There is a great looking cast of free agents on the way for the 2016 offseason, which ones will actually make it to free agent waters though, is a different matter altogether. Most of the biggest names on the list are on highly successful teams, so leaving for more money but a worse franchise, may not be the best way to go.
Carolina Panther cornerback Josh Norman fits that description perfectly. He’s coming off a career season with four interceptions, two of which were pick-sixes and three forced fumbles. Norman will definitely look to cash in, but would leaving the league-best 15-1 Panthers be the best idea? With Carolina given +200 odds to win Super Bowl 50, there’s a good chance he’ll stick around.
Should Josh Norman take off from the Cats though, he’ll be looking for a contract similar to that of Patrick Peterson or Richard Sherman. At the age of 28, he’ll want at least 4-5 years of $65 and $70 million dollars. Is he worth that much? Probably not. He’s the biggest cornerback name on the market though and is coming off a highly successful year individually and team-wise. He’s also one of the few in his age range with that resume at that position. So yes, he’ll likely get the dough.
The other big name on the defensive side of things is Denver Bronco linebacker Von Miller. He’ll likely check out the market with Peyton Manning on his way out. The team’s chances are going taking a pretty big hit next season, especially if free agent Brock Osweiler decides to test the waters as well.
Miller is a four-time Pro Bowler and is coming off yet another AFC West title season. At the age of 26, he’ll be able to demand some pretty good money. Likely somewhere around fellow linebackers Bobby Wagner of the Seahawks and Panthers Luke Kuechly between $50 and $60 million over 4-5 years.
The Philadelphia Eagles are looking to rebuild their defense and could be good suitors. The New York Giants are in need of a superstar on the back end. The biggest fishers though, may be the Fish themselves – the Miami Dolphins. They’re always looking to spend money and are in need of a bit more help on defense to support the shortcomings of Ryan Tannehill. Seeing how he’s signed on for another five years as well, a little more help on d wouldn’t be a bad thing.
On the offensive side, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery will turn some heads. He’ll likely look to get out of Chicago as quickly as possible, seeing how the team seems to be standing behind Jay Cutler and there’s another first string wide out coming up the ranks. The Bears selected Michigan standout Kevin White seventh overall in the 2015 draft but lost him to injury in his first year. Jeffery hasn’t been the healthiest receiver as of late either, but he is 25 years old and has a hefty amount of first string experience.
Greg Olsen got out of the Cutler regime early in 2010. He took off for Carolina and is now contending for a Super Bowl. Devin Hester and Brandon Marshall also followed suit and left Chicago (Marshall via trade) over the past few years for greener pastures. When Jeffery heads to the market, he’ll be looking for a long-term deal worth somewhere between $50 and $60 million dollars.
Other big names on the list are S Eric Berry out of Kansas City, Tampa Bay RB Doug Martin, S Eric Weddle out of San Diego, Seattle LB Bruce Irvin and T Russell Okung, along with Washington’s QB Kirk Cousins and Denver’s Brock Osweiler. You can expect quite a few resignings this offseason, although the changes of scenery will be aplenty