With the NFL Free Agency period only being a few weeks away now, many teams and fans are left wondering what positions they need the most. In this article, I will go through each NFC team one by one and list their biggest positional need in my opinion, and why. This list will be going alphabetically by city name, making it easier to find your favorites.
Arizona Cardinals: Defensive End
The Cardinals offense has enough pieces to keep the coaching staff happy and has many young players that are continuing to develop. On the defensive line, they will need some help, however. After moving on from Terrell Suggs, the Cardinals defense has lacked an edge rusher on the line. This type of player would immensely help slow down the other teams at least slightly in a stacked NFC West.
Atlanta Falcons: Defensive End
The Falcons defensive line struggled badly this year, to say the least. The line only had 2 sacks on the year, and really relied on the play of Grady Jarrett. Getting an end to line up next to Jarrett would help this defense be more aggressive on the line, and take the pressure off of the secondary. This would also allow for more production from linebacker Deion Jones, as he would be able to read the offense more due to the line creating heavy pressure.
Carolina Panthers: Outside Linebacker
The Panthers defense this season did very well considering the number of injuries they had to deal with all season long. One of the main issues I saw was the outside linebackers. Shaq Thompson did very well while on the field inside. This leads me to believe that pairing a consistent outsider in free agency would help him to stay injury-free and keep his mindset on his game rather than playing for the whole of the linebackers.
Chicago Bears: Wide Receiver or Tight End
This one is a tough decision to make, hence why I listed two options. Allen Robinson is a great receiver, don’t get me wrong, but he needs someone consistent alongside him. I listed tight end as well because the Bears in this regard were one of the worst in the league. Getting some more offensive talent around Mitchell Trubisky may give him a chance to succeed, as coach Matt Nagy has said he will be the starter this coming year.
Dallas Cowboys: Safeties
The Cowboys are a very confusing team, they have great all-around talent on paper, but haven’t been able to put together any long runs in the playoffs recently. This is mainly in part to injuries and a lack of a consistent secondary aside from Byron Jones. Adding in a solid safety behind their already great line and linebackers may give them a better chance and not allowing so many passing yards. This may also take some pressure off Leighton Vander Esch as he has had to play in coverage from time to time when he is seemingly more of a rusher so far.
Detroit Lions: Offensive Guards
The Detroit Lions offense has been inconsistent in the last few years, likely due to the number of times their quarterbacks are dropped in the backfield. Matthew Stafford is not a scrambler or improviser, however, he is one of the better veteran QBs in the league. With weapons out wide like Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., and T.J. Hockenson at tight end, this team hypothetically should be fantastic. Getting some members in the left and right guards would help buy some time for Stafford to get the ball downfield to these threats, or give Kerryon Johnson a chance to break away runs.
Green Bay Packers: Inside Linebacker
The Packers this year have had a few issues on defense, mainly residing upfront and in the middle. The secondary was very good, which is partially why their defense held up until the NFC Championship. However, their inside linebackers are going to have some issues, both insiders were good this season. B.J. Goodson and Blake Martinez are going to become unrestricted free agents, however, and looking for a fresh face may be the way to go in free agency.
Los Angeles Rams: Center
All of the Rams offensive skill positions are pretty much set and are very talented. This leads to getting players to protect them and get down in the trenches, which is why we come here to center. Austin Blythe didn’t have that bad of a year, however, he will be an unrestricted free agent this year. With many players entering free agency for the team, they may need to look elsewhere for a new center.
Minnesota Vikings: Cornerback
The Vikings are going to have a tough time this free agency period, as they have a very minuscule amount of cap space left. However, with them possibly moving on from LG Riley Reiff, this could potentially clear up some space for a very good corner. This year’s free agents include a large number of quality corners, and the Vikings could certainly use one alongside Xavier Rhodes.
New Orleans Saints: Wide Receiver
The most pressing matter with the Saints right now is their lack of high production receivers behind Michael Thomas. With many wide receivers moving on from their former teams, this could be a sweet-spot for the Saints. One issue is that similar to the Vikings they have very little cap room (about 9 million) which would be enough to barely afford a very good WR2. This may lead to some contract reworking, or trades being done by the Saints front office.
New York Giants: Defensive Tackle
The Giants are in a somewhat compromising position this year. They have talent on offense, which is mainly young and developing quickly (Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, etc.). However, they have very little young talent on defense. Getting either some high quality or young defensive tackles would be the first place to start this free agency period. Getting a solid d-line would allow them to form the defense based upon it.
Philadelphia Eagles: Wide Receiver
The Eagles are almost the opposite of the Saints in regard to receivers. They have high-quality depth players at WR, but no real “WR1” for Wentz to go to. Yes, they have Zach Ertz, but he cannot do all the receiving himself. A new WR1 would help take the pressure off of both Zach and Carson Wentz, which may lead to fewer injuries to both of them down the road. Keeping the Eagles healthy is always a factor, and this may do just that.
San Francisco 49ers: Reliable Cornerback
Now I know this isn’t the most glorious thing for the 49ers fans, as another high-quality receiver is in order as Sanders will be a free agent. I find that the 49er’s current receivers including, and discluding Sanders, are solid enough to hold down the fort. Drafting a receiver is more likely here to get some young prospect, however, in terms of free agency, a consistent proven CB is in order. Getting a corner to lockdown with Richard Sherman would be lethal for the 49ers defense, making it even more explosive.
Seattle Seahawks: Defensive End or Edge Rushing Linebacker
The Seahawks’ main issues come from not being able to push pressure down in critical situations. Their cornerback group is good enough to keep people from blowing them up, but getting to the quarterback is the next issue. The Seahawks secondary is getting worn out each game, and adding someone who can make QBs throw into not so great scenarios would make their life much easier. Whether this being a linebacker alongside Bobby Wagner or a defensive end alongside Jadeveon Clowney is yet to be foreseen.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Quarterback or Offensive Guard
The Buccaneers’ free agency decisions will ride purely upon whether they re-sign Winston, or get a new quarterback. This will come down to, if they bring Winston back, get an offensive lineman to protect him. If not, they move on from Winston and bring in a new quarterback. The more likely option being the latter, because it seems like the Buccaneers coaching staff is about done with Winston after his 30 interception season.
Washington Redskins: Cornerback
The Redskins are in the midst of a rebuild, and that’s ok because free agency looks in their favor this year. The Redskins have a huge amount of cap room to sign players this year, and a high lottery draft pick. With their draft selections likely going to offensive skill positions, someone will need to fill the role being left by Josh Norman. A new face for this defense may make the others around them play renewed, and this is one of the most likely scenarios.
This concludes all 16 NFC teams’ biggest need going into free agency 2020. Please let me know if you think I should do this again post-free agency for the draft. I will be following this up in the near future with the AFC version.
What do you feel is your team’s biggest free agency need? Leave a comment below.
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