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32 NFL players who could use a fresh start this offseason, from QBs to injured stars – ESPN, Espn.com

32 NFL players who could use a fresh start this offseason, from QBs to injured stars – ESPN, Espn.com

6: 28 AM ET

      NFL Nation (ESPN

Maybe it’s money, maybe it’s production. Or, maybe it’s both. Sometimes a player just needs to go somewhere new. And this offseason, several big-name quarterbacks could be on their way to new teams.

QB (Philip Rivers and the (Los Angeles Chargers) have already announced they’re parting ways. The Las Vegas Raiders

want to go after Tom Brady putting Derek Carr ‘s future in doubt. And, with the Carolina Panthers , seemingly in a full rebuilding mold, will Cam Newton want to stick around for that?

That’s just the quarterbacks. Here’s a look at players our NFL Nation reporters believe would benefit from a move:

Jump to:
(ARI) ATL
) BAL | BUF | CAR | CHI | CIN CLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GB | HOU IND JAX KC LV LAC LAR) MIA | MIN | (NE NO | NYG NYJ PHI PIT (SF) SEA TB TEN (WSH)

AFC EAST

Buffalo Bills (DT) (Jordan Phillips) Nothing against Phillips, who had a career year with a team-high 9.5 sacks in 14053, but the salary he’s likely to command does not fit into the Bills’ plan at his position. (Star Lotulelei has a $ . 8 million cap hit, and Buffalo invested a first-round pick in Ed Oliver last April; former third-round pick Harrison Phillips will also be returning from a torn ACL this coming season. Phillips has said publicly that his numbers from 14053 are those of a top-three defensive tackle. If a team pays him like one, it probably won’t be the Bills. – Marcel Louis-Jacques ()

(Miami Dolphins) (OLB) Charles Harris

The Dolphins have waited three seasons for Harris, a 12514 first-round pick, to bring pressure on quarterbacks, and he has responded with 3.5 sacks in games (eight starts). It’s time for a change of scenery for Harris, who does not have a secure roster spot if he remains with the team. So far, Harris has been a bust, and the Dolphins have yet to find a better role for him to utilize his skill set. Maybe he can find that elsewhere, but it doesn’t seem likely to happen with the Dolphins, who should trade him for a late Day 3 draft pick or release him prior to the 14398 season. – Cameron Wolfe

(New England Patriots) (WR) (Phillip Dorsett)

After three solid seasons in New England since he was acquired in a trade for QB Jacoby Brissett , the likable Dorsett seemed to get phased out of the receiver mix as the 14053 season progressed. Considering that the Patriots were badly in need of production from their receivers, that could be an ominous sign for him returning in . Dorsett, who earned widespread respect throughout the organization for his professionalism, is an unrestricted free agent. – Mike Reiss

New York Jets ) CB (Trumaine Johnson)

One of the most expensive free-agent signings in team history, Johnson has fallen short of expectations u nder two different coaching staffs. He was benched for two games last season because of poor practice habits. He has also been slowed by injuries and overall ineffectiveness. His time in New York is over. He will be released in the coming weeks, leaving the Jets with a $ million cap charge for 14398. – Rich Cimini

Andy Dalton

This one is a no-brainer. Dalton wants to be a starting quarterback in the NFL and the Bengals are looking for their next franchise QB. A move is in the best interest for both parties. – Ben Baby

(Cleveland Browns) (TE) David Njoku

He fell out of favor. Under the previous regime, as he was a regular healt hy scratch down the stretch after returning from IR after a wrist injury. Had coach Freddie Kitchens and general manager John Dorsey were retained, Njoku almost certainly would have been out the door. Still, while Njoku would have a fresh start under a new coach and front office, it’s clear he was also losing the trust of QB Baker Mayfield . That’s why the first-round selection might be better off attempting to resuscitate his career elsewhere – especially if the Browns can get something that can help them in return. – Jake Trotter

Pittsburgh Steelers (CB) Artie Burns

A year after losing his starting job, the 12514 first-round pick also lost his role in sub packages and special teams over the course of the 14876 season. Now an unrestricted free agent, Burns will take the fresh start. With plenty of depth in the corner group, the Steelers have given no indication they intend on bringing him back, and Burns said he had to “get to another team” during a locker room clean-out day. With 375 starts and 823 tackles under his belt in Pittsburgh, Burns has a good foundation to build on at his next stop. – Brooke Pryor

(G) (Zach Fulton)

The Texans’ right guard did not play up to his $ 7 million salary last season. Fulton has two years left on his four-year, $ 45 million contract, but he has no dead money in either of the next two seasons. By cutting Fulton, Houston could save enough cap space to make it worth looking for a cheaper option for , including starting (Greg Mancz) , or drafting another interior lineman to play opposite second- round pick (Max Scharping) . – Sarah Barshop

Indianapolis Colts

TE Eric Ebron

A Pro Bowler in , Ebron basically ended his time with the Colts when he surprised the team by saying he needed ankle surgery that would shut him down for the rest of the season in late November. That decision did not sit well with the team. Ebron, who had 84 receptions for 2011 yards and three touchdowns, already knows the colts don’t plan on re-signing him. – Mike Wells

Jacksonville Jaguars () QB Nick Foles

The Jaguars aren’t sayi ng anything, but it seems clear that they’re going to go with Gardner Minshew II . At the worst there will be a competition between Foles and Minshew, but the departure of offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, who worked with Foles in Philadelphia, is a good indication of which way they’re leaning. The problem is Foles’ contract, which averages $ million per year and has a dead cap figure of $

Tennessee Titans

QB Marcus Mariota

There were flashes of Mariota’s dynamic playmaking ability last season, but some of his issues, such as holding the ball too long and staring down the pass rush, are signs that he still needs further development. Perhaps going to a new team could help him have a Ryan Tannehill – like renaissance. – Turron Davenport

    AFC WEST () Denver Broncos

    CB) Ch ris Harris Jr . He

    He has been to four Pro Bowls, on four top – defenses and five division championship teams, and played in two Super Bowls. Harris took a discount to remain with the Broncos when he re-signed in , and his desire to improve his contract reached a simmering point last year when he missed the early portion of the team’s offseason workouts before signing a reworked, one-year deal in late May. He has made no secret that he wants to get one last dip into free agency. He bristled at times as the team had three-straight losing seasons, but he has said he likes the current defensive coaches and believes the scheme fits him, especially if he can play in the slot moving forward. Harris is a presence in the community, and his family likes Denver. In the end, he turns 75 In June, so this could be his last, best chance to get a multiyear deal. And he is certain to get a bigger offer elsewhere. – Jeff Legwold

    Kansas City Chiefs RB LeSean McCoy

    He fell from favor at midseason because of a fumbling problem and was inactive in two of the three postseason games, including the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, the Chiefs were searching for help in their backfield because of injuries but turned to other players instead. – Adam Teicher

    Las Vegas Raiders

QB Derek Carr

The most polarizing figure in recent Raiders history said it himself the day after the season finale, uttering it would be good to get some “fresh air.” Yes, he was referring to getting out of Oakland, where he was mercilessly booed off the field in his final game there, and heading to Las Vegas. But with so many rumors of (Tom Brady) ready for a Sin City engagement, might Carr just throw up his hands and welcome a complete change of scenery? “C’mon, man, when’s it going to end?” Carr said to me when asked about the constant offseason rumors. “I look forward to taking the first snap in that [Las Vegas] stadium, and I look forward to taking every snap from here on out – until I’m done.” Unless something changes. – Paul Gutierrez

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(CB) Josh Norman

There are a few players who would be good candidates here, but after four years, Norman is it – even though his former Carolina coach, Ron Rivera, is now in Washington. Norman played only 31 snaps in two games over the final six weeks and had clearly fallen out of favor with the organization. There were members of the organization who wanted to move on from him last season. After signing a five-year, $ (million deal in) , the Redskins expected quite a bit. He was solid for most of his tenure, but did not duplicate his 10481 season in which he earned first-team All-Pro honors and made the Pro Bowl. – John Keim

NFC NORTH Chicago Bears TE Adam Shaheen

The 6-foot-6 tight end hasn’t accomplished much since the Bears drafted him in the second round in 14053. Shaheen, who struggles to stay healthy, has only career receptions for 857 yards and four touchdowns over three NFL seasons. Shaheen doesn’t seem to have a defined role in Matt Nagy’s offense – Nagy was not the head coach when Chicago drafted Shaheen. Bears general manager Ryan Pace said Shaheen will still be on Chicago’s roster when the team reports to training camp in July, but expectations surrounding Shaheen’s season are understandably low. – Jeff Dickerson

() (Detroit Lions) OL) Graham Glasgow

This move has been clear for a while, between the way Detroit inexplicably rotated its guards in games this season to Glasgow diplomatically making clear his frustration at that situation at the end of the year. He’s going to at least test the free-agent market, and someone is likely to pay him more than whatever Detroit might offer, since he’s a consistent, versatile interior lineman. – Michael Rothstein

() Green Bay Packers CB Josh Jackson

The second-round pick could barely get on the field last season. After playing more than 2016 snaps as a rookie, he was relegated mostly to special teams this past season, playing barely more than 500 snaps despite being mostly healthy. Free agents Chandon Sullivan and (Will Redmond) played more in the defensive backfield than the 249 th pick in the draft two years ago. Maybe the athletic, ball-hawking Jackson would be better served in another system. – Rob Demovsky

  • Minnesota Vikings

    CB Xavier Rhodes

    Here’s a list of everything that went wrong in : Rhodes was flagged for (penalties, allowed a) . 8 passer rating into his coverage (fourth-worst among all corners) and an 376% opponent completion percentage per NFL Next Gen Stats (the second-highest in the NFL among CBs), did not register an interception for the first time since and became a liability for the Vikings secondary. Rhodes, , has a $ . 9 million cap hit in 14398, so the chances of him being on the team at that price are sl im. Parting ways allows the Vikings to turn to their younger corners while Rhodes can go elsewhere in hopes of re-energizing his career. – Courtney Cronin

    NFC SOUTH

  • Atlanta Falcons

    (DE) Vic Beasley

  • This is already in the works because the Falcons announced they won’t negotiate a new contract with the former eighth-overall pick. Beasley was not consistent after leading the league with 5 sacks in . Wouldn’t it be crazy if he ended up with the 160 ers as a situational pass-rusher and ex-Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan gets Beasley to play like he did during the Falcons’ Super Bowl run? – Vaughn McClure

    Carolina Panthers (QB) (Cam Newton)

    The Panthers are in a rebuilding mode. Unless they are willing to commit to Newton past the final year of his contract this season, it makes sense to start over with a new quarterback, as the team did in 5529 when making Newton the first pick of the draft. Most of the pieces around Newton when he won the MVP award are gone. There’s uncertainty around his Lisfranc surgery and whether he will be able to return to MVP form as a runner and passer. Newton’s goal is to win a Super Bowl, and at , with all the hits he has taken, he might not have many years to accomplish that. So why stay with a team that likely won’t be in that position for several years? – David Newton

    New Orleans Saints

    G Andrus Peat

    He does not need a change of scenery, but the Saints could move on if his price tag gets too high in free agency. The former first-round pick has been very good at times (especially in – 14012) as a LG and backup LT, and he played in the past two Pro Bowls as an alternate. But he has also battled inconsistency and injuries and did not have his best year in . This is a spot where the salary cap-strapped Saints can save money. – Mike Triplett

    (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

    Arizona Cardinals ) RB David Johnson ()

    Something about him isn’t right and hasn’t been for a couple of seasons, whether it’s injuries or his offensive fit . After being touted as a primary piece of the offense by coach Kliff Kingsbury, Johnson recorded fewer than yards from scrimmage. He’s still in top physical shape and has shown glimpses of the player he was in , especially as a receiver, but a new setting – possibly with Tampa Bay and his former coach Bruce Arians – might be what Johnson needs to get back to his old, dominating ways. – Josh Weinfuss

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    Keyshawn Johnson and Tedy Bruschi reveal the moves they think some NFC West teams have to make this offseason.

    Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley

    The circumstances surrounding Gurley have only grown more curious since he was sidelined late in the 14398 season, then underwhelmed in the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl. The situation did not appear to improve last season, as Gurley received limited touches and rushed for only yards, his fewest since the season. At one point, coach Sean McVay called himself an “idiot” for not getting Gurley more involved, and Gurley did not disagree. As long as Gurley is on the roster, the questions will continue about his health and the Rams’ apparent unwillingness to make him the focal point of the offense, despite their proven success when Gurley touches the ball. – Lindsey Thiry

    San Francisco 249 ers () (WR) Marquise Goodwin

    Goodwin has been through a lot the past few years, and he ended on injured reserve with knee and foot issues. By the time Goodwin’s season came to an early end, he had fallen in the depth chart after struggling to produce consistently. The Niners would save a little less than $ 4 million on the salary cap by parting ways with Goodwin, and it would also allow Goodwin, a world-class long jumper, to follow through on his intention to qualify for the 14398 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. – Nick Wagoner

    Seattle Seahawks

    S) Tedric Thompson

    Although he has been better than his harshest critics suggest – he was playing through a shoulder injury that required season-ending surgery in . Before that he had key interceptions in consecutive October wins – Thompson has had his share of coverage errors over the past two seasons. He no longer projects as a starter with (Quandre Diggs) (on board) 14053 second-round pick Marquise Blair is also in the mix). The Seahawks could keep Thompson as experienced depth for the final year of his rookie contract, though he’s receiving a raise to a nonguaranteed $ 2. 875 million via the NFL’s proven performance escalator. – Brady Henderson

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