Monday is a big day in the NFL world — it’s the deadline for teams to assign franchise tags and the negotiating window opens between teams and free agents.
We know the Dallas Cowboys’ situation is up in the air with quarterback Dak Prescott and receiver Amari Cooper. Will quarterback Ryan Tannehill re-sign with the Titans? And where will tight end Hunter Henry suit up next season?
In between all the guesswork, including the biggest puzzle of all on where quarterback Tom Brady will play in 2020, NFL Nation reporters look at the top internal free agents on each team and make a prediction on whether that player will stay or go.
Scan through all 32 teams by division, or click here to jump ahead to your team:
Amari Cooper, wide receiver
With quarterback Dak Prescott most likely to receive the franchise tag, Cooper becomes the Cowboys’ biggest free agent. Acquired in 2018 for a 2019 first-round pick, Cooper changed the fortunes of the Cowboys’ passing game when he arrived. But, he has been a different receiver on the road than he is at home, struggling down the stretch last season with 26 catches in the final seven games. Cooper, 25, can change outcomes with his big-play ability and teams have to focus on him, which frees up things for the other receivers, such as Michael Gallup.
Prediction: The Cowboys will keep Cooper on a shorter-term deal for around $18.5 million a season, giving him another chance to hit the market before he turns 30. — Todd Archer
New York Giants
Leonard Williams, defensive end
The Giants traded two draft picks for Williams midway through last season in a rare trade with the Jets. They’re invested and liked what he contributed over the final eight games, which included solid run defense and 20 QB pressures, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. Williams was a solid but not spectacular player, much like he was with the Jets. He finished the season with 0.5 sacks and two tackles for a loss, and has 17.5 sacks in five professional seasons.
Prediction: The Giants like Williams and have already committed two draft picks. They’re not letting him walk four months later. He gets the transition tag at approximately $13.1 million, which at the very least buys them time to strike a long-term deal. Nobody will blow away Williams once tagged, and he’ll remain a Giant. — Jordan Raanan
Rodney McLeod, safety
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