The 2017 free agent class has one surefire Hall of Famer hitting the market (Adrian Peterson), and the aging veteran is joined by several impact players who could be the difference between a potential revival and spending January packing up the locker room. Pro Bowlers like Dont’a Hightower, Calais Campbell, T.J. Lang, and Alshon Jeffery could all find new homes this spring with teams eager to get a head start on a winning campaign.
Some of these contracts will make total sense. Others will leave what looks like a perfect fit on the table to sign with teams that look like anything but an ideal landing spot. Here are the deals SB Nation’s NFL writers want to see most.
LeGarrette Blount had a major role in the Patriots’ last two Super Bowl seasons, but while he scored a league-leading 18 touchdowns in 2016, he also ran for just 3.9 yards per carry and will be 31 years old by the end of next season. Even though the team can likely bring him back to the fold on a one-year contract — especially considering how poorly his last deal outside of New England went — Bill Belichick is no doubt considering a contingency plan at tailback.
Look, there are teams with uncertainty at the quarterback position, and then there are the Cleveland Browns, a team that has started 28 different quarterbacks since drafting Tim Couch first overall in 1999.
Ah, 1999 — those heady days when the Browns were a brand new team in Cleveland, replacing the franchise that had departed a few years earlier for Baltimore. The optimism that must have accompanied that pick, which didn’t work out for Cleveland long-term, thanks primarily to injuries for Couch.
Since then, it’s been a revolving door at quarterback, with the Browns averaging 1.65 starting quarterbacks per year since the 1999 season. Cleveland has spent first-round picks on Couch, Brady Quinn, Brandon Weeden and — oh, dear — Johnny Manziel.