By Reece Mowlem.
With the opening of the free agent market just a few days away, analysts everywhere are speculating, trying to predict how things will play out. That's a tough task for any expert, so instead of making a prediction, I've put together a small list of team and player pairings that I'd personally like to see become a reality this offseason. If you don't like any of the fits, then don't worry, I'm not your team's GM.
Landon Collins on the Indianapolis Colts
Why the Giants think a 25-year-old All-Pro safety isn't worth hanging on to is beyond me, but that's what they've decided, making Collins one of the top free agents on the market. Now I expect a shed-load of teams will be looking to secure his services for the next few years, but I'd love to see Landon join the Colts this offseason. Almost every player on the Indy defence vastly outplayed their expectations last year, but the strong safety position was one of the few weaknesses in the unit. Why not turn that weakness into a strength? Why not put Landon Collins alongside Malik Hooker and create an elite safety tandem? The Colts have more than enough cap space to do it. Adding Collins would give a sizeable boost to a team some already have tipped for the Super Bowl.
Trey Flowers on the Oakland Raiders
The Raiders only managed 13 sacks as a whole team in 2018, a total that was bettered by 7 players individually. With most of the top free agent quarterback-hitters being hit themselves with a franchise tag, Flowers is undoubtedly the best pass rusher left on the open market. Oakland have both the cap space and the need for an elite defensive linemen so I want to see them go out and get the best one they can. Some might think he's not worth the big contract, but Flowers was ranked by Pro Football Focus as the 6th best edge rusher in the league last season.
Jason Verrett on the Seattle Seahawks
Due to his major injury problems over the last year couple of seasons, a big chunk of NFL fans have seemed to have forgotten just how good Jason Verrett is when firing on all cylinders. He was a legitimate Pro Bowl player in 2015, but has only managed 5 games in the 3 years since. That will of course hurt his value, but I still think he's worth taking a chance on. Even if it's just a 1-year 'prove it' deal, I'd like to see the Seahawks offer the 27-year-old a contract and potentially bring a stud into a secondary a long way away from the 'Legion of Boom' glory years.
Adam Humphries on the Detroit Lions
Since losing Golden Tate in the middle of last season, the Lions have really missed having a tough, reliable receiver in the slot. Now Adam Humphries is just that (and should be pretty cheap to sign). It's clear that Stafford needs a safety blanket to look for on the short and intermediate routes in order to open up the deep game, and I'm sure the staff in Detroit recognise that. Much like Tate, Humphries will make the tough grabs over the middle of the field all game long, and he isn't scared to take a hit from a linebacker. He'd be a great addition for a handful of teams, but I like the fit in Motor City best.
Matt Paradis on the New York Jets
When All-Pro centre Nick Mangold retired after 11 seasons in New York, he left a very large hole in the offensive line, a hole that hasn't yet been filled. This offseason the Jets have a chance to change that. With the Broncos letting Matt Paradis hit free agency, it means PFF's second highest graded centre from 2018 is on the market. The Jets need to bring in some big men to protect their young franchise QB, and maybe make space for Le'Veon Bell, so why not start that in the middle with a high-end veteran talent.
Tyrann Mathieu on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
When I watched the Cardinals season of 'All Or Nothing' in 2016, it was clear that Bruce Arians and Tyrann Mathieu had a close bond. Now that BA's in Tampa, a team with maybe the worst secondary in the NFL, it seems almost too obvious for the honey-badger not to end up on the Bucs in 2019. He may not have played his best football over the past few seasons, but Mathieu can still make a big impact in the league for years to come.
John Brown on the Philadelphia Eagles
Torrey Smith in 2017. Mike Wallace in 2018. John Brown in 2019? The Eagles have made a habit of signing ex-Ravens speedsters under Doug Pederson, and I think Brown could be the perfect compliment to the current receiving corps in Philly. Like all of the receivers in Baltimore, Brown's stats fell of a cliff when rookie Lamar Jackson came into the lineup last year, but the 28-year-old was putting up big numbers with Joe Flacco earlier on in the season. Brown can certainly still produce and would add a much needed deep threat to Carson Wentz's offence.
K.J. Wright on the Cleveland Browns
It's clear from the recent trade for edge rusher Olivier Vernon that John Dorsey wants to build a formidable defence over in Ohio. However with Jamie Collins confirmed as a cut casualty, a spot has opened up at linebacker that Wright could not only fill, but upgrade. Although it's not the highest priority position the Browns need to target in free agency, it's one I do believe they need to address, and Wright might be the best available on the market. He also shouldn't be too expensive. Make it happen John!
Tevin Coleman on the Buffalo Bills
This is a simple one, the Bills need weapons to put around Josh Allen. He may not be a workhorse back, but Coleman might be the best runner available in free agency outside of Bell and would work well as part of a committee in Buffalo.
Jay Ajayi back on the Miami Dolphins
Although he did win a Super Bowl ring, I think even the Brit would admit his time with the Eagles didn't go quite as well as he would have wanted. But even with his knee troubles, I do believe Ajayi can still be a useful back as part of a committee. That's why I'd send him back to the Dolphins, adding physicality to a Miami RB group that will most likely lose veteran Frank Gore this offseason. Ajayi and Drake would bring some thunder and lightening to the Floridian city.
Mowlem is a sports writer from Reading, United Kingdom. All articles are written by Reece Mowlem (unless stated otherwise).