NFL Free Agency: Ranking the Top 5 Free Agent Wide Receivers in 2022

Among this year's NFL free agents, wide receivers claim some of the biggest names set to hit the open market led by Davante Adams in 2022. Who rates atop the talent pool at the wide receiver position?
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NFL Free Agency: Ranking the Top 5 Free Agent Wide Receivers in 2022

With just one week remaining of the 2021 NFL season, we've taken a look at the upcoming NFL free agent market in 2022. Among some of the biggest names in the NFL will be the list of free agent wide receivers this offseason. We have the top free agent wide receivers in 2022 ranked here.

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Top 5 Free Agent Wide Receivers in 2022

5. Odell Beckham, Jr., Los Angeles Rams

OBJ has had a rollercoaster of a career through his first eight NFL seasons, and 2021 has been representative of that in a nutshell. After playing in six games with the Browns, in which he tallied just 17 catches for 232 yards (0 touchdowns), he was waived and signed with the Rams. Since then, Beckham has turned 25 catches into 287 yards and 5 touchdowns. His receptions and yards per game are up, and he seems to have rediscovered some value as an offensive weapon.

The thing is, if this is the extent of what he brings to the table it makes him more of a top second receiver on a team rather than a lower-level number-one or better -- and that's exactly what the other names on the top free agent wide receivers list are. At 29, and with a slew of injuries in his recent past, Beckham's market value is something like a two-year deal at $5.7 million a year, according to Spotrac. He's a candidate to return to L.A., but he might also look to jump to another contending team like the Buccaneers or Bills.

4. Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers

This, his fifth season, has been a breakout one for the Chargers' large-bodied target. For the first time since 2019, Williams has surpassed 1,000 yards, doing so on a career-high 67 catches on his way to a personal-best 375 yards after catch and a total of 8 receiving scores.

The 27-year-old has shown his ability to be a number-one receiver, especially for a team lacking capable red zone targets. The Chargers could opt to bring him back in a similar role, but either way, it will have to be a team with some sizable space. Williams comes with a market value of $16.3 million per year and should fetch a three- or four-year deal at his age. The Jaguars, Colts, and Dolphins are among those squads that could vie for his services as one of the top free agent wide receivers in 2022.

3. Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears

As with Williams, A-Rob is another big target with the repertoire of a number-one receiver on basically any team out there. He's spent his time in Jacksonville and Chicago proving just as much despite lackluster and unseasoned quarterback play on the throwing end. And after being tagged by the Bears, it's very unlikely the 28-year-old would return, even if Justin Fields has shown flashes. Over 11 games, Robinson has been limited to a mere 36 catches for 388 yards and what would be a career-low 1 touchdown if not for his 1-game season back in 2017.

Robinson will be in search of a top-tier quarterback and a more pass-friendly scheme. The Patriots could be at the top of that list, and they will be joined by the likes of the Dolphins, Raiders, or Colts, all of whom have more cap space. After all, a player of Robinson's caliber could be worth north of $16.5 million a year as one of the top five free agent wide receivers in 2022.

2. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Believe it or not, but of the top names, unless you're counting JuJu Smith-Schuster, Godwin is the youngest of the top free agent wide receivers available. He will turn 26 in late February, and after playing on the franchise tag he will be looking for a decent payday -- that's despite a torn ACL and MCL, which he just had repaired to set him on track for recovery this offseason.

Health aside, Godwin has proven to be a spectacular receiver in the NFL. In two of the last three seasons (both in 14 games), he has amassed no fewer than 1,100 yards with 21 touchdowns in that three-year stretch. This year, he earned an 81.3 grade, according to Pro Football Focus. That's why Spotrac has him down for a projected $91.6 million contract over five years. It's hard to tell if that will come to fruition post-injury, but there will likely be other teams -- outside of Tampa -- looking to recruit a rock-solid receiver. The previously mentioned teams are in play, but a team with a young quarterback -- like the Bears or Jets -- could also be in play given the patience they would need around Godwin's injury.

1. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers

To say Adams is the cream of the crop is an understatement. Not only is he at the top of this list, but he's arguably the best, most-skilled receiver in all of football. He's a five-time Pro Bowler, one-time All-Pro, and has now accounted for more than 1,300 yards in three of the last four seasons. In that span, he's also totaled 47 touchdowns as Aaron Rodgers' go-to guy in the red zone (and in all situations, for that matter).

How and why is he due to be an unrestricted free agent then? After signing a $58 million deal back in 2018, Adams' contract is set to expire as he and the team were unable to agree on a deal. Reports suggest that Green Bay could franchise him for 2022 at a value of roughly $20.14 million, but if he's technically a free agent why not entertain the possibilities.

Where Rodgers ends up could dictate whether Adams stays or goes, or it could point to where he'll land as the two could be a package deal of some kind. Either way, teams will be lining up for him and his world-class skillset. Based on his market value of roughly $26.5 million a year, 13 teams can be eliminated off the bat as their cap situation currently stands. The Chargers and their likely cap space are one of the more intriguing spots, along with the Raiders and Buccaneers. Who knows -- maybe even the Ravens could get involved and give Lamar Jackson a true number-one to work with in 2022? It will be interesting to see what pans out for Adams as he ranks as the number one free agent wide receiver in 2022.

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Brett Oswalt has been writing about sports for five years, has covered everything from the NBA to College Football DFS, and previously served as an editor at numberFire. He is a Senior Workforce Planning Analyst at Highmark by day, and an avid sports fan and girl-dad by night. He resides in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife, Marley, daughter, Aria, and goldendoodle, Braun.

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