Tony Romo - Houston Texans: With the Cowboys appearing to be fully behind Dak Prescott as their future quarterback that means they will either trade or cut Romo this offseason to free up cap room. Most likely they will wait until after June 1st to cut him if no trade offers are appealing to Dallas. After June 1st the Romo cut would suffer them only 10.7 million of dead money cap which is far better than paying him his 18 million annual salary if they bring him back. Once all thatís figured out the team I see him landing with is the Houston Texans given they are consistently in the playoffs, have an elite defense that has JJ Watt returning, and have a decent offense thatís lacking a signal caller. Brock Osweilers 16 million guaranteed in 2017 will make for the deal to become tricky, though at the age of 37 and injuries being a concern with Romo he will likely fall in the range of 8-10 million a year which the Texans could afford. Lastly Romo is running out of time to win a Super Bowl so signing with Houston would make them a legit contender in the AFC, while being able to keep his family in Texas with their third child on the way.
Other landing spots Ė Denver
Tyrod Taylor - Chicago Bears: I envision that the Bills will cut ties with Taylor this offseason and pick a quarterback with the 10th overall pick to start fresh with a new coaching staff. Once that happens there will be a few teams interested in the dual threat and I predict that the Bears will acquire him at a bargain price after increasing their cap space by trading or cutting Jay Cutler. Taylor would be a huge upgrade for Chicago after having the 29th ranked offense in2016 especially if they franchise tag Alshon Jeffery which I think theyíll do in order for them to start rebuilding offensively. They have the money to make these acquisitions possible and drafting young defensive talent through the draft would make the Bears a much improved team heading into 2017.
Other landing spots Ė Denver or Cleveland
DeSean Jackson - LA Rams: I really donít see the Redskins resigning Jackson in 2017 and rather they bring back veteran Pierre Garcon instead. Since heís been more reliable lately and a better player to lineup with their promising young core they have. As many experts believe he makes a return to Philly since theyíre in need of a big play receiver. I donít see that happening as Jackson will turn 31 next year and is looking to sign possibly his last contract of his career and the Eagles would rather sign a younger guy with their limited cap space. That leads me to think that the LA Rams will cough up the money DJax is looking for which comes with the upside of him finishing off his career in his hometown. Another plus is he would also reconnect with Rams Head Coach Sean McVay who was Jackson offensive coordinator for three years in Washington where he led the league in yards per catch in two of those seasons. Jackson would instantly become the Rams #1 wide out and a good way to convince Kenny Britt to stay in town to create a deadly duo for Jared Goff.
Other landing spots Ė Tampa Bay or Philly
Kenny Stills - SF 49ers: Stills is the youngest big name receiver in free agency at the age of 24 and coming off a breakout season for Miami where he had 43 catches for 726 yards and nine touchdowns. A great fit for him would be with the 49ers new Head Coach and offensive guru Kyle Shanahan where Stills would be the top dog. San Francisco has a ton of money to splurge on Stills and he recently said to the media he would love to play on the west coast. Shanahan is coming off a great year where he commanded the best offense in football to the Super Bowl which definitely has to excite a young talent like Stills to want to play for. Since they desperately need a receiver to team up with their rookie quarterback (assuming they pick a QB at #2) Stills is the best player on the market for the 49ers to go after and start the rebuilding phase off right. Expect him to earn the big pay day heís looking for.
Other landing spots ĖPhilly or resigns with Miami
Danny Woodhead - Denver Broncos: After a breakout sophomore season by Melvin Gordon it would be wise for the Chargers to let Woodhead walk instead of bringing him back to take time away from Gordon due to the love affair Ken Whisenhunt has with him. A great place for the 31 year old to go is Denver where he would play a perfect role in new offensive coordinator Mike McCoy scheme. The Broncos get CJ Anderson returning from injury so they donít need a featured back but with Devontae Booker on a long term deal who was extremely inefficient last year it would make sense for them to bring in a versatile player like Woodhead. Trevor Siemian is a young quarterback still learning the ins and outs of the NFL, Woodhead can become a threat in the slot or as a receiver out of the backfield and could help Siemian in short yardage situations as a reliable check down option. He would be a great player to help improve offensive production that the Broncos lacked last year, and would come at a somewhat cheap price after missing practically all of 2016 with an ACL tear.
Other Landing Spots Ė Resigns with the Chargers
(OT) Rick Wagner - Minnesota Vikings: As a Ravens fan it hurts to probably see Wagner not return in 2017 after being ranked the 18th best tackle by pro football focus. That being said itís the right move with the lack of cap space we have this offseason and with our other two tackles Alex Lewis and Ronnie Stanley coming off phenomenal rookie seasons it could be much worse. Wagner is only 27 years old and being one of the best tackles in the league heís going to command a price tag in the 10 million range. The Vikings are the team I see working out a deal with him since they only have four active tackles on the roster and itís the main issue they need to address this offseason. Wagner would be a great asset for them to improve their 28thranked O-line last year and help open up the run game while keeping pressure of the quarterback. The Vikings have also shown interest in Bengals tackle Andrew Whitworth though being eight years older than Wagner and looking for the same amount of cash Iíd expect the Vikings to focus more on working out a contract with Wagner.
Other Landing Spots Ė Cincinnati or Oakland
(OG) T.J. Lang - Cleveland Browns: Lang really wants to return as a Packer but the only way that will happen is to franchise tag him which would cost nearly 15 million dollars. A guard about to turn 30 and looking for a long term deal is way more than I think theyíre willing to spend at this time. With Lang yet to receive any word from the organization about a contract recently, tells me they will probably release him. Lang then will likely become the most expensive offensive lineman to hit free agency and who better to dish out a large sum of cash for him and not break the bank than the Browns. After losing Alex Mack last year and then going 1-15 they need to acquire a big name star to improve their offensive line and Iím predicting Lang to be that guy. The eight figure possibility they could throw at Lang would be more than enough for him to take his talents to Cleveland for a long term deal that would be really hard to match any other team.
Other Landing Spots Ė Atlanta or resigns with Green Bay
(DE) Calais Campbell - Denver Broncos: Campbell is another player that would like to resign with his current team but I donít think Arizona is going to bring him back. As they seem more interested in resigning Chandler Jones and it will come down to one or the other. Being a Denver native and the prototypical dual force defensive end that can play anywhere on the D-Line, I predict the Broncos will go after him in free agency as they are in need of a quality end. Campbell already has the exact playing style they love and would be a great addition to an already stout defense. Denver would instantly make him a key role player for a team that is very close to making a quick return back to the Super Bowl if they can pick up a player or two of Campbellís value this offseason. They have the cap room to make him an appealing offer while playing for a solid contender the next couple of years is something I donít see him declining.
Other Landing Spots- Tampa Bay, Oakland, or Atlanta
(DE) Jason Pierre Paul - New England: The Patriots are coming off a season where they had the best defense in the NFL in keeping opponents from scoring allowing an average of just 15.7 ppg. They did that without Chandler Jones as they traded him right before the season started and he was their premier pass rusher. With both defensive ends Chris Long and Jabaal Sheard being ticketed for free agency and doubtful they will bring both back. It might be time for New England to go after a Pro Bowl talent. JPP is the best available pass rusher in free agency and would blend in perfectly with Bilichick and Matt Patricia hybrid style 3-4 defense. He would make up for the loss of both Long and Sheard while teaming up great with Trey Flowers who played sensational last year. Patriots could use JPP in so many ways from moving him from the DE position to outside linebacker while using his flexibility to rush the passer, or allow him to drop off into flat coverage while still containing the end. JPP would be an absolute force playing in New England and Iím predicting the Patriots will do whatever it takes to get him. Since the defensive end position is their only true weakness heading into the offseason.
Other Landing Spots- Atlanta or resigns with the Giants
(CB) Stephon Gilmore - Tennessee Titans: Gilmore has clearly stated he ďwants to be wantedĒ by whoever is willing to pay his asking price of 14 million annually. The Bills offered him 10.5 million but that is clearly far less than he thinks heís worth and franchise tagging him at 13.7 million would be their best bet to keep him in town. Gilmore feels heís earned himself a big payday and will test the market before he considers the franchise tag. Thatís when I believe the Titans will show him the money he wants to help improve their secondary that allowed roughly 270 ypg last season. Tennessee is a team on the verge of becoming a playoff contender if they can enhance their secondary from getting torched each week. Gilmore is the best cornerback worth going after and they have the money to land an agreement. Then if they pick up a few more secondary players in the draft to provide depth thereís a good chance they are playoff bound in 2017.
Other Landing Spots- Jacksonville, Cleveland, or resigning with the Bills on the franchise tag
(CB) Trumaine Johnson - Cleveland Browns: Since the Browns have a ton of cash they can throw out this offseason cornerback Trumaine Johnson is another big name star they will go after. As Iím sure the Browns will be interested in Stephon Gilmore, I think they will end up pursuing Johnson more as the offseason advances. Since he comes at a more reasonable price and is well aware of Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams game plan after playing under it the last three seasons for the Rams with much success. Cleveland has a lot of positions they need to address this offseason and cornerback is one thatís high on the list. Signing Johnson would be a huge upgrade and if Joe Haden can return to his previous form after two straight injury riddled years. Cleveland could be looking at one of the most dynamic corner duos in the league which will definitely be intriguing to Johnson.
Other Landing Spots- Green Bay or resigns with the Rams
(CB) A.J. Bouye - Green Bay Packers: It doesnít look like the Texans are going to franchise tag Bouye after having a great year where he ranked in as the third best corner by pro football focus. My guess is heís going to get a deal in the 10-12 million range which the Texans feel is too much money. And will let him hit the open market in hopes that no team meets his offer and comes back to them at a cheaper price. I donít think that will happen since so many teams are in need of a shutdown corner, the Packers being one of them. Thatís where I see Bouye ending up with the Packers even with their limited cap room. They need to sign a guy like Bouye after ranking 30th in pass defense in 2016 and cutting ties with starter Sam Shields last week. Many GMís are hesitant on Bouye since last season was his only truly productive one over his three year career since going undrafted. But I still think last yearís tape is a good enough reason for Green Bay to make an offer.
Other Landing Spots- Philly, or resigns with Houston
(S) Tony Jefferson - Baltimore Ravens: Baltimore is tight in cap space this offseason but they need to improve their secondary before the 2017 season starts if they have any hope of returning to their dominate image. The addition of Tony Jefferson would be a massive signing for the Ravens and would take a good amount of pressure off the draft. The chance they took on signing Eric Weddle last year turned out to work wonders for the defense. Toss in a player with special talent like Jefferson next to him who is great at defending both the run and pass, while kicking Lardarius Webb to the curb and freeing up 5.5 million in cap room is a win win. Iím predicting that the Ravens roll the dice on this one and draft a solid cornerback or edge rusher with the 15th pick. Arizona will be strong suitors to bring him back, but if the right price is there from the Ravens and Ozzie Newsome works his magic then this could be a realistic signing this offseason.
Other Landing Spots-Oakland, Tampa Bay, or resigns with Arizona