When Reggie White signed with the Packers in free agency in 1993, it was considered a big deal. One of the biggest stars in the game switching teams in the prime of his career was unheard of at that time. If that happened in today’s NFL no one would bat an eye and it would just be considered business as usual. In the modern era of free agency, players switch teams more than ever and the NFL off season is almost as exciting as the regular season. Teams do not win in the off season, but fans and analysts overreact to free agent signings like they just won the Super Bowl in some cases.
This list consists of the names in the NFL that could be on the move this off season. Most of these players are unrestricted free agents at the end of this year, meaning they can sign with whatever team they want without their own team being able to match that offer. Other players find themselves on the list because they are not getting enough playing time or because they need one more chance at a championship with another team before their career is over. This list of players that will switch teams might be surprising for fans, but do not be upset as they are just predictions.
These are 5 QBs, 5 WRs, And 5 RBs In The NFL Who Will Change Teams Next Year!
15. QB: Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins has went from a third round back up quarterback and turned himself into a solid starter in his short time in Washington. Cousins has played on the franchise tag the past two seasons and has done a fine job. There have been rumours that the Redskins will force Cousins to play on the franchise tag again next season and if he does, then he will be the first quarterback ever to play on the franchise tag for three consecutive years.
Perhaps no team on this list needs a quarterback more than the Cleveland Browns. They have drafted bust after bust in the first round at quarterback over the years and this seasons rookie Deshone Kizer does not look much better. Cousins is easily the best quarterback on the market in this years free agent class, so if the Redskins decide they do not want to pay him the big money then Cleveland should make him an offer he can not refuse.
14. WR: Terelle Pryor Sr.
The Terelle Pryor experiment has been a major fail so far for the Redskins. After having a breakout 2016 campaign after switching from quarterback to receiver for the Cleveland Browns, many people around the NFL believed he was now a legit number one receiver. After being placed on the injured reserve, Pryor could have likely played his last game in Washington already.
To regain success in his career Pryor should go back to the team that gave him his first crack at playing wide receiver, the Cleveland Browns. Hue Jackson could justifiably be fired at the end of this season, but if he stays in Cleveland, Pryor has already shown to have success in that offense. Assuming the Browns are going to have a new starter at quarterback next season, Pryor would help that player right away because he is a big and athletic target to throw too downfield.
13. RB: Isaiah Crowell
One of the best under the radar running backs the last couple of seasons has been Isaiah Crowell. Maybe he does not get the recognition because he plays for the worst team in the NFL the Cleveland Browns. Since entering the league in 2014 Crowell has an impressive 21 rushing touchdowns and has been the leading rusher on the Browns the last few seasons.
A team that may need his services is the Green Bay Packers. Even before Aaron Rodgers went down with an injury they were struggling to run the football. Part of that is because their backfield options include a converted receiver and a rookie. Ty Montgomery and Aaron Jones have played well in spurts but they are not the long term solution. Crowell would solve all the problems in the backfield for the Packers and would pair well with Ty Montgomery, he is also an unrestricted free agent this off season.
12. QB: Josh McCown
It would not shock anyone if McCown (who has played for 10 teams already in his career) switched teams again this offseason. The Jets have surprised many people this year winning three of their first five games to start the season. However, they have cooled off recently and have lost four of their last five games. If that trend continues they could wind up with a top 10 draft pick that they may use on a QB. McCown is also an unrestricted free agent next season, so he will have plenty of options.
With Tyrod Taylor likely on his way out in Buffalo, McCown could come in and be the starter while Nate Peterman waits another year to take over the starting job. It was clear in his first attempt at starting that Peterman was not ready yet. He threw four interceptions in just the first half alone and ended with five total.
11. WR: Sammy Watkins
Sammy Watkins was a nice splash pick up for the Los Angeles Rams this past off season, but they have yet to see the type of production they were hoping for on the field. The other wide receiver they acquired (Robert Woods) has been the one enjoying all the success leading the team in both yards and touchdowns. Perhaps Watkins would be better off going to a team where he can command the ball and be the number one receiver with a veteran quarterback under centre.
The Baltimore Ravens have had trouble getting production out of the receiver position since the legendary Steve Smith retired and they have a viable quarterback in former Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco. To make things worse, their best receiver Mike Wallace is an unrestricted free agent this off season and he could decide to switch teams after this year. Watkins would step in and be quarterback Joe Flacco’s go to receiver.
10. RB: Alfred Morris
Alfred Morris burst onto the scene with fellow rookie Robert Griffin III in 2012, but both of their careers took a nose dive soon after that. He is an unrestricted free agent this off-season and has been the Dallas Cowboys back up this season. He has had an opportunity to see the field this season because of teammate Ezekiel Elliot’s controversial suspension. Since the suspension Morris has averaged 5.1 yards per carry and has proved he can still play in the NFL. However once Elliot is back it is unlikely Morris will see the field again.
The Marshawn Lynch experiment in Oakland has not gone as smoothly as planned. With Lynch likely retiring after this season, the Raiders should look to sign Morris as a cheap but proven upgrade to their back field.
9. QB: Alex Smith
Alex Smith has been a consistent quarterback throughout his time in the NFL. He also will not make many plays that will win games either and that is why first round pick Patrick Mahomes will eventually over take him as the starter for the Kansas City Chiefs. Mahomes can make big plays, and the Chiefs invested a lot in him trading up in the draft to get him in the top 10. The Chiefs would be smart to try and trade Smith while he still has value on the market.
The Denver Broncos have been reeling at quarterback since Peyton Manning’s sudden decline in 2015 and then retirement in 2016. Smith would be an immediate upgrade over everyone the Broncos have on their roster and he will give them much needed experience at the position. Alongside one of the best defensive units in the NFL, Smith would make the Broncos playoff contenders again in a wide open AFC West.
8. WR: Jarvis Landry
Jarvis Landry is an unrestricted free agent this upcoming off-season, and considering the uncertainty of the quarterback situation in Miami it could be smart for him to find a new team. Miami has yet to win the division since Landry has entered the league so it might be smart for him to sign with a team that is not in the Patriots division.
He should go to the team that has had the Patriots number in big games over the years, the New York Giants. Yes the Giants are in the midst of one of their most disappointing seasons in franchise history, but it is mainly due to injuries and terrible coaching. If the Giants signed Landry and developed a more creative offensive game plan with a new coach, then they would be playoff contenders yet again. This move would also reunite him with his college teammate and best friend Odell Beckham Jr.
7. RB: Eddie Lacy
Eddie Lacy and the whole Seattle Seahawks backfield have struggled to be successful this season. Lacy has had to split carries with a multitude of different backs this season and it must be difficult for him to deal with such an uncertain role. Lacy has also had to deal with a weird contract that forces him to maintain a certain weight throughout the season. He has got to be thinking that they do not trust him with a stipulation that crazy.
Lacy should look into signing with a team that could benefit from his ability to run between the tackles and be useful at the goal line. The Detroit Lions have great shifty running backs in Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah, but they could use a bruising back like Lacy. If Lacy can not show signs of improvement with his next team, then he will likely end up out of the NFL like fellow Alabama running back Trent Richardson.
6. QB: Sam Bradford
When Sam Bradford was healthy for the Minnesota Vikings he played very well and looked like viable starting quarterback for them. However the knock on Bradford has always been that he can not stay on the field and that ended up being his downfall in Minnesota. This could prevent teams from even taking a chance on him next year in free agency. Bradford is an unrestricted free agent and with Case Keemun’s sudden emergence and Teddy Bridgewater already waiting to replace him it would be smart for Bradford to sign with another team.
The Cardinals have had a lot of experience with injury prone veteran quarterbacks A.K.A. Carson Palmer, so why not take a shot on another one with Sam Bradford. If he can come back from his knee injury, Bradford would be able to step in right away and run the Arizona offence well.
5. WR: Larry Fitzgerald
Larry Fitzgerald has already proven he is a hall of fame receiver. He has also had team success as well with the Cardinals reaching the 2009 Super Bowl. Since then, the Cardinals have resumed being an average football team. However that has not been Fitzgerald’s fault because he has remained one of the best receivers in the NFL his entire career. With his Championship window running out, it appears it is now or never for Larry Fitzgerald..
The Vikings have proven to be contenders this season and even with changes under centre have got off to a hot 8-2 start. Fitzgerald can only add to that impressive start. Larry also has close ties to the Vikings organization, he was a ball boy for the team when he was a teenager and saw his idols Chris Carter and Randy Moss play. It would be great story to see him go full circle and help the Vikings win a championship.
4. RB: Frank Gore
Throughout his career Frank Gore has been a consistent running back for whatever team has been on. His best days were in San Francisco and he is unlikely to play like that anymore yet he could still help a team get over the hump. The Indianapolis Colts do not look like they will be contending anytime soon and Andrew Luck’s injury situation is peculiar to say the least.
The best place for Gore to sign would be the Seattle Seahawks and that would make most of his past 49ers fans cringe to see him playing for their hated rival. The Seahawks have been terrible running the ball all season and it is so bad that their leading rusher is their quarterback Russell Wilson. Wilson deserves better support from the running game and Gore deserves one more chance at a Super Bowl, seems like a match made in heaven.
3. QB: Tyrod Taylor
Tyrod Taylor was controversially benched for the start of the game against the Los Angeles Chargers for rookie Nathan Peterman. Taylor has proven he can be a dual threat quarterback that can make plays with his feet and his arm. After his mid season benching it is hard to see Taylor being the starter in Buffalo much longer.
The Jaguars have been one of the biggest surprises in the league this season, but it has mainly been because of their defense that is ranked number one in the NFL. The one position that has plagued the Jaguars the past few seasons has been quarterback. Blake Bortles has improved some this year, but Tyrod Taylor would be an upgrade and would give the Jaguars offense much more stability. Bortles is known for throwing a ton of interceptions and Taylor has only thrown three so far this season.
2. WR: Martavis Bryant
Martavis Bryant has made waves on social media by airing out his frustrations. He was suspended twice for violating the NFL substance abuse policy. He is already competing for targets with the very talented Antonio Brown, and now Ju Ju Smith-Shuster has been more involved in the passing game as well. Bryant would benefit from a trade, but his value is likely not very high after a tough season.
Bryant would be a great fit on the very injured New England Patriots. If Bryant was added to the receiving core that already includes Brandon Cooks, Julian Edleman, and Rob Gronkowski then the Patriots could be unstoppable again. According to NFL insider Ian Rappoport the Patriots did call about trading for Bryant and are still interested. Belichick has been know to fix problem child players, so this could work.
1. RB: Le’Veon Bell
The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the midst of a five game winning streak and are one of the hottest teams in the NFL and part of it is because of Le’Veon Bell. If that does happen then it is hard to picture franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger coming back for another season since he has already hinted at retirement. After turning down a long term deal this past off season Bell has been playing on the franchise tag. If the Steelers and Bell have difficulty coming to a reasonable price for his services then he should look to cash in somewhere else.
One of the teams that has proven they are willing to shell out big money for free agents has been the Miami Dolphins. If they were willing to give insane money for an interior defensive lineman then they would probably give Bell an obscene amount of money to play for them. The Dolphins are also in need of a dominant running back since they traded Jay Ajayi to the Eagles for practically nothing this season.
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