The official start to the 2022 NFL season is quickly approaching with the league year and free agency opening at 4 p.m. on March 16. Teams will be able to begin signing free agents and any trades agreed to prior to the new league year will become official starting on that date.
There are a couple of other key dates to remember before the league year officially kicks off. Teams had to designate franchise players by March 8. The NFL also has a legal negotiating window from March 14-16 when teams can start contacting and negotiating with the agents of unrestricted free agents. We’ll hear of some deals breaking throughout that window, even though they can’t become official until 4 p.m. on March 16.
With that said, it’s time to start breaking down the 2022 free agency class, which includes top offensive linemen like Terron Armstead, Brandon Scherff, and Ryan Jensen. Be sure to follow Fantasy Points throughout free agency for in-depth breakdowns of every major (and minor) move. We’ll be tracking every off-season transaction from a fantasy perspective through our “Off-season Tracker” articles and Graham Barfield’s “Fantasy Fallout” pieces. We’ll also be constantly updating our Best Ball rankings if you’re looking to get an early start to draft season.
Top Unrestricted Free Agents
Duane Brown (Sea, 37) — The Seahawks are in a transition state heading into free agency after they traded Russell Wilson to the Broncos in early March. Seattle would love to bring back their left tackle for a sixth season in the Pacific Northwest, but the franchise will need to land a quarterback to make it worth his time. PFF graded Brown as the 37th-best offensive tackle out of 83 qualifying players, and they’ve graded him as the league’s fifth-best tackle in 2020 and the sixth-best tackles in 2018. He graded out slightly better in pass protection, allowing eight sacks and 33 pressures in 552 opportunities last season. He hasn’t missed a game in three of his last four seasons in Seattle, and he’s logged full seasons in nine of his 14 seasons. Brown likely doesn’t want to be a part of a rebuild with the Seahawks so they’re going to need to make a splashy move at quarterback to keep him around.
Eric Fisher (Ind, 31) — Fisher had arguably his best year with the Chiefs in 2020 before he ruptured his Achilles in Kansas City’s AFC Championship Game victory over the Bills. Kansas City’s offensive line got embarrassed two weeks later against the Buccaneers, and the Chiefs tore down their offensive line a month after that by releasing long-time tackles Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz. Fisher signed with the Colts and he made it back to the starting lineup by Week 2, but he wasn’t the same as he was the year before with the Chiefs. PFF graded Fisher as the 46th-best offensive tackle out of 83 qualifying players, which was his worst mark since his first and second seasons in the league. He allowed seven sacks and 41 pressures in 457 opportunities last season, so it’s no surprise he graded as a better run blocker for the first time since 2016. Adam Schefter reported in early March that Fisher wouldn’t be re-signing with the Colts, and Fisher could end up becoming the backup plan for any team that misses out on Terron Armstead in free agency.