During the NFL free agency period (which begins March 15th this time around), every team is trying to find the crucial component, as in the player(s) who give them the edge. That’s not hard. Uh-huh. Majority of the time, fits don’t fit. If a player is to find himself in the situation that’s ideal, there are different factors which must happen. One mistake and everything falls apart.
There are several things to take into account as players decide to start the next phase of their careers. Some have priorities that change, as is only caring about the money. Others value the chance to pursue a ring. Players may be desirous of joining a team they admired as children, or to raise their families in a specific location.
Here, we identify the best player-team matches with free agency right around the corner.
Miles Sanders – Miami Dolphins
Perhaps Miles Sanders does lack the caliber of the Giants’ Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs of the Raiders or Tony Pollard of the Cowboys. However, each of those three running backs has a strong chance of being given the franchise tag by those clubs. Sanders is thus the best available running back who is likely to move, since his time in Philadelphia is over (if Super Bowl LVII usage is any indication).
Sanders didn’t make a difference in the title game (seven carries, 16 yards). That wasn’t the case throughout the regular season (259 carries, 1,269 rush yards), Sanders was the first Eagle 1,000-yard back since LeSean McCoy (2014). He did this while averaging 4.9 yards per carry (11 touchdowns).
While the Eagles may not honor Sanders’ desire to remain, there are several NFL teams that could use a boost in the backfield, including one in the AFC East (see Miami) with a dire need.
Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr., and Myles Gaskin are all expected to enter the free-agent market, which will effectively mean the entire Dolphin backfield is leaving town. Miami Dolphins has an abundance of weapons in the passing game, but its run game averaged only 99.2 yards per game (25th in the league).
So, the offense of the Fish could be even more dangerous if it had any sort of balance. Sanders is best-served taking on an every-down role with a playoff club in the next phase of his career.
Miles Sanders knows ball pic.twitter.com/EgFZWUw3RL
— Chris Olave Stan (@WhoDatContent) February 26, 2023
Jakobi Meyers – Chicago Bears
Relatively weak list of free-agent wideouts, so not the easiest time to be looking in that room. Jakobi Meyers, formerly of the Patriots (and that godawful lateral), may be the best of the group.
However, Meyers’ career stats aren’t impressive. The 26-year-old had a career-high six touchdowns last season, but hasn’t recorded 900 receiving yards in a season to date. His statistical output wasn’t helped by the fact New England finished 22nd in pass attempts.
The Chicago Bears, with a staggering $94.4 million in cap space to manipulate, are desperate to provide Justin Fields with some tools in the passing game. Is Meyers the best-case scenario with Chicago or any team? Possibly not, but in the Windy City, he’d almost certainly reach 100 targets, which was a pipedream with the Pats.
#Patriots free-agent WR Jakobi Meyers could make in the range of “$15 million to $20 million” a year, according to @MikeReiss
Meyers has 2,758 career yards and 8 TDs in four NFL seasons. pic.twitter.com/tWD1qpgFXI
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) February 26, 2023
Javon Hargrave – Seattle Seahawks
Javon Hargrave seems to be a late bloomer. He had 19½ sacks in his first five seasons (Philadelphia and Pittsburgh). That was respectable, but not noteworthy. However, Hargrave has been among the league’s best pass-rushing tackles over the last two seasons (18½ sacks, including a career-high 11½ during the Eagles’ journey to Super Bowl LVII).
There won’t be a shortage of teams with lots of cap room interested in Hargrave, including the Texans, Falcons and Bears. While mentioning perfect Hargrave places to land, there’s one other venue the soon-to-be 30-year-old might enjoy a bit better.
While the Seahawks made the playoffs last season, they struggled in the defensive line (30th against the run). Hargrave is an improvement. Seattle Seahawks has the money ($31 million in cap space) to make such an acquisition, and it can give Hargrave the chance to join another contender.
If the #49ers could sign one in Free Agency, who would they choose?
S Jessie Bates
DT Daron Payne
DT Javon Hargrave
OL Kaleb McGary pic.twitter.com/0FquWRBNGb
— WayneBreezie (@WayneBreezie) February 26, 2023
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