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. 50: Seahawks DT Jarran Reed
Reported interest: Seahawks
Best fit: Raiders
Back in 2018 the Raiders ranked dead last in the NFL with 13 sacks — 17 sacks behind the next closest team. A concerted effort to improve more than doubled that total to 32 but that was still only good enough to rank 24th. Las Vegas will make another concerted effort to improve and add to its defensive line this offseason and bringing Reed over from Seattle, which doesn’t plan to franchise tag him to keep him, could solidify the interior of the line.
No. 49: Buccaneers LB Carl Nassib
Reported interest: Buccaneers
Best fit: Buccaneers
Nassib’s market has been quiet so far, as he’s firmly in the second tier of free agents who will wait for the first week’s rush to end before teams circle around to them. However, Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians has expressed a strong desire to get the band back together on defense. Nassib rejuvenated his career this past year in Tampa Bay, so a return makes a lot of sense for both sides.
No. 48: Saints S Vonn Bell
Reported interest: Saints
Best fit: Raiders
Bell is a player the Saints have expressed interest in re-signing, but they don’t have the cap space to keep up if a safety-needy team like the Raiders swoops in. At 25, Bell would be an attractive building block piece for Raiders GM Mike Mayock, who has talked about how continuing to revamp the defense is one of the team’s top priorities ahead of their coming move to Las Vegas.
No. 47: Browns S Damarious Randall
Best fit: Cowboys
Safety has been listed as a need for years for the Cowboys, and it’s a safe bet new HC Mike McCarthy will put much more of an emphasis on the position than his predecessors given his history. That makes the connection to Randall almost too easy, as he was drafted in the first round while McCarthy was in Green Bay.
No. 46: Packers LB Blake Martinez
Reported interest: Either the Eagles, Giants or Redskins
Best fit: Redskins
There’s an NFC East team reportedly in love with Martinez, which doesn’t help narrow it down by much as three of the four teams in the division have needs at linebacker. However, the team that places the most value on the position seems to be the Redskins and new HC Ron Rivera, who built his defense around his linebackers in Carolina. There’s not a clear three-down linebacker on the roster right now, which adding Martinez would change.
No. 45: Browns LB Joe Schobert
Reported interest: Packers, Giants
Best fit: Bengals
It remains to be seen if Cincinnati actually follows through on the hints it’s dropped that it plans to be more aggressive with its $44 million in cap space than usual. But if there’s a position the Bengals can justify splurging on this year, it’s linebacker, which has been a gaping hole on the roster for years. At 26, Schobert should still have several solid years ahead of him, and the Bengals have a great read on who he is as a player after competing against him twice a year since he entered the league.
No. 44: Buccaneers OT Demar Dotson
Best fit: Cardinals
After re-signing LT D.J. Humphries, the Cardinals can now turn their attention to the right tackle position. Arizona signed Marcus Gilbert last year but injuries have made that signing look like a bust so far. The Cardinals do like the potential RT Justin Murray showed, but bringing in Dotson would provide a veteran alternative to Murray or a rookie the Cardinals draft to add to the competition.
No. 43: Cowboys DE Robert Quinn
Reported interest: Dallas
Best fit: Bills
Dallas has expressed interest in bringing Quinn back, but they’ve made it clear they’re concerned about cap space. The Bills have more than $80 million in cap space to set themselves up for a potential post-Tom Brady era in the AFC East after making the playoffs in 2019, and using that on a veteran pass rusher like Quinn that still has a lot of juice left could be the type of move that helps push them over the top in January.
No. 42: Texans CB Bradley Roby
Reported interest: Texans
Best fit: Giants
The Giants have been linked to most of the top cornerbacks available in free agency this year. Unfortunately for them, so have a lot of other teams, and the competition will be stiff. Fortunately, there’s a lot of quality options on the market in the second tier this year, including Roby. While the Texans plan to make an effort to bring him back, the Giants are in a better position cap-wise to give Roby the multi-year security he’s been seeking.
No. 41: Rams DT Michael Brockers
Best fit: Lions
The Lions will be searching for defensive line reinforcements this offseason and will be in luck, as it projects to be one of the deeper positions in free agency. Brockers can come in and provide a solid, run-stuffing boost to the defense.