NFL free agency has started off with a bang as the league has gone topsy turvy since the start of the “legal tampering period,” starting with Tom Brady deciding to leave the New England Patriots and agreeing to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
There has been plenty of players changing teams and free agency has provided the sports world with the only sense of normalcy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NFL league year has arrived in full force with plenty of teams agreeing to terms with the top free agents on the board.
Even though many players have committed to teams, there are still valuable free agents that haven’t agreed to terms with a new team, including a top-10 player on.
These are the top 10 free agents heading into Day 2 of free agency, and the best fits for each of them going forward:
Teams are in desperate need for pass rushers and Clowney is still available. The price tag for Clowney will be high and could potentially reach $20 million per season if there is a bidding war.
Clowney hasn’t fully lived up to the hype of being the No. 1 overall pick, but he’s been productive. He has 32 sacks in six NFL seasons with 80 quarterback hits, 252 pressures and three Pro Bowl appearances. He has also graded out exceptionally well via Pro Football Focus, specifically over the past two seasons. Clowney finished with 31 tackles, three sacks, four forced fumbles, 13 quarterback hits and 47 pressures in 13 games in 2019.
The market for Winston is drying up, especially since the Buccaneers landed Tom Brady. Winston will have to look elsewhere for his next team, but the Colts and Raiders are out as potential destinations. There are a few teams that need starting quarterbacks, including the Patriots and Chargers, but who knows if they are interested?
Winston completed 60.7% of his passes for a league-leading 5,109 yards with 33 touchdowns and a league-high 30 interceptions. He became the first quarterback to throw for 450-plus yards in consecutive games and was the first quarterback in league history to throw for 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in a season. His seven interceptions returned for touchdowns is a NFL record.
Best landing spots: Patriots, Chargers, Bears
Surprising Anderson hasn’t been signed yet, especially in a weak wide receiver class. Teams are desperate for speed wide receivers and Anderson fits that bill. Now that the trades for DeAndre Hopkins and Stefon Diggs are done, Anderson’s market may finally open up.
A former undrafted free agent out of Temple, Anderson has developed a reputation as one of the best deep-ball wide receivers in the NFL. In 16 games last season (15 starts), Anderson finished with 52 catches for 779 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 15.0 yards per catch. Anderson has 207 catches for 3,059 yards and 20 touchdowns in four seasons, averaging 14.8 yards per catch. That equates to 52 catches for 768 yards and five touchdowns on average for Anderson, who will be 27 in May.
The market for running backs is thin this free agent season, even though Jordan Howard got a surprising two-year deal from the Dolphins worth more than $10 million. Depending on if the Rams can trade Todd Gurley, that could hold up the market for Gordon.
Gordon won’t get the deal he hoped for, but there are plenty of teams that could use a No. 1 running back. He rushed for 612 yards and eight touchdowns, finishing with 3.8 yards per carry.
Now that Tom Brady is in Tampa, the Buccaneers need a running back.
Best landing spots: Buccaneers, Seahawks, Chiefs
Perriman is an underrated commodity and will be an excellent get for any team. 2019 was the year Perriman finally put everything together, finishing with 17.9 yards per catch (36 catches, 645 yards) and six touchdowns.
Put Perriman with a quarterback that can throw the ball downfield and he adds instant explosiveness to an offense. The Eagles need to add speed to their wide receiver group.
Best landing spots: Eagles, Vikings, Colts
6. Logan Ryan
Ryan should come off the board after Harris, as he would be an excellent value signing for any team that wants to add him to their secondary. He finished with 113 tackles, 18 passes defensed, four interceptions and four forced fumbles in all 16 games.
Opposing quarterbacks threw for five touchdowns and had an 88.7 passer rating targeting Ryan. Sure Ryan is coming off a down year, but he is just 29 and a reliable starter for any team that needs a cornerback.
Teams that couldn’t get Darius Slay should take a look at Ryan.
Best landing spots: Cowboys, Giants, Bears
7. Jason Peters
Another aging left tackle that still good enough to start in the NFL. The Eagles decided to move on from Peters after 11 seasons, allowing him to seek a starting opportunity elsewhere. Injuries have limited Peters the past three seasons, which may hurt his market.
Peters had 10 penalties last season. He’s played over 85% of the offensive snaps just once since 2014. Oh and he’s 38 as well.
Best landing spots: Titans, Seahawks, Chiefs
Harris finally earned an opportunity to start in Denver last season, and made the most of it. Playing all 16 games, Harris finished with 49 tackles, six sacks and nine passes defensed while rotating on the edge and at nose tackle.
Harris only played 60% of the Broncos defensive snaps, but he provides much-needed versatility to any defensive line. Harris may cost more than expected for a player that is inconsistent at times, but his upside may be worth the investment.
Best landing spots: Broncos, Cardinals, Colts
9. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
Clinton-Dix is proven to be a reliable starter in the NFL, even though it appears he’s heading toward his fourth team in three seasons. He’s never missed a game since entering the league in 2014 and is very good playing the “hero” in coverage.
Clinton-Dix had 78 tackles, two interceptions and five passes defensed last season, as opposing quarterbacks completed just 59.1% of their passes when targeting him. Clinton-Dix only allowed two touchdown passes over the last two seasons as quarterbacks haven’t finished with a passer rating over 70 against him.
Bottom line: Clinton-Dix is a good find.
Best landing spots: Rams, Patriots, Buccaneers
A former cornerback with the Packers, Randall found a home in Cleveland as a safety. He had 61 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 11 games, hampered by a hamstring injury all season. A hard-hitter that was known for his helmet-to-helmet strike on Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson last season, Randall provides a force to any secondary.
Randall’s coverage skills aren’t great, but he’s a solid starter in this league.
Best landing spots: Buccaneers, Jets, Vikings