Carolina Panthers cornerback James Bradberry

Predicting what could happen in the 2020 NFL Free Agency frenzy

  • Byron Jones
  • Jack Conklin
  • Jadeveon Clowney
  • James Bradberry
  • Joe Thuney
  • NFL
  • nfl free agency
  • Odell Beckham Jr.
  • Philip Rivers
  • Trent Williams
By Jordan Katz March 15, 2020 0 Comment
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The 2020 NFL Free Agency sets up to be one of the most high profile offseason in recent memory. Which teams will score big, and which players will cash in?

The sports world may be on hiatus, but the NFL Offseason is still on schedule. If there was ever a year for the NFL to have a free agency period that wowed us, this is the year. For most of us, sports are a release from our everyday lives. When we tune in to watch a game, or get the latest news from NFL Network, or even read an article from our favorite websites (hopefully The Brawl Network), we can forget about the stress of everyday life. Also, if it is just for a few hours, sports, as well as other forms of entertainment, are important ways for all of us to “blow off steam.” As sports fans, we need the NFL Offseason now more than ever.

Fortunately, the free agency class is loaded. Several quarterbacks will be changing teams, a sight that rarely happens in the NFL. Several talented offensive linemen will become key additions, or key re-signings, for several organizations. Lastly, two gifted players will reset the market for the cornerback position, Byron Jones and James Bradberry.

Even the players that might re-sign have question marks surrounding them. Can the Dallas Cowboys hold on to Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper? Do the Jacksonville Jaguars trade Yannick Ngakoue, and if so, to which team? Will, the Detroit Lions, extend Darius Slay, or will they trade him?

In this unprecedented time in sports, the NFL Offseason is going to be what gets us through. With that in mind, here are some predictions for what projects to be a wild next few weeks in the NFL.

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Tom Brady re-signs with the New England Patriots and brings Odell Beckham with him

Now, this is the way to start a predictions article. Tom Brady has spoken with many different teams, but it’s hard to imagine him playing anywhere besides New England. If he goes back to the Patriots, they have to acquire targets. The Patriots roster is not good enough to win a championship right now.

Odell Beckham is one of the playmakers on the open market this offseason. He struggled in Cleveland last year, and another change of scenery could be on the horizon. If a team acquires him, it will probably be for a discounted price.

That is what New England does. Throughout their dynasty, Bill Belichick has found a way to acquire players at a discounted price, and make them shine. He acquired Randy Moss for peanuts. He added Darrelle Revis when many thought he had lost a step. Belichick could make a similar move for OBJ.

Tom Brady is going to sign a multi-year deal. When he does, the team that lands him will become a “win at all costs” franchise for the foreseeable future. They will have one shot to swing for the fences and try to win a championship. If that team is New England, they will need a playmaker like Beckham to maximize Brady’s window.

Coincidentally, Beckham will need New England as much as the Patriots will need him. Assuming Beckham gets traded again, for the second time in two years, it will be his last chance to show that he can “play by the rules.” His route running ability in short areas, as well as his ability after the catch, make him a perfect fit for a Brady-led offense.

Tom Brady is synonymous with the New England Patriots. Trying to comprehend a world where he plays elsewhere seems illogical. If he does re-up with the Patriots, expect Bill Belichick to get aggressive in an attempt to give Brady one final championship-caliber roster. That aggression could lead to a trade for Odell Beckham.

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Byron Jones and James Bradberry sign the massive contracts they deserve, Both in the NFC East

Jones and Bradberry are expected to make upwards of 15 million dollars annually, which has a lot of fans shocked at the prospects of their favorite team signing said players. However, the NFL salary cap is expected to skyrocket in the next few years. The NFL’s TV contract expires in 2022. Once the deal is renegotiated, the salary cap in the NFL will see a spike similar to the one the NBA saw a few years ago. Keep that in mind when judging contracts this year.

On the field, very few question the talents of these two players. Jones has elite athleticism and upper echelon ability in man-to-man coverage. Some are trying to challenge his ball skills as a reason not to pay him, but that is flat out ridiculous. You pay corners to cover receivers and prevent them from catching the football. Byron Jones is one of the best at that.

James Bradberry is a similar style player. He can get physical at the line of scrimmage, and he shows terrific quickness when breaking on the football. Much like Jones, people are questioning the terms of his future contract because he does not force enough turnovers. Much like Jones, that rationale remains asinine.

Now that we have established that both players warrant big deals, where could they land? Every team in the NFC East is in desperate need of a number one cornerback. They all have enough cap space as well. The Washington Redskins appear to be the front-runner for Bradberry because of his ties to Ron Rivera, Bradberry’s former coach in Carolina. Washington has the cap space necessary to bring him in, and the need for a number one corner to help their defense turn around in 2020.

Jones is likely to wind up with a rival of his former team, the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles have opened up a ton of cap space to make a run at the Pro Bowl Corner. Dallas is letting him walk because they cannot afford him, not because they do not think he’s good. Philadelphia’s secondary was laughable last season. They need a game-changer like Jones.

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Philip Rivers Signs with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Philip Rivers to the Indianapolis Colts feels like a foregone conclusion when you look on social media. They need a veteran quarterback to take advantage of a roster that is ready to compete right now.

It’s also the best move for Philip Rivers. On paper, the Colts are built to be a play-action passing attack that compliments a strong running game. That is where Rivers is at in this stage of his career.

Having said that, what if he took one more swing with a high powered offense? The Buccaneers are further along than people realize. They have two legit playmakers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, as well as an offensive mastermind at the helm in Bruce Arians. Not to mention, Rivers recently moved his family to Florida, and playing closer to home is always a plus. Don’t sleep on the Bucs as a potential landing spot for the future Hall of Famer.

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The New York Jets revamp their offensive line with two key acquisitions

New General Manager Joe Douglas is desperate to give his franchise quarterback the offensive line he needs to succeed. Having a quality offensive line is also imperative to the success of his head coach Adam Gase. Gase runs complex offensive schemes with his wide receivers. To allow those routes time to develop, the offensive line must hold up.

One of the moves the Jets could make is signing Jack Conklin. Even though his price tag will be high, he addresses a significant need on the right side of their line. Conklin would bring a necessary physicality to the Jets run game. He could also be left on an island in pass protection.

The Jets also need help along the interior. There are a number of free agents that can help them in that regard. Joe Thuney had a terrific career in New England and would be an excellent fit for Adam Gase’s offensive philosophy. Graham Glasgow is another option for the Green and White. He would cost less and fit in just as nicely as Thuney.

Trent Williams is yet another option for New York, and possibly the most realistic. Washington has moved off of its second round asking price because no one was willing to play it. As the asking price becomes more realistic, you can guarantee Joe Douglas becomes more aggressive in the pursuit of the former All-Pro tackle.

Based on the current draft projections, it is no guarantee that the Jets get one of the top offensive linemen at 11. Hence why they could become aggressive players in the offensive line market this offseason.

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Dak Prescott gets his franchise quarterback contract

On the surface, fans may look at this and wonder why the Cowboys would not “tag,” Dak Prescott. They may wonder why Dallas would choose to give him close to 40 million dollars a year.

Here is what the mass media does not tell you about the Dak Prescott situation. Franchise quarterbacks in the modern-day NFL are asking for north of 13 percent of the team’s allocated cap space. Dak Prescott is not asking for 40 million dollars because he thinks he is worth 40 million dollars. He is asking for the going rate of an upper-echelon quarterback in terms of salary cap percentage.

The Cowboys are going to try to get him to budge on that ask, and come down to 12 percent of the cap space. It would give the Cowboys more roster flexibility. The number would be around 35 million or so. Prescott should take that, which means this is a relatively easy deal to negotiate.

The Miami Dolphins spend big

Most of the time, the teams entering the offseason with the most cap space do not always “hit it big.” A lot of the time, it is because these teams are not good. The rare instances where teams with a ton of cap space land, a lot of free agents are when a big market team is in the mix.

The Dolphins may not feel like a big market team, but no state income tax in Florida has always been the biggest draw for players to play there. Miami also shocked people last year by being competitive amidst a terrible roster. Brian Flores showed that he could be a successful coach in this league. That will help them draw free agents to South Beach.

Look for the Dolphins to aggressively pursue several high profile free agents like Jadeveon Clowney, Jack Conklin, Dante Fowler, and many more. They should be able to land enough key players to be deemed one of the “winners” of the 2020 offseason.

OVERALL PLAYER PREDICTIONS (From the Article)

Tom Brady Signs a Two Year, 57.5 Million Dollar Deal (Fully Guaranteed) with the New England Patriots.
Dak Prescott Signs a Five Year, 180 Million Dollar Deal (110 Million Guaranteed) with the Dallas Cowboys.
Amari Cooper Signs the Franchise Tag from the Dallas Cowboys.
Jadeveon Clowney Signs a Five Year, 110 Million Dollar Deal (66 Million Guaranteed) with the Miami Dolphins.
Byron Jones Signs a Five Year, 92.5 Million Dollar Deal (55 Million Guaranteed) with the Philadelphia Eagles.
James Bradberry Signs a Four Year, 62.5 Million Dollar Deal (40 Million Guaranteed) with Washington.
Jack Conklin Signs a Five Year, 75 Million Dollar Deal (45 Million Guaranteed) with the Cleveland Browns.
Joe Thuney Signs a Four Year, 44 Million Dollar Deal (25.5 Million Guaranteed) with the New York Jets.
Philip Rivers Signs a Two Year, 44 Million Dollar Deal (Fully Guaranteed) with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

BONUS PLAYER PREDICTIONS (High Profile Guys Only)
Jameis Winston Signs a One Year, 15.5 Million Dollar Deal (Fully Guaranteed, With a Team Option in Year Two) with the Los Angeles Chargers.
Derrick Henry Signs the Franchise Tag from the Tennessee Titans.
Chris Harris Signs a Three Year, 36 Million Dollar Deal (21 Million Guaranteed) with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Melvin Gordon Signs a Four Year, 44 Million Dollar Deal (28 Million Guaranteed) with the Miami Dolphins.
Robby Anderson Signs a Two Year, 26 Million Dollar Deal (16 Million Guaranteed) with the New York Jets.
Austin Hooper Signs a Four Year, 40 Million Dollar Deal (18 Million Guaranteed) with the New England Patriots.
Dante Fowler, Jr. Signs a Five Year, 65 Million Dollar Deal (40 Million Guaranteed) with the Buffalo Bills.

HIGH PROFILE TRADES
Odell Beckham Jr. is traded to the New England Patriots, along with a 2020 3rd Round Pick, in exchange for the Patriots 2020 1st Round Pick and a 5th Round Pick in 2021.
Trent Williams is traded to the New York Jets for a 2020 3rd Round Pick and a 2021 Conditional 5th Round Pick.
Chris Jones is traded to the Arizona Cardinals for a 2021 2nd Round Pick.

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