Another NFL free agency period is here, and that means teams around the league will be looking to improve their rosters. Some teams will make few impact moves — either because of having a good roster already or because of limited cap space — but these teams should be among the most active teams on the market this offseason.
The Cardinals finished last season 3-13, earning them the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. That pick, which could potentially be QB Kyler Murray, will help the team in its rebuilding effort, but with a lack of talent on the roster, the Cardinals need more help than they can get from just a draft pick.
They’ve already agreed to sign some free agents — including CB Robert Alford, DE Brooks Reed, and TE Charles Clay — but should still have more than $40 million of cap space remaining to sign more guys. Clay helps fill a hole in the receiving game, but look for Arizona to sign at least one free-agent wide receiver because the team doesn’t have much depth at the position behind veteran Larry Fitzgerald. The poor receiver play is one reason Josh Rosen struggled at QB last season, which is why Arizona might pick Murry at No. 1.
The Browns took a big step forward last season, going 7-8-1 after a winless 2017 campaign, but they could use more help if they want to get over the hump and become a playoff team.
They have a legit young quarterback in Baker Mayfield, but he could use some receiving help. Look for Browns GM John Dorsey to use some of his nearly $80 million in cap space to sign a receiver and add to the defense during free agency. The receiving depth chart is thin behind WR Jarvis Landry, whose 81 catches led the team by a wide margin last season. Signing another solid No. 1 or No. 2 pass-catcher would add to the young offensive core that includes Mayfield and RB Nick Chubb.
New York Jets
With more than $100 million to spend, the Jets are one of the teams with the most cap space. They also have a lot of holes to fill on their roster, so it looks like they’re going to be active in free agency.
Perhaps the team’s greatest need is a solid starting running back, which is why the Jets are being linked with former Steeler Le’Veon Bell, who is looking to get a big-money contract after sitting out all of the 2018 season. And since the Jets’ leading receiver last season, Robby Anderson, only had 50 receptions don’t be surprised if they sign a receiver or two because, like the Browns, they have young quarterback in Sam Darnold whose upside is currently limited by a lack of receiving options. Defensively, the Jets could be in the market to sign an edge rusher.
The Colts were a 10-win team last season and won a playoff game, so they don’t have as many needs as the previous three teams, but they have money to spend. The Colts have about $110 million in cap space, which is the most in the league, and the could stand to improve at some positions. Among them is wide receiver. T.Y. Hilton is a strong No. 1, but it may benefit the Colts to add a receiver in free agency to give QB Andrew Luck some extra help. The team could also use a good pass rusher after ranking in the bottom half of the NFL with 38 sacks in 2018.
The Jaguars may not sign a lot of big names in free agency, but they may sign one of the biggest. They are the team that seems to be most motivated to sign QB Nick Foles. Reports indicate Foles will sign a four-year, $88 million deal with the team — with $50 million guaranteed — which paves the way for Blake Bortles’ release. Even with that deal, the Jaguars could still be able to sign some other mid-tier free agents, perhaps focusing on the offensive line to help protect Foles and RB Leonard Fournette.