Keep: DeMarcus Lawrence DE
- Obviously, seeing as how Lawrence is one of the top free agents available the Cowboys should look to retain him. Granted he slowed down towards the end of the season racking up most of his sacks in the first handful of games. He is still one of the top players on their defense. Without him they would be forced to draft another edge rusher early in the draft to pair with last year's okay first rounder Taco Charlton. However, seeing as how he has never stayed healthy consistently and even prior to this year when healthy he never had this type of impact. Maybe he played hard for a new contract or he is actually fully healthy for once. The Cowboys should give him the "dreaded" franchise tag to see if he can play that well again.
Cut: Dez Bryant WR
- The Cowboys already have about $20 million in cap space without many real outstanding contracts that need to be moved to make space. One player they should cut however, is Dez Bryant who is now tipping the scale between productive and headache. He was once balanced providing just enough production to outweigh his issues. Now it is totally at the other end of the spectrum as he ages rapidly for a 29 year old player. He lost more than a step of speed and since he never worked on his routes he is just a sitting duck whenever he runs out for a pass. Dak Prescott deserves better and cutting Bryant still save abut $8 million to use else where.
Sign: Morgan Burnett S Green Bay Packers
- The Cowboys lost a lot of talent in their secondary last off season and decided to pour a ton of draft picks to solve it. Now it's still too early to say if it will work or not, but they should find a veteran to help bridge the gap. Burnett is the key free agent that the Packers should have signed not Davante Adams or Corey Linsley. On a terrible defense Burnett played very well all season long with his good versatile play to go against the run and in coverage. He should be a nice pairing with Byron Jones and only come at about $9 million a year.
Ideal Draft Pick: Calvin Ridley WR Alabama
- They have a shot of getting the top receiver where they pick, but they could still land Courtland Sutton if they miss out. However, I think Ridley's crisp routes and speed would give the offense a whole new dimension to it. Plus, Dak Prescott is a very good passer when working in rhythm with good timing routes and Ridley provides that more than Sutton does at this point. His size may not be ideal, but he should not be seeing too many double coverage looks with Zeke in the back field.
Keep: Justin Pugh OG
- The Giants had terrible tackles on the line, but the interior of their line was fantastic this year. When healthy of course. Justin Pugh their former first rounder has played very well on the inside and would be getting more love if the rest of his teammates played up to their level. They also have Weston Richburg as a free agent, but Pugh is the superior talent with more versatility to work out at right tackle if need be. They have about $15 million in cap space so being able to straight up resign Pugh to a $5 million a year contract is not crazy.
Cut: Brandon Marshall WR
- There are a ton of options here between Janoris Jenkins, Eli Apple, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and others could all be cut to start fresh. Seeing as how finding good corners is more difficult than receivers I would try to find a nice balance with those three and their issues. Instead, cutting Marshall would save about $5 million and get rid of a player that did not look good at all before he went down with injuries. At this point of his career Marshall cares more about his career off the field in t.v. instead of on the field so cutting him would just free up his time be able to do that. I doubt he would go anywhere else except maybe New England to try and get a championship, but even they would not really need him.
Sign: Nate Solder OT New England Patriots
- I cannot see him leaving New England, but if he does hit the open market the Giants should be all over him. He is one of the better left tackles in the league at a relatively young age of 29. Bringing him in the fold would allow them to try out Erik Flowers at the right tackle spot giving him one more opportunity to prove that he can play in the league. If that works out it would basically fix two spots with one move. I am sure there will be a few teams chasing after Solder, but the Giants could draw him in with their new direction.
Ideal Draft Pick: Sam Darnold QB USC
- I would prefer if the Giants retain Eli Manning in any scenario where they draft a quarterback at the top. It never hurts to sit and learn for a bit much to the chagrin of the fan base who will want to see the new thing. I would be worried about throwing him in there too if they still have not fixed that o-line that can shell shock a young quarterback. My favorite quarterback from the draft is Sam Darnold and particularly for the Giants. He has the best even keel demeanor that can work in the New York media and his size plays well in the cold weather of the northeast.
Keep: Patrick Robinson CB
- They have two key free agents on defense between Nigel Bradham and Patrick Robinson that will need to be addressed this off season. I would lean towards Robinson who turned into a quality corner and plays at a more valuable position. The Eagles do have solid depth possibly going into next year at corner if Sidney Jones can show that he can play with Ronald Darby who turned it on during the stretch to go along with Jalen Mills and their other rookie Rasul Douglas. Just that group alone is not bad, but just like pass rushers you can never use too many cover corners in this league. Robinson is a tad on the older side so maybe they can get him on a nice team discount.
Cut: Jason Peters OT
- Coming it at $-7 million under the cap the Eagles will need to address more than just one big cut come this off season. One that will surprise many would be if they cut Jason Peters to give them $5 million back. There is a few reasons for this move. One is his injury of course that may take a while for him to recover from. The second is his age at 36 that will hinder how quick he can recover and if he will ever be the same player after it even. The third is Lane Johnson's ascension to one of the top tackles in the league and should switch to the left side over the off season to maximize his skill set. Plus, Hal Vaitai the back up tackle has played well in Peters' stead and could be in contention to move to the right side at a much cheaper price.
Sign: Paul Posluszny LB Jacksonville Jaguars
- The Jags could lose their veteran linebacker just like the Eagles could lose theirs. Over the course of the next three off seasons the Eagles could lose all three of their starting linebackers. With so little cap room they really cannot look to resign all three of them and still keep guys like Carson Wentz and others. Posluszny is a good fit and at his age would likely come at a cheaper price tag. It probably will not be a splashy pick up by any means, but it would be a smart one.
Ideal Draft Pick: Tremaine Edmunds LB Virginia Tech
- Like I said earlier the Eagles will have a lot of free agent linebackers the next few seasons so finding multiple players this off season to combat that is a smart move. Especially, for a team with very little needs on the roster overall. Edmunds if he is brought in with Posluszny it would allow them to keep the younger player on the bench to develop his first season. Just like quarterbacks I think every player is better when given time to adjust and build up their bodies before they enter the rigors of the NFL.
Keep: Kirk Cousins QB
- The Redskins obviously should keep Kirk Cousins, but for some reason they just do not see it. I know he is not a top quarterback, but he is the best one they have had since Joe Theismann. He is a gritty player who played hard every week behind a shaky o-line with a group of unreliable receivers and without a top back to lean on. Overall, he has played great for them and they need to just pay him. Also giving him a long term deal would give them more cap space to work with then giving him a massive guaranteed contract that comes with a franchise tag. Overall, letting him go has a chance of setting this franchise back five years after being a consistent contender in the competitive NFC East.
Cut: Jordan Reed TE
- They really do not have any outstanding contracts that they need of the books to clear out space. One player that could be cut if they do need the space would be Jordan Reed who cannot stay healthy. When on the field he is one of the top tight ends in the league without a doubt, but when he is off the field he just causes headaches for this team. They are too reliant on him and when he is out they have no other place to go. So I really would not cut him, but if they had make space he is the only reasonable player with a big contract to clear out.
Sign: Carlos Hyde RB San Francisco 49ers
- As mentioned above the Redskins really have not had a great running game throughout the time they have had Kirk Cousins. Samaje Perine looked solid down the stretch, but his one-dimensional style of play makes it hard for me to fully trust him. I would like to see them bring in a compliment back like Hyde who has more versatility and speed to him. Hyde does have his own injury issues, but splitting carries between the two can give the Redskins a good one-two punch. Of course they can just go for Le'Veon Bell and have a straight up go to back, but Hyde would come at a fraction of the cost.
Ideal Draft Pick: Roquon Smith LB Georgia
- They have a lot of free agents in their linebacking core and could lose their leading tackler Zach Brown after expressing issues about how little movement there has been on a new contract. Smith if he slides to them would be an ideal solution with his all around talent and leadership qualities. Normally I am down on off ball linebackers, but Smith has a game changing quality to him that reminds me of a lite version of Luke Kuechly. Of course, this ideal pick could change to a quarterback if they fail to resign Kirk Cousins.
|Kyle Kunert||Only one day into this article and I am already wrong on one of these predictions. Thanks Washington.|