1 Move Every NFL Team Should Make Before the 2020 Season Begins
The NFL offseason proper is nearing its end. With training camps slated to begin the last week of July, teams are running out of time to make significant moves before preseason preparation. There are just over two months to make moves before the regular season begins.
Of course, a narrow window is better than a closed one, and teams should be eager to take advantage.
Here, we'll examine one move that each franchise can and should make before the regular season gets underway. We'll be focusing specifically on moves that would impact the 2020 season, so potential deals that impact the long-term picture won't be considered.
However, some financial moves will qualify if they're relevant to the upcoming season—in addition to trades, cuts and free-agent signings.
Arizona Cardinals: Trade for DE Yannick Ngakoue
We'll get more into the situation surrounding Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue further down this list. What's relevant for the Arizona Cardinals is that Ngakoue could be available via trade—and the Cardinals absolutely should be interested.
Arizona has a premier pass-rusher in Chandler Jones who finished second in the NFL with 19.0 sacks last season. However, the Cardinals lack a solid second pass-rushing option, and this is a role Ngakoue could fill perfectly.
Though not necessarily and top-tier edge-defender, Ngakoue has amassed at least 8.0 sacks in each of his four pro seasons. He'd be a terrific complement to Jones. At just 25 years old, he'd also be a great building block for the Cardinals.
This is a major selling point because Arizona is a team looking to build around second-year quarterback Kyler Murray for the future. Ngakoue could be a long-term piece of that plan.
Atlanta Falcons: Sign S Eric Reid
Given the uncertainty surrounding safety Keanu Neal's health—he ended back-to-back seasons on injured reserve—it would behoove the Atlanta Falcons to add some veteran insurance at safety. There might not be a better option for Atlanta than free agent Eric Reid.
At just 28 years old, Reid is still in the prime of his playing career. He's also coming off a strong season with the AFC South-rival Carolina Panthers.
In 2019, Reid amassed 130 tackles, six passes defended and a forced fumble.
Reid is a starting-caliber safety with plenty of experience going up against the division's top pass-catchers. As a starter, complementary piece or backup, he would be a valuable addition to the Atlanta secondary.
Baltimore Ravens: Sign EDGE Clay Matthews III
Though the Baltimore Ravens did trade for edge-defender Calais Campbell this offseason, they shouldn't be content to leave their pass rush as is. This is a unit that, despite playing with a lead throughout much of 2019, finished with just 37 sacks.
Picking up free-agent pass-rusher Clay Matthews III would add some punch to Baltimore's quarterback pursuit. Though he is 34 years old, the six-time Pro Bowler is still a productive player. He had 8.0 sacks for the Los Angeles Rams just last season.
Baltimore has shown previous interest in Matthews as well. According to NFL.com's Michael Silver, the Ravens actually offered Matthews more money last offseason than the Rams did.
Scooping up Matthews would add both talent and depth to a defense that could help push for a championship in 2020.
Buffalo Bills: Sign CB Logan Ryan
The Buffalo Bills have arguably the NFL's best young cornerback in Tre'Davious White. However, the starting spot opposite him isn't so reliable. Buffalo signed Josh Norman earlier this offseason, but he's coming off arguably the worst year of his career.
Washington soured on Norman in 2019, eventually pulling him from the defensive lineup altogether.
While a reunion with former Panthers defensive coordinator and current Bulls head coach Sean McDermott should benefit Norman, it wouldn't hurt for the Bills to add veteran depth to their cornerback room. Former Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan would be a great addition for that purpose.
While Ryan may no longer have the quickness to keep up with elite-speed receivers, he's a smart, physical veteran with experience playing in the AFC East. He's also capable of making game-changing plays, as evidenced by his 18 passes defended, 4.5 sacks and four interceptions last season.
By adding Ryan, the Bills should bolster their chances of surpassing his old team in the division.
Carolina Panthers: Trade for TE David Njoku
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku has requested a trade and is "intent" on being dealt. If the Browns acquiesce, the Carolina Panthers should be prepared to pounce.
The Panthers are rebuilding with new head coach Matt Rhule and journeyman quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, but the offensive potential is promising. New offensive coordinator Joe Brady is widely expected to bring creativity to the offense, and Carolina has young stars in Christian McCaffrey and DJ Moore. What the Panthers lack is a high-level tight end.
Longtime starter Greg Olsen departed for the Seattle Seahawks in free agency.
While Njoku hasn't been the epitome of reliability in his three pro seasons, he has flashed tremendous upside. The 2017 first-round pick caught 56 passes for 639 yards and four touchdowns in 2018 and could provide similar production for the Panthers in 2020.
Chicago Bears: Sign S Morgan Burnett
After having Ha Ha Clinton-Dix for all of one season, the Chicago Bears again find themselves without a proven strong safety on defense. Deon Bush, who has just eight career starts, is the most likely candidate to start alongside Eddie Jackson, which is potentially problematic for the Bears.
Adding veteran safety Morgan Burnett would give Chicago a proven, if perhaps underwhelming, option at safety.
While Burnett isn't the most versatile defensive back in the game, he's a physical and productive box safety with plenty of playing experience. The Georgia Tech product has appeared in 121 NFL games with the Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Browns.
Adding Burnett would give the Bears a seasoned starter and one with experience playing in the NFC North to boot—though he last suited up for Green Bay in 2017.
Cincinnati Bengals: Trade WR A.J. Green
According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, teams were willing to trade a first-round pick to the Cincinnati Bengals last season to acquire wideout A.J. Green. Cincinnati didn't bite, Green didn't play in 2019, and now the two parties are in limbo with an unsigned franchise-tag tender.
The Bengals tagged Green to ensure they'd have a veteran receiver to help guide rookie quarterback Joe Burrow. But if Green isn't interested in playing on the franchise tag—he's looking to be paid like a top wideout, according to Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer—the Bengals should take what they can get for him and cut ties.
Green was once one of the league's most dangerous receivers. However, he's coming off a season lost to an ankle injury and has produced just one 1,000-yard campaign in the last three seasons. The soon-to-be 32-year-old may never again be an elite pass-catcher, and paying him like one doesn't make sense for a Bengals franchise rebuilding around Burrow.
Moving on from Green would also fully open the door for young wideouts Tyler Boyd, John Ross III and rookie Tee Higgins.
Cleveland Browns: Sign DE Everson Griffen
The Cleveland Browns tried to add a complement for pass-rusher Myles Garrett when they traded for Olivier Vernon last offseason. However, Vernon was a disappointment in his first Browns season, amassing just 3.5 sacks.
Vernon is due to earn $15.5 million in 2020, but none of that money is guaranteed. This means Cleveland could theoretically replace him with a free agent while bettering its defense and saving a little of that proverbial fat cash.
Former Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen is a perfect target, should the Browns go this route. He's a productive pass-rusher even at 32—he had 8.0 sacks in 2019—and he'd be a familiar face for the Cleveland coaching staff.
New Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski began his NFL coaching career as an assistant with the Vikings in 2006 and remained on their staff for the entirety of Griffen's career. New defensive coordinator Joe Woods coached defensive backs in Minnesota for the first four years of Griffen's tenure. Both should be somewhat familiar with what Griffen brings to the table.
Dallas Cowboys: Sign EDGE Cameron Wake
In free agency, the Dallas Cowboys lost edge-rusher Robert Quinn, who was responsible for 11.5 sacks last season. In addition to his sack numbers, Quinn was valuable because he helped prevent opposing offenses from keying on pass-rusher DeMarcus Lawrence.
Replacing Quinn won't be easy, and the Cowboys are in a bit of a bind when it comes to chasing free agents. While they do have roughly $10.5 million in cap space, they would presumably like to work out a long-term deal with quarterback Dak Prescott before the July 15 deadline.
Therefore, Dallas should be looking exclusively at budget options, which is where veteran Cameron Wake comes in. Although Wake produced only 2.5 sacks for the Tennessee Titans last season, he had a double-digit-sack campaign as recently as 2017. Wake also has experience with Cowboys defensive coordinator Mike Nolan—the two were with the Miami Dolphins in 2010 and 2011, when Nolan served as defensive coordinator.
Perhaps more importantly, Wake shouldn't cost the Cowboys the bulk of their remaining cap space.
Denver Broncos: Trade RB Phillip Lindsay
Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay was a Pro Bowler as a rookie in 2018 and has had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. However, he may no longer be in Denver's long-term plans after the team inked Melvin Gordon to a two-year, $16 million deal in free agency. That's starter money, and the Broncos should indeed use Gordon as a workhorse back at that price.
This leaves Lindsay without a significant role, though, which Denver could use to its advantage. A proven 1,000-yard back should have plenty of value late in the offseason, and Denver might be able to pry a starting-caliber player from a running-back-needy team.
Perhaps the Broncos could nab an insurance policy at left tackle—where Garett Bolles committed 17 penalties last season, according to Pro Football Focus—or bolster last year's 16th-ranked run defense. There are several possibilities worth considering that would be more beneficial for 2020 than keeping Lindsay on the bench.
While depth may be a bit of a concern if Lindsay is moved, Denver still has 2018 third-round pick Royce Freeman on the roster.
Detroit Lions: Sign DE Markus Golden
While the New York Giants did give edge-rusher Markus Golden the seldom-used unrestricted free-agent (UFA) tender, another team has until July 22 to sign him without any repercussions aside from the contract itself. Nothing will be owed to New York.
The Detroit Lions should take a flier on Golden before that July 22 deadline, as they sorely need a boost in pass-rush production. Last season, the Lions ranked 31st in passing yards allowed while amassing just 28 sacks as a team.
While Golden isn't an elite sack artist, he did post double-digit sacks for the second time in his career last season. Financially, Detroit probably wouldn't have to commit much to find out if Golden can make it a third time in 2020.
The UFA tender only guarantees Golden 110 percent of his 2019 salary if he remains with the Giants. That would put his 2020 salary at roughly $4.12 million, according to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. Any offer notably higher should be enough to get Golden's attention.
Green Bay Packers: Sign Wideout Taylor Gabriel
The Green Bay Packers have an elite wide receiver in Davante Adams, but they struggled to identify a reliable second option throughout 2019. The Packers did add possession man Devin Funchess in free agency, and perhaps he can become that No. 2 as a possession guy.
However, Funchess isn't the sort of burner who can exploit a secondary's focus on Adams. What the Packers need is a true burner alongside Adams, and free-agent wideout Taylor Gabriel can be that guy.
Though he isn't an archetypal perimeter receiver, Gabriel can wreak havoc vertically out of the slot. He's quick and shifty in traffic, and he can definitely take the top off of a defense.
According to ESPN's Vaughn McClure, Gabriel ran a 4.27-second 40-yard dash at Abilene Christian's pro day. That's the sort of speed the Packers lack and the sort that can provide a big boost to their downfield passing game.
Houston Texans: Trade for Safety Jamal Adams
If the New York Jets are going to listen to offers for All-Pro safety Jamal Adams (more on that later), the Houston Texans should make a move. Their playoff window with quarterback Deshaun Watson was thrust wide-open last season, but pass defense remains an issue.
In 2019, the Texans ranked 29th in pass defense while amassing only 31 sacks in the regular season. While Adams is more of a box safety than a true pass-defender, he can help improve both of these numbers. Last season, he racked up 75 tackles, 6.5 sacks and seven passes defended.
Pairing Adams with Justin Reid would give Houston one of the better safety tandems in the AFC, and while extending him won't come cheaply, Houston should be able to afford a trade-and-sign agreement.
Houston currently has over $19 million in cap space remaining.
Indianapolis Colts: Bring Back DE Jabaal Sheard
With the addition of free-agent quarterback Philip Rivers, the Indianapolis Colts essentially announced they're in win-now mode in 2020. Considering two playoff teams reside in the AFC South—Houston and the Tennessee Titans—winning now is a tall order.
If the Colts hope to be competitive, they need to continue shoring up their defense, which ranked 16th in yards and 18th in points allowed last season.
Trading for defensive tackle DeForest Buckner was a tremendous move that should aid edge-rusher Justin Houston. However, the Colts lack a reliable edge-defender opposite Houston, which is where former Indianapolis standout Jabaal Sheard comes in. He isn't an elite sack artist, but he did have 4.5 sacks in 2019 and had 15.5 sacks in his three Colts seasons.
Given his familiarity with defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus' system, Sheard is arguably the best budget option left on the market for Indianapolis, and picking him back up should be a low-risk move.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Trade DE Yannick Ngakoue
As previously mentioned, Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue should be available before the start of the regular season. Why? Because the Jaguars should trade him.
Jacksonville gave Ngakoue the franchise tag this offseason, a move that didn't sit well with the former Maryland standout. He has not yet signed his franchise tender and has publicly lobbied for a trade throughout the offseason.
According to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, Ngakoue "might not play this season" rather than play on the franchise tag.
However, while the Kansas City Chiefs may be able to smooth things over with defensive tackle Chris Jones, Ngakoue appears as disinterested in playing for Jacksonville as he is in playing on the tag.
"It's obvious my time is up in my current situation," he tweeted. "Let's both move on."
Trading Ngakoue and at least getting something in return would be the smart play for the Jaguars. By keeping him, they risk a season-long holdout and losing him for nothing next offseason.
Kansas City Chiefs: Extend DT Chris Jones
While Ngakoue appears ready to end his time with the Jaguars, Chris Jones isn't opposed to continuing his Chiefs career. He just doesn't want to play on the franchise tag this season.
The standout defensive tackle recently responded on Twitter to speculation that a deal short of $20 million per season might not be enough.
"Or I won't play," Jones tweeted. "[Le'Veon Bell] told me about this."
Bell famously sat out the 2018 season, and it's possible Jones could do the same this year. Given that he's arguably Kansas City's best defensive player, that could have a hugely negative impact on the coming season.
The Chiefs need to get an extension done before the July 15 deadline to do so passes.
Las Vegas Raiders: Sign CB Darqueze Dennard
This offseason, the Las Vegas Raiders took steps to address their pass defense, which ranked 25th in 2019. They signed safeties Jeff Heath and Damarious Randall, added coverage linebacker Cory Littleton and drafted Ohio State cornerback Damon Arnette in the first round.
Still, the Raiders could afford to add more veteran depth to their secondary, and former Bengals corner Darqueze Dennard could be a perfect fit in their defensive system.
Dennard isn't a high-level starter, but he does have six years of NFL experience. Four of those came under Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, who was then the defensive coordinator in Cincinnati.
Guenther was in charge of Cincinnati's defense when the Bengals drafted Dennard in the first round in 2014, and adding the cornerback on a short-term incentive-laden deal would make a ton of sense for Las Vegas. If he's still a fit for the coordinator's defense, he'd instantly be a valuable veteran depth piece. If he isn't, the Raiders could release him with little financial repercussion.
Los Angeles Chargers: Sign OT Kelvin Beachum
The Los Angeles Chargers traded for Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner this offseason. While the move shored up one spot on the offensive line, it opened another. As part of the deal, L.A. gave up starting left tackle Russell Okung.
The Chargers added tackle Bryan Bulaga in free agency, but he primarily played right tackle with the Packers—though he did play some on the left side in college. Even if he adequately replaces Okung on the left side, it leaves a questionable Sam Tevi as the likely starter on the right.
Tevi plated 782 snaps in 2019 and allowed eight sacks, according to Pro Football Focus.
The Chargers should give themselves lineup options by bringing in free-agent tackle Kelvin Beachum. While he isn't considered an elite left tackle, he is an experienced veteran with 99 pro starts under his belt.
Los Angeles Rams: Sign OG Larry Warford
The Los Angeles Rams lost standout guard Rodger Saffold in 2019 free agency, and they failed to adequately replace him during the regular season. They have an opportunity to do so now as Pro Bowler Larry Warford remains on the free-agent market.
While Warford isn't exactly a household name, he is a well-respected veteran guard coming off back-to-back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons. At 29 years old, he should still have several prime playing years ahead of him.
The Rams should be looking to bolster the interior of their line after parting with running back Todd Gurley and averaging just 3.7 yards per carry as a team last season. Warford is the most enticing interior option available, and L.A. should be quick to pull the trigger.
While he isn't a budget option, the Rams have just over $6 million in cap space and should be able to work out a backloaded bonus-heavy deal.
Miami Dolphins: Trade for Edge Bud Dupree
The Miami Dolphins added some key pieces to their defense this offseason, most notably cornerback Byron Jones and edge-rusher Shaq Lawson. While those additions should help bolster a pass defense that ranked 26th in the NFL last season, Miami could afford to continue boosting its pass rush.
As a team, the Dolphins produced a league-low 23 sacks in 2019.
They should try to pry pass-rusher Bud Dupree away from the Pittsburgh Steelers before the start of the season. Though he only has one year of high-end production on his resume—11.5 sacks last season—he is only 27 years old and would fit well with the team's current rebuild.
Taking on Dupree's franchise-tag tender shouldn't be an issue for Miami, which has roughly $28 million left in cap space. Doing so would aid head coach Brian Flores in building the sort of smothering defense he helmed with the New England Patriots.
Minnesota Vikings: Extend RB Dalvin Cook
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is one of the league's brightest young offensive stars when he's healthy. However, he's looking to be paid like an elite running back after just one healthy season and has hinted at a holdout if a deal doesn't happen.
"He's out," a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. "Without a reasonable extension, he will not be showing up for camp or beyond."
The Vikings obviously should want to avoid a holdout, and while giving Cook a lucrative long-term deal after just one (mostly) complete season is risky, perhaps they can find a compromise.
A two- or three-year incentive-based extension could give Cook the financial security he's seeking while protecting Minnesota from potential injury risks. The Vikings don't necessarily have to pay him like one of the league's best backs, but a sizeable raise over his $2.02 million salary for 2020 should be enough to get him into camp.
New England Patriots: Trade OG Joe Thuney
While this might not be a full-on rebuilding year for the Patriots, New England will at least have to re-tool now that Tom Brady is no longer under center. While the Patriots may still be competitive with either Jarrett Stidham or Cam Newton at quarterback, they are no longer the AFC East locks they've been for the last 20 years.
What's potentially even more problematic is the fact that if the Patriots need to solidify a position before the start of the season, they're ill-equipped to do so financially. After adding Newton late last month, New England is left with roughly $1.5 million in cap space.
Trading guard Joe Thuney would help free up valuable cap space, giving the Patriots some flexibility heading into the season. New England shouldn't have too much trouble finding a trade partner given Thuney's age (27) and consistency. According to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, the Philadelphia Eagles could explore trading for him to replace the injured Brandon Brooks.
The Patriots do have needs, notably at receiver and tight end, but without making a move like this one, there's really no way to address them.
New Orleans Saints: Sign CB Dre Kirkpatrick
The New Orleans Saints don't have many truly glaring needs, but they could use depth in the secondary after parting with cornerback Eli Apple in the offseason—especially important while looking at a limited window with Drew Brees at quarterback. Plus, they ranked a good-not-great 20th in passing yards allowed last season.
Because of that limited window, the Saints should be looking toward proven veterans for that secondary depth. Longtime Bengals starter Dre Kirkpatrick is just such a veteran.
Though he has never been a Pro Bowler, Kirkpatrick has been a reliable starting corner for four of the past five seasons—he was limited to six games in 2019 due to a knee injury.
Kirkpatrick has a total of 67 starts under his belt, and he may be willing to sign a team-friendly deal in order to reestablish his market value and finally have a shot at a playoff victory.
New York Giants: Sign Devonta Freeman
The idea of the New York Giants signing free-agent running back Devonta Freeman may seem counterintuitive given the presence of superstar Sqauon Barkley. However, adding the versatile runner and receiver would go a long way toward keeping Barkley on the field for a full 16 games.
Though Barkley is a special back when at 100 percent, he missed three games due to injury last season and has already seen 621 touches in his two-year career. The risk of him being overworked is real, and if the Giants are going to be at all competitive in 2020, they'll need to avoid that.
Freeman has worked well in a committee backfield before, racking up more than 1,500 combined rushing and receiving yards while splitting time with Tevin Coleman in 2015. He obviously would play a much smaller role while working alongside Barkley, but even if he took six to eight touches per game, that would significantly reduce the wear and tear on the incumbent over the course of the season.
The Giants do have the tandem of Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman behind Barkley, but Freeman would offer much more flexibility from a single roster spot. With more than $16 million in cap space available, the Giants could afford to add him.
New York Jets: Trade S Jamal Adams
New York Jets safety Jamal Adams has officially requested permission to seek a trade, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. While the Jets would presumably like to keep their Pro Bowl safety, there a couple of reasons why they should pull the trigger on a trade.
For one, a disgruntled Adams is a holdout risk and a big potential distraction. During a season in which the Jets are trying to gauge whether Sam Darnold can be a franchise quarterback, that could be problematic.
Even if Adams agrees to play in New York this season, his contract status would be a potential distraction. According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Adams is likely to want at least $20 million per season in a new deal. The Jets should not be eager to give that sort of money to a box safety, and a season-long dispute could ensue.
Dealing Adams would help prevent chemistry issues and distractions. If the Jets can get a starting-caliber player as part of the deal, all the better.
Philadelphia Eagles: Sign OT Jason Peters
Solidifying the offensive line should be a top priority for the Eagles between now and the regular season. Finding a replacement for injured guard Brandon Brooks will be a big part of that, but they should also consider depth at the tackle position.
While projected starting left tackle Andre Dillard has shown flashes of promise, he also carries serious questions. He has just four starts under his belt and may not be prepared to steady the position in the wake of nine-time Pro Bowler Jason Peters' departure.
If the Eagles have the chance to bring back Peters for another season, they should. And according to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Derrick Gunn, they do.
"Jason Peters, they know what he is, what he's capable of doing," Gunn told Jon Marks and Ike Reese on the 94WIP Marks & Reese Show. "From what I've been told, Peters turned down offers from elsewhere because he wants to stay with the Eagles."
By bringing back Peters, the Eagles would buy themselves time to develop Dillard while ensuring they have a high-end blindside blocker protecting Carson Wentz.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Trade Edge Bud Dupree
The Steelers placed the franchise tag on pass-rusher Bud Dupree this offseason despite him having exactly one year of strong production. He had 11.5 sacks in 2019 and 20 combined sacks in the four previous years.
Dupree was quick to sign his tender, which has contributed to the Steelers having less than $6 million in cap space available. That's a bit of an issue because if quarterback Ben Roethlisberger struggles to return to form after last year's elbow injury, Pittsburgh will need to add another quarterback. The tandem of Devlin Hodges and Mason Rudolph was woefully inefficient in 2019.
The Steelers also run the very real risk of Dupree being a one-year wonder. They should eliminate that risk—and his financial burden—by moving him before the start of the regular season.
Plenty of teams out there can afford to take on the financial risk, and Pittsburgh should be able to get something of reasonable value in return for him.
San Francisco 49ers: Trade for Wideout A.J. Green
The San Francisco 49ers should place a call to the Bengals to see if they can acquire wideout A.J. Green. Though the recently oft-injured Green may no longer be the elite pass-catcher he once was, he could be the sort of reliable and consistent veteran San Francisco had in Emmanuel Sanders over the second half of 2019.
Adding Green would give quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo a go-to target in clutch situations. It would also provide insurance for second-year wideout Deebo Samuel, who suffered a foot injury while training this offseason.
Samuel underwent surgery as a result of the Jones fracture, and there's no guarantee he'll be available by Week 1 or when he'll be back to 100 percent. If he's out of the lineup, Garoppolo will be relying on Jalen Hurd, Kendrick Bourne, Travis Benjamin and rookie Brandon Aiyuk.
The biggest risk with acquiring Green is financial as the 49ers would have to clear a bit of cap space to absorb his franchise-tag number ($17.9 million). They have just under $12 million in space. Still, it would be worth a little shuffling to bring in Green for the season.
Seattle Seahawks: Bring Back DE Jadeveon Clowney
Even with Jadeveon Clowney on the roster, the Seattle Seahawks managed just 28 sacks as a team in 2019. However, Clowney is the best edge-defender remaining on the open market, and it's worth noting that he was hampered by a sports hernia last season.
A healthy Clowney could be exactly what the Seahawks need to make their defense a playoff-caliber unit. He has stated he is open to a reunion, as well.
"I loved Seattle when I was there this last year," Clowney said, per Patrick Olde Loohuis of Seahawks Wire. "I loved everybody on the coaching staff. I wouldn't trade them guys in. I hope we can work something out if anything happens. I did like it up there."
While Seattle can't match every deal that may come Clowney's way between now and the start of the 2020 season, they aren't completely strapped for cap space, either. They currently have just under $14 million.
Even if Seattle has to get a little creative to bring Clowney back into the fold, it should do so before another franchise takes him off the market.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Trade TE O.J. Howard
It had appeared that Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard might be on his way out of town even before the offseason. Though physically gifted, he drew criticism from head coach Bruce Arians for his lack of dependability and consistency.
"He's a talented, talented guy, but it's not showing up on Sundays," Arians said, per Eduardo A. Encina of the Tampa Bay Times.
That lack of consistency isn't going to fly with new Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. With Brady favorite Rob Gronkowski joining Howard and Cameron Brate in the tight end room, someone is likely going to be on the way out.
According to The Athletic's Jeff Howe, the only reason Howard hasn't been dealt yet is Tampa's asking price. With just two months to go before the season, though, the team should be willing to drop its price and get what it can for the 25-year-old.
Tennessee Titans: Sign OT Demar Dotson
The Titans had a roster that was good enough to reach the AFC title game last season, and much of that roster is back for 2020. The notable exception is right tackle Jack Conklin, who departed for the Browns in free agency.
Conklin is one of the better right tackles in the NFL, and while Tennessee drafted Georgia's Isaiah Wilson to help replace him, it wouldn't hurt to add some veteran depth on the right side. Longtime Buccaneers starter Demar Dotson is still available and could immediately start if Wilson isn't ready—a real possibility given the unusual nature of this offseason.
A 10-year veteran, Dotson has appeared in 130 games and started 106 during his NFL career. Even if Wilson proves ready to handle starting duties, he could be valuable as a backup, veteran insurance and a mentor.
Armed with the most cap space of any team in the league, Tennessee has almost no reason not to bring in Dotson.
Washington: Trade for TE O.J. Howard
Washington is likely to have a quarterback competition this season between 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins and trade acquisition Kyle Allen, who previously played for head coach Ron Rivera in Carolina. Whichever signal-caller emerges with the starting job is going to find himself with a limited arsenal of pass-catchers.
At receiver, there's pretty much Terry McLaurin and everyone else. Things are even more underwhelming at tight end, where undrafted rookie Thaddeus Moss might have the most upside as a pass-catcher.
If the Buccaneers are willing to part with tight end O.J. Howard, Washington should pounce. While he isn't the most consistently reliable tight end in the game, he would provide a presence for which opposing defenses would have to account.
Last season, Howard caught 34 passes for 459 yards and a touchdown while splitting time with Cameron Brate. Given the amount of tight end depth the Buccaneers possess, he could probably be obtained on the cheap, and he would, at minimum, give Washington's quarterback a second weapon to target downfield.
Contract and cap information via Spotrac.