MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A pair of former West Virginia football players and current NFL standouts have been listed among the top players set to enter free agency this offseason, according to Pro Football Focus.
The top among them is quarterback Geno Smith, who checks in as the second-best player available on the free-agent market, according to the website. Smith set career-highs in passing yards, touchdowns, and completion percentage this year, and helped lead the Seattle Seahawks to their first playoff berth since 2020. He also earned the first Pro Bowl selection of his pro career.
Linebacker David Long Jr., currently with the Tennesee Titans, is also set to hit the open market this offseason. Long tallied a career-best 86 total tackles, including a career-high seven tackles for loss, intercepted two passes, and came up with 13.5 stuffs this season.
According to PFF, Smith is the second-best player and quarterback available this offseason, trailing only Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. Smith, however, has stated that he hopes to return to Seattle.
Long is rated as the 12-best player to become a free agent this offseason. PFF views him as the second-best free agent linebacker behind Tampa Baylor Buccaneers’ former All-Pro Lavonte David.
Long and Smith are both rated as better free agent options than household names like Josh Jacobs (RB – LVR), Saquon Barkley (RB – NYG), Patrick Peterson (CB – Min), and Jadeveon Clowney (EDGE – CLE).
According to the popular sports contract website Spotrac.com, Long comes off his rookie deal with a calculated market value of a $4.9M average annual salary. The website projects a two-year deal for the former Mountaineer linebacker.
Spotrac projects a much bigger payday for Smith, which is not surprising since he plays the most in-demand position in American sports. The website has calculated his market value at a $39.3M average annual salary. Smith is also projected to receive a two-year contract, according to the website.
The NFL’s free agency period begins just over two months from today, at 4 p.m. ET on March 15.