NFL Free Agency: The Future Of Our Favorite Players


Isaac Shrader, Reporter

The 2023 NFL Free Agency is quickly approaching. Big names, such as Lamar Jackson and Aaron Rodgers, have been thrown around in trade rumors, and there are plenty of other players who will end up on completely new teams. With these trade rumors about, it is only natural to try to predict where our favorite players in the league are going to end up based on certain team’s needs and interests. Keeping these in mind, here are the Top 10 predictions of the best teams for the league’s best players. 


#10- Mike Gesicki to the Detroit Lions

After 5 seasons with the Miami Dolphins, General Manager Chris Grier confirmed star tight end, Mike Gesicki, would likely be moving on from the team in the 2023 free agency period. Gesicki is a top tight end in the free agency pool, and many teams will be looking to grab him. However, Detroit stands out as a likely destination. The Lions traded away top tight end, T.J. Hockenson, to the Minnesota Vikings last season, and they are certainly looking for a strong player who can fill the role. The Detroit Lions won 9 of their games in a comeback season due to their strong offense, and Gesicki would make an excellent addition to an already strong line up. His receiving ability would allow Jared Goff to have another viable target, and he would significantly increase offensive production. Gesicki also offers a cheaper contract that the Lions will be able to work with, and he will certainly help the Lions take the next step this upcoming season


#9- Jordan Poyer to the Jacksonville Jaguars

Jordan Poyer is one of the top players in the NFL free agency this year, due to his All-Pro status at safety on the Buffalo Bills. Due to his pricey contract and age, there is a chance the Bills will not attempt to re-sign him which means he will have to find a new place to call home, and what better place than the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars shocked the league, going from 3-14 record in the 21-22 season, to the top of the division and advancement to the Divisional Round of the playoffs. If Poyer is looking for a team in need of a star safety, Jacksonville is the place to go. Poyer would immediately improve the secondary, and perhaps even push the team to make it further into the postseason. An experienced safety and player, Jordan Poyer would help lead the young team to success, and push them to achieve greatness. 


#8- Bobby Wagner to the New York Giants

After last season, the Giants franchise is on its way up, and signing recently-released, veteran linebacker, Bobby Wagner, would provide much needed strength to the interior of its defense. Bobby Wagner is coming off a very productive season, despite being an older player, the Giants have the cap space to work with signing him. The Giants are certainly looking to become legitimate contenders, and they will need all the star power they can get to make it there. Due to his recent release, the future of Bobby Wagner in the NFL is unknown, but the Giants are sure to offer up a deal in an attempt to make their defense stronger than it is already. 


#7- Tony Pollard to the Chicago Bears

Tony Pollard just completed a career season and has become one of the top prospects in the running back free agency pool. The Cowboys are looking to free up cap space by letting Pollard go, and the Bears are a great option for his future. The Bears happen to have a run driven offense, and their top running back, David Montgomery, is entering free agency as well, so the Bears will be at least looking for somebody to potentially fill his spot. Building a strong offense around up and coming Justin Fields is essential to his development. The Bears also will likely be trading their number one pick for more first round pick options, where they will likely pick up players that will build up their offensive line and defense. These additions will allow the Bears to use their remaining cap space on Tony Pollard, and annex a star running back into the mix. 


#6- Jimmy Garoppolo to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

From one red jerseyed team to another, free agent Jimmy Garoppolo is a logical player to sign after legend Tom Brady’s recent retirement. The 49ers made it clear that Garoppolo will not be on their roster coming into next season, and the 49ers appear to be looking at Mr. Irrelevant turned Mr. Relevant, Brock Purdy, as their future starter. Garoppolo’s talent as an efficient quarterback who can get things done is exactly what the Buccaneers need, at least for the short-term. Garoppolo is a veteran QB who can work with the already established, strong roster the Buccaneers will retain, and, if all else fails, will give them a QB that they can use to rebuild the team in the long term. 


#5- Derek Carr to the Washington Commanders

Derek Carr is officially done as a Raider, but that does not mean his future as a starter is over. The Washington Commanders have recently released QB Carson Wentz and are surely in the market for a quality starting QB. While the Commanders still possess Taylor Heinicke as their backup QB, they clearly are still not prepared to move him up to a starting role. Despite Carr’s shortcomings last season, he is still a better all around player than Heinicke. Last season, the Commanders saw much improvement, even beating the top team and division rival in the Philadelphia Eagles, but still came last in a very competitive division. The addition of Dereck Carr is the spark they need to become more competitive in their division, and a change of scenery for the QB might bring back his old flare at the position. 


#4- Josh Jacobs to the Buffalo Bills

Another Raider leaving the franchise, Josh Jacobs is set to become a free agent this offseason with a 5th-year option available. Josh Jacobs is coming off an extremely productive year with the Raiders, and arguably the best year of any of the other running backs in the league, but the Raiders still could not win enough to make retaining Jacobs worthwhile. The Buffalo Bills, on the other hand, made it into the playoffs only to come short against the Cincinnati Bengals. A spot on their roster that could help them progress further into the postseason is the running back position and Josh Jacobs would certainly fill that role well. The Bills are also seeing running back Devin Singletary enter free agency, so there will be more flexibility in cap space should they sign Josh Jacobs. An effective run game to match Josh Allen’s superb passing attack would potentially push the Bills offense over the hump and make it past the Divisional round. 


#3- Odell Beckham Jr. to the New York Giants

I know what you are thinking, this prediction is as crazy as it reads, but Odell Beckham Jr. returning to his old team where he made the catch that changed the game is not off the table for the 2023-24 season. During last season, rumors began to spread about who Odell was going to sign with, the Giants and rival Cowboys both being viable options, but after the Cowboys rejected the idea of signing Odell, it looks as though the Giants are his next best bet. In desperate need of healthy wide receivers, the Giants are coming off their best season in a few years, and the talent the team possesses is sure to entice Odell to come back to the team that kicked off his career. Coach-of-the-Year Brian Daboll is certainly leading the team in the right direction, and QB Daniel Jones is showing more and more potential. With the cap space to work with, and the old friend Odell has on the team, the Giants are sure to bring home a fan-favorite player. 


#2- Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets

Veteran QB Aaron Rodgers is coming off a mediocre season with the Green Bay Packers, and recently emerged from a “darkness retreat” where he took time to consider his options for the upcoming season. If Rodgers is looking to leave the team he has spent the past 18 years with, the New York Jets are the perfect option for him. The Jets are clearly in need of a quarterback, after second-year player Zach Wilson was benched after a decline in dependability and overall poor play. Aaron Rodgers would immediately begin to produce more than Zach Wilson at the quarterback position, and the young team would respond to his experience. The Jets have also hired former Packer offensive coordinator, Nathaniel Hackett, so Aaron Rodgers already has a familiar face in the building. While the Jets would have to work out some cap space issues, their already developed team would soar with the addition of Aaron Rodgers to the roster. 


#1- Lamar Jackson to the Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons are the top potential trade destination for Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson. Jackson has been in long discontent with the Raven’s organization and may be looking for the change while the Atlanta Falcons have enough space to acquire him. The Falcons are in need of a quarterback who can get things done, and the pairing of electric Jackson with a young, talented wide receiver in Drake London has potential to be a deadly combination. The Falcons do have a QB with high potential in Desmond Ridder, but he is still inexperienced in the field, and if the Falcons are looking to turn the franchise around by next season, the possible acquisition of Jackson is too good of a deal to miss. The signing of Lamar Jackson could be the spark they need to move up in the rankings and stimulate the talent they already possess. While a trade for Lamar Jackson is a large gamble because of the large price tag, this is a risk that is bound to pay off in the long-term future of the franchise as well. 


Anything can happen in the NFL Free Agency, but these are certainly players to keep an eye out for during the upcoming offseason. There are plenty of other players not mentioned who will likely be headed to different teams, so make sure to stay up to date in all that is happening in terms of NFL signings. No matter what the future holds for these players, the 2023-24 NFL season is bound to be an interesting one!