NFL Free-Agency Tracker: Giants Add Two Big Names

Position-by-position rankings, landing spots and analysis of all the free-agent signings.

The wide-receiver market has not been kind to players, but Kenny Golladay got his big contract with the Giants on Saturday. Big Blue also landed a potential No. 1 cornerback in Adoree' Jackson, in what was a big offseason for the team.

Players who have signed or been franchise-tagged are in italics. For unsigned players, their most recent team is noted in parentheses.


1. Dak Prescott: Re-signed with Dallas
One of the most efficient quarterbacks of the past five years, Prescott represents both where the game is headed and, given his placement on this list, the NFL’s reticence in awarding players that are not a dated archetype of how quarterbacks should play. Prescott is accurate, doesn’t make mistakes and spreads the ball around. He’s now the second-highest-paid player in football, behind Patrick Mahomes. —CO

2. Cam Newton: Re-signed with New England
I think most everyone realizes how valuable it is to have Newton on a paltry contract, loaded with incentives, like this one. It’s an interesting pairing in Foxboro; he seems to be legitimately in love with the idea of playing for Bill Belichick and the Patriots, which, as we all know, can be an acquired taste for some. Having Newton on a backup QB salary gives New England the flexibility to go upgrade the rest of the offense while also ensuring that they have a good-enough QB should other options (via draft or via trade for someone like Jimmy Garoppolo) fall through. —CO

3. Jacoby Brissett: Agreed to sign with Miami
He arrives in Miami as Tua Tagovailoa's backup, but Brissett is capable of winning games if forced into action. Two seasons ago, he had the Colts at 5–2 before a knee injury sidelined him, and by the time he returned to the lineup, the receiving corps had been decimated by injury. Brissett has to continue to make strides when it comes to processing speed, but the physical traits are there and he’s still only 28. —GG

4. Ryan Fitzpatrick: Agreed to sign with Washington
Fitzpatrick has established himself as the commensurate Bridge Guy with a high four- or five-game ceiling. Landing in Washington gives him an excellent change to hold on to the starting job for a full season—only Taylor Heinicke and possibly an aggressive draft-day move stand in his way. —CO

5. Jameis Winston: Re-signed with New Orleans
The QB competition with Taysom Hill is on. While Sean Payton has spoken of Winston in glowing terms, the Saints instead turned to Hill when Drew Brees was hurt last season. Winston’s 30-minute audition in relief of Brees in Week 10—when Winston was tasked with protecting a lead—featured an unfortunate decision that was reminiscent of his turnover-filled stint in Tampa. While he has starting-caliber talent, coaching the interceptions out of Winston’s game is a tall order. —GG

6. Andy Dalton: Agreed to sign with Chicago
At this point we have a large enough sample size on Dalton to know what the projection is here. The Bears are stuck between the lesser of two evils; two hold-the-fort quarterbacks, one of whom probably turns the ball over a little less but has a slightly lower aggressive upside and another quarterback who is streakier but not in the fun Jameis Winston–type way. It seems the Bears did all they could to lure Russell Wilson, but this, for now, looks to be the plan.  —CO

7. Mitchell Trubisky: Agreed to sign with Buffalo
8. Joe Flacco: Agreed to sign with Philadelphia
9. Tyrod Taylor: Agreed to sign with Houston
10. C.J. Beathard: Agreed to sign with Jacksonville


1. Aaron Jones: Re-signed with Green Bay
Green Bay is a smart team that understands the importance of layering a position like running back, especially in this particular offense. Maybe Jones isn’t around forever and maybe he affects AJ Dillon’s development, but they ensure that the position is well-stocked and that they are as versatile in the red zone as possible.  —CO

2. Chris Carson: Agreed to re-sign with Seattle
He’s been outstanding when healthy, capable of creating his own yardage as a runner, and Carson’s receiving skills have improved to the point of making him a respectable part of the passing game. Durability is the issue; he’s missed 19 games over his first four NFL seasons, and his violent running style suggests he’ll be a regular on the injury report. —GG

3. Phillip Lindsay: Agreed to sign with Houston
Workload will always be a concern at his size, but Lindsay is capable of creating in tight spaces and brings big-play ability as a lead back. He's a clear upgrade over David Johnson and Mark Ingram in Houston.  —GG 

4. Kenyan Drake: Agreed to sign with Las Vegas
He was excellent after being acquired by the Cardinals at the 2019 trade deadline, but Drake battled ankle and hip injuries over his first full season in Arizona and wasn’t nearly as effective last year. In Vegas, he'll serve as a change-of-pace back to Josh Jacobs, and the reduced workload could lead to much improved efficiency for Drake. —GG

5. James White: Re-signed with New England
He isn't an ideal fit in the run-heavy, Cam Newton–led offense, but White remains one of the most effective pass-catching backs in the league. —GG

6. Duke Johnson (Houston)
7. Mike Davis: Agreed to sign with Atlanta
8. Leonard Fournette: Re-signed with Tampa Bay
9. James Conner (Pittsburgh)
10. Damien Williams: Agreed to sign with Chicago
11. Le'Veon Bell (Kansas City)
12. Marlon Mack: Re-signed with Indianapolis
13. Carlos Hyde: Agreed to sign with Jacksonville
14. Tevin Coleman: Agreed to sign with N.J. Jets
15. Jamaal Williams: Agreed to sign with Detroit
16. Todd Gurley (Atlanta)
17. Mark Ingram: Signed with Houston


1. Kyle Juszczyk: Re-signed with San Francisco


1. Kenny Golladay: Agreed to sign with N.Y. Giants
The Giants have been in need of a true No. 1 receiver since they dealt Odell Beckham Jr., and Golladay becomes that guy who can tip coverages for Daniel Jones. Physical and well-rounded, Golladay is going to knock a linebacker on his rear end while on chip duty and then, on the next play, make a balletic sideline grab to move the chains. —CO

2. Chris Godwin: Franchise-tagged by Tampa Bay
A dominant big slot who can also line up outside, Godwin brings value as a playmaker at all three levels. As an added bonus, he’s one of the most effective blocking receivers in the league, fulfilling the “Larry Fitzgerald role” in Bruce Arians’s offense better than anyone could have reasonably expected. —GG

3. Allen Robinson: Signed franchise-tag tender with Chicago
Robinson is a contested-catch specialist who has thrived despite a run of rocky quarterbacks in Jacksonville and, now, Chicago. He won’t create separation, and he had a couple of passes ripped away by defensive backs last season, but he’s a true No. 1 receiver who won’t turn 28 until training camp and should age well over the next few years. —GG

4. Curtis Samuel: Agreed to sign with Washington
After being used primarily as a downfield threat in 2018 and ’19, Samuel broke out last season as a catch-and-run threat operating out of the slot. His opportunities were somewhat limited while sharing targets with Robby Anderson and DJ Moore last year, but he doesn’t turn 25 until training camp and has a chance to be a perfect complement to Terry McLaurin in Washington. —GG

5. Will Fuller: Agreed to sign with Miami
As a rookie, Tua Tagovailoa struggled to determine what constitutes "open" in the NFL compared to college. The best way to rectify that in the short-term is with receivers who can separate, especially opposite contested-catch specialist DeVante Parker. Despite some injury concerns, Fuller had his best season in 2020 amid an organizational tire fire in Houston. Durability is a concern, but when healthy he's among the league's elite deep threats. —CO

6. Corey Davis: Agreed to sign with N.Y. Jets
The Titans loved to run Davis over the middle, allowing his size and athleticism to hammer slower linebackers and safeties tasked with covering him. As we saw with the emergence of A.J. Brown, Davis is at his best when he can find advantageous single-coverage matchups—will those be available lining up for the Jets? —CO

7. JuJu Smith-Schuster: Re-signed with Pittsburgh
Failing to land a lucrative long-term deal in a robust, team-friendly receiver market, Smith-Schuster settled for a prove-it deal back in Pittsburgh. He was dominant as a big slot early in his career, with Antonio Brown drawing a lot of coverage away from him in Pittsburgh’s 3 x 1 looks. But he didn’t emerge as a true No. 1 receiver the past two seasons, and while he won’t turn 25 until November he might ultimately top out as a quality No. 2 possession receiver who brings some value as a blocker as well. —GG

8. Nelson Agholor: Agreed to sign with New England
Unfairly branded as a punchline after a few untimely drops in Philadelphia, Agholor went to Vegas and the Raiders unlocked his potential as a downfield threat. He might not be a true No. 1 receiver, but he can play outside or in the slot; he and fellow Patriots signee Kendrick Bourne, the big-framed former 49ers receiver, should complement each other nicely in Foxboro. —GG

9. TY Hilton: Re-signed with Indianapolis
Hilton has had two injury-filled and relatively pedestrian seasons since the retirement of Andrew Luck. He still flashes his trademark speed, but he’s 31, and his market was ultimately limited to one-year deals. Still, he'll be a quality complementary deep threat for Carson Wentz. —GG

10. Marvin Jones: Agreed to sign with Jacksonville
A complementary receiver who has turned in his fair share of big plays, Jones will have value as a downfield acrobat opposite D.J. Chark. Despite being 31, he has yet to show signs of decline. —GG

11. Keelan Cole: Agreed to sign with N.Y. Jets
A cerebral, savvy route-runner with the ability to line up in the slot or the boundary, Cole is another nice complementary weapon in a Jets receiving corps that—while lacking a true No. 1 receiver—should be much improved in 2021. —GG

12. Sammy Watkins: Agreed to sign with Baltimore
He reunites with offensive coordinator Greg Roman in Baltimore, where Watkins has a chance to re-emerge as a No. 1 receiver. His production was disappointing over three seasons with the Chiefs, and durability concerns remain as he enters his age-28 season. Still, Watkins was a capable X-receiver in K.C., if overshadowed by Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. —GG

13. Antonio Brown (Tampa Bay)
He’s very good at football, but there are only a handful of teams who will lower themselves into any kind of AB sweepstakes. Even for those looking past a troubling history that he’s never even attempted to answer for publicly, he has a civil trial for sexual assault scheduled to begin the Monday of Week 13 on the upcoming season schedule. —GG

14. A.J. Green: Agreed to sign with Arizona
There is a feeling that he was simply disinterested in toiling for a non-competitor year after year, bottoming out last season when he had the NFL's lowest catch percentage among qualifying players. Maybe there is still another monstrous season inside of him. He gets a chance to prove it on a one-year deal with the Cardinals, who run more four-receiver sets than any team in football and are desperate to find depth beyond DeAndre Hopkins. —CO

15. Adam Humphries: Agreed to sign with Washington
He had a disappointing two-year run with the Titans, with concussion problems limiting him to seven games last season. Still, Humphries is entering his age-28 season just two years removed from being one of the league’s most effective slot receivers. He should settle in nicely between Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel. —GG

16. Breshad Perriman: Agreed to sign with Detroit
The ever-team-friendly receiver market burned Perriman each of the past two offseasons. After a rocky 2020 in a dysfunctional Jets offense, he'll provide field-stretching ability for the Jared Goff–led Lions. —GG

17. John Brown: Agreed to sign with Las Vegas
18. Emmanuel Sanders: Agreed to sign with Buffalo
19. Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona)
20. Kenny Stills (Buffalo)
21. Tyrell Williams: Signed with Detroit
22. Golden Tate (N.Y. Giants)
23. Kendrick Bourne: Agreed to sign with New England
24. Rashard Higgins: Re-signed with Cleveland
25. Josh Reynolds: Agreed to sign with Tennessee
26. Danny Amendola (Detroit)
27. David Moore: Agreed to sign with Carolina
28. DeSean Jackson: Agreed to sign with L.A. Rams
29. Damiere Byrd (New England)
30. Willie Snead: Agreed to sign with Las Vegas


1. Hunter Henry: Agreed to sign with New England
Henry is a quality receiver and solid blocker, just as effective in the slot as he is in-line and exactly the type of chess piece the Patriots typically look for. —CO

2. Jonnu Smith: Agreed to sign with New England
The Cam Newton re-sign was a tepid start to free agency, which is why the Jonnu Smith signing was so fascinating. New England spends big money ($12.5 million) on a pass-catching tight end who is demonic in space. Smith’s market was always going to be surprisingly high to the layperson (the Titans are working to re-sign Anthony Firkser), which is why Tennessee had to let him go. The Patriots’ pronounced arrival onto the free-agent market signals no time for a rebuild in New England. Smith will be a gift to Newton, or whomever is throwing passes. —CO

3. Rob Gronkowski: Re-signed with Tampa Bay
The weight loss compared with his time in New England didn’t make a big difference in Gronkowski’s speed, but he’s a savvy and physical target in the middle of the field and still a difference-maker in the red zone and as a blocker. However, it seems unlikely anyone will be able to pry him away from Tampa for his age-32 season. —GG

4. Gerald Everett: Agreed to sign with Seattle
Everett saw his role grow a year ago when the Rams started playing two tight ends more often, but he was unable to catch Tyler Higbee on the depth chart in L.A. Still, entering his age-27 season, he and brings a good blend of athleticism as a receiver and effort as a blocker. Getting some run with Russell Wilson (probably) in Seattle could lead to a breakout year. —GG

5. Jared Cook: Agreed to sign with L.A. Chargers
After losing Hunter Henry to New England, the Chargers found their replacement—at least for the 2021 season—in Cook. His target share diminished a bit in New Orleans last season, but his ability to get lost in a defense and emerge as an open receiver has never dissipated. —CO

6. Jesse James (Detroit)
7. Kyle Rudolph: Agreed to sign with N.Y. Giants
8. Dan Arnold: Agreed to sign with Carolina
9. Anthony Firkser: Re-signed with Tennessee


1. Trent Williams: Re-signed with San Francisco
He turns 33 this summer and hasn’t played 16 games in a season since 2013, but upon returning to the field after sitting out all of ’19, Williams was every bit the elite left tackle he’s always been when healthy. Upon acquiring him from Washington the 49ers agreed they wouldn’t use the franchise tag on him, and ultimately Williams got a record-setting deal to stay with the Niners on what's likely the last big contract of his career. —GG

2. Taylor Moton: Signed franchise-tag tender with Carolina
Moton played 100% of Carolina’s snaps last year and established himself as an absolute necessity at the right tackle spot for offensive coordinator Joe Brady. He gave up just three sacks; with cornerstone tackles at a premium, he was a must for the Panthers to retain. —CO

3. Daryl Williams: Re-signed with Buffalo
He had a rough finish to his Carolina career—Williams suffered a knee injury in the 2018 opener and was a shell of himself the next season, playing tackle and guard on both sides of the line. The Bills took a flier on him last season and he reemerged as one of the better right tackles in football. He turns 29 in August and rightfully warranted a multiyear deal to stay in Buffalo. —GG

4. Cam Robinson: Franchise-tagged then re-signed by Jacksonville
Robinson allowed a handful of sacks last year on a bad team with instability at the quarterback position. Otherwise, he’s been the definition of solid—good enough for Urban Meyer to retain him with Trevor Lawrence coming aboard. —CO

5. Eric Fisher (Kansas City)
A steady if not spectacular blindside blocker in Kansas City, Fisher turned 30 in January and ruptured his Achilles in the AFC title game, leading to his release and making him a question mark going into 2021 and beyond. If he proves to be healthy, he could be someone’s answer at left tackle for the next three seasons. —GG

6. Kelvin Beachum: Re-signed with Arizona
Beachum has turned in five quality seasons (with Jacksonville, the Jets and Arizona) since a knee injury ended his run in Pittsburgh after the 2015 season, and was a steal for the Cardinals on a prove-it deal last season. He’ll be 32 this summer, but he’s missed a total of four games in five years and should provide security on Kyler Murray's blindside again. —GG

7. Riley Reiff: Agreed to sign with Cincinnati
A 33-year-old veteran with experience at both tackle spots, Reiff is still serviceable and should be an upgrade for a Bengals front five with nothing to lose. —GG

8. Mitchell Schwartz (Kansas City)
Retirement is an option for Schwartz, once one of the most durable players in football but one who missed most of 2020 and eventually needed back surgery. He’ll be 32 in June and, if he wants it, will at least get a chance to prove he can recapture his old form as one of football’s best right tackles. —GG

9. Russell Okung (Carolina)
He’s held up reasonably well when healthy, but Okung has appeared in just 13 games over the last two seasons and turns 33 in October. —GG

10. Bobby Massie (Chicago)
One of the better performers on an offensive line that generally struggled, Massie is a serviceable short-term solution at the right tackle spot. —GG

11. Alejandro Villanueva (Pittsburgh)
Villanueva had a fine six-year run protecting Ben Roethlisberger’s blindside, starting 97 consecutive regular- and postseason games since taking over the starting left tackle spot for the Steelers. But he struggled in 2020 despite playing in the most pass-pro-friendly offense in the league. Pittsburgh’s passing game had the ball coming out faster than any team in football, making the O-line’s job easy. (It’s the Donald Penn Effect, the former Raiders lineman whose solid play was deemed spectacular because of his low-sacks-allowed numbers while blocking for Derek Carr. In reality, Penn’s statistical performance was a result of Carr getting the ball away faster than any quarterback in football.) Villanueva should land a starting job in 2021, but teams that run a more traditional offense should be wary. —GG

12. Rick Wagner (Green Bay)
13. Jermaine Eluemunor (New England)
14. Matt Feiler: Agreed to sign with L.A. Chargers
15. Bobby Hart (Cincinnati)
16. Mike Remmers: Re-signed with Kansas City
17. Zach Banner: Re-signed with Pittsburgh
18. Dennis Kelly (Tennessee)
19. Cameron Fleming (N.Y. Giants)


1. Brandon Scherff, G: Signed franchise-tag tender with Washington
The best interior offensive linemen are difference-makers in the run game, and Scherff's blocking should continue to be a focal point of Washington's run-heavy offense. Durability (he’s missed multiple games in each of the past four seasons) is the only real question. —GG

2. Joe Thuney, G/C: Agreed to sign with Kansas City
Thuney’s durability, versatility and solid all-around play will give the Chiefs some peace of mind after the O-line's disastrous performance in Super Bowl LV. The tackle spots remain a question mark in K.C., but the interior line should be able to generate a rushing attack and keep the pocket from collapsing in Patrick Mahomes's face. —GG

3. Corey Linsley, C: Agreed to sign with L.A. Chargers
His play ranged from solid to excellent over seven seasons in Green Bay, and heading into his age-30 season Linsley still has enough mobility to be a factor in the screen game and out on the perimeter. The Chargers have spent the past few seasons trying to iron things out on the interior offensive line, and Linsley should be part of the solution. —GG

4. Kevin Zeitler, G: Signed with Baltimore
Zeitler is one of the more prolific inside blockers in football, which makes complete sense that he’d roll down 95 to Baltimore and help anchor the spot once held by the great Marshall Yanda. Zeitler has missed one game since 2015 and, despite a collective offensive line struggle in 2020 with the Giants, should be in a place to maximize Baltimore’s downhill running game. A bonus for Baltimore: Zeitler does not ding their compensatory pick formula because the Giants let him go. So they salvage a major cap casualty and don’t lose much in return.  —CO

5. Rodney Hudson, C: Traded to Arizona
A longtime stalwart in the middle of the Raiders' offensive line, Hudson was set to be a cap casualty in Vegas until a last-minute deal was reached with the Cardinals. Pass-protection was never taxing in front of Derek Carr's quick-strike approach and he's no longer a difference-maker in the run game, but Hudson should have another two or three seasons of quality play at the pivot.  —GG

6. Gabe Jackson, G: Traded to Seattle
Also a presumed cap casualty in Las Vegas, Jackson drew draft-pick compensation instead. He’s not the dominant mauler he was in his prime, but Jackson is still a starting-caliber guard who should fit nicely in the Seahawks' front five. There’s some gas left in the tank entering his age-30 season. —GG

7. Trai Turner, G (L.A. Chargers)
A starting-caliber guard whose reputation was inflated for reasons unknown while playing in Carolina, Turner will draw plenty of interest on the open market entering his age-28 season. —GG

8. Jon Feliciano, G/C: Re-signed with Buffalo
A first-time starter in Buffalo, Feliciano was a plus in the run game and good enough as a pass protector (not always easy considering Josh Allen’s tendency to extend plays and hold the ball). He held his own after sliding to center for an injured Mitch Morse, providing valuable versatility on the interior. —GG

9. David Andrews, C: Re-signed with New England
Andrews, like many of New England’s interior offensive linemen, is expertly cross-trained. He made a strong return after missing all of 2019 due to blood clots, and should continue to provide solid play at the pivot in Foxboro. —CO

10. Ted Karras, C/G: Agreed to sign with New England
A serviceable, low-level starter the past two seasons, he returns to Foxboro and should provide at least valuable depth on the interior line. —GG

11. Austin Reiter, C (Kansas City)
A two-year starter for the Chiefs, Reiter holds up as a serviceable pass-protector and is on the right side of 30, though he isn’t much of a difference-maker in the run game. —GG

13. Germain Ifedi, G: Re-signed with Chicago
14. Austin Blythe, G/C (L.A. Rams)
15. Nick Martin, C: Agreed to sign with Las Vegas
16. Kyle Long, G: Agreed to sign with Kansas City
17. Alex Mack, C: Agreed to sign with San Francisco
18. Richie Incognito, G: Re-signed with Las Vegas
19. James Carpenter, G (Atlanta)
20. Ethan Pocic, C/G: Re-signed with Seattle
21. Pat Elfelin, G: Agreed to sign with Carolina


1. Leonard Williams: Re-signed with N.Y. Giants
It made sense for the Giants to keep Williams, and not just because of the initial draft capital Dave Gettleman sacrificed to nab him during a lost season. Williams has repaid the Giants with 11.5 sacks, a career-low missed-tackle percentage and the highest pressure rate of his career. He fits nicely on a robust defensive line in progress and is rounding into a formidable multifaceted rusher. —CO

2. Shelby Harris: Re-signed with Denver
Denver hadn’t seen anything like him since Dikembe Mutombo—Harris is the best in the NFL when it comes to batting down passes, due to a combination of long arms and excellent instincts when reading the backfield. Combined with his solid play against the run, he’s a quality three-down lineman even if the pressure numbers don’t stand out. —GG

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3. Dalvin Tomlinson: Agreed to sign with Minnesota
Tomlinson doesn’t bring much in the pass rush but has become one of the league’s best run defenders, and he'll fill the role of long-time Viking run-stuffer Linval Joseph in Minnesota. He’s started all 64 games since entering the league. —GG

4. Larry Ogunjobi: Agreed to sign with Cincinnati
He seemed to regress after a strong rookie year, not unusual considering the Browns’ lack of stability with their coaching staff. The talent still showed up in flashes though, especially when lined up as a 3-technique, a role he'll have a chance to play alongside D.J. Reader in Cincinnati. —GG

5. Sheldon Rankins: Agreed to sign with N.Y. Jets
He was a bit overshadowed during his time in New Orleans, but the Jets might have found a good one in the talented, athletic former first-round pick. Often asked to do the little thing in the Saints scheme, Robert Saleh's scheme could free up Rankins to attack more often and lead to a career year. —CO

6. Jurrell Casey (Denver)
His Denver stint lasted just three games due to a bicep tear, and that injury complicates things for the 31-year-old star. He was very good in 2019, his final year with the Titans, and makes for an intriguing boom-or-bust signing on a short-term deal. —GG

7. Ndamukong Suh: Re-signed with Tampa Bay
Suh is a “finisher” who is best suited for the role he has cultivated for himself over the past couple of years in Tampa. Being on a good defensive line surrounded by pass rushers, he can wreak havoc on the interior, play his long game and set the table for sacks. —CO

8. Lawrence Guy: Re-signed with New England
An important cog for some elite defenses in New England and, before that, Baltimore, Guy’s ability to control the line of scrimmage in the run game still has plenty of value. —GG

9. Derek Wolfe: Re-signed with Baltimore
An often overlooked but important piece of elite defenses in Denver and now Baltimore, Wolfe proved last season he’s still capable of wrecking things against the run. At 31, he could have a quality season or two left. —GG

10. Jarran Reed (Seattle)
11. Solomon Thomas, interior DL/edge: Agreed to sign with Las Vegas
12. Geno Atkins (Cincinnati)
13. Gerald McCoy (Dallas)
14. Tyson Alualu: Agreed to sign with Jacksonville
15. Denico Autry: Agreed to sign with Tennessee
16. Quinton Jefferson: Agreed to sign with Las Vegas
17. Kawann Short (Carolina)
18. Johnathan Hankins: Re-signed with Las Vegas
19. DaQuan Jones (Tennessee)
20. Mario Edwards: Re-signed with Chicago
21. D.J. Jones: Re-signed with San Francisco
22. Malcom Brown: Agreed to sign with Jacksonville
23. Roy Robertson-Harris: Agreed to sign with Jacksonville
24. Malik Jackson: Agreed to sign with Cleveland
25. Henry Anderson: Agreed to sign with New England


1. Shaq Barrett: Re-signed with Tampa Bay
The Buccaneers are in that glorious, post–Super Bowl YOLO stage where an untouchable GM can tap his cash reserves and a horde of talented players all want to come play there. Keeping Barrett, though, was always going to be more complicated. Coming off a franchise tag, negotiations could have gotten contentious, especially after the pass rush handed Tampa Bay a Super Bowl. But instead, the Buccaneers get him at a relative steal—$18 million per season. That alone makes the signing a good one for Tampa. —CO

2. J.J. Watt, edge/interior DL: Signed with Arizona
He played more than a thousand snaps in a highly dysfunctional Texans defense last season, on the receiving end of constant double teams. The latest former Texan to land in Arizona, a chance to play in a rotational role, keeping him fresh, could result in snap-to-snap dominance. —GG

3. Yannick Ngakoue: Agreed to sign with Las Vegas
Ngakoue fills a desperate need for an edge-burner in Vegas. He’ll continue to be targeted in the run game, but he’s an immediate upgrade in the pass rush, should help take some of the burden off a struggling secondary, and has the ability to make game-changing plays. Only Khalil Mack has forced more fumbles than Ngakoue's 18 over the past five seasons. Turning 26 later this month, he's firmly in his prime. —GG

4. Bud Dupree: Agreed to sign with Tennessee
The Titans entered the offseason looking to upgrade a non-existent pass-rush; a torn ACL last December ended what likely would have been a second straight double-digit-sack season for Dupree. He'll have to prove he can do it when T.J. Watt isn't on the other side of the line, but Dupree brings a frantic motor and level of overall physicality that makes him an ideal complementary pass-rusher who makes a lot of plays in the backfield. —GG

5. Haason Reddick: Agreed to sign with Carolina
A late bloomer thanks to Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph’s finally unlocking his creativity, Reddick finished the season on a pass-rushing tear, logging five sacks in a game against the Giants (and 12.5 total). In Carolina, he'll get to work in a similarly unique and multiple defense, and he and Brian Burns could emerge as one of the league's better pass-rushing duos. —CO

6. Carl Lawson: Agreed to sign with N.Y. Jets
His limitations as a run defender will likely relegate him to a rotational role—last year’s 723 snaps were the only time in four seasons he’s topped 500—but Lawson is a difference-maker in the pass rush. He had only 5.5 sacks in 2020, but was second in the NFL in quarterback knockdowns (29.5) according to Stats Inc. Robert Saleh will get him lined up wide and playing fast, an ideal fit for both player and team. —GG

7. Trey Hendrickson: Agreed to sign with Cincinnati
An immediate replacement for Carl Lawson (who left to sign with the Jets), Hendrickson steps right in as a situational pass-rusher in Cincinnati. His 2020 production for the Saints was eye-popping (13.5 sacks, 25 QB hits, 12 tackles for loss) considering he was a rotational player who played only about half of the Saints’ defensive snaps. —GG

8. Aldon Smith (Dallas)
Smith’s new lease on life has made him an extraordinarily complete player. His hand-to-hand combat skills in the trenches wrecked several good offensive tackles last year. He was one of the few bright spots on a desolate, punchless Cowboys defense that did him no favors. —CO

9. Matt Judon: Agreed to sign with New England
He’s not a classic edge burner, but Judon was effective and hugely valuable on the edge in Baltimore thanks to his versatility. The ability to fill a number of roles is surely what appealed to Bill Belichick, and Judon brings more value in a complex, multiple scheme like the one they run in Foxboro. —GG

10. Melvin Ingram (L.A. Chargers)
Ingram hits the market coming off his worst season—battling a knee injury, he failed to record a sack and missed nine games. The first question is whether, at age 32, he can regain his explosiveness. If he does, there are plenty of late-career success stories among NFL edge rushers. —GG

11. Leonard Floyd: Re-signed with L.A. Rams
Floyd broke out in Year 5, the kind of performance the Bears once envisioned when they made him a top-10 pick in 2016. It might have been in part a product of lining up alongside Aaron Donald, and playing under Brandon Staley—Staley is gone, but Donald remains in L.A. and Floyd should be in line for another solid year. —GG

12. Jadeveon Clowney, edge/interior DL (Tennessee)
His reunion with Mike Vrabel didn’t work out, as Clowney struggled through an injury-plagued season that ended with meniscus surgery in November. He’s only 28 and was solid in Seattle two seasons ago, but his body is showing signs of breaking down. —GG

13. Carlos Dunlap: Re-signed with Seattle
He delivered a desperately needed edge-rushing presence for the Seahawks after the trade deadline last year (five sacks, 13 QB hits in eight games with Seattle), and returns to the team after agreeing to a lesser deal. He’s 32, but many edge rushers have aged well in recent years. —GG

14. Romeo Okwara: Re-signed with Detroit
A career-high in both sacks and pressures in a contract year was advantageous for Okwara. He'll be an important piece in the transition to the Dan Campbell era in Detroit. —CO

15. Justin Houston (Indianapolis)
At age 32, Houston is firmly in the “rotational player” portion of his career and is probably looking at fewer than the 38-snaps-per-game he averaged in Indianapolis last season. He still flashes explosiveness, and could age well in a third-down-only role. —GG

16. Tyus Bowser: Re-signed with Baltimore
He came into the league as a raw former basketball player still learning the position, and Bowser showed signs of coming into his own the past two seasons, enough so that the Ravens ultimately let Matt Judon walk. Bowser is a work-in-progress rushing the passer, but his multidirectional athleticism showed up when dropping into coverage (of his three interceptions last season, two were impressive plays dropping into coverage). He turns 26 in May, and his best football is likely in front of him. —GG

17. Markus Golden: Re-signed with Arizona
He’s never been a world-beater, but Golden is effective as a situational pass-rusher whose peripheral numbers suggest his two double-digit-sack seasons were not flukes. He'll do nicely as a complementary piece in a stacked Cardinals pass rush. —GG

18. Olivier Vernon (Cleveland)
19. Ryan Kerrigan (Washington)
20. Kerry Hyder: Agreed to sign with Seattle
21. Deatrich Wise Jr.: Re-signed with New England
22. Samson Ebukam: Agreed to sign with San Francisco
23. Ifeadi Odenigbo: Agreed to sign with N.Y. Giants
24. Tarell Basham (N.Y. Jets)
25. Alex Okafor (Kansas City)
26. Takk McKinley: Agreed to sign with Cleveland
27. Christian Jones: Agreed to sign with Chicago
28. Everson Griffen (Detroit)
29. Trent Murphy (Buffalo)
30. Dawuane Smoot: Re-signed with Jacksonville
31. Vic Beasley (Las Vegas)
32. Benson Mayowa: Re-signed with Seattle
33. Adrian Clayborn (Cleveland)
34. Jordan Jenkins: Agreed to sign with Houston


1. Lavonte David: Re-signed with Tampa Bay
Part of Todd Bowles’s bullish inside linebacker duo, David plays a position that feels like it’s going the way of the dinosaur—unless you are as good as he is. He can hold his own amid heavy targets in the passing game and doesn’t miss tackles. —CO

2. Matt Milano: Re-signed with Buffalo
Milano, not the ultra-athletic Tremaine Edmunds, emerged as the Bills’ best coverage linebacker over the past three seasons. Buffalo’s defense as a whole was noticeably better when Milano was in the lineup, which is why the Bills made a multiyear commitment to keep him. —GG

3. Jayon Brown: Re-signed with Tennessee
Brown holds his own against the run has has proven adept dropping into zone coverage, bringing stability to a rebuilding Titans defense as a three-down linebacker. —GG

4. KJ Wright (Seattle)
He made the move to strongside linebacker after Bruce Irvin went down last season, and entering his age-32 season that spot probably makes more sense going forward. Since knee surgery cost him most of the 2018 season he’s been remarkably durable, starting all 35 regular and postseason games the past two seasons. —GG

5. Eric Wilson (Minnesota)
Stuck behind Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr his first three seasons, Wilson got extended playing time in 2020 and, while struggling against the run at times, flashed good athleticism and instincts in coverage. The 26-year-old should be viewed as an ascending player for teams looking for athleticism at the second level. —GG

6. Jarrad Davis: Agreed to sign with N.Y. Jets
One of many young defenders who failed to progress under Matt Patricia, Davis eventually found himself buried on the depth chart behind a collection of middling veterans. His lack of ability in coverage is problematic, especially considering his eye-popping athleticism, but Robert Saleh has always made good use of see-it/hit-it linebackers (see Kwon Alexander's pre-injury performance in 2019) and surely sees the 26-year-old Davis as a moldable ball of clay. —GG

7. Denzel Perryman: Agreed to sign with Carolina
8. Nicholas Morrow: Re-signed with Las Vegas
9. Kyle Van Noy: Agreed to sign with New England
10. Kwon Alexander (New Orleans)
11. De'Vondre Campbell (Arizona)
12. B.J. Goodson (Cleveland)
13. Christian Kirksey: Signed with Houston
14. Avery Williamson (Pittsburgh)
15. Neville Hewitt (N.Y. Jets)
16. Anthony Walker: Agreed to sign with Cleveland
17. Raekwon McMillan: Agreed to sign with New England
18. Patrick Onwuasor (N.Y. Jets)
19. Reuben Foster (Washington)
20. Tahir Whitehead (Carolina)
21. Vince Williams (Pittsburgh)
22. Kevin Pierre-Louis: Agreed to sign with Houston
23. Josh Bynes (Cincinnati)


1. William Jackson III: Agreed to sign with Washington
A true No. 1 corner—albeit a low-end one—Jackson has proven capable in one-on-one matchups against opponents’ top receivers, and should benefit playing behind a fearsome pass rush in Washington. —GG

2. Shaquill Griffin: Agreed to sign with Jacksonville
Griffin hit the market after posting career lows in yards per completion allowed and opposing passer rating. Often forced to perform on a figurative island as Seattle’s once-proud defensive backfield crumbled around him, he'll make a strong building block for the Urban Meyer regime. —CO

3. Kyle Fuller: Agreed to sign with Denver
An off-coverage maestro who plays with impeccable technique, Fuller slid back a bit in 2020 after back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons but remains a borderline No. 1 corner. In Denver he reunites with Vic Fangio, who got the best out of Fuller in the past.  —GG

4. Richard Sherman (San Francisco)
A calf injury limited him to five games in 2020, and there’s only so much a cornerback with a recent injury entering his age-33 season can get on the open market. However, Sherman’s instincts should allow him to keep aging well, and he brings unquantifiable but very real value to a locker room. —GG

5. Quinton Dunbar (Seattle)
His lone year in Seattle was disappointing, as Dunbar struggled through a knee injury and eventually landed on injured reserve. After a run as one of the league’s most underappreciated cover corners in Washington, he’ll be an interesting buy-low candidate entering his age-29 season. —GG

6. Troy Hill: Agreed to sign with Cleveland
Though he can play outside, Hill is at his best in the slot and figures to take on that role for the Browns. He lacks ideal size to complement Denzel Ward in Cleveland's secondary, but there's no argument that both can hold their own in man coverage. —GG

7. Malcolm Butler: Agreed to sign with Arizona
He’ll never be able to match up with big No. 1 receivers, but Butler can match with quickness and, while he lost some battles in Tennessee, he held up well considering the lack of a pass rush in front of him. He’s 31, but has made it through 16 games in five of the past six seasons and should be a quality starter in Arizona. —GG

8. Adoree' Jackson: Agreed to sign with N.Y. Giants
Jackson doesn't turn 26 until September and just two years ago was considered one of the best young corners in football—if healthy, he gives the Giants a No. 1-caliber corner. But injuries took their toll the last two seasons, and the foot and knee injuries that limited him to three games last season are especially concerning for a player whose game is built around speed.  —GG

9. Jason Verrett: Re-signed with San Francisco
He was outstanding last season, performing like a true No. 1 corner while staying relatively healthy. The 49ers saw enough to keep him entering his age-30 season. The injury history can’t be ignored though—he’s missed 10 or more games in five of his seven NFL seasons. —GG

10. Desmond King: Agreed to sign with Houston
King was among the best defensive backs in football during his first two seasons but leveled off a bit since. Last year, he was dealt from the Chargers to the Titans amid their playoff push for a late-round pick. Playing mostly in the slot, King is still capable in a difficult position and has free/box safety versatility; he immediately bolsters a Texans secondary in desperate need of help. —CO

11. A.J. Bouye (Denver)
His lone season in Denver was a lost one, as Bouye battled a shoulder injury early and missed the final month of the season due to a PED suspension. He has a long track record as a quality corner who can play inside or out, the question is whether he can recapture that form as he enters his age-30 season. —GG

12. Mike Hilton: Agreed to sign with Cincinnati
A unique corner who thrived in Pittsburgh’s scheme, Hilton is a weapon on slot blitzes and can hold his own as an instinctive zone defender. He’s strictly an inside corner, and holding up in man coverage could become more of a challenge without the league’s best pass rush in front of him, but he should provide a versatile piece in the Bengals' secondary. —GG

13. Chidobe Awuzie: Agreed to sign with Cincinnati
At one time a critical part of Dallas’s defense, Awuzie was caught up in a bad system that likely suppressed his value on the open market (that, plus a hamstring injury and time spent on the COVID-19 list dwindled his total games played in 2020 to eight). That said, he is a talented and athletic cornerback who is not going to let more than 60% of the passes thrown his way be completed. And that is a good thing for the Bengals. —CO

14. Casey Hayward (L.A. Chargers)
He started to show signs of decline last season, struggling to cover and even snapping a consecutive games streak that lasted six-plus seasons. One of the most underrated players of the past decade, he’s 32 in September and carries a good amount of risk. —GG

15. Patrick Peterson: Agreed to sign with Minnesota
While some advanced stats signal a bit of a slow decline, Peterson is a tough person to bet against. This much institutional knowledge and experience in a cornerback will not go to waste, and he could prove to be a steadying force in a defensive backfield that's much younger than Mike Zimmer would probably like. —CO

16. Ronald Darby: Agreed to sign with Denver
His first six seasons in the league were a roller coaster; his talent is the reason he’s been a starter every year, and his inconsistency is the reason he’s already played for three different franchises. He’s 27 and has legitimate man-coverage skills, and there's a good chance Vic Fangio's scheme brings out the best in Darby. —GG

17. Ahkello Witherspoon: Agreed to sign with Seattle
He comes with the prototypical length the Seahawks look for in cornerbacks, and he frequently flashed during his four years in San Francisco. But cornerback is a position where inconsistency loses games, and it's fair to wonder why his play was so erratic in a Robert Saleh system that otherwise got the best out of its young talent. —GG

18. Xavier Rhodes: Re-signed with Indianapolis
He had a revival in Indianapolis a year ago, and despite the fact that he's lost a step since his prime, the 31-year-old should be able to hold his own again in Matt Eberflus's zone-heavy scheme. —GG

19. Gareon Conley (Houston)
He missed all of last season after ankle surgery, and Conley did not live up to his first-round pedigree in Oakland or Houston. Still, he flashes quality man-coverage ability, and playing behind a bottom-of-the-league pass rush for the entirety of his career hasn’t done him any favors. If healthy, he’s an interesting reclamation project on a one-year deal. —GG

20. Mackensie Alexander: Agreed to sign with Minnesota
Alexander returns to the Vikings, providing some stability on the back end for Mike Zimmer's young group of cornerbacks. Strictly a slot corner, the 27-year-old still has the quickness to defend the two-way go. —GG

21. Janoris Jenkins: Signed with Tennessee
A weak link in a surprisingly up-and-down Saints secondary last season, Jenkins’s game was always built on speed, but it may be going away. He’ll be 33 in October, and the Titans are rolling the dice that they can get one good season out of him as they look to replace their top three corners. —GG

22. K'Waun Williams: Re-signed with San Francisco
23. Bashaud Breeland (Kansas City)
24. Nickell Robey-Coleman (Philadelphia)
25. Cameron Sutton: Re-signed with Pittsburgh
26. Darqueze Dennard (Atlanta)
27. Kevin Johnson: Agreed to sign with Tennessee
28. Brian Poole (N.Y. Jets)
29. Rashaan Melvin: Agreed to sign with Carolina
30. Justin Coleman: Agreed to sign with Miami
31. Terrance Mitchell: Agreed to sign with Houston
32. Michael Davis: Re-signed with L.A. Chargers
33. Kevin King: Re-signed with Green Bay
34. Rasul Douglas (Carolina)
35. Jason McCourty (New England)
36. DJ Hayden (Jacksonville)


1. Justin Simmons: Franchise-tagged by Denver
It is interesting how, wherever Vic Fangio lands, he develops a star or pair of stars on a defense that was previously overlooked. This may contribute in some ways to the hesitancy Denver has to pay Simmons long term. Because of the affordable number for safeties, the Broncos tagged him for a second straight year. Only 27, coming off his first (virtual) Pro Bowl nod, there is plenty of bright football ahead for Simmons. —CO

2. John Johnson: Agreed to sign with Cleveland
A versatile safety with the range to cover a ton of ground in center field, Johnson’s skill set remains valuable even in a league that is trending toward more split-safety looks. Along with providing Joe Woods the opportunity to mix up looks, Johnson also provides the kind of steady play Cleveland has lacked on the back end. —GG

3. Marcus Williams: Signed his franchise-tag tender with New Orleans
A rangy center fielder who has shown improved physicality as a tackler the past few seasons, Williams brings valuable versatility to the back end of the Saints defense. —GG

4. Anthony Harris: Agreed to sign with Philadelphia
He surprisingly had to settle for a one-year deal in Philly, where he will be an upgrade over Jalen Mills. Harris was a rock on the back end of Mike Zimmer’s defense the past two seasons—particularly challenging considering the Vikings’ youth movement at cornerback last year. —GG

5. Marcus Maye: Signed his franchise-tag tender with N.Y. Jets
Maye had arguably his best season in 2020 amid a firestorm of bizarre occurrences, high-profile departures and coaching changes. In comes Robert Saleh, whose approach to the elevated Cover-3 scheme gleaned from his time in Seattle may be a good fit for Maye. —CO

6. Kareem Jackson: Re-signed with Denver
Jackson still has something left in the tank and can play in the box, over the slot or deep. He also remains arguably the surest tackler in the NFL among defensive backs, and a nice complement to Justin Simmons.  —GG

7. Malik Hooker (Indianapolis)
Some eyebrows were raised when the Colts declined Hooker’s fifth-year option a year ago, but Matt Eberflus inherited him from the previous regime, and Hooker’s rangy, center-field skill set is not a necessity in a Colts defense that goes heavier on split-safety looks. Hooker’s injury history (a torn ACL and MCL as a rookie in 2017, a ruptured Achilles last September) will likely relegate him to a one-year deal, but a defensive coordinator looking to incorporate more single-high looks into his life could end up with a real find. —GG

8. Lamarcus Joyner, S/CB: Agreed to sign with N.Y. Jets
His two-year stint as a high-priced free agent with the Raiders didn’t go as planned, but Joyner remains a physical defensive back who can cover the slot or deep as a split safety. He and Marcus Maye should give Robert Saleh some flexibility on the back end of the defense. —GG

9. Jaquiski Tartt: Re-signed with San Francisco
A quality safety who is better playing near the line of scrimmage but can hold up playing deep on split-safety looks, Tartt is a key piece in a very good 49ers defense when healthy. Durability is an issue though; he missed half of last season with a groin injury and then turf toe, and he played 10-plus games just once in the past four seasons. —GG

10. Keanu Neal: Agreed to sign with Dallas
He reunited with Dan Quinn, the Cowboys' new defensive coordinator, in Dallas. When healthy, the 2016 first-round draft pick is an adequate box safety option who can rush the passer at times and hold his own in coverage. His passer rating allowed, which was almost 100 last season, was partly a reflection of a broken defense in Atlanta. —CO

11. Xavier Woods (Dallas)
He was used in a variety of roles in Dallas, and Woods proved capable of coming down and matching up with tight ends. He’s a bit light to play in the box against the run and isn’t natural as a free defender, but his man-coverage skills provide value as a second or third safety. —GG

12. Kenny Vaccaro (Tennessee)
13. Tashaun Gipson (Chicago)
14. Bradley McDougald (N.Y. Jets)
15. Earl Thomas (Baltimore)
16. Karl Joseph (Cleveland)
17. Duron Harmon (Detroit)
18. Daniel Sorensen (Kansas City)
19. Jalen Mills: Agreed to sign with New England
20. Andrew Sendejo (Cleveland)
21. Tre Boston (Carolina)
22. Rayshawn Jenkins: Agreed to sign with Jacksonville