Super Bowl LVII is upon us, with the Chiefs and Eagles set to square off in a battle of the NFL's most explosive contenders. But in the meantime, the rest of the league is earnestly preparing for the offseason, with free agency, trades and the 2023 NFL Draft all on the horizon.
First up is the veteran market, where all 32 clubs will be pressed to prioritize their own internal free agents. From Lamar Jackson to dozens more, here's a look at the most important free agent for each and every team going into the offseason:
The Cardinals aren't exactly overflowing with long-term building blocks, and Allen, 25, has improved every year as a relative mainstay on their defensive front. A year after emerging more as a presence in the pass rush, he logged a career-best 5.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss and 19 quarterback hits despite missing four games due to injury.
Winning starts in the trenches, and McGary is fresh off an impressively graded run as the team's starting right tackle. He's a bit older for a first-time free agent, going into his age-28 campaign, but with 62 starts in four years, you can't ask for much more experience. The rebuilding Falcons need to keep the front intact for whichever QB could potentially be on the way.
This one's more self-explanatory than all the rest. Jackson has his issues, namely the fact he's now missed at least five games due to injury in back-to-back years. His playoff resume remains unfortunately thin, especially as a passer. But he's also just 26, with an MVP under his belt and nearly unmatched electricity as a dual threat when healthy. If the Ravens won't pay him to stick around long term, then someone else will happily take the risk, even if it means restructuring their offense around him.
Fellow defensive starter Jordan Poyer is the bigger name, but Edmunds' value was accentuated by his brief absence this year. Unlike Poyer, who is going on 32 and fresh off his own injuries, the former first-rounder has lots of green grass in front of him. Still just 24, Edmunds has logged five straight seasons with at least 100 tackles as a rangy centerpiece of their defense.