1 Move Every NFL Team Still Needs to Make in 2020 Offseason
Plenty can still be accomplished by NFL teams between now and the start of the 2020 regular season (whenever that may be).
The initial wave of free agency and the draft gave everyone a better idea of what each of the 32 teams will be this year, but the process of talent acquisition and offseason moves isn't finished.
June 1 could spur some movement because of the date's impact on certain contracts. The July 15 deadline to sign franchise-tagged players to long-term deals could as well. Plus, some squads still have areas to address.
Every organization has a move or two it can make to place it in a better position from a roster, financial or locker room perspective.
Each of the following moves is meant to improve the franchises is some form or fashion.
Arizona Cardinals Sign EDGE Everson Griffen
A year ago, the Arizona Cardinals signed Terrell Suggs to serve as Chandler Jones' bookend. Suggs didn't last the season in the desert.
This offseason, the organization signed Devon Kennard to serve in the same role, but the six-year veteran isn't a consistent pass-rushing presence.
Arizona's front office would be wise to bolster the front and help take some pressure off Jones.
According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, the Cardinals have a "strong interest" in the veteran edge-rusher's services. The 32-year-old defensive end can still bring heat off the edge with 26.5 sacks over the last three seasons.
If nothing else, Griffen could add another reliable performer to the team's defensive rotation.
Atlanta Falcons Sign S Eric Reid
The Atlanta Falcons did a nice job addressing their biggest need areas with the acquisitions of tight end Hayden Hurst, running back Todd Gurley, edge-rusher Dante Fowler Jr. and this year's first-round pick, cornerback A.J. Terrell.
As such, no glaring holes exist in Atlanta's projected starting lineup. Though safety remains somewhat of a concern because of Keanu Neal's lengthy injury history.
Neal's last two seasons ended on injured reserve because of a torn ACL and Achilles tendon, respectively. If healthy, the 24-year-old strong safety is the team's defensive tone-setter.
But the Falcons would be wise to cover their bases and sign a quality veteran like Eric Reid, who brings a similar skill set, to serve as depth or possibly start.
Baltimore Ravens Trade for S Jamal Adams
This offseason has been tough for the Baltimore Ravens after last year's outstanding 14-2 campaign. Marshal Yanda retired. The front office couldn't complete a deal with Michael Brockers. Plus, both of the team's starting inside linebackers left in free agency.
All of that would quickly fade into the background if the Ravens acquire two-time Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams. According to ESPN's Rich Cimini, Adams and the New York Jets hit an impasse in contract negotiations and tensions are running high.
Baltimore's secondary does feature Chuck Clark and Earl Thomas, though the organization wasn't exactly thrilled with Thomas' performance last season and, per Jonas Shaffer and Jessica Anderson of the Baltimore Sun, looked into an off-field incident to see if he violated his contract.
Adams is simply too good of a player not to pursue.
Buffalo Bills Sign CB Darqueze Dennard
The Buffalo Bills are positioned well to finally knock the New England Patriots off the throne and claim an AFC East division crown for the first time since 1995.
General manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott continue to build a competitive roster that reflects their identity.
One position remains a slight sticking point. The cornerback spot opposite Tre'Davious White could use a boost.
Levi Wallace is a capable defensive back and Buffalo signed Josh Norman this offseason, but free agent Darqueze Dennard can come in and play both outside and nickel corner to give the coaching staff more options to build on what's already one of the league's best all-around secondaries.
Carolina Panthers Sign OG Larry Warford
Gerald McCoy signed with the Carolina Panthers last offseason—partially to get revenge. The defensive lineman wanted to play his former team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, twice a year.
McCoy is no longer with the franchise, but the Panthers can use the same selling point to land the best available offensive lineman.
Larry Warford has been selected to the last three Pro Bowls. The New Orleans Saints wanted a cheaper and more athletic alternative along their offensive interior and released Warford after drafting Cesar Ruiz.
The idea of playing the Saints twice per year should be appealing. Plus, the 28-year-old pile driver can immediately step in as the Panthers' starting right guard, while John Miller and Dennis Daley can compete to start for the other guard spot.
Chicago Bears Sign S Tony Jefferson
The Chicago Bears switched out Ha Ha Clinton-Dix for Tashaun Gipson Sr. this offseason. What's interesting about the team's safety situation is Gipson's skill set is redundant with Eddie Jackson's. Both are far better served playing the deep third than working in the box.
This isn't to say the Bears are incapable of moving both around and using them in a variety of ways. However, the defense could also use a physical downhill presence like the available Tony Jefferson.
Jefferson is coming off a season-ending ACL tear, but his potential addition would add another dynamic to the Bears secondary. The strong safety would be intriguing big nickel sub-package option alongside Jackson and Gipson. He could even be used as a nickel linebacker in other looks.
Cincinnati Bengals Trade for OT Rob Havenstein
The Cincinnati Bengals haven't done enough to protect their investment in Joe Burrow. Their offensive front still needs work.
Right tackle is arguably the biggest problem area because Bobby Hart isn't a starting-caliber strong-side blocker.
Head coach Zac Taylor could very well rely on his previous ties to the Los Angeles Rams organization, where he served as quarterbacks coach, to address the situation.
Bobby Evans stepped in for an injured Havenstein last season and looked like a future starter. The Rams can save precious salary-cap space by moving on from the 28-year-old right tackle and allowing the younger option to start.
The Bengals, meanwhile, could benefit by upgrading the right side with a player who already knows Taylor's offensive scheme.
Cleveland Browns Sign LB Nigel Bradham
The Cleveland Browns allowed Joe Schobert to leave in free agency and released Christian Kirksey.
The front office showed it doesn't place much value on linebackers after doing little to significantly upgrade the position. Cleveland signed B.J. Goodson in free agency and drafted LSU's Jacob Phillips in the third round. Other than that, the team will rely on second-year linebackers Sione Takitaki and Mack Wilson to compete for starting spots.
On paper, the Browns feature the league's worst linebacker corps.
A veteran addition could help significantly. Nigel Bradham is still recovering from a torn shoulder labrum and torn ankle ligaments, per the Philadelphia Inquirer's Marcus Hayes. When healthy, Bradham is a true three-down linebacker who could significantly improve the Browns' second line of defense.
Dallas Cowboys Extend QB Dak Prescott
The Dallas Cowboys organization better be concentrating on one thing and only one thing: extending quarterback Dak Prescott.
Owner/general manager Jerry Jones can entertain the idea of trading for Jamal Adams, but the franchise won't establish a clear path until Prescott is signed to a long-term contract extension.
"Dak is the quarterback of our franchise now, and for many years to come," executive vice president of player personnel Stephen Jones said during an interview on 105.3 The Fan (via ESPN's Ed Werder). "We've gotta get his contract—we've gotta get over that hurdle. But we'll do it. It'll ultimately get done."
The Cowboys now have less than seven weeks to get something done. If they don't, Prescott will hold all of the leverage, thus leaving the franchise in a precarious position for 2021 and beyond.
Denver Broncos Sign OT Kelvin Beachum Jr.
The Denver Broncos will enter another season with Garett Bolles protecting their quarterback's blind side.
Denver's front office chose not to pick up Bolles' fifth-year rookie option, which usually doesn't bode well for a former first-round pick. In Bolles' case, his inconsistency and crippling penalties have hindered the offense's growth.
Legitimate left tackle options are limited at this point, and the Broncos might want to give Bolles one more chance.
Kelvin Beachum Jr. could serve as a potential insurance policy. Beachum could immediately serve as Denver's swing tackle. The eight-year veteran has started 99 career games and has the versatility to play some guard in a pinch. If Bolles doesn't improve, Denver would have a replacement plan in place.
Detroit Lions Sign Edge Markus Golden
The Detroit Lions are still searching for a true edge-rusher.
Last year, the organization signed Trey Flowers to a large free-agent deal, but he's at his best when playing along the interior in sub-packages to take advantage of less athletic interior blockers. Devon Kennard was the only other defender on the Lions roster with more than two sacks last season, and he signed with the Arizona Cardinals this offseason.
The Lions have young edge-rushers with potential, but the addition of a proven pass-rusher should remain a priority.
Markus Golden managed 10 sacks in 2019 with the New York Giants. He's topped the 10-sack plateau twice in his career. He could play outside linebacker in Matt Patricia's scheme and serve as a sub-package defensive end.
Green Bay Packers Sign WR Antonio Brown
An Antonio Brown signing may cause more headaches than solve problems. At the same time, it's hard not to consider the possibility of the seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver returning, recommitting himself to the game and producing to a similar level before last year's lost season.
Obviously, any team who even considers the possibility of signing Brown must thoroughly vet his off-field transgressions. Brown is a hard sell.
But the Packers haven't done anything to address the roster's biggest issue. Green Bay needed to add a starting-caliber wide receiver opposite Davante Adams and didn't do so in free agency or the draft.
The idea of adding Brown might not be enticing, but Green Bay's front office painted the team into a corner with its approach, so the possibility needs to be considered.
Houston Texans Trade for OG Gabe Jackson
Houston Texans head coach/general manager Bill O'Brien isn't afraid to conduct a trade—that's for sure. O'Brien has orchestrated multiple franchise-changing deals since becoming the franchise's primary voice. There's no reason to stop now.
According to NFL Network's Michael Silver, the Las Vegas Raiders shopped guard Gabe Jackson during the weeks leading up to the NFL draft. The lineman's situation probably hasn't changed because of his $9.6 million salary-cap hit and Las Vegas' investing a draft pick in Clemson guard John Simpson.
The Texans, on the other hand, have an opportunity to improve their front at minimal cost. Jackson could immediately replace Zach Fulton, who has a non-guaranteed $7 million cap hit this fall.
Jackson is a massive physical presence to make the Texans much tougher along the interior.
Indianapolis Colts Sign Clay Matthews III
The Indianapolis Colts are all-in this season, if Philip Rivers' acquisition is any indication. The organization can address another premium position with an aging veteran ready to compete for a championship.
Aside from Justin Houston, no defensive lineman on the roster managed more than 3.5 sacks last season.
Clay Matthews III, 34, accumulated eight sacks during his one season with the Los Angeles Rams. He's not a traditional defensive end after playing his career in multiple 3-4 schemes, but he could easily be a stand-up edge-rusher, especially in sub-packages.
Matthews' addition would boost the Colts pass rush but not take all of the reps away from younger options like Al-Quadin Muhammad, Kemoko Turay and Ben Banogu.
Jacksonville Jaguars Trade DE Yannick Ngakoue
Joe Schobert's summation of the Jacksonville Jaguars' stated offseason plan seems to place certain established players on the bubble, starting with defensive end Yannick Ngakoue.
"They want to bring in proven players who have played in the NFL before and proven they've belonged and also guys that'll be good, leadership role models in the locker room. Level-headed, steady voices," the linebacker told reporters.
The Jaguars placed the franchise tag on Ngakoue, and the defensive end has been vocal about his displeasure, even getting into a Twitter spat with co-owner Tony Khan.
Ngakoue is as good as gone as soon as he can leave. The Jaguars shouldn't want this situation to fester. The only solution to improve the team culture is trading the 25-year-old defender.
Kansas City Chiefs Sign S Tavon Wilson
The Kansas City Chiefs aren't in a position to make a significant roster addition, but the front office could still add a viable veteran at or near the league minimum who wants to play for the reigning Super Bowl champions.
The secondary is an obvious area of concern.
The Chiefs aren't certain about Bashaud Breeland's future because of pending legal matters. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo told reporters he plans to use rookie fourth-round pick L'Jarius Sneed at cornerback. Juan Thornhill continues to recover from an ACL tear he suffered in the regular-season finale.
Tavon Wilson would be the perfect addition because the eight-year veteran can play free or strong safety and cover the slot. His versatility could provide Kansas City with the type of depth its secondary lacks.
Las Vegas Raiders Trade for EDGE Yannick Ngakoue
The Las Vegas Raiders were "kicking the tires" on a trade for Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue prior to the NFL draft, according to The Athletic's Vic Tafur.
Nothing materialized. But the Raiders should revisit the possibility.
Las Vegas already features plenty of potential at defensive end with Clelin Ferrell, Maxx Crosby and Carl Nassib. None of them are as smooth or fluid rushing the passer as Ngakoue.
Currently, the Raiders can't afford the 25-year-old edge defender. But the front office can add $9.6 million to this year's salary cap by trading or releasing guard Gabe Jackson.
Obviously, the Jaguars will want a significant return for their franchise player, but giving up a future first-round pick or two shouldn't be an obstacle after the Raiders made five first-round selections over the last two drafts.
Los Angeles Chargers Sign LT Jason Peters
The Los Angeles Chargers offensive line looks excellent, except for left tackle.
The right side of the line will likely be one of the league's best after the offseason acquisitions of Bryan Bulaga and Trai Turner. Center Mike Pouncey is expected to be "full go" when the team resumes regular on-field activities, according to the Los Angeles Times' Jeff Miller.
Dan Feeney started 12 games at left guard last season.
Left tackle looks like a potential disaster.
Trey Pipkins, Sam Tevi and Forrest Lamp will compete to start. But Los Angeles could take the logical approach of signing nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters to protect the quarterback's blind side while the organization continues to develop other options.
Los Angeles Rams Trade OT Rob Havenstein
Normally, the potential loss of a quality blocker along the offensive line wouldn't be viewed as a positive. But the idea of trading Rob Havenstein is almost necessary based on the Los Angeles Rams' lack of financial flexibility.
Currently, the Rams are up against the 2020 salary cap. By trading Havenstein after June 1, the organization can save $4.7 million, per Over The Cap.
A move can't be made just to make one, of course. Bobby Evans started seven games last season as Havenstein dealt with a knee injury, and the rookie looked capable of holding down the right tackle spot.
Right now, the Rams don't have the wiggle room to add anyone. Their only path is trying to shed salary. Havenstein is the logical starting point.
Miami Dolphins Trade for RB Leonard Fournette
The Miami Dolphins already acquired Jordan Howard and Matt Breida this offseason. But Brian Flores' mentor, Bill Belichick, showed how an offense can effectively rotate through multiple running backs while fully utilizing each individual's specific skill set.
While the premise would be the same if the Dolphins pursue Leonard Fournette, there would be a slight difference in execution. Fournette is a legit workhorse as one of the league's top rushers. Last season, the 25-year-old back finished sixth among running backs with 1,152 rushing yards.
A change of scenery will almost certainly be welcomed by Fournette and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Apparently, the 2017 fourth overall pick isn't well-liked, according to the Associated Press' Mark Long.
Jacksonville could reset its locker room, while the Dolphins would add a premium talent to a young and exciting offense.
Minnesota Vikings Trade for DE Solomon Thomas
The San Francisco 49ers probably aren't actively looking to trade Solomon Thomas, but the organization does need to create more salary-cap space to help the team's long-term financial forecast.
The 49ers can save $4.4 million by trading the 2017 third overall pick after June 1, according to Over The Cap.
The Minnesota Vikings, meanwhile, could use another edge defender with some versatility to fortify their defensive line.
Thomas would start opposite Danielle Hunter and likely slide inside for Michael Pierce in sub-packages to rush the passer.
Maybe the Vikings return to the idea of re-signing Everson Griffen. If not, a Thomas trade would fill the gap along the team's defensive front.
New England Patriots Sign QB Cam Newton
The New England Patriots don't operate like other franchises. With that said, they should take advantage of opportunities when presented, even if they don't perfectly fit with the Patriot Way.
After all, Bill Belichick and Co. took risks on players like Antonio Brown and Josh Gordon. They didn't work out, but that doesn't mean they weren't worth the attempt.
Cam Newton is worth a flier for a team working outside its normal comfort zone. Jarrett Stidham may be talented and Brian Hoyer is reliable, but neither can bring what the former league MVP does when he's healthy.
Newton has a rare combination of size (6'5", 245 pounds), athleticism and arm strength. If Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels can't work with that type of talent, maybe their genius labels should be revoked.
New Orleans Saints Sign CB Dre Kirkpatrick
The New Orleans Saints are always looking to add talented players even though the franchise often flirts with the salary cap.
This year is a little different, though. New Orleans isn't currently up against the salary-cap ceiling and only has four draft picks to sign.
Thus, the Saints should be left with a little room to add another defensive back.
Dre Kirkpatrick has started 67 contests in eight seasons, including every game he has played over the last three years. But his 2019 campaign ended on injured reserve because of a hyper-extended knee.
The Saints' best depth options, Patrick Robinson and P.J. Williams, are better working over the slot. Kirkpatrick could become the primary substitute for Marshon Lattimore and Janoris Jenkins.
New York Giants Trade for EDGE Matthew Judon
The Baltimore Ravens had a plan. They've failed to execute said plan so far. But the team still has a few weeks to make something happen after placing the franchise tag on Matthew Judon.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported in January that the Ravens had plans to tag Judon with the intention of trading him. Four months later, The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec wrote there's "no indication [the two sides have] gotten close to a deal."
Another team, such as the New York Giants, should increase potential overtures to add the premium pass-rusher in his prime.
The Giants aren't guaranteed to have Markus Golden back after employing the unrestricted free-agent tender. If Golden signs elsewhere, New York could concentrate on adding Judon to replace last year's leading sack-artist.
New York Jets Sign CB Logan Ryan
Logan Ryan to the New York Jets looked like a match in the making not too long ago, but the cornerback will have to adjust his asking price for a deal to be struck.
"That would make sense for sure, but ... I'm trying to do what's best for my family and everything like that," Ryan said two weeks ago, per ESPN's Rich Cimini. "Obviously, there's a lot of rumors out there. I can't confirm any of it because I'm obviously still not signed. We'll see."
According to the New York Post's Brian Costello, Ryan's asking price remains around $10 million annually and the Jets won't reach that number.
Once the veteran corner realizes his market doesn't reflect his perceived value, the Jets would be a good landing spot for the New Jersey native.
Philadelphia Eagles Sign RB Devonta Freeman
The Philadelphia Eagles value the running back position as much or more than any other NFL franchise. The organization already has Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Corey Clement and Elijah Holyfield on the roster.
Even so, the front office remains interested in signing veteran Devonta Freeman to join the backfield.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane, the Eagles already offered a deal for the six-year veteran to consider.
Freeman turned down a Seattle Seahawks offer because it didn't meet his demands, according to SiriusXM NFL Radio's Adam Caplan (h/t Fantasy Points' Joe Dolan).
The same situation could arise with Philadelphia, but the Eagles could offer an incentive-based contract to entice the veteran and have him improve an already deep position group.
Pittsburgh Steelers Sign DT Marcell Dareus
The Pittsburgh Steelers aren't going to break the bank for the majority of free agents. Instead, the organization takes calculated risks that project well into the franchise's culture.
Case in point, Pittsburgh had a choice to make between Bud Dupree and Javon Hargrave this offseason. The front office chose to place the franchise tag on Dupree and allow Hargrave to leave in free agency.
Without Hargrave, the Steelers will likely turn to Daniel McCullers at nose tackle. But McCullers isn't nearly as consistent.
Pittsburgh can still upgrade the position with Marcell Dareus. The 2011 third overall pick ended last season on injured reserve thanks to core muscle surgery, but he's very difficult to move at the point of attack when healthy.
San Francisco 49ers Trade EDGE Dee Ford
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch built an outstanding roster that led to a Super Bowl LIV appearance. The organization can't keep its entire collection of talent, though.
Lynch already traded DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts. Arik Armstead's re-signing could affect Dee Ford as well.
Currently, the 49ers have $15.7 million in available salary-cap space, but they will have to sign their rookie class and extend All-Pro tight end George Kittle. Dee Ford, meanwhile, has a $15.9 million salary-cap hit this season.
According to The Athletic's Michael Lombardi, the 49ers placed Ford (among others) on the trade block to "clean up some cap issues." A post-June 1 trade would create $14.31 million in salary-cap space this year and significantly more financial flexibility over the next three seasons, per Over The Cap.
Seattle Seahawks Sign DT Damon Harrison
The Seattle Seahawks faced the eighth-fewest rushing attempts (388) last season yet tied for fourth-worst in yards per carry allowed (4.9).
So much attention has been paid to the Seahawks improving their pass rush the last two offseasons that the interior has been overlooked to a degree.
Jarran Reed and Poona Ford are talented young players. However, Seattle's group of defensive tackles lacks a true nose tackle.
Damon Harrison has been the league's preeminent run defender for an extended period. The 31-year-old defensive lineman isn't the same player today he once was, but he could still serve an important role.
According to Sports Illustrated's Corbin Smith, Harrison is emerging as a "preferred target" to address Seattle's concerns.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Trade TE O.J. Howard
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers don't need to move tight end O.J. Howard, but there's no real reason to keep him, either. If the right offer presents itself, general manager Jason Licht should gladly accept.
The previous statement doesn't just involve Rob Gronkowski's acquisition, because offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich can easily find ways to utilize both.
However, Tampa Bay is the league's deepest team at the tight end position. Once Cameron Brate, Antony Auclair and Tanner Hudson are factored into the equation, the smart approach would be to trade Howard, who has reportedly been on the block since before the draft, to gain a valuable future asset or two without losing much, if anything, at the position.
Plus, the Buccaneers can add a much-needed $2.0 million in salary-cap space.
Tennessee Titans Sign EDGE Jadeveon Clowney
Jadeveon Clowney didn't find a flush market upon entering free agency. His reported asking price, a lack of sack production and previous injury history likely tempered initial interest.
Now there are few organizations with the financial capabilities to even entertain the possibility of signing Clowney. The Tennessee Titans barely qualify, but they have a significant factor working in their favor.
The 27-year-old defender has a previous relationship with Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, who spent four seasons on the Houston Texans defensive staff.
An eventual decision comes down to whether Clowney wants to maximize his current worth or take a short-term deal at a lesser price and re-enter the market next offseason. If the latter occurs, the Titans are a logical landing spot.
Washington Redskins Sign TE Delanie Walker
The Washington Redskins have a lot of guys at tight end, but they don't have a single proven entity at the position.
Jeremy Sprinkle, Logan Thomas and Richard Rodgers flashed during their careers. Thaddeus Moss, meanwhile, was arguably the year's best undrafted free-agent addition. The group has potential, but hoping one of those targets emerge isn't a sound team-building strategy.
Injuries derailed Delanie Walker's last two seasons, and the three-time Pro Bowl tight end isn't getting any younger (35), but his possible addition could provide the perfect setup for Washington's offense.
If healthy, Walker could be a threat in the passing game and possible security blanket for quarterback Dwayne Haskins. If not, he could still be a veteran leader and help in the younger players' development.