The 2022 NFL free agency period is well underway. The official day to start is Wednesday, March 16, which is also the NFL’s new year. Before the beginning of the new league, the year started the tampering period on Monday, March 14. The tampering period is when players can speak with teams regarding contract negotiations. Since Monday, there has been a flurry of moves, and more are expected throughout the week. Today, we will provide grades on transactions made by four teams during free agency. Those four teams are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Baltimore Ravens, and the Kansas City Chiefs.
1. Baltimore Ravens
Ravens sign Safety Marcus Williams
The Baltimore Ravens signed Williams to a five-year deal worth $70 million. Some teams are known for identifying elite talent on either side of the football. Baltimore displays this trait with the signing of Williams. The former Utah standout spent his first five seasons with the New Orleans Saints and became known for his range as a safety and ability to locate overthrown passes by quarterbacks. He’s only 26-years old, and his best days as a football player are well ahead of him. His presence will be greatly needed for a Baltimore secondary that surrendered numerous big plays in the secondary last season.
Overall Grade: A
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Buccaneers sign Wide Receiver Russell Gage
On Sunday evening, Tom Brady announced on Instagram that he was unretiring and would return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. All of a sudden, the NFC is no longer wide open. However, the Bucs decided to add another weapon to Brady’s already dangerous arsenal.
According to ESPN, the team signed Falcons wide receiver Russell Gage to a three-year, $30 million deal with $20 million guaranteed. Gage emerged as a productive receiver in the Falcons’ passing game after their number one target Calvin Ridgley decided to step away from football to address personal issues off the field. From a skillset perspective, Gage is not Antonio Brown, but he is not far from it.
Overall Grade: B
3. Kansas City Chiefs
Chiefs sign Safety Justin Reid
Do you know what is unique about the enormous contract that Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes signed in 2020? He is not getting paid significant amounts of money in the earlier years of the deal, which allows the Chiefs front to replenish the roster with solid players. On Monday, former Houston Texans safety Justin Reid agreed to a three-year, $31.5 million deal that includes $20 million guaranteed with the Chiefs. The move to add Reid most likely means that all-pro safety Tyrann Mathieu’s days in Kansas City are coming to an end.
The Chiefs felt like they needed to get younger at the position with the addition of Reid. However, he has enormous shoes to fill as the projected starter at the safety position. Mathieu brought many traits to the Chief’s defense, such as leadership, ball-hawking ability, and tenacity.
Overall Grade: B
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jaguars sign Wide Receiver Christian Kirk
Before the start of the league’s tampering period, it was reported that the Jacksonville Jaguars were among the top teams with the most cap space. On Monday, Jacksonville made it known that they would be big spenders in the free agency market. On the bright side, the team is doing what they are typically supposed to do when a quarterback plays on a rookie deal.
Front offices usually spend money in free agency to surround the young quarterback with elite talent on both sides of the football. In need of a wide receiver to uplift their struggling offense, the Jaguars sign former Cardinals wideout Christian Kirk to a four-year, $72 million contract with the Jaguars on March 14, 2022.
Kirk’s production while DeAndre Hopkins recovered from an injury is why he was awarded the deal with the Jaguars. He finished the season with 77 receptions, 982 yards, and five touchdown scores. On our recent 2022 NFL top 25 free agents on offense power rankings, Kirk came in at 18. However, he will be compensated like players ranked much higher such as Allen Robinson, Chris Godwin, and Mike Williams.
Many league analysts have questioned the significant amount of money that Kirk will receive to become Jacksonville’s primary option in the passing game in 2022. Historically, wide receivers transitioning from a number two option to a primary target tend to struggle. Will that be the same fate for the former Arizona Cardinal? The 2022 season in Jacksonville will tell us everything about this transaction. These are your 2022 NFL free agency period grades for certain signings made by the Buccaneers, Jaguars, Chiefs, and Ravens.
Overall Grade: C
Show Your Support
Support the Strike 7 Sports platform’s growth by heading to Fanatics.com and purchasing officially licensed gear from the National Football League. Each purchase made through the text link below goes into the funding of the Strike 7 Sports brand. To proceed, click on the link below and enjoy shopping over at Fanatics.
Get the latest stories on the NFL directly to your inbox by signing up for the Strike 7 Sports NFL Newsletter. Sign up here.