We’re breaking down some potential fits for our top pending 2021 NFL free agents with the start of the league year and free agency coming up soon on March 17. Using our Top 100 2021 NFL Free Agents list, we’re examining the possible landing spots for the top players who are expected to be available this offseason.
This is based both on reported interest by particular teams and by connecting the dots between team needs, coaching staff connections, scheme fits and available players. We’ve removed 10 players who signs are pointing to as likely candidates to be franchise tagged by their current teams.
Other free agent fits:
- Trent Williams, Will Fuller, Lavonte David, Joe Thuney, Marcus Williams
- Jadeveon Clowney, Yannick Ngakoue, Shaq Barrett, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Aaron Jones
- Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Gerald Everett, Chidobe Awuzie
- Troy Hill, Rob Gronkowski, Marvin Jones, Shelby Harris, Russell Okung
- Haason Reddick, Nelson Agholor, Xavier Rhodes, Patrick Peterson, Richard Sherman
- Bud Dupree, Quentin Dunbar, Matthew Judon, Melvin Ingram, Trey Hendrickson
- Curtis Samuel, Desmond King, Brian Poole, Daryl Williams, T.Y. Hilton
Keep an eye out this week for the rest of our Free Agent Fits series!
Vikings S Anthony Harris
Reported Interest: Browns
Best Fit: Browns
After he was Pro Football Focus’ No. 3 and No. 1 safety in 2018 and 2019, Harris fell off in a major way in 2020 as the Vikings defense as a whole took a step back. He might have a bit of a cooler market than he would have had Minnesota not tagged him last year. He’ll also turn 30 during the 2021 season, Still, he can be a strong starter for a contending team.
The Browns have a big need at safety and a lot of familiarity with Harris given the number of former Vikings coaches on staff. He was our projected fit last year before Minnesota tagged him and he makes sense again this year. He could help bring some stability to the last line of Cleveland’s defense.
Titans WR Corey Davis
Reported Interest: Chiefs, Patriots, Ravens
Best Fit: Washington
After franchise tags are applied, Davis is expected to easily find himself as one of the best receivers available this offseason. Wideouts have traditionally done well for themselves in free agency because of how long it can take rookies to get up to speed in the NFL, while veterans theoretically can have an instant impact.
Davis has yet to record a 1,000-yard season, missing the benchmark by just 16 yards last season, but he likely will be seen as a No. 2 with the arrow pointing up. Washington has a ton of cap space and made a hard run at Amari Cooper last offseason. Davis would be a terrific complement to Terry McLaurin and make life easier for whoever is the quarterback in D.C. in 2021.
Rams S John Johnson
Reported Interest: Rams, Chargers
Best Fit: Raiders
The Raiders desperately need someone who can reliably make plays on the back end of their defense. Johnson fits the bill, with 32 pass defenses and eight interceptions the past four seasons. Unless the Rams tag Johnson, he should shake free, at which point a number of teams, including Las Vegas, will be in position to offer more than the Rams are able to.
Seahawks CB Shaquill Griffin
Reported Interest: Seahawks
Best Fit: Jaguars
Griffin is widely viewed as the top cornerback available and opinions on the 2021 draft class are mixed, so he figures to be one of the more interesting free agents to watch this offseason. The Seahawks could use the franchise tag but they have a history of letting most cornerbacks walk and trusting their ability to draft a replacement. While it’s a bit of a leap to project Griffin as hitting the market, there is some precedence.
The Jaguars have a major need at cornerback and tons of cash to throw around as they rebuild. New HC Urban Meyer hasn’t lost much in his career, so Jacksonville will be looking to win sooner rather than later. Griffin can team up with 2020 first-round CB C.J. Henderson in what has the potential to be a very solid duo.
Titans TE Jonnu Smith
Reported Interest: Titans
Best Fit: Bills
In his end-of-season press conference, Bills GM Brandon Beane talked about how much of a pain it was to play against some of the top tight ends in the NFL and how he would love to add that dimension to the Bills’ offense. Smith appears likely to hit the open market judging from what Titans GM Jon Robinson said recently to the media and he’s looking like the top tight end likely to be available. It’s a natural match.
Smith’s production isn’t eye-popping — he set career highs across the board this past season with 41 catches for 448 yards and eight touchdowns — but there’s untapped potential, as he’s been a part-time player up until this year on a run-first offense. He’s the type of athlete Bills OC Brian Daboll could do fun things with in his spread attack.