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NFL Free Agency: Ranking the Top 5 Free Agent Guards in 2022

Ranking the Top 5 Free Agent Guards in 2022. As teams look to beef up their run game, and better support a play-action offense, they'll turn their attention to adding talent at the guard spots. Which players are at the top of wish list for those teams?
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NFL Free Agency: Ranking the Top 5 Free Agent Guards in 2022

Offensive guards don't get the same type of hype that offensive tackles do, but they're an extremely important part of each team's offensive success. When it comes to guards, it's important to get big, athletic guys that can anchor the interior of the line but also get out in space in the run game.

This year, the 2022 free agency class has a bunch of high-end talent available at the offensive guard position. Who are the best players your team can sign? Brett Oswalt take a look at the top five guards available in this year's free agency class.

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5. James Daniels, Chicago Bears

Daniels has flown fairly under the radar through the first portion of his NFL career. After being drafted in the second round, the 6'4" center-turned-guard has started 10, 16, 5 and 17 games over the last four years. He's yet to post a Pro Bowl campaign, yet he earned a 71 grade from Pro Football Focus this year, having allowed three sacks and nine penalties. He did so in protecting a rookie quarterback for a large part of the year on an otherwise weak offensive line.

Having said all that, Daniels will turn just 25 in September. According to Spotrac, he's due for his first substantial payday, given a $7.3 million per year market value, and what should be three- or four-year contract. Most of the league could afford a young lineman at that cost, but the Dolphins are the prime candidate for any and all offensive linemen on the free agent market. The Texans and Panthers could also be in the running, in addition to an Eagles team looking to replace the retired Brandon Brooks.

4. Austin Corbett, Los Angeles Rams

Like Daniels, Corbett is a guy in search of his first big deal, and he should have his options. At 26, he is coming off a year in which he posted a 68.8 PFF grade. And though that's not the best, he limited his defensive counterparts to three sacks with only five penalties. Oh -- and did I mention him and his team are in the Super Bowl?

After playing a vital role on a successful, balanced offense, Corbett could demand roughly $8.7 million a year on a deal that would lock him down for four years, taking him to his age-30 season. He has played both guard spots, so he appeals to a ton of suitors. It's possible that the Rams re-sign him, but don't rule out the Chargers, Steelers or Seahawks.

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3. Alex Cappa, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Speaking of Super Bowls, Cappa is a winner of one himself. Although he was injured for three of the Buccaneers' four playoff games during their championship run, he did a lot to get them to that point. In playing Tom Brady's protector, he started all 16 regular season games for a team that limited opponents to 22 sacks and finished the year second in passing yards.

2021 saw Cappa post a 74.2 PFF grade, having allowed five sacks and committed a penalty on just one occasion. He's as solid a right guard as you can find on the market, and at 27 years old he is in the heart of his prime. With Tom Brady moving on, it might be time for him to move on to someone like the Bengals, Colts, Broncos or one of the previous candidates. Either way, Spotrac sees him getting just under $11 million a year across a three- to five-year span.

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2. Brandon Scherff, Washington Commanders

At 30 years old, Scherff is clearly the elder statesman of this bunch. But the thing is, he's produced at an elite level during his professional career, having notched five Pro Bowl appearances (including this year) and one season in which he was selected All-Pro. This past season in Washington, he was able to avoid a single sack against in his 700 snaps, earning a 73.6 PFF grade across 11 starts.

The Dolphins, Texans, Chargers and Jaguars could al take a crack in reeling in the veteran right guard, but Miami does own the largest cap space so it might be up to them when all is said and done. After all, Scherff is pegged at a 12.9 million market value -- likely to get a two- to three-year deal given his age.

1. Connor Williams, Dallas Cowboys

Williams comes with some intrigue and mystery, but the upside is quite evident. Though he was benched at a point this season, he has converted from tackle to guard and could end up in either position for his new team. At the moment, the 24-year-old profiles as a left guard worth north of $13 million a year, comparable to the contract Cleveland's Wyatt Teller signed in a similar situation, which could span four years (maybe three depending on his outlook) and take him up to his final big contract if his solid play continues. Despite the benching and a problem with penalties (15), he was marked at a 76.1 PFF grade with a single sack on 948 snaps.

Depending on the team, Williams could end up a guard or tackle in 2022. And because of that, it's hard to pinpoint who might be among the frontrunners for his services. To name a few, the Dolphins, Chargers, Bengals and Broncos could make a move. Denver is as likely as any destination because of their recent commitment to the run and the bright future of Javonte Williams. He demands the most attention because of his proven work and potential value in future seasons.


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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