Due to the the 2020 NFL Draft being one of the deepest drafts in recent memory, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic leading to a conservative market, several big-name free agents remain available. Here are natural fits for the most notable 10 as we settle into the dead of the offseason:
QB Cam Newton: Jacksonville Jaguars — It certainly doesn’t look like the New England Patriots are in on Newton, while the Los Angeles Chargers now have Justin Herbert. His best chance to start right now would come in Jacksonville, where 2019 sixth-round pick Gardner Minshew II is likely not the long-term answer under center.
RB Carlos Hyde: Arizona Cardinals — The 2014 second-round pick should no longer be viewed as a potential workhorse back, but he did rush for over 1,000 yards last year. The talent is there, and with David Johnson gone, Hyde would be a nice complement to Kenyan Drake in Arizona.
WR Taylor Gabriel: Green Bay Packers — Green Bay failed to address the wide receiver position in a satisfactory way in free agency and the draft, and Gabriel is the top veteran wideout available. The 29-year-old speedster scored four touchdowns in nine games last year in Chicago.
OT Jason Peters: Los Angeles Chargers — The Washington Redskins and New York Jets make sense too, but Peters would probably prefer to join the more talented Chargers. The Bolts need to upgrade over Sam Tevi, and the 38-year-old future Hall of Famer could at least step in for a year or two and help protect Herbert.
Edge Jadeveon Clowney: Seattle Seahawks — Only one NFL team recorded fewer sacks than the Seahawks last year, and they’re severely low on talent on the edge without Clowney. The three-time Pro Bowler’s sack numbers have never been jaw-dropping, but he forced four fumbles in just 13 games in 2019.
Edge Everson Griffen: Minnesota Vikings — Don’t mean to start a trend of giving everyone back to their 2019 teams, but Griffen was the perfect complement to Danielle Hunter on the edge. Minnesota couldn’t afford to keep him at his former rate, but the Vikes might have a chance to make a reunion happen now.
DT Damon Harrison: Houston Texans — With D.J. Reader gone, the Texans need more talent next to J.J. Watt up front. “Snacks” would be a nice fit and an upgrade over Eddie Vanderdoes as they wait on rookie Ross Blacklock.
LB Nigel Bradham: Cincinnati Bengals — Cincinnati seems serious about turning this around quickly, but could use another proven veteran in the linebacker corps. Bradham’s had an underrated career, should have some gas left, and would likely become the most talented linebacker on that roster as they wait on rookie Logan Wilson.
CB Logan Ryan: Minnesota Vikings — They drafted a couple of promising corners early, but lost three veterans in free agency. They can ideally get a late-offseason discount for Ryan, who would likely start in the slot on a contender.
S Tony Jefferson: Jacksonville Jaguars — The Jags are practically barren at safety, but if they sign Newton, they have to do their best to maximize talent on both sides of the ball. Jefferson is the best player available at a position of need.