Bill Sikes/Associated Press
While every NFL offseason is intriguing, the 2020 version has the potential to change the football landscape as we know it.
Several notable quarterbacks—from Tom Brady and Drew Brees to Dak Prescott and Teddy Bridgewater—are scheduled to enter free agency. So are high-profile skill-position players such as Amari Cooper, Derrick Henry, Greg Olsen, A.J. Green and Anthony Harris.
Naturally, rumors about where some of the top players will land are swirling.
One of the biggest dominoes of free agency this year will be Brady. Though he’ll be 43 years old at the start of the 2020 season, he will be one of the most coveted players on the open market.
The Las Vegas Raiders, for example, are reportedly willing to offer the six-time champion a hefty two-year contract, according to sports writer Larry Fitzgerald Sr.:
Larry Fitzgerald Sr. @FitzBeatSr
I’m told 🏈Las Vegas is prepared to offer @TomBrady $60 million over 2 years.
Whether Brady returns to the New England Patriots or lands with a team like the Raiders, it is going to have an impact on the rest of the quarterback market. Other aging veterans, like Brees and Philip Rivers, could quickly become targets for teams that don’t land Brady.
According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the Patriots are hoping to know the signal-caller’s future ahead of free agency:
“It is officially one month until the start of the March 16 legal tampering period when teams can negotiate with representatives for upcoming free agents, which narrows the timeline for Brady, [Robert] Kraft and [Bill] Belichick to come together and have the all-important meeting to set the table for whether Brady will be back in New England. The Patriots are expected to seek clarity on Brady’s intentions before the start of free agency on March 18, because his decision will have a significant trickle-down effect on the team’s overall plans.“
If Brady doesn’t return to New England, the Patriots will be forced to hit perhaps the biggest reset button in franchise history.
Bill Feig/Associated Press
Though not as prolific a player as Brady, tight end Greg Olsen is an experienced and respected veteran. With 13 seasons and more than 8,000 receiving yards under his belt, he is a seasoned pass-catcher who would upgrade many a receiving corps.
While the Carolina Panthers decided not to bring the 34-year-old back for the 2020 season, several teams could be interested in adding him.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Olsen is negotiating with the Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks:
Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter
Former Panthers’ TE Greg Olsen. is now done with his visits and is in contract negotiations with the Bills, Redskins and Seahawks, per source.
Washington would be an obvious fit, as new head coach Ron Rivera worked with Olsen in Carolina. Both men were effectively fired by the Panthers this past season.
“They weren’t going to bring me back,” Olsen told WFNZ. “…I understood it, but I didn’t force my way out of here.”
Expect Olsen to find a new home before the start of free agency.
Teams looking to add defensive talent in free agency will have numerous options. One of the top options will be Dallas Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones.
A 2018 Pro Bowler, Jones is a five-year starter and just 27 years old. He’s the sort of cover corner that doesn’t hit the open market often.
The Cowboys could have a hard time re-signing Jones, as their first two free-agent priorities will be Prescott and Cooper. This could allow a team like the Denver Broncos to swoop in and snag Jones with a lucrative contract offer.
According to 104.3 The Fan’s Cecil Lammey, the 27-year-old will be a top target for Denver:
Cecil Lammey @CecilLammey
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There have been rumblings since the Senior Bowl that CB Byron Jones could be top target for #Broncos in free agency. Worth keeping an eye on as #Cowboys trying to get Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper and perhaps even Jones signed/sealed. @1043TheFan #NFLFreeAgency
The Broncos are projected to have more than $58 million in cap space and could make an offer that Dallas isn’t willing to match. Though the Cowboys are projected to have nearly $74 million in cap room, much of it will likely be going toward Prescott.
If the Broncos do sign Jones, it could mean parting ways with veteran cornerback Chris Harris Jr.
*Cap information via Spotrac.
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