Get your popcorn ready, pro football fans. The NFL’s 101st season is fast approaching.
While the regular season is still months away, some of the most exciting moments of the NFL season are right in front of us. On March 18, the official start of the league’s new year, free agency will begin, as teams will officially begin the process of rebuilding their roster for 2020. This year’s free agent class is one of the most star-studded classes in recent memory, a group headlined by Tom Brady, the only player in league history with six Super Bowl wins to his credit.
Just over a month after free agency kicks off, the NFL draft will kick off from Las Vegas. Like free agency, this year’s draft class is filled with household names that include quarterbacks Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa. It also includes several wild cards like quarterback Jordan Love, as fans are already wondering which team will take a chance and select Love with their first-round pick. This year’s draft class is also loaded at receiver, something that should came as good news to several fan bases who are clamoring for their team to add an offensive game-changer or two.
Below, we’ve listed each NFL’s team need heading into free agency and the draft. We’ve also included ideal free agent and draft fits for each team.
Needs: Offensive tackle, edge rusher, defensive lineman, center, receiver, inside linebacker, cornerback, running back, tight end, quarterback
FA fits: OT Jack Conklin, OLB Matt Judon, DE Leonard Williams
Draft fits: OT Jedrick Wills, OT Tristan Wirfs, DL Derrick Brown
While some the blame needs to be put on Kyler Murray’s youth and inexperience, the 50 sacks surrendered by the Cardinals’ offensive line last season exposed one of the team’s biggest weaknesses heading into the league’s new year. Look for the Cardinals to add a veteran presence to the line during free agency as well as several young, fresh faces to the group via the draft.
The Cardinals’ defense, a unit that finished 28th in points allowed last season, is also in dire need of several playmakers on the edge. Expect Arizona to add a veteran pass rusher in free agency along with at least one more pass rusher via the draft. If the Cardinals pull the trigger on Brown, they would be getting a player who recorded 12.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and 33 tackles for a loss during his time at Auburn.
Where are the best landing spots for the top free-agent RBs? The Pick Six Podcast Superfriends break down that and much more; listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness fired into your eardrums.
Needs: Defensive end, tight end, outside linebacker, secondary, defensive line, running back, receiver, offensive line, quarterback
FA fits: DE Jadeveon Clowney, DT Javon Hargrave, CB Bradley Roby, RB Kenyan Drake
Draft fits: CB CJ Henderson, TE Brycen Hopkins, RB J.K. Dobbins
By acquiring Clowney and selecting Henderson with their first pick, the Falcons would check two major items off of their offseason wish list. Atlanta may also be in position to acquire Hopkins, arguably the best tight end in the draft, midway through the second round. And given the likely departure of Devonte Freeman, the Falcons should look into signing Drake, who averaged 5.2 yards per carry in eight games with the Cardinals last season.
Needs: Edge rusher, inside linebacker, guard, receiver, defensive line, defensive end, cornerback, offensive guard, offensive tackle
FA fits: ILB Danny Trevathan, DE Jadeveon Clowney, WR Emmanuel Sanders, DT Danny Shelton
Draft fits: ILB, Kenneth Murray, WR Justin Jefferson, EDGE Jonathan Greenard
After a 14-2 regular season, Baltimore’s weaknesses were exposed by the Titans in the playoffs. Derrick Henry rushed for 195 yards, while Baltimore’s pass rush was only able to sack Ryan Tannehill once. On offense, Lamar Jackson needed another weapon or two to help complement his peerless athletic ability. Marshal Yanda’s retirement creates a hole on the offensive line.
The Ravens will have several options at linebacker, edge rusher, and receiver by way of free agency and the draft. While Trevathan could be an option in free agency, don’t be surprised if Baltimore elects to use its pick on Murray, who racked up 102 tackles (17 for loss) last year at Oklahoma. And while the Ravens will surely add to their receiving corps during the draft, it would make sense for them to also bring in a veteran receiver to work with Marquise Brown.
Needs: Defensive end, receiver, offensive guard, cornerback, running back, defensive tackle, offensive tackle, tight end, linebacker
FA fits: DE Yannick Ngakoue, WR Emmanuel Sanders, CB Byron Jones, RB Carlos Hyde
Draft fits: WR Henry Ruggs II, DL Justin Madubuike, OL Tyler Biadasz
The Bills will be looking for pass rushers over the next two months after finishing 26th in the league in sacks last season. Buffalo is also expected to add pieces to their skill positions, particularly at receiver. And while the free agent market at wideout is slim, there are a slew of talented receiver options via the draft. Look for the Bills to add another running back into the mix to help complement Devin Singletary. An option here could be Utah’s Zack Moss, who likely improved his draft stock following his impressive performance at the combine.
Needs: Cornerback, edge rusher, guard, free safety, defensive tackle, receiver, free safety, inside linebacker, quarterback, tight end
FA fits: CB Byron Jones, edge rusher Matt Judon, DT Javon Hargrave
Draft fits: CB Jeff Okudah, Edge rusher A.J. Epensea, G Tristan Wirfs
The Panthers should have several opportunities to land a talented cornerback this offseason, either in free agency or during the draft. In free agency, the Panthers will also be looking to add a pass rusher after finishing just 27th in the league in sacks in 2019.
Carolina will likely spend the seventh overall pick either on an offensive tackle or an a cornerback. It may come down to who is still available between Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah and Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs. If they both are still on the board, the smart guess would be the Panthers picking Wirfs, given the depth at the cornerback position in this year’s draft.
Needs: Cornerback, edge rusher, inside linebacker, quarterback, offensive guard, receiver, offensive tackle
FA fits: CB, Byron Jones, OLB Bud Dupree, ILB Blake Martinez, QB Andy Dalton
Draft fits: CB Trevon Diggs, edge rusher K’Levon Chaisson, LB Kenneth Murray
Despite their needs on the offensive side the ball, several of the Bears’ biggest needs for 2020 are on defense. Fortunately for Chicago, there should be a slew of available talent at the cornerback, edge rusher and inside linebacker positions in free agency and during the draft. The Bears may also entertain bringing in a veteran quarterback to apply pressure on Mitchell Trubisky, who is coming off an underwhelming season. A possible option could be Dalton or Marcus Mariota, who led the Titans to a playoff victory in 2017 before things went south in Nashville. If they decide to take a quarterback during the draft, one option for the Bears could be Georgia’s Jake Fromm, especially if Fromm is still available during the third day of the draft.
Needs: Quarterback, inside linebacker, right tackle, outside linebacker, defensive tackle, strong safety, tight end, offensive guard, defensive end.
FA fits: ILB Blake Martinez, RT Jack Conklin, DT Danny Shelton, safety Karl Joseph
Draft fits: QB Joe Burrow, TE Brycen Hopkins, OT Isiah Wilson
The Bengals are expected to take Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick. And while their receiving corps, when healthy, is a formidable group, the Bengals would be wise to pair Burrow with a talented tight end that he can work with for years to come. Several mid-round options at the tight end position include Vanderbilt’s Jared Pinkney, Washington’s Hunter Bryant, LSU’s Thaddeus Moss, and Missouri’s Albert Okwuegbunam.
Offensive line also needs to be a priority for the Bengals. An affordable free option here could be veteran B.J. Finney, who played multiple positions on the line during his four active seasons with the Steelers. On defense, it would make sense for the Bengals look into acquiring Joseph, who was having a solid season with the Raiders last year before suffering a season-ending injury after nine games.
Needs: Left tackle, inside linebacker, free safety, guard, defensive end, outside linebacker, right tackle, tight end, cornerback, defensive tackle, center
FA fits: LT Anthony Castonzo, ILB Kyle Van Noy, FS Malcolm Jenkins
Draft fits: OL Jedrick Wills Jr., OL Mekhi Becton, S Antoine Winfield Jr.
It’s a pretty safe bet that the Browns are going to address their needs on the offensive line with their first round pick. Fortunately for the Browns, there’s a chance they could have their pick between Wills and Louisville’s Mekhi Becton when they are on the clock with the 10th overall pick. The Browns should also take advantage of a deep tight end class after David Njoku’s injury-marred 2019 season.
In free agency, the Browns should consider finding players with championship experience, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. While Cleveland has a talented roster, a lack of veteran maturity and experience was one reason why the Browns failed to live up to high preseason expectations last season. Fitting the bill here could be Van Noy and Jenkins, who each played pivotal roles on championship teams in New England and Philadelphia.
Needs: Cornerback, receiver, defensive tackle, strong safety, outside linebacker, tight end, defensive end, offensive guard
FA fits: CB Logan Ryan, DE Jadeveon Clowney, DT Javon Hargrave
Draft fits: DL Javon Kinlaw, edge rusher A.J. Epenesa, CB Kristian Fulton, WR CeeDee Lamb
The Cowboys’ three biggest positions of need this offseason are at cornerback, defensive end and defensive tackle. Given their other needs entering the draft, don’t be surprised if the Cowboys make a run at Hargrave — who is coming off his best season with the Steelers — in free agency.
If the Cowboys lose Amari Cooper in free agency, look for the Cowboys to spend one of their first two picks trying to find his replacement. While Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy will likely be off the board by the time the Cowboys are on the clock with the 17th overall pick, they should have the opportunity to select Lamb, who caught 14 touchdowns at Oklahoma last season while averaging 21.4 yards per catch.
Needs: Defensvie end, receiver, inside linebacker, cornerback, guard, nose tackle, left tackle, free safety, edge rusher, running back
FA fits: DE Shaq Lawson, ILB Danny Trevathan, OLB Bud Dupree, WR A.J. Green
Draft fits: OLB K’Levon Chaisson, DL Derrick Brown, WR Jerry Jeudy
Denver is in need of pass rushers and stability at the inside linebacker position. The Broncos also need help at receiver and on the defensive line. Fortunately, Denver should be able to fill most of these needs via free agency and during the draft, as the Broncos are currently armed with five of the first 100 picks.
The Broncos, according to Over The Cap, also have about $70 million in cap space heading into the league’s new year. Denver’s cap flexibility may make them a contender to sign Trevathan, one of the top linebackers in free agency. Lawson, whose play last season helped the Bills make the playoffs, would also be a welcomed addition to a Denver defense that finished 10th in the NFL in scoring defense and first in red zone defense last season.
One thing the Broncos won’t be looking deeply into is a new quarterback, as Drew Lock appears to be the team’s long-term option.
Needs: Defensive tackle, cornerback, guard, defensive end, strong safety, defensive tackle, running back, inside linebacker, receiver, quarterback, offensive tackle
FA fits: CB Logan Ryan, OL B.J. Finney, SS Tony Jefferson
Draft fits: LB Isaiah Simmons, CB Jeff Okudah, RB Cam Akers
Cornerback, guard and strong safety are among the biggest positions of need for the Lions this offseason. While the Lions will be able to add several pieces via free agency, they have the opportunity to select one of the best players in the 2020 draft with the No. 3 overall pick. The Lions will likely address some secondary needs, particularly at the running back position, during Days 2 and 3 of the draft.
Speaking of their first round pick, two likely options for the Lions are Simmons and Okudah, two players that could provide an immediate boost for a Lions’ defense that was 26th in the league in scoring and 32nd in pass defense last season.
Green Bay Packers
Needs: Right tackle, inside linebacker, receiver, guard, defensive end, cornerback, offensive tackle, tight end
FA fits: RT Daryl Williams, ILB Alec Ogletree, WR A.J. Green
Draft fits: WR Brandon Aiyuk, OL Josh Jones, LB Kenneth Murray, TE Brycen Hopkins
The Packers desperately need to find a receiver to complement Davante Adams. If the Bengals decide not to franchise Green or re-sign him to a longterm deal, the Packers should pursue him while giving Aaron Rodgers a legitimate playmaker alongside Adams. Green Bay should also draft a receiver, as this class is loaded with talented wideout prospects. One example is Minnesota’s Tyler Johnson, who is slated as a mid-third round pick despite his prolific final two seasons at Minnesota.
Finding an inside linebacker may prove to be more challenging, which may force the Packers to spend their first round pick on an ILB while waiting until the second round to find their receiver. Hopkins would be a solid replacement for Jimmy Graham, who is not expected to be back with the Packers next season.
Needs: Cornerback, edge linebacker, guard, nose tackle, strong safety, offensive tackle, receiver, quarterback
FA fits: CB Logan Ryan, OLB Dante Fowler, G Ereck Flowers
Draft fits: CB Damon Arnette, OLB Josh Uche, OG Shane Lemieux
Given their needs at the cornerback position, the Texans, who don’t have a pick until late in the second round of the draft, will need to sign a corner in free agency along with adding one or two more corners during the draft. Fortunately, this year’s cornerback class is particularly deep, with nine cornerbacks (Arnette included) ranked in the top 60 in this year’s draft class. With at least six picks in this year’s draft, and with an estimated $41 million in cap space, the Texans should be able to address their other offseason position needs.
Needs: Quarterback, defensive tackle, receiver, defensive end, cornerback, strong safety, inside linebacker, offensive line
FA fits: Phillip Rivers, WR Emmanuel Sanders, DE Everson Griffen, OT Bryan Bulaga
Draft fits: QB Justin Herbert, WR Jerry Jeudy, CB Kristian Fulton, OT Tristan Wirfs
If the Colts are able to sign Rivers, they can get him one of the draft’s highest-rated receivers with their first round pick. And with an expected salary cap of just over $86 million, the Colts should have enough money to acquire a big free agent like Griffen, a four-time Pro Bowler who has recorded 74.5 sacks since the 2011 season.
If Rivers goes elsewhere, the Colts will have a decision to make: Stick with Jacoby Brissett, or draft his successor in the first round? If they choose the latter, the Colts may have to settle for the best remaining quarterback in the draft. At this point, that quarterback may turn out to be Herbert, who is currently being considered the fourth best QB prospect behind Burrow, Tua and Jordan Love.
Needs: Defensive tackle, cornerback, left tackle, defensive end, outside linebacker, tight end, free safety, guard, receiver, center
FA fits: CB Logan Ryan, DT Damon Harrison, LT Anthony Castonzo, OLB Dante Fowler Jr.
Draft fits: DL Javon Kinlaw, OT Andrew Thomas, CB Trevon Diggs
The Jaguars, with a top-10 pick, will be able to land one of the top offensive or defensive linemen in this year’s draft. It’s likely going to come down to Kinlaw or Thomas, two of the top-ranked players at their position heading into the draft.
With a considerably deep cornerback draft class at their disposal, Jacksonville will be able to replenish that position after losing Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. Jacksonville will have to make wise moves in free agency, however, as it reportedly has just over $21 million in cap space.
Kansas City Chiefs
Needs: Cornerback, defensive tackle, center, outside linebacker, defensive end, guard, running back, receiver, offensive tackle, fullback, tight end
FA fits: CB Logan Ryan, WR Emmanuel Sanders, DT Damon Harrison
Draft fits: CB Kristian Fulton, DT Justin Madubuike, WR Brandon Aiyuk
The Chiefs will have to upgrade their cornerback position if they want to increase their odds at becoming the first team since the 2004 Patriots to successfully defend their Super Bowl title. And with Sammy Watkins’ expected departure, the Chiefs will likely add multiple receivers to the roster over the next two months.
Sanders would provide a veteran receiver for Patrick Mahomes, while Ryan would give Kansas City one of the top cornerbacks in the league heading into 2020.
Las Vegas Raiders
Needs: Cornerback, receiver, inside linebacker, outside linebacker, quarterback, defensive tackle, defensive end, guard, running back
FA fits: CB Logan Ryan, WR A.J. Green, ILB Alec Ogletree, Edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney
Draft fits: Edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson, WR Henry Ruggs III
While many draft analysts have the Raiders going edge rusher or receiver with their first round pick, the Raiders have big needs at cornerback heading into the NFL’s new league year. Expect the Raiders to be in the mix to land Ryan, the top cornerback that is slated to enter free agency next month. Las Vegas will also be in the market for a receiver and, in the spirit of Al Davis, it would be on the Raiders’ brand to select Ruggs — the fastest timed receiver in the draft — with their first round pick.
Los Angeles Chargers
Needs: Quarterback, left/right tackle, running back, receiver, guard, cornerback, defensive tackle, linebacker, defensive end
FA fits: QB Tom Brady, LT Andrew Whitworth, RT Bryan Bulaga, RB Kenyan Drake
Draft fits: QB Jordan Love, OT Andrew Thomas, Edge rusher A.J. Epenesa
What the Chargers do in free agency and the draft largely depends on what happens at the quarterback position. If the Chargers land Brady, they will spend their first-round pick addressing their other needs, specifically at edge rusher and on the offensive line. And with Austin Ekeler’s recent extension, it appears that the Chargers will let Melvin Gordon test the open market. While replacing Gordon with Drake makes sense, another option could be ageless wonder Frank Gore, who — at age 36 — rushed for 599 yards in a complementary role with the Bills last season.
Los Angeles Rams
Needs: Left tackle, edge rusher, cornerback, inside linebacker, defensive end, guard, right tackle, free safety, nose tackle, quarterback
FA fits: CB Ronald Darby, Edge rusher Mario Addison, LT Kelvin Beachum, ILB Kyle Van Noy
Draft fits: C Nick Harris, OT Prince Tega Wanogho, ILB Patrick Queen
With an estimate of about $14.7 million in cap space, the Rams will have to pursue less heralded (yet still productive) free agents when the new league year begins. And while they don’t have a first-round pick, the Rams may still be in position to draft Harris, who would help fill one of the team’s biggest needs on their offensive line.
The Rams need to add a cornerback to pair with Jalen Ramsey, while Los Angeles also needs an update at linebacker. Queen, a former standout at LSU, should be available in the second round.
Needs: Left tackle, edge rusher, quarterback, center, guard, inside linebacker, cornerback, running back, free safety, offensive tackle, defensive end, defensive tackle
FA fits: LB Dante Fowler Jr., LT Anthony Castonzo, C Ryan Kalil, G Ron Leary
Draft fits: QB Tua Tagovailoa, LB Kennith Murray, LT Jedrick Wills Jr.
With an estimated $88 million in cap space and with three first-round picks, no team has more room to grow this offseason than the Dolphins. Miami should be able to fill many of its position needs that include quarterback, offensive line, linebacker and secondary positions.
Look for the Dolphins to take care of the quarterback position with the first of their three first-round picks, with the safe bet being Tagovailoa. With the 18th pick, expect the Dolphins to address the offensive line, with Houston’s Josh Jones and Alabama’s Jerrick Wills Jr. being the odds-on favorites here. With the 26th pick, expect Miami to address the linebacker position, with two possible options being Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa and Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray.
Needs: Cornerback, left tackle, defensive end, guard, strong safety, defensive tackle, outside linebacker, cornerback, receiver, quarterback
FA fits: CB Vernon Hargreaves, LT Cedric Ogbuehi, DE Shaq Lawson
Draft fits: DL Ross Blacklock, OL Josh Jones, CB C.J. Henderson
The Vikings were fifth in the NFL in points allowed last season, but they will still likely focus on strengthening their defense this offseason after they finished a pedestrian 15th in the league in pass defense and 19th in third down efficiency last season. While their salary cap is tight, the Vikings have options in free agency. Along with the free agents alluded to above, a project the Vikings could think about taking on is Saints’ safety Vonn Bell. A former first round pick, Bell enjoyed his best season to date in 2019, tying a career high with 89 tackles while recording one of his five fumble recoveries for a touchdown.
Minnesota will also benefit from a deep cornerback class in this year’s draft. That depth gives them the option to address their need at guard in the first round. One option may be Jones, CBS Sports’ 28th ranked prospect in the 2020 draft.
New England Patriots
Needs: Quarterback, defensive end, guard, tight end, outside linebacker, defensive tackle, free safety, inside linebacker, receiver, offensive tackle
FA fits: QB Philip Rivers, DE Mario Addison, ILB Cory Littleton
Draft fits: S Xavier McKinney, QB Jordan Love, TE Cole Kmet
The Patriots’ offseason plans will be determined by Brady’s decision. If he stays, the Patriots can spend their first-round pick on the back end of their defense. If not, they will join the fray of teams trying to land one of the draft’s top quarterbacks. And in the aftermath of Love’s impressive combine, the Patriots may have to trade up to get him if they are forced to find Brady’s successor.
Outside of the quarterback position, the Patriots also need to address their needs at tight end as well as on the offensive line. At the combine,with former Dayton tight end Adam Trautman, who backed up his prolific college career with an impressive combine performance.
New Orleans Saints
Needs: Receiver, cornerback, guard, outside linebacker, tight end, strong safety, fullback, defensive line, quarterback
FA fits: OLB Jamie Collins, S Anthony Harris, WR Chester Rogers
Draft fits: WR Justin Jefferson, OLB Zack Baun, G Netane Muti
With an estimated $9.3 million in cap space, the Saints will have to spend judiciously in free agency. That being said, they should be able to free up enough enough to land a player like Collins, who would fill one of the team’s biggest positional needs. If they are unable to land an OLB in free agency, Baun, who recorded 12.5 sacks during his final season at Wisconsin, could be a Day 2 option. The Saints should have an idea of Jefferson’s potential after watching him help LSU win a national championship in the Superdome back in January.
New York Giants
Needs: Edge rusher, right tackle, cornerback, inside linebacker, free safety, inside linebacker, defensive line, offensive tackle, receiver
FA fits: Edge rusher Everson Griffen, CB Logan Ryan, FS Rodney McLeod
Draft fits: LB Isaiah Simmons, OL Tristan Wirfs, CB Jeff Okudah
With an estimated $74 million in cap space, the Giants should be able to land a top-tier player in free agency. That player should be Ryan, who is coming off a career year that saw him record 113 tackles, 4.5 sacks and four interceptions. Ryan would be a welcomed addition to a Giants defensive that was 30th in scoring and 28th in pass defense in 2019.
With the fourth pick in the draft, the Giants will likely select the best remaining player between Simmons, Wirfs, and Okudah, assuming the Redskins take edge rusher Chase Young with the second pick. If Simmons is there at No. 4, it’s hard to imagine the Giants not taking him.
New York Jets
Needs: Left tackle, edge rusher, cornerback, receiver, center, guard, right tackle, safety, running back
FA fits: OLB Mario Addison, LT Jason Peters, G Ereck Flowers
Draft fits: OL Mekhi Becton, WR CeeDee Lamb, CB C.J. Henderson
With about $49.4 million in cap space, the Jets will be able to address at least one of their top positional needs in free agency. They are also positioned well to address one of their other pressing needs (offensive line, receiver or cornerback) with the 11th pick in the draft. If they decide to use their first round pick on their offensive line, the Jets may decide to select Becton, whose stock rose considerably after his impressive time in the 40-yard dash during the combine.
If the Jets choose to address one of their other needs in the first round, New York could find help on the offensive line in free agency. An option here could be Flowers, the Giants’ 2015 first-round pick who has blossomed into a quality starter. New York also needs to give Sam Darnold another option in the passing game. Look for the Jets to add to their skill positions in both free agency and during the draft.
Needs: Cornerback, inside linebacker, receiver, free safety, outside linebacker, defensive end, guard, strong safety, defensive tackle, offensive tackle, quarterback
FA fits: CB Bradley Roby, OLB Jamie Collins, WR Chester Rogers
Draft fits: WR Tee Higgins, LB Kenneth Murray, CB Trevon Diggs
Fortunately for the Eagles, this year’s draft is loaded with talent at the two positions — cornerback and receiver — they need to address the most this offseason. And with an estimated $41.8 million in cap space, the Eagles should be able to sign at least one headliner in free agency. Look for the Eagles to address their needs at the receiver position first during the draft, then address their needs at cornerback. The addition of Roby could help the Eagles improve a pass defense that finished 19th in the league in pass defense, 21st in passing touchdowns allowed and 22nd in interceptions last season.
Needs: Receiver, guard, tight end, edge rusher, nose tackle, offensive tackle, quarterback, inside linebacker, defensive end, center, cornerback
FA fits: WR Nelson Agholor, TE Jimmy Graham, DL Tyeler Davison
Draft fits: WR Brandon Aiyuk, TE Brycen Hopkins, DL Raekwon Davis
With very little cap space and without a first round pick, this will probably be another quiet offseason for the Steelers, whose biggest offseason move will likely be the expected franchise tag of OLB Bud Dupree. Pittsburgh will likely lose Javon Hargrave, who blossomed into a quality, albeit underrated, part of their defense over the past several seasons. The Steelers are also expected to extend T.J. Watt’s contract after he earned All-Pro honors for the first time in his career in 2019.
In free agency, expect the Steelers to sign an affordable veteran receiver (which likely rules out an Emmanuel Sanders reunion) and tight end if Vance McDonald isn’t willing to renegotiate his contract. In the draft, Pittsburgh is expected to further add to their depth chart at receiver while also bringing another running back into the mix. And with the expected departure of Hargrave, the Steelers will surely add to that position, either in free agency or during the draft.
San Francisco 49ers
Needs: Cornerback, guard, receiver, free safety, defensive tackle, left tackle, defensive end, linebacker
FA fits: CB Eli Apple, WR Phillip Dorsett, FS Clayton Geathers
Draft fits: OL Austin Jackson, CB A.J. Terrell, WR Laviska Shenault Jr.
The 49ers will look to update their cornerback, guard and receiver positions over the next few months. While their limited cap space will hinder their ability to acquire a marquee free agent, the 49ers will still be able to pick up a complementary piece (e.g.: Dorsett) and one or two reclamation projects (e.g.: Apple and Geathers). The draft is where the 49ers will have to do most of their damage. In the first round, expect them to take the best remaining cornerback, with the possible options in this scenario being Virginia’s Bryce Hall, Clemson’s A.J. Terrell or TCU’s Jeff Gladney.
Needs: Defensive end, right tackle, cornerback, defensive tackle, guard, strong safety, receiver, outside linebacker, center, quarterback
FA fits: DE Derek Wolfe, DT Gerald McCoy, RT Bryan Bulaga, WR Breshad Perriman
Draft fits: OL Ezra Cleveland, DL Neville Gallimore, CB Bryce Hall
The Seahawks’ top offseason priority is providing protection for Wilson, and they will also address their needs at defensive tackle, defensive end and receiver. With an estimated $44.6 million in salary cap space, Seattle should be able to acquire some proven veterans to help them fill those needs. While his is not the first free agent wideout that comes to mind, Perriman, the Ravens’ 2015 first round pick, started to show his potential with the Buccaneers last season, catching six touchdowns and averaging 17.9 yards per catch. Perriman could fit as a complementary piece alongside second year wideout D.K. Metcalf.
Wolfe and McCoy would bring veteran savvy — and formidable pass rush — to Seattle’s defense.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Needs: Quarterback, right tackle, free safety, edge linebacker, defensive end, cornerback, running back, strong safety, receiver, guard, center
FA fits: QB Phillip Rivers, RT Daryl Williams, LB Dante Fowler Jr.
Draft fits: OL Andrew Thomas, LB K’Lavon Chaisson, QB Justin Herbert
If the Colts acquire Rivers, then the Buccaneers’ odds of landing Herbert should increase considerably. If not, and if the Buccaneers aren’t able to land Rivers, Tampa Bay will likely hang on to Jameis Winston for the 2020 season.
With almost $80 million in salary cap space, the Buccaneers should be able to fill several of their positional needs in free agency. Fowler, who recorded a career-high 11.5 sacks last season, would be able to provide a much-needed pass rush to a Tampa Bay defense that finished 19th in the NFL in sacks in 2019.
Needs: Quarterback, cornerback, right tackle, edge linebacker, running back, guard, receiver, tight end, inside linebacker, nose tackle
FA fits: QB Tom Brady, CB Prince Amukamara, RT Bryan Bulaga
Draft fits: CB Noah Igbinoghene, LB Zack Baun, OT Josh Jones
The Titans’ offseason is centered on soon-to-be free agents Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry and Logan Ryan. Their estimated $50.4 million in cap space gives them some room to operate, but the Titans will not be able to keep all three players, which might be a moot point if they’re able to acquire Brady. Assuming the Titans are able to hang onto Henry, they will likely part with Ryan, who will likely be one of the most sought-after defensive players in free agency. Losing Ryan, however, would help the Titans acquire a veteran like Bulaga, who would help address the team’s current needs at right tackle. In this scenario, the Titans could spend their first round pick on either a cornerback or an edge linebacker, two of the team’s other pressing needs.
Needs: Left tackle, inside linebacker, cornerback, guard, receiver, tight end, defensive end, free safety, center, right tackle, quarterback
FA fits: CB Logan Ryan, ILB Danny Trevathan, WR A.J. Green
Draft fits: Edge rusher Chase Young, Jedrick Wills Jr., LB Isaiah Simmons
The Redskins are expected to select former OSU pass rusher Chase Young with the second overall pick. While they should be able to find a solid cornerback in the second round, the Redskins will likely have to fill their holes at left tackle and inside linebacker in free agency. Washington will also be in the market for a receiver to team with Terry McLaurin; possible options here may include Green and Emmanuel Sanders, who played well last season despite suffering a torn Achilles the previous season. Andrew Whitworth and Jason Peters could be options if the Redskins decide to address their left tackle need in free agency.