When Does NFL Free Agency Start 2022? Date, Free Agents and More

The NFL shield logo is seen at midfield at SoFi Stadium.
The NFL shield logo is seen at midfield at SoFi Stadium. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NFL fans, I know it’s always a bittersweet moment when the confetti falls in the Super Bowl. A victor is crowned, a chapter of NFL history is written, and then the page is turned in preparation for a new year.

The long months without football begin. So, let’s give the people something to look forward to.

NFL Free Agency Date: March 16, 2022 

At 4:00 PM ET on March 16, the new league year will begin. With it, free agency will open, and the mad dash to sign top-end talent will ensue. It has the potential of being total chaos, with the impending Aaron Rodgers situation consuming much of the media attention. 

There are plenty of big names that will be coveted options in free agency this year. On the offensive side of the ball, teams looking for help on the line will be making their runs at Brandon Scherff, Nate Solder, Cam Robinson, Terron Armstead and Andrew Norwell.

For teams looking for playmakers, there are some big wide receiver names out there, with none bigger than Davante Adams. Aside from him, Chris Godwin and Allen Robinson will be two big names to watch. 

It’s on the defensive side of things where a lot of help can be found this year. Von Miller, Chandler Jones, Tyrann Mathieu, Stephon Gilmore, Jason Pierre-Paul, Akiem Hicks and Devin McCourty top the list of free agent defenders that could be on the move.

Which Teams Have the Best and Worst Cap Space Situations?

Firstly, let me preface this by saying that the cap is a myth. Teams manage to shift money around in a variety of ways. That said, having more cap space is better than not having cap space.

The Miami Dolphins, fresh off their new head coach hiring, lead the NFL with $64.6 million in cap space this offseason. They’re in a great position to surround quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with talent and, more importantly, protection. They should be major players in free agency this year.

Behind the Dolphins are the Los Angeles Chargers, which should be scary for the rest of the AFC West. Justin Herbert is a superstar quarterback, and the Chargers will have $57.5 million to play with in helping Herbert lead the Chargers to the playoffs.

The Bengals, coming off a Super Bowl appearance, have the fourth-most cap space heading into next season, which is great news for the Cincinnati faithful. 

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the New Orleans Saints are in a lot of trouble. Their head coach Sean Payton stepped down, they have major questions at the quarterback position, and they’re $76.1 million over the cap heading into free agency.

The Packers, who are facing Aaron Rodgers questions and have superstar wide receiver Davante Adams set to hit free agency, have the second-worst cap situation at $48.4 million over the cap. 

NFL free agency has the possibility of shifting the landscape for the 2022 season, with plenty of names and dollars expected to be on the move.