The 2020 NFL offseason has had its fair share of free agent movement. Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals, Austin Hooper to the Cleveland Browns, and even Emmanuel Sanders to the New Orleans Saints. Even with a large majority of the elite talents off the free agency board, there are still quite a few high-grade players left.
In this article, I will be going over the top 5 free agents left. This article was written as of May 14th, 2020, just for reference. Also, anything along the lines of the Logan Ryan rumors in which the New York Jets said they are expected to sign Ryan to a contract, do not count on this list. All players on this list have not officially been signed by any team, despite whatever rumors have surfaced.
Jadeveon Clowney – Edge
Jadeveon Clowney played last season with the Seattle Seahawks, being a vital part of their defense through the playoff run they made. Clowney had a relatively down year in 2019, mainly due to his sports hernia. He had fewer sacks, QB hits, and tackles by a longshot compared to his 2018 campaign with the Houston Texans. Jadeveon could easily be a defensive leader on most teams, as he is an elite talent who will have a lot to prove in 2020.
The issue for most teams with Clowney is how much he is asking for, which was more recently in the 14-15 million dollar range. This would be an easy decision to make if he had performed like his 2018 self, however after his injury and down year it would be hard to cough up that type of money. I believe he will be forced to take a smaller contract for the year as a “prove-it” contract, and then if he performs at his elite level again, he will get the hefty extension he would want.
Cam Newton – Quarterback
Cam Newton is a very interesting situation as of now. Only 5 years ago he was the NFL MVP and led the Carolina Panthers to a Super Bowl showing. Now, he has had many injuries and was cut by the Panthers. What does this mean for his career? To me, I likely see him having to take a Jameis Winston type position and prove himself all over again to a franchise.
This is because as of the NFL’s current situation, no teams can meet with him in person and evaluate his health. This is scary to most teams as he has had a lot of injury history as of the last few years. A high point however for whoever signs him, is that in 2018 he was having one of his best years yet. In only 14 games, he threw for 3,395 yards, 24 touchdowns, and had a 67.9 completion percentage.
Logan Ryan – Cornerback
Logan Ryan is another situation that doesn’t make much sense. He is coming off arguably the best season of his career and was a pillar for the Tennessee Titans defensive strength in their 2019 playoff run. In 2019, he started all 16 games, accumulating 4 interceptions (tied for 2nd most in his career), 4 forced fumbles (highest in his career), 4.5 sacks (highest in his career), 113 tackles (highest in his career) and 8 QB hits (also the highest in his career). He had his downfalls however, leading the league in many different negative categories, such as:
- The highest amount of missed tackles by CBs
- Most passing yards allowed by the CBs
- The highest amount of TDs given up in the slot by a CB
- Most catches allowed by a CB
Do these all show the player Logan is? No. Do they give us an idea of some of his issues to work on/tendencies? Yes. He could, and should, be at least a CB2 on a talented team, and will likely be getting paid in the 5-7 million dollar range.
Larry Warford – Offensive Guard
Larry Warford spent the last 3 years residing with the New Orleans Saints. He has gone to the pro-bowl all 3 of these years. After the Saints drafted standout Center/Guard Cesar Ruiz with the 24th pick, they cut Warford only a few short weeks later. This was mainly in part to his 13 million dollar contract that was 2nd highest on the team, to only Drew Brees.
Larry is one of the better right guards in the league, and easily the best left in free agency. He will likely be taking a pay cut in 2020, however, he would benefit many teams in protecting their quarterback. In 2019, he only had 4 penalties, 3 of which being false starts and only 1 being holding. This goes to show his high level of play, as he only had to hold once in his 970 snaps last year. He took a whopping 91% of snaps at right guard for the Saints last year, and only missed one game due to minor injury.
Jason Peters – Offensive Tackle
Jason Peters has spent the last decade with the Philadelphia Eagles, and before that, another 5 years with the Buffalo Bills. Now, at 38 years old, he still wants to show the league his talent. He recently released a video of himself working out, which he reportedly wanted the Eagles to see.
Peters took 872 snaps for the Eagles last year (75%) and had only 6 penalties total all year. He allowed 3 sacks also, which is not terrible for someone at 38 years of age. He can still be a top-level lineman if he can stay healthy, which is no guarantee. The Eagles, if they decide to sign him, will likely be giving him a cheap 1 or 2-year deal just to finish his career on the team.
- Everson Griffen – Edge
- Demaryius Thomas – Wide Receiver
- Devonta Freeman – Halfback
- Delanie Walker – Tight End
- Nigel Bradham – Linebacker
How would you feel if your team signed any of theses available free agents? Leave a comment below.
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