Seattle Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney

The Free Agency market is dwindling for remaining star players

  • 2020 Free Agency
  • Emmanuel Sanders
  • Jadeveon Clowney
  • Jameis Winston
  • Logan Ryan
  • Melvin Gordon
  • Robby Anderson
  • Shelby Harris
By Kyle Smith March 20, 2020 0 Comment
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Remaining free agents are finding it difficult to negotiate new contracts as free agency begins to slow down and teams fill their rosters.

NFL Free Agency started with a bang as star players were signed or traded to new teams across the league. From DeAndre Hopkins and Stefon Diggs trades to splash contracts for Byron Jones and a new team for Tom Brady, free agency has been the news we needed during the abnormal time we live in. Teams have filled some needs and spent large amounts of money, but former tier-one players have hit a wall in contract negotiations. Below we take a look at remaining free agents and why they are not finding the market they initially expected.

Jadeveon Clowney

Probably the biggest remaining name is Jadeveon Clowney. The former number one overall pick is coming off a three-sack, 21 solo tackle season with Seattle. Clowney is reportedly expecting big money at $20 million per year, but teams are struggling with those terms. Injuries have plagued Clowney as he has only played one full season during his six-year career.

While teams close up shop due to coronavirus, physicals have to come from an outside doctor with no link to the team. Between the expensive salary and lack of medical attention, Clowney remains unsigned. Do not rule out a short-term deal to return to Seattle. Teams like the Tennessee Titans, New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys could use his help as well.

Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston is one of the more curious free agents remaining. Winston has produced mind-boggling stats over his short career, including leading the league in both passing yards (5,109) and interceptions (30) last season. Reports of Bruce Arians’ discontent with Winston began after Arians stated: “If we can win with this one, we can win with another one, too.” With the new addition of Tom Brady in Tampa, Winston found himself on the outskirts and is not likely to jump into a starting quarterback gig right away.

The Steelers, Redskins, Chargers, and the Patriots are all in need of quarterback help to either start or relieve an injury-prone starter.  Can Winston be this year’s Ryan Tannehill when called upon?

Melvin Gordon

Last season, Melvin Gordon held out and expected the Chargers to pay him like Ezekiel Elliott or Todd Gurley. Unlike Elliott, Gordon ended his hold out empty-handed. While Gordon worked out at home, his teammate, Austin Ekeler, took his spot and quite literally ran with it. Upon his return, Gordon was second best to Ekeler. The Chargers agreed and recently extended the former undrafted free agent Ekler to a four year, $30 million deal.

Mike Garafolo reports that Melvin Gordon has not been offered “anything close” to what he was offered during training camp. The running back market has plummeted much like the DOW, especially in the wake of Todd Gurley’s release. The Dolphins reportedly had an interest in Gordon but decided on the cheaper and slightly younger Jordan Howard. The Buccaneers revamped offense is in dire need of running back help, as are the Los Angeles Rams and Atlanta Falcons who released their starters.

Robby Anderson

Robby Anderson was a hot commodity during the trade deadline last season. He was rumored to be a quick signing just before free agency started, but his market has been much quieter. Anderson caught 52 passes for 779 yards and five touchdowns. These numbers don’t tell the entire truth as his game took a hit when Sam Darnold was diagnosed with Mono. Anderson will not get top dollar receiver money, and should not expect it. But teams like the Bills, Colts, and Packers need help to revitalize their receiving corp.

Logan Ryan

Logan Ryan won a super bowl ring with the New England Patriots in 2015 and cashed in on a three year,$30 million contract. Last season, Ryan allowed a 66% completion percentage and five touchdowns and graded out at a 64.9 from Pro Football Focus. Ryan notably intercepted Tom Brady‘s final pass as a Patriot. Cornerbacks, much like running backs, tend to see a decline when they hit 30. Ryan is 29 and demanding a $10 million salary, but will sign a short term deal. Teams across the league need nickel corner help, but many are not willing to meet the terms of Ryan’s demands.

Emmanuel Sanders

Sanders struck gold when he was traded from the Denver Broncos to the San Francisco 49ers at last season’s deadline, and he was a key asset during their Super Bowl run. At 32 years old, Sanders caught 66 passes for 869 yards and five touchdowns. He proved he can still play at his age and could be a valuable asset for teams in need of a number two or three wideout. Teams are hesitant to sign aging players, especially at skill positions, but he could provide an upgrade for organizations like the Packers, Saints, or Cowboys.

Shelby Harris

Defensive linemen propelled to the top of teams’ free agent wishlist and their contracts demonstrate that. Shelby Harris has been the anomaly of that group. Harris, a former seventh-round pick, raked in six sacks, 28 solo tackles, and one forced fumble in 2019. As his market closes, Harris will be forced to sign a bargain contract and compete for playing time.

Players like Andy Dalton and Cam Newton are currently on the trade block but may join this list of remaining free agents. Teams will finalize and announce their free-agent classes in the coming days as the NFL draft lurks closer.

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