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Top 10 Free Agents for 2023

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By Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)

Welcome back Dynasty Owners. If you are anything like me, then you are already missing the fantasy football season. Yes, we got to watch two Conference Championship games on Sunday and have the Super Bowl to finish this season, but it feels a little different when I don’t have any fantasy stakes on the line. This is expected, but it’s also a time to shift your focus for Dynasty Owner. While we can’t look forward to fantasy scoring, we can be preparing for our rookie drafts or can be making trades that will help us next season.

In addition (and maybe more importantly), we should be paying attention to all the offensive free agents for the next half year. There are a plethora of players who I have in a Google Sheets document right now who I deem to be free agents worth tracking this off-season. In all, I listed and will be closely following 51 free agents. Obviously, this doesn’t include every single skill position free agent. For example, I didn’t include players like Nick Mullens ($2,000,000) or D’Ernest Johnson ($1,216,500). With those 51 players in mind, I narrowed it down to my Top 10 Free Agents for this 2023 off-season. Here is the list and my initial thoughts on each of these players.

RankPlayerPositionStatusPrevious Salary
1Saquon BarkleyRBUFA$7,217,000
2Tom BradyQBUFA$15,000,000
3Josh JacobsRBUFA$2,983,350
4Tony PollardRBUFA$796,945
5Lamar JacksonQBUFA$23,016,000
6Daniel JonesQBUFA$6,416,014
7David MontgomeryRBUFA$1,003,845
8Geno SmithQBUFA$3,500,000
9Miles SandersRBUFA$1,337,544
10Alexander MattisonRBUFA$867,793

All of the free agents are unrestricted free agents (UFA), meaning that they have played for four or more season and are free to negotiate and sign with any team. Right off the bat you will also notice that there are zero wide receivers or tight ends on this list. My top three wide receiver free agents this year are JuJu Smith-Schuster ($3,250,000), Allen Lazard ($3,986,000) and Jakobi Meyers ($3,986,000). I don’t think many people would consider this a strong receiver market. This is a far cry from last year when we had players like Davante Adams ($28,000,000), Mike Williams ($20,000,000), Chris Godwin ($20,000,000) and Christian Kirk ($18,000,000) headed towards a free market. In the same way that 2022 was a great off-season for wide receivers, this off-season is fantastic for running backs.  In fact, six of my Top 10 free agents are running backs.  Let’s get into it…

Saquon Barkley

Barkley finished as the RB5 in Dynasty Owner in 2022. He made a case for Comeback Player of the Year, and he also made a case for a serious pay increase. Saquon had the highest salary  ($7,217,000) last year for a free agent running back, and I have him making the most money out of any running back this off-season. Pencil him in for somewhere around $12.5 million per year.

Tom Brady

I hesitated to include Brady and to place him this high, but I think the uncertainty is why he’s there. Brady cost you $15,000,000 on Dynasty Owner last year. Despite making the playoffs, he had a disappointing real life football year. I honestly don’t know what to expect from Brady this off-season. My gut tells me that he won’t retire, and I don’t think he will return to the Buccaneers. If he does explore free agency and signs with a new team, I have a hard time putting him under $30,000,000 per year. This excludes the chance that he agrees to take less money for cap reasons.

Josh Jacobs

Jacobs is by far the youngest free agent running back when you rank the Top 30 by previous salary. He is 24 years old until February 11th. No one can argue that he’s earned a salary north of $12,000,000 per year.

Tony Pollard

Pollard being this high may be a surprise to some of you, but I love what I saw this season. He finished as RB8 despite having less rushes than 80 percent of the Top 25 running backs.  He is a hyper efficient running back who will likely find a new team this off-season. A leg injury in his final game does complicate his options, but based on recent reports he should be ready for the start of the regular season. Here is what I wrote about Pollard just a few weeks ago:

“I honestly don’t see the Cowboys keeping Pollard around next year. Let me explain…

The Cowboys seem to be blindly loyal to Ezekiel Elliott ($15,000,000). It’s not that Zeke is fully washed or that he is not useful, but rather that his salary implications cannot be overlooked. I believe that this loyalty will continue, and that Pollard will be squeezed out as he will demand more money than the Cowboys want to deliver. I can’t imagine the Cowboys will pay more than $20 million for their running back room.”

I still believe this to be true, and I look for Pollard to make $8,000,000 per year. Also keep an eye on the possibility of Pollard receiving the franchise tag from Dallas.

Lamar Jackson

This situation could go several different directions so I’m not going to speculate too much. I will say this: Lamar has earned a top tier contract with comps near Patrick Mahomes ($45,000,000), Josh Allen ($43,005,667) and Kyler Murray ($8,914,504 last year, which rises to $46,100,000 in 2023). It appears that $40 million is probably going to be the going rate. A franchise tag is also under consideration.

Daniel Jones

Jones has earned a middle tier quarterback contract. Derek Carr-type money is what I see Jones receiving next year. I think his range of outcomes are Derek Carr ($25,000,000) and Kirk Cousins ($33,000,000). I’m predicting Jones will return to the Giants.

David Montgomery

Monty had a dubious 2022 season as he finished as the RB23. Given his $1,003,845 salary, he was still a great value. The same will not be said at the end of the 2023 season. Whether he is playing for the Bears next year or not, I’m eyeing a James Conner-type contract (3 years /  $7,000,000 per year) for Montgomery.

Geno Smith

I can safely say that I’ve thought about Geno more than anyone on this list during this off-season. I find his situation fascinating, and that’s mainly because his fantasy production seemingly came out of nowhere. I think it only makes sense for Seattle to re-sign Geno for one more year. Yes, he had a fantastic season, but I’m not sure that one great season warrants a $40,000,000 contract over several years. I also don’t think the Seahawks will pay that much per season which excludes a franchise tag (roughly $45,000,000).

In the end, I say that Geno will accept a contract of around $23,000,000 for a single year. This will give the Seahawks the flexibility not to draft a quarterback in this upcoming draft. It will also give them a relatively cheap way of determining if he is their future quarterback.

Miles Sanders

The decision on Sanders will depend on how the Eagles finish this season and what they want to address in the 2023 NFL Draft. I’m on the side that thinks Sanders will return with a couple year contract. This makes the most sense to me as they have been mostly piecing together their running back room this season with Boston Scott ($1,750,000) and Kenneth Gainwell ($953,882) seeing plenty of playing time.

Alexander Mattison

I put Mattison at 10th on this list mainly for fun. He is a real wildcard in this free agent class. Mattison has consistently shown that when Dalvin Cook ($12,600,000) has to miss a game, he is able to provide very similar production. Do I think he can become a workhorse back for a team? Maybe not, but I also don’t see that as a possibility for Tony Pollard either. Mattison’s best case scenario is that he finds a high powered offense to join where he is the 1A or 1B running back on the team. A team like Miami would be a perfect fit. Either way, I don’t have Mattison getting much more than 220 touches next season.


I thank you all for reading. Throughout the off-season, I will be providing updates to this list. I will also be talking about many other free agents and free agent news as it becomes available. This is one of my favorite times of the year, and it reminds me why I started providing content in the first place.

Remember:  A Dynasty Owner’s job never stops.

Message me on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I would appreciate it if you followed @Dynasty_Owner on Twitter as well as subscribed to Dynasty Owner on YouTube. Thank you all. Take care and be safe.


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