2022 NFL Free Agency: Players set to break the bank

2022 NFL Free Agency - Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) celebrates a second quarter touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings during their football game Sunday, January 2, 2022, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-WisconsinApc Packvsvikings 0102220977djp
2022 NFL Free Agency - Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) celebrates a second quarter touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings during their football game Sunday, January 2, 2022, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-WisconsinApc Packvsvikings 0102220977djp /
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2022 NFL Free Agency
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA – NOVEMBER 28: Tua Tagovailoa #1 of the Miami Dolphins fumbles the ball after being hit by Haason Reddick #43 of the Carolina Panthers during the second quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on November 28, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

2022 NFL Free Agency: EDGE Haason Reddick

As it seems to be the issue with most jack-of-all-trade defenders from the onset, Haason Reddick struggled to find his true role, as he played more inside linebacker in his first three seasons. Then the Arizona Cardinals moved him to outside linebacker and the rest was history.

The former Temple Owl blew up, tallying a 12.5-sack 2020 season, followed by an 11-sack 2021 in his debut with Carolina. Since 2020, only T.J. Watt (37.5), Myles Garrett (28), Trey Hendrickson (27.5), and Aaron Donald (26) have more sacks than Reddick (23.5).

Reddick is being used far more now as a pass-rushing specialist. After being targeted on 104 snaps in coverage over 2018-19, going to more of an edge rusher role only put him in line for 29 targets in coverage over the last two seasons. So Reddick’s best bet is to sign with a team that allows him to play out that role again, most likely for a 3-4 base defense.

So where could he end up? Reddick is in a unique spot with an edge market that is interesting to say the least. Von Miller and Chandler Jones are both up for new deals, but at 32 and 31, respectively, is either set for a huge, long-term payday? Harold Landry and Randy Gregory each had standout 2021 seasons, but will they garner big deals after years of up-and-down results?

Landing spot prediction: Denver Broncos

As much as I could see Carolina re-signing Reddick so he can stick with his former college coach Matt Rhule, the Panthers will have a tough time keeping him around, especially with fellow edge rusher Brian Burns set to command a big deal before 2024 and will most likely have his fifth-year option picked up as well.

With Miller sent off to the LA Rams to win a championship last season, Denver is in need of an edge rusher opposite Bradley Chubb. But signing Reddick could also be a fallback option in case things don’t pan out with Chubb.

Although ultra-talented as a former No. 5 overall pick, Chubb has had struggles with injuries in recent years. He missed all of the 2019 season with a torn ACL and then he only played in seven games in 2021 due to an ankle injury. Sandwiched in between, though, was a Pro Bowl 2020 campaign.

So the hope is that a deal for Reddick gives Chubb a running mate like he once had in Miller. Maybe they end up becoming the next dynamic duo of edge players in Denver; that formula seemed to work out well with Miller and DeMarcus Ware. I predict that Reddick takes a deal in the three- or four-year range, as he could receive a deal for a $15.3 million average, according to Spotrac.

Denver also has a ton of cap space — entering the 2022 free agency, the Broncos have over $39 million in spending money, which ranks fifth in the NFL.