The big waves of NFL free agency are over, but notable names are still scattered throughout the market. Sometimes, late in the offseason, or late in careers, the best play is the familiar one. With that in mind, here are five reunions that make sense for the 2022 season, from Nick Foles reconnecting with an old Super Bowl friend to Julio Jones teaming back up with his quarterback:
Nick Foles and the Jaguars
Recently released from the Bears, who mismanaged him as a pricey No. 3 quarterback, Foles remains top-level insurance, possessing a solid arm, elite leadership and a penchant for clutch appearances off the bench. Even after spending like crazy this offseason, the Jaguars can afford to upgrade the backup spot behind Trevor Lawrence, especially considering Foles’ ties to new coach Doug Pederson, his boss during their famous Eagles title run. Who better to help Lawrence grow in the QB room?
Julio Jones and Matt Ryan
This one makes too much sense. Jones, 33, is no longer the imposing All-Pro he once was. But he’d be a proven model for the Colts‘ other big boys out wide, Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce, while adding depth to a team otherwise built to contend now. Oh, and he spent literally a decade catching passes from Ryan, Indy’s new man under center. What better way to help the ex-Falcons QB comfortably settle into his new surroundings than by bringing his longtime favorite target with him?
Cole Beasley and the Cowboys
No, he’s not the most electrifying name at his position, but the scrappy Beasley, replaced with younger, cheaper options in Buffalo, made a name for himself in Dallas. More than that, he’d provide Dak Prescott a familiar safety valve after an offseason that saw the Cowboys say goodbye to both Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson Jr. As a No. 4 or No. 5 outlet on a cheap deal, you can do a whole lot worse, especially if you’re looking to remain as deep as possible on offense.
Justin Houston and the Chiefs
At 33, Houston is no longer a top-tier starter off the edge — a far cry from the 22-sack machine that once dominated from K.C.’s front. But he’s still a savvy plug-and-play rotational rusher, which is precisely what the Chiefs could use at defensive end. First-round pick George Karlaftis should start from Day One opposite Frank Clark, but this is a title contender we’re talking about; the deeper the pass-rushing stable, the better. Houston has shown recently, with the Colts and Ravens, he can offer something.
Jerry Hughes and the Colts
Speaking of older Colts pass rushers, the 33-year-old Hughes is coming off a nine-year run with the Bills, which followed an underwhelming three-year start with Indy. The last time he wore white and blue, he was a first-round disappointment; now, Hughes is one of the most underrated vets at the position. He’s never had gaudy sack numbers and is better suited for a rotational role now, but behind Yannick Ngakoue and Kwity Paye, he’d provide the Colts’ playoff-caliber defense some added insurance.