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#pounditTuesday, May 11, 2021

5 most attractive NFL free agents entering 2020

Tom Brady

The 2019 regular season is over, and we’re now onto the divisional round of the NFL Playoffs. That also means we’re just two months and some days removed from the start of the new league year and the craziness that is free agency.

This year, free agency is going to have a different feel to it due to a top-end abundance of superstars and future Hall of Famers, but who are the best of the best? Which free agents are destined to draw the most attention? Let’s take a look at five of the most attractive free agents entering 2020.

5. Anthony Harris, safety

Amari Cooper, Yannick Ngakoue and a few others drew consideration for this spot, but how can a list like this exist without exploring the still-ascending Anthony Harris? Once an undrafted free agent, the 28-year-old Harris is now one of the best safeties in football and still getting better each week. He finished the 2019 season with 60 tackles, one stuff, 11 passes defensed, six interceptions and one touchdown. Even more impressive? He allowed just 11 receptions on the season to those six interceptions, earning him a Pro Football Focus grade of 90.5, which was the third-highest grade at the safety position league-wide. With the safety position increasing in value, expect someone to shell out some serious coin for Harris.

4. Jadeveon Clowney, EDGE

When the Seattle Seahawks acquired Jadeveon Clowney from the Houston Texans, they were not envisioning a one-and-done situation. Ideally, they were hoping to bring Clowney back in 2020. It’s easy to understand why that would be their goal. Clowney is one of the most disruptive edge rushers in all of football despite recording just three sacks this past season, and he more than holds his own against the run.

The former No. 1 pick is an all-around talent who can legitimately excel in the right system and under the right coaching. Will that come in Seattle or some other city in 2020? That remains to be seen, but don’t let the limited statistics fool you — the race to land Clowney will be intense.

3. Chris Jones, defensive lineman

Speaking of game-changing, disruptive defensive linemen, how about Chris Jones? Capable of playing both inside and outside, Jones is another all-around lineman capable of rushing the passer, collapsing the pocket, and stopping the run. At 6-foot-6 and 310 pounds, Jones is an athletic monster of a man, and his production represents that. In 2018, he recorded 15.5 sacks and followed it up with another nine sacks over 13 games this season. The Chiefs will want him back, but there are about 31 other teams that will have interest as well. Likely to be a popular target this offseason, Jones is going to cash in big-time. Expect his contract to be among the largest in free agency (outside of the quarterbacks).

2. Drew Brees, quarterback

Drew Brees has changed teams previously, but his current standing as one of the league’s greatest makes his pending free agency so much more intriguing and, to some degree, odd. Brees has been a staple in New Orleans since 2006. And while it’s difficult to envision him playing elsewhere, that’s a very real possibility for the soon-to-be 41-year-old, who believes he has a good 4-5 years left. With his contract set to expire on March 18, Brees will likely receive heavy interest from teams looking for established veteran quarterbacks they believe can put them over the hump. The Saints, ironically, are one of those teams, but they also have a decision to make on Teddy Bridgewater, an impending free agent, and Taysom Hill, who Sean Payton has previously implied could take over as the team’s starter.

1. Tom Brady, quarterback

Can you believe Tom Brady is going to be a first-time free agent? It’s almost surreal that the greatest quarterback in the history of football may be available for the taking, but here we are. However, the market for the 42-year-old Brady, who is clearly in a decline (don’t argue — it’s true and everyone knows it), may not be as robust as some anticipate. Still, you can bet some quarterback-needy teams or organizations with a young talent under center will be lining up to see what Brady and his representation are seeking — more so than some other over-hyped impending free agents like Dak Prescott. And in Brady’s own words, “there’s still more to prove.” While Robert Kraft is saying a prayer that Brady returns in 2020, ready yourselves to see the G.O.A.T. in new colors.


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