The Philadelphia Eagles made a splash move on Wednesday, agreeing to a one-year deal with former New York Giants cornerback James Bradberry. The cornerback had been in limbo for most of the NFL offseason, and he has now finally found some closure on the open market. But, while Bradberry is finally squared away, there are still some notable names and free agents sitting in static as the offseason slumps on.
Five notable players and free agents who remain in NFL offseason limbo
While there are still some strong names remaining on the free agent market, a pair of QBs are still twiddling their thumbs while looking for offseason finality. Here are five notable players seeking answers as OTAs get underway throughout the league.
EDGE Jadeveon Clowney
The well is drying up on available cap space, but Clowney is still taking his sweet time with finding his next landing spot. This practice has been an annual occurrence for Clowney, who would prefer to avoid the offseason program without drama. Clowney is coming off a nine-sack season, and a future with the Cleveland Browns could still be a possibility.
Clowney has been able to watch from afar as teams have drafted and signed pass rushers to fill voids in their lineups. Now, he can use team needs to leverage his next deal. While playing opposite Myles Garrett has served him well, Clowney could decide to prioritize his paycheck (again) with his latest contract.
QB Baker Mayfield
Mayfield wasn’t traded after the Browns acquired Deshaun Watson in March. He continued to stick around during the majority of free agency and following the NFL draft.
While the Browns have put up a front that Mayfield could stick in Cleveland, the QB clearly wants out. The Browns also have brought in Jacoby Brissett and Joshua Dobbs to serve as insurance in case Watson is suspended due to his 22 civil suits that stem from accusations of sexual misconduct. A disciplinary decision by the NFL could trigger movement for Mayfield, especially if Watson doesn’t receive a suspension.
Mayfield’s guaranteed $18.9 million contract has been the sticking point in his lack of movement. While the Browns have been willing to pay a portion of his salary, Cleveland doesn’t want to just give him away and pay a premium. The Browns are still likely to make a decision on Mayfield by training camp to avoid an awkward situation.
QB Jimmy Garoppolo
Garoppolo’s market has never really been all that hot. Coming off shoulder surgery, other teams have seemingly cooled on its value.
That said, the San Francisco 49ers don’t want to give away Garoppolo, who led them to a Super Bowl berth just a couple of years ago and to the NFC Championship Game last year. Even with Trey Lance in place, Garoppolo is still valuable to San Fran.
With Lance essentially still an NFL enigma, the 49ers would be smart to wait out the offseason with Garoppolo. If a playoff contender suffers a catastrophic injury at QB, the 49ers can take advantage and ship Garoppolo out of town for a ransom (or at least improved value).
W.R. Odell Beckham Jr.
Beckham tore his ACL in the Los Angeles Rams’ Super Bowl win over the Cincinnati Bengals in February. He will need a decent chunk of the upcoming season to recover, which has hurt his negotiating power over the past few months.
The Rams have added Allen Robinson and traded away Robert Woods since their big win, but head coach Sean McVay said earlier this week that he still wants to bring Beckham back this season.
While it’d probably be in Beckham’s best interest to sign a one-year deal with the Rams, he could look to get a fresh start elsewhere with a bigger paycheck. That said, outside of the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens, most teams aren’t desperate for wideout help.
TE Rob Gronkowski
Gronkowski is clearly debating between playing another season (or two) with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or retiring. Gronkowski has plenty of entertainment interests (movies, commercials, wrestling, etc.) outside of football, and he’s had a laundry list of injuries during his career. The debate between play or retire seems legitimate this offseason.
Hopefully, for the NFL’s sake, he’s back in the Bay this summer.