Germaine Pratt, Linebacker
Three years, $21 million to re-sign with the Cincinnati Bengals
Bengals fans were ready to say goodbye to Germaine Pratt, who was expected to cash in for a big contract after his breakout season. Instead, Pratt is back at a discount and Vonn Bell, the player most fans expected back, is gone. Pratt is a three-down linebacker and was one of PFF’s highest-graded players at the position in 2022. Tremaine Edmunds just got $18 million a year. While he is obviously worth more than Pratt, the gap is not $11 million. Alex Anzalone, a decent starter, received three years and $18.75 million today. Assuming Pratt continues his play from last season, Cincinnati is getting high-level starter play and continuity in the middle of their defense for a very modest price.
Andre Dillard, Offensive Tackle
Three years, $29 million to sign with the Tennessee Titans
The Tennessee Titans desperately needed offensive line help of any kind. Instead of paying up for one of the high-profile tackles like Jawaan Taylor, Orlando Brown Jr., or Mike McGlinchey, all of whom will receive close to $20 million annually, the Titans dipped into a cheaper bucket with Andre Dillard. The former first-round pick never got a fair chance due to the remarkable development of Jordan Mailata and has just as high of an upside as the three aforementioned players. Dillard is not an obvious scheme fit with Tennessee’s heavy outside zone rushing offense, but starting-level tackle play is worth it regardless. He could massively outperform this contract and is a great low-risk, high-reward signing.
TJ Edwards, Linebacker
Three years, $19.5 million to sign with the Chicago Bears
One of the first signings of free agency is one of the best fits. Chicago’s front seven was the worst in football last year and needed reinforcements. TJ Edwards was the leader of the Philadelphia Eagles’ NFC champion defense. He is a great run defender that has made massive strides in coverage in his career. A Wisconsin product, Edwards will slot in perfectly in Chicago’s Midwest, cold weather culture. His $6.5 million price tag is very affordable, especially compared to the Bears’ other signing at linebacker. Edwards will be an immediate impact player and leader as Chicago revamps its defense through its spending spree.
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Edge Rusher
Three years, $19 million to sign with the Cleveland Browns
The Browns’ defensive line was one of the worst position groups in the NFL last year, and Okoronkwo will provide an immediate boost to the pass rush next to Myles Garrett. Okoronkwo saw a rise in snaps with the Houston Texans and had a breakout season. He recorded five sacks, 36 pressures, and an 81.9 pass-rush grade from PFF. While he is a lighter edge at 253 pounds, Okoronkwo thrived, including as a run defender, in Houston’s 4-3 system after starting his career with the Los Angeles Rams in their 3-4. That experience will carry over with Cleveland. The Okoronkwo signing gives Cleveland the flexibility to bring back Jadeveon Clowney or let him go, and immediately raises the floor of the front seven.
Ethan Pocic, Center
Three years, $18 million to re-sign with the Cleveland Browns
Ethan Pocic stepped in as the Browns’ starting center after JC Tretter retired, and Nick Harris suffered a season-ending injury in the preseason and was spectacular. He found his home in Kevin Stefanksi’s scheme, and it allowed him to be one of the most consistent centers in football. Pocic’s PFF grade of 79.0 was the second-best in the AFC, only behind Creed Humphrey. Cleveland is getting borderline elite center play at the same price tag as players like Nick Gates, who signed with the Washington Commanders for three years and $16.5 million, Bradley Bozeman, and Brian Allen.