The curtain has been drawn on the 2019/20 season. The Chiefs taking the Lombardi back to Kansas City following their SuperBowl LIV victory over the San Francisco 49ers. As we know however, this is a sport that never sleeps. It’s 24/7, 365 days a year and despite the sun setting on another great season in the west, Free Agency is fast approaching and rising again in the east.
There are some great players ready to hit the market in 2020. I will be covering some of them throughout this article. Free Agency in 2019 saw some huge deals, some flops and some absolutely insane stories produced throughout the season.
Former SuperBowl MVP Nick Foles finally landed his starting job with the Jaguars. Foles signed a multi-year contract worth $88 million. However, he suffered an early injury that would hamper his debut Jacksonville campaign massively.
Teddy Bridgewater re-signed with the New Orleans Saints for one season. This turned out to be a great decision given he was able to stand in for Drew Brees during his stint on the sidelines. During that time, Teddy lead the Saints to 5 wins without loss as a starter. Also, he was able to showcase the talent that could really help a franchise in need of a capable starting QB with time on his side.
Robert Griffin III signed with the Ravens in a backup role to their franchise dual threat star, Lamar Jackson. Though his days as a starting QB are behind him, RG3 was useful when deployed as a 4th quarter reliever and will likely continue this role in 2020.
If you haven’t already noticed, we are going to be focusing on some of top QBs that are preparing to hit the market, and their likely/potential landing spots!
It strange to think that we may live in a world where Tom Brady isn’t playing in the NFL soon. It’s equally as strange that he may well remain in the NFL on a team that isn’t lead by the legendary Bill Belichick. That partnership has been synonymous with success throughout their 20 years together. However, Belichick and the Patriots may now be faced with life without TB12 sooner than they may have planned for. The 2019 season seemed like Brady had finally met the cliff and was ready to fall off it. Many were writing him and the patriots off before the play-offs had even begun.
Those people may now be saying “I told you so”. However it is easy to forget that Brady still posted 4,000+ yards and 24 TDs in an offense that struggled for production at times despite their 12-4 record. Brady may still have something to offer a contender. Even though he is 42, he could well be the difference on a team that is struggling to get over the hump. I suspect however that team and QB will reach a compromise here and New England will look to bolster their offense in free agency and the draft.
Best fit – Patriots, Chargers, Colts, Titans
This is the one that probably peaks my interest the most of all of the free agent QBs. Jameis was supposed to have a great season, especially under the QB guru Bruce Arians. What we actually got was nearly as many interceptions as Touchdowns thrown. Jameis finished the season with 33 TDs, 5109 Passing yards, and a shockingly awful 30 INTs!! This was Winston’s “prove it” year, and it was hardly convincing. Rumour is the Bucs may look to the Franchise Tag before committing to their future QB long term. That won’t sit well with Jameis however, who is seeking long term stability. With several teams looking to find their next QB, this is one that is worth keeping an eye on.
Best fit – Bucs, Chargers, Panthers, Dolphins
In the 2019 off season, Teddy signed a 1 year deal with the New Orleans Saints. Fast forward the clock 12 months, and Teddy is hitting the open market once more. This time however, there is plenty more bargaining clout in the young QBs corner. Drew Brees hasn’t yet committed to playing the 2020 season. An announcement expected in the coming weeks. Therefore, the most natural transition would be Teddy taking over the Offense he lead to 5 straight wins in 2019.
Despite Sean Payton recently declaring Taysom Hill the heir apparent, Teddy’s fit in this Offense can’t be denied as he struck up a natural partnership with Michael Thomas. Bridgewater connected with the First Team All Pro for three scores during his starting reign. If the Saints don’t re-connect with Bridgewater, he shouldn’t be short of suitors. I suspect at least a 3 year deal is on the horizon. If this happens, expect Teddy to be taken much higher than his current suggested draft position on most draft boards.
Best fit – Saints, Dolphins, Bears, Colts
What do you get when an unstoppable force (sort of, right?) meets an immovable object? You get a QB who wants the big money, and an owner who thus far is reluctant to reward him with said money, or at least that matches the scale of the demand. Don’t get me wrong, I fully expect the Cowboys to re-sign Dak to a multi-year contract that will likely surpass any QB contract we have seen so far. Either that or they’ll rely on the Franchise Tag to lock down their QB for another year while they iron out the finer details.
But guys, this is the NFL! Never, say, never. During the Superbowl, rumours were circulating that if an agreement can’t be reached, there’s a possibility of a certain TB12 landing in Dallas. Surely not…?
Best fit – Cowboys, anywhere needing a QB who is willing to pay the premium!
What a comeback story that was! It’s hard to believe that after numerous injuries in back to back seasons, being traded away and starting the season as a back up to Marcus Mariota, Ryan Tannehill would come back to turn the 1-4 Titans into a team that was one win away from the SuperBowl. The Titans find themselves in a difficult position. Both Tannehill and Mariota are preparing to hit the open market this Off-Season. Not to mention that the muscle behind their effective offense, Derrick Henry, is also about to hit free agency and hasn’t been shy about his demands so far.
I suspect if they are looking to bring one of their free agent QBs back, it would be the man who turned their season around and posted a 7-3 record in his last 10 games as a starter. Not to mention derailing both New England and the red hot Baltimore Ravens on his way to the AFC championship game!
Best fit – Titans
Other QB free agents:
Best fit – Bucs, Patriots, Colts, Raiders
Best fit – Bears, Dolphins, Chargers
Next up in our free agency preview, we assess the Wide Receivers.
As always, you can connect with all of us @5yardrush on Twitter. Keep rushing all!