With the start of free agency apparently imminent next week, we will be breaking down some of the best potential landing spots for some notable 2020 NFL Free Agents.
This is based both on teams who have been reported to be interested in these players as well as by connecting the dots between team needs and connections.
We’ve taken our Top 100 – 2020 NFL Free Agents list and removed 12 players who are likely to receive the franchise tag, as it’s not really worth speculating where they will land, and used the remaining Top 50 free agents for this series.
No. 30: Chargers RB Melvin Gordon
Reported interest: Broncos, Dolphins
Best fit: Dolphins
By re-signing Austin Ekeler, the Chargers have made it clear they’re ready and willing to move on from Gordon, who now will try to find the payday he held out four games for in 2019 on the open market. While the Dolphins are reported to be interested, and on paper have a massive vacancy for a lead back that Gordon could step into, it’ll be interesting to see what Gordon’s eventual deal looks like given the challenging market dynamics surrounding the running back position. Gordon wanted $13 million per year, the Chargers offered $10 million, will anyone else offer more?
No. 29: Cardinals RB Kenyan Drake
Reported interest: Cardinals, Lions, Redskins
Best fit: Lions
There’s some buzz around the league that Drake could actually end up signing a bigger deal than Gordon after his production exploded following his trade from Miami to Arizona. While both sides have expressed some interest in continuing his run with the Cardinals, the team already has major cash invested in RB David Johnson and can’t easily get out of that deal for another year. The Lions were another team that showed interest in Drake at the trade deadline last year and are able to nab him after a little delay to team with Kerryon Johnson.
No. 28: Vikings DE Everson Griffen
Reported interest: Bills, Seahawks, Vikings
Best fit: Seahawks
Griffen triggered a void in his contract to hit free agency by turning in a productive 2019 season. While the Vikings have stated their desire to work something out to keep him, Minnesota is possibly the most cap-strapped team in the league. If the Seahawks can’t hang on to Jadeveon Clowney, HC Pete Carroll could turn to Griffen, who he coached at USC before both left for the NFL in 2010, to fill the team’s void on the edge.
No. 27: Broncos DL Shelby Harris
Reported interest: Broncos, Colts
Best fit: Colts
The Colts are notoriously secretive about their intentions in free agency under GM Chris Ballard. But one player they’ve been connected to is Broncos DL Shelby Harris, who has had 13 sacks the past three seasons, including a career-high six in 2019. Denver has expressed interest in keeping Harris, but might not be able to keep up financially with the Colts if they decide Harris is the type of veteran, pass-rushing, playmaking presence Ballard has said Indianapolis needs to add.
No. 26: Patriots LB Kyle Van Noy
Reported interest: Giants, Dolphins
Best fit: Giants
Van Noy indicated in an interview with NFL Network this week that he expected to be playing somewhere other than New England in 2020. With the spread of coaches with Patriots roots around the NFL, there’s no shortage of potential suitors for Van Noy, who went from being a schematic miscast with the Lions to an impact player. The Giants and new HC Joe Judge need an infusion of playmaking ability on their defense, and Van Noy could help jumpstart the culture change in the Big Apple.
No. 25: Lions G Graham Glasgow
Reported interest: Dolphins, Jets
Best fit: Jets
Glasgow’s name has come up in so many “under-the-radar” lists for free agent targets that it’s clear he’ll have a pretty healthy market. The Jets have the cash and the motivation to close the deal with Glasgow as they attempt to revamp their offensive line this offseason.
No. 24: Bears S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
Reported interest: Bears, Cowboys
Best fit: Jaguars
Clinton-Dix has become something of a journeyman since being traded from the Packers in the final year of his rookie deal. But he played well after signing a one-year deal with the Bears and has likely earned the chance at a bigger payday elsewhere. Jacksonville needs to retool its secondary and Clinton-Dix would allow the team to focus its resources on cornerback.
No. 23: Packers OT Bryan Bulaga
Reported interest: Browns
Best fit: Chargers
The Packers haven’t shown much interest in reaching out to Bulaga and it appears they’re willing to let the veteran test the market. If so, he should find a plethora of options despite the glut of tackles coming in the draft. The Chargers might make the most sense on paper, as after trading away Russell Okung they need help at both tackle slots.
No. 22: Rams LB Cory Littleton
Reported interest: Raiders, Giants
Best fit: Raiders
As the Raiders continue to remake their defense ahead of their move to Las Vegas, the front office has indicated a complete makeover at linebacker could be on its way. Littleton is looking for his payday, which the Raiders will be incentivized to give, and as the most well-rounded linebacker on the market, he would instantly slot in as a foundational piece of Las Vegas’ defense.
No. 21: Saints QB Teddy Bridgewater
Reported interest: Dolphins, Buccaneers
Best fit: Buccaneers
Bridgewater’s name has been connected to a number of potentially quarterback-needy teams this offseason, but perhaps the strongest came this week when it was reported Bridgewater was one of the main options for the Buccaneers if they couldn’t land Patriots QB Tom Brady. On the surface, Bridgewater doesn’t seem like a fit for HC Bruce Arians‘ bombs-away approach to throwing the football. But he’s consistently protected the football throughout his career, unlike previous starting QB Jameis Winston. If Tampa Bay has similar defensive success in 2020 as it did last year, that could spark a big leap forward for the Buccaneers.