competition at centre, there are concerns over his fitness.
Although he rarely misses games, it is widely reported he does a scarce amount of training. Despite this Tretter has ranked among the top-10 centres in each of the past four seasons, while posting the second-best pass blocking grade (83.7) in the NFL last year.
Interior Defensive Line – Linval Joseph
At 6″4 and 329 pounds, Linval Jospeh is one of the most imposing nose tackles in the league.
A two-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XLVI champions in 2011, he recently featured for the LA Chargers last season registering 119 tackles and a sack in 30 appearances (28 starts).
He would be an interesting option for the Arizona Cardinals who are actively looking at bolstering their options, and Jopseh is certainly a better option than their current roster Leki Fotu and Rashard Lawrence.
Edge – Everson Griffen
To everyone’s surprise, the Vikings didn’t choose to re-sign 34-year-old Everson Griffen.
A loyal member to the Vikings for 11 seasons, Griffen registered an incredible four Pro Bowls and 79.5 sacks from 2010 to 2021.
— DLineVids (@dlinevids1) May 9, 2022
Despite taking time off last season in order to work on his mental health, he deputised fantastically well for Danielle Hunter in November 2021 and was an integral part of fending off opposing quarterbacks for several weeks.
Linebacker – Dont’a Hightower
Defensive Back – A.J Bouye
Lastly, we come to defensive back and we have selected AJ Bouye.
The cornerback was released by the Carolina Panthers in March having played in 10 games, with seven starts, but his season was cut short in December with a foot injury. Despite this, Bouye registered 28 tackles, three passes defended and 33 receptions for 301 yards.
AJ Bouye blowing up the block on zone read bubble pic.twitter.com/swnXlVwK5s
— SyedSchemes (@syedschemes) October 14, 2021
While his best football is likely to be behind him, the 30-year-old still has some fuel in the tank as last season would suggest, and the one time Pro Bowler would add some much needed experienced rotation to the likes of the New York Giants, who are relying heavily on youth this season while Blake Martinez recovers from a torn ACL.