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Buffalo Bills: Edge Jadeveon Clowney
The Bills lost a pair of defensive ends in Trent Murphy and Quinton Jefferson in free agency and desperately need to replace that production. Two of the more impactful pass-rushers on the roster right now are aging, with Jerry Hughes (32) and Mario Addison (33) both well past the wrong side of 30.
Jadeveon Clowney represents the best chance for this squad to add a younger, disruptive force on the defensive line for the 2021 season. The 28-year-old should still have plenty left in the tank despite amassing just three sacks over his last 21 games with the Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks.
Locking him up on a multiyear deal would secure Buffalo’s edge-rushing capabilities for a while, especially with 2020 second-round pick A.J. Epenesa appearing poised to make a leap.
One prohibitive factor here would be cost, as Spotrac estimates the Bills have a shade under $5 million in cap space, with Clowney projected to ink a contract worth around $6.5 million per year. If Buffalo can find a way to free up some finances, putting them toward a pass-rusher of Clowney’s caliber would be the best move to help build on last year’s AFC Championship Game appearance.
Miami Dolphins: WR Marquise Goodwin
The Dolphins look committed to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa after trading down from the No. 3 pick and not acquiring a signal-caller expected to seriously battle him for starting reps. They got their quarterback a top-tier target in free agency as well, signing wideout Will Fuller V to a one-year deal to significantly upgrade the receiver corps.
Fuller was a great pickup on a value contract given his production, but the team still needs to provide more weapons for Tagovailoa. One of Fuller’s issues during his career has been reliability, as the receiver hasn’t played more than 11 games in a single season since his rookie year in 2016 and will already miss the first contest of the 2021 campaign due to a PED suspension that cut his incredible 2020 outing short.
Signing Marquise Goodwin is a great way to add another quality WR to the stable on a budget deal. He hasn’t been seen since 2019 after he opted out of last season but should still be one of the league’s faster players at the position.
Goodwin is only a few years removed from a 56-catch, 962-yard season with the San Francisco 49ers and would be a quality veteran option for Tagovailoa to target on the deep ball. Pairing him with Fuller—or using him in Fuller’s stead if inactive—is exactly what the ‘Phins need to take a step forward in 2021.
New England Patriots: LB Kwon Alexander
The Patriots have been working tirelessly to overhaul a roster that disappointed last year. The linebacker corps has seen plenty of change during this free-agency frenzy, as the club inked both Matt Judon and Kyle Van Noy to bolster the pass rush. They still have to shore up the interior linebacker position, however, and no unsigned player at that spot seems better suited to take New England to the next level than Kwon Alexander.
Alexander was recently let go by the New Orleans Saints after a short stint with them. He suffered a torn Achilles late in the 2020 season, the latest in a string of injuries that have kept him off the field. While the 26-year-old has failed to play a full 16-game campaign since 2016, he has been one of the more dynamic interior linebackers when he is on the field.
This signing would represent the type of rehabilitation project that head coach Bill Belichick hasn’t been scared to take on during his longstanding tenure in New England. It’s far from guaranteed that Alexander will be able to return to the form that made him one of the league’s more athletic and skilled linebackers, but if he can do so, he would be an amazing pickup for a Pats defense that would make great use of his abilities.
New York Jets: OG Trai Turner
The Jets came into the offseason needing to upgrade the offensive line and had plenty of cash available to do so, but they have so far whiffed on all the top linemen to hit the open market. In addition to the lack of marquee signings, Gang Green also lost Pat Elflein to the Carolina Panthers and have more work to do to get their line in shape before the season begins.
While New York did come to terms with guard Dan Feeney, it could use some more support in the trenches. Trai Turner is one of the better interior linemen still unsigned, with teams perhaps wary of his ugly 2020 campaign. According to PFF, Turner graded out at just a 34.8 last year, a significant drop from a 63.9 in 2019.
Despite this down year, Turner is still a proven veteran that deserves a chance to show last year was an anomaly. He is worth kicking the tires on for what would likely be around the veteran’s minimum, providing a decent depth option at worst for a bargain-bin price.