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. 40: Panthers S Tre Boston
Reported interest: Panthers, Redskins
Best fit: Redskins
Carolina has expressed an interest in bringing Boston back after he played well yet again on a one-year deal. However, with most of the defensive coaching staff in Washington, the Redskins make more sense as a fit for Boston. He fills a major need for a free safety next to Landon Collins and can help institute the culture change Rivera wants to bring. Washington is also better positioned to finally give Boston the pay-day he deserves.
No. 39: Buccaneers WR Breshad Perriman
Best fit: Jets
Perriman has clawed his career back from the brink after earning a reputation as a first-round bust during the first few years of his career. After starting slow in 2019, he went on a tear to end the season with 25 receptions for 506 yards and five touchdowns in the final five games. As the Jets try to build around QB Sam Darnold, Perriman would provide a cheaper alternative as a deep threat if New York can’t hang on to Robby Anderson, which still seems likely.
No. 38: Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard
Best fit: Saints
As the Saints look to fortify for another run at the Super Bowl, the secondary is an area of their roster that will need some attention. The top two cornerback spots are locked down, but New Orleans is in need of a third to play the slot and back up Marshon Lattimore and Janoris Jenkins. Dennard returned to the Bengals last year after finding a tepid market and he might have to wait until after the first wave of free agency. But he would be a strong fit in New Orleans on a short, prove-it contract.
No. 37: Patriots LB Jamie Collins
Reported interest: Saints, Lions, Patriots
Best fit: Saints
Back-to-back Saints. New Orleans needs to revamp its linebacking corps after it was decimated by injuries in 2019 and have shown some interest in Collins, who rejuvenated his career in New England last year. Collins would provide a big dose of play-making ability to the Saints, as he finished last season with seven sacks, three forced fumbles and three interceptions.
No. 36: Colts TE Eric Ebron
Reported interest: Patriots
Best fit: Patriots
Improving on offense is one of the top priorities for the Patriots this offseason, particularly at tight end. While there was no way they were going to replace a Hall of Fame talent like Rob Gronkowski in just one year, being stuck relying on Matt LaCosse and Benjamin Watson crippled the Patriots in key spots. With no easy projections coming out in the draft this year, Ebron is one of the few available options with an established track record of production that New England can plug into the offense. After missing out on a few key targets last offseason, don’t expect the Patriots to be denied their man this year.
No. 35: Bears CB Prince Amukamara
Best fit: Broncos
Despite trading for A.J. Bouye from the Jaguars, the Broncos will still need another starting cornerback if Chris Harris moves on as expected. Enter Amukamara, who’s well-versed in HC Vic Fangio‘s defense from their time together in Chicago. Amukamara would likely be cheaper than Harris, solidify the No. 2 position across from Bouye, let Bryce Callahan return to the slot if he can get healthy and allow the Broncos’ young corners more time to develop after they were thrown into the fire in 2019.
No. 34: Patriots S Devin McCourty
Reported interest: Dolphins, Giants, Patriots
Best fit: Giants
Though his twin brother Jason McCourty will be staying in New England in 2020, if the Giants come hard with a bigger offer than the Patriots it might be hard for Devin to turn down what could be his last big contract. Solidifying the back end of the defense is a major need for the Giants and new HC Joe Judge is very familiar with the impact the veteran can have on the back end.
No. 33: Jets OT Kelvin Beachum
Best fit: Jets
Jets GM Joe Douglas has expressed an interest in completely revamping the offensive line he inherited last year. However, that doesn’t mean there’s not a place for Beachum in New York. The Jets are high on 2019 third-round OT Chuma Edoga‘s potential, but he’s still developing. With the No. 11 pick in the first round, there’s a good chance the Jets can snare one of the top four offensive tackles in the class, but that’s no guarantee. Beachum would give the Jets a little more margin for error either to let Edoga and/or a rookie develop or to free up the team to take the best player available in the first round.
No. 32: Titans CB Logan Ryan
Reported interest: Raiders, Dolphins
Best fit: Dolphins
Miami will reportedly be seeking players with strong Patriots connections, and Ryan fits the bill due to being drafted by the Patriots before leaving for the Titans. An experienced veteran who can play both the slot and outside, Ryan would be able to fill multiple roles for HC Brian Flores, who’s known for valuing versatility on defense. With the uncertainty of Dolphins CB Xavien Howard‘s legal situation, Ryan would also offer a much-needed injection of stability.
No. 31: Vikings CB Trae Waynes
Reported interest: Bengals, Raiders, Texans
Best fit: Texans
After getting blitzed by Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in their playoff collapse, the Texans and HC Bill O’Brien have seemingly made it their intention to revamp the secondary this offseason. Waynes is one of the better cornerbacks available this year, albeit in a deep class, and could be the type of player O’Brien is willing to splurge on.