The Four Most Interesting Names In NFL Free Agency 2018
On March 12th, the NFL’s version of the “hot stove league,” officially kicks off, with free agency set to open that night. Like in most other years, there are many big name players who could sign big time deals. But this year’s group offers four big names in general, who could not only shape free agency as a whole, but the futures of their future employer as well:
Andrew Norwell, OL — He doesn’t get the notoriety of the rest of the guys on this list, but make no mistake: Andrew Norwell is one of the best free agent players in this year’s group, at any position. The former undrafted free agent has turned into a total stud as an interior offensive lineman, as evidenced by the fact that he was named a First-Team All-Pro in 2017. With Carolina Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney handing out other large (and perhaps ill-reasoned) contracts, they have little money left to keep Norwell around. Most people believe that Norwell heading to New York and signing with the Giants, reuniting with former Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman, is essentially a done deal.
Allen Robinson, WR — He got overshadowed somewhat, given the rise of the Jacksonville Jaguars last season, juxtaposed with the fact that he went down early in the season with a torn ACL injury. But Robinson showed early in his career that he’s a very good route runner, and can separate from defensive backs with the best of them. After a solid rookie year, Robinson broke out in his sophomore season in the NFL, going for more than 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns. He came back to Earth a bit in 2016, and lost all of 2017 to the aforementioned injury. Still, with an otherwise weak group at wide receiver in both free agency and the draft, expect Robinson to command a lot of attention. Three teams to keep an eye on: the San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, and the Washington Redskins.
Richard Sherman, CB — As recently as three years ago, many people considered Richard Sherman to be among the very best cornerbacks in the NFL, if not the very best overall. But the most notorious member of Seattle’s (former) “Legion of Boom” has seemingly declined in recent years, while his salary cap figure continued to escalate. That’s why Seattle made little attempt to hide the fact that they were open to trading Sherman both last summer, as well as this spring. After not finding any suitors, Sherman will become a highly-coveted free agent cornerback this offseason. One darkhorse team to keep an eye on? The New England Patriots, who offer a championship-ready destination that Sherman will likely enjoy.
Kirk Cousins, QB — After one of the most unprecedented (and unorthodox) strings of annual franchise tag tenders on a quarterback who was arguably among the 10 best in the NFL, the Washington Redskins are now going to part ways with quarterback Kirk Cousins, after both sides soured on the increasingly strained relationship. By all accounts, Cousins is going to break the bank with his next contract, as he signs with some quarterback-needy team this offseason. The front-runners appear to be the Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets, but don’t discount the Denver Broncos, who have been quite open in their admiration of Cousins.