As we did last weekend, we’re going to run-down the list of players who may hit the open market in 2020 from each of the teams, and give a quick profile of one from each side of this game.
Enjoy the game!
2020 FREE-AGENTS: MINNESOTA VIKINGS
RB, Ameer Abdullah (27) | CB, Mackensie Alexander (26)
K, Dan Bailey (32) | OLB, Kentrell Brothers (27)
P, Britton Colquitt (35) | LT, Dakota Dozier (29)
DE, Everson Griffen (32) | FB, C.J. Ham (27)
FS, Anthony Harris (28) | OT, Rashod Hill (28)
C, Brett Jones (29) | SS, Jayron Kearse (26)
QB, Sean Mannion (28) | TE, David Morgan (27)
FS, Andrew Sendejo (32) | CB, Marcus Sherels (32)
WR, Laquon Treadwell (25) | CB, Trae Waynes (28)
DE, Stephen Weatherly (26) | OLB, Eric Wilson (25)
FREE-AGENT FOCUS: LT, DAKOTA DOZIER
Dakota Dozier is going to be hard to fully watch on Saturday alone, since he’s a back-up left tackle for the Minnesota Vikings at the moment. But when No. 78 does get on the field, you might keep an eye on the upcoming free-agent who turns 29 this off-season.
In six NFL seasons, Dozier has started eleven games and appeared in 54. He started four this year for the Vikings, but plays mostly on special teams.
While you may not be able to do a full scouting job from your couch this weekend, he’s a guy to be aware of as the off-season nears. If he goes out looking for an opportunity to compete for a starting job, then he may be one of those free-agents landing in Tampa for a one-year prove-it the Buccaneers were so successful in setting up last off-season.
2020 FREE-AGENTS: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
DE, Arik Armstead (26) | DE, Ronald Blair (27)
WR, Kendrick Bourne (25) | RB, Matt Brieda (25)
OG, Daniel Brunskill (26) | TE, Garrett Celek (32)
OT, Shon Coleman (28) | DT, Sheldon Day (26)
TE, Ross Dwelley (25) | C, Ben Garland (32)
CB, Dontae Johnson (28) | FB, Kyle Juszczyk (29)
OT, Andrew Lauderdale (26) | OLB, Elijah Lee (24)
WR, Jordan Matthews (28) | DE, Damontre Moore (27)
CB, Emmanuel Moseley (24) | QB, Nick Mullens (25)
WR, Emmanuel Sanders (33) | TE, Levine Toilolo (29)
CB, Jason Verrett (29) | FS, Jimmie Ward (29)
RB, Jeff Wilson (24) | DE, Anthony Zettel (28)
FREE-AGENT FOCUS: FS, JIMMIE WARD
If Jimmie Ward signs with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he’ll have to find a new number. But I’m sure he’d be ok with it.
Ward has been a mixed bag since becoming a member of the San Francisco 49ers in 2014. When he’s on the field, he looks solid. Talented and more than capable of being a starting free-safety in the NFL. When he’s off the field, it’s because of injuries, which have led to Ward playing a full season just once in his six-years as a professional free-safety.
Turning 29 about a month before the 2020 pre-season, this is likely his last shot at a long-term big money deal. And normally, guys in that position don’t like to make deals until they see what the open market has to offer.
So, while his injury history is going to curb the ceiling his money can reach, it can still climb pretty high. High enough to make the 49ers reluctantly let Ward walk out the door as they deal with less than $20M in expected cap space this off-season.
Of course, general managers and cap guru’s know how to move money around, so I wouldn’t be surprised if John Lynch figures out how to turn less than $20M into more than $40M with little effort.
But if they can’t, and Ward hits free-agency, then the Buccaneers could get an affordable starting caliber free-safety as Mike Edwards continues to develop in Todd Bowles’ defense, at the ready in case Ward’s injury history comes back to haunt him.
Ward and Dozier are just two of the potential free-agents coming up this off-season. Keep your eye on them as they try to will their teams to the next round of the 2019-20 NFL Playoffs.
Let us know your thoughts on both of these guys, as well as any of the other upcoming free-agents you’ll be keeping an eye on.
We’ll be back with more looks at the teams playing in this weekend’s Divisional Round!