NFL Rumors: Analyzing Free-Agent Buzz on Kenny Golladay, Andy Dalton, More

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IMarch 16, 2021

NFL Rumors: Analyzing Free-Agent Buzz on Kenny Golladay, Andy Dalton, More

0 of 3

    Tony Ding/Associated Press

    While NFL free agency doesn't begin until Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET, the legal tampering period started Monday. And it didn't take long for players to start coming off the market and agreeing to deals with teams.

    Shaquil Barrett is returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. John Johnson III is joining the Cleveland Browns. And the New England Patriots went on a free-agent frenzy, agreeing to deals with a host of players, including Jonnu Smith and Matt Judon.

    But there are plenty of unsigned players still available, including some of the best players hitting the market. Most notably, numerous top wide receivers have yet to sign with teams, so Kenny Golladay, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Will Fuller V and more will be among the names to look for in the days to come.

    As the legal tampering period continues on Tuesday, here's some of the latest free-agent buzz from around the NFL.

Which Teams Are Pursuing Golladay Early in Free Agency?

1 of 3

    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    It appears Golladay is in no rush to make a decision on his next team. The 27-year-old wide receiver told ESPN's Josina Anderson on Monday that he's "being patient right now" and "just enjoying the process." But there are likely plenty of teams that would like to acquire the former Pro Bowler.

    According to The Record's Art Stapleton, the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins are "believed to be two of the most interested suitors" for Golladay, while Stapleton noted that there could also be other teams in the mix. Both teams have young quarterbacks (the Giants' Daniel Jones and the Dolphins' Tua Tagovailoa), and Golladay would give them a No. 1 playmaker to utilize in the offense.

    Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported that one agent "considered Miami the front-runner for Golladay, but that was just his opinion from talking to teams." If the Dolphins paired Golladay with DeVante Parker in their receiving corps, it could take their offense to a new level.

    Golladay spent his first four NFL seasons with the Detroit Lions, who selected him in the third round of the 2017 NFL draft. His best season came in 2019, when he had 65 receptions for 1,190 yards and 11 touchdowns in 16 games. In 2020, he was limited to five games due to injury, recording 20 catches for 338 yards and two touchdowns.

Dalton Could Have Opportunity to Be Starter

2 of 3

    Adam Hunger/Associated Press

    If Andy Dalton returns to the Dallas Cowboys in 2021, he'll clearly be the backup quarterback. The Cowboys signed Dak Prescott to a four-year, $160 million deal last week, and they'll continue to build their offense around him moving forward.

    Still, Anderson reported that Dallas has interest in bringing back Dalton "if it works out" financially. However, Anderson also heard from her source that Dalton has been "entertaining other offers to start."

    It's possible that one of those offers could be coming from the Chicago Bears. According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, one source believes that Dalton could soon be signing with the Bears, who are in the market for a quarterback with Mitchell Trubisky hitting free agency.

    If Dalton signs with Chicago, then he could be battling with Nick Foles for the starting job when the preseason arrives. Foles started seven games for the Bears last season, but none after Week 10 as the Bears opted to stick with Trubisky after a hip injury briefly sidelined Foles.

    After spending his first nine NFL seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, Dalton signed a one-year deal with Dallas last offseason to be its backup. When Prescott went down with a season-ending ankle injury in Week 5, Dalton took over. The 33-year-old played in 11 games and made nine starts, passing for 2,170 yards, 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Browns Potentially Have Interest in Griffin?

3 of 3

    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Shaquill Griffin has spent his first four NFL seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, but the two sides could be going in separate directions this offseason. According to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, the Seahawks "would love to have him back," but Griffin and the team are "not in the same ballpark on money right now."

    "Griffin is going to go to the market and see what’s available there and Seattle is saying, ‘Keep us in the loop, we’d be interested in having you back at a certain number,'" Garafolo said during his appearance on Good Morning Football.

    One team that could also be interested in Griffin is the Cleveland Browns. Anderson reported that the Browns are "keeping an eye on" the 25-year-old cornerback and his market. Cleveland already has a strong secondary, as it reportedly agreed to a deal with safety John Johnson III on Monday, adding to a unit featuring cornerbacks Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams.

    Although Griffin played a career-low 12 games in 2020, he notched a career-high three interceptions to go along with 63 tackles and 12 pass deflections.