With the offensive explosion taking place in the NFL, having a dominant pass rusher is more important than ever. Getting to the quarterback is the easiest solution toward stopping offenses, as the teams that put pressure on the quarterback force mistakes and create turnovers. The top four teams in pressures and seven of the top 10 teams in sacks made the playoffs this season, so having a strong pass rush is paramount to success. 

Five of the pass rushers in this year's free agent class ranked in the top 10 in sacks this season, so there's plenty of talent to go around for a team to improve its pass rush. These players will command a high salary, as the price is worth it to immediately improve the defense and make a run at the playoffs -- and perhaps a deep postseason run. 

Free agency is a month away, but teams are already looking at their salary cap space in order to get their hands on these pass rushers set to hit the open market (you can also take a look at our rankings of the top free agent quarterbacks, wide receivers, running backs, and offensive tackles). This is a deep class of free agent pass rushers, and here are the top ones available come March 15, when teams can start negotiating with them: 

(Note: Market value is ranked by Spotrac)

Shaquil Barrett

Free-agent ranking: 1

Age: 28

Market Value: $19.7 million

Barrett didn't have the dominant sack season like he had in 2019 when he led the NFL with 19.5 sacks, but the outside linebacker is due for a huge payday come March. Barrett ranked sixth in the NFL with 42 pressures despite having just eight sacks on the year -- and he tied for the NFL lead in hurries with 24. Barrett made his money in the postseason, having four sacks and 14 pressures for the Super Bowl champions -- including 11 combined pressures between the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl LV. 

Barrett has 27.5 sacks since joining Tampa Bay at the start of the 2019 season, the second-most sacks in the NFL in that span. He's going to get one of the biggest contracts for a pass rusher in free agency and is the premier player at his position on the market. 

Leonard Williams

Free-agent ranking: 2

Age: 26

Market Value: $11.2 million

Williams signed his franchise tag last season and earned every penny of that $16.1 million he received from the Giants. Williams, listed as a defensive tackle on the Giants' depth chart, was one of the best interior defenders in the NFL -- finishing with a career-high 30 quarterback hits and 11.5 sacks in his first season under defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. Williams' 42 pressures and 12 hurries were third amongst all defensive tackles (behind only Aaron Donald and Chris Jones) and his 30 quarterback hits led all players at his position. 

One full season with the Giants made trading a 2020 third-round pick worth it for Williams. Williams deserves to get a huge contract in New York, but will it happen? If not, some team will be paying top dollar for one of the best interior pass rushers in the NFL.