This free agency is packed with talented free agents at all positions. Wide receivers, offensive linemen, defensive backs; all could possibly push a team over to the next level of success. Here are 10 realistic names I think will make the biggest impact by signing with a new home this offseason.
It is expected that a lot of these big time free agents will be franchise tagged. That is why people like J.C. Jackson, Jessie Bates III, and Orlando Brown Jr are not on this list. Everyone else I feel like has a pretty solid shot at hitting the market this offseason.
Terron Armstead | Offensive Tackle | Cincinnati Bengals
I would be shocked if the Saints were able to keep Armstead with the cap situation they have currently. That means one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL will be on the market, and drive a very high price tag. Plenty of teams could use Armstead, but there is one team in particular that should do whatever they can to get him. That would be the Cincinnati Bengals.
Cincinnati has over $48M in cap space this offseason that they can throw to get Joe Burrow protection. If Burrow had someone like Terron Armstead last season blocking for him I would be willing to bet he has a Super Bowl. Bring him in, slide Jonah Williams inside, and keep Riley Reiff as your right tackle and the offensive line looks a lot more sturdy already. If you aren’t a fan of Reiff then they could just flip Jonah Williams to right tackle, and use draft picks to address the interior.
Davante Adams | Wide Receiver | Los Angeles Chargers
Adams is reportedly asking for $30M/yr during his next contract, and that is obviously a wild number for a receiver. If he does get that, it will not be on the Packers that is for sure. While a franchise tag is always going to be on the table, lets just say he hits free agency for the sake of this article. I would love to see him head over to LA and join Keenan Allen with the Chargers.
Keenan Allen is a very undervalued wide receiver, and to pair him up with someone like Davante Adams would just be ridiculous. Mike Williams is a free agent so there are a lot of targets potential up for grabs too. Exchange Williams for Adams and now this is an offense that competes toe to toe with the Chiefs offensively.
Chandler Jones | Edge Rusher | Denver Broncos
Chandler Jones is by far one of the most underrated players in the NFL. Him being a free agent should be a big deal, especially considering he likely won’t be tagged, but of course he still isn’t in the spotlight. Nonetheless a team that is in need of some pass rush is the Denver Broncos, and they definitely have the money to give too.
Tyrann Mathieu | Safety | Baltimore Ravens
Chiefs GM Brett Veach has said he hopes to retain Tyrann Mathieu, and Orlando Brown Jr this offseason. This is possible but could be difficult considering they have $11M in cap space currently. Orlando Brown will want a pretty penny, and I could see other teams putting a better offer together than the Chiefs can for Mathieu.
Tyrann Mathieu & the Baltimore Ravens have been linked ever since the season wrapped up. Their secondary was a mess this season, and the safety depth is simply lacking for Baltimore. I think the fit would be great for the Ravens but finding a way to bring in Mathieu with their cap space will be tough. With roughly $10M in cap space they could get something worked out, and it would be a giant boost for the defense if they could. Mathieu provides championship level leadership to a team that could greatly use that attitude.
Odell Beckham Jr | Wide Receiver | Seattle Seahawks
Obviously it would be nice for Odell to just resign with the Rams and try to run it back like they said during the Super Bowl parade. However OBJ is coming off yet another ACL tear as he turns 30. The Rams are also going to have to do some money shifting as well just to break even with the cap.
Seattle could very well be able to offer Odell a relatively strong contract while still pushing for another ring. The Seahawks have roughly $36M in cap space, and Russell Wilson has been very vocal about adding more weapons. If Odell comes back healthy like expected the Seahawks would have one of the most lethal offenses in the league.
Stephon Gilmore | Cornerback | Seattle Seahawks
Similarly to Chandler Jones, I feel like Stephon Gilmore should be garnering a lot more attention this offseason. Outside of a Duane Brown that could very well just retire this offseason, the Seahawks don’t HAVE to re-sign really anyone. I would love to see Seattle go all in on another Super Bowl for Wilson and load this roster with talent.
Seattle has the money to make a move on Odell and still find a way to land Gilmore too if they wanted. Gilmore immediately gives this secondary the boost it is currently missing. They lack a true veteran leader in the secondary who has a championship pedigree. He pairs well with what the Seahawks like to do, and fits in their timeline too. His window is about the same as Russell Wilson’s in Seattle if they push for a championship.
Melvin Ingram III | Edge Rusher | Indianapolis Colts
Another Chief that is on the free agency block is Melvin Ingram. He was expected to be more of a one year rental anyway so it would not be shocking if he found a new home. The Colts just signed over Gus Bradley to be their defensive coordinator who was his DC with the Chargers. This relationship plus the need to add pass rushers looks like a perfect match for Ingram.
The Indianapolis Colts have roughly $37M in cap space so they certainly have more flexibility than KC. The fact that Gus Bradley just got in Indy too means Ingram could probably sign a multi-year deal if preferred. Kwity Paye, Melvin Ingram and DeForest Buckner would make for a hell of a pass rush.
Brandon Scherff | Offensive Guard | MIA/CIN
The Washington Commanders and Brandon Scherff have had an odd relationship over the past few seasons. A lot of losing along injuries, and stalled contract negotiations have made for it to probably just be best if Scherff moves to a better situation.
I like Denver possibly making a play for the former All-Pro offensive guard, as well as Miami and the Bengals. He would help the Broncos be able to run the ball even more effectively, and protect possibly a rookie quarterback. The Miami Dolphins are reportedly very interested in bringing him in, and they could really use him on that OL. As said earlier the Bengals were one great offensive lineman away from being Super Bowl champions this year. I think they will throw money at whoever it takes to help them get back there.
Chris Godwin | Wide Receiver | Chicago Bears
There aren’t too many more coveted players than Chris Godwin this offseason. Even coming off injury Godwin has ranked pretty highly on nearly everyone’s NFL free agents lists. I could see teams like Indianapolis, Jacksonville, the Jets, and many more making serious runs for Godwin’s talents. New England should make a strong move to get Godwin too but I see Chicago landing the Penn State product.
Justin Fields could definitely use another weapon to throw to down the field. Darnell Mooney has had great flashes, but Chris Godwin gives this offseason a real go-to receiver. Chris Godwin, Mooney, and Dazz Newsome makes a good trio for Fields to work with. Cole Kmet still has a lot of potential as a receiver too.
Allen Robinson II | Wide Receiver | Philadelphia Eagles
Allen Robinson has had a pretty rough career thus far. Starting in Jacksonville with Blake Bortles, then moving to the Bears and Mitchell Trubisky. It’s safe to say a breath of fresh air is probably needed. Ironically I think that might just be in Philly.
Jalen Reagor is just not working out, and Hurts really could use another target. If Philadelphia could add a veteran wide receiver Jalen Hurts’ life would be a lot simpler. DeVonta Smith complements what Robinson does too so the two should be able to mesh well on the field. Unless they feel they can somehow get Deshaun Watson and have him playing next season, give Jalen Hurts all the reasons to be successful.