The NFL offseason is in full swing as trades, cuts, and contract negotiations are taking place each and every day. The draft is only two months away (sigh) and teams are already developing plans for their 2021 roster and cap situations.
Free agents are already eyeing a new home, or potentially contemplating taking less money to stay where they succeeded. It should be an interesting offseason with elite-level players ready to hit the open market.
Let’s take a look at the top players available, and where they could potentially end up.
1.) QB Dak Prescott
The Dallas Cowboys would be making a huge mistake not resigning their QB the past five years, Dak Prescott. Prescott has been one of the most winningest QBs since entering the league and Dallas has the potential to be one of the more elite offenses in the NFL. Dallas would be lost without Dak, and any other team would be ecstatic to bring him on their roster for the next 3-5 seasons. Jerry Jones seems to pay good players great money, but has a strong distrust in Prescott being the future of his team and hasn’t budged on a huge contract.
Prediction: Dallas Cowboys
2.) WR Allen Robinson
Allen Robinson has put up monster numbers the past two season with having nonstop QB issues including switching between QBs all of last season with Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles. Those QBs didn’t look terrible, but the good mostly came from Robinson and his elite presence. If Robinson can escape the franchise tag and decides to leave Chicago, expect it to be a lethal duo whether he joins a team like Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers or the Colts who acquired Carson Wentz from the Eagles.
Prediction: New York Giants
3.) OLB Shaq Barrett
Shaq Barrett ranked 2nd behind no other than Aaron Donald in QB-pressure last season, and added a Super Bowl ring to his career. The Buccaneers offense was amazing throughout the playoffs, but their defense was the reason they won a championship and Barrett was a huge part of it. The Buccaneers don’t have much room to work with having to resign a ton of key players like Barrett, LaVonte David, Leonard Fournette, and Chris Godwin so there’s a real chance Barrett will hit the open market. Tons of teams would be interested in the 28-year-old pash rusher.
Prediction: New York Jets
4.) G Brandon Scherff
Washington could use a franchise tag on Scherff again, but the organization appears more interested in signing him to a long-term deal. Keeping him on a second franchise tag will be even costlier in 2021 ($18.04 million), so it’s not Washington’s ideal situation. Keeping Scherff would keep the right side of Washington’s offensive line intact until at least 2023. Center Chase Roullier re-signed on a four-year deal in January, and Moses has two seasons remaining on his contract.
Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals
5.) S Justin Simmons
The Denver Broncos hope to reach an agreement with starting safety Justin Simmons instead of having to use the franchise tag. The tag window closes March 9th, so that gives both sides some time to work with. If Denver decided to place the one-year tag on Simmons, it will be worth $13.729 million, 20% increase from last seasons base salary. The NFL’s highest-paid safety is Budda Baker on the Cardinals, who earns an average of $14.75 million per year; Simmons will look for a similar deal, possibly resetting the market for safeties.
Prediction: Denver Broncos
6.) ILB LaVonte David
The Buccaneers have already said they will strongly pursue David this offseason to ensure he stays in Tampa, but if he hits the market he’s in for a huge pay day elsewhere. David has been one of the best linebackers in the NFL for a couple seasons; it finally paid off after their Super Bowl win.
Prediction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
7.) LT Trent Williams
Trent Williams was a top-five tackle last season, but his age is concerning. Being 32 going on 33 playing at left tackle isn’t ideal, not for Williams or a new team. Williams will most likely not return to the 49ers and will sign elsewhere for a fairly large amount of money on a one or two year stint.
Prediction: Indianapolis Colts
8.) WR Chris Godwin
Chris Godwin is yet another Buccaneer player to hit this list and for good reason. Godwin was a huge part of the Tampa offense all season and he would like to stay because “winning means more.” The Bucs have a lot of cap issues to deal with so if Godwin were to hit the open market, he’d have a huge market all around the NFL.
Prediction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
9.) C Corey Lindsey
Reports have surfaced that Corey Linsey and the Packers will not agree on a new contract, meaning Linsey is a unrestricted free agent and will sign with a new team. Linsey was one of the best centers last season, helping Green Bay make a NFC Championship appearance. He will brew a market this free agency for sure.
Prediction: Seattle Seahawks
10.) WR Kenny Golladay
Kenny Golladay would be higher on this list if it weren’t for his recent injuries. It seemed like Golladay barely played last season so there’s not much to go off from last year. What we know is prior to last season he was a dominant WR with Matt Stafford throwing the rock, so it may be ideal to have an above average QB for Golladay. He’ll want the big bucks, the question is who will pay up?
Prediction: Detroit Lions
Honorable Mentions: RUSH JJ Watt, S Marcus Maye, RB Aaron Jones, S Anthony Harris, WR Will Fuller, & LB Bud Dupree.