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May 5, 2021

Top 15 free agents of 2018: Quarterbacks top the board

4 min read

Before attending to the preliminary list of the pinnacle 15 unrestricted free agents of 2018 underneath, there are some disclaimers to cover.

Many of the biggest names might not ever make it to loose enterprise because they’ll get an extended-term deal or the franchise tag. The change market — in particular at quarterback — figures to be extra active than ever in a league in which fewer teams have actual revenue-cap issues. there’ll inevitably additionally be a few marvel names delivered to the loose-agent pool when groups begin to make roster cuts earlier than the start of the new league 12 months on March 14.

Upload that every one up and it’s safe to count on a much extraordinary set of ratings by the time Chris Wesseling and that I put up our annual top 101 loose sellers listing in overdue February. The players are ranked under through their capability to impact a crew for the following two to a few years — this does not necessarily replicate who will make the most money.

1: Jimmy Garoppolo – QB – 49ers

Now that 49ers fashionable supervisor John Lynch and teach Kyle Shanahan had a franchise quarterback fall in their laps, there’s no chance they may let Jimmy GQ break out. He appears in all likelihood to get the franchise tag as a gateway to a long-term deal, which can make him one in every of the game’s highest-paid gamers after simplest seven career begins.


2: Kirk Cousins – QB – Redskins

Washington GM Bruce Allen will make the primary flow in answering the most important question of this offseason: Will the Redskins permit Cousins to reset the QB market as an unfastened agent?

3: Drew Brees – QB – Saints

It’s hard to imagine Brees going everywhere after this sort of a successful season in New Orleans, despite the fact that his contract could be complex, thinking about his age (39 on Jan. 15) and legendary franchise popularity. it’s worth noting that Brees discovered his closing protracted contract talks in 2012 ” extraordinarily frustrating” earlier than he overlooked OTAs and mandatory minicamp.

4: Le’Veon Bell – RB – Steelers

After loading Bell up with 406 touches in the normal season, it’s theoretically possible Pittsburgh will permit Bell stroll away just like the Cowboys did with DeMarco Murray some years back. Tagging Bell once more on the fee of $14 million makes more sense.

5: Demarcus Lawrence – DE – Cowboys

The 25-12 months-antique timed his profession season just right. there is no danger the Cowboys will permit the breakout pass rusher to leave, so a franchise tag seems possible here.

6: Allen Robinson – WR – Jaguars

He’s coming off a torn ACL, but Robinson had already set up himself as one of the first-class younger receivers in soccer earlier than the damage. thinking about how a good deal cash the Jaguars have spent at the defense, it might make no feel for them to allow an offensive cornerstone escape.

7: Teddy Bridgewater – QB – Vikings

The Minnesota front workplace is aware of so much greater than any other team approximately Bridgewater’s skill set, makeup and fitness. it truly is why a short-term deal to stay in Minnesota makes the maximum experience for a player who still has the excessive ceiling of a franchise quarterback, however who carries plenty of danger, too.

8: Sheldon Richardson – DT – Seahawks

Seattle gave up a 2nd-round pick to collect Richardson in a win-now circulate. it will be telling to see if the Seahawks try and keep him after a good, now not exceptional, season. it is a little worrisome that Richardson’s nice play got here manner again in 2014.

9: Ezekiel Ansah – DE – Lions

He would were higher off hitting unfastened organization earlier than injury-plagued years, Ansah is still a strong every-down starter at a position with few quality options in free agency.

10: Jarvis Landry – WR – Dolphins

Only Antonio Brown and Julio Jones have caught more passes than Landry for the reason that LSU product entered the league in 2014. He does not have the downfield chops to earn No. 1 receiver money, however a distinction-maker within the slot remains lots worthy, and it sounds just like the Dolphins might be geared up to mention goodbye.

11: Sammy Watkins – WR – Rams

For all the ability here, Watkins has best produced 1,023 yards over the last two years combined. Jared Goff regarded to Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp extra frequently than he did to Watkins, but the Rams may use the franchise tag on the 24-12 months-old to peer if they could get extra out of him after a full offseason of labor.

12: LaMarcus Joyner – DB – Rams

Protective coordinator Wade Phillips knew simply a way to maximize Joyner as a safety/cornerback hybrid who loves to hit and might cowl the slot. There are quite a few groups looking for a participant similar to Joyner, and the Rams have a protracted to-do list this offseason. 

13: Trumaine Johnson – CB – Rams

The first-rate cornerback on one of the best groups in soccer regularly traveled with the competition’s quality receiver. Johnson is just the kind of pleasant starter/sub-pro Bowl participant who frequently receives paid like a celebrity in an unfastened organization.

14: Case Keenum -QB – Vikings

Keenum turned into to be had for nearly a month at some stage in loose employer remaining yr, settling for a $2 million deal to be Sam Bradford’s backup in Minnesota. Now he is set to make existence-changing cash as a starting quarterback, whether it’s with the Vikings or someplace else.

15: Andrew Norwell – OG – Panthers

An undrafted player in 2014, Norwell has been a rock-stable starter for three years before elevating his play to All-seasoned popularity in 2017. (He remains so underneath-the-radar that he turned into losses in the shuffle at the authentic version of this list.) In a league awash with offensive-line troubles, he’s as secure a free agent guess as it receives and will receive a commission consequently.

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