• Jordan Taylor

Free Agency Predictions 2018: Where will your favorite offensive players end up?

Updated: Mar 13, 2018

I am going to try and predict the outcome of the NFL Free Agency Frenzy. Now, let's see where almost every noteworthy free agent offensive playmaker ends up


(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Kirk Cousins -> Minnesota Vikings- Cousins is the biggest fish on the market and there is already rampant speculation linking him to Minnesota and even some going as far to say it's a "done deal". If he truly wants to be in the best position to win, he will hop aboard the Vikings ship. Vikings will welcome him and likely make him the highest paid player in the NFL.

Drew Brees -> New Orleans Saints- Brees isn't leaving. He is the backbone of not only that franchise, but of the entire city. There will be speculation the longer this drags on, but he is likely just waiting to see the market play out. Who Dat gonna pay Drew Brees? The New Orleans Saints.

Case Keenum -> Denver Broncos- Will Case be able to repeat his success of 2017 in 2018, or ever again for that matter? While we won't know the answer to that just yet, the Broncos make the best case for Keenum as they have a similar build as the Vikings did. Denver is expected to whiff on the Cousins sweepstakes and Keenum will be an upgrade of the blackhole that Denver had at the position last season. Look for them to draft a QB high to learn/compete with Keenum.

Teddy Bridgewater -> Arizona Cardinals- Teddy is coming back from a horrific knee injury that nearly ended his career. The question is: What does he look like on the field? He saw very limited action in cleanup against the Bengals which he only threw 2 passes. It could be telling that Minnesota is letting Teddy walk after he was considered the face of the franchise pre-injury. This is the perfect type of risk/reward Arizona should take when missing out on the top options.

AJ McCarron -> Buffalo Bills- McCarron has long been overdue a chance to start in the NFL. He has looked the part of an at least average QB when stepping in for Andy Dalton. Bills have a very good roster put together and proved they can make the playoffs with an average QB when they did it with Tyrod Taylor last season. Bills are expected to be major players in the draft for a QB, so McCarron gives them a very solid bridge option until their guy is ready.

Sam Bradford -> Jacksonville Jaguars- Ultimately, I have no idea what to do with Bradford. He is a starting QB and has one of the best arms in the league, but at this point in his career, he is immobile and his health will always be a question. He has had several knee injuries and he can not be trusted to play all 16 games. This likely leads to all the starting jobs filling up and his price tag dropping significantly. Why not go back up one of the lower tier QBs in the league that happens to have one of the best rosters in football. They need someone that can challenge Bortles a little more than Henne and Bradford would be the ideal fit.

Josh McCown -> New York Jets- McCown played really well and won a lot more games with the Jets than people expected. He should be back as a bridge QB for whoever the Jets take with their #6 pick. McCown is loved in the locker room so they will welcome him back when the Jets miss out on Kirk Cousins.

Jay Cutler -> FOX- Smokin' Jay has officially thrown his last pass in the NFL. For real this time. He will pickup where he left off as an analyst with FOX, only this time, teams will know not to come calling.

Mike Glennon -> Houston Texans- Despite his struggles starting for the Bears this past season, Glennon is still a viable backup in this league. With Watson still recovering from his ACL tear, it will be very beneficial for Houston to have a backup of Glennon's caliber just in case something goes wrong with Watson's rehab.

Tom Savage -> Cincinnati Bengals- McCarron is gone and Andy Dalton doesn't have the best injury history so the Bengals would rather be safe than sorry. Jeff Driskel has been kept around Cincy for a reason, but I am not so sure they are ready to hand him a QB2 job. Bringing in Tom Savage would be a very underrated move for the Bengals.

*Ryan Fitzpatrick -> Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Fitzmagic will be staying put in Tampa Bay as Winston's backup. Deal that makes since for both sides. Fitz fits in any locker room he is in and played well in relief of Jameis Winston last season.

Running Backs

(Patrick Tehan/Bay Area News Group)

*Le'Veon Bell -> Pittsburgh Steelers- Pittsburgh could not let Bell hit the open market so they placed the franchise tag on him. Bell will not play for another team next season and the two sides will try and work out a long term deal.

Carlos Hyde -> Indianapolis Colts- The Colts have got a new regime in town and what is the first thing they will do? Find a viable way to keep all the pressure off of Andrew Luck by going out and getting the best running back that will hit the open market. Hyde is coming off his best statistical season yet and will be looking to cash in.

Dion Lewis -> Oakland Raiders- Gruden is back in Oakland! While the Raiders do not have a ton of cap space, something they need to do is find someone to share the load with Lynch, or even take the load from him if they want to shed some cap space. Dion Lewis is set to go out and make his mark somewhere outside of New England and get a bigger role.

Jerick McKinnon -> New York Giants- Jet is loved in Minnesota, but he wants and has earned a bigger role on a team. He has shined when called upon and is a dynamic runner on the outside and in the passing game. What better choice could there be than to follow Pat Shurmur to the seemingly always running back needy New York Giants.

Demarco Murray -> Miami Dolphins- Murray can no longer be a feature back in the NFL but it would be wise for the Dolphins to consider adding Murray in a rotation with Kenyan Drake. Dolphins won't have much money to offer, but luckily for them, teams are no longer backing up the Brinks truck for the now 30 year old running back.

Adrian Peterson -> Minnesota Vikings- Maybe it is just me, but it is just weird seeing Adrian Peterson in another uniform. He is not the same player he once was and it is time for him to realize that. He should sign a one day contract and retire as a Minnesota Viking and here's to hoping that he knows it is time too.

Isaiah Crowell -> Seattle Seahawks- Seattle has cleared tons of cap space and seem to be starting over on defense. This is all the more reason to fire up the offense if they want to compete in the years of Russell Wilson's prime. They have severely lacked a running game since Lynch left. Crowell would be a perfect fit there because he can do a little bit of everything and is still fairly young.

Rex Burkhead -> New England Patriots- This match is almost too good and Burkhead flourished with the Pats last season. He is a really good receiver out of the backfield which the Patriots love an I don't see them letting him go because his demands will not be high.

Johnathan Stewart -> Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Tampa Bay is in need of a running back in wake of moving on from Doug Martin. Make no mistake, Johnathan Stewart is no feature back and truly never has been, but he would be a perfect kind of back to pair with a running back prospect from the draft.

*Chris Ivory -> Buffalo Bills- Deal got done quickly and easy to see why. Great combo of Ivory's power and McCoy's speed and agility.

Doug Martin -> Detroit Lions- Detroit has found some solid receiving backs lately with Riddick and Abdullah, but neither are very good runners and struggle to stay healthy. Martin makes all the sense in the world to go there behind that expensive offensive line.

Frank Gore -> San Francisco 49ers- Gore's career seems to be approaching the end very soon. He was one of the most consistent backs of this generation and why not head back to where it all started in San Francisco to ride off into the sunset as a 49er.

Alfred Morris -> Dallas Cowboys- Morris has played really well in limited opportunities behind Zeke and he would be dumb to leave that offensive line in Dallas. The Cowboys should definetly keep him around because you just never know what antics Zeke will pull next.

Jeremy Hill -> Cleveland Browns- Hill played his best football when Hue Jackson was around in Cincy so it only makes since he follows Hue to Cleveland. Also, he would be able to try and make Cincy pay twice a year. This could all change if Cleveland expects to take Saquon Barkley number 1 in the draft, but as of right now this fit makes tons of sense.

LeGarrette Blount -> Carolina Panthers- All that Blount does is score big touchdowns in big moments. The Panthers need a power back to pair with versatile Christian McCaffrey and Blount would be the ideal fit to help them get back to the playoffs. Blount also fits the hard nosed style of play Carolina prides itself on.

Thomas Rawls -> New York Jets- Jets are a perfect team to take a flier on the often injured Thomas Rawls. He could breakout if he stays healthy, which you can't count on. Jets lose nothing if it doesn't workout because they also have Powell to lean on.

Orleans Darkwa -> New York Giants- Bringing back one of the most productive backs the Giants have had in quite a few years should not be even a question. Although, that isn't saying a whole lot because they have had very little success running the ball. Bringing back Darkwa and pairing him with McKinnon from free agency will be the right step for that back to a winning organization.

Darren Sproles -> Minnesota Vikings- Sproles would be the perfect veteran to fill McKinnon's role on the team as a reserve receiving back and can help in the return game. He would follow John DeFilippo from Philly to Minnesota. He is coming off a major injury so a big role should not be expected.

Zach Line -> New Orleans Saints- Zach Line is more of a fullback but I felt like adding him in here. He should not be let go by New Orleans as he did his part in blocking for 2 Pro Bowl running backs.

Wide Receivers

(Rick Wilson/AP)

Allen Robinson -> Baltimore Ravens- Ravens have been super aggressive in trying to improve their group of receivers this offseason. Robinson will be a nice fit for Flacco's big time arm. Ravens would have to spend big, but finding an elite receiver like Allen Robinson would be worth every penny.

Sammy Watkins -> Chicago Bears- Chicago has hands down the worst receiving core in the NFL entering free agency. This should convince new Head Coach Matt Nagy and GM Ryan Pace to go get one of the best available free agents to help out the progression of Mitchell Trubisky. Watkins has a massive amount of untapped potential and Chicago seems like the perfect place to unleash it.

Marqise Lee -> Jacksonville Jaguars- Marqise Lee has came on strong the past few years as a nice option for Blake Bortles. You can almost guarantee if Jacksonville whiffs on bringing back Allen Robinson, they will make sure Lee remains a Jaguar.

Terrelle Pryor -> Indianapolis Colts- Does Pryor have a market? If so, what is it? I am guessing it is very small, but the Colts are the right kind of team to take a flier on him. They lack that big receiver, or really any noteworthy receiver outside of T.Y. Hilton. What better way to boost your stock if you are Terrelle Pryor than to sign a prove it deal with Indy and hopefully have a healthy Andrew Luck to throw you the ball.

Albert Wilson -> Chicago Bears- Wilson quietly was really productive for Kansas City the past few years so it only makes sense to follow his former offensive coordinator, Matt Nagy, to Chicago. Not only does he reunite with Nagy, but he would become a top option on that team behind Sammy Watkins. That duo would be a huge upgrade of what Trubisky had to work with last season.

Donte Moncrief -> Seattle Seahawks- Moncrief is a player that frustrates many football fans because he the talent and skills to succeed, he just never has. It seems like every year he is a "breakout" candidate and always fail to live up to it. With that being said, he would fill the void that Paul Richardson is leaving in Seattle. A one year prove it deal with Russell Wilson throwing him the ball could change everyone's perception on Moncrief.

Paul Richardson -> San Francisco 49ers- Speaking of Richardson, he is in line for a big pay day that should be similar to what Robert Woods got last season. 49ers could use that type of receiver for the recently extended Jimmy Garoppolo to alleviate some of the pressure off of him.

Mike Wallace -> Washington Redskins- Alex Smith is the new QB of the Washington Redskins. That is not something I thought I would be saying, but here we are. Smith is a Qb that needs some help around him to succeed. Wallace steps in as a solid veteran that Smith would be able to rely on.

Eric Decker -> Tennessee Titans- I don't foresee Decker leaving Tennessee because he had a nice role last season and he and his wife live in Nashville. Makes sense from the Titans perspective to have that veteran presence in the locker room as well.

John Brown -> Arizona Cardinals- John Brown has had a very inconsistent career so far with in Arizona, but it is definitely worth bringing him back because outside Larry Fitzgerald, that receiving core looks very blah. Will give Teddy or whoever is throwing passes in Arizona a decent deep threat.

Jordan Matthews -> Buffalo Bills- Buffalo has built a very strong receiving core in the last calendar year by drafting Zay Jones and trading for Kelvin Benjamin and Jordan Matthews. The Bills need to bring back Matthews because he will likely be pretty cheap coming off an injury. Buffalo should try and see what kind of season those receivers can put together when or if all are healthy.

Willie Snead -> Green Bay Packers- Packers could look to bring in a low cost receiver and replace either Cobb or Jordy Nelson as both are making roughly 14 million next season. Snead would be a very good replacement for Cobb and leaves one great QB to come play for another.

Danny Amendola -> Kansas City Chiefs- Amendola wants to return to New England, but the Patriots just simply do not have the room. He would fill a role in KC that Albert Wilson left and immediately become a safety net for Pat Mahomes.

Taylor Gabriel -> New York Jets- Taylor Gabriel was not used properly this year in the Falcons' new system, but his talent is undeniable. Jets would be wise to add him and help whichever rookie they draft at QB. He is a touchdown threat anytime he touches the ball.

Brice Butler -> Carolina Panthers- Panthers made a trade for Torrey Smith, but that doesn't completely fix their receiving problems. Outside of Funchess and Smith, the Panthers don't have a ton of options so taking a flier on Butler could pay off.

Kendall Wright -> Atlanta Falcons- Wright played pretty well in Chicago last season and was about the only positive they had at receiver, but after revamping their receiving core, they won't need Wright. Wright to Atlanta to play the slot between Sanu and Julio would be a dream scenario for Matt Ryan that Atlanta needs to make happen.

Quincy Enunwa- New York Jets- Enunwa broke out a few years ago then missed the entire season last year because of an injury. Jets should bring him back and see if he can play up to the level he was at before his injury.

Tight Ends

(Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Jimmy Graham -> New Orleans Saints- We have already seen this before, and we know it is successful so I could see the Saints and Jimmy Graham connecting once again and trying to repeat the chemistry he and Brees once had. This fit makes too much sense on both sides to not make it happen.

Trey Burton -> Houston Texans- Texans should find a viable tight end for Watson to rely on. All the Houston tight ends last season could not stay healthy. Burton has a great amount of upside and could step into the starting role. He is already shown flashes in limited action in Philly but he could take off with a starting spot and Watson throwing him the ball.

Tyler Eifert -> Green Bay Packers- Eifert had one amazing year and since then, he has not been able to stay on the field. Cincy is probably just looking to let him leave and Green Bay is liable to pounce on the opportunity of pairing him with Aaron Rodgers. A low risk, high reward move that Green Bay will likely take given the black hole they have had at the tight end position over the years.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins -> New York Jets- Jets had shockingly a not so bad year and Seferian-Jenkins was a reason behind that. He showed some of his talent and earned another shot to start at tight end for the New York Jets

*Cameron Brate -> Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Tampa Bay and Brate have already agreed upon a deal. This is odd considering the OJ Howard draft pick last season, but Tampa Bay must be leaning towards running more double tight end sets. Brate has had success in Tampa Bay so that part does make sense on why he would return there.

Jesse James -> Pittsburgh Steelers- Jesse James is nothing special, but he has made a niche in the Steelers offense. I don't imagine the Steelers or James would like to part ways in the near future.

*Already official

{Thank you for reading my first post here at 4th Down Football! If you have any feedback on this post or would like to talk football, come follow and tweet me at @JTaylorTakes}

136 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

2018 NFL Free Agency Predictions (Offense)

Welcome everyone, Carl here with my hot off the presses take on where the biggest names and playmakers on the offensive side of the ball will land once free agency opens up on Wednesday March 14th! En