2021 NFL Free Agent Landing Spots

The NFL offseason is amongst us, and it is time for each organization to attempt to better themselves for the upcoming season. Every year it seems there are a few moves that really put teams to that next level. A la Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or even Stefon Diggs being traded to the Buffalo Bills. Right now we are going to ignore trade deals right now and just look at free agency.

Once again we have plenty of big names that are going to most likely be in new homes. While none may be the level of Tom Brady the list is still a very talented one.

NFL Free agency
JuJu Smith-Schuster

By this point I am pretty confident in JuJu not coming back to the Steelers next season. Plenty of teams will be calling for his talents but the Los Angeles Chargers are by far the best package. Not only is Schuster from the LA area and a USC alum, but the Chargers have an extremely bright future. Justin Herbert is fresh off his Offensive Rookie of the Year season and have tons of talent across the defense. I think Keenan Allen and JuJu would compliment each other’s games immensely, as well as Jalen Guyton’s. It does help that the Chargers could give JuJu as big of a contract as he desires too.

Carl Lawson

The Miami Dolphins have made it very clear they are looking to upgrade at pass rusher this off season. On Sunday the Dolphins traded away edge rusher Shaq Lawson to the Houston Texans. In exchange the Houston Texans are sending linebacker Benardrick McKinney to the Dolphins and will be swapping draft 2021 draft picks. Carl Lawson has been one of the more underappreciated edge rushers in the NFL singing entering in 2017. In 51 games with the Bengals Lawson has recorded 20 sacks and 83 QB hits. He would fill the role that Lawson just opened up, and probably do it better too.

Mitchell Trubisky

Don’t be shocked if Mitchell Trubisky ends up in Houston. It is reported that he has “zero interest” in returning to Chicago next year. If Deshaun Watson does end up forcing his way out, the Texans will be left very few options at QB. I personally think Trubisky deserves another shot in a different offense. With everything he did wrong in Chicago, he did do some things well too. Surround him with some weapons on the offensive side of the ball and see what happens. If you were to give him a similar contract to Ryan Tannehill did in 2019, it would be a low risk high reward type of deal. 

Jonnu Smith

I was surprised that the Titans allowed Jonnu Smith to hit free agency this off season. He has been one of the better tight ends in the NFL, and is a freak athlete. I would love to see the Ravens sign him, but I doubt they pay another TE before Mark Andrews. I still think he could end up in the AFC North though. The Cincinnati Bengals are missing a playmaker at tight end, but Jonnu Smith fills that perfectly. He could be their Gerald Everett per se. C.J. Uzomah suffered a pretty gnarly injury, and Drew Sample isn’t exactly a Pro Bowl tight end. If they use that top-five pick on someone like Penei Sewell or Rashawn Slater, and go out and buy Joey Burrow weapons, the Bengals could get things together in 2021.

Patrick Peterson

It always seems like Patrick Peterson and the Dallas Cowboys are tied together. That also goes to show how long Dallas has needed secondary help. Now that Patrick Peterson is free the Cowboys need to take advantage of it. Not only would I not be surprised if Peterson signed with Dallas in free agency, I wouldn’t be surprised if he even took a discount to join them. Adding a key secondary piece like him could be exactly what they need to equal this team out. Not to mention the leadership he would provide.

Will Fuller IV

After nearly getting dealt to Green Bay for a 1st round pick, it looks like Fuller will be testing the market. If he does leave you can just add that onto the list of poor decisions the Texans have made in the past few seasons. Don’t be surprised if Green Bay now goes all in on Fuller in free agency. This could be one of the main  reasons they didn’t give up a first round pick in the first place; who would stay in Houston right now? Aaron Rodgers needs another weapon, and if Aaron Jones walks, they DEFINITELY need another weapon.

Corey Linsley

Very rarely do you see teams spend a lot of money on the center position. It is also very rare to lose games because of poor center play, but that is exactly what happened to the Ravens in 2020. That is why I think the Ravens No. 1 priority will be legitimizing the interior of their offensive line. The receiver position is going to be extremely deep in the draft and free agency so there is no reason to break the bank for one if you’re Baltimore. In order for the Ravens rushing attack to be lethal again, they gotta sure up the offensive line.

Casey Hayward

Hayward was recently released to free up over $9M in cap space for the Chargers. He will be turning 32 this season, and has slowly dropped off in play the past few seasons. I still think he is more than capable of being a starting cornerback in the NFL though. A team like the San Francisco 49ers would be a great fit for Casey Hayward. San Francisco might have a lot of turnover at the cornerback position, but bringing in a veteran like Hayward would be smart. He should merge into their zone defense very fluidly. I also like the idea of bringing in a veteran cornerback as the cornerback position is one of the hardest to develop. This is an addition that fits their “win now” game plan, and might even make their defense better.

Leonard Fournette

Leonard Fournette was putting up career numbers just a season ago with the Jaguars. He turned 26 in January, and should be able to give a few more solid years of production. I believe a team that has a young quarterback that needs to take some defensive pressure off the QB would be perfect for him. The New York Jets would make sense but giving that they just got rid of an expensive running back, I dont know how they would feel about signing another veteran running back. Not to mention La’Mical Perine has shown flashes in the Jets backfield. I would love to see the Dolphins bring in Fournette. They have plenty of cap space to sign him to a mid-level contract. They’re offensive line is young, and has a ton of potential too.

BONUS TRADES

Von Miller

This one is at the end because he might not even be available as a free agent. If he isn’t cut he is most likely going to be used as a trade piece. With that being said, Miller is an aged edge rusher that doesn’t really fit with Denver’s plan anymore. I have some kind of gut feeling Von could end up with the Texans as a part of a Deshaun Watson trade. Even as an aged pass rusher I think Von Miller can still be worth something on the trade market. Von Miller, the Broncos 9th overall pick, and possibly another 2022 first round pick might just be enough for the Texans to finally give in.

Allen Robinson

At this point in his career it is pretty obvious Allen Robinson is going to want to compete for championships. Chicago isn’t the place to be doing that right now. There should be a few teams that could check all the boxes for Robinson, but ultimately the Baltimore Ravens would be my favorite. Yes, I am a Ravens fan but that doesn’t mean this wouldn’t still be a match made in heaven. The Ravens have struggled to take that next step under Lamar Jackson due to their lack of reliable pass catchers. In nearly every crucial loss Baltimore has had you can look back and see multiple big time drops throughout those games. Robinson is a pretty similar receiver to someone line Dez Bryant and gives Lamar Jackson someone who can come down with a 50/50 ball.

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