The draft and the offseason might be the most enjoyable time of the whole NFL year. It’s the season of hope. There’s always a chance the wide receiver your team selected in the draft could turn into the next Antonio Brown. There’s always the hope that free agent quarterback will turn into the next Drew Brees. Even if these things rarely happen, hope springs eternal, and this is what makes the NFL offseason so much fun. Here’s a brief preview of the potential highlights of the draft and free agency.
Cousins, the Draft, and the Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns are key players in the draft and free agency. They have the 1st overall pick, the 4th overall pick, and a ton of cap space. The moves they make will reverberate throughout the league. Kirk Cousins is virtually certain to be a free agent in the offseason, and it’s likely he will be the highest paid player in the league by the time the NFL Draft rolls around. Cleveland certainly has the cap space to pursue him. Admittedly, he said that he wanted to play for a contender, but Cleveland will certainly give him a strong offer. If Cousins does end up in Cleveland, then it’s unlikely the Browns will use a first-round pick on a quarterback. In that scenario, they may even target phenomenon Saquon Barkley. The Colts, a team known to covet Barkley, are dreading this scenario. They pick 3rd, and they are hoping the Browns and the Giants take a quarterback.
Top NFL Free Agents Available
Without a doubt, the top free agents that are technically available are Jimmy Garoppolo, Le’veon Bell, and Drew Brees. However, it’s rather unlikely that any of these players will end up leaving their teams. Sure the Jets would love to sign Jimmy Garoppolo, but the 49ers are going to push hard for a long-term deal. If they can’t get one done, then it’s exceedingly likely they would slap the franchise tag on him. To a lesser extent, the same is true when it comes to Le’veon Bell. That being said, talented players are really hitting the market soon. One that stands out is Jimmy Graham. Let’s start with the downside; Jimmy’s 31, and he’s never really been the same after his patellar tendon injury. However, he’s still a top-tier weapon at the tight end position, and his 10 touchdowns in 2017 are tied for second in the league. The Atlanta Falcons would be an amazing fit. They haven’t had true tight end production since Tony Gonzalez left. Another interesting case is Jarvis Landry. Jarvis may not be a household name, and that’s a shame. No receiver in NFL history has had more receptions through their first four years than Jarvis Landry. It stands to reason that Miami would want to keep Landry, but it may not be in the cards. Contract negotiations have started to turn ugly, and surprisingly many fans don’t see him as a true number one receiver. Yet, his services are likely to be highly coveted, particularly since the free agent class of receivers is rather thin this year, and it appears that Allen Robinson of the Jaguars could be tagged, which would make it even thinner.