NFL free agency is set to begin at 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 9. A lot of new free agents will hit the market, looking for a new place to make an impact.
New England Patriots (14-2) – Team needs: RB, TE, DL.
Miami Dolphins (10-6) – Team needs: CB, DL, OL.
Buffalo Bills (7-9) – Team needs: WR, CB, DL.
New York Jets (5-11) – Team needs: QB, OL, WR, CB.
The New York Jets were once fierce competitors against their rival New England Patriots, but with an aging offensive line, some questionable quarterback candidates and the loss of veteran WR Brandon Marshall, the Jets have to focus this off-season on offense. The best long-term option for the Jets would be to try to snatch Kirk Cousins from Washington. Cousins has shown us what type of fourth quarter capabilities he has, so that contract would not be a cheap one. They could possibly go the other route and pick up a defensive back due to Darrelle Revis being released recently.
Kansas City Chiefs (12-4)- Team needs: CB, MLB, RB.
Oakland Raiders (12-4) – Team needs: LB, RB, CB.
Denver Broncos (9-7) – Team needs: RB, DL, OL.
Los Angeles Chargers – (5-11) Team needs: DL, CB, OL, SS.
The Los Angeles Chargers, formally the San Diego Chargers, have a lot of work to do this off-season. They managed to secure a promising rookie last year in Joey Bosa, but they need a big man in the middle of the defense to disrupt short runs and play action plays.
Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5) – Team needs: OLB, RB, CB.
Baltimore Ravens (8-8) – Team needs: WR, OLB, RB.
Cincinnati Bengals (6-9) – Team needs: OL, OLB, DL, WR
Cleveland Browns (1-15) – Team needs: QB!!!!!
I didn’t emphasize the quarterback position for the Browns enough. For my two decades on this earth, the Cleveland Browns have not found their franchise quarterback that the organization so desperately needs. Cleveland must worry about solidifying a solid franchise QB who will lead their team to the promised land. Cousins and Ryan Fitzpatrick are worth spending money on. Mike Glennon and Colin Kaepernick are out there as well.
Houston Texans (9-7) – Team needs: QB, DL, OL.
Tennessee Titans (9-7) – Team needs: CB, DL, WR.
Indianapolis Colts (8-8) – Team needs: OLB, RB, CB.
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13) – Team needs: QB, TE, CB.
Jacksonville has a solid young star in Blake Bortles; he just needs some help with his fundamentals and some weapons besides Allen Robinson. They could pick up a decent TE in Jermaine Gresham or Jared cook, or another WR in Alshon Jeffery or Desean Jackson. They could also start the buildup process again and get a new QB.
Dallas Cowboys (13-3) – Team needs: TE, DL, CB.
New York Giants (11-5) – Team needs: QB, OLB, OL.
Washington Redskins (8-7) – Team needs: DL, MLB, SS.
Philadelphia Eagles (7-9) – Team needs: WR, WR, WR, CB.
As much as it hurts me to write this about my beloved Eagles, they can’t catch the ball. This has been a problem since ex head coach Chip Kelly released some of our best draft picks in recent years – receivers Jeremy Maclin and Desean Jackson. The Eagles need to seriously consider picking up wideout Alshon Jeffery or even letting Jackson return home. Carson Wentz held his own during his rookie year, but tight end Zach Ertz was his best downfield threat. As much as Philly appreciates Ertz, he does not constitute a deep field threat. Everyone in Philly will be watching what the Eagles decide to do, which should include picking up a receiver in either the free agency or the draft.
Seattle Seahawks (10-5) – Team needs: OL, DL, OLB.
Arizona Cardinals (7-8) – Team needs: CB, OL, QB.
Los Angeles Rams (4-12) – Team needs: DL, OL, WR.
San Francisco 49ers (2-14) – Team needs: QB, WR, RB.
It’s hard to believe that in 2013 the 49ers were the NFC champions that went on to the Super Bowl. The Niners have struggled at the QB position in recent years; they need to try to invest in someone they think can lead them back to the top of their division. The Niners could also try to make a run at Alshon Jeffery, but no WR in the free agency pool wants to land on a team where they don’t know who is going to be throwing them the ball.
Green Bay Packers (10-6) – Team needs: CB, OLB, RB.
Detroit Lions (9-7) – Team needs: DL, RB, OLB.
Minnesota Vikings (8-8) – Team needs: OL, LB, RB.
Chicago Bears (3-13) – Team needs: WR, QB, CB, OL.
The Bears only won a surprising three games last season because of a lack of consistency at the QB position. The Bears will likely try to grab a sleeper QB in the free agency pool like Mike Glennon or Jimmy Garoppolo.
Atlanta Falcons (11-5) – Team needs: DL, SS, OLB.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7) – Team needs: SS, RB, WR.
New Orleans Saints (7-9) – Team needs: DL, OLB, CB.
Carolina Panthers (6-10) – Team needs: OL, DL, WR.
The Panthers defense was a scary sight a couple years ago with a rejuvenated secondary and a huge defensive line no one could get through. Now they are depleted, with many of their players gone, and we see a defense looking to rebuild again. They drafted a couple of rookie stud CBs in 2016 but they finished 7th in amount of points allowed per game. The defensive side of the ball is where the Panthers need to focus their free agency tactics, hoping to instill that fear created in offenses that was once there.