Though some of the bigger names have already found their destinations for the 2020 season, plenty of other star players remain unsigned.
Among those names are Cam Newton, recently released by the Panthers, and Jadeveon Clowney, one of the best pure edge rushers in the NFL. The free-agent pool is still filled with guys who could step in and immediately improve some teams in need.
In this piece, the goal is to predict just where these players will end up, and why it may or may not be their best fit.
Cam Newton, QB- Washington Redskins
Ace Boogie became the biggest name in free agency as soon as he was shopped by Carolina, but things truly blew up for him when he was cut after the Panthers couldn’t find a trade for him. It doesn’t come as a shocking move, with the Panthers signing Teddy Bridgewater to a 3 year, $63 million deal.
Cam Newton still has a lot to offer teams and according to his physical in Atlanta, he’s completely healthy and at full strength. While he’s had accuracy issues, his former teammates have spoken on his character as a leader; his servitude to the community speaks for itself. Not only would he be a contributor on the field, but Cam has the intangibles to be the face of a young team and help lead them on a better path.
Ron Rivera was brought into Washington to completely change the culture of the franchise. Over the last few years, the Redskins have simply gotten used to being mediocre and their choices as a franchise resemble that. Riverboat Ron has recruited former Panthers to join him, among those names are 4-3 LB Thomas Davis and backup QB Kyle Allen. Bringing in Cam Newton would further solidify the change of culture that the Redskins so desperately need.
Jameis Winston, QB- Pittsburgh Steelers
We all know that teams have their reservations regarding Winston, among those is the number 30. That’s the number of interceptions the former number 1 pick threw last season, perhaps one of the bigger reasons why a talented Tampa Bay team only won 7 games.
Now, let’s forget about the interceptions because quite frankly that can be coached. Jameis Winston is more than willing to take the ball deep and that worked extremely well under Bruce Arians, who prefers his quarterbacks take a 7-step drop in order to spread out the play and throw the ball deeper. He can be reckless with the football, but, again, that’s coachable. He shows great arm strength, and a lot of executives will say that arm strength is the one thing that they always look for in a QB. Couple that with size and athleticism, which he most definitely has, and Winston is definitely a starting-caliber QB. Let’s not forget that he did throw for 5,000 yards, which is no easy feat.
With Ben Roethlisberger potentially returning, Jameis Winston would have at least a year to sit behind one of the best to ever do it. It would provide him time to grow and mature and give Pittsburgh a QB for the future. It’s a true win-win.
Jadeveon Clowney, Edge- Seattle Seahawks
There’s no super-detailed explanation for this one. The Seahawks are absolutely stupid if they don’t bring back Clowney. He’s an absolute monster. Pretty much unblockable on the edge, he gives every offensive line problems. While his sack numbers aren’t absurd, they don’t tell the whole tale. He’s good against the run and dangerous enough to warrant double teams.
While he could fit in with other teams, Tennessee and Minnesota among them, Seattle’s defense needs him the most. He ties their whole defensive unit together. They simply have to bring him back, I can’t see another way this plays out.
Logan Ryan, CB- Detroit Lions
After signing Desmond Trufant and Duron Harmon, the Lions are still looking for ways to solidify their secondary and make up for trading Darius Slay. Logan Ryan might just be the man to accomplish that.
The only problem? He refuses to make less than he made in 2019. Demanding at least $10 million per year makes him a lot harder to sign. However, he has proven to be one of the most consistent players in the NFL, showing a reliable ability to cover in the slot and occasionally fill in on the outside. Detroit should be willing to pay him in order to mitigate the loss of their number one corner.
Here is a list of some landing spots for some of the other remaining free agents and their projected spots.
- Jason Peters, OT- Los Angeles Chargers
- Delanie Walker, TE- Washington Redskins
- Prince Amukamara, CB- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Everson Griffen, Edge- Detroit Lions
- Shelby Harris, DT- Indianapolis Colts
- Damarious Randall, S- Carolina Panthers
There you have it, the predicted landing spots of a good portion of the best free agents left in the large pool of players looking for their 2020 destination.