2021 NFL Free Agency: The Top 5 Upcoming Free Agents
The current NFL season is almost over, as there is just the Super Bowl left to be played. Two teams remain, while the rest can look towards the offseason. Besides the NFL Draft, the highlight of the NFL offseason is free agency. Last year, we saw some great players change teams. Tom Brady left New England for warm Tampa Bay, Byron Jones joined the Dolphins, and Jadeveon Clowney took his talents to Tennessee.
This year’s free agent class is of similar weight to last, although it may not have as much talent on the defensive side. Unfortunately for players on the market, the league has once again lowered its salary cap. Due to COVID-19, finances in the NFL took somewhat of a hit. This may affect the salary that these players receive. Still, the five stars listed below will certainly have no trouble finding themselves a sufficient salary in 2021.
5. Justin Simmons, S Denver Broncos
It was tough putting a safety over some high-end pass rushers, but Justin Simmons is one of the most underrated players in the league. Simmons is just 27 years old and is in the prime of his career. The former Boston College product ranked in the top five in the NFL for interceptions and is one of the most efficient defensive backs in terms of tackling.
The Broncos have reportedly made it a priority to resign Simmons, but he may want to move on and join a more competitive squad. Any team would welcome Simmons in their secondary, as he boasts excellent speed and ball skills. Additionally, he is a versatile safety who can play in the box or excel in coverage. Simmons is a jack of all trades and should be atop a team’s list of needs if help in the secondary is necessary.
4. Kenny Golladay, WR Detroit Lions
Despite frequent injuries, Kenny Golladay has cemented himself as an emerging young star at the wide receiver position. The Northern Illinois product led the league in touchdowns in 2019 and is a favorite target of Matthew Stafford. Golladay is coming off his rookie deal, making him one of the premier free agents on the market.
Golladay has the size and hands to be a great possessional receiver, but also the footwork and body control to be a threat down the field as well. The Lions have struggled for as long as Golladay has been in the league. While he is not the number one wide receiver free agent in this group, Golladay is a must target for any teams searching for a top wide receiver.
3. Trent Williams, LT San Francisco 49ers
Top tier free agents on the offensive line are hard to come by. However, former top 5 draft selection Trent Williams is on the market this Spring. The San Francisco left tackle has been one of the most efficient blockers in the league and still looks to be in prime physical condition.
Williams revived his career this past season with San Francisco, solidifying himself as a blue chip left tackle. He has all the speed and power teams are looking for and plays with a tremendous motor. Williams could be a huge upgrade for many teams looking to protect their quarterback on the blindside.
2. Allen Robinson, WR Chicago Bears
Stefon Diggs was once pinned as the most underrated wide receiver in the NFL. After his breakout season, someone else gets to that that title. For me, Allen Robinson is the most underrated wideout in football. He runs flawless routes, bails out his quarterbacks with his ridiculous hands, and is a major threat after the catch.
Allen Robinson is an X-receiver who has not yet had the luxury of a good quarterback. It has been rumored that he plans on leaving Chicago, so teams should be fighting for this top offensive weapon. Expect a big payday for Robinson and a Diggs-like production leap in 2021.
1. Dak Prescott, QB Dallas Cowboys
You know what they say; the quarterback position is the most important position in sports. Dak Prescott is set to become one of the most expensive free agents of all time, and Dallas may not want to pay that sum. Though Prescott was hurt most of this season, his status as a top-end NFL quarterback cannot be denied.
Prescott is a dominant athlete with plenty of arm talent and accuracy. The situation in Dallas is confusing, so there is a chance Prescott hits the market. He has proven to be a franchise-elevating quarterback in the past, so Prescott will be paid like one this offseason regardless of where he goes.