2017 NFL Transactions
Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Updated Daily.
February 27, 2017
Pittsburgh Steelers: Re-sign Antonio Brown WR 4-year $68-million C Grade
The Steelers needed to bring back Brown despite his shenanigans on the football field and in the community. He's too damn talented and every team in the league wishes they had Brown. That being said, I'm not sure if Brown deserves $17-million a year. Brown is one-year older than Julio Jones and Jones only makes $13-million a year compared to Brown who makes $17-million a year.
Kansas City Chiefs: Re-sign Laurent Duvernay-Tardif RG 5-year $42.5-million Glenn Dorsey Grade
The Chiefs made a horrible decision by overpaying a mediocre right guard when they could have paid Eric Berry or Dontari Poe long-term. This is the worst decision the Chiefs made as a franchise since spending a top 5 pick on Glenn Dorsey back in the 2008 NFL Draft which is why the Chiefs just got a Glenn Dorsey grade.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Franchise Tag Le'veon Bell RB 1-year $12.337-million A Grade
The Steelers should tag Bell. If he gets suspended again before the season that will be a clear indicator that its time to move on. There are also rumors about Bell having offseason surgery so I can understand why Pittsburgh is hesitant to give Bell a long-term deal.
Los Angeles Chargers: Franchise Tag Melvin Ingram RE 1-year $16.995-million C Grade
The Chargers could have gotten another defensive end to replace Ingram in the draft. Los Angeles goes from having $26-million to spend on Free Agents to $9-million just by tagging Ingram.
New York Giants: Franchise Tag Jason Pierre-Paul LE 1-year $16.995-million B Grade
The Giants have so many holes heading into Free Agency. I feel like they are one team that cannot afford to franchise tag players.
Arizona Cardinals: Franchise Tag Chandler Jones 3-4 ROLB 1-year $16.995-million A Grade
Chandler Jones had 11 sacks with the Arizona Cardinals in 2016. He made left tackles in the NFC West quiver in fear and deserves to be paid.
Carolina Panthers: Franchise Tag Kawaan Short DT 1-year $13.468-million A Grade
Kawaan Short is probably the biggest asset on Carolina's defensive line. You will have him and Lotulelei in contract years next season plus Vernon Butler for depth once again.
February 26, 2017
Carolina Panthers: Re-sign Mario Addison DE to 3-year $22.5-million dollar extension C Grade
Mario Addison is a good depth player. He doesn't deserve this much and Kony Ealy who got outplayed by Michael Sam at Missouri is a terrible starter at 4-3 right end. Carolina probably won't draft a defensive end at 8 now.
February 25, 2017
New York Jets: Release Nick Mangold C D Grade
The Jets saved $9-million against the cap. At the same time, this was a bad move since the Jets were already $12-million under the cap. You can argue that Mangold isn't worth $9-million a year, but with the Jets releasing both offensive tackles plus Ben Ijalana being a Free Agent it felt like they should have kept Mangold with a lackluster offensive line group and an even worse draft class on the offensive line.
New York Jets: Release Erin Henderson 3-4 MLB A Grade
The Jets have David Harris and Darron Lee. Henderson cleared up $2.57-million against the cap.
February 24, 2017
San Francisco 49ers: Sign Earl Mitchell DT to 4-year $16-million dollar deal F Grade
San Francisco gave a backup a 4-year deal. This signing warrants an F grade.
February 23, 2017
Denver Broncos: Release Russell Okung LT C Grade
Denver didn't want to pay Russell Okung $11-million a year. I'm not sure if there is anyone in Free Agency or the draft who is an upgrade over Okung. At the same time, I can understand from a business standpoint why Denver didn't overpay Okung which is why the Broncos get a C grade.
New York Jets: Release Breno Giancomi RT C- Grade
The Jets should be able to replace Breno Giancomi in the 2017 NFL Draft. With both tackles plus backup Ben Ijalana being Free Agents, I have to think the Jets will target an offensive tackle relatively early in the draft now at some point in the second round. Giancomi cleared up $4.5-million.
New York Jets: Release Nick Folk K F Grade
The Jets will not be able to replace Nick Folk in the 2017 NFL Draft. Releasing Folk only saved $3-million so I really question the Jets decision to release Folk here.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Release Alterraun Verner CB A Grade
I like Alterraun Verner as a depth corner, but no way he is worth $6.5-million. Tampa Bay played nickel on 82 percent of their plays, but they can reload at cornerback in either Free Agency or the 2017 NFL Draft in what is a loaded cornerback class.
February 22, 2017
Jacksonville Jaguars: Trade 2018 seventh round pick for Branden Albert LT B Grade
Branden Albert is a far better left tackle than Kelvin Beachum. Albert does have some durability concerns and that's why I gave the Jaguars a B grade instead of an A+ grade even though this is a really good trade for Jacksonville if Albert stays healthy.
Miami Dolphins: Trade 2017 seventh round pick for Julius Thomas TE A+ Grade
Miami is giving up next to nothing for Julius Thomas. Jordan Cameron and Dion Simms were both Free Agents. Thomas is familiar with Gase's system and there were rumors about Miami and Jacksonville trading Julius Thomas for Branden Albert in a swap.
February 20, 2017
Jacksonville Jaguars: Release Jared Odrick DT C Grade
Jared Odrick is one of the best players on the Jaguars. He saves $8.5-million against the cap though so I cannot fault this decision entirely though.
February 16, 2017
Jacksonville Jaguars: Release Kelvin Beachum LT C Grade
Dave Caldwell deserves some criticism for offering Kelvin Beachum a 4-year $40-million dollar contract. Beachum deserves some criticism for not signing that contract because the first year of that contract required him to take a $1.5-million dollar paycut. The Jaguars will not find an upgrade over Beachum in the 2017 NFL Draft. Luckily there are good Free Agents available.
Miami Dolphins: Release Mario Williams RE A+ Grade
The Dolphins need a new starting 4-3 right end. Mario Williams only had 1.5 sacks and really disappointed. Miami needs to find a 4-3 right end in either Free Agency or the 2017 NFL Draft. Releasing Williams cleared up $8.5-million.
Miami Dolphins: Release Earl Mitchell DT A+ Grade
Earl Mitchell lost the starting spot across from Ndamukong Suh to 2015 second round draft pick Jordan Phillips. Releasing Mitchell saved Miami $4-million against the cap which is why the move was necessary since no backup is worth $4-million.
Miami Dolphins: Release Ifo Ekpre-Olomu CB A+ Grade
The Dolphins need another cornerback for depth in the 2017 NFL Draft. This was a good release by Miami.
February 15, 2017
Kansas City Chiefs: Release Nick Foles QB A+ Grade
I love Nick Foles ability as a quarterback. Kansas City had to release him though in order to have enough money to bring back Eric Berry or Dontari Poe.
New York Jets: Release Ryan Clady LT C+ Grade
The Jets will not be able to replace Ryan Clady in the 2017 NFL Draft. At the same time they needed to release Clady to save cap space. That's why the Jets got a C+ grade because cutting Clady saved $10-million against the cap.
February 13, 2017
New York Giants: Release Victor Cruz WR A+ Grade
Victor Cruz is a solid slot receiver when healthy. He's not worth $7.5-million though. I completely understand and support the decision by the Giants though. New York is losing a ton of defensive players on the front 7 to Free Agency so I'm kind of curious about what they do following the release of Victor Cruz.
New York Giants: Release Rashad Jennings RB A+ Grade
The Giants have Paul Perkins. New York also saves $2.5-million by releasing him.
February 11, 2017
Minnesota Vikings: Release Brandon Fusco RG F Grade
First off the Vikings never replaced John Sullivan at center. Second Matt Kalil and Andre Smith are both Free Agents at left tackle and right tackle. Third Fusco lined up at left guard, center, and right guard throughout his career with the Vikings. Fusco is still an elite talent in my eyes when healthy and far better than last years Free Agent signing in Alex Boone.
Releasing Fusco had a dead cap penalty of $1.6-million. Even if releasing Fusco saved $3.9-million, releasing Fusco actually gave the Vikings less cap space reducing their cap room from $22-million to $21-million. Unless the Vikings plan on putting Sam Bradford in a wheelchair like Joe Swanson on Family Guy, I don't understand what exactly they are trying to accomplish.
Teddy Bridgewater won't play in 2017 and Adrian Peterson will likely be traded released so Minnesota could be one of the worst NFL teams next season even if this defense keeps opponents to 17 points per game because right now I see an offense that can only score 10-16 points per game tops on a weekly basis plus the Vikings gave up their 2017 first round pick for Sam Bradford. Hopefully Zigy Wilf remains patient without firing Rick Speilman or Mike Zimmer in 2018 because the Vikings have a defense that's built to win long-term, but the offense is going through a huge rebuilding phase that needs to be straightened out over the next two seasons before the Vikings can contend again.
February 9, 2017
Indianapolis Colts: Release D'Qwell Jackson 3-4 MLB D Grade
D'Qwell Jackson was the Colts best player on defense. I really don't understand this decision. I'm guessing the Colts will target someone to compliment Antonio Morrison from the 2016 NFL Draft in either Free Agency or the 2017 NFL Draft. Releasing Jackson saved $5.5-million but it also gave the Colts over $2-million in dead cap penalties barely improving the Colts cap room from $59-million to $61-million.
February 8, 2017
Philadelphia Eagles: Release Leodis McKelvin CB A+ Grade
Leodis McKelvin absolutely sucked for the Eagles. Philadelphia saved $3.2 million for cutting him, improving their cap space from $12-million to $15.2-million. McKelvin isn't even worth $2-million so this was an outstanding decision to release him.
Green Bay Packers: Release Sam Shields CB A- Grade
I feel like Sam Shields could have a comeback season in 2017 causing the Packers to make a move that may bite them in the rear end. He's not worth $8.5-million though so I support the Packers decision to save $8.5-million against the cap since they can use that money to bring back Nick Perry.
February 7, 2017
Green Bay Packers: Release James Starks RB B- Grade
The Packers have Eddie Lacy and and Christine Michael entering Free Agency. Green Bay only cleared $2.8-million by releasing Starks and now you have no running backs outside of wide receiver/running back T.Y. Montgomery on your depth chart to top that off.
Cleveland Browns: Release Josh McCown QB A Grade
Josh McCown has been effective at times. He underperformed this season though so I completely support the decision to release him and have Robert Griffin III and Cody Kessler battle for the starting job.
Cleveland Browns: Release Tramon Williams CB A+ Grade
Tramon Williams entered Training Camp as the #2 boundary cornerback on Cleveland's depth chart. He fell to the #4 cornerback at the dime. There isn't a single dime cornerback in the NFL worth $6-million dollars plus the Browns can get a cornerback for depth in the draft.
January 23, 2017
Cleveland Browns: Re-sign Jamie Collins LB to 4-year $50-million dollar contract. B- Grade
The Browns needed to secure Jamie Collins. Collins can play 4-3 right outside linebacker, 4-3 middle linebacker, or 4-3 left outside linebacker. He's great at tackling and dropping back into coverage. Cleveland is moving to a 4-3 defense so Collins should revert to his Patriots form when he was a top 5 outside linebacker in the league, but he may end up playing the MIKE linebacker spot too.
His base salary will be higher than Luke Kuechly's which is the only thing keeping me from giving the Browns an A grade at the moment. Cleveland had $107-million in cap space before bringing back Collins. Now they only have $94-million possibly less once we see the official cap hit and dead cap. It feels like they overpaid Collins even though they needed to keep him which is why the Browns got a B- grade here.
Ryan Mallett, QB, Baltimore Ravens
Kyle Juszczyk, FB, Baltimore Ravens
Kamar Aiken, WR, Baltimore Ravens
Ricky Wagner, RT, Baltimore Ravens
Lawrence Guy, 3-4 LE, Baltimore Ravens
Brandon Williams, NT, Baltimore Ravens
Jeraud Powers, CB, Baltimore Ravens
Matt Elam, SS, Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens 2017 Offseason Preview: Baltimore has $22-million for 2017 at the moment. The only four starters that the Ravens are losing are Kyle Juszczyk, Ricky Wagner, Lawrence Guy, and Brandon Williams.
Zachary Orr who complimented C.J. Mosley at 3-4 middle linebacker retired. Now Baltimore will need another middle linebacker to compliment Mosley which they will find in Free Agency or the 2017 NFL Draft.
Baltimore should have enough money to bring all 4 starters and still use the 2017 NFL Draft to improve the team and find upgrades over the current starters. If the Ravens can do that they should make a run at a wild card spot in 2018 and possibly challenge the Pittsburgh Steelers for the AFC North once again.
Baltimore Ravens 2017 Free Agents
Rex Burkhead, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Cedric Peerman, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Brandon LaFell, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Andrew Whitworth, LT, Cincinnati Bengals
Kevin Zeitler, RG, Cincinnati Bengals
Eric Winston, RT, Cincinnati Bengals
Wallace Gillbery, RE, Cincinnati Bengals
Margus Hunt, LE, Cincinnati Bengals
Domata Peko, DT, Cincinnati Bengals
Brandon Thompson, DT, Cincinnati Bengals
Karlos Dansby, LOLB, Cincinnati Bengals
Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Cincinnati Bengals
Randy Bullock, K, Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals 2017 Offseason Preview: Cincinnati has $46-million for 2017 at the moment. Bringing back left tackle Andrew Whitworth, right guard Kevin Zeitler, and field cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick is manageable, but it would also likely cut their cap space in half leaving them with $23-million dollars.
You still would not have a 4-3 right end that could start next to Carlos Dunlap. Drafting Derek Barnett or DeMarcus Walker at 9 fixes this. To make matters worse Cincinnati would also lack depth at defensive tackle.
Releasing Rey Maualuga saves $3.7-million against the cap. The Bengals could get Reuben Foster at 9 if they didn't want to draft a defensive end like Derek Barnett or DeMarcus Walker at that pick.
Cincinnati needs one more running back for depth as well. The Bengals are losing two running backs to Free Agency, we are uncertain if Giovani Bernard returns to form, and Jeremy Hill is a 2018 Free Agent.
Getting a reliable kicker is also a huge need. I expect the Bengals to address that in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Cincinnati Bengals 2017 Free Agents
Josh McCown, QB, Cleveland Browns
Terrell Pryor, WR, Cleveland Browns
Austin Pasztor, RT, Cleveland Browns
Jordan Poyer, FS, Cleveland Browns
Stephen Paea, DT, Cleveland Browns
Tramon Williams, CB, Cleveland Browns
Britton Colquitt, P, Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns 2017 Offseason Preview: Cleveland only loses 5 players to Free Agency. They also have around $105-million to spend on players plus three of the top 33 picks in the 2017 NFL Draft. The Jamie Colins extension cost the Browns at least $13-million possibly more after initially having $107-million since Collins is expected to have a higher base salary then Luke Kuechly who makes $12.7-million in 2017. Cleveland regained most of the money they lost after re-signing Collins by releasing quarterback Josh McCown and cornerback Tramon Williams.
Cleveland could release Joe Haden and draft another cornerback at 12. Releasing Haden saves the Browns $8-million dollars and would still give the Browns the most cap space of any NFL team, but barely the most cap space.
I liked the Greg Williams hiring. Myles Garrett should thrive as a 4-3 right end in Cleveland. The Browns extended Jamie Collins. Now they need to do the same with Terrell Pryor, and Britton Colquitt.
Cleveland will need to find upgrades at center, right tackle, defensive tackle, strong safety, and free safety in the 2017 NFL Draft. There is also an outside possibility the Browns take Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer at 12 if he falls to that pick. The Browns have much bigger issues than quarterback, but they may panic after missing out on Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, and Dak Prescott.
Head coach Hue Jackson is coaching the South team in the 2017 Senior Bowl. Jackson will be able to assess the seniors real closely in the 2017 NFL Draft in Mobile, Alabama.
Cleveland Browns 2017 Free Agents
Landry Jones, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Markus Wheaton, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Cody Wallace, C, Pittsburgh Steelers
Ricardo Matthews, 3-4 LE, Pittsburgh Steelers
James Harrison, 3-4 ROLB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Jarvis Jones, 3-4 ROLB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Lawrence Timmons, 3-4 MLB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Shamarko Thomas, SS, Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers 2017 Offseason Preview: Pittsburgh has $31-million for 2017 at the moment thanks to franchise tagging Le'veon Bell. Pittsburgh can bring back James Harrison, Jarvis Jones, and Lawrence Timmons and still have $12-$20-million in cap space.
Usually Pittsburgh has salary cap problems after making the playoffs. Because they hit on both Artie Burns and Sean Davis in the 2016 NFL Draft, they have more flexibility then usual. If Pittsburgh brings those four players back, they can ignore need and draft the best player available since they have Mettenberger under contract to back up Jones plus they still have 4 receivers outside of Markus Wheaton.
Pittsburgh could go Best Player Available for most of the draft and as long as they got depth at strong safety or center with two of their seven draft picks, they'd still be set to contend in the AFC once again with the only huge player in a contract year for 2018 would be Antonio Brown.
The scary thing is Pittsburgh probably has enough money to bring back those players and possibly extend Antonio Brown now if they wanted too, but I think the Steelers would wait closer to the season to extend Brown like they did with David DeCastro. Pittsburgh has to be one the favorites to win the AFC in 2017-2018 next season with such a stable salary cap situation.
Pittsburgh Steelers 2017 Free Agents
Jonathan Grimes, RB, Houston Texans
Ryan Griffin, TE, Houston Texans
Oday Aboushi, LG, Houston Texans
Antonio Smith, 3-4 LE, Houston Texans
John Simon, 3-4 ROLB, Houston Texans
A.J. Bouye, CB, Houston Texans
Quentin Demps, SS, Houston Texans
Nick Novak, K, Houston Texans
Shane Lechler, P, Houston Texans
Houston Texans 2017 Offseason Preview: Houston has $25-million for 2017 at the moment. All of their starters except for nose tackle Vince Wilfork will be back. Wilfork is a Free Agent, but he's also expected to retire.
Houston isn't really losing a lot. I think both J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney will be used in the 5-technique next season since Clowney did better on the defensive line.
That's why its hard to see the Texans passing on a 3-4 right outside linebacker at 25. Both T.J. Watt the brother of J.J. Watt and Takkarist McKinley are both logical options in the first round for the Texans.
Houston has Kareem Jackson, Jonathan Joseph, and Kevin Johnson. They can afford to lose A.J. Bouye plus someone will overpay for him and end up regretting it.
The Texans need to re-sign Quentin Demps, Nick Novak, and Shane Lechler. As long as they do that while getting a pass rusher at 3-4 right outside linebacker in the first round and a free safety in the second round then this team should be able to go best player available in rounds 3-7.
Houston has to enter 2017 as the favorite to win the AFC South. If the Texans suffer the same amount of injuries as they did in 2016, then the Texans won't win the AFC South for a third year in a row.
Houston Texans 2017 Free Agents
Robert Turbin, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Jordan Todman, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts
Hugh Thornton, RG, Indianapolis Colts
Trent Cole, 3-4 ROLB, Indianapolis Colts
Robert Mathis, 3-4 ROLB, Indianapolis Colts
Erik Walden, 3-4 LOLB, Indianapolis Colts
Chris Carter, 3-4 LOLB, Indianapolis Colts
D'Qwell Jackson, 3-4 MLB, Indianapolis Colts
Akeem Ayers, 3-4 MLB, Indianapolis Colts
Darius Butler, CB, Indianapolis Colts
Darryl Morris, CB, Indianapolis Colts
Mike Adams, SS, Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts 2017 Offseason Preview: Indianapolis has $61-million for 2017 at the moment. They have quarterback Andrew Luck, left tackle Anthony Costanzo, right tackle Joe Haeg, center Ryan Kelly, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, and tight end Dwayne Allen all locked up until 2020 on offense. The Colts can gain an additional $9-million in cap space if they release their field corner Vontae Davis who covers receivers better than anyone on the roster. Davis covers most of the opponents #1 receivers. The Colts new GM who replaces Ryan Grigson will have his work cut out for him.
Indianapolis is so depleted at outside linebacker that it's not even funny. Indianapolis will need multiple starters to play 3-4 outside linebacker. Indianapolis may even draft additional guys for depth as well. Outside linebackers like Nick Perry, Melvin Ingram, and Jarvis Jones understand the 3-4 defense and should be on the market come March. You may even be able to get DeMarcus Ware of the Denver Broncos for a discount price. Indianapolis has to come out guns blazing looking for outside linebacker help with $59-million in 2017 for Free Agency with lots of money to spend.
Indianapolis loses nickel corner Darius Butler and quarter cornerback Darryl Morris to free agency. I think the Colts will let both of those corners go, but the bigger question is do they release Davis to clear up cap space to sign a bigger name in Free Agency or add cornerback depth on day 2 of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Mike Adams may be leaving. You got two second round picks ready to start though in Clayton Geathers at strong safety and T.J. Green at free safety.
Indianapolis has their offense set for the next three years. I expect them to use this window of opportunity to rebuild the defense and emerge into a potential contender in 2017 depending on who they get in Free Agency.
Indianapolis Colts 2017 Free Agents
Denard Robinson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Arrelious Benn, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Kelvin Beachum, LT, Jacksonville Jaguars
Luke Joeckel, LG, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jared Odrick, DT, Jacksonville Jaguars
Tyson Alualu, DT, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jordan Hill, DT, Jacksonville Jaguars
Prince Amukamara, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jonathan Cyprien, SS, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars 2017 Offseason Preview: Jacksonville has $74-million for 2017 thanks to releasing Kelvin Beachum. The Jaguars should have enough money to spend on key positions and traded a 2018 seventh round pick for Branden Albert.
Jacksonville will probably need a left guard to replace Luke Joeckel as well as a left tackle. The Jaguars could consider LSU running back Leonard Fournette at 4, but that only occurs if the Jaguars address their secondary in Free Agency. Pittsburgh left guard Dorian Johnson is someone Jacksonville could spend a day 2 pick on in the second or third round.
Jacksonville still has Malik Jackson, Sen'Derrick Marks, Roy Miller, and Sheldon Day on their roster at defensive tackle even if they cut ties with their current defensive tackles. The Jaguars would have to cut Marks, Miller, and Odrick just to have a shot at taking Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen who is a better fit in the 3-4 defense.
Jacksonville's biggest issue lies on its secondary with field cornerback Prince Amukamara the teams #1 cornerback and Jonathan Cyprien both set to hit Free Agency. Jacksonville will almost certainly move on from Cyprien at strong safety, but the question becomes what do they do with rookie Jalen Ramsey who enters year 2 in 2017?
Do the Jaguars move him back to his natural position at Florida State where he played strong safety or do they move Ramsey over to field cornerback where he would face #1 receivers in man coverage consistently. Honestly Ramsey is perfect as a #2 boundary corner or as a strong safety. I don't think Ramsey would fare as well as a #1 field cornerback. and if the Jaguars converted Ramsey to strong safety and ignored cornerback in Free Agency they would need two corners not one.
Moving Ramsey from cornerback to strong safety and doubling up at cornerback in the 2017 NFL Draft isn't dumb. In fact its kind of brilliant because this is one of the deepest cornerback drafts in years. Plus Jacksonville could trade down for more picks increasing their chances of getting quality corners as well as quality starters on the offensive line. I'm just not sure the Jaguars go that route with Jamal Adams on the board at 4.
Jacksonville Jaguars 2017 Free Agents
Kendall Wright, WR, Tennessee Titans
Anthony Fasano, TE, Tennessee Titans
Byron Bell, LG, Tennessee Titans
Brian Schwenke, C, Tennessee Titans
Chance Warmack, RG, Tennessee Titans
Karl Klug, 3-4 LE, Tennessee Titans
Sean Spence, 3-4 MLB, Tennessee Titans
Rashad Johnson, SS, Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans 2017 Offseason Preview: Tennessee has $74-million for 2017 at the moment. The Titans have most of the pieces they want in place.
Tennessee needs to use that $74-million to reload in Free Agency on the interior offensive line at left guard, center, and right guard. Tennessee can replace Wright and Klug in the 2017 NFL Draft. Finding another cornerback to compliment Jason McCourty will also be critical and I think the Titans can take care of that in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Tennessee has more cap space than both Jacksonville and Indianapolis. If they can use Free Agency and the 2017 NFL Draft to put everything together they have a chance to knock off the Houston Texans as AFC South champs in 2017.
Tennessee Titans 2017 Free Agents
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills
E.J. Manuel, QB, Buffalo Bills
Reggie Bush, RB, Buffalo Bills
Jerome Felton, FB, Buffalo Bills
Robert Woods, WR, Buffalo Bills
Percy Harvin, WR, Buffalo Bills
Marquise Goodwin, WR, Buffalo Bills
Brandon Tate, WR, Buffalo Bills
Justin Hunter, WR, Buffalo Bills
Chris Gragg, TE, Buffalo Bills
Jordan Mills, RT, Buffalo Bills
Seantrel Henderson, RT, Buffalo Bills
Lorenzo Alexander, 3-4 ROLB, Buffalo Bills
Zach Brown, 3-4 MLB, Buffalo Bills
Stephon Gilmore, CB, Buffalo Bills
Colt Anderson, SS, Buffalo Bills
Robert Blanton, SS, Buffalo Bills
Sergio Brown, FS, Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills 2017 Offseason Preview: Buffalo has $31-million for 2017 at the moment. They lose half of that if they keep Tyrod Taylor and gain $13-million if they release Tyrod Taylor. That's why I can easily see the Bills moving on from Tyrod Taylor.
Releasing Kyle Williams saves $6.8-million though. Releasing free safety Corey Graham saves you nearly $4-million, bu really hurts you if you miss out on Jamal Adams or Malik Hooker at 10. Releasing center Eric Wood who suffered a season-ending injury and who turns 30-years-old saves $3.2-million, but he's a huge piece to this Bills offense. Releasing left guard Ritchie Incognito saves $2.6-million.
I don't like sacrificing Taylor to give Buffalo $48-million to spend on the rest of their players, but what other choice does Buffalo have at this point if they could lose anywhere between $16 and $27.5 million just to bring Taylor back for 2017 fresh off of surgery.
The only quarterback Buffalo scouted in 2016 was Clemson's Deshaun Watson. Watson may not make it to 10, but Buffalo is the kind of team that loves ACC prospects so even if Watson isn't there I could easily see themn reaching for Mitch Trubisky or Brad Kaaya at 10. Keeping Tyrod Taylor is the smartest thing you can do, but it also really hurts you financially because Cardale Jones would be the backup and you would not be able to get any Free Agents.
Buffalo is losing five wide receivers to Free Agency. It won't matter who is quarterback if they don't bring two of those receivers back because Tyrod Taylor or whoever the Bills bring in will be set up for failure at quarterback without a quality #2 target next to Sammy Watkins.
Buffalo also has issues at right tackle and needs safety depth. The front 7 will be better than people expect even without Lorenzo Alexander and Zach Brown gone. The reason I believe that is because Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland the Bills 2016 draft picks will become full-time starters next season.
Buffalo Bills 2017 Free Agents
T.J. Yates, QB, Miami Dolphins
Kenny Stills, WR, Miami Dolphins
Jordan Cameron, TE, Miami Dolphins
Dion Simms, TE, Miami Dolphins
Dominique Jones, TE, Miami Dolphins
Jermon Bushrod, RG, Miami Dolphins
Mario Williams, RE, Miami Dolphins
Andre Branch, RE, Miami Dolphins
Jelani Jenkins, ROLB, Miami Dolphins
Donald Butler, LOLB, Miami Dolphins
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins 2017 Offseason Preview: Miami has $42-million to spend on Free Agents and the draft. Miami had $37-million and released 3 players to save $13-million dollars, but they also traded for Julius Thomas putting them at $42-million.
Kiko Alonso is moving to right outside linebacker. Now Miami's two biggest defensive needs are 4-3 right end and 4-3 middle linebacker. Getting a 4-3 left outside linebacker and a left guard are also needs.
I gave the Miami Dolphins a cornerback in the first round of my mock. All of Miami's cornerbacks are under contract until 2019. Its highly unlikely that the Dolphins spend a first round pick on a cornerback.
Miami is gonna go tight end and a defensive end or linebacker with their first two picks. O.J. Howard would be a good value pick for a team that needs multiple tight ends with the top 3 tight ends on their depth chart all set to hit Free Agency.
Miami exceeded expectations last season. Miami's pass rushers and cornerbacks have to play much better next season if the Dolphins want to return to the playoffs. There is no question that Miami has one of the best offenses in the NFL right now and the Dolphins seem like a team that will be in a lot of shootouts in 2017 as long as Ryan Tannehill and their offensive line stays healthy.
Miami Dolphins 2017 Free Agents
LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots
Brandon Bolden, RB, New England Patriots
James Develin, FB, New England Patriots
Danny Amendola, WR, New England Patriots
Michael Floyd, WR, New England Patriots
Martellus Bennett, TE, New England Patriots
Sebastian Vollmer, RT, New England Patriots
Jabaal Sheard, RE, New England Patriots
Chris Long, LE, New England Patriots
Alan Branch, DT, New England Patriots
Dont'a Hightower, MLB, New England Patriots
Logan Ryan, CB, New England Patriots
Duron Harmon, SS, New England Patriots
New England Patriots 2017 Offseason Preview: New England has $67-million for 2017. They need to bring back Dont'a Hightower and Logan Ryan back at any costs while tendering Malcolm Butler.
Those three players are guys they need and guys they have no leverage with. I'd also consider bringing back Develin and Bennett, but those are secondary guys to consider once you take care of business with Hightower and Ryan.
New England can either keep Branch and one of their defensive ends or focus on the defensive line in the draft. Depth at running back and wide receiver in the 2017 NFL Draft will also be a key need for the New England Patriots.
New England and Pittsburgh are probably going to enter the 2017 Offseason as the two most stable teams in the AFC after playing for the 2017 AFC Championship game. New England has $67-million while Pittsburgh only has $43-million. New England has the financial edge right now, but it comes down to the Patriots filling out those needs in the 2017 Offseason since Pittsburgh has less needs to address then the Patriots, yet New England has more money.
New England Patriots 2017 Free Agents
Geno Smith, QB, New York Jets
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, New York Jets
Kellen Davis, TE, New York Jets
Ryan Clady, LT, New York Jets
Ben Ijalana, LT, New York Jets
Nick Mangold, C, New York Jets
Breno Giancomi, RT, New York Jets
Erin Henderson, 3-4 MLB, New York Jets
Bruce Carter, 3-4 MLB, New York Jets
Nick Folk, K, New York Jets
New York Jets 2017 Offseason Preview: New York only loses 8 players to Free Agency just like Cleveland. Extending Brian Winters put the Jets at -$5-million heading into the 2017 NFL Free Agency period. Now the Jets have $24-million after releasing Ryan Clady, Breno Giancomi, Nick Mangold, Erin Henderson, and Nick Folk.
The Jets deserve a lot of credit for clearing up their cap space. At the same time, can they keep Nick Mangold and their wide receivers. The Jets have $12.5-million against the cap and can either double dip at tackle in the draft or release more players to save cap space.
Let's look at who the Jets can release in Free Agency to clear up some cap room. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall saves the Jets $7.5 million against the cap if the Jets release him. There is no dead cap penalty for releasing Marshall. Marshall had a career low 55 receptions, a measly 788 receiving yards, and tied for a career low as a starter in receiving touchdowns. One could argue that being on HBO's Inside The NFL has been a huge distraction for Marshall. Marshall also turns 33-years-old in March. I love what Brandon Marshall did with the Jets in 2015. Marshall has been terrible in 2016 though and has not had a 100 receiving yards in a game since October 9, 2016. From a business standpoint releasing Marshall makes complete sense even if it does piss off some die hard Jets fans. The Jets can also save $5,750,000 if they release Eric Decker who got placed on injured reserve. If the Jets moved on from both receivers Quincy Enuwa and Devier Posey would both have bigger roles in 2017.
Starting center Nick Mangold only started 8 games for the Jets in 2016. Mangold has not had a full 16-game season where he started every game since 2013. It's not just that, releasing him saves the Jets $9.5 million against the cap and like with Brandon Marshall there is no dead cap for releasing him.
Releasing right tackle Breno Giancomi saves the Jets over $4.5 million dollars. With Ben Ijalana being a Free Agent in 2017 after being a swing tackle at both offensive tackle positions its unlikely the Jets move on from Giancomi who would enter a contract year in 2017.
Muhammed Wilkerson costs the Jets $8-million in cap room if they release him. Sheldon Richardson on the other hand saves the Jets $8-million and it also validates 2015 first round pick Leonard Williams as the starter moving forward. Releasing Marcus Gilchrist at strong safety also saves $5-million against the cap and that would be ideal if the Jets wanted Jamal Adams or Malik Hooker at 6. Cutting cornerback Buster Skryne also saves $3.5 million.
New York Jets 2017 Free Agents
Justin Forsett, RB, Denver Broncos
Jordan Norwood, WR, Denver Broncos
Russell Okung, LT, Denver Broncos
Vance Walker, 3-4 RE, Denver Broncos
Billy Winn, 3-4 LE, Denver Broncos
Sylvester Williams, NT, Denver Broncos
DeMarcus Ware, 3-4 ROLB, Denver Broncos
Dekoda Watson, 3-4 LOLB, Denver Broncos
Kayvon Webster, CB, Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos 2017 Offseason Preview: Denver has $50-million to spend on Free Agents and the draft for the 2017 NFL Offseason. The Broncos offensive tackle play was bad this year. Denver saved $11-million by releasing Russell Okung.
Denver could draft Ryan Ramczyk out of Wisconsin or Alabama left tackle Cam Robinson at 20 to be a blindside. That comes down to whether the Broncos release Okung. I originally anticipated that the Broncos would need to release Okung, but with $38-million in cap space with draft picks taking up between $6 and $8-million in cap space, Denver will still have $30-million to spend on re-signing Williams and getting some players for depth in Free Agency for very cheap deals.
Getting a running back for depth with Forsett gone as well as a slot receiver to replace Norwood would be nice. These are not top priorities for the Broncos though.
If Denver wants to make a trade for Tony Romo they would likely have to release Okung since Romo takes up $24.7 against the cap while Okung saves $11.7 million allowing Denver to only lose $13-million by trading for Romo.
Shane Ray showed he's more than capable of replacing DeMarcus Ware. Getting outside linebacker depth with Ware and Watson gone as well as depth at the 5-technique behind Jared Crick and Derek Wolfe with one more 5-technique player to be used for depth along with Adam Gostis will be key though.
Kayvon Webster will be a Free Agent. Bradley Roby has been a dime cornerback on Denver's depth chart with some experience at the nickel for the first three years of his rookie contract. I expect Denver to use a fifth year player option on Roby and finally move him over to the nickel cornerback role this season. Denver can find another corner to replace Webster for depth in this extremely deep cornerback class.
Overall Denver is in a pretty good state as a franchise and could easily rebound next season. The big question is whether John Elway wants to make a power play move at quarterback even if it costs him Okung who is a very effective left tackle when healthy.
Denver Broncos 2017 Free Agents
Nick Foles, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
Dontari Poe, NT, Kansas City Chiefs
Eric Berry, SS, Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs 2017 Offseason Preview: The Chiefs will have $13-million in cap space thanks to the release of Nick Foles after previously having $3-million. Releasing running back Jamaal Charles, 3-4 middle linebacker Derrick Johnson, and backup quarterback Nick Foles saves $18-million dollars. Releasing Foles saves the Chiefs $10.75-million while releasing Alex Smith in 2018 saves the Chiefs $17-million. Taking a developmental quarterback to groom at 27 isn't as farfetched as it seems.
Kansas City will have $21-million to give Eric Berry or Dontari Poe a long-term deal. Kansas City will use their remaining cap space by signing rookie draft picks at 3-4 middle linebacker, boundary cornerback, wide receiver, right guard, and either a strong safety or nose tackle depending on whether they bring back Berry or Poe.
The Chiefs have most of the pieces of a championship contender in place. The key will be to retain as many players on defense while drafting offensive players hoping to stay under the cap.
Kansas City Chiefs 2017 Free Agents
Kellen Clemens, QB, Los Angeles Chargers
Danny Woodhead, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
Manti Te'o, 3-4 MLB, Los Angeles Chargers
Jeremiah Attaochu, 3-4 LOLB, Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Chargers 2017 Offseason Preview: The Chargers will have $9-million in cap space after franchise tagging Melvin Ingram. The Mike McCoy regime is finally over and Chargers fans will have a new coach patrolling the sidelines next season.
Now the Chargers are the Los Angeles Chargers. They are also switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3 so the Chargers may keep rebuilding. This comes down to whether they hire Gus Bradley as a defensive coordinator.
The Chargers drafted Jatavis Bryant and Joshua Perry as replacements to Manti Te'o. The Chargers can rebuild this team through the draft quite easily as long as they bring Melvin Ingram back.
The Chargers will need to draft a 3-4 left outside linebacker to compliment Ingram and will need two pass rushers if Ingram leaves. The Chargers will also need starters at strong safety and free safety.
The Chargers have more than enough money to make that happen if they bring back Ingram and build their team through the 2017 NFL Draft.
Injuries to running back Danny Woodhead, wide receiver Keenan Allen, and cornerback Jason Verrett hurt this team more than anything else. Los Angeles could be a dark horse in 2018 if all of their starters stay healthy.
Los Angeles Chargers 2017 Free Agents
Matt McGloin, QB, Oakland Raiders
Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders
Andre Holmes, WR, Oakland Raiders
Mychal Rivera, TE, Oakland Raiders
Menelik Watson, RT, Oakland Raiders
Stacy McGee, DT, Oakland Raiders
Malcolm Smith, ROLB, Oakland Raiders
Perry Riley, MLB, Oakland Raiders
D.J. Hayden, CB, Oakland Raiders
Nate Allen, FS, Oakland Raiders
Brynden Trawick, SS, Oakland Raiders
Oakland Raiders 2017 Offseason Preview: The Oakland Raiders will have $49-million in cap space. Re-signing Malcolm Smith as a right outside linebacker on the weak side is the top priority. I feel like the rest of their players are expendable though.
Latavius Murray exceeded 1,000 rushing yards in 2015. He also had a career high 12 rushing touchdowns this season despite only having 788 rushing yards. Murray has 0 career receiving touchdowns in three years with the Raiders.
Doug Martin only makes just over $5.5 million in 2017 and their is no dead cap penalty for releasing him. If the Raiders want to bring Murray back that's the kind of offer they need to make Murray. Either Murray takes that kind of offer or you cut ties with him to draft Christian McCaffrey at 24.
Oakland also needs a 4-3 middle linebacker. With tackling machines like Zach Cunningham, Anthony Walker Jr., and Raekwon McMillan on the board along with other effective linebackers like Jarrad Davis, Kendall Beckwith, and Jalen Reeves-Maybin.
What the Raiders do with Murray dictates whether they go running back and middle linebacker in the draft before adding depth or whether they go middle linebacker and add depth later. Besides a running back if Murray leaves and a middle linebacker you need offensive tackle depth at both left tackle and right tackle, tight end depth, defensive tackle depth, cornerback depth, along with depth at both strong safety and free safety.
The Raiders may not be able to get depth players at all those with just five draft picks in rounds 3-7. You are looking at seven players for depth even if you bring back Murray. Oakland will probably sign a few Free Agents for depth just to make their draft strategy a little more easier.
Oakland will relocate to Las Vegas in 2018-2019. The Oakland Raiders can end things in Oakland with a bang though by making a potential Super Bowl run in 2017-2018 if they ace this offseason the way they aced the past three off seasons. This all comes down to how healthy Derek Carr is, but I think you are looking at an AFC West winner that can potentially make the AFC Championship game worst case scenario as long as Carr is healthy. Oakland will be that deep in 2017-2018.
Oakland Raiders 2017 Free Agents
Brian Hoyer, QB, Chicago Bears
Matt Barkley, QB, Chicago Bears
Alshon Jeffrey, WR, Chicago Bears
Marques Wilson, WR, Chicago Bears
Logan Paulsen, TE, Chicago Bears
Mike Adams, LT, Chicago Bears
Nick Beckton, LT, Chicago Bears
Cornellius Washington, 3-4 LE, Chicago Bears
Sam Acho, 3-4 ROLB, Chicago Bears
Jonathan Banks, CB, Chicago Bears
Chris Prosinki, SS, Chicago Bears
Connor Barth, K, Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears 2017 Offseason Preview: Chicago has $62-million for 2017 at the moment. The Bears will have about $76-million to spend on Free Agents and draft picks if they release starting quarterback Jay Cutler. Chicago can save $16-million though if they wait until 2018 to release him after firing John Fox. Fox is coming back so the Bears may keep Cutler for now.
Chicago needs a quarterback in the 2017 Free Agency period as well as the 2017 NFL Draft. The Bears can bring back Matt Barkley as a backup to Jay Cutler and go Jonathan Allen at 3 keeping the quarterbacks and current regime in place. I think this would be a horrible mistake with all the Bears ofensive woes, but I can see Chicago doing this when you consider that Fox is still the head coach plus the Bears may need that $16-million in a year from now.
Chicago is losing Alshon Jeffrey and Marques Wilson to Free Agency in 2017. The only objective thing I can say about the Bears receivers is that they have the injury prone Kevin White, the aging Eddie Royal, and the upcoming Cameron Meredith all under contract in 2017. Unless a slot receiver with the skills of John Ross makes it to the second round, it's highly unlikely the Bears draft a receiver if they are contingent with those targets starting in 2016.
Corey Leno sucks at left tackle. His backups Mike Adams and Nick Benton are both set to be Free Agents. Chicago may end up going with a left tackle rather than a wide receiver in the second round if the guy they want is there.
Starting 3-4 left end Akeim Hicks saves Chicago $5-million against the cap. If Chicago releases him that should be a clear tell that the Bears would rather have Jonathan Allen over any quarterbacks in the 2017 NFL Draft with the third pick in the draft. Allen is also likely to be the pick for Chicago if they keep Jay Cutler on board as quarterback.
Chicago is losing some backups for depth. I'm not sure what the Bears will do with kicker Connor Barth. Barth turns 31-years-old in April and had his worst field goal percentage since 2009 in 2016.
Chicago has an outstanding running game and this defense can be a force if they avoid injuries like the ones that they suffered in 2016. Losing field cornerback Kyle Fuller to a season ending injury really hurt the Bears.
I'm amazed that Chicago Bears head coach John Fox did not get fired. I'm even more amazed that he's coaching the North team in the 2017 Senior Bowl. If the Bears draft a quarterback at 3 and fire John Fox in 2018 it would hinder that quarterback's development.
Chicago Bears 2017 Free Agents
Dan Orlovsky, QB, Detroit Lions
Anquan Boldin, WR, Detroit Lions
Andre Roberts, WR, Detroit Lions
Matthew Mulligan, TE, Detroit Lions
Clay Harbor, TE, Detroit Lions
Larry Warford, RG, Detroit Lions
Riley Reiff, RT, Detroit Lions
Devin Taylor, LE, Detroit Lions
Rafael Bush, FS, Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions 2017 Offseason Preview: Detroit has $43-million for 2017 at the moment. The Lions can bring back most of their starters and stay under the cap and go with Christian McCaffrey who would be an upgrade over their four running backs under contract.
Detroit has enough money to retain their starters. Solomon Thomas a left end out of Stanford, Washington receiver John Ross, Alabama tight end O.J. Howard, and Christian McCaffrey could all be options for Detroit at 21. Overall the Lions are in a solid position to contend again in 2017.
Detroit Lions 2017 Free Agents
Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers
James Starks, RB, Green Bay Packers
Christine Michael, RB, Green Bay Packers
Jared Cook, TE, Green Bay Packers
Don Barclay, LG, Green Bay Packers
J.C. Tretter, C, Green Bay Packers
T.J. Lang, RG, Green Bay Packers
Datone Jones, 3-4 LE, Green Bay Packers
Nick Perry, 3-4 LOLB, Green Bay Packers
Julius Peppers, 3-4 LOLB, Green Bay Packers
Sam Shields, CB, Green Bay Packers
Micah Hyde, SS, Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers 2017 Offseason Preview: Green Bay has $46-million for 2017. The Packers originally had $35-million before releasing James Starks and Sam Shields.
Running back and 3-4 outside linebacker have to be the top two needs that the Packers can address in Free Agency and the NFL Draft. I also believe the Packers will use a day 2 pick on a left guard.
Green Bay can win the NFC North again. They just have to bring the right players back and draft for need in day 1 and day 2 of the 2017 NFL Draft which will allow them to keep some cap room for when Rodgers contract runs out.
Green Bay Packers 2017 Free Agents
Shaun Hill, QB, Minnesota Vikings
Matt Asiata, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Zach Line, FB, Minnesota Vikings
Cordarelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings
Rhett Ellison, TE, Minnesota Vikings
Matt Kalil, LT, Minnesota Vikings
Jake Long, LT, Minnesota Vikings
Brandon Fusco, RG, Minnesota Vikings
Andre Smith, RT, Minnesota Vikings
Chad Greenway, LOLB, Minnesota Vikings
Terence Newman, CB, Minnesota Vikings
Captain Munnerlyn, CB, Minnesota Vikings
Jeff Locke, P, Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings 2017 Offseason Preview: Minnesota has $21-million to spend on Free Agents and the draft. Minnesota can save $18 million if they release Sam Bradford. They can also save $18 million if they release running back Adrian Peterson. With Teddy Bridgewater likely out for the entire 2017 season as well there is a very strong chance they keep Sam Bradford.
Minnesota does not have a first round pick. The Vikings need to reload at offensive tackle. The Vikings still have strong depth at cornerback despite losing Terence Newman and Captain Munnerlyn.
Minnesota will also need a new fullback as well as a running back, wide receiver, and tight end for depth. I'd also like to see upgrades at left guard and center, but Minnesota seems contempt with those positions which may be why they miss the playoffs again in 2018. The Vikings also host Super Bowl 52.
Minnesota Vikings 2017 Free Agents
Matt Schaub, QB, Atlanta Falcons
Aldrick Robinson, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Eric Weems, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Levine Toilolo, TE, Atlanta Falcons
Jacob Tamme, TE, Atlanta Falcons
Tom Compton, LT, Atlanta Falcons
Chris Chester, RG, Atlanta Falcons
Jonathan Babineaux, DT, Atlanta Falcons
Courtney Upshaw, ROLB, Atlanta Falcons
Paul Worrilow, MLB, Atlanta Falcons
Sean Weatherspoon, LOLB, Atlanta Falcons
Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, Atlanta Falcons
Dashon Goldson, SS, Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons 2017 Offseason Preview: Atlanta has $34-million to spend on Free Agents and the draft. Adding a starting defensive tackle in the 3-technique at 4-3 defensive tackle along with a sack artist as a 4-3 defensive end for depth have to be the top two priorities for Atlanta.
Outside of the defensive line Atlanta can draft for depth in rounds 3-7. You can draft for depth at quarterback, tight end, offensive tackle, outside linebacker, middle linebacker, and safety for depth.
You can get a replacement at right guard in Free Agency. If you do not re-sign Chris Chester then you can go after someone like Larry Warford or Luke Joeckel as a starting right guard.
Overall, Atlanta is in a very good position as a team. As long as Atlanta fixes their issues on the defensive line then the Falcons should be able to repeat as NFC South Champions. Otherwise, I think one of the other NFC South teams will reclaim this division in 2017.
Atlanta Falcons 2017 Free Agents
Fozzy Whittaker, RB, Carolina Panthers
Mike Tolbert, FB, Carolina Panthers
Ted Ginn Jr., WR, Carolina Panthers
Mike Remmers, RT, Carolina Panthers
Charles Johnson, LE, Carolina Panthers
Paul Soliai, DT, Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers 2017 Offseason Preview: Carolina will have $46-million in cap space and can improve on that getting up to $50-million if they release starting running back Jonathan Stewart. Carolina will have their coaching staff back, a lot of starters returning from injuries, a more experienced cornerback tandem with rookies James Bradberry and Daryl Worley entering year two plus the eighth pick in the 2017 NFL Draft which they can use on a running back or a defensive end.
Mario Addison led Carolina's defensive line with 9.5 sacks despite being a rotational guy behind right end Kony Ealy and left end Charles Johnson. Carolina can draft a new 4-3 right end to replace Ealy and put Addison next to him at left end. Drafting Derek Barnett at 8 is an option if they keep Stewart and don't take Leonard Fournette.
The Carolina Panthers may not have Scrooge McDuck money like the Cleveland Browns or San Francisco 49ers. Still, they have a very stable team that made Super Bowl 50 a year ago and have more stability than any team picking in the top 10 of the 2017 NFL Draft so that may entice some Free Agents to go to Carolina.
Carolina Panthers 2017 Free Agents
Tim Hightower, RB, New Orleans Saints
Tavarias Cadet, RB, New Orleans Saints
Tim Lelito, LG, New Orleans Saints
Jahri Evans, RG, New Orleans Saints
Tony Hills, RG, New Orleans Saints
Roman Harper, SS, New Orleans Saints
Shilo Keo, SS, New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints 2017 Offseason Preview: New Orleans has $36-million for 2017 at the moment. The Saints have a few key positions to fill, but overall this is a very stable team on paper.
New Orleans needs an upgrade at 4-3 left end over Paul Kruger which they will probably address in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft if guys like Derek Barnett, DeMarcus Walker, and Taco Charlton are on the board.
After that the Saints next biggest need is finding a starting right guard. New Orleans should make a serious play for Cincinnati Bengals right guard Kevin Zeitler who would literally complete one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. The other option is drafting Indiana's Dan Feeney in the second round. New Orleans also needs depth at both guard positions as well.
Garett Grayson got demoted to the practice squad. There is a very good chance the Saints use a day 2 pick on a quarterback to groom behind Drew Brees.
New Orleans is losing backup strong safeties Roman Harper and Shilo Keo are both Free Agents in 2017. Releasing current strong safety Kenny Vacarro saves $4.5 million against the cap. Vacarro got suspended to end 2016 and New Orleans could put Von Bell next to Da Norris Searcy at strong safety which was his natural position at Ohio State if they really wanted to, but Bell has the versatility to play both safety spots.
New Orleans exceeded expectations down the stretch. One thing that killed them in the first few weeks was Delvin Breaux missing the first six games at cornerback plus boundary cornerback P.J. Williams getting placed on injured reserve. If both of those corners stay healthy in 2017, New Orleans could be a force in the NFC South.
New Orleans Saints 2017 Free Agents
Mike Glennon, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Russell Shepard, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Brandon Myers, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Joe Hawley, C, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Gosder Cherillus, RT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
William Gholston, LE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Akeem Spence, DT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Daryl Smith, LOLB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Alterraun Verner, CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Josh Robinson, CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bradley McDougald, FS, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chris Conte, SS, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2017 Offseason Preview: Tampa Bay has $90.5-million for 2017 at the moment. The scary thing is Tampa Bay can save an additional $10-million if they release running back Doug Martin and right tackle Demar Dotson. Even though both of them got extended there is no dead cap penalty for releasing either player.
Slot receiver Adam Humphries and tight end Cameron Brate are both Exclusive Rights Free Agents. That means Tampa Bay is the only NFL team that can make a qualifying offer to tender both players. I'm guessing both Humphries and Brate will be back.
Backup quarterback Mike Glennon may get a starting job elsewhere. A backup quarterback to Winston may be something Tampa Bay adds.
Tampa Bay will likely target a running back in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft like Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, or Christian McCaffrey at 19 if Tampa Bay releases Doug Martin. Rodgers is a Free Agent as well plus backup Charles Simms enters a contract year. Even if Martin returns it's highly unlikely that the Buccaneers do not draft a running back at some point on day 2 or day 3 of the 2017 NFL Draft at some point to develop.
Tampa Bay could also end up going after a wide receiver in the draft. Vincent Jackson is a Free Agent as is Russell Shepard who filled in when Jackson got injured. Tampa Bay may need multiple receivers if they do not use their ERFA on Humprhies. Drafting Mike Williams, Corey Davis, or even Cooper Kupp if he dominates the Senior Bowl at 19 fills their void at wide receiver.
Heck, I wouldn't even rule out O.J. Howard the Alabama tight end. Brandon Myers is a Free Agent and Cameron Brate is an ERFA. I think Brate will be back, but if Tampa Bay does not make him an offer, I'm not rulling out the idea of Tampa Bay getting Howard.
Starting center Joe Hawley is a Free Agent. Tampa Bay either needs to re-sign Hawley or target Nick Mangold. In fact, if the Jets release Mangold to save cap space like I expect, I'm gonna predict that Tampa Bay makes a huge play for him in Free Agency with all the cap space they have.
Tampa Bay needs depth on the defensive line. I can see them drafting a 4-3 defensive end at 19 to play right end while moving Robert Ayers over to left end while Noah Spence moves to left outside linebacker. That would improve Tampa Bay's front 7 in a major way giving Tampa Bay one of the leagues most complete front 7's.
Tampa Bay will still have Brent Grimes and Vernon Hargreaves under contract in 2017. Grimes enters a contract year and Tampa Bay has no depth behind Grimes or Hargreaves at the moment.
Tampa Bay needs a starting safety next to the promising Keith Tandy with Conte and McDougald as Free Agents. The Buccaneers will probably have to add another safety for depth in Free Agency or the NFL Draft as well.
Tampa Bay exceeded expectations in 2016. Now many Buccaneers fans expect this team to make the playoffs. In order for that to happen they have to address multiple needs in the offseason to solve all their problems.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2017 Free Agents
Mark Sanchez, QB, Dallas Cowboys
Kellen Moore, QB, Dallas Cowboys
Darren McFadden, RB, Dallas Cowboys
Lance Dunbar, RB, Dallas Cowboys
Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Brice Butler, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Gavin Escobar, TE, Dallas Cowboys
Ronald Leary, LG, Dallas Cowboys
Jack Crawford, RE, Dallas Cowboys
Terrell McClain, DT, Dallas Cowboys
Rolando McClain, MLB, Dallas Cowboys
Brandon Carr, CB, Dallas Cowboys
Morris Claiborne, CB, Dallas Cowboys
J.J. Wilcox, FS, Dallas Cowboys
Barry Church, SS, Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys 2017 Offseason Preview: Dallas had -$11-million dollars. The Dallas Cowboys now have $6-million to spend after Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick took pay cuts on the offensive line.
Dallas should have two goals. Getting under the Salary cap and drafting defensive players that can help Dak Prescott win a championship. A lot of people including myself believe Dallas is an early favorite for Super Bowl 52. The Cowboys may be, but right now getting the Salary Cap under control is the top priority.
Dallas Cowboys 2017 Free Agents
Ryan Nassib, QB, New York Giants
Josh Johnson, QB, New York Giants
Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants
Bobby Rainey, RB, New York Giants
Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants
Larry Donnell, TE, New York Giants
William Beaty, LT, New York Giants
John Jerry, RG, New York Giants
Marshall Newhouse, RT, New York Giants
Jonathan Hankins, DT, New York Giants
Kelvin Sheppard, MLB, New York Giants
Keenan Robinson, MLB, New York Giants
Mark Herzlich, LOLB, New York Giants
Trevin Wade, CB, New York Giants
Leon Hall, CB, New York Giants
Coty Sensabaugh, CB, New York Giants
Robbie Gould, K, New York Giants
New York Giants 2017 Offseason Preview: New York has a lot of needs and only $25-million in cap space after franchise tagging Jason Pierre-Paul. This pretty much means the Giants won't take a defensive end at 23. The Giants will have their work cut out for them and really only have the luxury of bringing in one expensive Free Agent.
This is a horrible quarterback class. The Giants have too many needs in both Free Agency and the draft to draft a quarterback. A lot of the quarterbacks from the 2013 NFL Draft like E.J. Manuel, Geno Smith, Mike Glennon, Matt Barkley, Landry Jones, and Ryan Nassib will all be Free Agents. New York can bring one of those quarterbacks in as a backup to Eli Manning for a year without overpaying them. The 2018 NFL Draft will be a much stronger group and that's when the Giants can get Eli's successor.
Bobby Rainey may be gone, but the Giants still have running backs. A new starting tight end is needed with Larry Donnel gone. O.J. Howard may be gone at 22, but will be the shoe in pick at 23 if he's there. David Njoku, Evan Engram, Bucky Hodges, and Gerald Everett are the Giants backup options at tight end.
Left tackle Ereck Flowers and right tackle Bobby Hart will both be back. Someone like Antonio Garcia, Julie'n Davenport, or Connor McDermott in the second round provides depth in the worst case scenario. Best case scenario they beat out Flowers and Hart for the left tackle job causing Flowers to move to right tackle and Hart to move to right guard. That would give the Giants more stability on the offensive line. I cannot see the Giants taking Cam Robinson at 23.
Jonathan Hankins is a Free Agent. If the Giants do not bring back Hankins, then drafting defensive tackle Carlos Watkins or Montravius Adams at 23 becomes extremely likely.
Kelvin Sheppard and Keenan Robinson will both be Free Agents at middle linebacker. Left outside linebacker Mark Herzlich will also be a Free Agent. Zach Cunningham is a tackling machine, but the Giants scouting department will notice his issues with foot speed which is why I don't see them taking him at 23.
Janoris Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and Eli Apple are all back at cornerback next year. The other remaining cornerbacks are Free Agents. Cornerback depth was an issue for the Giants this year and it will be an issue next year unless the Giants get depth with one Free Agent like Kayvon Webster, Darius Butler, or Captain Munnerlyn for a low fee before drafting someone on day 3 of the 2017 NFL Draft to develop.
The New York Giants were supposed to have a banner year in 2016. Despite sweeping the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins in 2016, the Giants appear to have the most issues among the NFC East teams excluding Dallas heading into the 2017 Offseason.
New York Giants 2017 Free Agents
Stephen Wisniewski, LG, Philadelphia Eagles
Bennie Logan, DT, Philadelphia Eagles
Stephen Tulloch, MLB, Philadelphia Eagles
Nolan Carroll, CB, Philadelphia Eagles
Dwayne Gratz, CB, Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles 2017 Offseason Preview: Philadelphia has $12-million for 2017 at the moment. Cornerback is really the only position that needs a dire upgrade in terms of getting new starters.
Philadelphia should be able to use their first round pick from the Vikings and their second round pick on a cornerback the Eagles will be in great position.
After the Eagles upgrade the cornerback position, they can use the remaining draft picks to find developmental players for depth as well as building blocks for second year quarterback Carson Wentz who the Eagles traded up to get in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Philadelphia should be a prime contender in 2017 after going 5-1 with both left tackle Jason Peters and right tackle Lane Johnson. Philadelphia went 2-8 without Lane Johnson during his ten game suspension which ended in week 16 of the 2016 NFL Season.
The only way the Eagles can screw up the 2017 season is if Lane Johnson gets suspended again, Jason Peters gets injured, or the Eagles incompetent front office ignores cornerback. As long as the Eagles avoid these setbacks, Philadelphia should be an aspiring contender come next season.
Philadelphia Eagles 2017 Free Agents
Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins
Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins
Vernon Davis, TE, Washington Redskins
John Sullivan, C, Washington Redskins
Chris Baker, 3-4 RE, Washington Redskins
Cullen Jenkins, 3-4 LE, Washington Redskins
Ziggy Hood, NT, Washington Redskins
Greg Toler, CB, Washington Redskins
Duke Ihenacho, FS, Washington Redskins
Donte Whitner, SS, Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins 2017 Offseason Preview: Washington has $67-million for 2017 at the moment. Securing Kirk Cousins up to a long-term deal is the top priority.
Cousins will still have DeSean Jackson, Jameson Crowder, and 2016 first round pick Josh Doctson at wide receiver. Tight end Jordan Reed, the entire backfield, and Washington's entire offensive line returns despite losing offensive coordinator Sean McVay to the Rams as a head coach.
Bringing back Cousins and improving the front 7 are the top two priorities in the nations capital. As long as they address these isues Washington has a good chance to contend in the NFC next season being the early front runner to win the NFC East.
Washington Redskins 2017 Free Agents
Chris Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Stepfan Taylor, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Jeremy Ross, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Jermaine Gresham, TE, Arizona Cardinals
A.Q. Shipley, C, Arizona Cardinals
Earl Watford, RT, Arizona Cardinals
Frostee Rucker, 3-4 RE, Arizona Cardinals
Calias Campell, 3-4 LE, Arizona Cardinals
Kevin Minter, 3-4 MLB, Arizona Cardinals
Alex Okafor, 3-4 LOLB, Arizona Cardinals
Marcus Cooper, CB, Arizona Cardinals
Mike Jenkins, CB, Arizona Cardinals
Tony Jefferson, SS, Arizona Cardinals
D.J. Swearinger, SS, Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals 2017 Offseason Preview: Arizona has $23-million for 2017 at the moment. That number will increase from anywhere to $50-million to $55-million if Larry Fitzgerald retires. Fitzgerald decided to return so Arizona will now have $39-million, but they spent $16-million tagging Chandler Jones.
Arizona's biggest need at the moment is cornerback. They need someone next to Patrick Peterson.
Arizona's biggest need after cornerback at the moment is quarterback. They need someone to groom behind Carson Palmer, but backup Drew Stanton, and third stringer Zac Dysert are under contract until 2018. Arizona will likely spend a day 2 pick on a quarterback and cut Dysert to save cap space.
Besides cornerback and quarterback, Arizona will need a tight end, a center, a 3-4 middle linebacker, a starting strong safety, a nickel corner in the late rounds, a second strong safety for depth, and running back depth since Arizona cannot enter next season with David Johnson as the only running back on the roster after he got injured in week 17. This is assuming Arizona brings back Chandler Jones. All these other needs get pushed down a round in the draft if Jones does not return to Arizona.
D.J. Humprhies did well at left tackle when Jared Veldheer got injured at left tackle. The bottom line is Arizona is about to enter a huge rebuilding phase unless they bring some of their starters back without going below the $20-million dollar mark in cap space.
Arizona Cardinals 2017 Free Agents
Case Keenum, QB, Los Angeles Rams
Benjamin Cunningham, RB, Los Angeles Rams
Kenny Britt, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Brian Quick, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Stedman Bailey, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Trumaine Johnson, CB, Los Angeles Rams
T.J. McDonald, SS, Los Angeles Rams
Greg Zeurlein, K, Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams 2017 Offseason Preview: Los Angeles has $44-million for 2017 at the moment. With no first round pick as a result of the trade with the Tennessee Titans that allowed the Rams to move up for Jared Goff, the Rams are going to have to get multiple wide receivers and hit on both picks with their day 2 draft picks in the second and third round.
The secondary could easily take a step back if Trumaine Johnson leaves. Remember last year Janoris Jenkins suffered a season ending injury and the Rams chose to move on from him. If the Rams make the same mistake with Johnson it will hinder the Rams secondary for years to come and keep the Rams from blossoming into a playoff team even if they hire the right coach while Jared Goff gets his shit together on offense.
The 2017 Offseason will be a critical one for the Los Angeles Rams. Just be glad General Manager Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher are out the door Rams fans.
Los Angeles Rams 2017 Free Agents
Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers
Blaine Gabbert, QB, San Francisco 49ers
Christian Ponder, QB, San Francisco 49ers
Shaun Draughn, RB, San Francisco 49ers
Quinton Patton, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Jeremy Kerley, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Rod Streater, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Glenn Dorsey, NT, San Francisco 49ers
Michael Wilhoite, 3-4 MLB, San Francisco 49ers
Gerald Hodges, 3-4 MLB, San Francisco 49ers
Nick Bellore, 3-4 MLB, San Francisco 49ers
Phil Dawson, K, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers 2017 Offseason Preview: San Francisco has $87-million for 2017 at the moment. The 49ers will have about $101-million to spend on Free Agents and draft picks if they release starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick which I'm assuming they do.
San Francisco has far more needs than the Cleveland Browns who happen to be picking ahead of them in the 2017 NFL Draft. The best players on the board at 2 are the 5-technique and safety positions which surprisingly San Francisco is set at. For starters they need a quarterback in Free Agency as well as a quarterback in the 2017 NFL Draft. They need a #1 flanker receiver as well as a #2 receiver so Torrey Smith can move inside to the slot.
DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead can start in the 5-technique at 3-4 defensive end. A replacement at nose tackle to Glenn Dorsey is needed though. The 2018 NFL Draft is much deeper at nose tackle than this year so San Francisco may wait until next year for their nose tackle.
San Francisco needs to upgrade their pass rush at both 3-4 right outside linebacker with Aaron Lynch and 3-4 left outside linebacker with Ahmad Brooks. Unfortunately, the 49ers may have to stick with Lynch and Brooks for another season because the 49ers are losing 3 3-4 middle linebackers with the injury prone Navarro Bowman as the only returning starter.
I didn't even touch on how the 49ers have needed a #1 field cornerback. This has been a huge need for the 49ers dating back to the 2011 NFL Draft. The 49ers have ignored this need for years and unfortunately the 49ers may have to ignore this need.
The 49ers are going to need at least 3 years of excellent drafting and keeping the right players before they can seriously contend again unless they manage to get Tony Romo in Free Agency and San Francisco's offensive line does an awesome job. I'm not even sure the 49ers front office has the attention span to wait it out for three years with a new GM and new head coach. After firing Jim Harbaugh the 49ers have turned into a more impatient organization than the Cleveland Browns.
San Francisco 49ers 2017 Free Agents
Will Tukuafu, FB, Seattle Seahawks
Marcel Reece, FB, Seattle Seahawks
Luke Willson, TE, Seattle Seahawks
Brandon Williams, TE, Seattle Seahawks
Bradley Sowell, LT, Seattle Seahawks
Tony McDaniel, DT, Seattle Seahawks
Michael Morgan, LOLB, Seattle Seahawks
Neiko Thorpe, CB, Seattle Seahawks
Kelcie McCray, SS, Seattle Seahawks
Steven Hauschka, K, Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks 2017 Offseason Preview: Seattle has $35-million for 2017 at the moment. Seattle needs to draft a left tackle at 26 to replace George Fant who can be demoted to a backup role. Cam Robinson would be an ideal pick for Seattle at 26 as he could play on Seattle's offensive line right away.
Seattle can draft for depth in rounds 2-7 as long as they bring back one of their fullbacks along with kicker Steven Hauschka. Seattle has a lot more flexibility than most realize.
Tony McDaniel may leave, but Jarran Reed their 2016 second round pick is ready to start next to Rubin at defensive tackle. With Luke Willson and Brandon Williams gone, I expect 2016 third round pick Nick Vannett to emerge as the backup to Jimmy Graham in Seattle.
You have to love Seattle's chances of contending for the NFC next season if they avoid injuries. Upgrading left tackle to find an immediate starter is the top priority. Seattle is one team that has the luxury of trading up for Wisconsin left tackle Ryan Ramczyk and if Denver wanted Ramczyk at 20, Seattle could trade up with Tampa Bay at 19.
Seattle should win the NFC West again. The only question is whether they do well enough to get a first round bye or home field in the NFC since that seems to be the key to their Super Bowl runs.
Seattle Seahawks 2017 Free Agents