With the NFL draft now over, teams have shifted their focus to getting their rosters set ahead of mandatory workouts, and we’ve seen an increase in roster moves. These are the top fits for some of the big-name remaining free agents.
RB Todd Gurley: Bills
It was no secret that the Bills had at least some level of interest in adding Travis Etienne or Najee Harris in the first round last Thursday night. After missing out on both, Buffalo might be in the veteran running back market. Todd Gurley is still just 26 years old (27 this August), and he might thrive in a complementary type of role in a pass-heavy offense. At this point, Gurley would likely be a low-cost signing that could pay off in a major way. And, the former Offensive Player of the Year remains one of the best touchdown-scorers in football.
RB Le’Veon Bell: Dolphins
Similarly, the Dolphins did not come away with a running back during last week’s draft like many expected. Miami is reportedly happy with their standing at the position, but they’ll probably bring another runner at some point (perhaps they’ll claim Kerryon Johnson, who was waived by the Lions yesterday). Le’Veon Bell likes the Miami area, and the Dolphins have had interest in him in the past, so he should be a fit.
OT Eric Fisher: Bears
Former Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher has familiarity with Matt Nagy from their time together in Kansas City. Chicago just released Charles Leno and drafted Teven Jenkins to man the left tackle spot, but Jenkins might ultimately be a better fit anchoring the right side of the offensive line. Returning from a torn Achilles, Fisher can probably be had at a discount. If signed, he’d be saving the Bears money (compared to Leno’s salary) while helping solidify the bookends for Andy Dalton and Justin Fields.
OT Mitchell Schwartz: Broncos
Unfortunately, Broncos right tackle Ja’Wuan James suffered an Achilles injury while training on his own, so they have an opening on the right side of the offensive line. Von Miller and company have seen and had battles with Mitchell Schwartz often over the years, and Denver must have at least considered brining him in. For Schwartz, he might not mind joining an AFC West rival after the Chiefs cut him.
OT Charles Leno: Colts
It shouldn’t take too long for Charles Leno to land with another squad, and the Colts might be the perfect fit. The former seventh-round pick started 93 consecutive games for the Bears, and he’d bring stability to one of the lone weak spots on the Indy roster. Expect the Colts to come away with either Fisher or Leno in the coming weeks.
DL Sheldon Richardson: Steelers
Finding a spot for Sheldon Richardson is a tough task, but the big defensive lineman can be a factor as an interior pass rusher for a contender. The talk was that the Browns are interested in bringing him back, but they continue to add to the defensive line after cutting Richardson. So, Richardson might like the idea of getting to face Cleveland twice a year if he feels disrespected, taking a discount to join the cap-strapped Steelers.
EDGE Melvin Ingram: Chiefs
While the Chiefs just drafted Joshua Kaindoh in the fourth round, Melvin Ingram would bring a veteran presence as the primary starter opposite Frank Clark in Steve Spagnuolo’s defense. It seems that Ingram hasn’t signed yet because he’s not happy with the offers he’s getting, but Kansas City can offer a nice deal, especially at this time of year.
EDGE: Justin Houston: Giants
Boosting the outside pass rush was a priority for the Giants this offseason, and they added Georgia’s Azeez Ojulari in the second round to help in that department. However, New York knows better than most franchises that you can never have enough pass rushers. Justin Houston would be a fit as someone that always finds a way to produce (8.0+ sacks in each of the past four seasons).
CB Richard Sherman: Saints
The Seahawks, 49ers, and Raiders have been most heavily linked to Richard Sherman. But he previously indicated he wouldn’t be back in San Francisco, Las Vegas added a lot to the defense already this offseason, and the Russell Wilson/Seahawks/Sherman relationship might not work out based on how things ended a few years ago. The Saints might be interested in bringing Sherman in on a one-year deal. Third-round rookie Paulson Adebo would have a good player to potentially sit behind for a year before becoming a full-time starter in 2022.
S Malik Hooker: Dolphins
Malik Hooker recently visited the Dolphins, and the team just cut safety Bobby McCain, so this might come together quickly. Hooker is a playmaker on the back end of a defense, and he can slide into a rotation that’ll include the versatile Eric Rowe (who can play in the slot and cover tight ends), 2020 third-rounder Brandon Jones, and rookie second-rounder Jevon Holland.