NFL free agency is a magical time of year. Football fans around the country stay glued to their phones and television. It’s a time of excitement. We dream of trades and acquisitions that will take our respective team to the next level.
We as football fans need this to get us through the spring, and no more so than this year.
With Day 4 of free agency closing (Day ’2’ technically because of some moronic negotiation period), don’t worry if your team hasn’t made that dream move. While many players have been signed, there still remains plenty of impactful free agents waiting to be signed who will bring excitement and solid play to your team.
Let’s look at the top 20 remaining and projected contracts:
Jadaveon Clowney: 3 year $58 million to the Seahawks
Jameis Winston: 1 year $13 million to the Patriots
Emmanuel Sanders: 2 year $19 million to the Cowboys
Robby Anderson: 3 year $42 million to the Jets
Eric Ebron: 2 year $16 million to the Packers
Nickel Robey-Coleman: 3 year $26.5 million to the Chiefs
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix: 3 year $18 million to the Colts
Todd Gurley: 2 year $20 million to the Buccaneers
Everson Griffen: 3 year $36 million to the Vikings
Delanie Walker: 2 year $12 million to the Patriots
Breshad Perriman: 1 year $6.5 million to the Packers
Logan Ryan: 3 year $28 million to the Jaguars
Melvin Gordon: 1 year $7.5 million to the Bills
Jason Peters: 1 year $8.5 million to the Browns
Prince Amukamara: 2 year $18 million to the Bears
Ndamukong Suh: 1 year $9.5 million to the Buccaneers
Jimmy Smith: 3 year $24 million to the Giants
Derek Wolfe: 3 year $25 million to the Patriots
Timmy Jernigan: 1 year $8 million to the Cardinals
Damarious Randall: 3 year $19.5 million to the Falcons
Most of the top free agents are already off the market. As we enter day 4 of free agency, let’s take a look at 5 players who remain unsigned. These guys are all difference makers and will truly make an impact wherever they sign.
The most obvious big name left on the market. Clowney is a true game changer. Arguably, the best run defender on the edge; though not a top tier pass rusher, he still makes a difference and gets tons of pressure. Clowney’s injury history and low sack total have kept his market down. Though he may not be worth $20+ million a year, he truly is a difference maker and will get paid.
Seahawks, Giants, Jets
3 year, $58 million ($35 million guaranteed) to Seattle. Seattle gets their difference maker back for under $20 million. Injury history plus sack totals keep this to a 3-year contract. Win-win here as Seattle can get out after 2 years and Clowney gets an opportunity for another pay day at age 30.
Inconsistent play and high turnover totals make NFL teams uneasy. Any other year, I believe that Winston would have landed a contract with a good opportunity to start on a QB-needy team. 2020 was an oddity in the number of high profile QB’s available. There’s no doubt that Winston can make all the throws and be a successful starter in the NFL. A change of scenery might make the difference.
Chargers, Patriots, Jaguars
1 year, $13 million contract (incentive laden) to the New England Patriots. The Patriots add a veteran presence to the young QB room. Boom or bust pickup and a prove it deal for Winston.
A speedy receiver who has produced when given the opportunity. Anderson is a true playmaker but hasn’t been consistent enough to be considered a true, number one target. Off field issues and inconsistency has given teams hesitation.
Raiders, Steelers, Jets
3 year, $42 million ($20 million guaranteed) to Jets. The Jets get Darnold a familiar target back and give themselves an easy out after year 1 if Anderson doesn’t live up to his potential.
The holdout backfired on Gordon. He underperformed on his return and ceded more and more snaps to Ekeler. It’s tough to be a running back in today’s NFL. Gordon remains an all purpose back and red zone threat. I don’t expect a Bell or Gurley type deal.
Buccaneers, Redskins, Bills
1 year, $7.5 million to Buffalo. Gordon settles for a prove it deal and the Bills form a committee with Gordon and the promising, Singletary. Gordon gets another shot at a contract next year.
One of the premiere nickel corners in the NFL. Coleman was a cap casualty of a cap-strapped Rams team. Coleman is a playmaker and nickel has become a valuable position in today’s NFL. He should garner plenty of interest as an underrated performer.
Giants, Chiefs, Packers
3 year, $26.5 million to the Chiefs. Kansas City upgrades their secondary and continues to build towards a return trip to the Super Bowl.