2019 NFL Free Agents: Rumors and Predictions for Nick Foles, Dee Ford, More

Michelle Bruton@@michelle_nflFeatured ColumnistJanuary 13, 2019

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 11: Dee Ford #55 of the Kansas City Chiefs begins to rush the passer during the second half of the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Arrowhead Stadium on November 11, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

If you're lucky enough to be a fan of one of the four teams that will advance to next weekend's NFL conference championships, free agency is one of the furthest things from your mind at the moment.

But for those fans whose teams have lost their chance at Super Bowl glory, the only consolation prize left is the glimmer of hope that their squad will land one of this year's prized free agents. 

Plenty of players could still re-sign with their teams prior to free agency opening at 4:00 p.m. ET on March 13. But the list of players who could hit the market once the new league year begins is enough to make fans and general managers alike salivate. 

Through hitting the open market or rumored trades, just some of the intriguing names who could be changing jerseys in 2019 include running back Le'Veon Bell, wide receiver Golden Tate, pass-rusher Dee Ford, safeties Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Earl Thomas, defensive tackle Grady Jarrett and quarterbacks Nick Foles and Joe Flacco.

Let's take a closer look at how free agency could shake out for a few of them in particular. 

Jaguars Want In on Flacco

Of the teams that could be vying for veteran quarterback Joe Flacco's services once his contract with the Baltimore Ravens ends, the Jacksonville Jaguars appear to be eagerly tossing their hat into the ring, per CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora. What's more, the interest appears to be mutual.

Flacco signed a three-year, $66,400,000 contract extension with the Ravens that was supposed to keep him in Baltimore through 2021, per Spotrac. However, as NFL Network's Ian Rapoport first reported in December, the Ravens are expected to part ways with Flacco this offseason. 

By the end of the season, Flacco was backing up Baltimore rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson, and the writing was on the wall clear as day. The Ravens no longer have a need for Flacco in their quarterback room, but plenty of other NFL teams would welcome him with open arms. In nine games this season, Flacco totaled 2,465 yards and 12 touchdowns to six interceptions, completing 61.2 percent of his throws. 

If the Ravens truly will consider dealing Flacco to a team of his choice, the mutual interest with Jacksonville becomes even more intriguing. 

Per La Canfora, the Jaguars are also discussing the possibility of acquiring the Philadelphia Eagles' Nick Foles or the Miami Dolphins' Ryan Tannehill to replace Blake Bortles in 2019. Bortles totaled 243 completions for 2,718 yards, 13 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 13 games this season, completing 60.3 percent of his passes. 

Browns Would Pursue Dee Ford in Free Agency

The Kansas City Chiefs have to give thanks to their offense for getting them to the postseason this year, but that doesn't mean the team doesn't have some enviable pieces on the other side of the ball.

Former first-round pick Dee Ford was one of the league's most productive pass-rushers this season, racking up 13 sacks. It's the second time he's reached double-digit sack numbers, as he amassed 10 in 2016.

Though he played only six games in 2017 after an injury landed him on injured reserve, he appears to be in top form this season and ripe to cash in on a lucrative contract. 

The Chiefs could choose to extend Ford before he hits free agency, but if he does leave, the Cleveland Browns are one suitor who would pursue him, according to Matt Goul of Cleveland.com

Ford and the Chiefs defense certainly stepped up in Saturday's AFC Divisional Round game against the Indianapolis Colts, when Ford strip-sacked Andrew Luck with Kansas City already up 24-7. 

In the win over the Colts, Ford had four tackles, a sack, two quarterback hits and a forced fumble. He's getting hot not only in time to help potentially lead his team to a Super Bowl but to prove to NFL general managers, like Cleveland's John Dorsey, that he deserves a big payday. 

Eagles Can Expect a Big Return for Nick Foles

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 06:  Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles rolls out to look for a receiver against the Chicago Bears during an NFC Wild Card playoff game at Soldier Field on January 6, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The Eagles defeated the Bears 16-
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Life is good for Nick Foles. Once a journeyman, Foles has twice gotten to step in for an injured Carson Wentz and lead the Eagles into the postseason. He already has one Super Bowl ring to show for it and might be adding another to his collection next month. 

Finally, however, Foles' career trajectory appears to be changing.

Foles won't open the 2019 season at the No. 2 quarterback spot on some team's depth chart. According to Rapoport, the Eagles expect to have a competitive trade market for Foles. 

The team and the quarterback have a mutual option for 2019 built into his contract, which means Philadelphia can extend him through the season. To do so, they'll have to cough up $20 million, per Spotrac.

Foles will also have to agree to the option, which could make it a poor decision if the Eagles exercise it only to try and trade him.

Therefore, expect Foles to hit free agency come March 13. According to La Canfora, the Jaguars are one team with interest in acquiring Foles. His competition will include Flacco, Teddy Bridgewater, Bortles and Tannehill. 

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