Former LSU Standouts Set to Become NFL Free Agents
NFL free agency will be here soon.
Officially kicking off on Wednesday, March 16th, at noon, many of the league's best available players will ink contracts with new teams.
What will the market be like?
Much better than the previous season.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the 2021 NFL salary cap was $182.5.
In 2022, it is increasing by $25.7 million for all teams, with the cap officially set at $208.2 million for next season.
Between the 32 NFL franchises, that's an added $822.4 million in cap space to work with.
Last season, LSU had 47 former players on NFL rosters.
A number of those players are set to become free agents in 2022.
Here is a look at 8.
Fournette's two-season run with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers proved he can still offer any NFL team production after a tenure in Jacksonville that failed to reach the high expectations surrounding Fournette when he was selected 4th overall. Is a return to Tampa in order? Or will he join a contender?
Fournette's reliable backup at LSU has been a reliable backup and occasional starter in his 4 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, which includes 14 touchdowns and a Super Bowl ring.
Many feel LSU wasn't able to get the most out of Chark's potential when he was in Baton Rouge. It didn't take him long to make an impact in the NFL. Drafting in the 2nd round of the 2018 draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars, he earned a Pro Bowl selection in 2019. He missed the majority of the 2021 season with an ankle injury, which could impact his market.
Odell Beckham Jr.
Beckham got his wish last season when he was released by the Cleveland Browns and signed with the Los Angeles Rams. He is now a Super Bowl champion, though he suffered a torn ACL in the big game. Prior to the injury, he proved to be effective in the Rams offense.
Gage has developed a lot since his rookie season. He can be a solid #3 or mid-tier #2 wide receiver for a team in need of wide receiver depth.
Turner was one of the best guards in the NFL for the Carolina Panthers from 2014-2019, earning 5 straight Pro Bowl selections. After 1 season with the L.A. Chargers and one with the Pittsburgh Steelers, his free-agent market is likely to settle in well after the early wave of big signings.
After 10 amazing seasons with the Arizona Cardinals that earned him a spot on the 2010s NFL All-Decade team, cornerback Patrick Peterson didn't fare as well in his one season with the Minnesota Vikings in 2021. He elected to sign a one-year deal last offseason, understanding the salary cap would increase in 2022. Will the gamble payoff?
The Honey Badger's impact on the Kansas City Chiefs defense over the last three seasons is a big reason the team made three straight Super Bowls. Although he'll be 30 next season, the market for Mathieu will be ripe as one of the best available safeties in free agency.