The free agents starting off a new NFL season are giving us all a weird feeling. The crop is tougher to predict and to rank than any recent years and leaves a lot of question marks hanging around. Some of the best players ever can already see the end of their careers on the horizon, which makes both a renewed contract and an offer from a new team seem awkward and hard to picture.
But, the talent is impossible to deny – though difficult to categorize or make guesses about the future. But in the end, most of these free agents will be picked up and bound back down somewhere – especially the top 10.
By next month, we’ll have some answers. In the meantime, here are the most valuable players:
1. Dak Prescott, Cowboys QB
Dak’s 2019 performance led to some pretty split opinions, divided over his mind-blowing numbers before a very bumpy end of the season. But Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has made it clear he wants to bring him back, and we don’t doubt it.
2. Chris Jones, Chiefs DE
Worth his weight in gold as an interior lineman, we’re sure he’ll be contracted any minute as he continues on to the Super Bowl with his current team.
3. Amari Cooper, Cowboys WR
No doubt the Cowboys would love to swoop Cooper up, but making a better offer than 31 other teams might be a price too steep…
4. Jadeveon Clowney, Seahawks DE
Is he one of the highest-paid defender in football, or the highest? We’ll see who’s willing to put their money where their cleats are.
5. Shaq Barrett, Buccaneers OLB
Bruce Arians said of Barrett after his career year: “He ain’t going anywhere.” This year’s performance is sure to jack up his profit a bit.
6. Ryan Tannehill, Titans QB
Tannehill’s talent may yet be short-lived, but the numbers force us to bring him to the top of these ranks anyway – there could be an ascending starting quarterback in those shoes, and it looks like the Titans are willing to keep their ropes around him just in case. His previous performance in the Miami Dolphin was less than impressive but he was able to bring the 9-7 Titans to the AFC Championship game.
9. Drew Brees, Saints QB
Brees certainly made the Saints’ money worth something last season, but his arm strength is still in question next season – and with new teammates on the other end. Brees will be entering his 20th season in the NFL.
8. Tom Brady, Patriots QB
Well, this one’s a no-brainer. After a long and rich career that’s seen him all the way to 43 years and with a dismal last season, his prospects are looking short-term and will almost definitely only include a return to the team he’s played with for 2 decades and his entire career if it’s short-term.