Be mine? Finding the best fits for the NFL's top free agents
NFL free agency is just one month away, and some of the league’s biggest names will be available on the market. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, let’s find the best team matches for the top 10 free agents in 2020.
1. Tom Brady, QB
Who isn’t fawning over the G.O.A.T., now that his contract is up with the New England Patriots? The fan-deprived Los Angeles Chargers could be a perfect match for Brady, should Patriots owner Robert Kraft fail to pay the QB his asking price (a reported $25 million).
Brady would be back in his home state of California, and he’d be a huge draw at the new SoFi Stadium.
2. Derrick Henry, RB
The NFL’s leading rusher in 2019 carried the Tennessee Titans to a surprise playoff run with a record-setting stretch of performances.
Henry is seeking an Ezekiel Elliott-type contract, and Tennessee will probably deliver. If not, the cap space-laden Tampa Bay Buccaneers could use the boost on offense.
3. Chris Jones, DT
The Indianapolis Colts nearly created the ideal roster for a championship run in 2019, until Andrew Luck retired suddenly and injuries plagued the offense. If the Colts can stay healthy and replace Luck with a long-term answer, they’ll find themselves in playoff contention.
Indy also needs to get better at rushing the passer, and Super Bowl-winning defensive tackle Chris Jones could offer some help.
But if the Chiefs can retain Jones and the core of their Super Bowl LIV roster, he can collect a few more titles over the next decade.
4. A.J. Green, WR
The former first-round pick suffered with the Bengals for eight seasons and could use a change of scenery. The Patriots would be an excellent landing spot.
Green is the kind of talented receiver the Patriots need, and he’d get to join fellow Georgia product Sony Michel in the offense.
5. Dak Prescott, QB
The Cowboys waited to extend Prescott’s contract during the 2019 season, and then they waited some more. The fourth-year QB performed well enough to bump his asking price in free agency, and owner Jerry Jones will pay as a result.
Prescott should stay in Dallas and try out life under new head coach Mike McCarthy.
6. Shaquil Barrett, LB
The Buccaneers linebacker Barrett recorded 58 tackles and six forced fumbles last season, and he led the league in sacks (19.5). The Bucs probably don’t want to let go of the ferocious defender, but a contender in the AFC might put up a strong fight for his services.
Baltimore ranked 21st in sacks in 2019, one of the few areas where the team didn’t excel. Barrett would make the Ravens more intimidating and put them right back in the Super Bowl conversation in 2020.
7. Ryan Tannehill, QB
The NFL's Comeback Player of the Year turned the Titans' season around, after he replaced Marcus Mariota as the starter in Week 7. His ideal home is in Tennessee, where he can build upon last season’s unexpected success.
8. Kenyan Drake, RB
Similar to Tannehill, another former Miami Dolphin found life outside South Beach to be much more fruitful. Drake made a splash in his debut with the Cardinals, after Miami traded him to Arizona midseason in 2019.
The former Alabama running back demonstrated his worth as a long-term option in Arizona and will replace David Johnson as full-time starter for the Cardinals in 2020.
9. Hunter Henry, TE
It was a rough season for the Patriots, without star tight end Rob Gronkowski. Henry, a free agent from the Chargers, could be the solution to replacing him.
With Ben Watson expected to retire, New England should go after the tight end to bolster an unreliable receiving corps.
10. Drew Brees, QB
If Drew Brees isn’t playing in a Saints uniform next season, it’s because he chose to retire. Should he return to New Orleans, he’ll help groom the Saints quarterback of the future before he rides off into the sunset.