In these last weeks before the 2023 NFL draft, free agents tend to drift into the background of league-wide conversations.
Still, we might see a few players exit the open market.
The juxtaposition to acknowledge is, at this point, the higher tiers of free agents may be comfortable waiting for the draft to finish. That way, they have a more accurate view of the expected roster.
Many players don’t have that luxury, though. Signing now—even at a bargain rate—could be a current free agent’s best chance at staking a claim to a roster spot for the 2023 season.
Carson Wentz, QB
Carson Wentz, right now, is not a solution.
Both the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Commanders can attest to that statement. Wentz, who might’ve won the MVP if healthy in 2017, did not spark either franchise as hoped over the last two years.
Given his recent history, Wentz can hardly command a long-term contract. However, the Arizona Cardinals are in a perfect spot to see if there’s any value left in him because Kyler Murray (knee) is expected to miss at least some portion of the 2023 season.
The best-case scenario is he performs well enough for a couple of months. Arizona can trade him before the deadline, presuming Murray is close to returning from his injury.
The worst-case scenario is Wentz has another uninspiring year, and the Cards have a bad record.
But the latter is the expectation anyway. The risk is minimal.
Projected contract: 1 year, $8 million
Kenny Golladay, WR
Why not take a swing on upside?
Back in 2018 and 2019, Kenny Golladay surpassed the 1,000-yard mark and peaked at 11 touchdowns. That production then persuaded the New York Giants to give him a big-money contract, which—to put it lightly—did not result in the impact New York anticipated.
Entering his age-30 season, the 2023 campaign is basically a make-or-break moment for Golladay.
The recent numbers are not encouraging; he caught just six passes last season. In theory, however, Golladay is still in the back end of his athletic prime. If there’s a moment for a resurgence, it should be now.
As of today, the Tennessee Titans are tracking to start Treylon Burks and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine but have a whole lot of uncertainty behind them. None of Kyle Phillips, Racey McMath or Reggie Roberson Jr. have 10 receptions in their young careers.
Golladay, like Wentz, does not fix this issue. But there’s a sliver of hope on the horizon and no long-term danger.
Projected contract: 1 year, $2.5 million