While the Kansas City and San Francisco 49 Headquarters could end Super Bowl which was very happy, the NFL is only going busier in the coming weeks. 32 league teams are planning their safety programs, identifying targets in a free agency and starting to close the expectations they need when they meet before the NFL 2020 draft.

During the next two weeks, I will run each team and the first five things they should be thinking about the new league year which will start on 18 March. east before you start with the AFC, as you see from the schedule:

  • Tuesday, February 11: Western NFC

  • Wednesday, February 12: South NFC

  • Thursday, February 13: North NFC

  • Friday, February 14: NFC East

  • Next week: AFC complete

South NFC: ATL | CAR | NO | TB


Let’s go to the South NFC, where as many as three teams could be searching for a new outbreak this season …

Projected projected space 2020: t $ 6.1 million

1. Clean out cap space. The Browns do not have much space to work with in trying to rebuild their defense. What is even worse is that they don’t really have much flexibility to create a room; has changed $ 12.5 million of basic $ 20.5 million to Matt Ryan in Januarythere is no other huge pay that would be comfortable turning into a signed space bonus. The best Atlanta can really make $ 10 million of Julio Jones’ basic salary $ 11.2 million convert a signed bonus, which would add up to $ 7.5 million in the room.

Instead, these room browns will create a hard way. They can start by cutting back on Devonta Freeman, who failed to live up to the expectations he set out when Kyle Shanahan excelled. The team would be responsible for $ 6 million in dead money for Freeman, but it would provide $ 3.5 million in space. When Sambrailo House is added to the heap, an additional $ 3.7 million would be released in the room.

As they still have to leave space to sign their draft kit, there is only a clear way for the Hawks to add a few stars to the defensive side of the ball. They are more realistic looking at one star or a few pieces of depth. And even the few browns require a tough choice to make …

2. Let Austin Hooper Vic Beasley Jr follow out of the door. At first I never saw, Browns announced in public before a free agency started even that they were not negotiating with Beasley. I was surprised; Last year, they succeeded in reaching the fifth year of Beasley’s choice, and the former first round 6.5 sack in the second half of the season. This is probably the right move, however, due to Beasley’s inconsistency.

With 75 landings and six landings, Austin Hooper emerged as a terrific league last season. Photo AP / Ross D. Franklin

As might be the case, Atlanta needs to pursue the same track as the firm end. Hooper decided on career highlights in catches (75), in receptions (787) and in districts (six) despite having gone through three games in 2019, but the Browns already have too much dedicated on the aggressive side of the ball. This is a team of four players who already make excellent money at their respective positions in Ryan, Jones, Jake Matthews and Alex Mack (plus Freeman if not cut) and three recent round pickings in Calvin Ridley, Kaleb McGary and Chris Lindstrom. This team must take the assets that she left and promise to give them the protection of fixing, and that means letting leave Hooper.

Probably the Browns could franchise Hooper and try to draft a trade for a draft pick or a protective piece, although he could limit what they can do in the early days of the agency free or ban Take them completely move if it signs the tag. The vision would be to negotiate trade for a routeway; Yannick Ngakoue comes to mind because of the thinness of the Jags at the end, although Atlanta is likely to have to make a sensible pick for this discussion to work.

3. Get passport pass No. The Browns must be considered as candidates for each of the best people available on the edge, although they will be creative to compete for Jadeveon Clowney. This could be a landing spot for Dante Fowler Jr. or short-term options like Robert Quinn or Jason Pierre-Paul.

The late flowering of the Atlanta season means that it will be picking 16th in the April draft. The Browns could move down and add extra picks, but it would not be the worst thing if they used to pick a edge defender too.

4. Add a nose. The Falcons along with the former reserve of St Tyeler Davison received Davison in 2019 and could return Davison, but there is something to say to add a defender of influence to Grady Jarrett. The Browns were much better compared to the run (14th in DVOA) than the pass (25), but they may be better against the run if they upgrade the nose and finally a healthy season get (or healthier season) from the safety of Keanu Neal.

The big names in this category could be fun. I would love to see Jarrett near Ndamukong Suh, who are among the free agents on the market. Michael Pierce is a brutally effective defendant who may be in Atlanta. Danny Shelton was great for the Patriots in 2019 and could come at a cheaper price. This is also at the moment Atlanta could face it in the draft.

5. Draw up a reverse. Had the Browns Freeman cut, it would be left to have one of the smallest back-up rooms. The good news is that almost every provision is conclusive. Atlanta person like Lamar Miller or Carlos Hyde could put on a year’s deal without seriously affecting his ability to face the defense.

In the big picture, however, it is sensible that this team would consider drafting a backward back in the center rounds to accept. Atlanta has been successful in finding people like Freeman and Tevin Coleman in the past, and his second extra round can be used by Mohamed Sanu to deal with the Patriots to trade and paste further options.

Projected projected space 2020: t $ 32.2 million

1. Find out if you need to keep Cam Newton. This is the obvious one, but everything depends on what the Panthers see from Newton when they work it out in March. If Newton is not healing as he is healing, Carolina could cut it and get a pair of veteran outbreaks available in a free agency with Will Grier from second year. Cutting Newton would make up $ 19.1 million in the cap room.

If Newton looked healthy, the Panthers could keep him and let him play the last year of his dealings. There is a case for extending it with a structure that would allow the Panthers to quit the deal with a small payment after the 2020 season, like the extensions signed by guys like Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tyrod Taylor in the recent seasons, but I imagine Newton b. I’d rather play the season and try to negotiate a productive campaign this time next year.



Jeremy Fowler says Panthers do not like their draft choices, and they are staying open under Cam Newton.

While Newton’s commerce is at the Panthers, I don’t see the middle ground where that happens. Whatever team crafts for Newton it is to put it through significant physics, and it would only proceed if it were healthy. If it is healthy, the Panthers probably need to keep it around unless a person offers an away offer to Carolina, probably Newton is not effective there from the first half of 2018. Then again I didn’t think Odell Beckham was Jr. or Antonio Brown is trading so far, either.

2. Rebuild the defense line. I liked what general manager Marty Hurney did the last season to add to a deep defense line, but the Panthers will have to go back to the well this season. Carolina will return Brian Burns, Short Kawann and Efe Obada reserve end, but everyone else is up in the air. Wes Horton resigned. Dontari Poe has a choice of staff that may not have been collected after a quad. Veterans Mario Addison, Gerald McCoy, Bruce Irvin, Kyle Love, Vernon Butler and Stacy McGee are free agents. If Poe disappears, the Panthers must go instead of almost 3,500 head of defense lines.

Burns and Short will play more snaps if they are healthier in 2020. Obviously there is no player who the Panthers can focus on to solve their questions here. I am surprised that Addison has not yet re-signed, which seemed to be ready to become a Panthers player for a lifetime. They must sign at least one veteran start, and even accept that they go back with half the draft with protective drafters.

3. Get a linebacker and replace Luke Kuechly leader. It is quite hard to rebuild most of a protected line during seasons. When a franchise icon is installed and the Famer Hall in the future it is more difficult to do things. The Panthers re-signed Shaq Thompson, which will help paste part of the load as they proceed from Kinsale, but they must start the seven-year Pro Bowler.

The good news for the Panthers is that a deep class of options is available in free agencies. Carolina could look towards Kyle Van Noy, Cory Littleton, Joe Schobert, Blake Martinez and Patrick Onwuasor to replace Kuechly. Officials such as Alec Ogletree, Denzel Perryman, Avery Williamson and Todd Davis, can also get cap casualties in the coming weeks.

4. Place a firm end instead of Greg Olsen. If there were not enough lost franchise icons, the Panthers decided to move on from Olsen, which has taken the third largest yard in the history of the franchise. Certainly you understand where the team was coming, because Olsen lost 18 games to three seasons last season and only 36 yards were taken per contest on average and it got a $ 11.6 million peak in 2020. It has the potential to be more defined as a team role closer to a potential championship.

I want the Panthers to give worthwhile snaps to Ian Thomas – the Indiana product has gone well when given him the opportunity. Thomas took 70% or more of the snaps in a nine-hour game in the last two seasons, and he scored 37 out of 356 yards and three scores in those games. These numbers are not far from what Olsen was posting, but two of these factors were just a healthy Newton, and Thomas ‘basic salary of’ $ 660,000 for 2020 is a fraction of what Olsen was going home.

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The new coach Matt Rhule has not used a significant percentage of the last two-year sets in the last few years – Baylor has used two or more of 10.6% of the time, which was below the SMT average – but I doubt he will have trying to introduce someone to challenge and / or supplement Thomas, especially as a barrier. The existing pool is being discontinued and Olsen is returning and Vernon Davis, Garrett Celek and Ben Watson are all retiring, so the Panthers may be standing in draft.

5. Replace James Bradberry. The Bradberry Panthers do not appear to be re-signing, which had its best season in 2019 and looks up the top-15 back road. He saw plenty of receivers No. Last season; for plays in which Bradberry was the closest defendant in the envelope, 61% of the targets against him were against No. 1, against Next NFL Gen Stats.

Donte Jackson, picking a second round in 2018, has struggled from the hot start of his career, which put the question about what should be done without Bradberry more urgent. They may hope that improved defense line play would be less important. It is likely that Carolina would use the full 7 option on a corner like Jeff Okudah if it fell to date, but I understand that the Panthers are more likely to use that option on a defensive lineman.

One of the many things that the Panthers need to do this season is to start week 1 from Jackson. There is little to do, in fact, that I could not sign Christian McCaffrey until a contract extension in five phases.

Projected projected space 2020: t $ 12.3 million

1. Drew Brees re-signing. Unlike the Panthers, they are not sure whether they expect to commemorate in 2020, all Saints are stopping Super Bowl to win in the coming years. With Brees playing a high level in 2019 after he made an injury to the thumb, there is little reason to look in a different direction. And with New Orleans coming up unexpectedly at home in the loss of wild particles for the Vikings, Brees has every reason to come back to try one other ring to win with Sean Payton & Co..

As always, expect the Brees Saint to sign a three-year deal that realistically solves a one-year agreement with two years voidable for cap purposes (they could release $ 8.1 million by Kiko Alonso released, donated) to ACL against the Vikings). They will have to take this action to avoid $ 21.6 million in dead money for Brees on their 2020 cap, but unless Brees decides to retire, he will be back in New Orleans in 2020.

2. Provide Taysom Hill at second round level and replace with Bridgewater Teddy. I am interested to see if there is a market for Knock. You could say that the Saints are more creative and open to opportunities for it than for the vast majority of the offensive teams throughout the league, but it did not violate that fun game against the Vikings. Certainly there are definite teams there who saw and imagined Hill interfering with a greater role with their staff than he can realistically expect behind Brees.

These can be one of three limited agent selection offers for Hill, which equates to one year that deals with right to match any offers it receives. The three sets confirm the compensation that staff would receive if they refused to match the offer. It is estimated over the Cap that the first round offer in 2020 will enter at $ 4.7 million. The second round offer will be in the region of $ 3.3 million, with the original bid being $ 2.1 million. As the 29-year-old was a non-drafted player, the Saints would not receive any compensation if they were placed at the final level and lost to another team.

Taysom Hill, which turns 30 in August, has the opportunity to become the first quarter – somewhere – in 2020. Jonathan Bachman / Getty Images

These cap rooms can be created with stretching Brees, but they’re not just like the Colts or Dolphins when it comes to space. Hill played 23% of the offensive lumps last season, but this increased to just over 38% over the last five games. Hill, which would be a free agent without restriction after the season, is healthy and arising from a highly harmful performance on national television. Would the Saints come together if a team of $ 10 million each season?

I cannot say for sure whether they would be willing to deal with this kind of deal, but it would have to be offered the logical route at the second round. Tendering Hill at the original level almost confirms that a team will make a bid, and in using the first round bid would ensure that it returns to one more season, the Saints are likely to use the extra cap room $ 1.4 million. The second round of one year on Knock would not be a terrible trade for the Saints, either.

For the fourth new backup reserve of New Orleans meeting with a free agency, however, staff could be a victim of the success of Bridgewater. Payton would definitely want to return Bridgewater, which went 5 in Brees and is still very popular in the city, but seems to have done enough to earn a starting job elsewhere. If Bridgewater does not give one land, they should be fully welcomed back with open arms, but they are likely to have a new backup to find your Brees.

The Saints were not comfortable with the Hill in that role. It may be a job that is targeted in the draft, although they have already reduced their second round after trading Erik McCoy last year. It is perhaps the most realistic option Chase Daniel, who would make his third trip on a clipboard in New Orleans after a two-year period with the bears.

3. Vonn Bell re-signed. The secondary issue is the most important issue than the fourth quarter for this team. At the back road, Eli Apple and P.J Williams are free agents, and Patrick Robinson is likely to be released due to holding a $ 6.2 million cap. They claimed Janoris Jenkins a waiver from the Giants, other than Marshon Lattimore, who was struggling last December, and is likely to be a full-time beginner from Lattimore on the last year of his dealings.

At safety, there is a danger that the Saints will lose Bell’s free agent, which allows athletics and the flexibility for the former Ohio State stand to act as a plus defender against the passport and the run. New Orleans C.J Gardner-Johnson could be moved to a strong safety to spot Bell’s take in the lineup, but this would not just open the corner slot position in the process. If the saints intend to keep Robinson, it is likely to be at Bell’s cost, but Bell is included in the best secondary school for this defense. The market could confirm whether they are able to keep Bell, which could be looking north of $ 10 million per season on the open market.

4. Add a depth of line. On the other hand, St Andrus Peat will certainly lose abusive insults as they struggle with a few seasons and could attract teams who would like to try to tackle them. The final venue for the retirement of Max Retirement Max Unger was the signature center of Nick Easton, the center of St. Joseph’s, but after scoring McCoy, he was a great success. with the rookie and forced Easton to get a job as a injury replacement. The first boot of the Vikings should be the first to accept Peat at the left guard this season, but the Saints will want to introduce someone who can become the first backup of the inside of the bench. t Will Will Clapp compete for that role, but at least one reserve backup is required, if two are not.

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Likewise, the defenses of the Saints’ defense line decreased by the end of the season. Both Marcus Davenport and Sheldon Rankins have both abolished the last two seasons on an injured reserve. Shy Tuttle has emerged as a promising rotation option inside, but New Orleans is likely to have to add another edge rusher to compete with Trey Hendrickson behind Davenport and Cameron Jordan. The Saints were gradually interested in Robert Quinn from last season, and although it may have been out of range after 11.5-sack campaigns, it would make sense to disturb the competitor on the edge.

5. Expand Alvin Kamara. While the Saints will have to work on extensions to the first round of 2017, Marshon Lattimore and Ryan Ramczyk, the fifth year option in which they deal with flexibility respectively, are waiting for 2021 new contracts to be issued. Both players will receive extensions at or near the top of their respective sites when they sign new markets.

As a third round option, however, Kamara has no fifth year option and is entering the final year of his rookie deal. After a relatively small season in which his anxiety rate got back all the way over the medium, the Saints might prefer to try to tackle Kamara before the Panthers negotiate their own extension with Christian McCaffrey.

The top of the market is back, at least in terms of average annual wages, than Ezekiel Elliott at $ 15 million per season. Kamara’s preview did not match Elliott, but it is definitely favorable for David Johnson, who took $ 13 million a year on his 2018 extension. With inflation, a three-year deal, $ 39 million Johnson could right about $ 44 million ; I could not see Kamara at the top of the page and reach a four-year extension in the range $ 60 million to $ 64 million.

Projected projected space 2020: t $ 85 million

1. Franchise Shaq Barrett. The clearest check switch for the Bucs is to ensure that the leader of the league meets bags for other seasons. The franchise tag could easily be a default to lock it on long-term dealings. Barrett could be set to top the four-year discussion, $ 66 million signed by Za’Darius Smith in the agency’s last offseason; Smith was also very short as a best pass racer, but he did not lead the series in sacks in his final season with the Ravens, either. Barrett could deal with about five years and $ 90 million.

2. Figure out the quarter situation. Does Bruce Arians and the Bucs know what they want to do with Jameis Winston? It was just the first quarter in the history of the NFL with 30 pulls and 30 interceptions in the same season and ended with 5,109 superb grounds, but it has little reason to believe that it is about to make the terrible decisions. He made the game out of his picture. This is what will be Winston.

Is that value somewhere north of $ 30 million per season? Probably not. There could not be a huge market for Winston too because of its inconsistency and history outside the field. While general manager Jason Licht is still around five years after drafting Winston, Arians is less encouraged to remain committed to the first full pick. A possible union between Arians and Philip Rivers seems too great after the former star Bears move his family to Florida.

The Bucs are 28-42 over five seasons when Jameis Winston is the fourth quarter running. Cliff Welch / Icon Sportswire

3. Rebuild the protective facial. Even if we accept that the Barrett Bucs keep, there is a lot to do here. Tampa got a broken season out of it Vita Vea on the inside, but Ndamukong Suh, Jason Pierre-Paul, Beau Allen, Rakeem Nunez-Roches and Carl Nassib are free agents. These five people together for more than 2,500 defend Bucs who quietly finished the fifth season in the defensive DVOA.

Suh and Nassib do not return the worst idea, although Suh is happy to settle for year dealings with the highest bidder in recent years. Pierre-Paul is likely to leave after he restructures his deal after falling out of his car. Even if they spend $ 30 million a year on a fourth quarter, the cape space at the Bucs is also to compete with the rest of the league on the best pass teams in the free agency, including Jadeveon. Clowney and Chris Jones.

4. Get a new right. Demar Dotson has always tackled Tampa’s right, but despite being a candidate to replace the other of the season, the team kept the Southern Miss product from 2009. However, following a 10-punishment season , the Dotson is 34 years old. free agent and unlikely to return to the Bucs boot. Free agents Bryan Bulaga, Jack Conklin and Germain Ifedi could not take advantage of the Bucs for financial reasons, so Tampa may be standing early in the draft, where No.

5. Chris Godwin to expand. After a broken season, the rising star receiver is entering the final year of his rookie deal. Although Mike has already paid a huge contract with the Bacs and Breshad Perriman had a huge game without Godwin during the fantasy mail season, the Bucs still have little choice but to pay the fourth-year magnification money. Evans received $ 16.5 million per season when he signed his extension in 2018, and it is not surprising that Godwin would top this new mark.


We will start with the NFC West, where four teams have reached the past five seasons.

Projected projected space 2020: t $ 51.5 million

1. Let Kenya Drake go. If you were playing fantasy football in 2019, you probably remember what Drake superhero was during the job season. After up to 137 accelerated enclosures and four sides against The Browns in Week 15, the Dolphins continued to run back with 166 rushing and forty-yard yards of Seahawks in the Week 16 peak in Arizona. Drake was appointed to be a fill-in and part of the rotation back after the Cardinals traded him by midseason, but he was returned to Kliff Kingsbury by the end of the year.

If the Cardinals could rely on such a production from Drake for a full season, it would be considered a necessary resignation. It was 162 yards from scouring and landing against the 49s in his first Cardinals card, but in his other five matches with Arizona, he made the ball 62 times with 230 yards with one disconnection, 3.7 average per carriage.

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The main picture for the Cardinals, however, is to find out how much they want to invest by going back. They have already committed to two goals in 2020 i Chase Edmonds and David Johnson, whose original salary of $ 10.2 million is already fully guaranteed. Johnson would have a negative trade value if the team tried to buy it after two disappointing seasons, so there is little chance that he would get out of it.

Drake did enough to make it likely to take something in the $ 5 million range per season on the open market. Would it be smart for the Cardinals to keep it and commit something in the range between $ 17 million and their various offenses in 2020? No team spent more than $ 15.8 million in cash when they run last season. If the price tag falls and Arizona can rescind a one-year deal in the $ 3.5 million range, I would vote for the 26-year-old to keep the Cardinals, but this team has too many problems elsewhere. overboard.

2. Figure out the offensive attacks situation. Seo áit amháin a mbeidh an t-airgead ag teastáil ó na Cardinals. Clé le dul i ngleic le D.J. Is gníomhaire saor in aisce é Humphries, pioc chéad bhabhta in 2015, agus chríochnaigh sé a chéad séasúr sláintiúil 16 chluiche. Ar thaobh na láimhe deise, chaill an veteran Marcus Gilbert an séasúr iomlán le ACL stróicthe, ag fágáil na gCairdinéal chun Justin Murray a fháil. Is gníomhaire saor in aisce é Gilbert freisin agus d’fhéadfadh sé a bheith ar a bhealach amach as an tsraith tar éis 36 cluichí a chailleadh le trí bliana anuas.

Tá na Cártaí i láthair crua le Humphries, a bhfuil 43 cluiche acu thar cúig shéasúr. Bhí na pionóis ina fhadhb dó in 2019 – gheall sé 13 ar 87 slat – ach molann Stats LLC nár cheadaigh sé ach dhá mhála, agus chuir Humphries ráta buaice 90% i mbloc pas, a bhí sa 21ú háit as 69 dul i ngleic.

Le teist chomh teoranta sin, an bhféadfadh Arizona machnamh a dhéanamh ar an gceart vótála nó an chlib aistrithe ar Humphries a úsáid chun a fháil amach an féidir leis é seo a dhéanamh arís in 2020? Dealraíonn sé go bhfuil an dul i ngleic leis an gceart mar shuíomh a bhféadfadh an fhoireann iarracht a dhéanamh dul i ngleic leis sa dréacht, agus Murray ag dul i gcleachtadh. Bhí Justin Pugh ag seinm i gceart leis na Giants agus d’fhéadfadh sé dul ar ais taobh amuigh dá gcuirfeadh na Cardinals garda.

3. Deich rogha chúigiú bliana Haason Reddick a laghdú. D’athraigh na Cardinals Reddick arís agus arís eile idir an líneálaí taobh istigh agus an taobh amuigh agus is beag rath a bhí orthu. Tháinig táirge an Teampaill isteach sa tsraith mar lúthchleasaí anchúinse a réamh-mheas go dtiocfadh sé thar barr in aon láthair amháin, ach níl go leor déanta ag na Cardinals chun a chumas a fhorbairt. Ní dócha gur chabhraigh sé le trí chomhordaitheoir cosanta a imirt i dtrí bliana.

Bhí Reddick ina imreoir uileghabhálach sa chéad leath de 2019, ach bhí sé díreach faoi bhun 28% de na snaps cosanta i mí na Nollag. Thiocfadh leis na Cardinals a rogha cúigiú bliana a thógáil, é a chur i riocht amháin agus tá súil agam go bhfaigheann sé amach sa deireadh go bhfuil siad ag súil leis, ach is cosúil go dtiocfadh leo bogadh ar aghaidh ó phioc chéad bhabhta 2017 tar éis an tséasúir .

Níl ach 7.5 saic agus trí fholmhú éigeantach i dtrí shéasúr i Arizona. Ralph Freso / Getty Images

4. Cuir cabhair líne chosanta leis. Ní raibh mórán le hoibriú ag na Cardinals leis an líne chosanta a bhí acu in 2019, toisc gur bhain siad úsáid as a gcuid linemen i rothlú maise go bunúsach. Ba é an t-aon fhear líne a raibh níos mó ná 50% de na cosa cosanta aige Rodney Gunter ag 53.1%, agus is gníomhaire saor in aisce é. Bhí siad ag comhaireamh ar dheireadh Chargers, darius Darius Philon, ach gabhadh é agus cúisíodh é le tromionsaí le arm marbhtach a d’eascair as teagmhas i mí na Bealtaine, agus scaoil an fhoireann é i mí Lúnasa.

Síníodh é le déileáil dhá bhliain, $ 10 milliún, agus samhlaím go dtabharfaidh na Cardinals faoi imreoir amháin nó beirt sa raon praghsanna sin, seachas dul i ndiaidh breisiú amháin. Tá Derek Wolfe, Shelby Harris agus Adam Gotsis, gníomhairí cosanta araon, ag bualadh le gníomhaireacht saor in aisce, agus leis an iar-chóitseálaí, Vance Joseph, ag fónamh mar chomhordaitheoir cosanta Cardinals, tá sé éasca a bheith cinnte go spreagfaidh sé an bainisteoir ginearálta Steve Keim chun ceann de iad. Chuaigh Harris i gcion ar a chéad séasúr mar thosaitheoir lánaimseartha agus d’fhéadfadh sé go mbeadh sé ar bharr an bhóthair.

5. Glasáil suas le Budda Baker. Tar éis don Pro Bowl agus don chéad fhoireann All-Pro a bheith ina dhéantóir speisialta le linn a shéasúir rookie in 2017, chuaigh Baker ar ais chuig an Pro Bowl mar shábháilteacht i 2019. Tá sé saor ó shábháilteacht ach imríonn sé sliotán agus fiú ó am go chéile sliseanna isteach mar chúl-líneoir do na Cardinals.

Cé go bhfuil an-rath ar Tyrann Mathieu ó Arizona a fhágáil, tá athsholáthar ábalta ar Baker agus tá sé ag súil le déileáil fadtéarmach. Ag dul isteach i mbliain dheireanach a chonartha, is dócha go mbeidh an t-iar-phioc dara babhta ag lorg rud éigin sa réimse $ 14 milliún in aghaidh an tséasúir.

Spás réamh-mheasta réamh-mheasta 2020: $ 19.6 milliún

1. Fíor amach cad atá ar siúl ag dul ar chlé. Dul i ngleic le Andrew Whitworth le gairid Mhol sé go raibh sé i gceist ag súgradh in 2020. Caithfidh na Rams a fháil amach an dteastaíonn uathu an gníomhaire saor in aisce 38 bliain d’aois a fháil ar ais. Ghlac Whitworth céim mhór siar i 2019, ag tabhairt 14 pionós. Bhí deichniúr díobh siúd ag coinneáil glaonna, a bhí ina n-iomlán san dara NFL agus níos mó ná na seacht gcinn a bhí sé ag obair le chéile le dhá bhliain roimhe sin.

Fiú má tá dráma Whitworth sáraithe, áfach, níl mórán roghanna ag na Rams. Níl pioc chéad bhabhta acu ó thrádáil Jalen Ramsey. Níl aon duine eile ar a bpróifílí uainchláir mar iarrthóir níos fearr ar chlé. Níl mórán spáis caipín acu, agus fiú má rinne siad, is dócha gur imreoirí ar nós Jason Peters, Kelvin Beachum agus D.J na roghanna is fearr a théann ar an margadh. Humphries, nach bhfuil aon cheann acu cinnte gur uasghrádú iad Whitworth. B’fhéidir gurb é an rud is loighciúla an rud is mó a reáchtálfar le Whitworth, cé gur gá dóibh a chur ina luí ar an veteran gearrtha pá a ghlacadh óna bhuntuarastal $ 10.3 milliún in 2019.

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2. Conradh Jared Goff a athstruchtúrú. The largest cap hit in football for the 2020 league year currently belongs to Goff, who is set to count for just over $36 million. To put that in context, there are only three other players with a cap hit larger than $27 million. The quarterback is set to occupy more than 17% of Los Angeles’ cap in 2020.

It seems exceedingly likely that the Rams set up Goff’s contract to allow for a simple restructure in Year 2. He has a $21 million roster bonus due on March 20, which currently counts 100% against the 2020 cap. By converting this to a signing bonus, they can pay Goff the exact same amount on the same day but spread it over five years for cap purposes. Doing so would free up $16.8 million and drop his cap hit to a much more manageable $19.2 million. The restructure would add more dead money down the line if the Rams want to cut or trade him, but I don’t think he’s going anywhere soon.

3. Address the defensive line. Remember that dominant front four with Ndamukong Suh, Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers and Dante Fowler Jr. from Super Bowl LIII? The Rams might have only one of those guys left on their roster come Week 1 of 2020. I suppose it’s good news that the one they’ll keep is Donald, but Suh left after his one-year deal expired and both Brockers and Fowler are free agents in March.

The Rams could consider promoting Samson Ebukam to the starting lineup, but he’s probably best in his role as a rotation end. Again, this is a spot Los Angeles will have to address in free agency. Fowler probably priced himself out of a return after he racked up 11.5 sacks and 16 knockdowns; could L.A. look toward trying to convince someone like Vic Beasley Jr. to come to town on a one-year deal to follow in Fowler’s footsteps? The 25-year-old Fowler will probably be aiming for something in the range of five years and $90 million on his deal.

Brockers could still make a return, but the Rams could go after Arik Armstead as a bigger defensive end who could also offer more as a pass-rusher than Brockers. Whether L.A. brings back Brockers and Fowler or signs veteran replacements, this is going to take up a bunch of its cap space. I wonder whether it’ll be able to …

4. Try to re-sign Cory Littleton. Littleton is one of the biggest success stories of the Wade Phillips era, a guy who came into the league as a 228-pound undrafted free agent without a clear position and just finished his Rams contract as one of the best inside linebackers in football. Don’t get fooled by the fact that he was named as a Pro Bowler in 2018 and didn’t make it back this past season; Littleton continues to improve and just had his best year.

Cory Littleton has 259 tackles over the past two seasons, along with five interceptions, 7.5 sacks and four fumble recoveries. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

It’ll be interesting to see where Littleton’s deal lands. C.J. Mosley’s contract last offseason pushed the top of the linebacker market from a peak annual average of $14.3 million to $17 million, and Bobby Wagner bumped it up to $18 million when he signed his extension in July. Littleton might not get there, but it wouldn’t be shocking if he ended up with something in the range of four years and $60 million. The Raiders picked LaMarcus Joyner off the Rams’ roster in free agency a year ago, and while that move didn’t look great in Year 1, they could make a similar move for Littleton.

It’s tough to see the Rams committing $15 million per season to him, in part because of their needs elsewhere. If his price tag somehow drops somewhere closer to $10 million per season, he would be a more realistic re-signing. The Rams acquired Kenny Young in the instantly disastrous Marcus Peters trade and didn’t play him for a single defensive snap, but he would likely be first in line to see more snaps if Littleton does leave. The Rams could also pursue cheap veterans in the market, with fellow former Wade Phillips project Danny Trevathan one option.

5. Lock up Jalen Ramsey. I thought the Rams were going to negotiate an instant extension with Ramsey after they traded for him in midseason, but the two sides never came to terms. You don’t trade multiple first-round picks for a player unless you plan on keeping him around for a long time, and Ramsey’s representatives know that. There’s no way this team is going to get a meaningful discount here.

The top of the cornerback market has been flat since Josh Norman signed his five-year, $75 million deal with Washington in 2016. Just adjusting for cap inflation alone, a record-setting five-year deal in 2020 would be worth $96.6 million. It wouldn’t be typical to see the biggest annual contract for a position jump from $15 million to more than $19 million, but the combination of the cornerback market staying stagnant and Ramsey holding so much leverage makes it more likely the Rams will simply have to pay up.

Projected 2020 cap space: $19.6 million

1. Listen for whispers from Tom Brady. Yes, it’s silly and there’s approximately a .01% chance of it happening. The 49ers can win a Super Bowl with Jimmy Garoppolo, and if he had pulled up about 1 yard on that fourth-quarter throw to Emmanuel Sanders, he probably would have been both a Super Bowl winner and Super Bowl MVP already. If it were just about any other veteran quarterback, it wouldn’t be worth discussing.

Tom Brady, though, is Tom Brady. The future Hall of Famer grew up in the Bay Area with Joe Montana as his hero. He has been left in a vulnerable position with the Patriots, who don’t have the sort of weapons and/or offensive line that can help compensate for Brady’s decline. The 49ers have a better line, better weapons and just as good of a defense. They almost certainly have a better offensive playcaller. The Patriots are more familiar and have Bill Belichick. I still think Brady will end up staying in New England, but if he were to leave, the 49ers would be a very tantalizing opportunity.

There are roadblocks — this would be complicated. The 49ers already have a quarterback, of course, and Garoppolo is represented by agent Don Yee. Brady is represented by … Yee. That’s awkward. Getting the money to work wouldn’t be a problem — the 49ers would owe just $4.2 million in dead money and free up $22.4 million in cap space if they were to move on from Garoppolo this offseason — but the Niners couldn’t realistically expect to keep both Brady and Garoppolo on their roster.



Dan Orlovsky and Dan Graziano discuss the possibility of the 49ers moving on from Jimmy Garoppolo and acquiring Tom Brady.

Of course, if they were somehow able to convince Brady to join their organization, another team would need a starting quarterback. The Patriots would almost assuredly be interested in Garoppolo, and sending Jimmy G back to his original franchise would be the most gentle landing possible. San Francisco originally sent a second-round pick to the Patriots for Garoppolo, so with New England’s second-rounder in Atlanta, one logical move would be for the Patriots to send the 23rd and 85th picks to the 49ers for the 31st selection and Garoppolo.

Logical might not be the right word. Each step of this makes some small amount of sense, but it’s almost impossible to imagine all of the pieces coming together for a deal to work. Brady will probably be a Patriots quarterback in 2020. Garoppolo will almost certainly be starting for the 49ers. Fun to think about, though.

2. Decline Solomon Thomas’ fifth-year option. John Lynch’s debut draft in 2017 is a reminder of just how ridiculous roster-building can be. This was unquestionably a great draft for the 49ers when you consider just one pick in superstar tight end George Kittle. The 49ers also found players like D.J. Jones and Trent Taylor in the later rounds.

Their first five picks in that draft? Thomas, Reuben Foster, Ahkello Witherspoon, C.J. Beathard and Joe Williams, a running back for whom Kyle Shanahan reportedly banged the table to move up and acquire. Williams is out of football; Foster was cut, signed by Washington and hasn’t played since the middle of 2018; Witherspoon and Beathard were both beat out for starting jobs at different times by undrafted free agents; and Thomas hasn’t lived up to expectations as the No. 3 overall pick.

As a top-10 pick, Thomas’ fifth-year option is equivalent to the average of the top 10 salaries at his position. It’s difficult to imagine the 49ers seeing that as reasonable value for someone who played only 41% of the defensive snaps in 2019, down from 60% in 2018. He also suited up for just 32% of the defensive snaps during the postseason. The 49ers are unusually blessed up front, but Thomas hasn’t been forcing them to give him more playing time. He could break out in Year 4, but the 49ers probably need to be realistic here.

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3. Let Arik Armstead walk. One way Thomas could end up seeing more snaps would be if the 49ers aren’t able to retain Armstead. The fellow former first-round pick impressed as a run-defender on the edge in 2018, but he followed things up with a career year as a pass-rusher in 2019. After putting up nine sacks and 29 knockdowns over his first four seasons, he had 10 sacks and 18 knockdowns last season.

As an impact player against both the pass and run, Armstead is going to attract significant interest in free agency; it would hardly be shocking if he came away with a four-year, $70 million contract. The 49ers are in decent cap shape and could create an additional $13.1 million in cap space by releasing Jerick McKinnon, Marquise Goodwin and Tevin Coleman, but there’s also a point at which they can’t realistically invest much more into their defensive line. Dee Ford is on a significant deal, and DeForest Buckner is in line to get one this offseason. Nick Bosa is a bargain right now, but the Niners used the No. 2 overall pick to get him last year.

One option for the Niners would be to spread around the Armstead money to keep their depth up front. Sheldon Day, Anthony Zettel and Ronald Blair are all free agents — they would rather have Armstead than any of those three, but they might be able to keep all three with room to spare versus paying Armstead.

4. Lock up DeForest Buckner. Buckner, on the other hand, isn’t going anywhere. The former Oregon star is under contract for 2020 on his fifth-year option at $14.4 million, but the 49ers will almost certainly use the offseason to negotiate a new deal. He’s not going to come cheap.

Buckner can’t realistically expect to look toward Aaron Donald’s six-year, $135 million deal, but after generating 28.5 sacks and 74 knockdowns over his first four seasons, he can expect more than Grady Jarrett’s $17 million average annual salary. Something in the $18 million to $19 million range makes sense.

5. Pay George Kittle too. He is going to blow away the tight end market. Jimmy Graham is the only tight end in the league to hit $10 million per season in average annual salary, having done it on each of his last two deals. The only question is whether Kittle, Austin Hooper or Hunter Henry resets it first.

Of those three, Kittle is by far the best player. He’s a much more significant blocker than either of the others and has been healthier than Henry. With Rob Gronkowski retiring, there’s nobody else in the league like Kittle, and there’s nobody this 49ers offense could plug in to take his place. The 49ers averaged 5.0 yards per carry and turned 24.1% of their runs into first downs with Kittle on the field. Without him, they averaged 3.5 yards per carry and converted 16.1% of their runs into first downs.

What happens next is up to Kittle. He could credibly argue that he’s worth much more than a regular tight end and should negotiate off a different position’s pay scale. Wide receiver is an option, but perhaps a more realistic one would be right tackle, where the top of the market comes in at just under $17 million per year. If he wants to hold out for position-changing money, the 49ers would have to pay him something extraordinary.

If not, Kittle will just have to settle for the biggest tight end deal in history. Gronk’s six-year, $54 million deal is the largest maximum value for a multiyear deal, though that had an extremely team-friendly structure. My guess is that Kittle’s contract ends up somewhere around five years and $75 million. Not bad for a guy who took home $645,000 last season.

Projected 2020 cap space: $59.7 million

1. Work to re-sign Jadeveon Clowney and Jarran Reed. Let’s start with the big one. The Seahawks can’t franchise Clowney after trading for him just before the season, and while he finished the regular season with only three sacks, he was far more productive on film when healthy. The former first overall pick finished the season with a 24.8% pass rush win rate, the fifth-best mark in football.

The Seahawks are paper-thin along the edge, with Ziggy Ansah struggling through an anonymous season and first-round pick L.J. Collier a healthy scratch during the postseason. If they don’t get Clowney, they are almost certainly going to need to pay to go after someone like Jason Pierre-Paul or Everson Griffen as a veteran stopgap or Dante Fowler Jr. as a long-term replacement for Clowney. Seattle would almost surely rather just keep Clowney.

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How much will they be willing to pay? Pass-rushers with his upside almost never hit unrestricted free agency in the prime of their careers without a serious injury or some sort of problem attached. Clowney’s “problem” is that he has still somehow never hit 10 sacks in a season. There’s more to edge rushers than sacks, but if his representation asks the Seahawks to give him something like Khalil Mack’s six-year, $141 million contract, can the Seahawks take that sort of risk? Or can they stomach the risk of letting Clowney walk?

He has said he wants to play for a winner, and the Seahawks have been consistently competitive. If we just look at plausible playoff teams in 2020, they could very well be bidding against the Titans, Ravens, Bills, Cowboys, Falcons, Colts and even the Rams. They’re not going to get much of a discount.

Independent of Clowney, bringing back Reed would also be wise. The Seahawks haven’t typically valued defensive tackles, instead preferring to focus on spending at other positions while cycling cheaper veterans and rookie-deal players through the line. The former second-round pick broke out with a 10.5-sack, 24-hit season in 2018, but he didn’t top two sacks or eight knockdowns in any of his other three campaigns. With Reed looking for something north of $10 million per year in free agency, my guess is he gets it from another team.

2. Pursue defensive line depth. Even beyond Clowney and Reed, the Seahawks will need to rebuild their defensive line. Ansah, Quinton Jefferson and Al Woods are all free agents. The only defensive linemen under contract in 2020 who saw meaningful snaps in 2019 are Rasheem Green and Poona Ford. They have an extra second-round pick and almost always trade down, but they’ll need to look toward veteran free agency for at least one starter and one playable reserve.

3. Let Germain Ifedi go. The Seahawks a year ago declined Ifedi’s fifth-year option, and he has been a competent right tackle if you don’t consider penalties; no player has been flagged more over the past four seasons. (Clowney, notably, is second.) It’s a problem that doesn’t appear to be getting much better either; Ifedi tied for seventh in penalties last season with 13.

It would have been nice for Ifedi to develop into more after the Seahawks used a first-round pick on the Texas A&M product, but it’s time to move on. The Seahawks should consider bringing back Mike Iupati, who had a solid bounce-back year after struggling with injuries in Arizona.

Shaquill Griffin didn’t have an interception in 2019, but he was one of the NFL’s highest-graded cornerbacks in coverage. Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire

4. Work out an extension with Shaquill Griffin. After an uneven 2018 season, the third-year cornerback stepped up in 2019 and deserved his Pro Bowl nod. The replacement for Richard Sherman at left corner, Griffin is just a step or two below his predecessor’s level. He’s a defender the Seahawks are going to want to keep around.

Griffin is still a year away from free agency, but the team will probably want to start negotiations with him now. He likely hasn’t been productive enough to justify the five-year, $75 million deal handed to Xavien Howard by the Dolphins, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see Seattle offer Griffin a four-year extension in the range of $55 million.

5. Pursue the big-name tight ends. You might have noticed Russell Wilson’s habit of making his tight ends look better. After Jimmy Graham returned from his torn patella, he and Wilson hooked up for a 923-yard season in 2016 and a 10-touchdown campaign in 2017. Graham has a combined 1,083 receiving yards and five scores over his two ensuing seasons in Green Bay. Over the past two years, it has been fourth-round pick Will Dissly and practice-squad find Jacob Hollister who have looked like impressive receiving tight ends with Wilson throwing to them.

As a card-carrying member of team Let Russ Cook, I want to see what he can do with a healthy star tight end. Seattle brought in 34-year-old Greg Olsen for a visit, and he would be an upgrade on Dissly and Hollister, but they should aim higher. What about Hunter Henry or Austin Hooper? Neither of them is in Kittle’s class as a blocker, but just having one of them on the field as a dual threat should make it easier for Seattle to both run and pass. Even Eric Ebron would be a massive upgrade. The Seahawks have the cap space to get aggressive in the bidding at the top of this market. While counting on Henry to stay on the field is dangerous, I want to see what Wilson can do with a healthy difference-maker at tight end.


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