It has been over two weeks since the last game of the 2019-20 NFL Season was played. This is the time of year where speculation and rumors start to shape what the offseason is going to look like for each of the 32 teams. After analyzing the rumors and breaking down every team’s needs, these are predictions on where the NFL’s Top 25 Offensive Free Agents could play next season.
25. Austin Blythe G
Blythe is a very capable and versatile starting guard at the NFL level. He was a part of the Rams dominant offensive line during their Super Bowl run. This past season Blythe was one of their best offensive lineman coming into the year, but after Bobby Evans and David Edwards got inserted into the starting line up late in the year, it was clear that Blythe’s days as a Ram might be numbered. It also doesn’t help that the Rams have little to no cap room flexibility.
Prediction: Blythe signs a three-year, $27 million deal with the New York Jets
24. Breshad Perriman WR
The former 2015 first-round pick was seemingly on his way out of the league after bouncing around four different teams and falling behind in the Buccaneers’ depth chart. That was until Perriman showed his first-round potential and took the tops off opposing defenses for the last five weeks of the season. During that span, Perriman had three 100-yard games and totaled 506 yards and 4 touchdowns. He showed the ability to be a complementary receiver who can take the top off a defense at any minute.
Prediction Perriman signs a three-year, $27 million deal with the New England Patriots
23. Marcus Mariota QB
Mariota came into the league as an exciting prospect who was dynamic enough to beat a defense with his arms and legs, but a few seasons later Mariota is a shell of the player he once was and can barely take charge of an offense. Mariota needs a start over with a new team, and he will get signed because his upside is being a team’s franchise quarterback for the next four-six years. Mariota is only 26 years old and can change his narrative if he signs with the right team.
Prediction: Mariota signs a two-year, $12 million deal with the New Orleans Saints
22. Eric Ebron TE
Regression was expected for Eric Ebron in 2019-20 after Andrew Luck’s sudden retirement. It also didn’t help that he missed five games due to injury this season. Ebron’s yardage was cut in half and he scored 10 fewer touchdowns than he did in 2018-19. However, he is still a very capable starting tight end in the NFL. If he is able to build a chemistry with a quarterback similar to what he had with Andrew Luck, Ebron will be back to being known as a top tier tight end whose athleticism will keep him busy in the red zone that can result in double-digit touchdowns a season.
Prediction: Ebron signs a three-year, $25 million deal with the Washington Redskins
21. Kenyan Drake RB
Kenyan Drake’s post-Dolphins career earned him a spot on this list. On the Dolphins, he was likely going to be a complement to whoever they brought in or become a change of pace back for whatever other team he would have signed with. After he got traded to the Arizona Cardinals Drake looked like a workhorse back, with 3 separate games with over 100 yards and his dominant performance against the Cleveland Browns where he had 4 touchdowns. Even though the Cardinals are in a bind with David Johnsons contract, they should not let Drake run out the door; and there is no reason for Drake to want to play in any other offense besides Kliff Kingsbury.
Prediction: Drake gets franchised tagged for roughly $12.5 million by the Arizona Cardinals and work on a long term extension once they figure out what to do with David Johnson
20. Andrew Whitworth LT
Despite being 38 years old Whitworth is the Rams’ most valuable free agent. It is unlikely that they can reel in another big name tackle with the hefty price tag that it would cost to bring one in. The Rams should try to draft a developmental tackle early, so they have a long term plan at left tackle. But with mutual interest from both sides there is no reason why this deal shouldn’t get done.
Prediction: Whitworth signs a one-year, $12 million to stay with the Los Angeles Rams
19. Robby Anderson WR
Robby Anderson has been the Jets’ number one receiver for years, with that being said Anderson is more fit for a number two role in an offense. An obvious fit would be the Carolina Panthers because of the fact that they just hired Anderson’s former college head coach in Matt Rhule for the same position, and returning to the New York Jets isn’t ruled out either. Either way, Anderson is going to get signed a long term deal to whichever receiver needy team values him the most.
Prediction: Anderson signs a four-year, $48 million deal with the Las Vegas Raiders
18. Philip Rivers QB
It seems like an end of an era for the Chargers’ organization. After being their starting quarterback since 2005, the Chargers will be letting Philip Rivers explore free agency and will not re-sign him. The Chargers have a pretty bad trend of letting their franchise quarterbacks just leave in free agency after years of service to the franchise. However, the writing was on the wall with Rivers being 38, and this was the correct time to make a change at the position. He will be a hot commodity for teams looking for a veteran quarterback that will be the last piece to completing their playoff push. A lot of talented teams will be interested in Rivers, and who knows, Rivers could even play better after an off-year.
Prediction: Rivers signs a two-year, $44 million deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
17. Anthony Castonzo LT
Anthony Castonzo might not be a household name, but he is one of the better left tackles in all of football. At the age of 31, this might be the last time that Castonzo can cash out on a contract. Since the Colts have the second-most salary cap space available, there so no doubt that the Colts should meet Castonzo’s demands.
Prediction: Costonzo signs a four-year, $68 million deal to stay with the Indianapolis Colts
16. Jack Conklin RT
Jack Conklin was a first-team All-Pro as a rookie, but after that, he started to falter and the Titans began having doubts on him as the long term right tackle of the team. He once again showed this year he is one of the best right tackles in football and after not picking up his fifth-year option it is extremely likely the Titans will lose Conklin in free agency. He should be one of the hottest names on the market and there will be many teams interested in his services.
Prediction: Conklin signs a five-year, $87 million deal with the New York Giants
15. Melvin Gordon RB
Melvin Gordon was the latest example of what Le’Veon Bell hoped to achieve for running backs when he sat out during the 2018-19 season. Ezekiel Elliott followed suit by sitting out till the Cowboys gave him his extension. Gordon sat out the first four weeks of the season before returning to a team that had their offense flowing though Austin Ekeler. Ekeler’s production combined with Gordon’s rough start to the year didn’t help his value going into this offseason. Ekeler, a restricted free agent, will likely be retained by the team and Gordon will be looking for work elsewhere. Gordon is a threat whenever the ball is in his hands and is very valuable in the red zone. Teams can work him into both the running and passing game.
Prediction: Gordon signs a three year, $36 million contract with the Houston Texans
14. Jameis Winston QB
Jameis Winston’s offseason will probably be the biggest standoff between a team and a player. On one hand, Jameis threw for 33 touchdowns and led the league in passing yards with an outstanding 5,109. But he also led the league in interceptions with 30 and pick-sixes with seven. The Buccaneers would want to extend Winston and pay him pretty good money, but they just aren’t sure if they should do it long term, just because of his interception ratio. Lasik surgery or not, Winston just needs to shore up his throws and make sure he is passing to his team more than the other one. He is a very interesting gamble for a team that wants to spread out their passing attack.
Prediction: Winston signs a four-years, $120 million contract with an opt-out after two years with the Las Vegas Raiders
13. Joe Thuney G
The New England Patriots have the innate ability of turning middle-round selections into superstars. No one develops players like the New England Patriots. Joe Thuney is a prime example of Patriots’ development. He is a former third-round pick who on top of his two Super Bowl Rings was an All-Pro in 2019. This will drive Joe Thuney’s price up to become one of the highest-paid at his position. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to him once he leaves New England. The results are pretty split on whether former Patriots perform well on other teams or not in recent years.
Prediction: Thuney signs a five-year, $70 million deal with the Miami Dolphins
12. Emmanuel Sanders WR
Emmanuel Sanders is one of the most under-appreciated wide receivers in football. His experience alone, having played in three Super Bowls, winning one of them, makes him very attractive to contending teams. On top of that, he is a two-time Pro Bowler. Sanders is the type of veteran a team brings in to be one of the leaders in the locker room and is a great second option for any quarterback to have. The bidding war will be interesting for who will get the services of the experienced vet.
Prediction: Sanders signs a three-year, $36 million deal with the Green Bay Packers
11. Ryan Tannehill QB
Last offseason, Ryan Tannehill had to take a major pay cut in order to get traded out of Miami to Tennessee. Tennessee’s intentions were to bring him in to push Mariota harder and to have a high end back up in case Mariota got hurt. After their 2-4 start, Mike Vrabel made the season altering move of benching Mariota for Tannehill. Tannehill went 7-3 during his starts and snuck the Titans into the playoffs. His efficient game managing skills helped lead the Titans past AFC powerhouses in the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens. He even managed to maintain a lead through most of the AFC championship until the Kansas City Chiefs came back and won the game. The Titans should do everything in their power to keep this team together because a full offseason with this team might result in an AFC South title or more for them next season.
Prediction: Tannehill signs a three-year, $75 million deal with the Tennessee Titans
10. Austin Hooper TE
Austin Hooper finally had his breakout season, and it isn’t surprising that it happened during his contract year. He became an elite tight end this year. Hooper had career highs in yards and touchdowns while also missing three games. Unless the Falcons make some dramatic cap changes it is very likely Hooper could sign his huge deal with another team. Hooper could be the final piece to an offense that has Super Bowl potential or can become a no. 2/security blanket option for a young quarterback.
Prediction: Hooper signs a five-year, $48 million deal with the Buffalo Bills
9. Hunter Henry TE
Hunter Henry has all the tools of an elite tight end in this league. His issues are the fact that he cannot stay healthy, as he has not played a full 16 game season in his career and he is a piece of an offense with a lot of mouths to feed. In Henry’s tenure he had to share targets with Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Tyrell Williams (until 2019), Austin Ekeler and Melvin Gordon. Henry will likely sign somewhere that values him as one of the top options of their offense. Henry should be valued as the second or third offensive piece in a high powered offense.
Prediction: Henry signs a three-year, $28 million deal with the New England Patriots
8. Teddy Bridgewater QB
Last offseason, Teddy Bridgewater had the opportunity to sign a $12.5 million dollar deal to be the bridge quarterback for the Miami Dolphins. Bridgewater turned it down, because he knew if he was going to get a long term contract from a team he’d have a better chance of doing it in the Saints’ offense if Drew Brees missed time rather than starting possible 16 games for the Miami Dolphins. That is exactly what happened, in five starts he showed that he can lead an offense and is efficient enough to be one of the 32 starting quarterbacks in the league. Bridgewater has bounced around the league and deserves an opportunity to play without looking over his shoulder or waiting for his opportunity. Rumors have it he will make at least $30 million a year from his new team.
Prediction: Bridgewater signs a four-year, $120 Million deal with the Indianapolis Colts
7. A.J. Green WR
AJ Green is still considered by most to be one of the elite wide receivers in football. With an influx of so many talented receivers in the league, it is hard to remember how good AJ Green really is when healthy. Before Green’s recent injuries, he only had one season since 2011 that he didn’t record 1,000 yards or more. That was because he played in only 10 games that season and he recorded over 900 yards that year. Green has either two options, he can either cash out on a big contract for likely the last time in his career due to injuries and the fact that he is going to be 32 next season, or take a slight pay cut to sign with a contender and really build his case for the Hall of Fame by attempting to join a Super Bowl Contender.
Prediction: Green signs a three-year, $48 million deal with an opt-out after 2 years with the Buffalo Bills
6. Brandon Scherff G
Since he entered the league, Brandon Scherff has been the stereotype for what teams look for when drafting guards in the early rounds. Scherff has been the only bright spot across the Redskins’ offensive line, which has been decimated by injuries to the point where starting left tackle Trent Williams sat out the season because he refused to play for the Redskins and deal with their training staff. The Redskins should try to do everything in their power to bring back Scherff, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Scherff just wanted to leave the organization despite the regime change. Scherff has a chance to be the highest-paid guard in the league if he hits the open market. There will be a lot of teams vying for his services.
Prediction: Scherff signs a six-year, $90 million deal with the Arizona Cardinals
5. Derrick Henry RB
Derrick Henry was arguably the most talked about player in football until his defeat in the AFC Championship. Henry could not be stopped until that point. Including postseason he had eight 100+ yard games, two of those coming against the elite New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens in the postseason. He has earned his paycheck after his league-leading 1,540-yard season. The only pull back to paying Henry is the fact that he is coming off a 300+ carry season at age 26. However, this was Henry’s first 300+ carry season. Unless the Titans can find a running back as dominant as Henry, they have to retain him and keep this team together. Also if the Titans franchise tag Henry this year, next year when he is 27 it’ll be a lot harder to rationalize signing Henry to a long term deal at his age.
Prediction: Henry gets franchise tagged for $12.5 Million by the Tennessee Titans
4. Amari Cooper WR
It is fair to say that Amari Cooper needed the Cowboys as much as they needed him. Cooper was on the trade block because he wasn’t playing well under Raider coach Jon Gruden and his offense, and even the year before that he seemed to lose a step. Amari Cooper regained his WR1 status in Dallas and has shown he is one of the best route-runners and wide receivers in the league. The Cowboys’ offseason comes down to which of their three big-name free agents they can afford to extend. The Cowboys did trade a first-round pick in the trade for Cooper. They cannot afford to let him leave the building. Michael Gallup has developed extremely well and they are in a position to draft a receiver early in the draft, but Cooper cannot sign elsewhere. Especially with their rival Philadelphia Eagles needing a wideout.
Prediction: Cooper signs a five-year, $85 million deal to stay with the Dallas Cowboys
3. Tom Brady QB
There should be no doubt that Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback to play the game of football. Brady is a six-time Super Bowl Champion, three-time MVP and his career accomplishments go well beyond that. Brady is seeing the open market because he will be 43 years old once next season starts. This past season, the Patriots had one of the most dominant defenses of all time, but because of Brady’s offense, the Patriots got upset in their Wild Card playoff game. The Patriots no longer have the talent to keep Brady happy, nor can they afford to pay Brady, elite weapons and their dominant in house defensive players to keep the Super Bowl Juggernaut they once were. Rumors are speculating that Brady can be looking at Los Angeles and Las Vegas as potential destinations.
Prediction: Brady signs a three-year, $75 Million Deal with a player option after the second year to stay with the New England Patriots
2. Drew Brees QB
Even after his announcement of his return in 2020, Drew Brees has to be a part of this list, because he did not put pen to paper yet. He only announced that he will return in 2020, but he didn’t say who he was going to play for. Now, it is completely unrealistic to even consider Drew Brees will sign somewhere else this offseason. Unless the New Orleans Saints believe that Teddy Bridgewater gives them a better chance of reaching the Super Bowl than Drew Brees, Brees will be wearing no. 9 in black and gold in the state of Louisiana in 2020. At the age of 41, Brees holds the record for most passing yards, touchdowns and completions ever by a quarterback in the history of the NFL and doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon.
Prediction: Brees signs a two-year, $57 Million deal to stay with the New Orleans Saints
1. Dak Prescott QB
Dak Prescott is the most underrated quarterback in the NFL, there is no doubt about that. Prescott’s combination of efficiency, time management, playmaking ability and his clutch gene is the reason why he is the number one offensive free agent in front of two of the greatest quarterbacks to ever put on a helmet. Since entering the league Prescott is top-five in win percentage, fewest interceptions thrown and passer rating. When people had their doubts calling him a game manager and calling the Cowboys “Zeke’s offense”, Prescott threw for 4,902 yards (which is only less than Jameis Winston) and 30 touchdowns. He undoubtedly deserves to get paid. Unfortunately the Jones aren’t sold on Prescott to give him that $33-35 million price tag that he wants. The Cowboys need to figure out a solution to Prescott’s contract to ensure that they have a chance at a Super Bowl next season.
Prediction: Prescott get franchise tagged for a little under $27 Million by the Dallas Cowboys