5 Free Agents That Will Not Return in 2020
Welcome back everybody to another edition of the Articles of Truth. February has left us and March is here. March is always an exciting time in the NFL and brings with it the beginning of draft season as well as the start of NFL free agency! This time of year fans of all 32 franchises are full of hope for what the following season will bring. As we march towards 4 p.m. ET, on March 18th, when NFL free agency begins, all we can do is speculate on what is to come.
This free agent class is one for the record books. This class has the reigning NFL rushing champ in Derrick Henry, 3 of the top 6 all time passing leaders in NFL history (Brees, Brady, Rivers), and we haven’t even mentioned Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Melvin Gordon, Chris Jones, or Ryan Tannehill. There’s also Byron Jones, A.J. Green, Chris Harris Jr, JaDaveon Clowney, and Jameis Winston. I could continue, but you should get the point. This class is LOADED.
Anything can happen from here on out. At this point it’s every team and player for themselves. So where will these top free agents end up? I may not have all the answers, but here are 5 players who I see playing with new teams in 2020.
Byron Jones - Philadelphia Eagles
Dallas and Philadelphia have a rivalry as ruthless and hate fueled as any in professional sports. The Eagles are no stranger to sniping players from their nemesis and they should be all in on Byron Jones. Despite having only 2 career interceptions, Jones is arguably a top 5 corner in the NFL. He isn’t your typical lurker outside and can guard anyone from Deandre Hopkins to Travis Kelce. Jones has shown durability and versatility playing both safety and cornerback and playing in 79 of 80 career games. Look for Philly to flirt with the idea of making Byron the highest paid corner in football.
Teddy Bridgewater - Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears came into 2019 with Super Bowl aspirations and stumbled to the finish line ending the season with a disappointing 8-8 record. With a roster that is built to compete now, the Bears cannot afford to keep letting Mitchell Trubisky lose them ball games. Enter Teddy Bridgewater who led an equally talented Saints team to a 5-0 record in 2019, when Brees went down with an untimely injury. Teddy would be the ultimate plug and play for the Bears and could lead them back into the playoffs in 2020.
Hunter “Healthy” Henry - New England Patriots
There is a lot of speculation going around about Tom Brady leaving New England. If you’ve listened to the podcast at all, you’ll know I do not agree, but we’ll get more into that next time. Tom Brady will return to New England, and he’ll do so with some shiny new toys at his disposal. Hunter Henry will be the missing piece that Rob Gronkowski left in the Patriot’s offense. Henry has proven that he can be the man, when healthy, and New England is no stranger to working through injuries with a banged up tight end. Henry instantly puts New England back in the Super Bowl discussion (as if they weren’t already there) and will cement the GOAT Tom Brady finishing his career with the only franchise he’s ever known.
Melvin Gordon - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This is a match made in heaven. The Bucs already have one of the most lethal offenses in the NFL. This is in spite of a pedestrian running back committee that is lead by Ronald Jones. While Jones had a few flashes in 2019, Melvin Gordon is the type of game changing back that would single handedly change the trajectory of this team. Bruce Arians is no stranger to having a dynamic back on his team, ya’ll remember the guy David Johnson used to be? Gordon could be a workhorse for this team and serve as a safety blanket for Jameis Winston. If Winston can cut down on his turnovers, this team becomes really tough to beat. Good luck trying to stop Godwin, Evans, Gordon, and OJ Howard. Sheesh! Make this happen!
Phillip Rivers - Indianapolis Colts
This theory is so popular right now, you would almost think this has already happened. The Chargers have already said “Adios!” to ‘Old Man Rivers’ and the Colts haven’t exactly shown Jacoby Brissett they are committed to him. Rivers only has a few seasons left in the tank, and likely will only sign with a Super Bowl contender. The Colts need a starting QB to put them back in contention. The Colts can offer an elite offensive line, a potentially great running game, and a receiving corps that still includes T.Y. Hilton. Oh, and that defense has some pieces too. Look for Rivers to ink a two year deal and retire where Peyton Manning should have.
There will be many players that change teams this offseason, but few would be as impactful as these five. Regardless this is shaping up to be a landscape altering free agency market, and we still have a loaded draft class to come after that. Stay tuned for the next article where I break down 5 players I believe will stay put in 2020. Chargers fans, I promise the next article will be much nicer to you. As always, #staytrue.