With the news of Cam Newton signing a one-year deal with the New England Patriots, there could be a domino-effect with some of the best remaining free agents.
Let’s predict the landing spots for five of the top remaining free agents.
Clowney was expected to be one of the first big-name free agents to sign a big contract. He was expected to get a deal near $100 million, but he has struggled to find a suitor. After being traded to the Seahawks before the start of the 2019 season, he recorded a carrer-low in sacks (3) and tackles (31). In result, his market has taken a hit.
The star pass rusher’s top options throughout the course of the offseason have been returning to Seattle or moving on to the Titans. Both teams have shown interest, but have not rushed to acquire his services.
Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reported that Cleveland gave Clowney the most lucrative offer and got no bite. In addition, Robinson reported that teams have grown tired of Clowney’s stance and are done negotiating.
Clowney’s two top options have been rumored to be the Cowboys and Saints, but bothe teams currently stand tight on the cap and would have to do a ton of financial manuevering to get a deal done with him.
At this point, his best option would be to sign a one-year deal to bounce back and re-set his market to get a chance at a big deal in 2021.
Prediction: Seattle Seahawks
Logan Ryan produced one of the best seasons in his career last year. He recorded career-highs with 4.5 sacks, 113 tackles, and 18 passes defensed. In addition, he tallied four interceptions.
Like Clowney, his financial demands have offset his market. He has a terrific contract year and he knows that as he reportedly wants $10 million each season. He shot down a return to the Titans but appears to be open to any other team.
The New York Jets and Miami Dolphins appear to lead the pack, with both needing some additional depth at corner. The two AFC East rivals have plenty of cap space, as the Jets have $24.7 million, compared to the Dolphins $20.7 million.
New York needs helps in the secondary and Ryan would make an immediate impact. On the other hand, Miami already spent big on Byron Jones this offseason, and used a first-round pick on Noah Igbinoghene out of Auburn. Xavien Howard is also on a huge deal.
Miami does own an advantage over New York in that head coach, Brian Flores has a history with Ryan, dating back to their time in New England. He would be a good depth piece and would aid the development of Igbinoghene by not rushing him.
Prediction: Miami Dolphins
Everson Griffen decided to opt-out of his contract with the Vikings in February, and there has not been much traction on telling his future. HE is coming off a solid 2019 campaign with eight sacks and 24 QB Hits.
There are a handful of teams that should be in contention for Griffen. The Cardinals could use another top-end rusher to pair with Chandler Jones, while the Seahawks and Browns could transition to Griffen depending on the Clowney decision.
The four-time Pro Bowler would be a terrific fit with the Arizona Cardinals, who have been very active this offseason. They traded for star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in a blockbuster trade and draft rookie Isaiah Simmons to add to their defense. The one thing the Cardinals need is a secondary pass rusher to pair with Chandler Jones and Everson Griffen would fit the bill.
Prediction: Arizona Cardinals
Jason Peters may be 38 years old, but he can still play at a high level with great athleticism. Despite his age, he has no interest in retiring and wants to continue playing.
Peters is still capable of being an effective piece to help a team win in 2020. He remains a top-tier pass-protector as he was ranked the fourth-best pass-blocking grade, only allowing 21 total pressures and three sacks in 562 snaps with the Eagles in 2019, according to Pro Football Focus.
The Eagles appear confident in Andre Dillard, but Peters’ return is still possible. The veteran has spent the last 11 seasons in Philadelphia, and though he’s spoken to the team, neither is in a rush to make a decision, according to Garafolo.
The Chargers and Redskins come to mind as both teams traded away great OT talents in Russell Okung and Trent Williams. Los Angeles brought in Bryan Bulaga this offseason to improve a long-suffering offensive line. The Redskins need any help on the offensive line and Peters would be an immediate upgrade.
Another team that needs help on the o-line is the Rams. The Rams offensive line was one of the better units in the league in 2018, which helped the offense flourish. However, they fell apart this past season, with injuries and personnel changes taking a toll on the group. They finished the season 31st in PFF’s offensive line rankings. Adding a veteran like Peters will help revive the offensive line and rejuvenate the offense.
Prediction: Los Angeles Rams
Josh Gordon’s troubles off the field have overshadowed his play and ability on the field. Flashback to 2013, Gordon was one of the league’s best WRs, recording over 1,600 receiving yards and nine touchdowns, eclipsing 19 yards per reception.
Gordon possesses terrific speed and athleticism to be a true difference-maker at the wide receiver position. There are multiple teams who could use additional help at the wide receiver position.
The Washington Redskins have Terry McLaurin, who had a solid rookie campaign, posting over 900 yards and seven touchdowns. They need a WR2 and Gordon could be a good addition to become an additional deep threat for Dwayne Haskins.
The team that probably needs the most help at WR is the Green Bay Packers. The Packers failed to address their need at WR in the draft and Josh Gordon would be a great addition. Davante Adams is strongest in short and intermediated routes, while Gordon can go these deeper routes and be that deep threat for Aaron Rodgers.
If Josh Gordon gets reinstated, then you can see him getting interest from multiple teams who need additional help at wideout.
Prediction: Green Bay Packers