This offseason may be one of the most interesting offseasons we have ever seen. Last year was really interesting, as we saw a lot of big name free agents sign elsewhere. But this offseason, despite all the big name free agents, there’s a lot of star players we could see being moved around. The competition is at the greatest it’s ever been this year, to the point that a 10-win team may not be able to make the NFC playoffs. Teams are going to do whatever they possibly can, to make sure they can keep up with the rest of the teams in their conference. After many teams have awarded star players with many big contracts, a lot of teams are going to be looking to scratch off those big contracts and start brand new.
Many teams have begun using the draft as a way to find better players that are a lot more affordable. Other teams try to grab older players with more experience, that will play cheaper than other players who are in their prime. With all these thoughts going around, we are going to see many players sent to different spots, or even benched. Just prepare, no one will be safe this NFL offseason.
16 Tyrod Taylor - Buffalo Bills
It seems more and more likely that the time for Tyrod Taylor is over in Buffalo. Taylor has never been a particularly bad quarterback, he just hasn’t done enough to help this ball club truly reach contender status. Seeing that this Bills team can win even without Taylor at the quarterback, will make management realize that they need to go after a quarterback that can make plays on his own and make this team better.
The Bills are going to try and push Taylor out of his contract after this season, but if not, you may simply see him get benched. But the Bills' interest in other quarterbacks may lead to Taylor’s interest in staying in Buffalo diminish. With so many teams needing a quarterback, it won’t be hard for Tyrod Taylor to find a new home.
15 Replacement: Lamar Jackson - Louisville Cardinals
Based off of the way Tyrod Taylor was, it seems that the Bills would be looking for a quarterback who can make plays with his feet and his arm. One of the highly touted prospects in this upcoming draft is Lamar Jackson, from the Louisville Cardinals. Jackson is looked at as another Michael Vick, although many reporters believe he won’t be able to transition to the NFL like Vick did. But Jackson gives every reason for NFL teams to love him, as he can make plays using his legs and arm. Jackson could be the exact type of guy Buffalo is looking for. If Lamar Jackson does drop down far enough in the draft, it could be the end of the Tyrod Taylor era. With Taylor not playing up to par, they may be willing to start Lamar Jackson from the beginning.
14 Joe Thomas - Cleveland Browns
As great as Joe Thomas has been for the Cleveland Browns, it may be the end. The Browns clearly have a lot more issues on their team then the quarterback position. This team needs to start over completely, although it would be very hard to afford trying to sign as many players as possible. One big contract that is in the way is that of offensive tackle Joe Thomas. Thomas has one more year on his contract worth $10 million, which he could opt out of. Don’t be surprised if the Browns convince Thomas to opt out, or try and trade him elsewhere. As valuable as Joe Thomas is to this team, it hasn't led to any success and he deserves a chance to win elsewhere.
13 Replacement: Zach Banner - Cleveland Browns
The former USC Trojans offensive tackle was picked up off waivers by the Cleveland Browns this offseason. He may even have the chance to be the starting offensive tackle of the future. Zach Banner was a starter at USC, and has a fresh body to play in the AFC North. It would be much more affordable for them to play Banner at tackle, and maybe look to drafting another tackle to provide some competition. As important as the tackle position could be, Thomas is just coming off of an injury and about to make $10 million. This team could find ways around it to save a lot of money, while preparing for the future. Clearly the Browns won’t be winning anytime soon, so they will be weighing out their options at all positions.
12 Richard Sherman - Seattle Seahawks
Richard Sherman has been the heart of the Legion of Boom since this Seahawks team became true competitors, but it may be the end. With Sherman set to make $11 million and go into free agency in 2019. Seattle isn't going to want to just let Sherman go after the 2018 season, so they would rather trade him away after the 2017 season. The Seahawks are still playing really well defensively without Sherman, which shows that this Seahawks team doesn’t really need to be paying big money to have the star cornerback on one side of the ball. As great as he’s been, he is getting older and it will be expensive to afford. This team has yet to be able to fix many of the issues that surround their offense, so expect to see Richard Sherman on the trade block this offseason.
11 Replacement: Shaquill Griffin - Seattle Seahawks
If Shaquill Griffin can stay healthy, that may be the Seahawks temporary answer at cornerback unless otherwise needed. The Seahawks may not look for a permanent replacement for Sherman just yet, as they may rotate some of their cornerbacks around. The Seahawks may definitely look to go into the draft and look into drafting cornerbacks in the late rounds to help throw into their rotation, but Griffin specifically would take over Sherman’s spot for most of the time. Griffin has been able to play pretty well when on the field, and would be a lot cheaper to pay than having to shell out for Sherman’s contract. This move allows the Seahawks to get rid of Sherman’s contract, as well as get something in return, and build for the future.
10 Alex Smith - Kansas City Chiefs
With the way this season started, there’s no way that the Chiefs would be pulling Alex Smith anytime soon. But since the Chiefs 5-0 start, they have completely fell apart and currently are struggling to even make the playoffs. The sad part about it is, Smith is still playing really well during this whole disaster. But with there still being one more year left on Smith’s contract, the Chiefs are going to look to send Smith somewhere else. Clearly Alex Smith can play solid football and help a team win, but the Chiefs need to use the money to help fix some of the other issues they have on their team. By trading the veteran QB, they can get some draft picks as well as take away that hefty contract that they owe.
9 Replacement: Patrick Mahomes II - Kansas City Chiefs
It’s finally time to bring out Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs used a high draft pick to grab Mahomes, and they definitely aren’t going to make him sit the bench for half of his rookie contract. Mahomes proved this preseason that he can play NFL football, and with the Chiefs trading away Alex Smith, they will even be able to put more weapons around him to create a better football team. Luckily for the Chiefs, they don’t need to look for another quarterback as they have one right at their fingertips. The Chiefs are going to want to play Mahomes eventually, and it’s best to do it and at least get something out of Alex Smith. With this move happening, also expect the Chiefs to sign a veteran backup quarterback.
8 Sam Bradford - Minnesota Vikings
This one may or may not come as a shocker. Sam Bradford has played phenomenal for the Minnesota Vikings, but he’s been unable to stay on the field due to injuries. As much as the Vikings would like to keep Bradford, he fits the same issue that they brought him in for. If the Vikings need something more than ever on their team, it’s a healthy quarterback. You really can’t build towards the future if you constantly have to worry about the safety of your quarterback. Bradford is also aging, and would probably be looking for an expensive contract. With his injury history, the Vikings will most likely let Bradford walk into free agency and decide what he would like to do heading into the offseason.
7 Replacement: Case Keenum - Minnesota Vikings
You may have been waiting to hear the name Teddy Bridgewater, but that will not happen. Bridgewater will head into free agency next season, and his new contract will likely have to come from elsewhere. But regardless, the Vikings can’t trust a guy who suffered an injury that could have cost him his whole NFL career. Case Keenum is the perfect fit. He's younger than Bradford, and meshes in with this team perfectly. This season through Week 14, Keenum has thrown for 18 touchdown passes and thrown for 2,983 yards. So far in his time as a starter with the Vikings, he has an overall record of 8-3, as he's helped Minnesota hold the #2 seed in the NFC. He has done a lot of this without their starting running back or a young wide receiver. Keenum has proven that he deserves more than to be a backup in this league, so he will take the lead in Minnesota.
6 Carson Palmer - Arizona Cardinals
There could be a multitude of ways how Carson Palmer loses his job after the 2017 season. After suffering another injury, he could simply retire. Another way would be by the Cardinals pushing him to opt out, or trade him away. Palmer is about to turn 38 years old, and this team is very far away from making it back to the playoffs. This team needs to go younger, and be able to build around whoever that younger guy may be. As great as Palmer has been throughout his career, there becomes a point where you have to move on from a top player, and the time is now for the Arizona Cardinals. And on top of all that, who knows how a 38-year-old Carson Palmer would come back from a broken arm injury.
5 Replacement: A.J. McCarron - Cincinnati Bengals
This could be the perfect transaction for the Arizona Cardinals. The Bengals will be looking to shop A.J. McCarron, but with quarterbacks like Sam Bradford, Kirk Cousins and Jimmy Garoppolo in free agency, and so much talent in the 2018 NFL Draft, McCarron may not be as worth as much as he would have been during this season or before the season started. The Cardinals may be able to get a better deal for McCarron then they would have thought, which may make it impossible for this team to resist. Although they will sign McCarron, they would also most likely draft a quarterback during the draft as a backup plan for McCarron. Who knows, the Cardinals could also build up McCarron’s value just to trade him away while preparing their young quarterback behind the scenes.
4 Marshawn Lynch - Oakland Raiders
The headlines for Marshawn Lynch heading to the Oakland Raiders went everywhere. Lynch was supposed to make this run game even better, but instead it got worse. The Raiders most likely won’t do anything with Lynch during the offseason, as he probably won’t want to go anywhere else. But they could bring someone else in to complement Lynch. Most likely, the Raiders would find a starting running back to take a bulk of the carries, and have Lynch be a specialist on third-and-short, and to jump in every once in a while. That way that Lynch can remain fresh at all times, and it won’t be as predictable that the ball will be ran when Lynch is in the game. Who knows, a good starting running back could help make Marshawn Lynch better.
3 Replacement: Le'Veon Bell - Pittsburgh Steelers
Like we said, things could get really interesting this offseason. Le’Veon Bell has struggled to reach a long-term deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and it may indicate this is the end between him and the Steelers. Bell had a five-year deal offered to him by the Steelers, but turned it down because he felt that he deserved more. Bell may never get the contract he wants from them, and he may move on to another team.
The Oakland Raiders have a similar structure to the Steelers. They have a great young quarterback with a good receiver core, and all they need is a star running back. The Steelers had their trio, but it may break up with the possibility of Ben Roethlisberger retiring and Le’Veon Bell leaving. The Raiders may offer Bell a huge contract, and provide many incentives and show that Bell grow into a star running back and build a brand when the team moves to Las Vegas.
2 Eli Manning - New York Giants
Things got a little ugly towards the end of the season in New York. Former head coach Ben McAdoo decided to bench Eli Manning. The benching of Manning led to the end of his 210-game streak where he started each game. The frustration was clear in Manning’s eyes, who in an interview, looked to be on the verge of tears when finding out he would be benched for Geno Smith. And with so much talk about moving on from Manning, Eli may look for a new place to play for the rest of the career. Don’t be surprised if this happens, as his brother Peyton did the same thing. And don’t even be surprised if Eli also ends up in Denver, where his brother Peyton played. The Broncos desperately need a quarterback to win, and Eli could be that guy and come in and help them compete for a championship.
1 Replacement: Josh Rosen - UCLA Bruins
It almost seems certain that if available, the New York Giants would select Josh Rosen in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Rosen may be the top prospect in the upcoming draft, which may be the only obstacle for the New York Giants, as the Cleveland Browns currently hold the top spot. The Browns have been known for trading their top draft picks, and it may be another year that they do so. Don’t be surprised to see a three-way trade between the Giants, Browns and Broncos. In that trade, the Giants would move up a spot to the first overall draft pick, the Browns would get the Giants' original spot, plus the first-round draft pick that the Broncos give to the Giants, and then the Broncos would receive Eli Manning.
All this would happen to make sure that the Giants would get their guy. As much as they would love to have Eli mold Rosen into a star in this league, it may be too difficult to pass up the offers thrown as the Giants to trade away Eli Manning. It will be a new era for the New York Giants.
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