2020 NFL Free Agency: Top 10 free agent defensive ends
After cornerback and wide receivers, defensive end is perhaps the Eagles’ biggest need. They will bring back Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett but after that don’t have great depth. Vinny Curry will be a free agent, which leaves Josh Sweat, Shareef Miller, Genard Avery and Joe Ostman.
(All photos are USA Today Sports Images)
10. Shaq Lawson
2019 stats: 15 games, 6 1/2 sacks, 32 tackles, 18 QB hits
2019 salary: $1.8M
Because the Bills declined his fifth-year option, Lawson just played out his fourth and final year of his rookie contract in 2019 and had a new career-high in sacks while playing as a rotational player. It seems like Lawson is destined to hit the open market for the first time in his career.
9. Bud Dupree
2019 stats: 16 games, 11 1/2 sacks, 68 tackles, 17 QB hits
2019 salary: $9.2M
Dupree played the 2019 season on the fifth-year option and crushed his previous career-high in sacks. His previous high was six back in 2017. The Steelers are reportedly expected to slap a franchise tag on Dupree but that hasn’t happened yet.
8. Robert Quinn
2019 stats: 14 games, 11 1/2 sacks, 34 tackles, 22 QB hits
2019 salary: $6M
On a one-year deal with the Cowboys in 2019, Quinn had his first double digit sack season since 2014. The Cowboys were Quinn’s third team in three years. He was with the Dolphins in 2018 and the Rams in 2016-17 after spending the first five years of his career with the St. Louis Rams.
7. Matt Judon
2019 stats: 16 games, 9 1/2 sacks, 54 tackles, 33 QB hits, 4 FFs
2019 salary: $2M
Another guy who is expected to be tagged; the Ravens aren’t going to led Judon test the free agent market. The former fifth-round pick has 28 1/2 sacks in four years.
6. Everson Griffen
2019 stats: 15 games, 8 sacks, 41 tackles, 24 QB hits
2019 salary: $6.4M
The expectation is that Griffen will re-sign with the Vikings but that hasn’t happened yet. Sure, he’s 32 but Griffen still managed to pick up eight sacks in 2019 en route to his fourth Pro Bowl nod.
5. Dante Fowler
2019 stats: 16 games, 11 1/2 sacks, 58 tackles, 16 hits
2019 salary: $9M
The former No. 3 overall pick got off to a slow start in his NFL career but is coming off his productive NFL season with the Rams in 2019. He’s still really young and has played in a 3-4 and a 4-3 so he shouldn’t be limited in terms of landing spots. Maybe the Rams franchise him, but if not, there will be a market for Fowler.
4. Arik Armstead
2019 stats: 16 games, 10 sacks, 54 tackles, 18 QB hits
2019 salary: $9M
The 49ers are reportedly trying to bring Armstead back in 2020 and that makes sense. The 6-7, 280-pounder is coming off of his most productive NFL season and was a big part of the team that went to the Super Bowl. Even if he hits the market, not sure of his fit with the Eagles, who seem to prefer a different (smaller) body type at the position.
3. Shaquil Barrett
2019 stats: 16 games, 19 1/2 sacks, 58 tackles, 37 QB hits, 6 FFs
2019 salary: $1M
After a total of 14 sacks in five years with the Broncos, Barrett had a monster season with the Bucs in 2019. He’s been an outside linebacker throughout his career so fit in a 4-3 would be a question mark. And the Bucs might franchise him anyway.
2. Yannick Ngakoue
2019 stats: 15 games, 8 sacks, 41 tackles, 15 QB hits, 4 FFs
2019 salary: $2M
It has been reported that the Jaguars are going to franchise Ngakoue, but he has also made it clear he doesn’t want to be there anymore. So it would probably take a trade if the Eagles or any other team want him. But Ngakoue would probably be worth it. He has 37 1/2 sacks before his 25th birthday and might still be getting better.
1. Jadeveon Clowney
2019 stats: 13 games, 3 sacks, 31 tackles, 13 QB hits, 4 FFs
2019 salary: $8M
Clowney didn’t put up huge numbers in his one season with the Seahawks but he was hurt and make no mistake about it: He’s still an absolute game-wrecker. This is a chance for Clowney to finally hit the open market and he won’t be cheap. The three-time Pro Bowler will get a big deal this offseason.