Kirk Cousins - Washington Redskins:
- This is an odd year where there is actually a nice crop of free agent quarterbacks to choose from. The best in terms of age and ability to build around is Kirk Cousins. He has shown a ton of grit this past season with one of the worst offensive lines in the league and still put up another 4,000 yard season. All of this is without ever having a real go to back to lean on and with secondary receivers for the most part. If anything I think he made Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson look better than they really were with how bad they were elsewhere this season.
Possible Landing Spots: Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars, Denver Broncos, and New York Jets
Where I think he should land is Cleveland of all places. He can be a stabilizer giving them a sure fire quarterback behind a relatively solid offensive line. They have decent receivers to build around and if they use one of their top picks for Saquon Barkley then he could finally have a great back to lean on. This would also allow Cleveland to use their plethora of picks to sure up the roster or move down from one of their top two picks giving them more options. They also have a ton of money they could give him even though it will not be as much guaranteed as the $30 million plus Washington would have to give him if they franchise tag him.
Drew Brees - New Orleans Saints:
- I am only putting this here for me to rant on an issue with quarterbacks that I have. Why when you have the ability to move do you always stay with what you know. The Saints without Brees has been one of the more unorganized teams in league history and with a coach who has become increasingly immature. I know they finally have a solid defense, but for how long. If I were Brees I would test the market at least to see if the Jags, Cardinals, or Vikings would sign me first with their better overall rosters. This reminds me of Andrew Luck who willingly resigned with a terrible situation in Indy instead of testing the market to find something better. Same can be said about a few quarterbacks throughout league history and it is something I just do not understand.
Possible Landing Spots: New Orleans Saints, Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, and the Denver Broncos
He will probably stay with the Saints which is not terrible really, but I would like to know he at least looked around before giving the Saints blind faith.
Case Keenum, Sam Bradford, and Teddy Bridgewater - Minnesota Vikings:
- Just going to bunch all three of these guys together here. Keenum is obviously the most desirable now, but I hope people will not pay him like a top quarterback that people have made him out to be. He is a nice quarterback with all the pieces in place, but he will not carry a team. Sam Bradford is put here for a courtesy, but I think his health is too tenuous now to be given the keys to a starting gig. If anything I think he is better off just retiring at this point. Teddy Bridgewater I think is the one who will stick with the Vikings due to being a former first rounder for them and having more of an upside than the other two. Overall, I think this was very poor planning by Rick Spielman their GM by allowing all three to be free agents at the same time. What happens if they cannot keep any of these guys.
Possible Landing Spots: Keenum - Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, or the Denver Broncos. Bridgewater - Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, or the Jacksonville Jaguars. Bradford - Jacksonville Jaguars, Arizona Cardinals, or retirement.
I think Keenum will leave since the team already has shown their unwillingness to be all in on him even after how great he played this season. He will probably end up in Denver as rumors have it they really like him and do not have the cap to go after Kirk Cousins. I think Bridgewater stays in Minnesota with how much they love him and want to see him work there. Bradford I think goes into training camp looking for a team and will be brought in if a starter goes down like Miami did with Jay Cutler last year.
Jimmy Garoppolo - San Francisco 49ers:
- This is just a courtesy write up since he is a top quarterback free agent. Maybe even the best one, but with the 49ers massive cap space I doubt he leaves. Though I do think he should test the market if they do not franchise tag him to see what else he can get. If he stays with the 49ers he along with Russell Wilson and Jared Goff will make the NFC West one of the best divisions in the league next season.
Possible Landing Spots: San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Arizona Cardinals, and the Cleveland Browns.
I think he stays in San Fran whether it be with via a new contract or the franchise tag. It would be irresponsible for them to let him leave after what that 5 game winning streak looked like.
Le'Veon Bell - Pittsburgh Steelers:
- Obviously, Bell is the top back for obvious reasons. However, I do think he hits the open market with the way he put himself before the team all season long and in Pittsburgh they eventually tend to put their foot down on that type of attitude. He also needs to look in the mirror at his past on why the team does not want to give him a long term deal. First of all, he is a running back who just had the most carries in the league by a long shot. Secondly, he has shown an inability to stay healthy over the years. Lastly, and most pressing is his off field issues with getting suspended a few times already. Some team will pay him, but I think the Steelers will be fine without him since this offense is more predicated on how far Antonio Brown and Big Ben could take them.
Possible Landing Spots: Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks, or the New York Giants
If he hits the open market I can see him waiting for the biggest deal he can get. Normally that comes from a dark horse team that convinces themselves that they need him and decide to over spend normally ending up to be a bad idea. However, I think Detroit can be a perfect landing spot for him. First off they really need a running back and he could be the missing piece to help bring this team over the hump. Secondly, he also went to school up at Michigan St so it seems fitting for him to return to the state of Michigan.
Carlos Hyde - San Francisco 49ers:
- I think Hyde would be a more valued back had he played with a good team the past few seasons. Hyde is a nice all around back who could come at a fraction of what Bell will go for and can do the same amount of work as the All-Pro back can do. He does need to stay healthy though to be more relied on, but if I were a smart GM with a team that needs a back he could be a nice sleeper pick up.
Possible Landing Spots: New York Giants, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, or the Detroit Lions
I think he would be perfect in New York. They already have a ton of needs so picking up Hyde will allow them to use their draft picks elsewhere instead of on a back again. Granted he may be stunted by their bad o-line, but he should be able to give them steady work. A sleeper spot could be New England who could lose Dion Lewis this off season.
Dion Lewis - New England Patriots:
- Speaking of Dion Lewis he should be a desirable back this off season, but not as much as the aforementioned players. He has a ton of skill as an all around back and proved to be better between the tackle this year. However, the big draw back still is his size and ability to be a bell cow back. That fumble in the playoffs does not help his case either. I think he should be a solid pick up going forward, but if you take him expecting him to be a main back on his own then I think you will regret that move.
Possible Landing Spots: San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, or the Detroit Lions.
I think it would be fitting for him to reunite with Jimmy Garoppolo who should know his skill set more than anyone outside of New England. He probably worked with him a lot on the 2nd team reps as both were mainly back ups until down the stretch for Lewis who took on a starting role. I also think he could fit in Kyle Shanahan's offense well with how he likes to put backs out in space and in the passing game. A sleeper spot could be Miami who should not rely on Kenyan Drake as a main back and also have Damien Williams hitting free agency.
Jarvis Landry - Miami Dolphins:
- The best receiver among free agents this season is Jarvis Landry who for some reason the Dolphins do not really love. The man has only put up a line of 112 catchs, 987 yards, and 9 touchdowns all with a terrible quarterback situation this year. He may not be a main go to guy on the outside, but he is one of the best slot receivers in the league with great hands. If he hits the open market he should be one of the more desirable pick ups by a lot of teams.
Possible Landing Spots: Chicago Bears, Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys, or the New Orleans Saints
This might be my bias coming through, but I think he would be perfect in Chicago. He would be a perfect fit in new coach Matt Nagy's west coast scheme that contains a lot of quick hitters and trick plays to get quick players out in space. Combine Landry's quickness with Tarik Cohen's could give opposing defenses huge headaches in the passing game. Another spot that could be a landing spot is the Ravens who apparently really wanted him last off season and also have a big need at the position.
Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee - Jacksonville Jaguars:
- One is obviously a lot better than the other, but putting both of them together makes it a lot easier. Robinson is clearly the better talent, but he is coming off an injury and rumor has it Jacksonville may franchise tag him. If I were them I would let him walk with the emergence of Lee, Keelan Cole, and Dede Westbrook down the stretch. I think Robinson would be better off doing an Alshon Jeffrey type one year deal to prove himself. Meanwhile, Lee did start to look better down the stretch with more playing time putting up a decent 56-702-3 line this past year. I can see him getting better elsewhere and given more opportunities to prove himself as a solid slot option.
Possible Landing Spots: Robinson - Jacksonville Jaguars, Chicago Bears, Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys, or the Washington Redskins. Lee - Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams, Chicago Bears, or the New Orleans Saints.
Robinson I think will remain in Jacksonville via the franchise tag, but if allowed to sign elsewhere I think a one year deal at either Chicago or Baltimore would be a good spot for him to recoup some money. Lee on the other hand I think could fit perfectly out in LA. Like another former local kid Robert Woods I think Lee can spark his career up out there and be a useful tool in McVay's wide open scheme.
Sammy Watkins - Los Angeles Rams:
- I am not a big fan of the over hyped Watkins who has shown sparks, but not very consistently week to week. It also does not help that his health has been an issue over the years. However, I realize he is still only 24 years old and can take a buy low contract to prove himself. There is upside here and if he can find it then you could be able to land a solid outside game changer.
Possible Landing Spots: Los Angeles Rams, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers, or the New Orleans Saints
I think he should stay in LA where McVay has one of the best offenses rolling and where Watkins can continue to find his path. If he leaves I can see the Bears being sucked into his upside and try to do a buy low contract like they are notorious for doing. A perfect spot for him I think is in New Orleans where he can be a secondary option across from Michael Thomas while having a great quarterback like Brees targeting him.
Jimmy Graham - Seattle Seahawks:
- I think his time in Seattle is done due to their cap restraints and his inability to really stand out until this year. Which, is is contract year of course and can be a trap for a team to be sucked into giving him a big contract. He has been a proven slacker outside of contract seasons and has progressively gotten worst with his hands each year. Maybe if he is given a one year deal he could be a good pick up, but I think it's a trap.
Possible Landing Spots: New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, or the Miami Dolphins.
I think New England could be a perfect spot for him working across from Gronk and give the Pats a back up option when Gronk gets hurt. They could even move off from Gronk and go with Graham instead on a cheaper one year deal possibly. Graham is just the type of player they can use real quick and get one more championship next year. Other than that I think the 49ers could be a good spot as they find new pass catchers to build around Garoppolo.
Trey Burton - Philadelphia Eagles:
- This is a bad year if you need a tight end. Not only is the free agent crop bad, but so is the draft class this season. One sleeper I like is Trey Burton who looked good this year when Zach Ertz was out. He is a good move around tight end who can play as a fullback, receiver, or on the end of the line. I can see him having a second act much like Delanie Walker with the Titans have had.
Possible Landing Spots: San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, or the Tennessee Titans.
The 49ers is a great spot to be used in Shanahan's system and give Garoppolo a nice pass catcher to throw to. I can also see him landing with the Cowboys who need to find an understudy for Jason Witten and land a good pass catcher for Dak Prescott to throw to.
Nate Solder - New England Patriots:
- Normally the Patriots are tight with their wallet, but now in Brady's twilight years I think they should spend as much as they can to keep a good team around him. None more important than Solder who has been a great left tackle for them the past few years. He is not perfect by any means due to his lack of overpowering strength. However, he does a great job keeping Tom Brady upright and in an offensive line needy league could be a main target for a lot of teams.
Possible Landing Spots: New England Patriots, Houston Texans, Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders, or the New York Giants.
I think he stays in New England, but I can see teams tempting him if he is allowed to hit the open market. The Texans could be a perfect spot since they run the same type of blocking scheme as New England. They also need to use free agency to give Deshaun Watson new blockers since they have very limited draft picks to fix this issue. A sleeper spot may be Oakland who may decide to move off from the ancient Donald Penn who is only going to keep getting worst.
Andrew Norwell - Carolina Panthers:
- Norwell has been progressively becoming a better guard each season and this last one was his best so far. He consistently opens holes in the run game for the Panthers and has been a very good pass blocker for Cam Newton. He should only continue to get better since his only 27 still. If I were the Panthers I would probably franchise tag him, but I can understand why they can shy away from giving a guard that much guaranteed cash.
Possible Landing Spots: Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, or the Miami Dolphins.
I think he probably stays with Carolina since they have finally been able to keep Cam up right this season, but if he does go somewhere else I think the Giants would jump at the opportunity. They could lose their own solid guard Justin Pugh and can actually upgrade the spot with Andrew Norwell who has had a better health history throughout his career.
Justin Pugh - New York Giants:
- As mentioned above, Pugh is also a free agent who has a tad more versatility than Norwell that can make him more desirable to other teams. However, his main spot should be to remain at guard where he proves to be a well rounded blocker and less exposed. I think the Giants should do everything they can to keep their one good blocker, but can see them going full rebuild mode and creating more cap space.
Possible Landing Spots: New York Giants, Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, or the San Francisco 49ers.
I think he stays in New York via the franchise tag, but I could see them letting him walk in a full rebuild. If allowed to leave I can see him land in a few different spots, but my favorite spot may be with the 49ers. They need a few good blockers to help out Jimmy G. Seeing as how the blocker class is not the best they should use their massive cap space on some good blockers.
Weston Richburg - New York Giants:
- Another solid blocker on an otherwise terrible offensive line that the Giants could lose. Richburg has had an issue staying healthy this season, but when healthy is a solid athletic blocker. Signing both he and Pugh may be too difficult for the Giants to pull off so they could possibly lose one of them. Richburg will probably be the most likely candidate to leave.
Possible Landing Spots: New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, or the Cincinnati Bengals
Centers are easier to find in retrospect than either a good guard or tackle for that matter so the Giants may decide to let him walk and find a new one via free agency. If he does hit the open market I again see the 49ers being a player for a center since they could lose their okay center Daniel Kilgore.
I can see the Bengals being in play for a lot of blockers, but since they are so disorganized most of the time I think it would be difficult to convince anyone to go there.