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NFL Free Agents 2020: Latest Rumors and Predictions for Market's Top Names

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2020

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady warms up before an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elise Amendola/Associated Press

As the official start of NFL free agency on March 18 draws near, the futures of many of the league's biggest stars remain unclear. From Tom Brady and Philip Rivers to Jadeveon Clowney and Amari Cooper, some of the league's most notable names could be headed to market.

It's unclear exactly which players will reach free agency, as the deadline to use the franchise tag was extended again until Monday. However, the real mystery surrounds where these notable free agents will land.

Here, we'll run down some of the latest buzz.

        

Titans Could Prefer Tannehill to Brady

The Tennessee Titans have been among the teams believed to be interested in signing Brady, should he reach the free-agent market. Head coach Mike Vrabel was once a teammate of the six-time champ, and the two remain friends.

However, ESPN's Dianna Russini believes their friendship could actually work against a professional pairing.

"I also think their relationship is a reason why they are not interested in signing Tom Brady because it makes it really complicated," Russini said on Get Up!

Instead, the Titans could be more interested in bringing back Ryan Tannehill.

"I think at this point right now, Tennessee is trying to work a deal out with Ryan Tannehill," Russini said. "This is a quarterback who they believe can help them get back to the AFC championship game and possibly to the Super Bowl, which obviously is the goal for them."

According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, re-signing Tannehill is indeed "Priority No. 1."

While one could argue Brady would give Tennessee its best shot at reaching the Super Bowl this season, Tannehill did help the Titans reach the AFC title game last year—and he would certainly be the better option for the long term.

Prediction: Titans re-sign Tannehill to start in 2020.

            

Cowboys, Cooper Could Reach Agreement Soon

Butch Dill/Associated Press

Cooper isn't the only notable member of the Dallas Cowboys scheduled to reach the open market this offseason. Dallas could also lose quarterback Dak Prescott, cornerback Byron Jones and defensive end Robert Quinn, among others.

However, Cooper could be the first to put pen to paper, possibly before the start of free agency.

According to ESPN's Ed Werder, Dallas is working hard to get the 25-year-old under contract:

Ed Werder @WerderEdESPN

My sense from speaking to #Cowboys sources: Team is working hard to reach agreement with WR Amari Cooper, and that Cooper and his agent seem motivated at the moment to get something done. To me, present indications are he could be signed before QB Dak Prescott.

While retaining Prescott is likely the bigger priority for Dallas, re-signing Cooper might be an easier challenge. The Pro Bowl wideout has made it clear that he would prefer to remain with the Cowboys.

"I want to be a Dallas Cowboy for life," he told 105.3 The Fan.

Dallas has thus far failed to reach an agreement with Prescott, so turning the focus to Cooper does make some sense. The Cowboys cannot use the franchise tag on both players. They can retain the two, however, by signing Cooper and giving Prescott the tag.

The Cowboys would then have until July 5 to ink Prescott to his own long-term deal and would have him for one year under the tag if they cannot.

Prediction: Cowboys sign Prescott before free agency.

     

Jets Eying Cornerback Market

If the Cowboys do lock up both Prescott and Cooper, it's unlikely they'll also retain Jones. That could be a welcome development for the New York Jets.

According to ESPN's Rich Cimini, the Jets are interested in Jones and Carolina Panthers cornerback James Bradberry.

Going after a corner would make sense, as New York recently decided to part with Trumaine Johnson.

Brian Costello @BrianCoz

The Jets are releasing CB Trumaine Johnson, a source confirms. One of the worst FA signings in team history. #nyj

Johnson, who was signed to a five-year, $72.5 million deal two offseasons ago, never came close to matching his contract. It's fair to wonder if new general manager Joe Douglas will be willing to gamble on a big-money corner so soon after dumping the 30-year-old.

According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Bradberry is seeking a deal worth at least $15 million per season. He and Jones are good starting corners, but they aren't necessarily worth market-setting deals.

With the development of the offense and specifically quarterback Sam Darnold still a huge priority for the Jets, it feels unlikely they'll be willing to outbid the rest of the league for a cornerback. Expect Douglas to put a fairly reasonable cap on his negotiations.

Prediction: New York doesn't land Jones or Bradberry.

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