The initial days of free agency were a seller's market as usual when players received the most lucrative contracts. The pendulum has swung in the other direction since the first wave is over. It's now a buyer's market. Nearly all of the consensus best players available at the start of free agency have been signed.
The NFL annual owners meeting, which is March 26-29 in Phoenix, typically signifies the end of free agency for all practical purposes. Teams will devote most of their attention to the upcoming NFL Draft held April 27-29 after the meeting wraps up.
Here are 10 contract-related thoughts and observations relating to free agency and the early part of the offseason.
1. Philadelphia freedom
The Eagles got to Super Bowl LVII with a deep and talent roster that's strength was on the offensive and defensive lines. As expected, multiple starters, particularly on defense, have left in free agency. The biggest blow was losing defensive tackle Javon Hargrave. He was expected to price himself out of Philadelphia after he had a career-high 11 sacks in 2022, which was fourth in the NFL among interior defensive linemen. He went to the 49ers, who the Eagles beat in the NFC Championship Game, on a four-year, $80 million deal with $40 million fully guaranteed.
The Eagles lost starting linebackers T.J. Edwards and Kyzir White. Edwards signed a three-year, $19.5 million contract with the Bears that has $12.025 million in guarantees. White received a two-year, $10 million deal (worth up to $11 million with incentives) from the Cardinals.
Both starting safeties left as well. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson reportedly overplayed his hand by turning down a multiyear contract from the Eagles early in free agency. After the Eagles went in a different direction with the money, he took a one-year, $8 million deal from the Lions. Marcus Epps signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the Raiders containing $10.34 million of guarantees.
The losses aren't nearly as substantial on the offensive side of the ball. Running back Miles Sanders took a four-year, $25.64 million contract from the Panthers. Offensive guard Isaac Seumalo reportedly signed a three-year, $24 million deal with the Steelers.
The Eagles were able to keep one of the league's best cornerback duos together. James Bradberry returns on a three-year, $38 million contract where $20 million is fully guaranteed. Darius Slay went from the chopping block to getting a three-year deal worth $42 million with $24.5 million fully guaranteed.
Seasoned veterans Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham are returning to the defensive line on one-year deals worth $10 million and $6 million, respectively and 35-year-old center Jason Kelce has decided to put off retirement for at least one year. He is making $14.5 million in 2023.
There is some continuity in the rushing attack with running back Boston Scott coming back on a one-year, $2 million contract. Raashad Penny is a low-cost addition to the backfield with upside provided he stays healthy. He signed a one-year, $1.35 million deal with $750,000 in incentives.