It’s the season of hope in the NFL, when teams add new players through free agency and the draft, giving fans reason to be optimistic.
With that in mind, here’s one free-agent signing every team should make this offseason based on which players would be ideal fits for each franchise. A team’s projected cap space, needs and potential scheme fits were weighed.
Another in a long line of NFL-ready Ohio State cornerbacks, Ward is a different type of player than last year’s star prospect Marshon Lattimore. But Ward has the potential to make a similar impact in the NFL.
Listed at cornerback but able to be graded there or at safety, Fitzpatrick was the star of Alabama’s fierce defense with his outstanding instincts, lateral movement and timing as a tackler and pass defender.
Guice took the reigns from Leonard Fournette at LSU, and while he didn’t rise to the same level as a prospect, he is a first-round pick in his own right. He should wow at the Combine.
A long, powerful cornerback with outstanding physicality, Davis has the makings of a lockdown press Cover 3 defender, potentially taking the mantle from Richard Sherman.
While he lacks some of the high-end interior pass-rush upside generally coveted for a high draft pick at defensive tackle, Hurst is a powerful, gap-containing and disruptive interior presence who can help pillar a defense.
Go all-in, Winnipeg. This is your moment. While we’ve been so impressed by the Jets’ depth this season — who expected rookie forward Kyle Connor to break out like this? — adding a player like Patrick Maroon to the bottom six would be even more fabulous.
The Saints rarely go after the most expensive tier of blockbuster free agents, but expect something similar to last year when they spent big on one high-end guy (guard Larry Warford at $8.5 million per year), then found a handful of other key players in the second and third tiers (A.J. Klein, Ted Ginn Jr., Alex Okafor, Manti Te’o, etc.). — Mike Triplett