The 2019 NFL offseason will be fascinating, as a handful of Pro Bowlers and future Hall of Famers prepare to find new homes.
This year's free agency class is quite limited in terms of star power. Le'Veon Bell, Ndamukong Suh, Earl Thomas and Ezekiel Ansah are among the few big names that look to hit the open market. But not to worry, folks. There will be a handful of blockbuster trades coming once the new league year begins. And believe us, this year's trade frenzy is shaping up to be even more enticing than previous years.
A handful of superstar players want to be traded, such as Antonio Brown and DeSean Jackson. Some starting caliber quarterbacks in Joe Flacco, Blake Bortles, Nick Foles, Ryan Tannehill, Tyrod Taylor and Teddy Bridgewater also look poised to find new homes. Maybe not all of those signal-callers, but a handful of them will surely be finding starting gigs on different teams.
We can also expect to see a handful of players entering their contract years to get traded. Bill Belichick loves doing this to some of his top players in Foxborough, and it's very likely he does it again. Rebuilding teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills may look to move out veterans in order to collect valuable draft picks.
Here, we're taking a look at 10 NFL stars that need to find new homes in the offseason, and teams make the most sense for them. Read on and enjoy, as we continue the countdown for the offseason.
20 Needs A New Team: DeSean Jackson
As DeSean Jackson enters the final season of a three-year deal, it's been reported by ESPN's Josina Anderson that the speedy wideout prefers to be traded. And you can understand why.
Jackson has had his prime years wasted by some mediocre teams in Philadelphia, Washington and now Tampa Bay. Even though he and fellow wideout Mike Evans have formed one dynamic duo, the Buccaneers simply aren't winning games. Jackson is now 32 years of age and only has so many prime years left.
With Bruce Arians coming in as the new head coach, you have to think he'll willingly let Jackson go, rather than keep a player that wants a new home. Expect Jackson to get traded, rather than released.
19 Go To: Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens have a long history of trading for and signing Pro Bowl talents who are nearing the end of their prime years. This includes safety Eric Weddle and wideouts in Mike Wallace and Michael Crabtree.
Well, the Ravens are going to have to find better playmakers for Lamar Jackson if he's to progress in 2019. Jackson would be another great reclamation project addition to Baltimore. Just imagine what the lightning-fast receiver could do with one of the game's fastest quarterbacks?
Jackson would also be joining a team that figures to contend for a Super Bowl in 2019 and beyond. The Ravens would have no problem giving up a mid-round pick for Jackson, which makes Baltimore the best landing spot for the 32-year-old.
18 Needs A New Team: Joe Flacco
Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh already confirmed that quarterback Joe Flacco won't be returning to the team next season. They have a young signal-caller to build around in Lamar Jackson, who helped the Ravens win the AFC North for the first time since the 2012 season.
Flacco is now 34 years of age, prone to injury and had struggled over his last few seasons with the Ravens. Even if Baltimore offered to bring him back, you can't help but wonder if Flacco would prefer a fresh start. The former Super Bowl MVP is better off finding a new team, where he can revive his career and compete for another championship.
17 Go To: Jacksonville Jaguars
Out of all the teams that need a new quarterback most, none of them are better set up for championship contention than the Jacksonville Jaguars. This team saw a promising 2018 season go to waste because of its anemic offense, as fifth-year quarterback Blake Bortles once again failed to take that next step.
Jacksonville will surely move on from Bortles this offseason, despite giving him a $54 million extension a year ago. They should make a play for Flacco, who has the ability to get this team right back into the postseason.
The Jaguars are a rush-heavy team with a handful of quality playmakers. Their offense is similar to the one Flacco ran in Baltimore during his first few seasons as a pro. Not only that, but Flacco would get plenty of support from one of the league's best defenses. That's why a trade or signing with Jacksonville makes all the sense in the world here.
16 Needs A New Team: Ndamukong Suh
The Los Angeles Rams signed Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to a one-year contract worth $14 million in the offseason, and he turned out to be a fine addition for defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.
Together, Suh and reigning Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald formed one of the game's most dominant defensive lines. But make no mistake, the Rams are going to move on from Suh after this season. Brandin Cooks' and Aaron Donald's major contract extensions will kick in, and Jared Goff is going to need to get paid down the road.
The Rams can't afford to pay Suh long-term. Plus, he may prefer the chance to shine as the top guy elsewhere. It's not happening in Rams land with Donald.
15 Go To: Cleveland Browns
The Browns went 7-8-1 under rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield, and the future is finally looking more than bright for Cleveland. After such a promising 2018 season, the Browns will look to add reinforcements in hopes of competing for a playoff spot in 2019.
Well, they could start by adding a Pro Bowler in Suh, who would provide major support for pass rushing star Myles Garrett. Suh has the much-needed playoff experience that could help the Browns take this defense to a whole new level.
The Browns have plenty of cap space to give Suh a lucrative two or three-year deal, too. He may be that final piece they need to compete for a championship, so don't be surprised if Cleveland goes all-in for Suh.
14 Needs A New Team: LeSean McCoy
The Buffalo Bills were unsurprisingly one of the worst teams on offense in 2018, which can be attributed to their terrible pass protection, run blocking and lack of quality wide receivers.
Buffalo is under a major rebuild with GM Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott, so they should be looking to move out the bulk of veterans on the roster. It could start with Pro Bowl running back LeSean McCoy, who has been the subject of trade rumors since October.
McCoy turns 31 years of age this year and would be better off joining a team in position to win now, rather than stay on a Buffalo team that is a few years away from competing again. Look for the Bills to trade McCoy in his contract year.
13 Go To: Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles are the ideal landing spot for LeSean McCoy, with Darren Sproles likely retiring and Jay Ajayi not coming back as he prepares for free agency. Head coach Doug Pederson knows he'll need to upgrade the rushing game, which is why it makes sense to trade for McCoy.
You'll recall that McCoy played for the Eagles from 2009 to 2014, and he was among the team's most dynamic playmakers. He'd be an excellent fit on a Philadelphia team that loves to use its running backs, even in the short passing game.
Given his age and expensive salary, McCoy probably wouldn't cost much in a trade. That's why the Eagles should have no problem giving up a mid-round pick in order to find their solution in the rushing game.
12 Needs A New Team: Larry Fitzgerald
Larry Fitzgerald has maintained for a while that he'll only play for the Arizona Cardinals, as the future Hall of Famer continues to take it year-by-year. But after a while, you do have to wonder if Fitzgerald will discover the desire to chase a Super Bowl championship - something Arizona is not close to.
This Cardinals team has now missed the playoffs in three straight years, and they're undergoing a massive rebuilding phase. Though you have to respect Fitzgerald's loyalty, it only makes sense that he chases a championship ring - the only thing missing on his otherwise flawless resume.
There would be a handful of contenders interested in Fitzgerald, but which team makes the most sense?
11 Go To: Green Bay Packers
New Packers head coach Matt LaFleur will be tasked with trying to rebuild an Aaron Rodgers-led offense that was downright terrible far too often in 2018. There aren't any big-time playmakers outside of wide receiver Davante Adams, and free agent signing Jimmy Graham failed to make an impact with his new team.
Adding another wide receiver to complement Adams should be one of Green Bay's offseason goals, and adding Fitzgerald would do wonders. The Cardinals legend would probably love the opportunity to play with an elite quarterback, and the two would surely make quite the powerful duo on the field together.
10 Needs A New Team: Rob Gronkowski
After the New England Patriots lost in last year's Super Bowl, Rob Gronkowski hinted at retirement. Reports later surfaced that the Pro Bowl tight end was unhappy in Foxborough, adding to speculation that he would get traded.
Well, Bill Belichick actually tried to trade Gronkowski to the Detroit Lions, but the 29-year-old nixed a potential blockbuster trade. Gronk made it clear that he didn't want to play anywhere else, but you have to think he'll change his mind this time around.
Gronkowski had a down 2018 regular season, catching just 47 passes for 682 yards and three touchdowns. The Patriots will likely look to trade Gronkowski this offseason, as he enters the final year of his contract. And given his struggles on the field, Gronkowski might actually accept a trade.
9 Go To: Detroit Lions
Assuming Gronkowski is open to getting traded this time around, you have to think he'd be optimistic about the opportunity of joining the Lions. He'd be reunited with Detroit head coach Matt Patricia, who previously served as New England's defensive coordinator.
Detroit has to add another playmaker for quarterback Matthew Stafford, given the lack of talent around him. Giving the 30-year-old Stafford a red zone threat like Gronkowski might fix Detroit's passing game. And a quarterback with a great delivery and release like Stafford might be all it takes to help Gronkowski bounce back in 2019.
Gronkowski and the Lions are a perfect match. The only question is if he'll allow the transaction to go through this time.
8 Needs A New Team: Earl Thomas
The Seattle Seahawks opted not to re-sign Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas heading into his contract year. When he suffered a season-ending leg fracture, Thomas flipped off the Seattle sideline while being carted away. That's all you need to know in regards to how he feels about re-signing with the Seahawks.
Surprisingly, the Seattle defense held up without Thomas for three quarters of the season, finishing with a 10-6 record to make the postseason. That also gives Seattle little reason to overpay in keeping Thomas, who turns 30 in the offseason.
Thomas will go down as one of the greatest and most beloved players in Seattle history, helping them win their very first Super Bowl championship five years ago. But all good things must come to an end they'll have an easy decision to let him go in free agency.
7 Go To: Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins are set to undergo some major changes this offseason, having already fired head coach Adam Gase. The main goals for the front office are simple: Replace Ryan Tannehill at quarterback and find some playmakers on defense.
Miami once again fielded one of the league's worst defenses in 2018. They ranked 29th in yards allowed and 27th in points against. Adding a player of Thomas' caliber would completely change this Miami defense.
The front seven can probably be addressed in the draft, but the Dolphins should use their cap space on adding Thomas. He would single-handedly transform the secondary and turn them into a more relevant unit. They shouldn't be afraid to overpay for Thomas, even if he wants a deal north around $15 million a season. He's totally worth it.
6 Needs A New Team: Le'Veon Bell
There's no doubting that the Pittsburgh Steelers are ready to move on from Pro Bowl running back Le'Veon Bell, who decided to sit out all of 2018 after failing to reach a new contract.
Pittsburgh got fine production out of second-year back James Conner, giving them little incentive to bring back Bell. Expect the 26-year-old to be one of the most coveted free agents on the open market, and plenty of teams will be willing to offer up the big bucks for Bell's services.
He's not only an elite rushing back, but Bell does plenty of damage as a pass-catcher as well. This is the type of player teams want to build an offense around.
5 Go To: New York Jets
The Jets have every incentive to go after Bell, as Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman outlined. Sources told Freeman that they expect Bell to head to New York, with one Steelers source calling it a "foregone conclusion."
Young quarterback Sam Darnold needs some big-time playmakers if he's to mature and grow accordingly, and Bell would provide that. The Jets also have over $100 million in projected cap space, according to OvertheCap.com. This gives the front office could reason to overpay for Bell, even if his price tag could be $60-70 million over four or five years.
New York has a handful of franchise cornerstones in place, including Darnold, safety Jamal Adams and defensive end Leonard Williams. With so much cap space to spare, it makes sense to add one of the game's premier offensive talents in order to help Darnold get better.
4 Needs A New Team: Nick Foles
Even though Foles saved the Philadelphia Eagles once again and got them back into the playoffs, all reports suggest that the team is rolling with Carson Wentz as its long-term quarterback, rather than the Super Bowl LII hero and MVP.
The 29-year-old Foles will either get traded (there's a $20 million option for 2019), or let him leave via free agency. But even though the Eagles helped Foles revive his career, there's no doubt that he'll look to find the chance to be a starter elsewhere, rather than stay on as a backup to Wentz.
Foles will be remembered fondly for bringing Philly its first Super Bowl championship, but they're committed to keeping Wentz as the face of the franchise. Thus, expect Foles to leave as he looks for a starting job with another team.
3 Go To: Denver Broncos
Team president and general manager John Elway was able to recruit Peyton Manning during the 2012 offseason, when at least one-third of NFL teams seemed to be seriously in on him. So Broncos fans shouldn't doubt Elway's ability to starting caliber quarterbacks in free agency, especially somebody like Foles.
The latter might be intrigued by the offense that Denver has quickly built up. Rookie wideout Courtland Sutton and running back Phillip Lindsay were among the few positives in a dismal 2018 season for Denver. And don't forget about speedy wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who is under contract for one more year.
The Broncos have to give up on free agent signing Case Keenum, who couldn't produce in an offense loaded with so much talent. Foles would be the perfect fit for this unit, and Elway should be ready to offer him whatever it takes to sign. If the Broncos get Foles, they're right back in playoff contention. It's that simple.
2 Needs A New Team: Antonio Brown
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown had another Pro Bowl season, but it seems as though he has played out his final game with the organization. Brown skipped practices and team meetings leading up to their Week 17 contest against the Cincinnati Bengals, which led to head coach Mike Tomlin benching his star wideout.
This game after a report from the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette that Brown had a heated argument with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, which ended in No. 84 tossing a football in the direction of his teammate.
Reports suggest that the Steelers are ready to trade Brown, who is clearly unhappy in the Steel City. Pittsburgh has to change the atmosphere in its locker room, and that's why trading Brown is an easy choice.
1 Go To: San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers look poised to make a big splash, given their whopping amount of cap space and promising future that includes offensive stars in quarterback Jimmy Garopplo, running back Matt Breida and tight end George Kittle. 2019 is the chance for the 49ers to go all-in once the offseason begins.
San Francisco could sure use a dynamic wide receiver to complement its star tight end and flashy running back. You may recall that the likes of Kittle and Richard Sherman took to Twitter and seemingly tried recruiting Brown over to San Fran.
Brown would shine in the offense of head coach Kyle Shanahan, who would surely find a way to make the most of his talents. San Francisco is a budding offensive machine, and Brown could be the final piece in helping this team morph into a championship contender.