Levi ChappellComment

The NFL Offseason: Breaking News & Likely Landing Spots For The Top Remaining Free Agents

Levi ChappellComment
The NFL Offseason: Breaking News & Likely Landing Spots For The Top Remaining Free Agents

There are still some really big names out on the free agent market. I will break down the most likely landing spots for each of the top remaining free agents.

Edited: By the time I finished writing this article last night to this morning, quite a few of the top free agents had already signed.  

1. Lets start with the big fish... Kirk Cousins, QB:

It looks as though the Vikings and the Jets remain the two top options to sign him. The Vikings have the cap space and the talent to attract Cousins. But... The Jets have a ridiculous amount of money to offer. He will get an offer that will approach 30 million annually. Cousins is meeting with the Vikings today. 

Likely landing spot: Minnesota or NYJ

Longshot: N/A

2. Drew Brees, QB: 

The Saints finally closed down a two year. $50 million deal with Brees. Look for the Saints to be contenders for at least another two years. 

Landed in: New Orleans

3. Case Keenum, QB:

Keenum has signed a multi-year deal with the Denver Broncos. The details of the deal are not available yet. Keenum will look to get the Broncos back into playoff contention.

Landed in: Denver

4. Jimmy Graham, TE:

The Seahawks have decided to move on from Jimmy Graham and their are two spots that make sense to me. The first being New Orleans. How awesome would it be as a football fan to watch Brees throw to Graham again. They had a fantastic partnership and it makes a lot of sense.

The other option that makes some sense is the Green Bay Packers. If there is one thing that Aaron Rodgers has not had in his career, that is a top level TE. Although Jimmy may not quite be the same player he was before, he can obviously still be a huge redzone threat. 

Likely landing spot: New Orleans or Green Bay

Longshot: N/A

5. Andrew Norwell, LG:

Its looks as though the best offensive lineman on the market will be signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The deal if $66.5 million over 5 years with $30 million guaranteed. This is a great move for Jacksonville. Keep Bortles upright and bolster that running game. 

Landed in: Jacksonville

6. Trumaine Johnson, CB:

The Rams traded for Aquib Talib and Marcus Peters, therefore making Trumaine Johnson expendable. Johnson is the best cover corner on the market and probably the best overall CB. There is always a market for good coverage cornerbacks. 

The Rams franchise tagged him the past two years and now he is set to make a huge payday in free agency. There are two teams that I could see offering him that payday. The first being the Browns. The Browns secondary was awful last year and they have money to spend. Johnson could help the Browns in a big way.

The second spot is the Green Bay Packers. Their secondary performed poorly last year as well. The defense as a whole needs some major upgrades for Green Bay and Johnson could be the first step towards that. 

Likely landing spot: Cleveland or Green Bay

Longshot: Oakland, Houston

7. Nate Solder, LT: 

Maybe the most important part of the offensive line, Solder will command a big salary from the free agent market. I think the best spot for Solder is to stay in New England, but we all know what happens when a Patriot wants top dollar... they are no longer a Patriot the next season. 

A couple of teams with an offensive line need and cap space that appear to be good fits for Solder would be the Browns (ya, they have a lot of needs) and the Broncos. The Browns offensive line was better last year, but still not great. A solid LT could be a huge upgrade, especially for a mobile QB like Taylor. 

The Broncos QB play was very poor last year, but not all of that can be attributed to the QB's themselves. The offensive line underperformed and the signing of Solder could allow the Broncos to move Bolles around the offensive line.

Likely landing spot: Cleveland

Longshot: Denver, Cincinnati, New England

8. Malcolm Butler, CB: 

What a weird ending to the season it was for Butler who played one snap in the SuperBowl. He did not have as great of a year in 2017 as he did in years past, but he can still play at a high level. The front runner to sign Butler would be the Saints who tried to work out a trade for him last year with the Patriots. Butler would be paired with Lattimore and could form quite a formidable secondary. 

The Raiders, Texans, and Lions are also teams who need some help in the secondary and have expressed interest in a top level CB. 

Likely landing spot: New Orleans or Oakland

Longshot: Detroit, Houston

9. Allen Robinson, WR:

It looks as though Chicago has found their number one WR. The deal is for three years and $42 million, $25 million of which is guaranteed. This could help an offense that had trouble moving the ball at times. It will also help the development and growth of Trubisky. 

Landed in: Chicago

10. Sammy Watkins, WR: 

The Kansas City Chiefs now have two legitimate deep threats in Tyreek Hill and now Sammy Watkins. The deal is worth $48 million over three years with $30 million guaranteed. This gives new QB Patty Mahomes another capable playmaker on the offense. 

Landed in: Kansas City

11. Teddy Bridgewater, QB:

Bridgewater is in a weird situation as far as the free agent market is concerned. He was a pro-bowler, he had a devastating knee injury, and he is only 25. Make your own assumptions based on those facts. But no team seems to have Bridgewater as their top QB, so therefore he will have to wait for some chips to fall before he may get a call. I would consider him a backup plan for a couple of teams. The first team that comes to mind is the Buffalo Bills. They recently traded Tyrod Taylor and our now in the QB market. Nathan Peterman did not look ready for the NFL and a rookie QB will also take some time to develop. The Bills will most likely draft a QB, but if they sign Bridgewater, it will give them some insurance. If he returns to good form, the Bills may have found their franchise QB, and if not, the Bills have get to sit the rookie for a year or two and let him grow and develop. 

The other team that makes some sense is the New York Jets. If they miss out on the Cousins sweepstakes, they will have a couple of options. Re-sign McCown and draft a QB, or sign someone like Bridgewater who has some upside and also draft a QB. I think the Jets will take Baker Mayfield with the 6th pick... but having Bridgewater could help the immediate future. 

Likely Landing spot: New York or Buffalo

Longshot: Almost anywhere

12. Preston Brown, LB. 

I think Preston Brown is one of the most underrated linebackers in the NFL. He has 512 tackles over his first four seasons and has never missed a game. Yet, like Running backs, linebackers do not get paid top dollar. Three teams come to mind as potential fits for Brown. First being his "current" team, the Bills. He could make somewhere around 7 million a year, which does not sound like too much for a tackling machine. Buffalo has had a good defense and Brown has been a large part of that.

Second is the Patriots, whose defense was nothing but patchwork last year. Plugging Brown in the middle of that defense could help immensely. But we will have to wait and see if the Patriots would be willing to spend that much money on a free agent LB. 

The last logical destination would be the Pittsburgh Steelers. They need some youth and speed at the linebacker position ever since Ryan Shazier's unfortunate injury. Brown could help fill the void that was left after Shazier exited the lineup. 

13. Sam Bradford, QB:

Bradford is injured more often than he is healthy... but teams are still willing to shell out money for him. He may very well get some sort of 1-2 year "prove-it" type deals. There is also a very small chance that the Vikings do not sign Cousins. They may believe that Bradford gives them a better chance to win than Keenum. 

Most recently though, the Bills have jumped into the "QB-needy" group of teams. Which means the Bills will most certainly be interested in Bradford. Lets not forget that the Bills have a playoff caliber roster with some aging players, so there may be an emphasis on winning now. 

Likely landing spot: Buffalo or Arizona

Longshot: N/A

14. Tyler Eifert, TE:

Once considered a top-tier TE in the league, injuries have derailed Eifert. When healthy, he may still be a top TE, especially in the redzone, but can you really count on him? Like we see with a lot of players though, injury history aside, teams will pay for upside and potential. I see a couple of teams that could be options for Eifert. The first being the Bengals. He has had some fantastic seasons there, it will just all depend on what price tag he has. 

The second team is the Patriots. Gronk has had his own injury history and the Patriots have a good history with two tight end sets. That would be quite the TE duo. 

The Seahawks will also be in the mix for a TE. Nick Vannett is the starter as of right now and I am sure the Seahawks will look for options, including Eifert. 

Likely landing spot: Cincinnati or Seattle

Longshot: New England, Oakland 

15. Dion Lewis, RB:

Dion Lewis will have quite a few different teams pining for his talent. Although the price tag of RB's has dropped over the past couple of years, the position itself is still very valuable. RB is a major need for quite a few different teams so the possible destinations for Lewis is long. Lets start with Jets who have plenty of cap space. Matt Forte has retired and now they are in need of a playmaking RB.

Next is the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts could use a "bigger" back seeing as how they already have Marlon Mack on their roster, but they could still try and sign Lewis for a dynamic 1-2 punch. 

I can also see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers making a strong push for him. Pairing Lewis with up-and-coming RB Peyton Barber could be good for both players and it would allow the Bucs to disperse the load evenly. 

Other teams that could be involved are the Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans, and San Francisco 49ers. 

Likely landing spot: Tampa Bay or San Francisco or New York Jets

Longshot: Tennessee, Cleveland, Oakland, Indianapolis

16. Muhammad Wilkerson, DE:

Teams will always be willing to shell out money for pass rushers and there are a lot of teams in need of a pass rusher. When Wilkerson puts in the effort, he can be a pro bowl caliber player. But he has been inconsistent over the past couple of years. Two teams come to mind when discussing pass rush needs. First off are the Chiefs. Although Wilkerson is not as young as he used to be, he can still be a solid player that could impact the Chiefs defense from day 1. 

The second team is the Washington Redskins who were below average at rushing the passer last year. Wilkerson also brings some "girth" to the defensive line to help with run defense. 

Likely landing spot: Kansas City or Washington

Longshot: Oakland

17. AJ McCarron, QB:

The QB-needy teams seem to be shrinking day-by-day. The amount teams that are vying for McCarron's services are shrinking. When AJ won the grievance to become a UFA, it looked as those the Browns would be the front-runner to sign him. Once the Browns traded for Tyrod Taylor though, the possible destinations shrunk to about 2 teams. The Bills may be a possibility for McCarron to finally get a starting gig. 

The more likely destination would be Arizona. The Cards will have their options of mid-level QB choices. Bradford, Bridgewater, and McCarron will all be options. McCarron offers a bit of youth and upside that Bradford does not. 

Likely landing spot: Arizona or Buffalo

Longshot: Miami, NYJ

18. Trey Burton, TE:

It looks like Trey Burton has found a starting job. Chicago is likely signing him to a reported four year, $32 million deal. Chicago is trying to load the offense with as many weapons as possible. 

19. Sheldon Richardson, DT:

Much like his former New York Jets teammate Muhammad Wilkerson, Richardson can be a dominate force when he applies himself and gives 100%. The problem is that he does not do this consistently. There is a reason that the Jets sent away Richardson and Wilkerson. The Seahawks could try and keep Richardson to pair with the "new-look/overhaul" Seahawks defense. Richardson will require a hefty contract though, and the Seahawks may not be able to afford him.

The Browns will also be in the running. The Browns need help at almost every position and Richardson could be a major factor along that defensive line. The Browns also have excess cap space and money to spend. 

The Indianapolis Colts could also use Richardson's services as well. The Colts defense was awful in 2017 and a big body could help in a lot of ways. 

Likely landing spots: Cleveland or Seattle

Longshot: NYJ, Tampa Bay, Indianapolis, Atlanta

20. Jerick McKinnon, RB:

Jerick McKinnon may be a sneaky good signing for a team. He is only 25 years old and produced very well for the Vikings after Dalvin Cook went down with an ACL tear. The teams that are serious contenders for McKinnon's services are most of the same RB-needy teams that I have listed above. The Raiders, Jets, Patriots, and possibly Seahawks could be potential landing spots. The Marshawn Lynch experiment did not work in Oakland and a dynamic runner like McKinnon would be a nice addition for Carr.

The Patriots could be looking to replace Dion Lewis with someone who is similar. The Jets need a capable runner, and the Seahawks simply need someone who can stay healthy and churn out some yards. 

Likely landing spots: Oakland or Seattle

Longshot: New England, Oakland