The NFL's 2015 free agent class is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball. While a handful of players will likely wind up re-signing with their current teams, other players may be destined to don a new uniform. And whether it's because they're in search of a more lucrative contract, a bigger market, or need a change of scenery, we're perfectly OK with it.
Here's a list of six impending free agents we believe are destined for a new team come 2015:
6 NFL stars on move in 2015
Six players likely to wear new uniforms in 2015
After back-to-back down years due to lingering injuries, Pierre-Paul appears to have rounded back into form, which comes as no surprise given it’s a contract year. Pierre-Paul has 3.5 sacks in nine games this season, already surpassing his total from all of 2013.
There’s rumors out of New York that defensive coordinator Perry Fewell could be on the chopping block, which will certainly play a role in Pierre-Paul’s decision to return or not. But a 4-3 end like Pierre-Paul will certainly command attention on the free-agent market, and perhaps more talent around him like the 2011 Super Bowl Giants would allow him to prosper as he did that season.
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
The Cowboys have a decision to make this offseason between handing a boatload of cash to either Dez Bryant or DeMarco Murray. Bryant has long been touted as one of the NFL’s most athletically gifted wide receivers and this season is no exception. But it comes at a time when a healthy Murray has re-written the NFL record books with a historically magnificent campaign.
My gut feeling is that the Cowboys re-sign Bryant, while offering Murray a solid deal. But given his 2014 season it’s hard to imagine another desperate team won’t overpay for this kind of talent. He’ll only be 27 by the time he hits free agency, so he has at least three years of value for a team like… the Raiders?
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There were rumors out of Motown before this season got underway that Suh could get his walking papers after the 2014 season. However, that was before we saw the defensive tackle thrive under first-year Lions head coach Jim Caldwell en route to arguably his best season of his career.
Suh has 4.5 sacks so far this season and most likely will aim to be the highest-paid at his position by the start of 2015. Of course, with Suh comes a history of disciplinary issues, so finding the organizational fit becomes an obstacle. The Lions are financially strapped in terms of their salary cap for next year, so remaining in Detroit could be awfully tricky, if he or the team had changed their minds from their previous stances.
Both New York teams have been mentioned as suitors, as well as the Cowboys.
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On his third team in as many years, there’s a thought that the New England cornerback strategically signed a one-year deal with the Patriots so he could perhaps sign another lucrative deal again this coming offseason. And if you know anything about the Patriots’ way, that means Revis is probably bracing for a fourth team in that span.
Revis has re-surfaced as one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks since relocating to Foxborough, and being the top defensive back on a revamped New England secondary that’ll probably march deep into the playoffs will likely result in a huge payday this spring.
Granted, Revis will be 30 when he’s available. But teammate Brandon Browner got a sizable enough deal at 30, and he was facing a four-game suspension. Expect Revis to gauge all of his options, including a potential return to the Jets.
(Photo by Al Pereira/New York Jets/Getty Images)
Sanchez may be the future under center in Philadelphia, or he’s auditioning for a starting gig elsewhere in the NFL for 2015. Sanchez survived his first start against the Panthers on Monday night, and is now tasked with leading the high-flying Eagles toward an NFC East crown into the postseason. If Sanchez can sustain the team’s success, he’ll be deserving of as much credit as we gave Nick Foles a year ago, which today looks like a complete mistake.
If the Eagles elect to turn back to Foles when healthy is a major factor in Sanchez’s free agency, but should that be the case, wouldn’t the Rams come calling? Brian Scottenheimer was Sanchez’s coordinator in New York, where both had some success. Maybe even the folks in Tennessee would take a flier on him given their dire situation.
(Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
Given Crabtree’s already troubled history with contract negotiations (see his rookie deal) and the fact that talks for next season have already been tabled, it’s hard to envision his long-term future in San Francisco.
Crabtree started off awfully slow through the 49ers’ first eight games, and his production was equivalent to that of slot receiver Stevie Johnson, who played less than half of the time. That’s not how 2014 was supposed to go for Crabtree, coming off a 2013 campaign plagued by injury.
Aside from the miraculous fourth-down catch against the Saints last week, Crabtree doesn’t look explosive. He’s averaging 9.8 yards per reception, and his seven dropped passes ranks tied for second-worst in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus. Crabtree won’t get the kind of lucrative deal he’s seeking from the Niners, meaning another wide receiver-needy team will have to hand over the deal. That, or he’ll have to settle for a one-year prove-it deal, much like Jeremy Maclin took from Philly this year.
(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)