At the end of a turbulent seven years in Dallas, defensive end Randy Gregory will hit the free agent market in 2022. Gregory is something of an enigma. He is undoubtedly talented, as he ranks 12th in PFN’s 2022 free agency rankings, but he has a couple of major red flags for teams to consider. Let’s examine some predictions for Gregory’s market value and potential landing spots this offseason.
Predictions for Randy Gregory as a free agent in 2022
Gregory’s career has been quite the roller coaster. Between injuries and suspensions, he has never quite hit the height the Cowboys hoped for when they drafted him in the second round back in 2014. However, we have seen flashes, including 6-sack seasons in both 2018 and 2021, despite missing a combined seven games across the two years.
The red flags are there, though. Gregory has never played a full season in his career and has just 16.5 sacks through 50 games. However, he is undeniably talented, which is reflected in Gregory’s market value estimation from Spotrac. Entering free agency, Gregory is projected to earn just short of $40 million across three years. That would put him in a similar region to the deal signed by Matthew Judon with the Patriots last year. Let’s take a look at some predictions for which teams could look to sign Gregory this offseason.
The Cowboys have stuck with Gregory through it all. They have benefitted somewhat in terms of how his troubles have meant they could keep him on the roster at a cheaper price, and now they may very well have to pay up. The Cowboys are not flush with salary-cap space, so they may just have to see how the market for Gregory shapes up. If the cost does not get out of control, it would not be a surprise to see Gregory playing with a star on his helmet again next season.
If he wants to remain in Texas, the Texans could be an option for Gregory. Houston has a lot of free agents all over their roster, and Gregory’s versatility would be useful in helping to fill some holes either off the edge or in an off-the-ball role at times. The Texans don’t have a lot of cap space, either, so if they have the best offer on the table, then the Cowboys should be able to match any reasonable proposal.
The Colts are flush with cap space and have a need for a pass rusher this offseason. That could be a perfect combination for a team that could be heavily involved in the free agent market this offseason. Moving on from Carson Wentz’s contract has left the Colts in a nice position. They need to address the QB position, but this team likely views itself as a contender in 2022. Gregory could certainly help that.
The Broncos would be an intriguing fit for Gregory. Again, the versatility he has demonstrated will help him as the Broncos look set to utilize a predominantly 3-4 system this year. The Broncos are expected to be in the market for both Chandler Jones and Von Miller. However, Gregory could be a nice option if the price on those two climbs above where the Broncos are comfortable.
On that roster, Gregory would be a valuable member of the pass rush. He would also be surrounded by some solid veterans, which is the structure he ideally needs after his troubles in Dallas. The Broncos are in win-now mode, and Gregory could very much help them achieve that.
The Jaguars are another team with the cap space to make this move. The big question is whether they feel Gregory is a long-term enough option for them as they might be at least a season or two away from challenging. If not, saving the money and investing it in an extension for Josh Allen might be a wiser option.
It is hard not to link the Dolphins to every free agent available. They have needs dotted all over the roster and the cap space to make the moves. Additionally, the Dolphins are in a position where they could be challengers in 2022. They came close to the playoffs last season after a poor start. Adding a veteran piece like Gregory could be a boost for them at the only position on their defense with a glaring need.