With agency coming up just around the corner, teams need to decide what to do about their upcoming free agents. Some will get resigned, and some will get to test the free agent market and see what their true worth is. Here is every team’s best free agent, and where they will go if not with their current team.
Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Peterson, CB: Sell, Dallas Cowboys
Peterson is getting older, and his price will be high. Some would argue that it would be worth it to retain a hall of fame cornerback, but I would counter that Peterson is no longer at his prime, and is not worth the paycheck. Jerry Jones picking up a hall of fame cornerback in his prime is a classic Jerry move, and I would not be surprised at all to see something like that go down.
Atlanta Falcons: Keanu Neal, SS: Sell, Las Vegas Raiders
The Falcons like Neal at safety, but he is constantly injured and is not worth big time defensive money. I can see a team like the Raiders taking a chance and paying big bucks for Neal just to see if he can stay healthy for 16 games and give elite play.
Baltimore Ravens: Matt Judon, OLB: Buy
The Ravens are spectacular at developing their front seven, and Judon has already shown that he can play at a very high level. Judon is worth star money if you can get years and years of good play out of him, and if you had Judon and Calais Campbell playing on the same line for a few years, that would be incredible.
Buffalo Bills: Trent Murphy, DE: Buy
The Bills are actually slated to retain most of their best players, but Murphy is a solid starter at defensive end that the Bills will lose if they choose to not resign him. I believe the Bills should resign him, he would come on a cheap contract and would be a solid starter for their defense.
Carolina Panthers: Taylor Moton, OT: Buy
Elite offensive tackles are extremely difficult to land, and even more difficult to fit to a different team’s system coming out of free agency. The Panthers would be much better off just paying Moton big money to stay in Carolina than having to hunt for a new offensive tackle in free agency or the draft.
Chicago Bears: Allen Robinson, WR: Sell, New England Patriots
The Bears have a talent they can develop in Anthony Miller, and Darnell Mooney is starting to look good. That being said, you would lose a solidified number one receiver to free agency which would really hurt, but Robinson just does not seem worth his price tag. We have also heard rumors of Robinson wanting out of Chicago so this would make sense. Robinson would be a great fit in New England, where they seem to be searching for another good receiver to complement Edelman.
Cincinnati Bengals: Shawn Williams, S: Buy
Shawn Williams has not been a household name for Bengals fans, but he has been a very consistent piece of the Bengals defense since 2013, when he was drafted. The Bengals would be wise to resign Williams so he can keep being a consistent player on the Bengals defense.
Cleveland Browns: Olivier Vernon, DE: Sell, Atlanta Falcons
Vernon has been a pretty big disappointment in Cleveland for the past two years, and he has not exactly been someone that they can cheaply cut, he’s coming in at 11 million dollars this year. The Browns would be smart to let Vernon hit the market. I could see the Falcons totally overpaying for Vernon in their desperate attempt to obtain a pass rusher.
Dallas Cowboys: Dak Prescott, QB: Buy
Good teams don’t let their franchise quarterbacks go. Dak Prescott has proven that his ceiling is among the elite quarterbacks of the NFL, and I believe that Jerry Jones would not dare let his quarterback hit the market, no matter how big the price tag is.
Denver Broncos: Justin Simmons, S: Buy
Why not? Justin Simmons improves every year, and the Broncos look like they might be losing their premier defensive player to age. In addition they no longer have Chris Harris, and Bradley Chubb cannot be counted on to be healthy, so why not let yourself have a defensive centerpiece for the next four or five years?
Detroit Lions: Jarrad Davis, ILB: Buy
Davis is a very good linebacker, but is under the radar because he is stuck in one of the worst possible places to get noticed in the NFL. However, with a new coaching regime on the way there is a good chance the Lions will start to get some pop, and I am guessing Davis will want to be there when it happens.
Green Bay Packers: Aaron Jones, RB: Sell, New York Jets
Jones is going to come at an extremely high price, like maybe record breaking money in free agency, and the Packers clearly think they have something in AJ Dillon and might retain Jamaal Williams in free agency. I believe Jones could end up on a team like the Jets that would be happy to overlay just to have someone that is at least kind of good for their offense, especially a young running back.
Houston Texans: Will Fuller, WR: Sell, Baltimore Ravens
I could see the Texans going totally the opposite direction and keeping Fuller, but given that his name was floated a lot during the trade deadline it seems unlikely. Fuller is an oft-injured game changing receiver who has built a good rapport with QB Deshaun Watson in Houston. I could see Fuller landing in Baltimore to give Lamar a chance at a solid first receiver or at least a complement to Hollywood Brown.
Indianapolis Colts: Phillip Rivers, QB: Sell
The Colts will not want to stick with Rivers next year because there is no chance that he is the future for that organization. I think even if Rivers decided that he wanted to end up playing next year I am not sure there is any team that would want him. Rivers would end up being forced to retire in the 2020 offseason.
Jacksonville Jaguars: DJ Hayden, CB: Buy
The Jaguars need all the help they can get on defense, and DJ Hayden is one of their better defensive players (which is not saying much but it’s something). Hayden will not come at an exorbitant price and he could be a league average starter at corner. I say why not.
Kansas City Chiefs: Daniel Sorensen, S: Sell, Seattle Seahawks
The Chiefs have a talent in Sorensen that is really having a breakout year with Kansas City, which will probably increase his paycheck a significant amount. I do not see the Chiefs sticking with Sorensen because they might suspect he is a one year wonder. The Seahawks, who are still recovering from the Jamal Adams trade, would be able to sign Sorensen to help their secondary out.
Las Vegas Raiders: Jonathan Hankins, DT: Buy
The Raiders can re-sign Hankins, who is a solid starter in Las Vegas, to a relatively inexpensive contract for a good player. Hankins would play along a defensive line that contains the likes of Clelin Ferrel and Maxx Crosby, and start to really strengthen the Raiders defense.
Los Angeles Chargers: Melvin Ingram, OLB: Sell, New York Giants
Melvin Ingram on one side, Leonard WIlliams on the other, what could be better for a Giants team that is finally starting to show some life with Daniel Jones and Joe Judge. Ingram has shown signs that his Chargers tenure is coming to an end sooner rather than later, and I could totally see the Giants giving him a massive contract to make their defense dominant.
Los Angeles Rams: Leonard Floyd, OLB: Buy
If it ain’t broke… Leonard Floyd and Aaron Donald have been one of the best defensive line duos in the entire NFL this year, and I do not think the Rams will not want to mess with that, especially with the Rams trying to convince the league they are still a strong playoff team.
Miami Dolphins: Ryan Fitzpatrick: Sell, Chicago Bears
The Dolphins are finally starting to figure themselves out and use Tua more, so now that the Miami quarterback situation is taken care of, where does that leave FItzpatrick? Chicago is a ship lost at sea with their quarterbacks, Trubisky does not seem like the answer, Foles is definitely not the answer, and the Bears will not have a pick good enough to rely on a franchise quarterback in the draft. The Bears are the most likely team to ride with Fitzpatrick until they figure themselves out.
Minnesota Vikings: Anthony Harris, S: Buy
The combination of Harris and Harrison Smith is certainly in the running for one of the best safety combos in the NFL, why would the Vikings want to screw that up. Harris will not come cheap, but the investment is well worth it to get one of the best safeties in the game.
New England Patriots: Joe Thuney, G: Buy
This goes back to my earlier argument about Taylor Moton, but premier offensive lineman are ridiculously hard to find, even for New England. Thuney is a centerpiece on that line and needs to stay in New England. There is a reason the Pats decided to use the tag on Thuney this year.
New Orleans Saints: Sheldon Rankins, DT: Sell, Arizona Cardinals
The Saints have had Rankins since 2016, and overall he has been a pretty good player for them. The problem is, the Saints are already stuck in cap hell and Rankins is not going to come cheap. Cue the Cardinals who need an interior lineman, after all Corey Peters is not getting any younger. Rankins would have the chance to create one of the best defenses in the league with Chandler Jones and Budda Baker.
New York Giants: Leonard Williams, DE: Buy
Leonard Williams will come at a very pricy contract, but his production has been worth it, and the Giants need all the defensive help they can get.
New York Jets: Marcus Maye, S: Buy
Maye has been slowly but surely developing as a defensive talent in New York, and I believe that the Jets should do everything they can do to retain the few players that actually work in their system. Additionally, I do not think Maye will come at any ridiculous price. While he is good, he is not Pro Bowl level quite yet.
Philadelphia Eagles: Jason Peters, OT: Sell
I think Peters is done after this season, in a league that is mostly dominated by young players there is not much room for a 39 year old offensive lineman on most NFL rosters. Peters was already close to retiring last season, and I believe he will do it for sure this year.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Bud Dupree, OLB: Buy
Dupree is one of the best defensive players in football right now, and I think it is a given that the Steelers will keep him to play alongside TJ Watt, and create a defensive pairing that can possibly stand for over a decade.
San Francisco 49ers: Trent Williams, OT: Buy
The 49ers should be hyper concerned with keeping their quarterback safe at this point, and if you want to keep your quarterback safe then I’d say a future hall of fame offensive tackle is a pretty practical move to make. The 49ers will re-sign Williams to a long term deal in the offense in a desperate bid to keep Jimmy safe.
Seattle Seahawks: Chris Carson, RB: Sell, Pittsburgh Steelers
Chris Carson is an amazing player, but he simply cannot stay healthy for an entire season, and I do not think the Seahawks are going to ride with him because of this. Meanwhile the Steelers seem to get less and less excited about James Conner every year, and would probably like a solidified number one back, or at least a back that can play a good rotational role.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Lavonte David, OLB: Buy
Lavonte David has been one of the Bucs’ best defensive players for about three years now, and I see no reason to give up on that now. Lavonte David will have a crucial role to play in a defense that has been extremely strong this year.
Tennessee Titans: Corey Davis, WR: Buy
Davis is finally starting to come through in his fourth year in Tennessee, and he has been an excellent complement to AJ Brown this year. As the Titans continue to try and build their offense, I believe that Davis has now become a crucial piece to the puzzle, and the Titans will re-sign him to a good deal.
Washington Football Team: Brandon Scherff, G: Buy
Scherff has really started coming along as one of the better guards in the league, and Washington will want to protect whatever quarterback enters their system next year, be it Alex Smith, Kyle Allen, or a new face through the draft or God forbid free agency.
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