The deadline for teams to apply the franchise tag will pass Tuesday and free agency will come to light Wednesday afternoon.
The race is on to pick up some of the league’s best talent, so here are some of the best players on the market and where they have been expected to land:
Kirk Cousins – Quarterback
Landing spot: Minnesota, Arizona, New York Jets
As Denver decided to take Case Keenum, the landing spot for soon-to-be former Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is more unclear as ever. When Washington decided to trade for Alex Smith, Cousins became one of the most highly sought out quarterbacks in the pool of free agency possibly ever in the market.
Cousins potential landing spots include the Vikings, Cardinals and Jets, which will all come at high bids. He will be expected to make more than San Fransisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s $27.5 million contract. Don’t be surprise if Minnesota takes Cousins on a fine deal and leaves their three quarterbacks—Keenum, Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater—in the dust.
Drew Brees – Quarterback
Landing spot: New Orleans
Some were nervous heading into the free agency on whether or not the New Orleans Saints would keep future Hall of Fame quarterback and Austin Westlake graduate Drew Brees for the 2018 year. He was restricted from getting the franchise tag, but really gave no effort into looking outside of New Orleans to play.
Coming off an NFC South title and turning 40 this year, Brees will sign a two-year, $50 million deal, with a team option after the first year. It also signifies that Brees will likely finish his career with the Saints.
Allen Robinson – Wide Receiver
Landing spot: Chicago
The Chicago Bears just got that much better as news broke this morning of Robinson’s intentions to sign with the Bears. Robinson, who is coming off an anterior cruciate ligament tear, will provide immediate help to the young Bears offense.
Robinson will join Kevin White and Cam Meredith in the Bears receiving core, and at just 24 years old, he still has a lot left in him. With an up-and-coming quarterback like Mitch Trubisky, Robinson could have a big 2018 season and notch him as one of the prime young receivers in the NFL.
Andrew Norwell – Guard
Landing spot: Jacksonville
A good line just got better this morning as it was reported former Panthers guard Andrew Norwell will sign with Jacksonville tomorrow afternoon. Norwell was a large contributing factor to the Panthers line, helping block Cam Newton and pave the way for a sharp run game.
He is on pace to become the NFL’s highest paid guard, with a five-year deal for $66.5 million, including $30 million fully guaranteed, according to ESPN. The average guard in the NFL makes around 13.3 million.
Trumaine Johnson – Corner Back
Landing spot: Cleveland, New York Jets, Oakland
In a social media post last night, Trumaine Johnson said good-bye to his Los Angeles and St. Louis Rams supporters, thus opening his doors for free agency. With the Rams landing Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib and Sam Shields, it seems like they are ready to part ways with Trumaine Johnson, which could be a mistake.
Johnson could be on pace to cash in on a huge deal, possibly landing with teams like the Browns, Jets or Raiders. If the Browns were to somehow grab Johnson, their defense could do some damage in the AFC.
Sheldon Richardson – Defensive tackle
Landing spot: Detroit, Washington, Kansas City
Although he hasn’t been the same pass-rusher since his time with the Jets, Seahawks defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson would be a veteran asset to just about any defensive line in the league. He’s had 2.5 sacks and 15 quarterback hits in the past two seasons, but plays the hard-nose style game on the line.
Rumors of Detroit, Washington and Kansas City showing interest circle this morning, but eventually Richardson will find his next destination.
Sammy Watkins – Wide Receiver
Landing spot: Kansas City
Think of this: Patrick Mahomes will have targets like Sammy Watkins, Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt and Travis Kelce. That is quite the talent and could rank as one of the most explosive offenses in the league.
Watkins, 24, still has high potential to succeed as a receiver in the league and did some nice work with the Rams last season. With Kansas City, Watkins could have a breakout career, among two tremendous targets in Hill and Kelce.
Teddy Bridgewater – Quarterback
Landing spot: Minnesota, New York Jets, Arizona
Everyone has one big question for the gunslinger that is Teddy Bridgewater: just how healthy is he? Well, before he suffered an injury that sidelined him for two seasons, Bridewater was tossing dimes and seemed to be the exact quarterback Minnesota was looking for.
Bridgewater’s landing spot is definitely contingent on Cousins. If Minnesota signs Cousins, Bridgewater could likely find a home with the Cardinals or as a franchise quarterback for the Jets. His injury and need to get back to the gridiron makes him a low-buy quarterback, but he’s not a player to pass up on.
Case Keenum- Quarterback
Landing spot: Denver
In today’s modern era of football leading a team to the NFC Championship isn’t enough to secure a starting spot as a quarterback. At least that’s the case for Keenum, the Abilene Wylie grad, who will intend to sign with the Denver Broncos.
With this, Denver has a legitimate chance at reaching the playoffs and possibly going further. With targets like Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, Keenum can prove all the doubters wrong at the end of this season if he proves his capability as a quarterback.