NFL Free Agency 2023: Boom-or-Bust (2023)

NFL Free Agency 2023: Boom-or-Bust (1)

Published: Mar 10, 2023 at 01:56 PM

NFL Free Agency 2023: Boom-or-Bust (2)

Maurice Jones-Drew


Free agency is fast approaching, officially starting at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 15, which is when NFL teams will start shelling out big bucks for veterans who make a difference. With the new season on the horizon, I wanted to highlight 10 boom-or-bust free agents, with high-low scenarios discussed for each player.

Player name Pos. Team
Odell Beckham WR Los Angeles Rams

BOOM:OBJ is making a full recovery from his second ACL injury and providing a dynamic element to a needy offense, just as he did for the Los Angeles Rams in their Super Bowl, recording 48 receptions for 593 yards and seven TDs in 12 games. , including the playoffs. Even at 30, Beckham still possesses the skill set and talent to win against most defenders, helping an offense shine in 2023.

BUST:Beckham has had two ACL surgeries since 2020 and hasn't played since Super Bowl LVI. Despite visiting several teams in late 2022, OBJ was not ready to play in the regular season, which ultimately prevented him from signing. In the failure scenario, he is unable to return to the explosive receiver he was early in his career and during the Rams' title run.

BOOM:Playing on the franchise tag in 2022, Brown helped the Chiefs return to Super Bowl glory. Now, the best offensive tackle available in free agency will be worth the best price, and if he's put in an offense similar to Kansas City's, one that relies on the run and utilizes play action, the money spent on Brown will be worth the price. grief.

BUST:Brown was outplayed many times as a pass protector in Kansas City. That's not to say this huge lineman just can't get the job done, but his new quarterback needs to be able to move around in the pocket. Brown's inconsistencies could be further magnified if he lands on an offense that relies on the traditional dropback.

Player name Pos. Team
Jadeveon Clowney OLB Cleveland Browns

BOOM:In a fresh start, Clowney lines up against a top pass-rusher, just as he did in Cleveland, though his recent comments derailed that relationship. After playing 63 percent of the defensive snaps in 2022, the veteran is used as a rotating pass-rusher in a reduced role (SEE: Brandon Graham's production in 2022), but he becomes much more impactful than he was in his performance. from two sacks last season. .

BUST: The days of being a pass rusher on every attempt are long gone, but his new team still tries to use him that way. The veteran, who has never had double-digit sacks in a season, takes on a more prominent role but doesn't quite make the impact of a big-money pass-rusher.

Player name Pos. Team
Marcus Davenport OF New Orleans Saints

BOOM:The former first-round pick generates a lot of power to break down blockers in the backfield on his way to the quarterback. The best-case scenario is that the pass-rusher ultimately stays healthy for an entire season and goes broke looking for an emerging contender.

BUST:It is simple. Five years into his pro career, Davenport has never played a full regular season. He appeared in a career-high 15 games for him in 2022, making nine starts, but only had half a sack when it was all said and done. His inability to stay healthy, which has undoubtedly played a role in him starting only 32 of the 63 game appearances of his career, continues to prevent him from being an impact player up front.

Player name Pos. Team
Jimmy Garoppolo QB san francisco 49ers

BOOM:Garoppolo is a proven winner, going 38-17 as a starter in San Francisco and leading the 49ers to a Super Bowl. In the best case scenario, Jimmy G proves that he can not only win with Kyle Shanahan, and Josh McDaniels/Bill Belichick in New England before then, but can thrive with another play-caller, one who crafts an attack that suits them. his virtues.

BUST:He has enjoyed success as an NFL starter under top offensive minds, completing 67.6 percent of his passes and posting an 87:42 TD to INT ratio in 74 career games. He struggles to keep his game consistent in a new environment, playing with what will almost certainly be a less talented supporting cast.

Player name Pos. Team
Mike Gesicki THE Miami Dolphins

BOOM:Gesicki joins a team that uses his strengths as a route runner and space blocker. By joining a spread offense -- one with fewer dynamic weapons that won't steal their targets, as Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle did in Miami -- Gesicki has the ability to enjoy a productive year as a great playmaker in the slot.

BUST:Joining a run-heavy offense won't fit Gesicki's skill set. He's not the George Kittle type who loves to move defenders off the line. Getting bogged down in a more physical role will limit him as a playmaker in the passing game.

Player name Pos. Team
Allen Lazard WR Green Bay Packers

BOOM:Endorsed by Aaron Rodgers as the Packers' No. 1 receiver in 2022, Lazard posted career-highs in receptions (60) and receiving yards (788) along with six touchdown catches. With postseason experience, the sixth-year wide receiver has the ability to make big plays to help take an offense to the next level when paired with a consistent quarterback.

BUST:Lazard could be in line to make good money in a weak receiver market. However, what will it look like for him with a quarterback not named Aaron Rodgers, whom Lazard has played with his entire NFL career? Lazard could turn out to be just another guy. In fact, that feels like the likely scenario to me.

Player name Pos. Team
Patrick Peterson CB Minnesota Vikings

BOOM:Peterson is coming off his best season in years, intercepting five passes (the second most in a season for his career) for a Vikings defense that ranked ninth in takeaways in 2022. The eight-time Pro Bowler finds a team who mostly plays zone, with top-tier pass-rushers creating opportunities to spark trades in the secondary. The veteran frontman has thrived in that environment in the past, and he would do so again in 2023.

BUST:Assuming he was once elite, Peterson's days of facing No. 1 receivers for 60 minutes are over. He's likely to become a liability if routinely asked to cover men at this stage of his career, though he could stand out sporadically.

Player name Pos. Team
Miles Sanders RB Philadelphia Eagles

BOOM:Sanders is coming off the best year of his career, in which he rushed for 1,269 yards and 11 touchdowns on 259 carries (4.9 yards total). The Pro Bowler continues to find success in 2023 as a playmaker between the tackles and the passing game, bringing balance and important playability to an offense in need of talent.

BUST:Sanders had his best season alongside MVP candidate Jalen Hurts, who was the focal point of the Eagles' top-five running attack. Without a dual-threat QB to demand attention in the running game, Sanders' production is back to around 800 rushing yards per season.

Player name Pos. Team
Jamaal Williams RB Detroit Lions

BOOM:The energetic veteran leader picks up right where his record-breaking 2022 campaign left off. On the heels of his league-best 17 TD career season, Williams continues to be a valuable goal-line and short-yardage rusher.

BUST:One team is looking to use Williams as more than just a short-distance running back. Turning 28 in April, he doesn't have the same burst he displayed early in his career and loses his job as an all-down running back before halfway through the season.

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