NFL

Who’s the Most Valuable Free Agent in the NFL?

Speculation about the NFL offseason has begun. And several free agents will really help teams improve next season. But which free agent is the most valuable? Let’s look at the top names of 2020’s free agency to determine who will be the most valuable free agent in the NFL.

Dak Prescott

Despite giving Ezekiel Elliott a big extension prior to the 2019 season, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has yet to open his wallet for quarterback Dak Prescott. The 26-year-old was very good last season, passing for almost 5,000 yards and throwing 30 touchdowns.

The problem is that the Cowboys came up way short of expectations. While it wasn’t really Prescott’s fault, it may cause Dallas to be reluctant to give him a big deal. It’s highly doubtful other teams will share this belief, however.

Ryan Tannehill

Ryan Tannehill of the Tennessee Titans smiles during the Pro Bowl
Ryan Tannehill of the Titans smiles during the Pro Bowl | Mark Brown/Getty Images

One of the biggest surprises of 2019? Ryan Tannehill taking over for Marcus Mariota in Tennessee then promptly guiding the Titans to an AFC championship appearance. They came up short against Kansas City, but Tannehill acquitted himself nicely this postseason.

His disappointing career so far notwithstanding, he enters this free-agent period poised to get consideration as a starter somewhere. While it’s true the Titans’ offensive success largely came at the hands of running back Derrick Henry, Tannehill will still get looks from other teams. 

Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston was an absolute interception machine this season, throwing more than 30 touchdowns. Combine this with coach Bruce Arians’ comments that the Buccanneers could win with another quarterback, and it’s clear Winston will be headed elsewhere in 2020. 

Tom Brady

There’s been a lot of speculation about where Tom Brady will end up. The Patriots make the most sense, but he may want to challenge himself to win elsewhere before retiring.

Either way, this is a short-term rental: The 43-year-old has plans to retire at 45. A two-year deal with New England makes the most sense, but if Brady and Bill Belichick can’t agree to terms, expect a team with quarterback trouble to bid for the services of this icon

Who is the most valuable free agent in the NFL? 

When you consider all of the factors — talent, accomplishments, and age — the answer is pretty clear. Prescott is the most valuable free agent in the NFL. Although Brady has the most championships, he’s playing on borrowed time. His value to any team outside of the Patriots is debatable.

While Winston has great arm strength and the ability to move the ball downfield, his turnovers make him a huge liability. He’ll get another opportunity to start (No. 1 picks usually get at least two chances). Five years into the Winston experiment, however, and it’s clear he is what he is.

Similarly, Tannehill played well for Tennessee this year, but it’s a small sample size. He’s seen much more time playing inconsistently in Miami. 

Prescott is the most logical choice and will likely command the biggest payday of these free agents. He’s still young; he showed he can throw the ball effectively this year. Prescott is also durable, lacking major injuries in his career so far. If Dallas were smart they’d lock him up to an extension quickly. If they don’t, we expect Prescott to be the No. 1 target for teams seeking a quarterback.

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