Best possible landing spots for top NFL free agents in 2020
If you think NFL fans are glued to their TVs now, just wait until March rolls around. That's when things get really interesting. A time where teams start getting into bidding wars for some of the league's foremost talent. Seeing as how there are so many players set to hit the open market in March, and a majority will probably re-sign with their current teams, here are (in no particular order) seven top-of-the-line free agents that I believe will have a new home for the 2020 season.
#1 Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
This may come as a surprise to some, but there has to be a reason why Brady was denied a 3-year contract extension last off-season, right? The 42-year-old signal-caller will be 43 come August. Combine that with a very subpar season from Brady in 2019, and I think we have our answer as to why he was denied the extension. Now, that's not to say that he and the Patriots can't/won't reach a deal. But only time will tell.
If you ask me, I don't see Brady returning to New England in 2020, especially when you consider the rocky relationship that he and head coach Bill Belichick have seemingly formulated over the last several seasons.
If this indeed turns out to be the case, I -- along with many others -- can/have made a strong case to see Brady in a powder blue Chargers uniform next season. Surrounding the 6-time Super Bowl champion with a plethora of elite weapons in Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Melvin Gordon, Austin Ekeler and several others, might just be exactly what Brady needs to catapult his way to another Super Bowl.
Best landing spot: Los Angeles Chargers
#2 Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Amari Cooper had himself quite the season, as the former first-round pick managed to snag 79 catches for a total of 1,189 yards and eight touchdowns this past season. Quite honestly, Cooper has more than earned himself a new contract this off-season.
That said, are we sure the Cowboys have the necessary amount of resources to sign Cooper to a long-term deal? There are several other players that Dallas could make of priority to re-sign first. Quarterback Dak Prescott and cornerback Byron Jones are just a few names that come to mind.
I can say with the utmost confidence that many Cowboys fans wouldn't be pleased if Jerry Jones were to let Cooper walk. Besides, when you consider not only the level of production that he's brought to this team over the past two seasons but also the spark and security blanket that has been provided to an offense that was extremely stagnant prior to his arrival, Dallas would be fools to let a player of Cooper's caliber walk out the door.
Keeping all of that in mind, if Cooper does hit the open market, the Indianapolis Colts would be a tremendous fit for a multitude of reasons. For starters, the Colts' passing attack was extremely sluggish in 2019, as they ranked 30th in total passing yards garnered per game with a measly 194.2.
Cooper would immediately give Jacoby Brissett a strong #2 wideout to pair alongside T.Y. Hilton. Secondly, Indianapolis has the most cap space this off-season with a whopping $92 million to work with. I know this signing would completely go against every off-season belief that GM Chris Ballard has religiously lived by since taking over in 2017, but if the price is right, a player of Cooper's caliber might be worth taking a serious look at this off-season.
Best landing spot: Indianapolis Colts
#3 Yannick Ngakoue, DE, Jacksonville Jaguars
Ngakoue has quietly been one of the league's best defensive ends for the last several seasons. The 24-year-old pass rusher racked up eight sacks this past season and has a total of 37.5 sacks, 120 tackles, and two forced fumbles for his short, yet dominant career. If Jacksonville were smart, they would lock up Ngakoue for the long-haul. Then again, they did just draft a pass rusher in Josh Allen, who could immediately slide to defensive end if Ngakoue were to sign elsewhere.
Pass rushers of Ngakoue's caliber are extremely rare and hard to find. He possesses all the right traits that any NFL team would look for in an elite defensive end. The former third-round pick would immediately bring a dominant presence to whichever team that'd be lucky enough to land him if he hits the open market this off-season.
To me, the Houston Texans would be a great fit for Ngakoue, seeing as how they just recently traded away defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and could use another top-tier edge rusher to pair alongside J.J. Watt. For the right price, this partnership makes almost too much sense.
Best landing spot: Houston Texans