The 2018 NFL season is coming closer to an end. Now is the time where we can start to speculate where some top names will be after free agency. Here we look at some of the top IDP free agents and where they may land.
There are quite a few big name unrestricted free agents in the NFL for 2019. Many of which I could see landing on different teams. This largely in base of the current teams state of affairs and direction, teams cap space for 2019, and some guys just looking for a new start. There are definitely some guys out there that could use a change of scenery. Those changes could vault certain guys back into IDP Fantasy relevancy. Let’s take a look position by position come top IDP guys who could change teams.
Anthony Barr– Current team is the Minnesota Vikings
Anthony Barr is a very talented player and one of the most misused players in the NFL. Coming out of UCLA Barr was considered one of the best pass rushing prospects in the draft. The Vikings drafted him and employ and 4-3 defensive scheme. This in turn put Barr at the SAM Linebacker, or strong side linebacker which fits him best for the 4-3.
He has been modestly productive, not jump out of the screen noticeable but is noticeable. You can see he has talent, just used incorrectly. Here you see why he should not be in coverage, he cannot hang with WR’s:
So, Anthony Barr – who couldn't live with Todd Gurley one on one – got stuck here covering a WR one on one. Smartest thing he could have done would have been to just tackle him the second he realised what was up.
Lesser of two evils pic.twitter.com/JdT4sWvTu2
— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) September 28, 2018
Where Will He Sign- Los Angeles Rams Outside Linebacker
Barr should be used as an outside linebacker in a base 3-4 defensive scheme. One team that could really use some help at outside linebacker is the Los Angeles Rams. Right now the Rams use a combo of Matt Longacre and Sam Ebukam. Not your most desirable duo now is it. Outside linebacker is one of the only positions the Rams are lacking in and adding Anthony Barr makes too much sense for them.
Deone Bucannon– Current team in the Arizona Cardinals
Prior to this season Deone Bucannon has been one of the better weak side linebackers in the league. Some how..some way..he fell out of favor for the likes of guys like Hassan Reddick and Josh Bynes. Bucannon is still only 26 years old and he was one of the pioneers of moving from safety to linebacker. He has revolutionized the position and almost how NFL defenses scheme today. Bucannon can definitely still be utilized somewhere.
Where Will He Sign- New England Patriots Weak Side Linebacker
If there is one team in the NFL that needs new life at linebacker it is the Patriots. As of now they employ Dont’a Hightower as their weak side linebacker. Hightower is not great in coverage, honestly think he would be a better Mike or Sam but the Patriots need him on the field.
Elandon Roberts is also an underachiever who plays the Mike for the Patriots. Kyle Van Noy is the only linebacker worth keeping and he plays Sam. Bucannon would be an obvious upgrade over Hightower and Robersts. Bill Belichick has a knack for rejuvenating players careers (Corey Dillon, Randy Moss, etc). Bucannon is not even past his prime, he is entering it. With his price tag low this would be a great pickup for Belichick.
Deone Bucannon with a surreal hit. You'll see this a million times in highlights. Wait til you see the slo-mo replay pic.twitter.com/wwJka7t3mN
— fantasyfootballmetrics (@FFMetrics) August 20, 2016
Kwon Alexander– Current team in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kwon Alexander is a terrific Mike linebacker. Lavonte David and him have been one of the most formidable linebacker duos in the NFL. Too bad you can’t say much for the rest of the team. For that reason and the direction that the Bucs are going in leads me to believe that Alexander will look for a new team. At only years old, some team running a 4-3 scheme will be very happy with their future middle linebacker. He should have many suitors.
Where Will He Sign- San Diego Charger Middle Linebacker
The Chargers have been building a very strong defense through the draft. They have nailed it on picks like Melvin Ingram III, Joey Bosa, Derwin James, Kyzir White, and Desmond King II. They also drafted Denzel Perryman who has played well but is often injured and is out on IR again this season. Perryman is a free agent and I do not foresee the Chargers resigning him.
They should use what little cap space they have and sign their young linebacker of the future to spearhead this defense. Alexadner may come at a cheaper price considering coming off ACL surgery, that will help with the cap. Here is just one clip of Alexander’s competitiveness:
I think Kwon Alexander shows good competitive toughness, power, play speed, and solid mental processing. Promising. pic.twitter.com/vU2DC0IX9B
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) November 17, 2015
C.J. Mosley– Current team is the Baltimore Ravens
Mosley is one of the best Mike linebackers in all of football. Every time he is on the field he makes a play. The Ravens do not look like a team that will be competing in the near future. “Franchise” quarterback Joe Flacco is his way out and it is now the Lamar Jackson ERA.
The receiving core is the misfits off of other NFL rosters, talented but outcasted. The running game is now a three headed monster that wouldn’t even scare Chuckie Finster of the Rugrats. Mosley will want to join a team with direction. Oh and the Ravens are parting ways with their head coach too.
Where Will He Sign- San Francisco 49ers
Speaking of a team with good direction. They signed their franchise QB long term, also signed a top free agent running back from 2018, and have a stout defensive front line. Not to mention a General Manager and Head Coach who see eye to eye on almost everything and make important decisions together.
Reuben Foster was an utter disappointment and waste of talent and has left a hole in the middle of the defense. The 49ers have a ton of cap space as well as a solid Will linebacker in Fred Warner to partner with. Mosley would be a seamless fit here. These are some of his impressive stats:
— SERC (@SERCenter) December 2, 2018
Sheldon Richardson– Current team is the Minnesota Vikings
Richardson is an extremely aggravating players in the NFL. He is full of talent which he showcased during his tenure with the Jets. This year he signed a one year contract with what was supposed to be one of the league’s best defenses. That didn’t happen, even though they only added talent, didn’t lose any. Richardson routinely takes plays off an often looks disinterested. That doesn’t mean that he is not talented. I think throwing him on the right team could help change his demeanor.
Where Will He Sign- Houston Texans Defensive Tackle
The Texans have one of the most opportunistic defenses in the league. If there is one position that they lack at then that would be in the middle of the defensive line. They already have great pass rushers on the outside with J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus. Just imagine how much more potent that rush would be with Richardson up the gut. The Texans have plenty of cap space to take a flyer on a low motor player with high level talent. Here is an old clip of the big man’s speed, didn’t catch him but still impressive:
Seems appropriate to post on this day. #Vikings WR Jarius Wright with the game-winner in OT against the #Jets in 2014, with DT Sheldon Richardson giving chase 50+ yards downfield on the play. pic.twitter.com/w0J0AyPfhH
— Kevin Brown (@KevinBrownNFL) March 17, 2018
Dante Fowler Jr.- Current team is the Los Angeles Rams
Fowler is an interesting player. Injured before he could play any meaningful snap his rookie year, he started his career behind the 8-ball. It also didn’t help being on a team with one of the deepest defensive lines at the time. Fowler rarely saw the field but when he did you saw flashes of his pass rushing ability.
There is a reason he was a top 5 pick. Probably why the Rams traded for him in their win now season. They know now after his recent production he will be unobtainable due to their cap space. Still a good move for them looking to win a Super Bowl this season.
Where Will He Sign- San Francisco 49ers Defensive End
The 49ers again have boat loads of cash to spend and one of their biggest needs is pass rusher. Earlier I had them signing C.J. Mosley, now the addition of Fowler, and also a possible #1 pick Nick Bosa on the opposite side. Throw in Fred Warner, Deforest Buckner and Solomon Thomas and this defense looks young and good. Fowler is a much needed pass rusher and won’t be a t a huge cost considering low career output. Watch Fowler read this play and lay a nice hit:
"Dante Fowler read it PERFECTLY!"
All-22: Breaking down Fowler's critical tackle for loss that held the Lions to a field goal. pic.twitter.com/kRPueoamV5
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 4, 2018
David Irving– Current team is the Dallas Cowboys
David Irving is another talent who has produced at a high level in limited action. His play in the last eight games of the 2017 season was eye opening. The Cowboys however have employed one of the better defenses in the NFL this season without the need of Irving.
Randy Gregory has become an every week sack threat pairing with Demarcus Lawrence. Tyrone Crawford has played well in his absence as well. All this may allow for the Cowboys to draft a DT as opposed to ponying up and paying Irving when they can spend elsewhere.
Where Will He Sign- Indianapolis Colts Defensive Tackle
The Colts will be entering the off season with the most cap space in the NFL. This will allow them to overspend a little and fill some of their holes. Mainly this will be on the defensive side of the ball. The Colts lack a real pass rushing threat up the middle.
Denico Autry and Margus Hunt have been spotty to say the least. Hunt is a free agent and instead of resigning him they should spend that cap space on an unreal talent like Irving. Watch this great outside-in move to get to the QB:
David Irving pic.twitter.com/B5W1xS0v5H
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) December 5, 2017
Kareem Jackson– Current team is the Houston Texans
Kareem Jackson is having a career year in his age 30 season. The Texans employ one of the best secondaries in the NFL. Unfortunately for Jackson both him and Tyrann Mathieu are free agents and Mathieu will likely be the one extended. Jackson can have his corner position filled by Kevin Johnson (if he is ever healthy), or they can look to the draft. That is nothing against Jackson, he has played great. Just cheaper options.
Where Will He Sign- Indianapolis Colts Cornerback/Safety
Outside of Kenny Moore the Colts corners are suspect. All have preformed well in short stints but none consistently. Jackson will provide a veteran presence and can literally play any secondary position from slot corner to strong safety. This versatility is huge for the Colts as it will allow them to keep their best talent on the field all the time. With a lot of cap space they can over spend a bit for who they want. Talk about sniffing out a screen, I love this clip:
Morris Claiborne– Current team is the New York Jets
Claiborne has quietly been one of the better corners in the NFL for the past 2-3 years. He was mainly a #2 option in Dallas while being inconsistent his first few years. Knowing that though, he has always had the talent. He didn’t truly shine until his time with the Jets.
In his 1 1/2 years with the Jets he has totaled 83 tackles (63 solo), 21 passes defensed (13 in 12 games this year), and 3 interceptions. I don’t see Claiborne resigning with the Jets considering the current state of the team. He could make a really nice impact on a contender.
Where Will He Sign- San Francisco 49ers Cornerback
I know I’m being optimistic about a lot of 49ers signings but I think that they go and spend the money this year. With the massive cap room they have they can. Internally they have no need to spend on running back, Marcell Harris looks to be a solid safety to go along with Tarrt, the only other major positions are linebacker, edge rusher, and receiver. I covered them getting their linebacker and edge rushers earlier and Shanahan does a good job at drafting mid round ofensive talent.
They do not really have many good options internally for cornerback. I expect them to go corner early in the draft but grabbing somebody like CLaiborne in free agency would be a smart idea. You think you have him beat? Think again, look at this great play:
Tre Boston– Current team is Arizona Cardinals
Tre Boston was one of the forgotten safeties in free agency this past season. He proved early in the season that whoever passed on him made a mistake. Boston has great ball skills and routinely forces turnovers. In his first six games this season prior to being injured his numbers were great.
He came up with 40 tackles (33 solo), 7 passes defensed, 3 interceptions and 1 forced fumble. Arizona still says they are a win now team and convinced Patrick Peterson to stay. They only took a flyer on Boston though with a one year contract and I see another team spending some extra cash to grab him.
Where Will He Sign- Indianapolis Colts Hybrid Safety
My other team other than the 49ers that has promise and mounds of cap space is the Colts. I already have them grabbing a big pass rushing DT and a solid veteran conrer. Here I have them tightening up the back end of the defense. Imagine a safety trio of Tre Boston, sure tackling Clayton Geathers, and center fielder Malik Hooker.
With this signing you could see the Colts run the soon to be common defense with 3 safeties just like Arizona does. Geathers can play the role Antoine Bethea plays ib Arizona, Boston will shift to Budda Baker‘s role, and Hooker plays what Boston does now in Arizona. That could make for an interesting concept fror the Colts. Here is a look of how Boston can hit, playing the Budda Baker role:
Tre Boston BODIED this man 😵💀 https://t.co/8RObMXsDcW
— Athlete Posts (@TheAthIetePosts) December 21, 2016
Earl Thomas– Current team is the Seattle Seahawks
I think that Earl Thomas‘ middle finger told us all that he will not be rejoining the Seahawks. He seems pretty disgusted about how they treated his contract situation. Unfortunate for them, before Thomas broke his leg he was having yet another great season. In the four games he played he had 22 tackles (16 solo), 5 passes defensed and 3 interceptions. He will not be with the Seahawks, but with who?
Where Will He Sign- Kansas City Chiefs Free Safety
The Chiefs were trying like dogs to trade for Thomas and rightfully so. He would have made a great addition to a team with Super Bowl aspirations. This offseason they give it another shot having not filled the void they hoped Thomas would have. It makes too much sense. Sorry Seahawks fans, I had too:
Earl Thomas just flipped off his own team as he was carted off… sheesh pic.twitter.com/DXl0e5cKq8
— Nick Brown (@NickyBeaster) September 30, 2018
Kenny Vaccaro– Current team is the Tennessee Titans
Kenny Vaccaro was one of the out casted safeties due to his inclusion in the kneeling protests. The Titans lost Jonathan Cyprien for the year with injury and were left to scramble. They signed Vaccaro for the remainder of the season and he ahs played admirably. Well enough in fact to make teams forget about the protests and will now get another good contract. With Cyprien coming back I do not see the Titans putting up cash to retain him and have one of the safeties riding the pine.
Where Will He Sign- Cleveland Browns Strong Safety
The Browns could use some safety help. Once the season is over and their corners get healthy again Damrious Randall can move back to free safety where he played well. Jabrill Peppers hasn’t been great at the strong safety position. The Browns could sign Vaccaro relatively cheap and run him and Randall at the two safety positions. This would really work better for Peppers as well as he played a hybrid safety/linebacker role in college which he can now do again. Seems to smart to pay low on a guy that could help your already solid defensive backfield, just missing a piece. Ask Stefon Diggs how hard he hits:
Kenny Vaccaro 😮 pic.twitter.com/A0moCDS6gN
— SamRobs (@SamRobs22) September 12, 2017
Well there is my way too early free agency IDP predictions. I can’t wait until the offseason to see how many come true. Based of current rosters and cap positions I think all of these make sense. We will have to wait and see if any of the GM’s agree with me.
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