A majority of big-ticket offseason moves have already happened around the NFL. Teams are now preparing for the 2019 NFL Draft with an eye on next season.
In no way does this mean things can’t change between now and the start of training camp in July.
Multiple big-name players would seemingly be better off playing for other NFL teams. That includes a couple top picks at the quarterback position from just a few years ago. We’re also wondering if a certain cornerback in Jacksonville has worn out his welcome.
It’s in this that we look at 10 NFL stars in need of a change of scenery at some point here soon.
Jameis Winston, quarterback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
We fully understand that Tampa Bay hired Bruce Arians in an attempt to get the most out of this former No. 1 overall pick. But given Winston’s struggles both on and off the field in recent seasons, we’re not too sure it’s going to work out swimmingly.
Arians is seen as a player-friendly head coach. That could help Winston as he attempts to improve off a turnover-plagued 2018 campaign. Even then, there’s every reason to believe Winston won’t really turn it around until he’s calling another NFL city home. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen until the 2020 season at the earliest.
Josh Norman, cornerback, Washington Redskins
Here’s another player who has struggled to make good on the commitment his team made to him. Signed to a five-year, $75 million deal back in 2016, Norman remains the NFL’s highest-paid corner. But he’s performed like anything but since joining the Skins.
Norman gave up a near 100 passer rating when in man coverage this past season. It led to him being benched at times throughout the campaign. No one knows if a change of scenery will do Norman good. What we do know is that the status quo in D.C. is not working.
LeSean McCoy, running back, Buffalo Bills
McCoy, 30, has to be at the point in his career where he wants to join a contending team. Being stick behind an erratic quarterback in Josh Allen last season, the six-time Pro Bowler faced stacked boxes throughout last season. It led to Shady registering a career-low 514 yards at a clip of 3.2 yards per rush.
After signing Frank Gore, we’re not too sure Buffalo wants to go with the youth movement at running back. Even then, it would make sense for the team to entertain trade offers during the 2019 NFL Draft.
Derek Carr, quarterback, Oakland Raiders
Now that the Raiders are seriously flirting with the two-two quarterbacks in the 2019 NFL Draft, one has to wonder if Carr’s days with the organization are numbered. He had his issues with head coach Jon Gruden during the 2018 season. Carr also put up a career-worst performance after earning a Pro Bowl appearance in three of his first four NFL seasons.
A lot of this will depend on what Oakland does during the draft this month. If the team does indeed select either Kyler Murray or Dwayne Haskins No. 4 overall, Carr is as good as gone. Based on his recent social media activity that might be a good thing for the quarterback.
A.J. Green, wide receiver, Cincinnati Bengals
We’re highly intrigued to see how extension negotiations play out between Green and the Bengals. Owner Mike Brown has noted he’d like to get something done. But with the team in the midst of a rebuild, it might make sense for Cincinnati to trade Green.
From the receiver’s standpoint, this could act like a boon for the twilight of his career. Entering his Age-31 season, Green is coming off an injury-plagued 2018 campaign. He’s also in the back end of his prime. Does it make sense for the seven-time Pro Bowler to waste away starring on a team that’s rebuilding?
Vic Beasley, EDGE, Atlanta Falcons
Beasley’s performance since leading the NFL in sacks with 15.5 back in 2016 has left a lot to be desired. The former No. 8 overall pick has recorded just 13 quarterback hits and 10 sacks over the past two seasons. One now has to wonder just how good of a fit he is in head coach Dan Quinn’s defense.
Making matters more interesting here is that Beasley’s 2019 price tag stands a $12.81 million. While we’re not expecting Atlanta to release or trade Beasley ahead of the 2019 season, the hope for this former Clemson star is that he finds a new beginning in free agency next March.
Jalen Ramsey, cornerback, Jacksonville Jaguars
Is Ramsey one of the Jaguars’ best players? Sure. Does his mentality and outspoken ways fit under the philosophy of front office head Tom Coughlin? The answer to that question is a resounding no. Ramsey either needs to change his ways or go to a team that will put up with his antics.
Unfortunately, the situation isn’t going to get better in Duval moving forward. Ramsey, 24, is eligible for an extension for the first time in his career this offseason. Jacksonville had already exercised the 2020 option on his rookie deal. Will the always-boisterous cornerback speak up if he’s not given a lucrative long-term deal? That’s a huge black cloud hanging over the Pro Bowler and his franchise right now.
Marcus Mariota, quarterback, Tennessee Titans
We’re not even 100 percent sure if the Titans have committed to Mariota over the long term. They just recently traded for Ryan Tannehill. That type of move doesn’t instill confidence in a young quarterback that has regressed leaps and bounds in recent seasons.
A former star at Oregon, Mariota has tallied 24 touchdown passes compared to 23 interceptions over the past two seasons. He’s also entering the final year of his rookie deal. One now has to wonder if a divorce between Mariota and the Titans is in the quarterback’s best interest.
Von Miller, EDGE, Denver Broncos
This isn’t as much about rumors surrounding Miller’s uneasiness in the Mile High City as it is about Denver potentially looking to build its defense around youngster Bradley Chubb. At some point, Miller’s $73-plus million cap hit over the next three seasons is going to be too big of a burden for John Elway and the Broncos.
Denver can get out from under this contract and save nearly $15 million against the cap after the 2019 season. That could very well represent Miller’s final year with the Broncos. It’s really just a numbers game here. And it could be best for Miller.
Eli Manning, quarterback, New York Giants
This theory includes Manning’s change of scenery being in the broadcast booth rather than on another NFL roster. Despite the Giants’ willingness to hang on to the washed-up quarterback, it’s becoming clear that Manning’s best days are behind him.
Depending on what happens during the 2019 NFL Draft, we would not be surprised if Manning seriously considered hanging up his cleats. He’s a two-time Super Bowl champion and a borderline future Hall of Famer. What good does it do to hang on to a fading career while “starring” for a team that’s clearly in a rebuild?