NFL players who need a change of scenery this offseason


Odell Beckham Jr., Chidobe Awuzie, James Conner and Zach Ertz have been amongst ESPN’s listing of gamers who may use a change of surroundings final yr. They acquired theirs and made it work.

OBJ caught a landing within the Tremendous Bowl and earned a hoop with the champion Los Angeles Rams.

Awuzie began 14 video games at cornerback for the Cincinnati Bengals and was an enormous motive they opposed the Rams in Tremendous Bowl LVI. Awuzie had two interceptions, 14 passes defensed and 4 tackles for loss — all profession highs.

Ertz and Conner have been a part of the massive turnaround for the Arizona Cardinals, who made the postseason for the primary time since 2015. Ertz caught 56 balls after he was traded to the desert; Conner posted 18 complete touchdowns to rank third within the NFL.

So who wants to maneuver on this yr? A few of these names are repeats from final yr. And never everybody will make a smash at a brand new deal with. However as you have simply learn, it may possibly occur. Our NFL reporters provided up one candidate every from the staff they cowl who may profit from new environment.

Leap to:
ARI | ATL | BAL | BUF | CAR | CHI | CIN
CLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GB | HOU | IND
JAX | KC | LAC | LAR | LV | MIA | MIN
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF
SEA | TB | TEN | WSH

NFC EAST

Guard Connor Williams

He began 51 of the 57 video games he performed for the Cowboys from 2018 to 2021. As a second-round decide, he was purported to be one other stalwart offensive line decide with Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin and La’el Collins. It isn’t that he performed poorly, he simply did not play nice on a regular basis. His energy improved over time and he was capable of transfer properly, however he was nonetheless topic to being overpowered and getting caught out of place. In 2021, he was penalized 15 instances with 12 penalties accepted, which led to him dropping his job for a spell. He is set to be a free agent in March, and the Cowboys aren’t in place to say goodbye to a beginning lineman, however for all concerned it might be higher for Williams to discover a new residence so he isn’t always reminded of his penalties and falling wanting turning into a Professional Bowl sort enjoying alongside Smith and Martin for many of his 4 seasons. — Todd Archer


Tight finish Evan Engram

The expertise is all the time teasing. Yearly appears to be the one the place the first-round decide from 2017 will lastly get away. It is not going to occur in New York, although. Engram’s finest season (64-722-6) was his rookie yr. It is best for each events if he tries to stay as much as that potential elsewhere and doesn’t re-sign with the Giants. — Jordan Raanan


Large receiver Jalen Reagor

Expectations have been excessive in Philly when Reagor was chosen 21st total within the 2020 draft, particularly contemplating the Eagles handed on Justin Jefferson to take him. Jefferson’s profession instantly took off, Reagor’s has but to, and that has created an ungainly pressure between participant (33 catches for 299 yards and two TDs final season) and metropolis. A recent begin would alleviate a number of the stress and permit Reagor to play extra freely. — Tim McManus


Guard Brandon Scherff

There isn’t any doubt Washington would really like him again; he stays a high participant at his place. He has made one All-Professional staff and he is a five-time Professional Bowler. However he additionally has performed on the franchise tag the previous two seasons and there was little official motion towards a long-term deal, whether or not that is due to a want to go away or as a result of the tag made a deal troublesome. Washington did make a proposal that may have made Scherff the highest-paid guard, however enjoying on the tag was a wiser enterprise determination. The laborious half for Washington now could be: What kind of contract do you supply? Scherff has not performed a full season since 2016 and has missed a mixed 22 video games the previous 4 years. Pretty much as good as he’s, and regardless of a want to maintain him round, this relationship seems to have run its course. — John Keim

NFC NORTH

Large receiver Allen Robinson II

It wasn’t way back that Robinson was the man in Chicago, however 2021 modified the whole lot. He and Justin Fields by no means linked in a significant manner, whereas second-year man Darnell Mooney emerged because the rookie QB’s go-to man. He could be a strong No. 2 whereas the Bears seek for a No. 1. At this level, Robinson is like becoming a sq. peg right into a spherical gap. He wants to maneuver on. — Jesse Rogers


Outdoors linebacker Trey Flowers

This is not a knock on the Lions group, which is within the midst of a rebuild, however at this level in Flowers’ profession he may very well be an awesome asset to a championship contender or playoff-ready franchise. At 28, Flowers is a two-time Tremendous Bowl champion with New England, however was harm plagued this previous season for the Lions, which pressured the staff to position him on IR for the second straight season after he harm his knee. His contract may very well be a difficulty, although, after Detroit gave him $90 million over 5 years in 2019 with $56 million assured. — Eric Woodyard


Outdoors linebacker Za’Darius Smith

Smith went from being the Packers’ most necessary defensive participant in 2019 and 2020 to a nonfactor in 2021. Sure, he handled a again harm that primarily ended his season after Week 1 (he did return for the playoff recreation), however there have been points even earlier than that. He wished a brand new contract final offseason and did not get one. He missed the whole offseason program and most of coaching camp, after which acquired upset when he wasn’t elected a staff captain. The Packers want all of the cap house they will get, and so they’d acquire $15.75 million by shifting on from him. — Rob Demovsky


Defensive finish Danielle Hunter

The Vikings have till March 20 to resolve whether or not they’re selecting up Hunter’s $18 million roster bonus that was added into his present deal final offseason. Minnesota reworked the defensive finish’s contract to set him as much as earn a large extension, however a pectoral tear final October restricted Hunter to only seven video games in two seasons after a neck harm pressured him to overlook all of 2020. Nobody is aware of Hunter’s medicals and whether or not he’ll be capable of bounce again to being the participant who turned the quickest to notch 50 profession sacks higher than the Vikings. In the event that they consider they will get a deal completed with their star defensive finish at a reduced price on account of these accidents, he’ll be in purple going ahead. However after two disappointing years and together with his defensive position coach Andre Patterson now on the Giants, a commerce or launch would permit Hunter a much-needed recent begin, and the Vikings would save $14.64 million towards the cap. — Courtney Cronin

NFC SOUTH

Tight finish Hayden Hurst

The 2018 first-round decide’s position modified as soon as Atlanta drafted Kyle Pitts final yr. Hurst, whose fifth-year possibility wasn’t picked up by the staff, had 31 targets final season (he had 25 extra catches than that in 2020) and solely 26 catches for 221 yards and three touchdowns. He has the talents of a No. 1 or a No. 1B tight finish, and in Atlanta he doubtless would not get the pay or reps commensurate with that, so it is smart for Hurst to go play some other place, the place alternative may very well be extra plentiful. — Michael Rothstein


Tight finish Ian Thomas

He has been a coaching camp star since being chosen within the fourth spherical of the 2018 draft, however he has by no means emerged as a regular-season star. Certain, he is a reliable blocker. However by way of the receiving risk Carolina desperately wants at this place … not a lot. Thomas had solely 18 catches this previous season and solely 54 up to now three mixed. He has solely 4 touchdowns in 4 seasons. It simply has by no means been an awesome match. — David Newton


Cornerback Bradley Roby

The Saints traded a third-round decide for the veteran starter throughout Week 1 of final season. However he wound up enjoying solely about one-third of their snaps whereas rotating in with rookie starter Paulson Adebo. Roby, 29, continues to be a high quality cornerback, however the Saints won’t wish to pay his $10 million wage contemplating their tight cap constraints. — Mike Triplett


Tight finish O.J. Howard

The 19th total decide within the 2017 NFL draft had just a few bouts of unhealthy luck within the type of accidents — a ruptured Achilles ended his season prematurely in 2020 — and the staff expressed religion in him by selecting up his fifth-year possibility final season. However even when Rob Gronkowski missed 5 video games in 2021 on account of harm, Howard was nonetheless nowhere to be discovered. He managed simply 14 catches for a career-low 135 yards in 17 regular-season video games. He bettered that mark in simply 4 video games final yr. He is set to develop into a free agent. — Jenna Laine

NFC WEST

Linebacker Jordan Hicks

Hicks requested for a commerce final offseason after the Cardinals drafted his replacements within the first spherical of back-to-back years. When he did not get it, he went out and began all 17 video games and led the staff in defensive snaps. However after going by that final offseason, Hicks — like each participant — deserves to be on a staff that appreciates him. That clearly is not Arizona. — Josh Weinfuss


Offensive deal with Joe Noteboom

The Rams drafted Noteboom with a third-round decide in 2018, with the plan being that he would study from and take over for Andrew Whitworth. Nevertheless, regardless of Noteboom’s growth, that plan by no means materialized given Whitworth signed an extension and proved that he couldn’t solely proceed as a starter, however compete on the highest degree. With a number of alternatives to fill in as a starter, together with in an all-important divisional-round win over the Buccaneers, Noteboom proved he’s additionally fully able to beginning at left deal with within the NFL. If Whitworth places off retirement once more, it might be finest for Noteboom to maneuver on as an unrestricted free agent to someplace he can begin. — Lindsey Thiry


Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo

Garoppolo and the Niners have been on the trail to a divorce since San Francisco traded as much as No. Three and drafted Trey Lance in April. Now, it is only a matter of discovering the best match. Likelihood is, the Niners and Garoppolo’s representatives will work collectively to get the very best compensation package deal whereas sending Garoppolo someplace he can have success. Take it from Jimmy G himself, there’s one thing to be stated for a recent begin: “Completely,” Garoppolo stated. “I do not know if it will be simpler or more durable. Annually’s troublesome on this league. I imply, it all the time is, however that is a part of the rationale I like it. Nothing’s given to you, you have to earn the whole lot on this league and it isn’t straightforward. I believe that is simply one thing that I embrace and I kind of get pleasure from in a manner.” — Nick Wagoner


Defensive finish L.J. Collier

The 29th decide of the 2019 draft was a wholesome scratch in seven of the primary 10 video games of final season as Seattle went with larger our bodies in the course of its new-look defensive position. If the Seahawks follow that in 2022, then they could once more view Collier as too small to play inside and never twitchy sufficient to play on the sting. He had three sacks plus a game-saving stuff whereas beginning each recreation in 2020, however produced little in his different two seasons. — Brady Henderson

AFC EAST

Guard Jon Feliciano

Moving on makes sense for both sides. It’s not a must, but it would be a smart step. Feliciano lost his starting role during the 2021 season to Ike Boettger and Ryan Bates after stints on injured reserve and the COVID-19 list. The Bills would save over $4 million by designating him as a post-June 1 cut. Former Bills offensive line coach Bobby Johnson is now in the same role with the Giants, and Feliciano has worked with Johnson for most of his professional career. It would be a logical reunion. — Alaina Getzenberg


Offensive deal with Jesse Davis

Davis nonetheless has one other yr remaining on his contract however was the Dolphins’ second-worst pass-blocking lineman in 2021. The worst was 2021 second-round decide Liam Eichenberg, and he is not going anyplace contemplating his draft standing. Miami wants to enhance its offensive line and, logically talking, is extra prone to transfer on from Davis, who’s the lone beginning offensive lineman from final season who was not drafted by the staff. — Marcel Louis-Jacques


Large receiver N’Keal Harry

The 32nd decide within the 2019 draft was a wholesome scratch in a Week 17 win over the Jaguars, after which when he returned to motion within the staff’s subsequent two video games, his affect was minimal. It had an end-of-the-road sort of really feel to it. Harry performed 28% of the offensive snaps and completed with 12 catches for 180 yards and no touchdowns final season, together with his main contributions coming as a blocker. Maybe a staff that had a excessive draft grade on him would contemplate dealing a conditional late-round decide to see if a change of surroundings brings out his potential. — Mike Reiss


Large receiver Denzel Mims

The 2020 second-round decide has been a disappointment and may very well be on the transfer earlier than or throughout the draft. The present teaching employees did not draft him and hasn’t embraced Mims, a sloppy route runner who struggled to study the offense. He has had laborious luck, too — accidents, meals poisoning (dropped 15 kilos) and COVID-19. In 20 video games, he has solely 31 catches and no touchdowns. There isn’t any denying his bodily expertise, however it’s not clicking in New York. Possibly he can reunite together with his former faculty coach, Matt Rhule, with the Panthers. — Wealthy Cimini

AFC NORTH

Offensive deal with Alejandro Villanueva

It is anticipated that the Ravens will lower Villanueva after one season to create $6 million in salary-cap room. A longtime offensive lineman for the Steelers, Villanueva was a nasty match at proper deal with and was unable to fill the void left by injured left deal with Ronnie Stanley. Villanueva allowed 17 sacks this previous season, three greater than every other participant, in line with ESPN Stats & Data analysis. This was a disappointing free-agent addition for Baltimore, which gave Villanueva $eight million assured. — Jamison Hensley


Cornerback Trae Waynes

Waynes got here throughout a number of the worst luck in two seasons with the Bengals. An injured pectoral stored him out of all of 2020 and a hamstring downside stored him off the sphere lengthy sufficient in 2021 for him to lose his beginning job. With a cap hit of greater than $15 million for the ultimate yr of his deal, it is best for either side to maneuver on from one another. — Ben Child


Large receiver Jarvis Landry

Whereas enjoying by harm final season, Landry completed with simply 52 catches, 570 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns (although he had two extra on the bottom), and did not do a single interview by the staff after Odell Beckham Jr. was launched midseason. Landry has an upcoming cap hit of $16.6 million however no assured cash left, creating a chance for the Browns to maneuver on, ought to they wish to. Landry stated Tuesday that he would “like to remain” in Cleveland however added that he’s assured he can nonetheless be a contributor elsewhere. — Jake Trotter

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Chris Canty says there’s a ton of stress on Baker Mayfield if the Browns launch Jarvis Landry.


Tight finish Eric Ebron

Ebron entered Steelers coaching camp because the No. 1 tight finish, however rookie Pat Freiermuth constructed a robust reference to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and supplanted Ebron as the highest tight finish goal by midseason. Ebron, set to be a free agent, had a career-low 18 targets in 2021, down considerably from 91 in his first yr with the Steelers. After a season-ending knee harm on a landing towards the L.A. Chargers in Week 11, Ebron spent the vast majority of his rehab together with his household away from Pittsburgh. Ebron has the expertise and athletic skill to be a receiving risk, however to return to his 2018 Professional Bowl kind, he wants a recent begin. — Brooke Pryor

AFC SOUTH

Security Justin Reid

Reid outplayed his third-round draft decide standing in his 4 seasons in Houston, however he and the Texans didn’t get a contract extension completed earlier than or throughout the season. Throughout the season, Reid was benched for violating staff guidelines after he challenged head coach David Culley’s teaching in a staff assembly. Now that Reid can hit the open market, the Texans do not count on Reid to be again in 2022. — Sarah Barshop


Operating again Marlon Mack

It is simple to neglect that it was simply in 2019 that Mack rushed 1,091 yards as a result of the Colts have Jonathan Taylor, who the led the NFL in dashing in 2021, on the roster. It is due to Taylor and Nyheim Hines that Mack was principally an afterthought on the depth chart final season. Mack, who tore his Achilles in Week 1 of the 2020 season, appeared in solely six video games whereas spending a lot of the season as a wholesome inactive. The Colts failed to maneuver Mack on the commerce deadline final season. He’ll be solely 26 whereas coming off a season the place he had solely 28 carries in 2022, so there should not be any questions on his skill to contribute nonetheless. — Mike Wells


Heart Brandon Linder

Linder’s situation is he cannot keep wholesome. He has missed 41 video games in eight seasons — together with 15 the previous two seasons — due to numerous accidents/diseases. He additionally has the third-highest cap worth ($10 million) on the roster in 2022. There isn’t any useless cash to chop him. Backup Tyler Shatley has been strong in aid of Linder — and hasn’t missed a recreation up to now six seasons. The Jaguars may decide to re-sign Shatley as a substitute. — Michael DiRocco


Linebacker Rashaan Evans

Evans, a first-round decide in 2018, fell out of the rotation final season. Over 4 seasons, he began 59 video games however was a wholesome scratch for the Titans’ divisional-round loss to the Bengals. The midseason acquisition of Zach Cunningham and emergence of David Lengthy have led to Evans’ doubtless departure through free company. — Turron Davenport

AFC WEST

Operating again Melvin Gordon III

The Broncos have sufficient cap house to re-sign a number of of their very own free brokers. It’s a massive listing that features three linebackers and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Gordon has spoken of his sometimes-bumpy relationship with the staff’s trustworthy. First, he was the man who acquired the massive contract when Phillip Lindsay did not, after which final season he was the man who was preserving Javonte Williams from getting extra carries. For a staff that has labored to attain touchdowns, Gordon has had 20 of them over the previous two seasons and has led the staff in dashing in back-to-back years. He has stated he wish to come again, however Williams figures to be a high quality slot in Nathaniel Hackett’s offense and Gordon may merely need rather less drama about the entire thing. — Jeff Legwold


Defensive finish Frank Clark

The Chiefs lower linebacker Anthony Hitchens on Tuesday, and Clark may very well be subsequent. He has had some massive moments for the Chiefs however not sufficient of them. The staff can save nearly $13 million towards their wage cap by releasing Clark, although they would want to search out some assist for his or her move rush in the event that they transfer on with out him. — Adam Teicher


Linebacker Cory Littleton

What, you thought I used to be going to say Derek Carr? Look, Littleton was purported to be the crown jewel of the Raiders’ free-agent class of 2020 as a game-changer in move protection. As an alternative, he struggled — mightily — and was changed by rookie Divine Deablo because the staff made its playoff run late within the season. Maybe new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham and his 3-Four scheme sensibilities can get extra out of him. As a result of in any other case, Littleton’s $15.7 million cap quantity is a big determine with which to deal. — Paul Gutierrez


Offensive deal with Storm Norton

Norton stepped in when Bryan Bulaga went on injured reserve after Week 1, however lacked quick-reflex talent for the place. He improved because the season went on however is definitely not a full-time alternative. The staff may be capable of discover a higher proper deal with within the draft or in free company, and Norton may profit from a recent begin elsewhere. — Shelley Smith

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