Once again, we're looking at the competitors who might change their stripes in 2020, playing for new teams this August.
Who might grab the attention of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this March? Let’s take a look.
2020 FREE-AGENTS: TENNESSEE TITANS
ILB, Daren Bates (29) | WR, Cameron Batson (24)
CB, Tramaine Brock (32) | RT, Jack Conklin (26)
ILB, Kamalei Correa (26) | FB, Anthony Firkser (25)
RB, David Fluellen (28) | DE, Reggie Gilbert (27)
RB, Derrick Henry (26) | WR, Darius Jennings (28)
DT, Austin Johnson (26) | RT, Dennis Kelly (30)
QB, Marcus Mariota (26) | CB, Chris Milton (27)
OG, Kevin Pamphile (29) | TE, MyCole Pruitt (28)
CB, Logan Ryan (29) | WR, Tajae Sharpe (25)
CB, LeShaun Sims (27) | CB, Tye Smith (27)
FREE-AGENT FOCUS: RB, DERRICK HENRY
For the record, I don’t see any way the Tennessee Titans let Derrick Henry leave Nashville. But, since he is technically a free-agent to be, we won’t bury the lead and avoid the conversation.
I’ll admit, I never thought Henry would be more than a complimentary piece to an NFL running game when he entered the league in 2016. Boy was I wrong.
Henry had his second-straight thousand-yard rushing season in 2019, and in the Wild Card Round, he pounded the life out of the New England Patriots with his 34 carries for 182-yards. He also added a 22-yard reception, and believe me, nobody wants to square up on a 247-pound running back getting yards after a catch. Yikes.
If Henry hits free-agency, I will be all for the Buccaneers calling his people to set up a coffee date. How much money, and for how many years, Henry is looking for is going to be a big part of where he lands.
With $90M in cap space projected, the Bucs can spend a little. But, they have a lot of defensive pieces to try and bring back, and you also may have heard they have a potentially expensive quarterback situation brewing.
The thought of Henry leaving the Titans is fun for everyone not sporting that team’s colors. We’ll see. And just for fun, imagine Henry rushing against defenses who also have to cover Mike Evans and Chris Godwin downfield. Woof.
2020 FREE-AGENTS: BALTIMORE RAVENS
LB, Josh Bynes (31) | CB, Brandon Carr (34
OG, Randin Crecelius (24) | RB, Gus Edwards (25)
OG, Parker Ehinger (27) | DT, Justin Ellis (29)
C, Hroniss Grasu (29) | LB, Matt Judon (28)
SS, Anthony Levine (33) | LB, Pernell McPhee (31)
WR, Chris Moore (27) | LB, Patrick Onwuasor (28)
DT, Domata Peko (35) | DT, Michael Pierce (27)
FS, Jordan Richards (27) | WR, Seth Roberts (29)
C, Matt Skura (27) | RT, Andre Smith (33)
CB, Jimmy Smith (32) | S, Fish Smithson (26)
WR, De’Anthony Thomas (27) | SS, Brynden Trawick (30)
DE, Jihad Ward (26)
FREE-AGENT FOCUS: DE, JIHAD WARD
I can’t imagine Jihad Ward wants to leave the Baltimore Ravens. But business is business and if other NFL teams are seeing how important the Ravens say he is to their playoff defense, then they’ll come calling once the season comes to a close.
The courting of other teams, and the ensuing rise in potential dollars earned, may be enough to draw him away from the team who has become the first to really fully maximize his ability.
Interesting words to write about a guy with one sack in 2019 and just five in his career since leaving Illinois to become a second-round draft pick of the Oakland Raiders in 2016.
He’s carved out a role with the team, but Jaylon Ferguson looks like a more advanced version of Ward already, as a rookie.
So if Ward wants another chance, this time to earn a bigger role and not just a spot on the team, he may have to do it elsewhere.
The Buccaneers may not be able to bring back their entire front-seven. And if they can’t, then Ward is an intriguing mix of talent and determination who has struggled to be placed in the right position on the right scheme.
Todd Bowles is pretty good at figuring out those things, and if Ward really wants to see what he can do, Tampa Bay might be the place to do it.
That’ll do it for Saturday. We’ll have four more potential free-agents to watch tomorrow as the Divisional Round moves into Sunday!