NFL Free Agency
With Super Bowl LIII behind us, we now enter the most grueling part of the offseason for NFL fans. It is a time for us to reflect on the 2018 season and analyze how our favorite teams competed. And for most of us, imagine ways for our preferred franchise to gain more talent during the offseason. The most dedicated fans may be studying rookies and anxiously awaiting the NFL combine to see what prospects stand out. But before our teams even have a chance to draft any of these rookies there is a very important date we should all keep in mind. On March 13th NFL free agency will begin, allowing NFL teams the opportunity to acquire the best veterans available. So while we patiently wait for some relevant NFL news we thought now may be a good time to do a little speculating on where some of our favorite free agents might end up.
Quarterback | Age: 30
After his break out season in 2013, Foles looked destined for greatness. But following the Eagles meltdown under Chip Kelly, the young quarterback made two unpleasant pit stops with the Rams and Chiefs before ending up back on the bench in Philadelphia. Having Foles as a backup quarterback has paid dividends for the Eagles with Carson Wentz facing injuries in back to back seasons. He has started eight regular-season games and five playoff games including his Super Bowl LII MVP performance against the New England Patriots. The question is, who will pay a Super Bowl MVP that has failed to remain a starter for a large part of his career? Here are a few teams we think are desperate enough to give big money to have Foles under center in 2019.
Ranked 31st in NFL Cap Space
The Jaguars feel like the obvious choice due to their rapid decline in 2018. It became abundantly clear that Blake Bortles isn’t going to take the next step and become their franchise quarterback this season. After making the AFC Championship Game in 2017, the Jaguars fell to last place in their division by losing 11 games. Although their cap space is a little tight, there have already been rumors that they could be letting some of their higher paid assets leave this offseason. Opening the door for Foles to step in and take over this offense. Is it the best fit for Foles and his career headed forward? Probably not. But if the money is right I’m sure he will make the best business decision for himself and his family.
Ranked 27th in NFL Cap Space
Next we head over to the Jaguars neighbor in Miami. Ryan Tannehill has had six seasons to prove himself and has done little to inspire confidence. With a new head coach coming to the Dolphins they may finally be ready to get another quarterback under center not named Tannehill or Brock Osweiler. They would need to clear some cap space to bring in Foles but they could save some money by cutting Tannehill. And with their draft position, they could easily bring in another receiver to compliment Foles in this offense. Maybe Foles could be the spark they’ve been looking for.
Ranked 23rd in NFL Cap Space
Alex Smith’s career is in jeopardy following the brutal leg injury he suffered in week 10 of the 2018 season. Post surgery the quarterback has battled infections that have slowed his recovery and left him donning a large leg brace. It seems unlikely that he will be ready at the beginning of 2019 if he ever plays again, which could lead the Redskins to look elsewhere for a starting quarterback. It is entirely possible that they choose rather to seek out the services of Tyrod Taylor or Ryan Fitzpatrick until they receive confirmation on Smith’s status. But Foles could definitely still be in play. And if you’re choosing between the three, I believe Foles would give them the best chance to win right now.
New York Giants
Ranked 31st in NFL Cap Space
With the steady decline we have seen in Eli Manning over the past few seasons it’s hard to imagine the Giants not doing something at quarterback. They’ll likely draft someone, but Foles could be a good bridge quarterback for them.
Running Back | Age: 26
Bell took a stand for all future running backs headed into free agency by sitting out the entire 2018 season and refusing to play under his second franchise tag. And although there have been rumors of the Steelers trying to possibly tag and trade Bell, it is more likely that he becomes a free agent. The question becomes what teams have enough cap space and a desire to pay up for an elite running back?
Ranked 6th in NFL Cap Space
The Raiders first season under John Gruden was a disaster and the team will surely try to make some splashes headed into 2019 to improve this roster. After moving on from Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper the team has plenty of money to play around with and a top four draft pick. For a team looking to stir up some excitement before they make the move to Las Vegas, signing Bell seems like a perfect option. This would free them up to use their draft picks on some desperately needed wide receiver depth. Along with giving Gruden a weapon to take the pressure off of Derek Carr.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ranked 24th in NFL Cap Space
The Buccaneers don’t have nearly as much cap space to play with as the raiders and it would likely cost them some veterans to be able to afford Bell. But can you imagine Bruce Arians being able to deploy Bell in that David Johnson role in his offense? Adding Bell to this offense would make this team hands down the most talented offense in the NFL with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard eating up defenses through the air while Bell shreds them on the ground. This move seems like something you would see on your friends Madden dynasty team but maybe the Buccaneers are ready to go all in with their new head coach.
San Francisco 49ers
Ranked 24th in NFL Cap Space
The 49ers profile as the perfect landing spot for Bell in my opinion. They struggled at running back in 2018 due to Jerick McKinnon tearing his ACL before the season even started. Which caused them to deploy a committee which struggled to stay healthy throughout the season. Bell would fit perfectly in Kyle Shanahan’s offense as the pass-catching dual-threat weapon and the 49ers have plenty of money to play with. It’s time for them to give Jimmy Garoppolo some new weapons headed into 2019 and Bell could be a home run in free agency.
New York Jets
Ranked 2nd in NFL Cap Space
The Jets always seem like an option when thinking of a team that could attempt to overpay and snag a free agent. But in this case it might actually make some sense for them to go get Bell to pair with Sam Darnold.
Running Back | Age: 29
For a 29-year-old running back coming off of a lackluster season, you’d think the market might be slim. But in the case of Mark Ingram, I believe there will be plenty of potential suitors. His 2018 statistics don’t jump off the page but if you go back to 2017 you see a guy that could easily improve plenty of NFL backfields. He isn’t as flashy as his former counterpart Alvin Kamara but when you get him moving downhill he’s hard to stop. And that’s a quality that is valuable to plenty of teams.
Ranked Last in NFL Cap Space
The Eagles are in desperate need of some consistency from the running back position after leaning heavily on backups for most of 2018. They attempted to fill the role with Jay Ajayi but it was short lived due to injury and it appears they’ll seek out another option this offseason. This is the perfect spot for Ingram in my opinion. He could act as the lead back and work in tandem with Corey Clement on passing downs. It would be nice for the Eagles to give Carson Wentz some help out of the backfield.
Ranked 20th in NFL Cap Space
There have already been rumors swirling that the Ravens are interested in Ingram’s services and for good reason. You’ve got to assume that the Ravens offense will revolve heavily around Lamar Jackson’s mobility which would open up lanes for a bruiser like Ingram to punish the defense. And for a team that’s struggled to find a bell cow back over the last few seasons, Ingram could be a Godsend. The other plus to adding Ingram from the Ravens perspective would be the experience he has versus drafting an inexperienced rookie. His knowledge on pass protection alone could be worth adding with a young star quarterback on the field.
Green Bay Packers
Ranked 14th in NFL Cap Space
Green Bay seems like a totally under the radar landing spot for a running back like Ingram but let me explain why it makes sense before you discredit the option. Aaron Jones is beloved by the fantasy football community for his explosive playmaking ability but between his injuries and suspension, he’s been less than reliable. On the other hand, Jamaal Williams has done little to impress with his opportunities to lead the backfield. What I’m suggesting is that Green Bay could try to replicate what New Orleans had with Ingram and Alvin Kamara. Let Aaron Jones play the Kamara role as the explosive playmaker and let Ingram be the early-down bruiser. This could greatly improve their backfield rotation and possibly keep Jones healthy over a full season.
Ranked 8th in NFL Cap Space
With the Seahawks drafting Rashaad Penny in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft it seems unlikely that they’d spend another draft pick on that position this offseason. But that doesn’t mean couldn’t try to upgrade via free agency. Ingram could give them a workhorse to lean on other than Chris Carson while Penny develops.
Wide Receiver | Age: 30
After acquiring Tate via trade the Eagles failed to utilize him to his full potential in their offense. For me, it seems likely that Tate opts to seek another landing spot in free agency. He has already stated that he would like to go to a contender and it’s unlikely he will demand a large salary due to his age and skill set. So who will want him?
New England Patriots
Ranked 25th in NFL Cap Space
At first glance, the Patriots may seem like an unlikely candidate as they celebrate their recent Super Bowl victory. But when looking over their roster they have plenty of space for Tate to carve out a role. At this point, it seems like Rob Gronkowski has seen his better days and could possibly even retire this offseason. And it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Patriots cut ties with Chris Hogan and Phillip Dorsett before training camp. This would leave the door wide open for Tate to step in and become the Patriots number two receiver behind Julian Edelman.
Ranked 10th in NFL Cap Space
With Cole Beasley headed to free agency, the Cowboys will be on the lookout for another receiver to play opposite Amari Cooper. Although they drafted Michael Gallup in 2018 I believe they could look to add another veteran to improve this offense. Tate could be a perfect option for them with his slot abilities and he could easily take over Cole Beasley’s workload. Dak needs another option other than Amari and Zeke headed into 2019 if the Cowboys want to have any chance at a Super Bowl.
New Orleans Saints
Ranked 28th in NFL Cap Space
Although the Saints were one blown call away from making the Super Bowl, I don’t think they plan to take their foot off the gas pedal. Drew Brees is reaching the end of his hall of fame career giving them a small window to make a push for another Super Bowl. With Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas on the field, they’re primed for success year in and year out. But I think Tate could give them the slot presence they’ve been missing over the last few seasons. With Tate in the slot, they could use Thomas and Tre’Quon Smith on the outside causing nightmare matchups for opponents. And that’s not even mentioning Kamara out of the backfield.
Ranked 1st in NFL Cap Space
The Colts looked good this year with Andrew Luck back under center. But their offense is still missing a few weapons that could push them over the top. Tate could give them the edge they need to take another step in 2019.
Wide Receiver | Age: 27
Since being signed as an unrestricted free agent in 2015 by the Chargers, Tyrell Williams has been a very productive asset. Although he has only seen one season with over 1,000 yards receiving, he has managed to find the end zone 17 times over his career. He is by no means an elite number one receiver but there are quite a few teams in the NFL that could use a receiver with his experience.
Ranked 20th in NFL Cap Space
The Ravens struggled to move the ball through the air during the 2018 season. And it was partially due to a wide receiver core that struggled down the stretch to make plays. With John Brown headed to free agency and Michael Crabtree, a possible cut candidate this offseason the Ravens will need to give Lamar Jackson something to work within 2019. This is where I believe Williams could step in and add some much-needed depth and youth to this receiving core. Even though they would likely need to add another receiver to pair with Tyrell, he would at least give them a good start.
Ranked 12th in NFL Cap Space
For a team that had a horrible offense in 2018, any additions could help. And even though Larry Fitzgerald recently signed on for another season, I think Tyrell could greatly compliment this offense. Christian Kirk looked good in his rookie season but I believe Williams could give the Cardinals an outside presence to open up the offense a little more. This team is desperate to open up some lanes for David Johnson coming out of the backfield and Tyrell could be the weapon that helps that happen.
Ranked 5th in NFL Cap Space
Buffalo has had a long list of receivers come and go over the last few seasons to no avail. From Kelvin Benjamin to Jordan Matthews they just can’t seem to find the right guy for the job. With the acquisition of their franchise quarterback in 2018 the Bills need to do something immediately to bring some life into this offense. The days of depending completely on LeSean McCoy to carry this team are gone and the passing game is going to need to step up. Bringing Tyrell in could give Josh Allen a viable target to pair with Zay Jones in hopes of helping the quarterback take the next step in his career.
Ranked 23rd in NFL Cap Space
When it comes to receivers the Redskins have very little to work with. And even though Coach Jay Gruden mentioned the possibility of resigning Jamison Crowder, they will need more than that to upgrade this offense.
There are plenty of other noteworthy free agents headed into the 2019 offseason. So feel free to contact us on twitter and tell us some of your favorite free agent landing spots. In the end, the landing spot for each of these players will affect their 2019 fantasy production and value. Which it important for us all to keep track of.