Ideal landing spots for intriguing NFL free agents

Free agency has slowed to a trickle, but there are still intriguing options for teams. Yardbarker’s Sam Robinson, Chris Mueller and Michael Nania each offer two available players — one on offense, another on defense —  and best fits for each.

Left tackle Jason Peters | Best fit: Chargers 

ROBINSON: Armed with one of the NFL’s best skill-position groups and a stacked defense, the Chargers appear ready to contend. But their quarterback timeline perhaps does not line up with the rest of their roster’s. To raise bridge quarterback Tyrod Taylor’s ceiling and accelerate first-round pick Justin Herbert’s development, the team must address left tackle.

Pressure bothered Herbert more than many of his draft-class peers last season. The Oregon product’s 16.3 Total QBR figure when pressured landed in another zip code from the numbers of Joe Burrow (82.6) and Tua Tagovailoa (44.1). Jalen Hurts and Jordan Love also fared better. 

The Chargers traded left tackle starter Russell Okung for Panthers Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner but have probably the NFL’s thinnest left tackle group. Despite being 38, Peters — the former Eagle — would change the complexion of the Bolts’ offense. The future Hall of Famer rated as Pro Football Focus’ fourth-best pass-protecting tackle last season and sixth-best overall. Potential Okung in-house successor Trent Scott rated as PFF’s fourth-worst tackle.

While 2019 third-rounder Trey Pipkins showed promise on 251 snaps last season, Peters supplies better security. Even if this is a one-year arrangement, the Chargers would extract short- and long-term benefit from the 11-year Eagle’s presence. Peters would align with the Bolts’ troika of aging free agents (right tackle Bryan Bulaga, defensive tackle Linval Joseph and cornerback Chris Harris) and increase the team’s chances to make the playoffs this season. 

The nine-time Pro Bowler would also give Herbert more time to throw, increasing the quality of his reps. That will help when Pipkins (or a to-be-acquired young tackle) takes over down the line. 

Published at Mon, 18 May 2020 12:28:00 +0000

Source: Ideal landing spots for intriguing NFL free agents.

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