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Free Agent Destinations for WR's & Defensive Backs

The NFL free agency period begins on March 16th, although teams and players are allowed to start negotiations starting noon est on the 14th. This is when the top free agents begin to sign contracts with their new team or re-sign new deals with their "current" team. Teams have up until March 8th at 4:00 est to franchise tag their players. After that the free agency stock gets much bigger.

courtesy of Kiplinger

Many free agents change location for the money while others are looking for the best chance to win a Super Bowl. Either way we're going to see star players in different uniforms and some may be coming to your favorite team. As a 49ers fan, I'm hoping the team goes after the best available corners and safeties in the league.

That's the position I want to focus on here along with the players they guard at wide receiver. In a passing league, defensive backs and receivers are highly coveted.

Signing free agents costs money! Not every team has the ability to sign certain players simply because they cannot afford it. The teams that are already projected to be over the salary cap are: The Saints, Packers, Rams, Vikings, Cowboys, Titans, Giants, Falcons, Bills and Chiefs.

On the other hand their are a handful of teams that will have significant cap space and can make some noise in free agency. The top 5 teams that have the ability to bring in high priced talent are the Miami Dolphins, the Chargers, Jets, Bengals and Jaguars. The Jags have a great opportunity this season to get big time players and begin to build around their 2021 1st overall pick Trevor Lawrence. Jacksonville has the number 1 pick again in the 2022 draft so if the Jags play their cards right they can actually be a contender in the AFC South next season.

courtesy of Bleacher Report

We must keep in mind the financial situation of certain teams that would love to sign said player but can't because they're over the salary cap. In order to free up space, teams have to release players like the Cowboys are doing with Amari Cooper. There's a cost for everything done in free agency. If you hit on your free agents then the money doesn't much matter anymore.

We can see some game changing wide receivers switching up teams in hopes of a better NFL future. DeVante Adams tops the list but the Packers will likely franchise tag him unless they reach a long term agreement which would be even better as far as getting Rodgers back in the green and gold.

There are a lot of top notch unrestricted free agent WR's and defensive backs in the 2022 free agency pool. Let's take a look at some of the big names on the list and try to pair them with the best fit for the player and the organization.

courtesy of Sportscasting

  • Chris Godwin: Provided that Godwin can come back healthy after tearing up his ACL and MCL against the Saints last season, he will make any team he goes to that much better. He's likely to be franchise tagged by the Bucs but if he doesn't return to Tampa Bay then look for the Colts to be at the front line of the Chris Godwin sweepstakes. Other teams - Patriots, Browns, Ravens, Raiders, Bears

  • Allen Robinson: The former Bears receiver is one of the most underrated players in football. Robinson has had to deal with quarterback after quarterback along with constant inconsistency from that position which held back his production. Robinson would be a great fit with any team but the top spots would be - the Jaguars, Packers, Eagles, Raiders, Browns

  • Mike Williams: The Chargers should try and keep Mike Williams at a reasonable price but odds are another team will pay a little more for a guy when healthy is a nightmare to guard one on one. Then again, the Chargers can franchise tag him for the upcoming season. The Kansas City Chiefs know his value first hand and may want Mike Williams hands on the football in red and yellow. Other options - Jets, Dolphins, Eagles, Jaguars, Commanders

  • Odell Beckham Jr: This is an interesting case. We know what OBJ can do and when he got to the Rams he proved that he's still one of the better WR's in the league. That didn't seem to be the deal in Cleveland where he basically disappeared in the Browns below average passing game. I think OBJ should stay with the Rams because he's comfortable there and obviously has built a quick rapport with Matthew Stafford. If L.A. passes on re-signing OBJ then he could fit with the - Bills, Ravens, Chargers, Eagles, Commanders, Falcons

  • Amari Cooper: The Cowboys are expected to release their high priced WR and take some money off the books to free up space for others. Cooper has been very inconsistent but when he is playing at the top of his game, he's a top 10 - 15 receiver in the league. I think the Eagles would be the best spot for Cooper to to help Jalen Hurts and give sophomore DeVonta Smith help on the other side. Other possible destinations are the - Jaguars, Patriots, Chiefs, Ravens, Colts, Falcons

  • Mike Gesicki: The Dolphins TE plays more like a wide receiver and was perhaps Miami's best offensive weapon. He's going to get paid by a team that feels they're close to being a true Super Bowl contender. I think Aaron Rodgers would be thrilled if they get Gesicki to the Packers. That is if Rodgers stays in Green Bay. If the Packers don't pursue him then other contenders will like the - Chargers, Titans, Seahawks, Saints, Jaguars, Giants, Browns

  • Michael Gallup: With Amari Cooper on the move, the Cowboys are going to want to keep Gallup to play with CeeDee Lamb, Cedrick Wilson and if they franchise tag TE Dalton Shultz then the Cowboys will still have a very potent offense.

The free agent corners and safeties are a nice mix of young studs and veteran leadership. Some of these players are asking for a lot of cash from potential suitors and depending on the teams financial situation may get what they're asking for. Here are the best available defensive backs up for grabs.

courtesy of CBS Boston

  • J.C. Jackson: Jackson has become one of the most coveted defensive backs in free agency after the year he had with the Patriots. Every team could use a cornerback like Jackson but only one team will get him. The 49ers should be at the front line to grab this young stud as San Francisco needs to upgrade their secondary. I know the Saints would love to get Jackson but they don't have the cap space to pull it off. The teams I believe are the front runners to get Jackson other than the Niners are the - Bengals, Ravens, Jaguars, Vikings, Seahawks

  • Stephon Gilmore: Just like J.C. Jackson, the 49ers would love to sign the 2019 defensive player of the year, Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore has been forgotten by many in large part due to injury. But this guy is still a top level cover corner and he will be receiving offers from plenty of teams including the Panthers to keep him along side Jaycee Horn. Watch for the - Seahawks, Falcons, Vikings, Eagles, Colts, Ravens

  • Tyrann Mathieu: The Honey Badger is still one of the best in the game at age 30. He became the leader of the Chiefs defense and is looking to lead another defense to a Super Bowl championship. He'd be a great fit with the Baltimore Ravens who need a leader in the secondary. Other teams with interest are the - 49ers, Colts, Raiders, Cowboys, Seahawks or even back with the Arizona Cardinals.

  • Marcus Williams: Another young stud from the Saints top 5 ranked defense. Williams played a big part in keeping teams from throwing the long ball against them. He'll be only 26 years young when the 2022 season begins. So he may be looking at a long term lucrative deal. His best fit as a player may actually be with the Falcons as their defense compliments what Marcus Williams strengths are as a two high safety. Atlanta has had to deal with Williams twice a year for the past 4 seasons and know how good he is. If the Falcons don't get the young safety then look for the - Cardinals, Texans, Jets, Buccaneers, 49ers, Commanders, Chiefs, Ravens

  • Carlton Davis: Davis is the type of player that can take on an opposing teams top target away for the majority of the game. What team wouldn't want that!? He's a great combination of strength and quickness. Tampa would be foolish to let him go but if they do the Jets, Chargers and even the Jacksonville Jaguars all have cash to spend and Davis would be a great guy to spend it on. The 49ers are definitely in the mix along with their division rivals Cardinals and Seahawks. The Jets are going to get one of these corners and safeties and they may start with Carlton Davis.

  • Casey Hayward Jr.: Hayward's play dropped off a bit a couple of seasons ago as the Chargers released him and the Raiders picked him up on a one year deal last season. Hayward (32) has plenty left in the tank as he regained his Pro Bowl form last season in Las Vegas. Hayward likely won't get a long term contract but he may get a sweet two year contract loaded with incentives. The Chargers may want their former corner back in the mix. However there may be some bad blood between the player and franchise so I doubt he'll go back to L.A. even though they could use him. I can see the Jets or Bengals signing Hayward but I think he'd be great for another L.A. team. The Rams don't have much to spend but if they can get Hayward at a discounted price then the Rams could run it back. Again the Jaguars should be in the mix for Hayward because he won't cost too much and he'd be a great veteran fit for this young team.

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