NFL Free Agency 2018: The 1 Player Each NFL Team Should Let Walk
The decision to re-sign or allow a player to test the market adds to the free-agent frenzy every year. We'll find out who's on the move and which players have an inside track to remaining with their current teams.
Before the NFL Scouting Combine workouts, reports emerged about roster cuts and potential destinations for players on expiring contracts. Though team officials can't negotiate until the legal tampering period begins Monday, "wink wink" recruiting happens all year round.
Let's dive into the current rosters for all 32 teams.
When a front office allows a player to hit the market, it's not always an indictment of the asset. In several cases, the talent may demand a contract that the team can't finance due to salary-cap limitations or prefer to leave. Every year older veterans fall out of the league as their production drops and young assets flash potential.
Rumors and speculation have shed light on potential moves, but until the transaction can become official when the free-agency period begins Wednesday, there's time to make a strong case in favor of or against an extension for expiring contracts. Here's a detailed listing on who should hit the market for each team.
Arizona Cardinals: John Brown, Wide Receiver
Aside from running back David Johnson and wideout Larry Fitzgerald, there's plenty of uncertainty for the Arizona Cardinals offense.
General manager Steve Keim and first-year head coach Steve Wilks must agree on a quarterback to lead the huddle. Johnson and Fitzgerald will help whoever takes the starting spot. However, there'll likely be turnover among the secondary offensive weapons as the new coaching staff fills out the roster.
John Brown's production trended in the wrong direction after a breakout 2015 campaign as a 1,000-yard receiver. Injuries and inefficiency limited him to 816 yards and five touchdowns in 25 appearances over the past two terms.
At the position, the Cardinals have a future Hall of Famer in Fitzgerald; J.J. Nelson, who plays with a similar physical stature to Brown; and a 2017 third-rounder in Chad Williams on the books. Brown should hit free agency without much resistance from Keim.
Atlanta Falcons: Dontari Poe, Defensive Tackle
The Atlanta Falcons signed defensive tackle Dontari Poe to a one-year, $8 million deal last year after he spent five seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. The acquisition paid dividends near the line of scrimmage. The team finished No. 9 in rushing yards allowed and shed the image as a soft defense from previous years.
Atlanta could pay the rising costs to keep an effective run defender who can also pressure the quarterback. Even though Poe bolstered the Falcons interior, the front office should hit pause on signing him to a long-term deal.
When it comes to free-agent decisions, cost matters just as much as production. In a salary-cap league, general managers will lean toward cheaper options to save cash; the exceptions are at quarterback and in some cases an elite pass-rusher.
General manager Thomas Dimitroff should opt to draft a defensive tackle at No. 27 overall as opposed to latching on to Poe, who turns 28 in August, for three or four years. As he did in the previous offseason, the veteran will likely garner multiple suitors on the free-agent market.
Baltimore Ravens: Mike Wallace, Wide Receiver
Mike Wallace led the Baltimore Ravens' unimpressive wide receivers with 52 catches for 748 yards and four touchdowns in 2017. However, that's not enough for the front office to re-sign him.
Wallace had a 1,000-yard season in his first year (2016) with the team. After his four-year stint with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the speedy wideout hasn't resembled a No. 1 option. At this point, that's not going to change.
The Ravens need an overhaul at the wideout position, and someone needs to take the top spot as Joe Flacco's go-to option. Many criticize the Ravens signal-caller, but team executives must do a better job of surrounding him with top-flight talent.
Baltimore should look to spruce up its aerial attack. Wallace, who turns 32 in August, will probably need to look for his fourth NFL destination on the free-agent market.
Buffalo Bills: Shareece Wright, Cornerback
The Buffalo Bills completely remodeled the secondary under head coach Sean McDermott last year. Rookie cornerback Tre'Davious White and E.J. Gaines looked impressive in their first seasons with the team. On the other hand, the one-year flier on Shareece Wright didn't pay dividends.
Ever since his 2013-14 run as a starter with the then-San Diego Chargers, Wright hasn't been a perimeter defender to trot out against top-notch competition. He went through a significant downslide during his two-year stint with the Ravens, and it continued in Buffalo.
Due to Gaines' injuries throughout the season, Wright had some opportunities to show his best in five starts, but other than his outings against the Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins, against whom he logged his only interception in Week 15, the 30-year-old didn't provide much.
After hitting on White as a first-year playmaker and signing veteran Vontae Davis to a one-year deal, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, it's less likely the team retains Wright. Despite his ailments, Gaines possesses a stronger case to remain in Buffalo.
Carolina Panthers: Star Lotulelei, Defensive Tackle
Defensive tackle Star Lotulelei could land a better deal with another team that hasn't seen the faults in his game week-to-week.
The Carolina Panthers have a 2016 first-rounder in Vernon Butler, who's still an unknown on the defensive line. He was drafted by former general manager Dave Gettleman, but the team should see what he brings to the field.
Lotulelei hasn't shown enough to keep Butler in the background. As the fifth-year defensive tackle comes off a lackluster campaign, the Panthers should not be losing sleep after allowing him to test the market.
As a plan B, expect Carolina to add an interior defensive lineman just in case Butler stumbles or suffers an injury in his first opportunity with more snaps. Pending the interest or lack thereof, Lotulelei could also settle for a lesser deal with the Panthers.
Chicago Bears: Prince Amukamara, Cornerback
The Chicago Bears have been active in letting players know their time in the Windy City has ended or will in the league's new calendar year—just ask quarterback Mike Glennon, who received word about his future, per Chicago Tribune's Rich Campbell.
Among those still up in the air, cornerback Prince Amukamara should also hear about his imminent departure or entrance in the free-agent market. He signed a one-year, $7 million deal with the team over the offseason but provided minimal impact during the 2017 campaign.
Amukamara hasn't recorded an interception since the 2015 season with the New York Giants, who drafted him in 2011. In New York, injuries led to questions about him as a No. 1 cornerback. At this point, he's healthy but short on game-changing plays.
The 28-year-old will likely continue to fish for a long-term deal while the Bears figure out their plans about cornerback Kyle Fuller after his bounce-back 2017 campaign coming off a serious knee injury.
Cincinnati Bengals: Tyler Eifert, Tight End
When healthy, tight end Tyler Eifert can significantly upgrade an offense as he did during his 2015 Pro Bowl year. He racked up 52 catches for 615 yards and 13 touchdowns in 13 games that term.
Unfortunately Eifert couldn't stay healthy over the past two years, only suiting up for 10 games. He landed on injured reserve last campaign with a back injury, which required surgery.
The Cincinnati Bengals front office should focus on fortifying the offensive line before even thinking about re-signing Eifert coming off a significant injury and a four-catch total in 2017.
In 16 starts, Tyler Kroft filled Eifert's role admirably as a reliable pass-catcher and red-zone threat. He compiled 42 catches for 404 yards and seven touchdowns. Cincinnati can move on from its oft-injured 2013 first-rounder and move forward with an option on the roster.
Cleveland Browns: Isaiah Crowell, Running Back
As an undrafted rookie out of Alabama State, we should see running back Isaiah Crowell as a success story. He came into the league into 2014 as an unknown and saw his production rise each season before a slight step backward in a contract year.
In each of the past two seasons, Crowell eclipsed 1,000 yards from scrimmage, but his production didn't equate to more wins. It's not completely his fault. Cleveland went through constant turnover in the front office and on the field. However, the Browns have new decision-makers in place. As they should, the club's brain trust will look to plug in its own personnel to right the sunken ship.
Crowell racked up 3,888 yards and 22 touchdowns as a ball-carrier and receiver through four NFL seasons. Another team will eye his production as a suitable add-on for its backfield, but in no way should the Browns contest for the 25-year-old's services.
Cleveland possesses four picks within the first 35 selections of the 2018 draft. There's enough to acquire a quarterback, two quality defenders and a top-notch running back at a cheaper price compared to the upgrade Crowell should expect in pay scale.
Dallas Cowboys: Alfred Morris, Running Back
Life hits running backs quickly. Alfred Morris notched three consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons from 2012-14. He averaged below four yards per carry in his final season with Washington in 2015 before signing with the Dallas Cowboys. Still, the durable tailback looked the part as a grinder who could spell Ezekiel Elliott.
Morris kept his legs going during Elliott's suspension. He also ran for 127 yards against the Redskins in Week 13 to help snap a three-game skid, but the team sees value in Rod Smith, who flashed his skill as a contributor on the ground and in the passing game.
Morris will head into his age-30 season. Assuming Elliott avoids transgressions off the field, the Cowboys have a workhorse able to handle a majority of the carries and a young versatile tailback in Smith to fill in the gaps.
Though Morris could still serve as a capable ball-carrier, the Cowboys can go with a younger and cheaper asset to avoid paying the sixth-year veteran.
Denver Broncos: Donald Stephenson, Offensive Tackle
The Denver Broncos should continue to find the right combination for their offensive line. After an abysmal first year with the team, Donald Stephenson agreed to restructure his contract for 2017, when he only started four games at right tackle.
Menelik Watson, who may not solve the Broncos' issues at the position, will likely have another shot at holding the position for the 2018 campaign, which leaves Stephenson on the outs for a new deal.
The Broncos addressed left tackle in the first round of the previous draft, choosing Garett Bolles at No. 20 overall. The upcoming class features a deep pool at offensive tackle, which may garner the front office's attention in April.
Stephenson has only started more than seven games once in six seasons, and the expanded results didn't look promising for him. Expect a new face to push Watson for the starting spot through the preseason.
Detroit Lions: Paul Worrilow, Linebacker
The Detroit Lions hired Matt Patricia as the new lead skipper in town, and he's obviously going to shake up the roster. As a defensive specialist, expect the new head coach to focus on the draft to revamp the linebacker corps.
As a result, Paul Worrilow won't return for the upcoming season. After a solid 2015 term, he's lost his traction as an every-down starter in the league. The 27-year-old doesn't show the consistent ability to chase down ball-carriers or take on short-area coverage responsibilities.
Ineffective play combined with injuries over the past two years will lead to Worrilow's availability on the free-agent market at a discounted cost.
Prospects such as Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds may come off the board before the Lions' 20th overall pick, but team brass will probably pick up a linebacker within the first two rounds. Patricia has the expertise to bring the best out of a rookie with high potential.
Houston Texans: Chris Clark, Offensive Tackle
Duane Brown's holdout and his trade to Seattle put Chris Clark in position to start eight games. Unfortunately the veteran offensive tackle landed on injured reserve after Week 12 with an ankle injury.
The Texans don't have a standout tackle for Deshaun Watson's blind side. Clark isn't a starting-caliber player. When looking at his performances over the past two seasons, his poor pass protection put his quarterbacks in tough situations. He's also been a penalty machine.
Houston started Clark on both sides of the offensive line over the past three campaigns. After a rocky first year with limited snaps, he continued on a downward spiral throughout his tenure.
Clark and Breno Giacomini led all players at the position in snaps during the 2017 season. Both should hit the free-agent market, leaving the Texans in need of help at tackle in 2018.
Green Bay Packers: Jahri Evans, Offensive Guard
The Green Bay Packers signed Jahri Evans as a Band-Aid on the interior of the offensive line after T.J. Lang's departure. It's time for the new decision-makers in the front office to rip the bandage off an open wound up front.
For the most part, Evans struggled in run schemes, primarily at right guard. He also allowed constant quarterback pressure late in the previous season.
The six-time Pro Bowler should remain a durable addition wherever he lands in free agency, despite a short stint in Green Bay not working out. Beyond the obvious in protecting quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the A- and B-gaps, the Packers must commit to helping the ground attack with quality guards.
This doesn't indicate the 34-year-old's career ends after a down year in Green Bay. He could serve as a low-cost pickup on the market for a team lacking depth at the position.
Indianapolis Colts: Kamar Aiken, Wide Receiver
After a breakout 2015 campaign with the Ravens (75 catches for 944 yards), many wondered about Kamar Aiken's career outlook. Would the wideout continue to rise as an undrafted late bloomer?
Injuries helped boost Aiken's opportunities three years ago, but he's been inconspicuous since his best year. A change in scenery didn't put him back in the spotlight. His production continued to drop in 2017, with quarterback Andrew Luck's yearlong injury as a factor.
The Indianapolis Colts should consider re-signing wideout Donte Moncrief with an assumption that he can lock down the No. 2 spot behind T.Y. Hilton. Despite his shortcomings, it's hard to ignore 13 touchdown receptions between the 2015-16 campaigns.
As for Aiken, who turns 29 years old in May, he'll continue his NFL journey elsewhere. He could fill a role on the back end of a roster that needs depth at wide receiver.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Marqise Lee, Wide Receiver
Before Jacksonville Jaguars fans pull their hair out thinking the team should allow two of their top wide receivers hit the open market, it's still possible Allen Robinson re-signs with the team on a long-term deal.
The Jaguars opted not to use the franchise tag on Robinson, leaving a small window before the legal tampering period opens Monday.
In the best-case scenario, Marqise Lee becomes an unrestricted free agent and Robinson remains in Jacksonville as a clear-cut No. 1 wideout.
Lee could fill a role as a decent secondary pass-catcher, but the Jaguars have plenty of options in that role, which makes the fourth-year wideout expendable. He's produced over the past two years, but the Jaguars have multiple serviceable perimeter skill players already under team control.
After missing the postseason for a decade, this squad made it back without Robinson, but he could become an essential asset in helping quarterback Blake Bortles and the offense reach the next level. As for Lee, he's an average pass-catcher with less upside and who's a replaceable commodity.
Kansas City Chiefs: Bennie Logan, Defensive Tackle
The Chiefs signed Bennie Logan to a one-year, $8 million deal during the previous offseason, and the acquisition didn't reap significant benefits in shoring up the defensive line. At the time, the move made sense as Dontari Poe finished a contract year and explored the free-agent market. Nonetheless, his replacement underwhelmed in 2017.
Logan didn't rack up many sacks (5.5) during his four years with the Philadelphia Eagles, but the Chiefs hoped he would improve their run defense. The unit finished 25th in yards allowed and surrendered 15 rushing touchdowns, which ranked 27th in the league. It's back to the drawing board in an attempt to add resistance in the trenches.
Though the 28-year-old racked up 35 tackles, his production didn't equate to the contract signed last March. Kansas City must address the defense on all levels, with older assets on expiring contracts or on the chopping block. Logan should be hitting the market.
Los Angeles Chargers: Matt Slauson, Interior Offensive Lineman
After three-year terms with the New York Jets and Chicago Bears, Matt Slauson signed with the Chargers and played center for the 2016 season. He allowed consistent quarterback pressure in that year and moved back to left guard in 2017.
Slauson's play, even at his natural guard position, didn't compare to his solid years with the Bears.
Keep in mind the Chargers drafted guards Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney in the second and third rounds of the previous draft.
Feeney started nine games after Slauson tore his biceps in October. Los Angeles doesn't have a reason to retain the 32-year-old with two young interior linemen going into their sophomore years.
Lamp and Feeney will lead the way for the Chargers' run game and attempt to handle the pressure up the middle. Slauson's versatility should help him land a deal elsewhere as a stopgap starter or backup on another squad in 2018.
Los Angeles Rams: Sammy Watkins, Wide Receiver
Sammy Watkins still carries the expectations of a top-flight wideout, but his 2017 production doesn't suggest an above-average player at his position.
He led the No. 1 offense in receiving touchdowns with eight but ranked fourth in receptions (39) behind rookie pass-catcher Cooper Kupp, running back Todd Gurley and wide receiver Robert Woods, who played in three fewer games.
In fairness to Watkins, the Rams offense, under head coach Sean McVay, spread the football around and unleashed Gurley, the eventual Offensive Player of the Year, as the focal point.
Nonetheless, the Rams' dynamic offensive design doesn't help Watkins at the negotiating table. Of course, his name and status as the fourth overall pick of the 2014 draft come with recognition, but he has only logged one 1,000-yard season as a receiver.
McVay's offense doesn't need Watkins to rank among the top five units for years to come. Sure, he's a useful asset, but the fourth-year veteran can probably sign a more profitable deal with another team that needs a playmaker on the perimeter.
Miami Dolphins: Jermon Bushrod, Offensive Guard
Miami Dolphins quarterbacks have been subject to widespread criticism, but the front office must address the interior on the offensive line with quality assets via free agency or the draft. Jermon Bushrod isn't the veteran player to help in this particular area.
Bushrod broke into the league as a left tackle, earning two Pro Bowl invites with the New Orleans Saints between the 2011-12 seasons. After three years with the Chicago Bears, primarily at the same position, the Dolphins decided to move him inside. Clearly, the transition hasn't worked out in Bushrod's favor.
Over the past two campaigns, he's struggled with pass and run protection. Despite hope that the transition would pay off, the Dolphins should go in another direction.
It's important the team reconfigures the personnel across the offensive line as quarterback Ryan Tannehill prepares to return after missing the 2017 campaign with a torn ACL. Shaky interior protection could create pocket ghosts where they don't exist.
Minnesota Vikings: Jerick McKinnon, Running Back
The decision to allow running back Jerick McKinnon hit the free-agent market doesn't suggest he's not worth another deal. The Minnesota Vikings drafted Dalvin Cook in the second round last year after signing Latavius Murray to a three-year, $15 million contract.
According to Minneapolis Star Tribune's Christopher Hine, McKinnon wants more opportunities in the backfield: "I want bigger and better things for myself. We’ll see what happens."
It's not a crime that a 25-year-old tailback coming off his best season with 991 yards from scrimmage wants to capitalize on his youth and production.
The Vikings will move forward with Cook and Murray as their running back duo. As a dual threat at his position, McKinnon could land a second contract that rewards versatility and satisfies his desire for a bigger workload. He's going to hit the market as a hot commodity with room to grow.
New England Patriots: Dion Lewis, Running Back
Once upon a time, the Browns and Colts cut running back Dion Lewis. The New England Patriots picked him up off the scrap heap in 2015 and turned him into an effective playmaker. The 27-year-old tailback broke out last year for 1,110 yards from scrimmage and managed to stay healthy. He played in all 16 contests for the first time in his career.
Nonetheless, the productivity won't save Lewis' spot on the roster. The Patriots still have James White, who provides dual-threat qualities, under contract through the 2020 season.
Despite an inconsistent first year with the team, Mike Gillislee remains on the books through the 2019 campaign. He may have another shot at more opportunities with Rex Burkhead set to hit the free-agent market.
Lewis could land a lucrative deal as an unrestricted free agent, and there's no pressure on the Patriots to engage in a bidding competition for the previously oft-injured running back coming off one full season.
New Orleans Saints: Alex Okafor, Defensive End
After selecting the Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year, the New Orleans Saints front office and scout team should feel confident in its ability to plug remaining roster holes this offseason.
Defensive end Alex Okafor once again flashed his pass-rushing ability but finished 2017 on injured reserve with a torn Achilles after 10 games. At a premium position, teams will overlook his abbreviated season to acquire a proven commodity on the edge.
New Orleans could contest teams such as the Giants, who just hired Okafor's former defensive coordinator James Bettcher, from Arizona, on the open market or fill the need in April. Based on the previous draft class, it's not a bad idea to bring in a young edge-rusher on a rookie deal.
If Hau'oli Kikaha can stay healthy, he could also fill the void as a secondary pass-rusher in the front seven.
New York Giants: Jay Bromley, Defensive Tackle
The Giants' coaching changes won't save defensive tackle Jay Bromley's spot with the team. Former general manager Jerry Reese selected the Syracuse product in the third round of the 2014 draft. He never panned out under former coordinators Perry Fewell and Steve Spagnuolo.
As a rookie, defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson immediately put a stronghold on the starting position next to Damon Harrison, leaving rotational snaps for Bromley.
Coordinator James Bettcher will bring a new look to the unit, but the changes will likely most affect the linebacker group. although Harrison and Tomlinson may have new or modified responsibilities up front.
Bromley didn't leave much of a footprint in New York to cause the new coaches to pause on cutting ties. He'll look to jump-start his professional profile as a disruptor on the interior for another club in 2018.
New York Jets: Wesley Johnson, Center
Life after Nick Mangold at the center of the offensive line hasn't looked good for the New York Jets. Wesley Johnson took over the starting spot during the previous year after the team's Pro Bowl centerpiece went down with an ankle injury, but he hasn't solidified his place as the long-term solution.
The need for a good center doesn't pop up often, but it helps to have a savvy offensive lineman pointing out coverages, making calls at the line of scrimmage and getting out in front of plays to secure key blocks.
In the early draft rounds, the Jets could take the boring route and select an interior offensive lineman to carry the torch. Ohio State product Billy Price, who won the Dave Rimington Trophy as the best center in 2017, will have his draft stock fall after he partially tore his pectoral during the combine's bench press workout and should miss four months, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Gang Green must address multiple positions across the offensive line, but it's important not to overlook the need for a good quarterback-center combination.
Oakland Raiders: Justin Ellis, Defensive Tackle
Defensive tackle Justin Ellis trimmed weight to 335 pounds last year and produced his best season just in time to land a new deal on the free-agent market. The Oakland Raiders need more than a gap-stuffer in the middle. The 27-year-old doesn't have enough push up front to rack up tackles for a loss or pressure the quarterback.
Ellis logged his first sack (a half one) in four seasons during the previous campaign, but there's still a search to improve interior pocket pressure.
Despite his improvements as a run defender, the front line still struggled to corral top ball-carriers. The Raiders allowed 115 or more rushing yards in four out of the first five games and three of the final four contests.
Ellis will hit the free-agent market as a serviceable run-stopper, but new defensive coordinator Paul Guenther will likely push for more out of his defensive tackles.
Philadelphia Eagles: Patrick Robinson, Cornerback
There's no room for veteran cornerback Patrick Robinson within a position group with several young players.
Ronald Darby will lead the pack for at least another season, being under team control through 2018. After going through early ups and downs, Jalen Mills finished the postseason on a strong note.
Don't forget the Eagles selected cornerbacks in the second and third rounds of the previous draft. Sidney Jones tore his Achilles at his pro day, which limited him to one game. Rasul Douglas suited up for 14 games and registered 11 pass breakups and two interceptions.
Due to Robinson's team-leading four interceptions and 18 passes defensed, he's a strong candidate to hit the market and sign a lucrative deal—one the Eagles will likely avoid with high draft assets at the position.
Going into his ninth season, Robinson can still hold his own in coverage. At an opportune time, he flashed his ball-tracking skills and should have several suitors on the free-agent market.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Sean Spence, Linebacker
The Steelers drafted inside linebacker Sean Spence in the third round of the 2012 draft, and he signed with the Tennessee Titans and Colts before returning to the Steel City in 2017. His reappearance provided minimal impact in four starts.
There's uncertainty surrounding Ryan Shazier's timetable for a comeback, so it's important the Steelers acquire a quality player in the middle of the defense. The back end of the front seven needs a cover defender who can also chase down ball-carriers and clean up behind the defensive line. Spence doesn't fit that bill.
Pittsburgh could try again with Lawrence Timmons if the Dolphins release him, but the first round of the draft provides the best options to fill the spot.
Spence has only started 23 contests over the past four seasons. He's not a starting-caliber player who can fill a position in great need.
San Francisco 49ers: Brandon Fusco, Offensive Guard
Brandon Fusco started all 16 games at right guard for the San Francisco 49ers in 2017. He replaced Joshua Garnett, who landed on injured reserve after a knee scope last summer.
Garnett struggled mightily during his rookie season in 2016, but the coaching staff expected him to show improvement upon his return to the field—which did not happen. Fusco's performance shouldn't change the outlook on Garnett, a first-rounder out of Stanford, regaining his spot.
Even though he joined the team during Chip Kelly's tenure, expect the 49ers to turn back to Garnett as a projected starter next season until it's obvious that he's not the guy to hold the position long-term. The 24-year-old will get a second chance despite how shaky his rookie film may look to head coach Kyle Shanahan's staff.
As for now, Fusco isn't the solution either. He'll test the market this offseason.
Seattle Seahawks: Eddie Lacy, Running Back
As the Seattle Seahawks look to reinvent their offense under new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and offensive line coach Mike Solari, running back Eddie Lacy doesn't make the cut after failing to score a rushing touchdown in consecutive years.
Throughout his career, Lacy battled fluctuating weight, but he worked hard on his conditioning to stay in Seattle's rotation. However, he fell behind just about every running back on the depth chart and finished the 2017 season as a healthy scratch.
Lacy's size (he's listed at 250 pounds) could've helped him carve out a role as a short-yardage or goal-line option, but he didn't capitalize on limited opportunities in a crowded backfield. His decline has taken a sharp turn, and it's possible the 27-year-old may struggle to find a team for the upcoming term.
A strong offseason should put Chris Carson in the pole position for the starting spot at running back in 2018.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kevin Pamphile, Offensive Guard
This prediction is a slight stretch and not one that will encourage widespread cheers, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should hope Notre Dame's Quenton Nelson falls in their lap when they draft seventh overall. The offensive line needs upgrades at the guard spots.
Let's focus on Kevin Pamphile since the former started 33 games, primarily at left guard, over the past four seasons. Tampa Bay selected him in the fifth round of the 2014 draft, and he never developed into a standout offensive lineman.
Other than right tackle Demar Dotson's outstanding year, the Buccaneers offensive line struggled for the most of 2017. With three expiring contracts along the interior, general manager Jason Licht must focus on acquiring veteran and rookie talents for the front line.
Expect Pamphile to hit the market and possibly sign elsewhere on a modest deal as a backup.
Tennessee Titans: Eric Decker, Wide Receiver
It looks like a one-and-done situation in Tennessee for wideout Eric Decker, who compiled 54 catches for 563 yards and a touchdown in 2017.
The Titans offense didn't exactly fire on all cylinders, but Mike Vrabel took over as head coach and hired Matt LaFleur as his offensive coordinator. The two will likely begin reshaping the offense through a shared lens, which probably means moving on from old acquisitions.
Allowing Decker to sign elsewhere makes sense as he turns 31 years old next week. Furthermore, wideout Tajae Sharpe's return after missing the previous campaign with a foot injury should help the passing game.
Decker isn't a 1,000-yard receiver at this stage of his career. The inability to hit the millennium mark shouldn't influence the team's decision to let him walk as much as its wideout depth. The Titans have young No. 3 wide receiver options behind Corey Davis and Rishard Matthews in Sharpe and Taywan Taylor. It's time to move on.
Washington Redskins: Terrelle Pryor, Wide Receiver
Terrelle Pryor emerged as a successful wide receiver who converted from being a quarterback with the Browns. He caught 77 passes for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns in 2016. Unfortunately, his production didn't carry over in Washington.
In an offense that relied heavily on its passing attack, Pryor fell out of favor and finished without a target in multiple games before an ankle injury derailed his season. He finished with just 20 catches for 240 yards and a score.
Quarterback Alex Smith will have Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson as his top two wide receivers in the upcoming season.
Head coach Jay Gruden said he looks for Doctson to "take a major step" during the 2018 campaign, according to ESPN.com's John Keim. That equates to an increased workload for the 2016 first-rounder.
According to Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Mary Kay Cabot, the Browns attempted to trade for Pryor near last year's deadline. There's a reunion likely in the works.