With big names like Tom Brady and DeAndre Hopkins switching teams, it's easy to start losing interest in NFL free agency, but that would be unwise.
Though many of the major free agents on the market have been snatched up, deals on the margins often make as much difference in postseason football. The 2017 Eagles before were thankful to have the likes of Patrick Robinson and, of course, Nick Foles on team-friendly deals for their Super Bowl run.
As free agency continues, here are some of the latest rumors about the biggest potential deals yet to occur.
New England, Tampa Not Swapping QBs
After Brady's game-changing move to Tampa Bay left Bill Belichick and the Patriots with last year's fourth-rounder Jarrett Stidham, 2016 third-rounder Cody Kessler and recent signee (per Jim McBride of the Boston Globe) Brian Hoyer at quarterback, it was widely assumed New England would go out and sign one of the numerous available veteran starters to replace the all-time great. Well, it seems that one of those available vets is not an option in Foxboro.
Per Michael Giardi of NFL Network, former Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is unlikely to fill his Tampa Bay successor's shoes up north. Though the former first overall pick was considered a potential Brady replacement by many, New England's lack of interest in him makes perfect sense.
Given that he was the top pick in the 2015 draft, Winston's high ceiling is self-evident, but he's often offset that potential with a tendency to throw baffling interceptions at an unreasonably high rate. Just last year, he became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw both 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in one season.
The famously fastidious Belichick would likely grow tired of such erratic decision-making quickly, so Winston will have to keep looking for employment opportunities.
Bay May Wave Goodbye to Breida
In yet another example of the NFL being a fickle business, the San Francisco 49ers may be looking to move running back Matt Breida, per Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. Maiocco wrote that "The 49ers gave [him] a second-round tender as a restricted free agent. They are open to discussing trades with other teams for less compensation than it would take to sign him to an offer sheet."
If Breida were to leave San Francisco, it would be through no fault of his own. The running back has been stellar in his three seasons with the team, averaging 5.5 yards per touch and providing a solid pass-catching presence out of the backfield. It just so happens the Niners also roster Tevin Coleman (the incumbent starter), Raheem Mostert (who rushed for 336 yards and five touchdowns in last year's playoffs) and Jerick McKinnon (who hasn't played a game in San Francisco but still has two years left on his contract).
Luckily for Breida, his contributions to winning will likely guarantee he ends up with a plum role somewhere. But for now, he lies in wait, wondering what the future holds.
Jaguars Holding Firm on Ngakoue
Despite trading away Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, Calais Campbell, and several other members of their formerly formidable defense, the Jacksonville Jaguars seem reluctant to part with one particular player. Per Mike Kaye of NJ.com, the Jaguars haven't had trade discussions with any team regarding defensive end Yannick Ngakoue.
Though not on the level of Ramsey or Campbell, Ngakoue has been quite productive through his four years in the league, recording at least eight sacks in each season, 85 total quarterback hits and making the Pro Bowl in 2017. Perhaps the Jaguars want to keep him around as a cornerstone of the next era of their defense, but considering his seeming desperation to leave Duval County, it would be smart to move on.
With Jadeveon Clowney still unsigned, it seems that the two star pass-rushers are playing a game of musical chairs. With both premium cap space and potential destinations dwindling, one or both of them may have to take an uncomfortably large pay cut to find a suitable home for 2020 and hopefully beyond.