There's one game left in the 2022 NFL season, as the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles will square off in Super Bowl LVII. That means the offseason is quickly approaching. And the first big milestone in preparation for the 2023 season is free agency.

We asked our NFL Nation writers to pick the one player from the team they cover whose contract status will shape that franchise's offseason the most. As you might have guessed, there are quite a few quarterbacks on this list, including the GOAT, a couple of stars from the AFC North looking to break the bank and an unexpected standout in the Pacific Northwest who'd like to get paid. But QBs aren't the only players on their list, as the NFL's leading rusher, several linemen and a few pass-rushers also made the cut.

So, which players will make and break the 2023 NFL offseason?


Buffalo Bills

LB Tremaine Edmunds

Safety Jordan Poyer was also a candidate, but we'll go with Edmunds here because of his age (24) and the fact that he is coming off his best season. Edmunds is vital to the Bills' defense alongside All-Pro linebacker Matt Milano and plays a key role against the run and the pass. Replacing him would be no easy task for a cap-strapped team, and the Bills appear more likely to re-sign Edmunds than Poyer, with general manager Brandon Beane saying of Edmunds, "Draft, develop, re-sign. Like where that guy has gone is, he's just been amazing to watch his growth ... very proud of who he is." 


Miami Dolphins

RB Raheem Mostert

Mostert got through the season relatively healthy and was the Dolphins' most effective running back all season. Although tight end Mike Gesicki will likely command more money through free agency than Mostert, Miami has no running backs signed for 2023 and limited capital to find one in the draft. From a leadership and production standpoint, it makes sense to bring Mostert back on at least another one-year deal. The Dolphins also will need to decide whether to extend defensive tackle Christian Wilkins this season or next, but the urgency is not quite as high with another year remaining on his rookie deal. 


New England Patriots

WR Jakobi Meyers

Meyers joined the team as an undrafted free agent in 2019, and he has emerged as a go-to target. Developing talent and retaining it is a core principle of successful teams, and that's why the Patriots are expected to be motivated to sign Meyers to an extension. It likely won't come cheaply, but he is the type of player and person Bill Belichick will want to keep to help build around QB Mac Jones.


New York Jets

QB Mike White

White's future with the Jets is complicated and cloudy. They view him as a high-end backup/low-end starter, but there might not be room if they acquire a veteran starter and retain Zach Wilson as a backup -- and the Jets have emphasized their desire to keep Wilson. White, who made $2.5 million in 2022, probably can command anywhere from $4 million to $8 million. Coach Robert Saleh likes to go three deep at quarterback, but this doesn't seem like a fit unless the Jets fail to secure a veteran or Wilson gets moved. -- Rich Cimini



Baltimore Ravens

QB Lamar Jackson

Ravens officials remain optimistic that after the season they can reach a new deal with Jackson, but it probably won't happen unless the star quarterback budges off his desire for a fully guaranteed contract. The most likely outcome is the Ravens placing the franchise tag on Jackson by March 7 to keep him from becoming an unrestricted free agent. Jackson would become only the third QB over the past decade to get the tag. Then the questions become: When does Jackson report to the team under the tag? And will the Ravens listen to trade offers for Jackson? 


Cincinnati Bengals

S Jessie Bates III

The free safety all but acknowledged this will be the end for him with the Bengals. Bates and the team spent two years in contract negotiations before he was given the franchise tag, a designation that Bates begrudgingly played on in 2022. With quarterback Joe Burrow's contract extension looming, it's nearly impossible to see the Bengals allocating cap space to sign Bates. The Bengals already have planned for a contingency scenario. Dax Hill, the team's first-round pick last April, got reps at free safety during the preseason while Bates had not signed the franchise tag. Bates is just 25 years old and could be in the mix for the high-priced contract he has pursued for years.


Cleveland Browns

C Ethan Pocic

The Browns entered the 2022 season expecting Nick Harris to be their starting center. After Harris suffered a season-ending knee injury in the preseason, however, Pocic took over and was outstanding. Harris remains under contract, but the Browns will likely make a strong push to re-sign Pocic to again anchor the middle of their elite offensive line. 


Pittsburgh Steelers

CB Cameron Sutton

The Steelers have a handful of additional free agents who will be key to retain, including defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi and safety Terrell Edmunds, but Sutton's versatility and Pittsburgh's lack of depth at corner make him the most crucial one. Sutton's 15 passes defended was tied for sixth in the league, and names ahead of him on that list include luminaries such as Jalen Ramsey, Sauce Gardner and Tariq Woolen. Sutton's versatility, fit and value to the defense will mean an upgrade of the two-year, $9 million contract he signed in March 2021.