There are still a ton of talented players left in the free agent market. Could the 2023 NFL free agency period still see some action? Are there always this many talented players left on the market in mid-June?
Above-average starters are still on the market looking for homes. Some of these players might have asked for too much money on their initial demands at the beginning of free agency. Other players simply might be waiting for the right opportunity to present itself.
Whatever the reason is, there are three players I have in mind that clearly have ideal team fits. Let’s dive more into these team fits.
2023 NFL Free Agency: Best fits for Cook, Hopkins, Ngakoue
Dalvin Cook’s best fit is with the Denver Broncos
Dalvin Cook was cut by the Minnesota Vikings recently and is free to sign with any team he wants if they offer him a deal. I truly do not get the hype between Cook and the Dolphins, as Miami’s backfield is deep and very talented. I don’t think Cook has a home there.
The best fit would be with the Denver Broncos, who currently have one viable, healthy RB in Samaje Perine. Perine is not a starting-caliber RB in the NFL and Cook could step right in as the RB1 until Javonte Williams returns healthy.
The Broncos’ GM, George Paton, was also in the Vikings’ front office when Cook, was drafted, so there is an obvious connection there.
DeAndre Hopkins’ best fit is with the New England Patriots
I think it’s fun to think about DeAndre Hopkins playing for a contender like the Kansas City Chiefs or the Buffalo Bills, but his best fit in the 2023 NFL offseason would be with the New England Patriots.
The Patriots do not currently have a true WR1 on their roster, and Hopkins could easily slide into that role, forming a nice duo with JuJu Smith-Schuster. This would also be a great spot for Hopkins to be targeted a ton in the passing game.
While the Pats do have two excellent receiving tight ends in Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki, Hopkins could easily become the most talented pass catcher on their roster, and if nothing else, Mac Jones is an accurate passer, so I’d have high hopes for Hopkins in this offense.
Yannick Ngakoue’s best fit is with the Chicago Bears
Yannick Ngakoue still being a free agent is a bit shocking to me. He’s been in the NFL since 2016 and has never had less than 8.0 sacks in a season. He is quite poor defending the run, but does get to the QB at a high rate, which is something every team can use.
Playing a position of value, you’d think that Ngakoue would be on a team at this point in the 2023 NFL offseason. His apparent contract demands sit at $8-$10 million per season, which is paying roughly $1 million per sack. I honestly do not see much of an issue with that at all.
The Bears still might be a year away, but they do have enough talent on both sides of the ball to make people think. Chicago also has a ton of cap space and could easily fit Yannick Ngakoue and his demands under their cap.
This would be a win-now move but also one for the future, as he’s still just 28 years old and it’s become clear that defensive linemen have a longer shelf life than other positions.