Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the NFL is in its offseason, the business side of things do not stop. A free agency frenzy and the coming NFL Draft awaits. This means a lot of players will be shifting rosters and signing with new teams left and right. There are also bound to be some players who will either face the chopping or trade block.

This offseason in particular will be filled with a ton of quarterback activity. We have some big names hitting free agency and multiple college quarterbacks pegged as first-round draft picks.

With the unknown waiting right around the corner, we have made the following bold predictions for the 2018 NFL offseason.

Bengals attempt to trade Andy Dalton and prep A.J. McCarron to start

The Bengals need to get bold and find out what McCarron can do for them in 2018. This means they would need to move on from Dalton who would make an intriguing trade option. Even after an underwhelming season in which Dalton completed just 59.9 percent of his passes for a career-low 3,320 yards, he is still very much trade worthy. Then, the Bengals can experiment for their future with McCarron, who is set to become a restricted free agent.

Dallas Cowboys release Dez Bryant

Bryant has not been cutting it in Dallas ever since the team broke the bank to the tune of $70 million to extend his contract in 2015. His most productive seasons came between 2012-14 playing with former quarterback Tony Romo when he tallied 41 touchdowns. Now, he is coming off of an 838-yard, six-touchdown campaign. By cutting Bryant, the Cowboys save $8.5 million against the cap. That is just too much to pay a guy that is not producing at an elite level.

Kirk Cousins snubs the Denver Broncos

Most have the Broncos pegged as the favorites to land Cousins in free agency, though they would have to prepare to finagle their budget in order to offer Cousins a lucrative deal. This is why we predict that Cousins actually accepts a job with the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings have the seventh-most salary cap space and are a team that Cousins has shown interest in playing for. Also, Cousins may enjoy sticking around in the NFC where he will remain competition for a Washington Redskins unit that put the screws to him.

Ravens sign Terrelle Pryor on the cheap

Speaking of Washington, Pryor did not gel there one bit last season. The team overpaid him on a one-year $8 million deal and got disastrous results. After playing in just nine games and tallying 240 yards and one touchdown, Pryor can hardly sell himself high in free agency. We say the Ravens, who can stand to add more depth at receiver, give him a shot. Likely, Pryor lands only a one-year prove it deal that pays him drastically less than last season.

Cleveland Browns offer Drew Brees a deal 

Down to offensive lineman Joe Thomas, the Browns would love to land a quarterback of Brees’ caliber. So why not actually extend a rich offer once free agency begins on March 14? The Browns currently have the most available salary cap space and could easily make Brees the richest player in the league. It is an interesting thought. Though, the likelihood Brees plays anywhere else other than New Orleans for the remainder of his career is slim. The Browns tossing an offer Brees’ way would at least push the Saints to be aggressive with their own contract negotiations.

Patriots select Lamar Jackson as Tom Brady’s heir apparent 

The Patriots need to start enhancing their quarterback depth beyond Tom Brady. We predict the Patriots, with the 31st overall pick, select Louisville’s Lamar Jackson who could be around when New England goes on the clock. In picking a quarterback in Round 1, the Patriots would completely throw a monkey wrench into the draft. This is an organization that does not reach for quarterbacks. And speaking of reaching, the Patriots might even try to trade up for a higher-rated rookie quarterback. Their draft should be interesting.

Packers bring in Trumaine Johnson

Boy did the Packers prove they need more help in their secondary last season. This is a team that gave up 25 passing touchdowns and managed just 11 interceptions. Adding Johnson, who the Los Angeles Rams are unlikely to retain, makes a lot of sense. The bold in this prediction is that the Packers would need to make some budget adjustments in order to sign Johnson. The Packers rank 23rd in available salary cap space.

Detroit Lions snag Alfred Morris

Morris’ days as a Cowboy are likely numbered. The team has workhorse Ezekiel Elliott and a capable backup in Rod Smith. So we like a guy with Morris’s skills landing with the Lions. Morris did enough replacing a suspended Elliott last season to prove he should be in a starting role. Last year Morris averaged 4.8 yards per carry and tallied 547 yards. He is an upgrade over Ameer Abdullah who is not an answer for a Detroit rushing offense that ranked dead last in 2017.

Jarvis Landry meets up with Jimmy Garoppolo

Another free agent who could be on the move is Landry. Just imagine him pairing up with Garoppolo out west. The 49ers have tons of salary space to give Landry that juicy contract he is seeking. Landry led the league with 112 receptions last year and was targeted 10 times per game on average. Allow us to remind you that this happened playing catch with Jay Cutler and Matt Moore. The sky would be the limit for Landry working with an even more accurate quarterback in 2018.

Broncos double-down on quarterbacks

The Broncos' complete roster of quarterbacks needs to be scrapped. Though the Broncos won’t admit it, they need to draft a quarterback and sign an affordable one like Case Keenum. Keenum comes from a decent enough stint with the Vikings (3,547 yards and 22 touchdowns) that the Broncos can trust him to start. And despite the fact that he put together an amazing season (and arguably deserves it), Keenum cannot exactly command Cousins’s paycheck. Next as insurance, we predict that the Broncos take Baker Mayfield out of Oklahoma with the fifth overall pick. It was not long ago that the Broncos requested Mayfield play on their team at the Senior Bowl. These moves would assure the team starts with fresh options in 2018.

Frank Gore finally signs with a contender

Gore still has some gas in his tank and it would be the Patriot wWy for New England to sign him to a short term deal. The veteran running back, who rushed for 961 yards and averaged 16.3 carries per contest last season, would make for a nice change of pace back in an offense that loves to split up its runners’ work. Plus, both running backs Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead become free agents this offseason. We cover their landing spots a little later on in this list.

Cleveland Browns roll with Teddy Bridgewater

Forever in need of an upgrade at quarterback, it would be awesome for the Browns reach out to Teddy Bridgewater in free agency. This would be on top of the team also needing to select a rookie quarterback in the draft. The Browns need to double or perhaps triple their efforts to strengthen their quarterback position. Adding Bridgewater for his maturity and leadership skills certainly would not hurt. Plus, Bridgewater has been cleared to play so he could actually start while their younger option learns behind him.

Cardinals trade for Nick Foles

The Cardinals said finding a new quarterback is a top priority. But, they have some budget restraints which might inhibit them. This makes a trade for Foles an attractive option. From one bird team to another, the Cardinals would have a Super Bowl Champion quarterback under center. And this quarterback would cost the Cardinals a mere $7 million for the 2018 season. In exchange, the Cardinals would have to offer up a desirable draft pick or picks to make this happen. But this move is worth it considering Blaine Gabbert is currently the team’s best option.

Malcolm Butler’s new home is Indianapolis

The Colts secondary is dreary and a cornerback like Butler could certainly spruce up the situation. With how things ended for Butler in New England, he might love a chance to play with a Colts team that just said “the rivalry is back on“. The bottom line is Butler has talent and a fresh start should do his career wonders. Plus, the Colts have the second-most salary cap space to give Butler that big deal he is looking to ink.

Jimmy Graham finds familiar territory

Those who still don’t quite feel comfortable seeing Graham suit up in blue and green will likely get to see him in a different color. How cool would it be for Graham to return to the New Orleans Saints in 2018? He was Brees’ right hand man and a touchdown machine from 2011-14. During that span, he averaged 137.8 targets per year and scored 46 touchdowns. He was not nearly utilized to his full capacity in Seattle. The Saints’ offense would be even more explosive if it welcomed Graham back.

Browns don’t blow the first round of the Draft

Please say this is so. We predict the Browns finally do the “un-Brownsy” thing and take a quarterback at No. 1. This would be instead of trading away picks, or letting potential quarterbacks like last year’s Deshaun Watson slip. Even after adding a veteran like the aforementioned Bridgewater, Cleveland would be wise to swoop in and take UCLA’s Josh Rosen who has the ability to become a solid franchise quarterback. Next, selecting a top defensive back or running back at No. 4, would be brilliant.

Buffalo Bills take care of Sam Bradford

Free agency is chock-full of quarterbacks that need new teams. Bradford is a capable and reasonably-priced solution who could mentor a new rookie should the team take a draft flier on a quarterback they desire for the future. Coming off of an injury-plagued year, Bradford cannot demand a jaw-dropping salary. Nobody is going to pay him that. Instead, the Bills can take advantage of Bradford who would benefit tremendously with a workhorse like LeSean McCoy to lean on.

Tyrod Taylor shifts teams in the AFC East 

Speaking of the Bills, Taylor looks to be on the move out of Buffalo. His mobility might just make for a refreshing change of pace for the New York Jets. Oh, and the Jets have the fourth-most available cap space which makes adding Taylor a budget-friendly choice. Taylor cannot exactly sell his services sky-high with his injury history. This savings in salary would allow the Jets to spend some money in other areas like the running back and wide receiver positions.

Chicago Bears add Cowboys’ reject 

We covered Bryant already, and we predicted he'd get the ax by the Cowboys. If he does, the Bears should pursue him. They desperately need an upgrade at the position and Bryant would provide stability for second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky to improve on his deep passing game. Given a featured role, Bryant could get back his rhythm back. He might even rediscover his previously elite ability as the new top dog on a fresh offense.

Jon Gruden adds Colin Kaepernick just in case

If any team was to consider signing Kaepernick, it might just be the Oakland Raiders. According to a January speculation by Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, Kaepernick may be on Gruden’s radar as a backup to Derek Carr. The team needs a better option should Carr miss time on the field. Additionally, there is a rumor out there that indicates the NFL wants the Raiders to sign Kaepernick so that the league can be rid of his collusion case (more on that here). This is indeed bold, but the Raiders seem to be the front running team if Kaep is going to play this year.

Mike Wallace becomes a Jet

The Jets need some help at the receiver position to assist whoever is throwing passes next season. Wallace is a likely candidate for this job being one of the best free agent receivers out there. At 31-years-old, Wallace showed this past season he can still contribute at a powerful level as displayed by his average of 14.4 yards per reception. With Robby Anderson likely facing a suspension, Wallace would be a wise and cost-efficient add the team should not pass up.

Patriots do the Patriot thing and sign veteran Vontae Davis

If the Colts wind up signing Malcolm Butler as we previously discussed, it would only seem appropriate that the Patriots take Indy corner Vontae Davis at a bargain value. Davis has been medically cleared from core surgery and should attract interest this offseason. The Patriots need more components in their secondary and are never shy to add veterans who can still contribute. Davis last tallied 31 combined tackles and defended two passes in the five games he played for Indianapolis last year.

Seattle Seahawks steal former Patriots running backs

Short of hanging a “help wanted” sign at their facility, the Seahawks need to add some productive running backs. Quarterback Russell Wilson led the team with 586 rushing yards last season. So how cool would it be for the Seahawks to sign both Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead? Lewis would be the costlier of the two, but neither one can exactly demand a bank-breaking contract. In 2017, Lewis recorded a total of 1,110 yards and nine touchdowns. Burkhead was valuable as a third-down back and he tallied 518 total yards and eight touchdowns. The duo would certainly help ease the pressure Wilson faces week in and week out.

Adrian Peterson reunites with Pat Shurmur

Peterson’s career in the NFL is winding down, but perhaps his former Vikings offensive coordinator from 2016 and current Giants head coach could bring him aboard for one more run of things. The Giants’ rushing offense finished 26th in the league last year. If Peterson was the featured back rather than a backup or part of a committee, he might actually help the Giants improve their ground game. And because of Peterson’s uninspiring 2017 season, he can be signed on the ultra cheap.

Richard Sherman gets traded to the Oakland Raiders

The Raiders are going to be busy this offseason and a trade for Sherman makes too much sense. Oakland badly needs a cornerback of Sherman’s caliber, so acquiring a former Stanford star would perfectly fit the bill. Sherman is currently acting as his own agent when it comes to playing out his final year with the Seahawks. But, that might not be necessary if the Raiders get aggressive and land him in a trade. This would also reunite Sherman with former teammate, Marshawn Lynch.

Steelers trade up to draft a quarterback

Right now, Ben Roethlisberger wants to play beyond 2018. But a poor season or another unfortunate string of injuries might change his mind. And with backup Landry Jones under contract for just one more year, it is time for the Steelers to strike in a quarterback-heavy draft class. With pick No. 28, they may need to trade up to make getting a first-round quarterback a reality. Roethlisberger, who turns 36 in March, was originally selected 11th overall in 2004.

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

This article first appeared on Sportsnaut and was syndicated with permission.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

FBI docs show widespread payments to top college, H.S. players

Paul Heyman says Brock Lesnar could still return to UFC

Report: NBA considering play-in tourney for final playoff teams

Giannis Antetokounmpo has no interest in playing in L.A.

Michael Vick on Lamar Jackson: He's a 'spitting image' of me

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Tension between Love, teammates began last season

Roberto Luongo gives emotional speech about school shooting

Report: Dolphins could look to release or trade Ndamukong Suh

Michael Porter Jr. cleared for basketball activities

Tebow: NFL teams still offer him chance to play other positions

Report: Cowboys could be an ‘unexpected’ suitor for Cousins

The 'Kawhi so serious?' quiz

No one wants to jump with Dennis Smith Jr.

Top MLB Cy Young candidates heading into 2018

Negro Leaguers every baseball fan should know

MLB's top 10 first basemen for 2018

Faltering Blackhawks face tough decisions at deadline

One weakness each contender must fix before NBA Playoffs

10 breakout stars of the 2018 Winter Olympics

The greatest barrier-breaking African-American moments in MLB history

25 best MLB players under 25

A.J. McCarron might be the best consolation prize in free agency

MLB's top 10 second basemen for 2018

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

No one wants to jump with Dennis Smith Jr.

The 'Kawhi so serious?' quiz

Top MLB Cy Young candidates heading into 2018

25 best MLB players under 25

The 'Red Sox finally get their guy' quiz

MLB's top 10 first basemen for 2018

Faltering Blackhawks face tough decisions at deadline

Offseason needs for every NFL team

MLB's top 10 second basemen for 2018

The 'All muscle hamsters go to heaven' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker