NFL Free Agency Primer: Marcus Davenport

The regular season has come to a close, and most teams have already begun the complicated process of preparing for the 2023 season. In the coming months, we'll be covering the impending free agents most capable of shifting the balance of power in the NFL.

The Player: Marcus Davenport

Perhaps no pass rusher set to hit free agency has the ceiling of New Orleans Saints Marcus Davenport. The 14th overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft has had an up-and-down first five seasons in the pros, but players with his elite physical tools don't come around every day. His 21.5 sacks in 63 career appearances may not be particularly impressive, but he has earned Pro Football Focus grades of 70.0 or better every year since coming into the league, even climbing as high as 88.8 in 2021.

The Fit:

Davenport is a well-rounded defensive end who has yet to play a true starter's workload in his career. He'll command a major contract that his traditional counting statistics will make hard to justify. He should target a team where he can excel at a low profile. He would fit in as a complementary piece across from a star pass rusher or as a versatile cog on an already solid defense.

The Cost:

Davenport could avoid the franchise tag given the level of player he is and the fact that the Saints currently sit $55 million above the 2023 salary cap per overthecap. As an effective, if not prolific, edge rusher, he could flirt with a deal similar to the five-year, $87.5 million deal signed by Harold Landry last year. Despite comparable production and superior grades, he probably doesn't have the status or perceived upside to top the $22 million per year Bradley Chubb landed from the Miami Dolphins during the 2022 regular season.

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