2022 NFL Offseason Series: NFC West

2022 NFL Offseason Series: NFC West
Assessing the upcoming offseason for each 2022 NFC West team, broken down by division, including projected cap space, players under contract, notable free agents, potential extension candidates, franchise tag possibilities, & trade/cut options.

Offseason Division Pieces

Arizona Cardinals

Projected Top 51 Cap Space: $20M

Under Contract (36): FULL ROSTER

2022 Dead Cap: $384k

Notable Restricted Free Agents: Michael Dogbe (DE, 25)

Notable Unrestricted Free Agents: James Conner (RB, 26), Christian Kirk (WR, 25), Chandler Jones (OLB, 31), A.J. Green (WR, 33), Zach Ertz (TE, 31), Maxx Williams (TE, 27), Chase Edmonds (RB, 25), FULL LIST

Franchise Tag Candidate: James Conner (RB, 26), potential $8M transition tag.

Draft Picks: R1, R2, R3, R5 (COMP), R5 (COMP), R6 , R7, R7 (COMP)

Extension Candidates

Kyler Murray (QB, 24)
Murray’s production has diminished in the second half of the season, but he’s done enough to show there’s a real future with him at the helm. With that said, is this team inline for a coaching change in 2022? If so, paying the QB early might not make sense. Murray projects to a 6 year, $260M extension currently.

Chandler Jones (OLB, 31)
There’s not a huge precedence for 31+ edge rushers cashing in, but Jones is the pass rusher that keeps on giving. There are a lot of mouths to feed in Arizona, and JJ Watt being under contract through 2022 could mean Jones is allowed to test the open market, but it seems likely there’s a $14M+ deal for him somewhere next season.

Potential Trades/Cuts

Andy Isabella (WR, 25)
The #62 overall pick from 2019 has 31 career receptions, including just 1 in 2021. The guarantees on his rookie contract ended last season, meaning there's actually $1.1M of cap space to be freed up if Arizona were to move on.

Tanner Vallejo (LB, 27)
Small potatoes here, but Vallejo is a role player with a near $2M cap hit in 2022. There's $1.66M to be freed up.

Matt Prater (P, 37)
Prater's cap hit more than doubles to $4.5M in 2022, putting the 37 year old on the soft bubble (assuming the Cardinals can find a viable replacement). Moving on means freeing up $3.575M of cap space.

Los Angeles Rams

Projected Top 51 Cap Space: $5M

Under Contract (44): FULL ROSTER

2022 Dead Cap: $242k

Notable Restricted Free Agents: Matt Gay (P, 27), FULL LIST

Notable Unrestricted Free Agents: Von Miller (OLB, 32), Sony Michel (RB, 26), Odell Beckham, Jr. (WR, 29), Brian Allen (C, 28), Austin Corbett (G, 26), FULL LIST

Potential Franchise Tag: None.

Draft Picks: R3 (COMP), R4 (COMP), R5, R6 (COMP), R6 (COMP), R6 (COMP), R7 (MIA), R7

Extension Candidates

Matthew Stafford (QB, 33)
It hasn’t exactly been the storybook year (yet) some predicted for Stafford and the Rams once the trade became official. Still, the 33 year old is Top 5 in Yards, Yards/Attempt, TDs, Rating, & QBR. There’s 1 year, $23M left on his current contract, and it’s conceivable the Rams let that play out as is, but an extension this offseason seems more likely. Mathematically speaking, Stafford is a $42.5M QB currently.

Von Miller (OLB, 33)
Miller hasn’t been as much of a factor in the pass rush since joining the Rams as he’s been during his Broncos tenure, but at nearly 33 years old, those days are likely in his rearview mirror. He’ll be asked to become a more versatile edge defender now, and projects to a 2 year, $18M extension.

Odell Beckham, Jr. (WR, 29)
Working in the slot in LA has upped OBJ’s opportunities (and TDs), but it’s hard to see him in a bigger role than this - no matter the team. With Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods locked up, and Van Jefferson showing enough to utilize his rookie contract value, OBJ’s days in LA are likely numbered. He projects to a 2 year, $11M contract currently.

Potential Trades/Cuts

A'Shawn Robinson (DT, 26)
Still a very productive player, Robinson finds himself here because he's one of the only contracts on the Rams' roster with a sizable 2022 cap hit, and decent savings if moved on from. A simple base restructure is a more likely solution here (especially with a $1M roster bonus already fully guaranteed), but there's $5.5M of cap space to be freed up if LA moves on.

San Francisco 49ers

Projected Top 51 Cap Space: $9.9M

Under Contract (32): FULL ROSTER

2022 Dead Cap: $3,9M

Notable Restricted Free Agents: Daniel Brunskill (OL, 27), FULL LIST

Notable Unrestricted Free Agents: Laken Tomlinson (G, 29), D.J. Jones (DT, 27), FULL LIST

Franchise Tag Candidate: None.

Draft Picks: R2, R3, R4, R5, R6 (DEN), R7 (COMP), R7 (COMP), R7 (COMP)

Extension Candidates

Deebo Samuel (WR, 25)
As just a pass catching WR alone, Samuel projects toward an $18M contract. Factor in 300+ rush yards, nearly 7 yards per attempt, and another 7 TDs to the mix, and it stands to reason Samuel will be the next $20M+ contract in the league. If the plan is to move on from Garoppolo’s big contract and turn the keys over to the rookie QB, this extension should be a slam dunk.

Nick Bosa (DE, 28)
Bosa becomes extension-eligible after 2021 and is having the kind of season the 49ers have been waiting for since selecting him #2 overall in 2019. With that said, his total resume falls well behind that of Watt, Garrett, or his brother currently, providing a calculated valuation currently sub-$20M. Is this a reasonable expectation? No. If we put 2021 into it’s own box, Nick Bosa is a $25M pass rusher, so for now, that’s the idea to build upon.

Potential Trades/Cuts

Jimmy Garoppolo (QB, 30)
For the most part, the Niners stuck to their guns in keeping Trey Lance on the sidelines for the majority of 2021. Garoppolo responded with a very Garoppolo-like season, good enough for most teams to appreciate, but likely not enough to keep him in San Franc's plans going forward. With just $1.4M of dead cap against a $27M cap hit, there's $25.6M to be freed up in trading or releasing the veteran QB.

Dee Ford (DE, 30)
Ford has struggled with a back injury for quite some time now, but the Niners stuck with him in 2021, opting to restructure his contract in March to move some dollars around. There's an injury guarantee on his $4.6M roster bonus due next April 1, but assuming he can pass a physical before then, the 49ers can free up about $2M by moving on.

Samson Ebukam (OLB, 26)
Ebukam has shown flashes of high production in 2021, but the 2nd year of his contract was always to be considered a bit of an option, as his cap figure jumps from $3.7M to $8.25M. There's $6.5M to be freed up by moving on.

Seattle Seahawks

Projected Top 51 Cap Space: $53M

Under Contract (37): FULL ROSTER

2022 Dead Cap: $1.8M

Notable Restricted Free Agents: Blessuan Austin (CB, 25), FULL LIST

Notable Unrestricted Free Agents: Duane Brown (LT, 36), Quandre Diggs (S, 29), Rashaad Penny (RB, 25), Alex Collins (RB, 27), Gerald Everett (TE, 27), FULL LIST

Franchise Tag Candidate: Quandre Diggs (S, 29) projected $13M

Draft Picks: R2, R3, R4 (NYJ), R4, R5, R7

Extension Candidates

D.K. Metcalf (WR, 24)
After a sizzling 2020, Metcalf (and the entire SEA offense) has come crashing back down to earth this season. With Russell Wilson’s future in doubt, and Tyler Lockett recently locked in, an early extension for Metcalf probably doesn’t make financial sense just yet, even if he does appear to be the real deal. The 24-year-old value just under $18M per year right now.

Bobby Wagner (LB, 31)
Wagner is nearing the end of his 3rd contract in Seattle, and for the most part the numbers look like a carbon copy of each other over the past 4 seasons. WIth that said, there’s absolutely no precedent for a 32 year old off-ball/middle linebacker garnering serious money at this stage of his career. Will he become a $5M player who still produces $15M numbers?

Russell Wilson (QB, 33)
Russell Wilson is an injured QB trying to finish out a bad season for a bad team. If we take all of that aside, it would still be crazy to see a team trade him away at age 33. Contractually Wilson has 2 years, $51M remaining, and projects to a 3 year, $126M extension - so it’s big money wherever you look.

Potential Trades/Cuts

Bobby Wagner (LB, 31)
Wagner probably belongs in the extension grouping, but the uncertainty of the Seattle roster as a whole puts everything in question. His $20.35M cap hit for 2022 is intolerable, and there's $16.6M to be freed up by moving on, but a restructured extension to lower this figure and keep the 10 year vet in Seattle seems the most likely path forward.

Christopher Carson (RB, 27)
Carson's extension was essentially a one year deal in terms of guarantee structure, and a serious neck injury now has his future in question. The contract holds $3M of dead cap against a $6.4M cap hit in 2022, but with Rashaad Penny & Alex Collins slated for free agency, there's a chance he sticks for one more year.

Jason Myers (K, 30)
Myers' consistency has fallen off of a cliff in 2021, and his $5M cap figure may be too rich to tolerate. With just $1M of dead cap on the final year of his contract, Seattle likely opts for the $4M saved here.

Kerry Hyder (DE, 30)
Hyder's cap figure nearly doubled ($3.7M) in 2022, putting him on a soft bubble this offseason. There's $2M to be freed up in moving on.