Bold offseason predictions for all 32 teams
Bold offseason predictions for all 32 teams
Where will Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown land? Which teams will acquire a new starting quarterback? Who’s trading down in the draft? We have fearless predictions for every team.
Scan through all 32 teams by division, or click here to jump ahead to your team:
The Bills trade down and make two first-round draft picks.
At No. 9, Buffalo could be an enticing trade partner for a team seeking a quarterback or looking to nab a top-tier defensive lineman who is slipping down the board. If the Bills decide to pass up the best player available, their No. 9 selection (worth 1,350 points) is worth roughly the same as the Raiders’ Nos. 24 and 27 picks (1,420) on the traditional trade-value chart. General manager Brandon Beane said at the Senior Bowl the Bills don’t need to be in the top 10, so expect Buffalo to discuss trading down.— Mike Rodak
Miami releases QB Ryan Tannehill and replaces him with a rookie.
Tannehill’s time with the Dolphins is coming to an end and the easy fix would be to trade for or sign Nick Foles, Joe Flacco or Teddy Bridgewater. Instead, Dolphins GM Chris Grier passes on that option, falls in love with a quarterback in the 2019 draft and selects him with the intention of being the starter. Kyler Murray would make a lot of sense in that situation given that Miami loved Baker Mayfield last year. — Cameron Wolfe
The Patriots load up at receiver.
Similar to 2007, when they traded for Randy Moss and Wes Welker, New England will bring in a few receivers following a season in which they were limited at the position. Whether that’s early in the draft, in free agency or via trade, the cupboard will be well-stocked.— Mike Reiss
The Jets miss out on Le’Veon Bell in free agency, but …
… rebound by signing Tevin Coleman as part of a backfield overhaul. They will cut Isaiah Crowell, a mediocre free-agent signing from last year, and say goodbye to Bilal Powell, 30, their longest-tenured player who hits free agency. They will go into the season with Coleman, Elijah McGuire and Trenton Cannon as their top three backs. — Rich Cimini
The Ravens sign Mark Ingram in free agency.
Baltimore has done its best with patchwork at running back over the past four seasons — from Justin Forsett to Terrance West to Alex Collins to Gus Edwards — but the team needs a proven featured back in building an offense around Lamar Jackson. Under offensive coordinator Greg Roman, veteran runners such as Frank Gore and LeSean McCoy have thrived. Ingram is the type of durable, physical and efficient back (4.5-yard career average) who would be the perfect fit in Baltimore’s offense. — Jamison Hensley
The Bengals shake up the linebacking corps, and that could mean parting ways with Vontaze Burfict.
The linebackers were a disaster in 2018. The three starting linebackers at the beginning of the season never played together due to suspensions and injuries. The biggest question mark is Burfict, who hasn’t played a full season in years and has sustained an alarming number of concussions. With a new coaching staff in place, it makes sense that the Bengals might move on from Burfict and look to draft a linebacker. — Katherine Terrell
Dan Graziano explains why he likes Cleveland to come out on top in the AFC North in the 2019 season.
The Browns release linebacker Jamie Collins.
Collins has been good with the Browns, but his contract pays him to be great. He has not hit that level, and he’s due to be paid $22 million in salary the next two seasons. Cutting him would cost the Browns only $2.5 million under the 2019 salary cap, and give Cleveland $9.25 million in salary-cap room. — Pat McManamon
The Steelers trade Antonio Brown as soon as possible after seriously contemplating releasing him outright.
Trading Brown for a high draft pick is the prudent move, but a deal can’t be finalized until March 13, and the team might be ready to move on now after news of a domestic dispute surfaced this week. Releasing him with a post-June 1 designation would save around $15 million in salary-cap space. That’s awfully tempting for an organization that needs to reset its standard for tolerance after Brown’s repeated struggles. — Jeremy Fowler
Le’Veon Bell calls Houston home in 2019.
The Texans have a Pro Bowl quarterback and receiver in Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins and a defense that’s led by J.J. Watt. Bell, who didn’t play a down for Pittsburgh in 2018, will elevate Houston’s offense and allow Watt and the defense more time on the sideline while pushing the Colts for the top spot in the AFC South. — Mike Wells
General manager Chris Ballard shakes the notion he won’t spend big on free agents when he …
… uses some of the Colts’ $120 million in salary-cap space to sign a pass-rusher to elevate Indy’s defense. Who will that pass-rusher be? Kansas City’s Dee Ford, Houston’s Jadeveon Clowney and Dallas’ DeMarcus Lawrence are the top free-agent pass-rushers. Ballard signs the one who doesn’t get franchise-tagged. — Mike Wells
Todd McShay has QB Dwayne Haskins going No. 6 to the Giants in his NFL Mock Draft 2.0, but can envision a team trading up to grab him earlier.
The Jaguars trade up to land their top quarterback in the draft.
It would be out of character for the Jaguars to part with draft picks and be willing to pay the $25 million franchise-tag amount it would take to land Nick Foles, especially since they have $16.5 million in dead money with Blake Bortles. The Jaguars will sign a veteran quarterback and move up to ensure they land Dwayne Haskins. Tom Coughlin still believes in winning with the running game and defense (and the Patriots proved you can win a title that way), and that’s how they will mitigate playing with a rookie QB.— Mike DiRocco
Za’Darius Smith is reunited with Dean Pees in Tennessee.
The Titans are desperately in need of a veteran impact player to help improve their pass rush. Smith had 8.5 sacks, 25 QB hits and 10 tackles for loss for the Ravens last season. Pees was at Smith’s pro day back in 2015 at Kentucky. The two still have a close relationship. Expect Smith to fetch a significant contract from the Titans and be their prize free-agent signing. — Turron Davenport
The Broncos fill up the quarterback depth chart.
Denver will dive into free agency for a quarterback, use a premium draft pick on a prospect and keep Case Keenum until it sorts out things for the season. The Broncos do not have a quarterback on their roster that they drafted, and their returning starter (Keenum) has one year left on his deal after a season when he looked somewhat overwhelmed. Missing on Paxton Lynch, a 2016 first-rounder Denver traded up to select, is a mistake that set back the Broncos for years as they kept waiting for him to come around and win the job. It’s time to do with quarterback what they’ve done at other positions: commit the resources to pack it with potential starters and see who’s got the moxie to win.— Jeff Legwold
Kansas City during last season re-signed two interior offensive linemen in Austin Reiter and Cam Erving to help prepare for Morse’s departure. The Chiefs might have to choose between Nelson and their other starting cornerback, Kendall Fuller, whose contract is set to expire at the end of next season. — Adam Teicher
The Chargers draft a quarterback.
Bolts GM Tom Telesco has not drafted a quarterback since selecting Brad Sorensen in the seventh round of the 2013 draft, his first year with the Chargers. Philip Rivers is perhaps the most durable quarterback in the NFL and is playing at a high level, but he’s 37 years old and the Chargers need to start developing a young signal-caller to eventually replace him. — Eric D. Williams
The Raiders make a legitimate run at Antonio Brown.
You did say “bold,” right? What would be more bold than the “Parts Unknown” Raiders, who have four picks among the first 36 selections of the NFL draft and need a No. 1 wideout, going all-in for a totally known commodity in the temperamental All-Pro receiver? Jon Gruden loves veterans, and he might love Brown even more, calling the nine-year pro the “hardest-working” player he has ever seen in practice. “I’ve seen Jerry Rice,” Gruden said in December. “I’ve seen a lot of good ones. But I put Antonio Brown at the top.” — Paul Gutierrez
The Cowboys sign Dak Prescott to a long-term extension.
Maybe it’s not so bold considering Jerry Jones has said all along Prescott is the Cowboys’ quarterback of the future. But how about a six-year extension worth $168 million that includes $65 million in guarantees? Is that bold enough? Prescott has helped the Cowboys to the playoffs twice in his three seasons, played in the Pro Bowl twice in three years and has shown he has the moxie to handle difficult in-game situations when the team needs him most. — Todd Archer
Max Kellerman states his case that if Nick Foles does find another team, the Giants and Vikings would be good destinations for him.
The Giants trade up to get quarterback Dwayne Haskins in the draft.
Yes, they finally concede that the time has come to really find Eli Manning‘s successor, and are willing to do whatever is necessary to land their target. In this case, it’s Haskins, the Ohio State signal-caller. The cost will be their first-round pick plus more draft capital, potentially a future first-round pick. GM Dave Gettleman watched in 2004 as Ernie Accorsi did whatever was necessary to get Manning. He does whatever is necessary to get the top QB in this draft. — Jordan Raanan
The Eagles draft a defensive lineman in the first round this April.
Executive VP of football operations Howie Roseman described this defensive-line draft class as “historic,” and with Brandon Graham heading into free agency and others like Chris Long and Michael Bennett in the twilight of their careers, Philly will be looking to replenish along the defensive front.— Tim McManus
The Redskins have expressed a desire to retain both players. But there has been little movement toward re-signing either. Because of the importance of pass-rushers, Smith will have a strong market considering he’s only 26 years old, has good length and has shown he can be a durable all-around player. His price tag could reach around $14 million per year, which would be a lot for someone with 24.5 career sacks — and for a team with approximately $20 million in cap space right now. They’d love to keep Crowder and he would be cheaper to retain than Smith. But he could fetch at least $8 million per year on the open market, and that will be tough for the Redskins to match. — John Keim
The Bears bring back kicker Robbie Gould.
After Cody Parkey‘s struggles, there’s no way they can bring him back even though his $3.5 million in salary and bonuses is guaranteed for 2019. Gould, the Bears’ kicker from 2005-15, will be a free agent if the 49ers don’t re-sign or tag him before March 13. Gould still makes his home in Chicago, so it would be a natural fit. — Rob Demovsky
The Lions focus heavily on defense, both in the draft and free agency.
Last season was all about rebuilding the offensive line and running game (which has been partially accomplished). Detroit will have to do some revamping of its offense to fit what new coordinator Darrell Bevell wants to run, but playmakers are needed at every level of the defense. So don’t be surprised if the Lions try to sign a strong corner opposite Darius Slay and bring in a high-level player as a pass-rusher. Who those players are remains to be seen, but in free agency the Lions could be bigger players for some bigger names than they usually are. — Michael Rothstein
GM Brian Gutekunst makes a strong push for Le’Veon Bell.
New coach Matt LaFleur’s Shanahan/McVay-based offense works best when it revolves around a dominant running back, and the Packers don’t have one. They have two capable ball carriers in Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams, but neither is a franchise-changing back. Bell is. He’ll be costly, but at this stage of Aaron Rodgers‘ career, he could use a dominant running back to take some of the pressure off him. The Packers came up short in their pursuit last year of Khalil Mack. Gutekunst will do everything he can not to come up short on Bell. — Rob Demovsky
The Vikings trade cornerback Xavier Rhodes.
Mike Zimmer would likely fight tooth and nail against losing one of his star defensive players. But Minnesota’s best chance at bolstering its weakest link — the offensive line — might come from cutting into an area where the Vikings are OK depthwise and have valuable trade leverage. Coming off the most difficult season of his career, Rhodes will turn 29 ahead of the 2019 campaign and account for $13.4 million against the salary cap. Minnesota’s crop of cornerback talent is in a good spot with Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander, Mike Hughes (who is coming off an ACL injury) and the early rise of undrafted free agent Holton Hill. Trading Rhodes now, knowing they’re in a good spot with their rest of their corners, could provide the Vikings with an option to garner more talent for the O-line. — Courtney Cronin
The Falcons make Julio Jones the league’s highest-paid wide receiver at $20 million per year.
GM Thomas Dimitroff already said Jones’ contract would be addressed with two years and $26.4 million remaining. Jones’ current average of $14.25 million ranks 11th among receivers, with Odell Beckham Jr. topping the list at $18 million per year. — Vaughn McClure
Left tackle Matt Kalil will be released.
With a post-June 1 designation, the Panthers will clear just shy of $7.3 million from the salary cap for a player who missed all of last season with a knee injury and was just average in 2017. The Panthers have many needs they could fill using that cap space. They also have the option of moving right tackle Taylor Moton to the left side and re-signing free agent Daryl Williams, who was the starting right tackle in 2017 before injuries ended his 2018 season. Kalil’s five-year, $55.5 million deal was a mistake from the beginning. — David Newton
The Saints add a well-known slot receiver.
Tight end is probably a more glaring need in New Orleans. But one way or another, the Saints need to add another reliable pass-catcher after their offense fizzled down the stretch. And the list of pending free agents at slot receiver — including Golden Tate, Randall Cobb, Adam Humphries, Jamison Crowder and Cole Beasley — is way more intriguing than the slim pickings at tight end. — Mike Triplett
The Bucs release DeSean Jackson after failing to find a trade partner.
This shouldn’t come as a shock to fans, but it’ll be the biggest development this offseason unless they part ways with Gerald McCoy, too (that’s a real possibility if they can’t restructure his deal or trade him). Jackson has grown increasingly frustrated with his lack of chemistry with Jameis Winston. It’ll be tempting for new coach Bruce Arians to try to make this relationship work, but a clean break could be best. The reason this hasn’t already happened is the Bucs believe there’s trade value there. Parting ways with Jackson will save the Bucs $10 million, which is much needed considering they enter 2019 with approximately $15 million in cap room. — Jenna Laine
The Cardinals trade the No. 1 overall pick.
While there are plenty of defensive options for Arizona to take at No. 1, with a new coach in Kliff Kingsbury, the Cardinals would be better suited to trade back to the middle of the top 10 and stockpile picks Kingsbury can use to bolster what was the league’s worst offense in 2018. While they’re already slated to have about nine or 10 picks, they could increase that by three or four more this year by trading back, and use those picks to essentially revamp one or both sides of the ball. — Josh Weinfuss
The Rams sign coach Sean McVay to a contract extension.
The Rams signed McVay to a five-year deal when they made him the youngest head coach in modern NFL history in 2017. Three seasons remain on that deal, but after clinching back-to-back division titles and taking the Rams to the Super Bowl in Year 2, you can bet the Rams will want to make sure they keep McVay around — and keep him well paid — into the foreseeable future. — Lindsey Thiry
The 49ers sign safety Earl Thomas.
For the second year in a row, the Niners will add a former part of the “Legion of Boom” after grabbing Richard Sherman last year. Sherman already has said he’s willing to help recruit Thomas if needed, and while Thomas should have no shortage of suitors, the fit in San Francisco is as obvious for him as it was for Sherman in 2018. Thomas would instantly provide the stability the Niners clearly missed in the secondary last season while adding another valuable leader for a young defense.— Nick Wagoner
The Seahawks re-sign fewer than half of their 14 players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents.
Frank Clark seems like the only sure thing among that group to be back next season — be it on a franchise tag or a multiyear deal. Earl Thomas and Sebastian Janikowski are likely goners, and the Seahawks won’t get into bidding wars to keep K.J. Wright, Dion Jordan, D.J. Fluker or J.R. Sweezy, given their ages or injury histories. Last offseason, the Seahawks signed so many free agents that their additions offset their losses, resulting in no compensatory picks for 2019. They’ll take a more conservative approach this year with an eye toward getting younger and bolstering their draft capital. — Brady Henderson