After seeing the identity of many players and teams this season, there may be a lot of changes coming this offseason. In the past, we have seen many players handed large paychecks, for not enough production. Other players are working as hard as they possibly can to win, yet are making near the bare minimum. Also, some players who starred in the past, but are on the decline can see themselves moving to a different team as they weren’t able to live up to their expectations on their new team. Because of all this havoc going on, there will be a lot of movement going on during this offseason.
Besides all the trades that could possibly happen, we have quite a few big name free agents that will be available this offseason. While some free agents will stay put, there may be a bunch that leave their current team. We saw this past offseason many big name free agents sign to different teams including Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffrey and Terrelle Pryor. While last year was very exciting, this year may even be more exciting. With big name free agents including Le’Veon Bell, Kirk Cousins and Drew Brees becoming free agents, it will be interesting to see how some of these moves turn out.
16 Trade: Joe Flacco To The Broncos
Joe Flacco is currently one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL, but he’s definitely not playing like one. In fact, Flacco’s struggles so far in the 2017 season have taken the Ravens out of the AFC North race. Would there be any takers if the Ravens put Flacco's expensive contract on the market?
The Denver Broncos could work as a possible trade destination, as they are desperate for a new quarterback as they haven’t been able to find their guy for the long term. Trevor Siemian seemed like he would fit for the future, but he began to struggle, and they eventually decided to let Brock Osweiler get some playing time. Flacco could have another shot at redeeming himself, and take what is a Super Bowl defense, back to the playoffs. The Ravens could be looking at getting themselves a few draft picks for the high paid quarterback.
15 FA Signing: Darren McFadden To The New York Giants
It would be a shock to see Darren McFadden stay on the Cowboys roster after this season. And to be honest, the Cowboys probably won’t want to keep him either. McFadden was kind of tossed to the curb after he ran for over 1,000 yards, when the Cowboys decided to draft Ezekiel Elliott. McFadden showed in his first season as a Cowboy that he was still capable of being a decent starting running back in the NFL.
The New York Giants desperately need a reliable running back to help save Eli Manning from having all the pressure on him. After the drama, this season of McFadden having to back up Zeke until his suspension finally happened, this thing could go bad, where McFadden decides to sign with their rivals. The Giants really need a running back, and McFadden could definitely come in on a bargain if he's promised a starting job.
14 Trade: T.Y. Hilton To The Carolina Panthers
The Panthers are enjoying a bounce back season and Cam Newton is looking a lot more like the MVP caliber QB he was a couple of years ago before a huge letdown in 2016. One thing Newton is missing is a true deep threat. The Panthers let speedster Ted Ginn walk in free agency last year and traded the big bodied Kelvin Benjamin at this year's deadline. Hilton would provide Newton with a target who could outrun opposing defenders, giving the Panthers a deep threat and taking some attention away from Newton's running ability and Christian McCaffrey's short receiving game underneath.
The Colts look like they're set to clean house this offseason and completely start over. What about Luck? We'll get to him later.
13 FA Signing: Tyler Eifert To The Seattle Seahawks
Tyler Eifert suffered a season ending back injury. Unfortunately for him, this came during his contract year, which is usually when teams decide if you should get paid big money, or not. Eifert will still probably see himself getting a decent check, but not as big as it could have been if he had a big season. However back in 2015 with decent QB play, Eifert had a huge season where he caught for 615 yards and 13 touchdown passes.
A team that could really use Eifert would be the Seattle Seahawks. Immediately, you’re probably thinking, well they have Jimmy Graham. Well, this comes under the impression that they don’t re-sign Graham. Eifert would be cheaper than re-signing Graham, and also is younger and a more complete tight end. With a quarterback like Russell Wilson, Eifert could have a huge bounce back year if he went to Seattle.
12 Trade: A.J. McCarron To The Cleveland Browns
A.J. McCarron has the ability to be a starting quarterback in the NFL, and the Cincinnati Bengals unfortunately don’t seem to need him just yet. Andy Dalton clearly is the starting quarterback of this team, and it doesn’t seem like that will change anytime soon. For quite some time there have been talks of McCarron being traded away. Well, one team is really interested. So, interested that they just missed the trade deadline, which caused the trade not to go through midway through the 2017 season.
The Cleveland Browns may realize that they need to go after a big-name quarterback, and McCarron may be their guy. DeShone Kizer doesn't seem like he's ready to be an NFL starter. The Browns may start to realize they don’t want to waste any more time drafting and developing a QB, as they may just want to see improvement immediately. The Bengals may be able to grab a first round draft pick from Cleveland for him.
11 FA Signing: Sammy Watkins To The Tennessee Titans
Sammy Watkins was one of the huge trades that happened this offseason, as he was sent from Buffalo to the Rams. Based off of his performance so far, it doesn’t seem like Sammy Watkins would be worth the money for the Rams to re-sign this offseason. The offense is so young and talented and there really doesn't seem to be a need for Watkins. Well, one team that really needs a wide receiver is the Tennessee Titans.
Marcus Mariota really needs that big target to help turn this offense into one of the most dangerous in the league. With Corey Davis not seeing much time in the 2017 season due to injuries, the Titans may want to sign Watkins to give Mariota an extra weapon. The price of Watkins will be interesting, as he had two great seasons, and then two mediocre, injury riddled seasons. It would seem that Tennessee could get him at a bargain.
10 Trade: Martavis Bryant To The San Francisco 49ers
The Steelers constantly are dealing with drama, and they’re going to deal with a lot more this offseason. The Steelers are probably going to be the most interesting team to follow, with questions lingering Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement, if they decide to keep Martavis Bryant, and Le’Veon Bell being a free agent. Well, the issue with Bryant will be resolved through a trade.
The 49ers might be willing to give a third-round pick in order to bring in Bryant. The team would go for it to add a wide out for Jimmy Garoppolo who will need all the help he could get. This trade would take away all the Martavis Bryant drama out of Pittsburgh to a place where he'll have ample opportunities to play a bigger role in Kyle Shanahan's offense.
9 FA Signing: Terrelle Pryor To The Los Angeles Rams
Terrelle Pryor has been a bust in Washington this season. He’s playing on a team-friendly contract, but still isn’t having enough of an impact on the Redskins in order for them to bring him back. A team that may want to bring him in on a cheap deal would be the Los Angeles Rams.
We still haven’t seen the full potential of Pryor, and the Rams are a team that has a great supporting cast. The top offense in the league could make a big splash, at a bargain price. Sean McVay has completely revitalized the young Rams and he seems to be able to find a role for everyone on offense. Pryor could rebound big time in an offense like L.A.'s.
8 Trade: Joe Thomas To The Seattle Seahawks
Joe Thomas has been perhaps the greatest offensive lineman in the NFL in the past 10 years. Unfortunately, given that he plays for the worst franchise in the NFL, not enough people appreciate just how good he is. Coming into this season, Thomas went over 10,000 consecutive snaps played on offense, before tearing his tricep this season, which will keep him out of action in 2017.
The Browns seem to have no end to their misery in sight and as a favor to one of their loyal soldiers, they should give Thomas the chance to win elsewhere while he still has some good years in him. Seattle has long been looking for stability on their offensive line and Thomas would be the best option to protect Russell Wilson and finally bring a dominant running game back to Seattle.
7 FA Signing: Trumaine Johnson To The Atlanta Falcons
If Trumaine Johnson doesn’t sign back to the Los Angeles Rams, where shall he go? The Rams may not want to sign the cornerback to a big-name contract, as they’re probably more focused on spending the money to lock up their young stars long-term. A team that may want to grab a star cornerback, would be the Atlanta Falcons.
One of the needs going into this season was the cornerback position, and Johnson would be a great upgrade for this team’s secondary. Throughout his five-year career, Johnson has 18 interceptions and three touchdowns. Johnson may love the feeling of winning after playing for one of the best Rams teams we have seen in a while, so he may choose to go to another team who has had recent success, but needs a position upgrade that he can provide.
6 Trade: Richard Sherman To The Dallas Cowboys
Unfortunately, the Legion of Boom may start to break up in Seattle after this season. Richard Sherman is out with an Achilles tear and you have to wonder how that will affect him going forward. The 2018 season will be a contract year. So, if the Seahawks can, they’re going to want to get something out of Sherman rather than just letting him walk. A team who needs an upgrade at the cornerback position is the Dallas Cowboys. This rumor has been talked about a lot, but there’s a good chance this actually happens. The only reliable cornerback right now in Dallas is Jourdan Lewis.
The Cowboys may look to upgrade their secondary in a big way as they'll have Dak Prescott in his third year, Ezekiel Elliott for a full season and another draft to add to their defense. Sherman would immediately upgrade this Cowboys secondary, and give them a chance to contend for a Super Bowl.
5 FA Signing: Malcolm Butler To The Philadelphia Eagles
There’s a good chance Malcolm Butler decides to stay in New England, but the Patriots never hesitate to let a player walk when they feel he's asking for too much. Butler has become one of the premier cornerbacks in the league, which makes his price tag so high. If the Patriots don’t want to sign him, he may sign with a team like the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles are a team with Super Bowl aspirations, but also struggle at the cornerback position. Butler would become a leader on that defense and would still be on a Super Bowl caliber team.
Butler would get the opportunity to shine against some of the best wide receivers in the game in the NFC East, including Dez Byrant and Odell Beckham Jr.
4 Trade: Andrew Luck To The Arizona Cardinals
It's become clear the past couple of seasons that the Cardinals need to find their replacement for Carson Palmer. Rather than take a shot in the draft on an unproven QB and hope he develops, with the talent Arizona has, they should look to a QB with a proven track record. Andrew Luck's shoulder injury is leaving many questioning whether he will ever play football again, but if in fact he's healthy in 2018, Luck should be doing everything he can to get out of Indy. The organization seems like a total mess and it doesn't look like they'll surround Luck with the pieces he needs to contend for a Super Bowl. In Arizona, Luck could reunite with Bruce Arians and he'd have a dependable veteran in Larry Fitzgerald, as well as David Johnson, who's arguably the best running back in the game when healthy.
3 FA Signing: Jimmy Graham To The New Orleans Saints
There’s definitely a good shot that we could see some reunions happen this offseason. Chances are, Seattle isn’t going to want to bring back Jimmy Graham. But a very attractive landing spot for Graham would be New Orleans, a team he played most of his career with. The Saints are finally in a spot to make it back to the playoffs, and what a way it would be for Drew Brees to end his career by reuniting with Jimmy Graham. Graham would probably take a pay cut to head back to the Big Easy, as he was a much better fit under Sean Payton than Pete Carroll.
Graham is having a good year, but he's still never looked quite as dominant as he was in New Orleans and with the Saints having now rebounded, getting a familiar face in Graham would really complete this already explosive offense.
2 Trade: Eli Manning To The Jacksonville Jaguars
It seems like the time for the New York Giants and Eli Manning to break up is finally here. There has been talks from the Giants front office that they are open to looking at quarterbacks in the 2018 NFL Draft, and they may decide to move on from Manning.
Manning does have talent to be a starter in this league, and a new opportunity is awaiting him in Jacksonville. There, he can reunite with his former head coach, Tom Coughlin, now Jacksonville's President of Football Operations, and help this Jaguars team take the next step. The one weak link this Jaguars team has is the quarterback position, and they may be looking to do whatever it takes to take control of the AFC South and try to squeeze whatever football out of Eli he has left.
1 FA Signing: Kirk Cousins To The New York Jets
The original speculation was that Kirk Cousins would probably head to San Francisco in 2018 to reunite with Kyle Shanahan, but that doesn’t seem like it will happen after they recently traded for Jimmy Garoppolo. There’s plenty of spots for Cousins to go, but an interesting spot to think about would be the New York Jets. Originally, this sounds like a terrible idea. But the Jets have played really well compared to their expectations, and they’re only going to get better through another draft and free agency. Cousins could be attracted to the idea of being the spotlight in the Big Apple and having the opportunity to grow in a division that hopefully won't have Tom Brady for another five years.