As the 2023 NFL season approaches, teams want to make subtle yet impactful changes to their rosters. Sometimes, these minor adjustments can significantly impact critical positions and provide depth for both strong and emerging contenders.W hich free agents are still available and could attract attention before Week 1? And more importantly, where do they fit in best? Let’s play NFL Agent Matchmaker and explore potential landing spots for a few notable unsigned players.
Commanders’ QB Carson Wentz to the Green Bay Packers
Amid the Green Bay Packers quarterback transition from Aaron Rodgers to Jordan Love, one aspect that needs to be addressed is the absence of an experienced backup for their new signal-caller. While Carson Wentz may have had his ups and downs, he brings valuable veteran experience, and something needs to be added in current backups, Sean Clifford and Danny Etling. Additionally, a move to Green Bay would bring Wentz closer to his Midwestern roots, adding an intriguing dimension to the potential match.
Dolphins QB Teddy Bridgewater to the Arizona Cardinals
While the Arizona Cardinals’ primary focus may be on competing in the 2024 season, there are some immediate concerns with Kyler Murray recovering from a late-year ACL tear and aging backup Colt McCoy also returning from his injuries. As new coach Jonathan Gannon takes charge, he may rely on Clayton Tune and David Blough to shoulder the early load. However, another viable option could be Teddy Bridgewater, a proven stopgap quarterback with connections to Gannon and offensive coordinator Drew Petzing. Bridgewater’s experience and familiarity with the coaching staff make him an intriguing candidate to provide stability and support during the season’s early stages.
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott to the Los Angeles Chargers
Although the Los Angeles Chargers may not have a pressing need for a running back with the presence of Austin Ekeler on their roster, it’s worth considering that Ekeler thrives as a passing option for quarterback Justin Herbert. While Ezekiel Elliott’s recent performance with the Dallas Cowboys may not have been as efficient as desired, he still possesses the skills necessary to contribute in a rotational role. Additionally, the Chargers’ new offensive coordinator, Kellen Moore, has previous familiarity with Elliott from their time together in Dallas. This connection could enhance Elliott’s fit within the Chargers’ offensive scheme.
Saints WR Jarvis Landry to the Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings have made a significant investment in their wide receiver corps by selecting Jordan Addison in the draft’s first round. Addison’s exceptional route-running abilities make him an ideal complement to the explosive talent of Justin Jefferson. However, there is still an opportunity for the Vikings to add depth to the position without breaking the bank. If healthy, Jarvis Landry could be a valuable addition, providing intense competition for K.J. Osborn in the slot. The scenario becomes particularly important as the Vikings shift towards a more pass-heavy approach, considering the uncertainty surrounding Dalvin Cook’s future with the team.
Giants WR Kenny Golladay to the Detroit Lions
Kenny Golladay’s fortunes downturned after signing a lucrative deal with the New York Giants in the 2021 free agency. However, despite his struggles, Golladay’s imposing physique would be a valuable secondary option for the Detroit Lions, who have their sights set on a playoff run. The aspect becomes even more crucial, considering that Jameson Williams will be suspended at the start of the season. Golladay’s presence would provide the Lions with a reliable target and add depth to their receiving corps as they aim for a successful postseason campaign.
Titans Center Ben Jones to the Houston Texans
THE TEAM HAS SOME CRITICAL COMPONENTS, with C.J. Stroud leading the offense and Will Anderson Jr. wreaking havoc as a pass rusher. However, the priority now is to provide Stroud with ample protection. While the tackle positions are solid, the Houston team could benefit from strengthening the interior offensive line. A potential solution could be bringing back Jones, who initially started his career with the Texans before having a successful stint in Tennessee. Jones and rookie Juice Scruggs are versatile to play at guard and center, adding depth and stability to the offensive line. By bolstering the interior, Houston aims to create a formidable front to keep Stroud upright and maximize the team’s offensive potential.
Colts DE Yannick Ngakoue to the Detroit Lions
Why not take a chance? The Detroit Lions have been actively bolstering their defense at every position this offseason. However, there’s still a need for a dominant pass rusher to complement Aidan Hutchinson, especially as they set their sights on a legitimate playoff run. Ngakoue has established himself as a specialist off the edge, known for his ability to generate pressure on opposing quarterbacks. While he may be labeled as a one-trick pony, bringing him in on a one-year deal, similar to the approach with C.J. Gardner-Johnson, could provide the Lions with significant big-play potential. As Detroit seeks to enhance their defensive prowess, Ngakoue’s knack for disruptive plays could make him a valuable addition to their roster.
RAMS OLB Leonard Floyd to the Seattle Seahawks
In their effort to strengthen the front seven, the Seattle Seahawks have made significant investments this offseason, securing the services of Dre’Mont Jones and reuniting with Jarran Reed. These moves have undoubtedly bolstered their defensive line. However, there is still a need for an explosive edge rusher to provide an additional spark. Enter Leonard Floyd, released by the division rival Rams due to salary cap constraints. Despite flying under the radar, Floyd has quietly recorded at least nine sacks in the past three seasons. His consistent pass-rushing ability makes him an enticing option for Seattle. With his skill set, Floyd could seamlessly slide into the role of a plug-and-play 3-4 outside linebacker, adding the much-needed edge presence the Seahawks desire.
Ravens CB Marcus Peters to the San Francisco 49ers
While he may have entered the twilight of his career, Richard Peters still possesses a wealth of toughness and experience that can significantly benefit the San Francisco 49ers’ secondary. As the team aims to position itself as a contender in the NFC, it has seen the departure of vital defensive backs Emmanuel Moseley and Jimmie Ward in free agency. Although the addition of Isaiah Oliver from Atlanta provides some reinforcement, Peters’ seasoned presence and versatility as an outside cornerback could prove invaluable, especially during critical moments later in the season. As San Francisco strives for success, the depth and expertise that Peters brings could be a valuable asset.
Browns SS John Johnson to the Los Angeles Chargers
While the Los Angeles Chargers boast an impressive secondary anchored by the talented Derwin James, head coach Brandon Staley is left relying on Alohi Gilman, a former sixth-round pick with limited experience, to handle the other safety position for a team with playoff aspirations. Staley, who previously coached with the Rams, witnessed firsthand one of John Johnson’s most successful seasons before the veteran safety secured a lucrative deal with the Browns. Considering Staley’s familiarity with Johnson’s abilities, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Chargers pursued him to bolster their secondary and provide a reliable partner for James. Johnson’s proven track record could prove invaluable as Los Angeles seeks to solidify its status as a formidable contender.